Archive for March, 2008
In the cross-hairs of Queensland Government Acquisition?
“The Queensland Government will channel more than $10 million a year into a new ‘Eco Fund’ to expand the state’s National Parks.”
So said the Hon. Premier, Anna Bligh and Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, the Hon. Andrew McNamara, in a joint statement last Friday.
“… we’re going to expand our National Parks by 50% … reaching a target of 12 million hectares by 2020 …”
Developers and other entities will pay for this doubling of protected area, by offsetting their environmental impacts and greenhouse emissions.
No, this is not a photograph of my two feet … I will only claim the shod one at the left. Australia’s heaviest native land animal, the adult female Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius johnsonii, left the imprint of the other. As can be seen against my size-10 clodhopper, this is a bird that would fill a room.
On the issue of footprints, tracking is an invaluable skill taught to traditional indigenous children throughout time. It is a form of literacy, although the script is somewhat unenduring. Nevertheless, as it is with tracking, translating faded writing is entirely possible if the essence of the letters and their sequencing allows reader anticipation to conform to the growing meaning of the prose.
Much is reported about rates of illiteracy in indigenous communities, but the tracks presented in the assessment are of an overly unfamiliar passing and in an abstract form. Would non-indigenous Australia be regarded as equivalently illiterate in its performance of an indigenous test of tracking comprehension?
Contrary to the intent of the outgoing Douglas Shire Council’s resolution to not allow Council staff to participate in the process of preparing submissions to Queensland’s Draft Iconic legislation, the Queensland Department of Infrastructure and Planning has contracted the Planning Consultant primarily involved in developing the Douglas Shire’s Planning Scheme, to prepare a Draft Iconic Values Statement for Douglas Shire.
Having previously thought that one-month public consultation for Queensland’s Draft Iconic legislation was inadequate, the six days offered this afternoon, for the Draft Iconic Values Statement, is remarkably challenging. We are advised, “Unfortunately any submissions received after 6pm on Monday the 17th March 2008, will be unable to be considered.”
There are times, in the Daintree Cape Tribulation rainforest, when rainfall is so overly abundant that it would seem irresponsible not to derive electricity from hydro-generation. However, the Queensland Government’s existing policy prohibits supply between properties, so hydro-potential can only exist on a per property basis and very few have both the requisite flow rate and head.
At Cooper Creek Wilderness, water is diverted from the creek in the above photograph, through a 63 mm poly-pipe at a flow rate of 1.2 litres/sec. The diversion travels just under 1.6 km and drops 59 metres, losing 21 metres through friction. The water is released under high pressure through a nozzle onto a pelton wheel, generating 52 volts at 5.1 amps DC or around 6 kwhrs/day.
So far this month, we have had around 920 mm of rainfall and as expected the Cooper Creek causeway crossing over the Cape Tribulation Road has flooded.
This is a regular occurrence in the wet season. Two years ago, students living north of Cooper Creek were unable to access 25% of their first term, because of flooding. It is also an almost annual occurrence that a driver will unsuccessfully attempt to cross, losing their vehicle to the power of the flood and being tumbled downstream into crocodile habitat.
Invariably, the impassable floods cause stress to large numbers of travelers on unforgiving schedules. Hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians crowd either side of the water’s edge in a forlorn hope that the combined vigilance and force of will will somehow speed the recession.