Twenty-year strategic plan for Gulf region
A COMPREHENSIVE development plan for the Gulf of Carpentaria is set
to provide the strategic framework for the region over the next 20
years. The Gulf Regional Development Plan (GRDP) has been endorsed
by the Queensland Cabinet and the Gulf Regional Planning Advisory
Committee and was prepared by key stakeholders and all levels of
Government, as well as communities in the Gulf.
The plan addresses key issues confronting the region including:
native title protocols; economic development; management of the
environment and natural resources; community services and
development and the provision of infrastructure. The Gulf region
covers a vast area of north-west Queensland along the southern
waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria and east to the Northern
Territory border. Copies can be obtained from the Cairns office of
the Department of Local Government and Planning or from Local
Council offices in the region.
DATA and images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration and from the Landsat satellite are proving vital
tools for the Northern Territory Bushfires Council in responding to
wildfires and monitoring potential hotspots. NT Minister for Parks
and Wildlife, Mike Reed, said remote sensing data and images were
used extensively in the latest bushfire season to monitor wildfires
and to provide post-fire analysis.
Satellite imagery played an important role in determining the
Bushfire Council’s response to a fire near a pastoral
property in Central Australia last year, with the Fire Control
Officer monitoring the blaze via images taken from space. While the
fire activity was substantial the NT Bushfires Council was able to
use the imagery to determine if fire scars from the year before
would act as a secure firebreak protecting the pastoral property.
This information led to a decision not to dispatch resources as the
fire would burn out into previously fire-damaged country with
reduced combustible material. Satellite images will now provide the
foundation for identifying options for strategically joining fire
scars to limit the spread of wildfires in the future. It is also
envisaged they will assist with identifying high fuel load areas to
be targeted for fuel reduction programs.
Rebates for renewable energy on Qld properties
FAMILIES on properties in Western and Northern Queensland are now
eligible for an energy rebate valued at up to $175,000 through the
joint Commonwealth/Queensland Government Renewable Remote Power
Generation Program. The scheme provides rebates of up to 65 per
cent for families to install renewable energy technologies at sites
not serviced by the main electricity grid, reducing their reliance
on diesel power generation. The scheme provides individual rebates
for family-owned properties in 14 western and northern Queensland
shires: Barcoo, Boulia, Bulloo, Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry,
Cook, Croydon, Diamantina, Mareeba, McKinlay, Mount Isa, Quilpie
Contact: Energy Advisory Service on 1300 369 388, quoting the
Working Property Rebate Scheme.
E-Commerce in Rural Australia: The real story
E-COMMERCE in rural Australia remains in the early stages of
development. A new Rural Industries Research and Development
Corporation (RIRDC) report, E-commerce in Rural Areas: Case
Studies, shows that some rural businesses are successfully using
the internet for a broad range of activities. This includes email
communication, online banking and bill-paying, customs clearance,
market research, product promotion, document delivery, on-line
sales, industry promotion and support, business-to-business trading
and supply chain management. For many, email is now an integral
part of business operations, quickly supplanting traditional forms
of communications and generating substantial cost-savings. This was
particularly marked in businesses operating in international
Cutting edge website on climate change
THE UK’s Meteorology Office’s website contains
impressive moving graphics on climate change and carbon modelling.
Also included is an update on recent research from UK’s
Hadley Centre, including patterns and trends in climate change,
modelling the carbon cycle, and the variable effects of using
forests as carbon sinks. According to TS–CRC researcher
Lindsay Hutley, the Hadley Centre is at the cutting edge of
modelling climate change. “Their recent work is what is
driving new predictions of a much greater warming (up to 6 deg)
than thought a year ago," he said.
(See Cox, P.M., Betts, R.A., Jones, C.D., Spall, S.A., Totterdell,
I.J., ‘Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle
feedbacks in a coupled climate model’, Nature, 408(6809): pp.
Call to Rural Poets
The Queensland DPI Women in Rural Industries Unit is seeking poems
about rural women for its next edition of A Vision for Change:
Women Working for the Future of Rural Queensland 2001.