About Brad

6 thoughts on “About Brad”

  1. Dear Brad,

    Recently, I read the article on bad EIA level in Victoria in The Age and found your reference there, from which I discovered that you are now involved in a doctoral thesis at ANU.

    In 2005-06 you have greatly helped us with giving us invaluable tips on how to fight against a totally in-appropirate Golf / Residential development in the Acheron Valley near the small town of Taggerty (100km North East of Melbourne near Lake Eildon). We were very successful with our opposition using several tricks – and now the project has been withdrawn as a consequence (just as well, as we have no longer sufficient water in our Acheron River for such crazy projects).

    Today, we are involved in the new battle re the North-South pipeline and had so far made some impact with a extensive input to the EPBC Act referral and also a 50page submission to the Planning Panel appointed by the Planning Minister to assess the project, to which we were invited for a hearing. Cathy Mitchell who chaired the Panel let us personally know, that our submission was very well received as a useful document highlighting many important details that were unknown to the Panel members before. This outcome gave us some hope. However, I still find it hard to believe that the report written by the Panel after the hearings on behalf of the Victorian Planning Minister is not openly accessible for the public – a quite undemocratic backstop of information, in my view. We now have no idea what’s going to happen next and what we should do as a next step.

    If you are interested in any of our submissions for your own study purposes, please feel free to download them at

    On another note, I recently finished my own phd at Monash Uni, Dept. of Civil Engineering. In my recearch I was looking at techniques from social psychology to enhance pro-environmental behaviour change – with demonstration projects in the area of Travelsmart campaigns. As my research was at the interface of social psychology and transport policy, I had supervisors from both “camps”. I now use the persuasion techniques successfully in environmental campaigns in our rural area, i.e. via the program activities of the Murrindindi Climate Network
    www. murrindindiclimatenetwork.org.au

    If you would like to know more about these techniques from social psychology that could very well be used at the level of policy makers to convince politians and bureaucrats to promote environmentally friendly policies, please let me know and I would provide you with the corresponding chapters of my research. For a quick introduction, please have a look at some of my research papers presented together with my supervisor A/Prof Geoff Rose in 2005 and 2006.

    With respect to your research, I had the chance to travel to southern France and Spain recently, where windfarms are omnipresent and are looking just great in the mediteranean landscape. The latin folks have totally adopted them and I believe Spain is one of the most successful switchers to renewable energy in Europe.

    Meanwhile, if you have any tips for Acheron Valley Watch Inc. re what we could do next about the North South Pipeline, please let us know. Your thoughts/tips are always welcome.

    kind regards,

    Rita Seethaler

    The Urban Transport Institue,
    TreeSmart Australia
    PO Box 363
    Alexandra, VIC 3714
    ph +61 – 3 – 5774 7617
    http://www.treesmart.com. au

  2. Hello Brad, I found your article on the Port Phillip Bay channel deepening project very interesting. I am currently studying Geography at Monash University and am writing my honours dissertation on political influences on the scoping phase of this project.

  3. Cameron, interesting point about the Channel Deepening. I am currently drafting Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines for EIANZ Ecology (http://eianzecology.blogspot.com). I also worked on the channel deepening project for many years.

    Your use of the word “scoping” is particularly prudent. If you do a Google Search on “Ecological Scoping” for Australian sites, you get 7 results. SEVEN!! (Total = 1,050, UK = 662). Ecological scoping is not in the vocabulary of EIAs in Australia or, for that matter, most countries. Basically, the application of ecology in EIA is at an infantile stage of development. This is astonishing, since it is absolutely fundamental to the whole EIA process. You’ll be able to read about this in due course, by signing up to the EIANZ Ecology group (see website).

    In my view, the vast majority of the failings associated with projects can be put down to this one problem. Of course, it’s not that simple as political influences also come to be. However, I wonder how much of the need for political intervention at the middle to late stages of EIA process is a result of poor scoping. In my opinion, most projects fall apart later in the process because they are not properly scoped to begin with. Ironically, most EIAs end up looking at a massive amount of issues but rarely the right issues in enough detail.



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