President’s Report on activities since last meeting in Canberra (18-19 October, 2012)

Coal Seam Gas Reports Williams et al (2012) :
• Andrew Campbell and I published an article on the report in The Conversation (see attached).
• On behalf of ACEDD, I wrote letters to key ministers in the Australian, NSW and Queensland Governments (targeting environment, natural resources, mining, primary industries and energy portfolios). Also sent letter to leaders of opposition and key independents (Katter and Windsor). Responses have been collated and are attached to this report.

ERA 2012 Review:
• After soliciting input from the members, I compiled a letter to the ARC on our behalf (see attached).

ACEDD Website:
• With strong support from Professor Graciela Metternicht at UNSW, we are now in a position to contract with UNSW for ongoing maintenance of our web site. Sue Midgley at UNSW has been the point of contact (see attached quote for ACEDD Web Site Administration).
• A mock up of the revised web site will be presented at the May meeting.

LTAS Project for Environment and Sustainability – EOI:
• Only one EOI was received from the ACEDD member universities to develop a Learning and Teaching Academic Standards (LTAS) Statement for ‘Environment and Sustainability’ that complements other existing (and future) disciplinary LTAS Statements. The successful applicants were Drs Liam Phelan and Bonnie McBain (University of Newcastle).
• With endorsement from ACEDD, Liam and Bonnie submitted an EOI for an LTAS Project for Environment and Sustainability to the Office of Learning and Teaching.
• On 19 April, they received notification from the OLT that their EOI was successful and have been invited to submit a full proposal. The letter stated: The assessors have offered the following comments about your EOI: The application offers a convincing basis for the development of credible national threshold statements for environment and sustainability. It is a commendably realistic appraisal of the field. The goals are modest and should meet TEQSA requirements, though no clear TEQSA support is indicated as yet. The team has wide-ranging representation from both disciplines and institutions. There is significant time commitment from the Newcastle leader and members. On behalf of the Office for Learning and Teaching, congratulations to you and your team on the EOI submitted. We look forward to receiving the full application.
• The deadline for Round 2 is Friday 2 August 2013. Liam and Bonnie have secured funding to attend the ACEDD Meeting and will present their proposal to Council and will also run a workshop to solicit input from the members to assist them with preparation of the full proposal.

Other Correspondence:
• Letter from Prof Bruce McKellar FAA, Chair of Committee to Review National Committees of the Australian Academy of Science (attached).
• Our original letter to McKellar, dated 10 August 2012 is also attached.

Steve Turton 26 April, 2013
Australian Council of Environmental Deans & Directors Council Meeting May 2-3, 2013: McLaren Vale, South Australia