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This article briefly explains the value of estuaries and the threats they are facing.

Estuaries – A Primer

Estuaries – once the world’s powerhouse of productivity – are now predominantly the habitat of humans.  Yes, the world’s most productive ecosystems are where tide meets freshwater, a mixing zone of biodiversity and food – of diatoms, phytoplankton, birds, fish and prawns.

Unfortunately globally, these are also now the most trashed systems.  Humans love to live near water, and here in Australia the vast majority of us crowd the coast and fill, drain, divert, dam and occupy what were once our estuaries. Continue reading

This Discussion Paper unpicks ‘sustainability’ in Queensland’s rangelands – the unimproved land used primarily for grazing sheep and cattle. It proposes a remedy for financial distress and unsustainable landscape management. The paper is a submission to the Royal Society of Queensland and is open for public comment. The Society may publish thoughtful critical responses on its website.

Download publication:

From Red to Black to Green

Royal Society of Queensland member Robert Whyte has just signed off on the print-ready artwork for the third printing of his A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, with Greg Anderson co-author. Not expected to be a block buster, the first printing surprised everyone, even the publisher, when it sold out in under four weeks. “A second printing was rushed through the presses, the plates still warm from the first run”, notes Mr Whyte. This third printing in July 2018 contains about 50 updates, mostly taxonomical changes since 1 June 2018. Continue reading

Transport infrastructure planning has lost its way – by Geoff Edwards

‘Public infrastructure’ is a term commonly used to describe the basic physical structures needed for the operation of a society or commercial enterprise. The traditional method of funding public infrastructure has been through public budgets.3 This imposes three powerful brakes upon over investment in grandiose projects: strategic land use and transport planning; oversight by a multidisciplinary, disinterested public service; and fiscal discipline at budget time.

Public infrastructure projects make a significant contribution to the economy, both in providing essential services to urban, regional, rural and remote communities and also in generating employment. Public investment is not a dead weight on the economy. Public expenditure also has multiplier effects on employment in the rest of the economy. Appropriate infrastructure creates long-term industrial capacity, so it is essential to link infrastructure planning with contemporary industry/innovation policy. Continue reading

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