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From Podcast: Understorey

Understorey: Yeelirrie and the Democratic Deficit

Wednesday 8th April / presented by Elizabeth PO’ Adrian Glamorgan

While covid-19 understandably dominates the headlines, important environmental news risks being marginalised.  Take the annual Australia-wide State of Environment Report, declaring 2019 “probably the worst year in a century.”  Conservationists warn governments are also weakening environmental protections, exactly at a time when the voters are too busy with a pandemic to notice.  Understorey dips into a pre-covid example, examining emails and letters obtained through Freedom of Information about the Yeelirrie uranium mine approval.  Hours before the 2019 election was called, from her Geraldton electoral office the Minister for the Environment signed off the necessary federal approvals for Cameco to mine uranium until  2043.  Apart from casting aside scientific concern for threatened species protections, the Minister took into account the advice given by a Resources Minister.  The government's current review into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 could widen the democratic deficit.  Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation hopes people will make submissions, now open until April 17th, to call for more EPBC independence.

(Photo: Dave Sweeney, Yeelirrie proposal; by A Glamorgan)

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From Understorey Podcast

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In ecology, the understorey grows where light shines through the forest canopy.

Our award-winning Understorey journalists highlight local and globally-connected environmental issues that the other media commonly pass over.

RTRFM’s long-running dedicated environment program makers Adrian Glamorgan and Elizabeth PO’ bring together stories from near and sometimes afar, whether it be conservationists rehabilitating habitat, citizen scientists gathering data, campaigners at the frontline, or decision-makers at their desks, seeking solutions together to the challenges affecting our shared air, water, land and life processes.


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