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Allocation and Storage of Freshwater

What is the Environmental Issues Faced By Australians?

The report focuses on understanding the different types of environmental issues faced by Australians with the different types of strategies undertaken by the Australian government to counter its impacts. It would further focus on understanding the manner in which the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is generated for a specific program that is approved by the New South Wales (NSW) government. The report would subsequently highlight on the different changes that can be rendered to the existing process concerning EIA with also the development of an EIA for a specific development program.

The key environmental issues that are being faced by the future generations of Australia are highlighted as under.

Allocation of Freshwater and also Storage of water resources in dry areas have become as a potential environmental issue faced by Australians. Competition in demands regarding that of irrigation activities and also in generation of hydroelectricity has further fuelled the conflict. The Australians are deeply impacted by a period of continuous drought from 1990s to 2010. Further, climate change activity reflects the generation of further scarcity in water resources along both South and the South Western management of Australia.

Catching of marine fishes in Australia has invited potential conflicts and tends to affect future Australians. The conflict owes to the fact that catching of marine fishes has potentially affected the habitat concerning other bycatch species like dolphins, seals, turtles and even seabirds.  An effective quota is generated by the Australian government regarding marine fishing which in turn is taken to affect the seafood industry in the region (Byrne et al., 2014).

Similarly, increased growth of mining, drilling for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and also mining for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) have generated needed environmental impacts in the Australian region. Coal and CSG mining activity being targeted at farming areas and also in the vicinity of towns and cities create further problem. The same has contributed in creating conflicts between farmers and environmentalist groups with that of commercial mining agencies.

Continual change in the political scenario both along the regional and national framework in Australia is observed to have affected the implementation of the climate change policies that were identified by one government. The same has affected the mitigation efforts in the region regarding countering of environmental impacts (Hobday & McDonald, 2014).

The issue concerning the failure in allocation and storage of water resources in Australia are focused on being tackled through the introduction of desalination technology that is linked to generation of a borehole. The same would help in extracting fresh water from brackish water resources in Australia amounting to the generation of around 113,000 cubic metres of fresh water for irrigation and other purposes (Municipal , 2016).

Catching of Marine Fishes

Development of effective ecosystems is identified as an effective solution undertaken by the Australian government for protecting the fisheries in the region. Effective harvesting strategies concerning fisheries are being shared by the government with the fisheries for aiding in effective catches. Application of the ecosystem model pertaining to Atlantis marine and rated by the United Nations is observed as a key approach for protecting the fisheries. Creating innovative plans for rearing of species like bluefin tuna that would help in rebuilding the stock (CSIRO, 2017).

Different types of government legislations are being put in force for effectively countering the impacts generated from mining of CSG and LNG gases in Australia. The CSG operating companies are prohibited from using different types of petroleum compounds like benzene and xylene as hydraulic fluids such that the same accounts to generation of toxicity. Further, the CSG operators are required to evaluate the quality and quantity of water in the bores before the operation and are required to monitor the impacts and generate adequate compensation thereof (Business Queensland , 2017).

Different types of climate change policies like the development of fund for monitoring and reducing the level of carbon emissions, restoration of native forests and effective biodiversities, generation and enhanced use of renewable energy systems and also plying for international support regarding the implementation of the climate change policies are identified as key steps taken by the regional and national governments in Australia (Australian Government , 2017).

It was estimated during 2012 that around 95 percent of the primary energy needs in Australia are generated through the use of fossil fuels. Potential problems faced by Australians concerning energy uses firstly owe to the fear of unavailability of needed energy resources for meeting the demands of diverse households and commercial sectors. Further, the Australian economy tends to be adversely affected by changes in oil prices and availability. Again, potential targets undertaken in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases in the region are required to be rightly monitored for generating needed benefits. The Australian government focusing on meeting the objectives of Kyoto Protocol is required to continually focus on the development of renewable energy resources for protecting its natural resources and also in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (The Australian Collaboration , 2012).

The steps required for approval of a mining project in New South Wales concerning exploration of coal and CSG are generated as follows.

-Need for ministerial consent for Accounting exploration of coal and other minerals and thereby gaining of a license.

Mining and Drilling for Natural Gas

-Lodging and processing of the licensing application concerning petroleum and other like minerals.

-Grant of exploration license from government agencies.

-Development of consultation from community and landholders

-Written agreements with landowners before starting with exploration activities.

-Feasibility investigations concerning exploration and its impacts on environment

-Presentation of the map for conceptual project development and implementation plan to the respective ministry in NW (NSW Planning and Environment , 2017).

-Notification of the resources and energy in principle support for conducting of exploration activity.

-Generation of a Gateway Certificate for assessment requirements concerning impact on environment

-Issuance of the statement concerning Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

-Draft submission of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for testing of its adequacy.

-Exhibition of EIS by public and also from government and non-government agencies.

-Application is evaluated and approved by the Minister of Planning

-Approvals and licenses generated by NSW Government based agencies.

-Final commencement of Mining Operations concerning coal and CSG (NSW Planning and Environment , 2017). 

Looking at the above prolonged and detailed steps concerning the approval of mining projects requiring EIA by the NSW Government the current government authority is thus focusing on passing a legislation that would support only a two-stage process. The 15 stage process is focused on being reduced only to two main stages that would involve community involvement for identification of potential issues concerning the approval and implementation of mining and other mineral exploration projects and subsequently the carrying out of needed enquiry by body like the Independent Planning Commission before making the needed determination (Martin & Kennedy, 2015). The members of the Independent Planning Commission needed for making the enquiry are required to have needed qualifications concerning mining and exploration and also of statutes and legislations associated to such. The two stage process in respect of the fifteen stage process enumerated above is identified as having needed potential such that it focuses on the involvement of potential communities in taking of effective decisions concerning approval of mining projects. It would thus help in gaining of effective feedbacks from different communities that are identified to be affected through the conducting of the mining and exploration operations (McCarthy, 2017).

Two major pitfalls concerning the effective implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are identified as the failure in establishment of effective communication channels and also the decentralisation of the diverse set of responsibilities concerning the implementation of the EIA.

Lack of effective communication structures regards to EIA implementation with also the lack of needed potential and also needed coordination between the parties involved in the execution of the EIA are identified to create potential problems. The above stated pitfall can be potentially overcome through the incorporation of effective human resources possessing required knowledge that would contribute in rightful implementation of the EIA. Further, effective training are required to be generated to the personnel for enhancing their knowledge potential and expertise for potentially communicating the project plan and guidelines and also in rightly executing the project. Effective communication would also entail in communicating the benefits of the EIA to different stakeholders (Glucker et al., 2013).

Political Scenario

Another major pitfall concerning the execution of the EIA was identified owing to the existence of larger regions where projects involving EIA are needed to be implemented. The effective implementation of the EIA in a decentralised fashion requires the identification of personnel, delegation of roles and thereby monitoring their tasks and conducts for contributing in the rightful execution of the project. Incorporation of experts are required to be carried out in the above regard such that potential coordination between the different experts would potentially contribute in the implementation of the project. Further, support provided by international agencies is encouraged in the above behalf for helping in the cultivation of needed awareness among the local communities for helping in the execution of the project activity (Khaliq et al., 2014).

The designing of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a developmental cause like safeguarding the natural water resources in the Australian region is effectively generated through the development of the Preliminary Environment Assessment or PEA program. The same is reflected as follows.

The above illustration reflects an integrated environmental assessment approach undertaken by an organisation for helping in the development of safe and protected water resources from the harmful environmental and toxic hazards. It reflects on the different stages that are required to be followed right from the inception of the project plan to its effective execution and also the incorporation of Preliminary Environment Assessment (PEA) guidelines thereof for monitoring and evaluation.

Conclusions

The report reflects on the different types of environmental issues that are being faced by the Australians in the current context. It also reflects and evaluates on the different strategies and tactics that are being undertaken by the Australian government for tackling potential environmental issues like growing scarcity of fresh water resources, problems faced by the marine fisheries, growth of coal and Coal Seam Gas (CSG) exploration and also drilling for LNG and finally the problem concerning the effective execution of different environmental and greenhouse gas policies owing to continual changes in the national governments. Further, it focuses on reflecting on the different stages concerning the development of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for a specific program that is approved by the New South Wales (NSW) government. Changes that can be brought about in the existing process are also identified with finally the development of an EIA for a developmental cause like safeguarding of water projects.

References

Australian Government , 2017. The Australian Government's action on climate change. [Online] Available at: https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/publications/fact-sheet-australian-governments-action-climate-change [Accessed 28 August 2017].

Business Queensland , 2017. CSG-LNG legislation. [Online] Available at: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/mining-energy-water/resources/land-environment/regulatory-framework/legislation [Accessed 28 August 2017].

Byrne, J., Sipe, N. & Dodson, J., 2014. Australian Environmental Planning: Challenges and Future Prospects. New York : Routledge.

CSIRO, 2017. Sustaining Australian fisheries. [Online] Available at: https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/OandA/Areas/Marine-resources-and-industries/Sustaining-Australian-fisheries [Accessed 28 August 2017].

Glucker, A.N., Driessen, P.P.J. & Kolhoff, A., 2013. Public participation in environmental impact assessment: why, who and how? Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 43, pp.104-11.

Hobday, A.J. & McDonald, J., 2014. Environmental Issues in Australia. Annual Review of Environment and Resource, 39, pp.1-28.

Khaliq, A., Rhamdhani, M.A. & Brooks, G., 2014. Metal Extraction Processes for Electronic Waste and Existing Industrial Routes: A Review and Australian Perspective. Reource , 3(1), pp.152-79.

Martin, P. & Kennedy, A., 2015. Implementing Environmental Law. United Kingdom : Edward Elgar Publishing.

McCarthy, J., 2017. Hunter mine approvals will be quicker under proposed planning law changes. [Online] Available at: https://www.theherald.com.au/story/4393414/planning-proposals-offer-faster-mine-approvals/ [Accessed 28 August 2017].

Municipal , 2016. Creation of ‘New Water’ from saline aquifer. [Online] Available at: https://www.waterscarcitysolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/A-Creation-of-New%20Water-from-saline-aquifers.pdf [Accessed 28 August 2017].

NSW Planning and Environment , 2017. NSW Major Mining Project Development Assessment and Approval Process. [Online] Available at: https://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/miners-and-explorers/applications-and-approvals/mining-and-exploration-in-nsw/project-approvals/mining-project-development [Accessed 28 August 2017].

The Australian Collaboration , 2012. Energy issues in Australia. [Online] Available at: https://www.australiancollaboration.com.au/pdf/FactSheets/Energy-issues-FactSheet.pdf [Accessed 28 August 2017].

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