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Pat Conaghan MP

Caring for our environment

Australia’s environment is unique and I’m working hard to ensure our Government continues to take a responsible approach in looking after our precious environment.
Here’s some of the things we’ve been doing locally and nationally.

Lake Innes water quality monitoring

Community group Revive Lake Cathie is water quality monitoring at Lake Innes in Port Macquarie to establish a baseline of water quality health for the wetland. Through a Community Environment Program grant, 10 water quality testing kits have been acquired and Revive Lake Cathie will carry out water testing with local school students and record water temperature, salinity, ph, sulphate, sediment and other particulates found in the water.

Sea turtle rehabilitation

Through the Communities Environment Program, the Australian Government supports sea turtle rehabilitation at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour. The Marine Park’s dolphin rescue team rehabilitate injured wildlife and provide education on what residents should do if an injured turtle or nest is spotted in the wild. Five sea turtles were rehabilitated and released back into the wild in the second half of 2020.

Emissions reduction

Australia’s emissions are down 14 per cent since 2005. Across the OECD countries, emissions have fallen by around nine per cent. The nation is currently meeting and beating its international emissions reduction commitments. Kyoto targets are being beaten by up to 430 million tonnes and Australia is on track to meet its 2030 target. For more information about emissions reduction visit the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.

Renewable energy

Did you know 18 per cent of Australia’s National Electricity Market comes from the renewable energies of wind and solar? The OECD average is 2/3 of that (11 per cent) and the global average is 6.5 per cent.

The Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap (hyperlink to https://www.industry.gov.au/news/australias-technology-investment-roadmap-have-your-say) is a plan to create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The roadmap is expected to guide $18 billion in Government investment over the next 10 years in low emissions technologies by 2030.

Recycling

The Australian Government has invested in the inspiring Coffs Harbour start-up Plastic Collective. Plastic Collective founder Louise Hardman has developed a practical machine to reduce the amount of waste plastic entering the ocean. The Shruder Mark Two prototype turns waste plastics into recycled flakes which can be on-sold for use in products like sunglasses. It is estimated each Shruder machine can recycle 124.8 tonnes of waste plastic per year.

The Australian Government’s 2020-21 budget provided a record investment in a National Waste Policy Action Plan and Recycling Modernisation Fund.

Protecting koalas

Koalas are an iconic Australian mammal and the Coalition Government since 2014 has invested over $26.4 million on projects supporting outcomes for koalas. Projects have included tree plantings, the propagation of food trees and reconnecting koala corridors. On 23 November 2020 the Environment Minister allocated $2 million for a national koala census. The local census will help identify where koala populations live, their status and help to determine the best ways to support them.

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