UNESCO reef report, Pacific E-Waste, Enviro law changes

This week - the UN cautions Australia on industrial development near the Great Barrier Reef, the Federal Government is looking to give away some of its environmental regulations to the states, and we look at managing e-waste in the Pacific.

UN: Great Barrier Reef threatened
The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area may be formally listed as ‘in danger’ if there’s not more done to protect it from industrial development. This is the warning in a report for UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee released last week. It’s sparked something of a standoff between the Federal Government and the Queensland government over mining and export developments along the reef coast, with Environment Minister Tony Burke delaying federal approval for the massive Alpha Coal mine. And there’s already been community anger in Queensland that part of the World Heritage area in Gladstone Harbour is being dredged for a shipping channel. Third Degree's Simon Unwin speaks with Queensland Friends of the Earth campaigner Derec Davies.

E-waste in the Pacific
E-waste is still being illegally shipped out of Australia, contributing to the growing problem of e-waste dumping worldwide. Federal Environment Department figures as at April this year are that three shipping containers with some e-waste – televisions, computers and monitors - were intercepted on their way out of the country. Today we’re looking at how this issue effects our near neighbours – the pacific island nations. David Haynes, Director of Waste Management and Pollution Control with Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme – known as SPREP. He’s speaking here with the Third Degree’s Jessica Minshall

Federal environment protections given to states
It was World Environment Day this week, an event marked in Australia by environmental NGOs criticising planned changes to federal regulations. These changes would see many environmental assessments, currently determined by the Federal Government, soon become the responsibility of the states and territories. So concerned about what this will mean for environmental protections here, these environmental groups held a national summit on this issue in Canberra last month.Denise Boyd, Campaigns Director with the Australian Conservation Foundation is speaking here with the Third Degree’s Jessica Minshall.

With Simon Unwin
June 2012