Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery says Australia is doing well in renewable energy, but could do much more. In the latest report, the commission says it is clear that solar and wind will be the cheapest forms of energy by 2030 – echoing the conclusions of the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economic, and the country could soon be powered by renewables.
“What we can now see is the emerging inevitability that renewables are going to be running the economy at some point in the future,” Flannery told ABC radio in an interview. “I don’t think it’s been widely appreciated. You talk to people in government and industry and many people on the street, those facts really haven’t started to sink in.”
It is an annual ritual: nearly 200 nations sit down at the end of each year for two weeks of glacially paced negotiations meant to stop global warming. Meanwhile, leading scientific and economic bodies warn the best evidence suggests time is fast running out to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Starting Monday it is the turn of the oil-dominated Qatar to host the latest major United Nations’ climate summit.
Queensland Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps says a new panel has been appointed to advise him on the management of the Cooper Creek, Diamantina and Georgina rivers in the state's west.
Mr Cripps addressed local government and rural industry representatives today in Longreach.
He says the former Labor state government's Wild Rivers laws have caused angst for people in western Queensland and he wants a fresh approach to restore confidence.
The RSPCA has been swamped with 86 flying foxes that were knocked senseless by hail in Brisbane's western suburbs.
About 30 have been put down and the rest are going out to carers.
RSPCA wildlife rescue officer Annette Colling said 300 to 400 flying foxes from a Mt Ommaney colony might have been killed.
Land management problems could be solved by learning from the example of indigenous people before white settlement, the Queensland premier says.
Campbell Newman said indigenous Australians had much better land management practices that most people realised and he had discussed the approach with Australia's climate change commissioner Tim Flannery on Tuesday.
"I have a view that the landscape needs to be better managed and we have to have a really good look at what the traditional practices were of Aboriginal peoples," he told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has flagged the possibility that coal trains will eventually have to be covered to minimise dust exposure for those living along the rail line.
Speaking on ABC Radio today, the Premier revealed he had taken note of the concerns raised in in the past week about increasing tonnages through metropolitan urban areas.
"I think it's incumbent upon (the coal mines) to start to move to better forms of practice," said Mr Newman.
Several Aboriginal elders have criticised the State Government's process for reviewing the dingo management strategy on Fraser Island off south-east Queensland.
The review is due to be finished by February.
Gubbi Gubbi elder Dr Eve Fesl says a Butchulla elder should have been included on the review panel.
She says many of the scientists on the panel have been involved in previous studies.
The Queensland Government says it has signed an agreement with the sugar industry to manage chemical use and run-off into the Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell says the best practice approach will reduce regulation and paperwork and move towards self-management.
He says legislation brought in by the previous state government could be changed if the new approach is successful.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says this could reduce power bills by up to $100 million next year.
He said there was still high demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, so the federal government would phase out its Solar Credits mechanism six months early, on January 1, 2013.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is urging the public to be careful around turtle nesting habitats in north Queensland with the season underway.
GBRMPA spokesman Dr Mark Read says some have already begun coming ashore to lay eggs but numbers should peak next month.
He says baby turtles have many natural predators so it is important that humans do not add to their hardship.