Australian scientists lead breakthrough to repair damage reefs

Research led by Australian scientists could pave the way for coral reefs all around the world to be repaired and restored.

The research project, conducted in the Philippines, has proven that coral larvae is able to grow into colonies the size of dinner plates within three years and can also begin reproducing in this time.

Lead researcher Professor Peter Harrison, from Southern Cross University, says it is possible to grow coral larvae in tanks and deliver them directly onto reefs in need of restoration, including the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Brisbane City Council spends questionable $192 million

Brisbane City councilors have raised concerns over where $192 million in infrastructure charges were spent over the 2016-2017 financial year.

Infrastructure charges are collected from residents as part of the development application process and are supposed to fund developments like transport and community parks for the areas in which they are collected.

Independent councilor for Tennyson Nicole Johnston submitted a request in August for a complete list of projects funded through last year’s collected infrastructure charges, but was told her question could not be answered.

Greens Councillor Jonathan Sri says this is a common complaint from inner-city residents, who are concerned that their infrastructure chargers are going towards general revenue instead of funding local projects.

 

Swimming with whales in Hervey Bay gets the green light after a three-year trial

After a successful three-year trial, The Swimming with Whales program has become a permanent fixture in Hervey Bay.

Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the government’s decision yesterday, saying that the program would continue to boost Queensland tourism.

Although there are some risks associated with the program, National Parks Minister Steven Miles says no incidents occurred during the trial.

The industry has a strict code of practice, aiming to ensure the conservation and welfare of the whales remains the top priority.

 

Early learning achievement should be accelerated 

A new report by Early Learning Everyone Benefits, reveals that one in five children start school developmentally vulnerable, prompting Australian early childhood education to improve.

Mitchell Institute Director, Megan O’Connell says that Australia has made good progress in recent years but we’re not doing enough for children who are younger than four, despite evidence showing that children should attend preschool for two years, starting when they’re three.

The new data reveals that 91% of four year olds are currently enrolled in Australian preschools, in comparison to just 12% in 2008.

Ms O’Connell says that it’s important to recognise the significant achievements in early learning in Australia, especially in preschool for four year old children, but there are gaps that need urgent government attention.

 

Hurricane Irma makes contact with the United States

Hurricane Irma collided with Florida over the weekend as residents of Miami and southern-Florida bunked down to wait out the storm.

The category four storm was downgraded to a powerful category three, but still managed to flood the streets of Miami, causing around 2.1 million homes and businesses to lose power.

At least one person has died and one woman was forced to deliver her own baby.

With the storm expected to continue north-west into the States, the full damage will only be known once it has dispersed.

 

Death toll rises from Mexico earthquake

The death toll from an earthquake that hit Mexico on Thursday evening has now risen to 65 as more victims from the poorest southern states are being registered as dead.

The 8.1 magnitude quake hit off the coast of Chiapas and destroyed thousands of houses.

Many residents are still wary of returning to their homes, fearing that they could be brought down by aftershocks in their weakened state.

The earthquake was the most powerful tremor to hit Mexico since 1932.