The devastating bushfires across Australia in the summer of 2019/20 provide us with a clear message. Australians – people, businesses, and those who govern us – can no longer take our environment for granted. We have been willfully ignoring the signs so far but that must now stop.
There is much work to do in recovery. Rebuilding, refinancing, infrastructure maintenance, counselling – and the immediate and grisly task of dealing with the incomprehensible loss of animal life both native fauna and livestock. The Prime Minister today announced the allocation of $2 billion towards these efforts, to be managed by a bushfire recovery agency. As for revisiting climate policy though? No.
This is an egregious error, I think, based on the accuracy of climate modelling over the last 50 years. 2020 was even predicted as the time our climate chickens came home to roost. But climate policies are only one tranche in a complex system of policy levers that affect how we experience this new climatic world. In this post, I explore our relationship with land.
The dominant discourse in native title amendments is that of … coal?
In June 2015, the Australian Law Reform Commission handed down its final report into the Native Title Act. Amongst its recommendations was the amendment of provisions for the process of authorising Indigenous land use agreements (‘ILUAs’).
There has been no response to either the Report and the White Paper that might indicate just how native title processes might be improved, let alone settled, in the short or medium term. All of a sudden however, native title reform is back in vogue. But the heat of debate over proposed changes to ILUA authorisation masks what is at stake.
A couple of weeks ago I self-published a free interactive i-book, Land Law & Sustainability. The book is available through itunes – though it can only be viewed by those with Apple devices, I’m sad to say.
I received a small grant from James Cook University’s Division of Learning Teaching & Student Engagement for the project. I had already been looking into the possibility of publishing an e-book. I was looking for something to support student learning in law that was inexpensive (possibly free), accessible, able to be digitally manipulated by the user, and aligned with my own teaching interests. I therefore couldn’t resist playing with the technology to do this project.