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The efficacy of offsets depends on a strict set of rules and long-term consistency of application. The first article ponders whether offsetting will cost our natural heritage (koalas or coal, nature or one-off profits, short-term gain or things of wonder for our grandkids) whilst the second article provides an overview of the desirable guidelines for the creation and operation of offsets.

Under the United Nation's climate change agreement Australia’s current greenhouse gas emissions reduction task is to reduce its emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Participants in Clean Up Australia Day once again noticed the massive extent of littering and rubbish dumping from vehicles. The Comenarra Parkway is a prime example.

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 00:01

Wrap-up of NSW State Election

The NSW Government election demonstrated the high level of concern about coal mining and coal seam gas. Several seats affected by mining and coal seam gas had strong swings away from the Liberals and National Party. Ballina, Wyong and Campbelltown were lost to the Greens or Labor.

The residents of Malton Road and the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust have been working for many months to try and save some 2 hectares of privately owned land in Malton Road, Beecroft from subdivision and residential development.

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 00:01

A Memorial for Neroli Lock

Several past and present members of the STEP committee were delighted to be invited to a function at Ingleside on 19 April 2015 to celebrate the unveiling of a memorial to the life of Neroli Lock (see STEP Matters 178, p7).

This article was written by former president of STEP, Barry Tomkinson, who has had a close involvement with the Berowra Valley National Park proposals.

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 00:01

Russell Valley Colliery Expansion Thwarted

Previous issues of STEP Matters (Issue 173, p7–8 and Issue 175, p2) have highlighted the damage that is occurring in Sydney’s southern water supply catchment in the Woronora area caused by underground longwall coal mining. Cracking of the surface has drained upland swamps and creeks that are the filter system and source of water flowing into the Cataract and Woronora dams.

The release of the 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) by the Treasurer Joe Hockey brings nothing new to raise hopes that the government is realistically managing the long-term future of our country. It is very odd that one of the major variables in the report’s forecasts is presented with no discussion or justification. This is the expected level for annual net overseas migration (NOM).

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 00:01

The Noisy Miner: A Friend not a Pest?

STEP member Ralph Pridmore describes his personal experiences with his local feathered friends.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 23:01

NSW State Election

The NSW state election is not far away and we have only just found out who the Liberal Party candidate will be to replace Barry O’Farrell in Ku-ring-gai. A set of questions will be sent to local candidates by Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment (FOKE). The responses will be emailed to members.

Just before Christmas, NSW Premier, Mike Baird, and the Environment Minister, Rob Stokes, announced that the Government favoured the introduction of state-based container deposit legislation (CDL). They seem to favour the current proposal developed by the Boomerang Alliance. This involves the installation of reverse vending machines in shopping centres and public places where people can return drink containers and retrieve the 10 cent deposit included in the purchase price. Council kerbside recycling collections would continue to operate.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 23:01

Interim Changes to 10/50 Code not Enough

Local environment groups have been calling for a moratorium on bushfire clearing under the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code while the public inquiry is held to no avail. On 26 November 2014 the Rural Fire Service announced changes to the rules that reduced the clearing entitlement area in most areas from 350 m to 100 m from bushfire prone land (see STEP Matters, Issue 178, p6 for more information).

The reasons for concern about the loss of old trees under the 10/50 Code are demonstrated by research.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 23:01

A Threatening Species: The Noisy Miner

Residents of Sydney's suburbs cannot help but notice the abundance of the native honeyeater, the noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) in their gardens and their aggressive defence of their territory against other birds of all sizes and almost anything else (eg bats, cats, koalas and cows). One wonders if they can cause damage to the ecological balance of areas where they dominate.

Jim Wells, former STEP treasurer, has contributed this detailed information comparing the finances of Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai councils. We leave you to decide the implications this will have for residents if the councils merge.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 23:01

Section 94 Developer Contributions

Much of Ku-ring-gai’s money has come from apartment building construction. Contributions appear to be about $30,000 per unit with most going to local roads and drainage, although this varies by suburb.

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