The trade and business relationship between Australia and the EU has evolved and diversified in recent years. However, it is still focused on Australia-UK relations, while bilateral Australia-EU perceptions are still inked to past conflicts over agricultural trade. A multi-disciplinary team will consider several interlinked aspects of the Australia-EU trade and business relationship, diversification of the relationship beyond agriculture and raw materials into services and investment; shared Australia-EU interest in the context of WTO; perceptions about operating in different business environments across the EU; impediments to trade and investment from ‘behind-the-border regulation’; shared Australia-EU interests in Asia-Pacific.
This project charts the transformation of the region stretching from the Shoalhaven River to the Victoria border from the 1920s, when it was one of the most economically and socially marginalised areas of settled Australia, through its steady incorporation into the major dynamics of demographic, environmental, cultural and regulatory change. From the forests to the fisheries, declining dairy industries and communities to expanding leisure and 'sea-change' developments, the south coast provides a mirror from the peripheries back to the transitions of the centre. This project seeks to comprehend the evolving relationships between social and environmental histories in modern Australia.
It is an open, but not unanswerable, question as to how much carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane is sequestered as biochar by vegetation fires. In this work I conceptualise the question as an important aspect of the global Charcoal Challenge, which deals with the scientific and socioeconomic questions associated with increasing the refractory biochar pool at the expense of the atmospheric carbon pool. I discuss a mechanism by which thermoconversion of biomass may act as a regulator of the global distribution of carbon between these reservoirs, show how suppression of vegetation fires by human activities may increase the fraction of carbon in the atmospheric pool, and elucidate three specific issues which are given the designation CharΧive Challenges.
In roughly ten year periods of work, Rick Farley (1952-2006) shaped Australian understandings of economic reform, environmental sustainability and Indigenous reconciliation. His noted public achievements are in forging new modes of 'agro-politics', the co-founding of Landcare, work in Native Title negotiations and in building support for reconciliation. Behind these activities, however, was also a career of influential private lobbying and facilitation. This project analyses Farley’s work as architect and builder of partnerships across these concerns. It catalogues what he did, reflects on the infrastructure he created, and explores the contribution he foreshadowed but his early death prevented. It documents, for the first time, Farley’s contribution to understandings of the urgent questions of Australia’s economic, cultural and environmental sustainability. Farley’s insistence that community alliances were vital to meeting global challenges, magnified by Australia’s degraded landscapes and the alienation of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous custodians of those lands, remains as relevant now as it was when he brokered initiatives such as Landcare
The problem of sequestering surplus atmospheric carbon dioxide is thought to be so difficult that in 2007 Richard Branson and Al Gore launched the $25 million Virgin Earth Challenge prize for a viable technology that can achieve this feat. The best candidate is biochar, which functions in nature as a long-term carbon store. In this project I am investigating and validating a new methodology for sustainable charring of biomass waste. Novel principles of reactive thermal coupling are being developed and applied to optimize a balance between char and fuel production and achieve emissions capture. These principles applied to the flue gas emissions problem also have the potential to effect a carbon capture technology of unprecedented economic viability.
Sustainable carbon sequestration – or charXiving – involves the interaction of carbon cycle science and technology with human communities and employment, particularly in rural and remote regions of Australia. The outputs of this project will help to strengthen resilience and adaptation to climate change in rural Australia. There is strong potential to generate employment and sustainable industry in rural and remote regions because charXiving will be essentially a distributed industry. A key aim of the project is to disseminate the “biochar revolution” in rural and remote Australia.
Co-production of biochars and bio-oils using Endex methodologies according to charXive principles has the potential to create wealth, employment, and industry in rural Australia, fertilise and remediate soils on a large scale, and achieve significant additional greenhouse gas abatements.
Like other parts of regional Australia, the Shoalhaven region has experienced quite dramatic changes in its economy, and therefore its community, over the last thirty years or so. This PhD project assesses the impact of globalisation in two of the oldest industries in the Shoalhaven region: dairy and manufacturing. The case studies at the heart of the project comprise: half a dozen family-run dairy farms; a paper manufacturer; and an ethanol manufacturing plant. The case studies demonstrate the outcomes that flow from interactions between governments, business and public policy, and the impacts on local communities.
There are profound social, economic and cultural meanings in the connections between media communication, consumption and place. The geography of media is significant in shaping the ways in which people interact with one another yet there has been little systematic effort in exploring these relationships as they relate to cinema exhibition in regional and rural Australia. This innovative and multidisciplinary project will help to fill this gap. It will provide practical results for building community identity, economic enterprise and the enhancement of cultural experience.