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Queensland Great award

Very honored on Queensland Day to receive a Queensland Great award "recognizing the efforts and achievements of extraordinary Queenslanders for their remarkable contribution to the history and development of our great state" from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. In illustrious company with the late Eddie Mabo, pioneering neuroscientist Professor Perry Bartlett, philanthropist Clive Berghofer, university leader and advocate Professor Peter Coaldrake and indigenous health and education advocate, Professor Cindy Shannon. In my mind, recognition also for the others who have contributed to the astonishing saga of corruption, exposure and reform commencing 30 years ago in my home state. A remarkable time, even if not all was exposed and reform did not go far enough. As we look out on times perhaps more dangerous than any since the 1930s on the governance front and like nothing we have seen before in terms of environmental challenges, quality journalism and informed electorates are more vital than ever. Many thanks to the many of you who have sent congratulations.

Rich countries, poor water

For the world's wealthy countries, climate change is bringing on problems caused by the way we use water. Ignorance,overuse and contamination have damaged the ability of natural systems to provide fresh, clean water at the very time we are discovering that we cannot rely on old rainfall and snowfall patterns. These issues were starkly set out in the well regarded and widely reported WWF report Rich Countries, Poor Water, written by Phil Dickie.

Read "Rich countries, poor water" - "From Seville to Sacremento to Sydney, water is now a key - sometimes the key - political issue at the local, regional and national level"

Is desalination the answer?

No, said international conservation organisation WWF in releasing Making Water, a research report prepared by Phil Dickie. The July 2007 report, the first global survey of desalination from a non-industry perspective, will fuel controversies over the growing resort to "bottled electricity" on five continents. The report notes that all the areas considering large scale desalination could satisfy all or most of their water needs with less expense and fewer adverse impacts.

Read Making Water: Option or distraction for a thirsty world? - "This adds the risk that often underfunded and resourced regulators will find it difficult to adequately address environmental and other community concerns in the face of development interests clamoring for water and large and politically influential corporations clamoring for contracts"


The sands of Shelburne - A mining lease, bridal fashions and a lost people all played a part in this classic Queensland conservation battle on Cape York.

This article landed on the government's desk at a critical moment in the decision making process. They decided for once to do the right thing and cancelled the outstanding mining leases over the fabulous white sands of Shelburne Bay.