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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Inland rail and ports

A hot topic in relation to operating ports optimally is the issue of rail infrastructure.

Australian ports provide vital import and export services that we depend on and a remarkable number of jobs are provided in and around ports too. We often underestimate just what good well functioning ports mean to our quality of life however, as with all other human activities, we cannot ignore the environmental price.

As service providers ports need to cater to the needs of ships as well as the communities around them. This isn't always an easy task often from the middle of busy cities and congestion. Efficient operation as well as environmental concerns are always at the forefront of good community relations so reducing environmental impacts is high on the list.

We know that ships provide the least environmental impact of any transport for delivering large quantities of goods from one part of the world to another. Four times more efficient than rail and 20 times more efficient than road. Understandable when we consider how much easier it is for ships to basically glide across the water in a relatively frictionless way.

However when goods need to be unloaded or indeed loaded from ports, what kind of infrastructure will provide the best services in moving the goods to and from ports? Rail is the winner and it needs to feed the ports efficiently from inland agricultural centres, cities and mining areas. We can't do without trucks either so effective efficient roads to and from the ports will help too. Excellent planning and maintenance will help to reduce the collateral pollution.

There is currently a 'big push' for government to allocate funding to this issue however it will be an expensive investment, competing with the prioritisation of passenger services. It has been suggested that separate freight lines direct to the ports may be the best outcome.

See an interesting pdf from the Australian Rail Track Association (ATRC) here











www.ausmepa.org.au

Student art activity; Undersea Cave

Plastic pollution enters the food chain at the most basic level. The plastic breaksdown into tiny particles that are eventually taken up by filter feeding organisms who are then eaten by larger and larger animals up the chain. This art exercise demonstrates pervasive waste in the marine environment.


 Undersea Caves:

Rocky reefs are havens for many primal animals and algae. Possibly the most common type of small animal clinging to a reef are those who have polyps. The polyps can be anything from sea anemones and sea jellies to the delicate hydrozoa and their coral relatives.

There are many other animals and plants that make underwater caves places of wonder and surprise, crabs, snails, snakes, nudibranchs (seaslugs) and fish of countless descriptions. All are at risk from plastic pollution.

       
         Photo courtesy of Marine Care Ricketts Point
Photo courtesy of Simply Tour














Undersea Caves:

Rocky reefs are havens for many primal animals and algae. Possibly the most common type of small animal clinging to a reef are those who have polyps. The polyps can be anything from sea anemones and sea jellies to the delicate hydrozoa and their coral relatives.

There are many other animals and plants that make underwater caves places of wonder and surprise, crabs, snails, snakes, nudibranchs (seaslugs) and fish of countless descriptions. All are at risk from plastic pollution.

 
What you need:
Clean disposable PET or PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles of the right shape and size for your project. You can use colourless or incorporate colours as the bottles are available
A flat surface area with a protective covering that can withstand high temperatures
A roll of Baking Paper (parchment paper).
A household iron
A canvas shape (inexpensive ones can be found in discount shops like Sam's Warehouse, Reject Shop, Discounts Galore)
Bubble wrap
Packing noodles (starch ones) and nurdles (plastic beans)
A variety of waste and recyclable odds and ends
Small brush &  water to clean brush
Paper towels
Acrylic colours, or writing pen ink or water colours
glue gun

What to do:
Draw a design on your canvass
Paint background
Create invertebrate and vertebrate community on cave walls and in open water background
Use hot glue gun sticks to adhere organisms onto canvas




www.ausmepa.org.au