The state of Tasmania's rivers


Fire Forum  

13th February 2020
The Tasmanian Independent Science Council and the Australia Institute Tasmania co-hosted a fire forum at Hobart Brewing Co’s Red Shed. Presentations were made, followed by a Q&A session. 

Past Events

11th August 2021

Christine Coughanowr presented the findings of a report on the state of Tasmania's freshwater resources, on behalf of the Tasmanian Independent Science Council. 

Salmon Farming in lutruwita/Tasmania: Fact, Fiction or Spin?


20th September 2021, 6-8pm, Zoom

Is salmon farming harming our coastal waters and marine life? Has the Tasmanian Government put in place appropriate regulations and is it enforcing its regulations? Are salmon hatcheries threatening our freshwater resources, or is there nothing to worry about?

The Tasmanian Independent Science Council hosted a panel to answer your questions about the environmental science and regulation of salmon farming in lutruwita/Tasmania.


Speakers included:

Dr Edward Butler, a chemical oceanographer and environmental biogeochemist with 35 years experience, will MC the forum. 

Rebecca Brown, palawa woman, former maritime worker and recent IMAS graduate, will speak about salmon farming from a First Nations perspective. 

Christine Coughanowr, former CEO of the Derwent Estuary Program and independent scientist with 35 years of experience in water quality management, will speak on the impact of salmon farming on Tasmania’s freshwater.

Associate Professor Jeff Ross is an ecologist and expert on the environmental impacts of salmon farming.  Jeff leads the Aquaculture Environmental Interactions program at IMAS and will speak about the science on the effects of salmon aquaculture on the marine environment. 

Dr Lisa Gershwin, a marine biologist and world expert on jellyfish, will speak about the ecological impacts of salmon farming on the marine environment.

Kelly Roebuck, Sustainable Seafood Campaigner with the Living Oceans Society, will speak about third party sustainability accreditation of salmon farming, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

Claire Bookless, Managing Lawyer at EDO Tasmania, will discuss the regulations that the salmon farming industry must comply with.

Zoom and Lecture Theatre 2, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, 17 Liverpool Street, Hobart, TAS 7000

The Tasmanian Government has released draft legislation claiming it will make lutruwita/Tasmania world leaders in addressing climate change. It sets a target of net zero emissions by 2030 and establishes a framework for sector-based emissions reduction plans. But does it go far enough? Does it include actions to ensure lutruwita/Tasmania reduces emissions, rather than relying on land-use changes and carbon accounting to claim a net zero result? Is there public accountability to ensure that all sectors of the Tasmanian economy rapidly implement the changes we need to prevent the more disastrous effects of climate change?

The Tasmanian Independent Science Council and Climate Tasmania hosted Minister for Climate Change, the Hon. Roger Jaensch, scientists, public policy experts and concerned citizens to discuss how changes to the Tasmania’s Climate Change Act can be an opportunity for lutruwita/Tasmania to be a real leader in addressing climate change.


Speakers included:

Eloise Carr, Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania, will moderate the event. Eloise is a policy professional and former public servant for State and Federal governments. Her experience negotiating good governance outcomes for the Southern Ocean will help to guide the conversation.

Ruth Langford, Yorta Yorta woman, gave her perspectives on climate change as an Aboriginal person living in lutruwita/Tasmania. 

Professor Mark Howden is the Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions at The Australian National University, a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is a member of the ACT Climate Change Council. He will discuss the latest IPCC Report predictions on the impacts of climate change and the urgent need for rapid emissions reduction.

The Hon. Roger Jaensch, the Tasmanian Minister for Climate Change, will discuss the process of amending the Tasmanian Climate Change Act.

Professor Richard Eccleston is the founding Director of the Tasmanian Policy Exchange and Institute for Social Change. Professor Eccleston coordinated the University of Tasmania’s response to the review of the Tasmanian Climate Act.

David Hamilton is a retired physicist and advisor on energy efficiency, renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gases. As a member of Climate Tasmania, David has led the group’s response to the Act, including the development of detailed drafting instructions for a revised Act.

Rachel Hay is a climate activist who led Fossil Free UTAS in convincing the University of Tasmania to divest $10 million from fossil fuels. She is the Anne Kantor Fellow at the Australia Institute Tasmania, through which she is the Secretariat for the Tasmanian Independent Science Council. She will discuss how the community can take action to influence the Tasmanian Climate Change Act.

Action for Climate: How can lutruwita/Tasmania be a real leader? 

Join Dr Jen Sanger, Dr Lisa Gerswhin and Professor Ben Richardson to discuss the impacts of climate change in lutruwita/Tasmania, and how we can work to address it. 

EVENTSThe Tasmanian Independent Science Council seeks to engage the community in the debate about the role of science in policy on the environment.


SciPub: Tas Climate 

In lutruwita/Tasmania we live alongside a wide variety of native species of animals and plants. In forests, the Swift Parrot, a rainbow of colours, can be seen perched in Tasmanian Blue Gum’s. Tasmanian Devils can be heard screeching and grunting below the canopies, amongst the grass and along the coastlines at night. In the waters around lutruwita/Tasmania, Handfish walk along reefs and the ocean floor.

But habitat loss, pollution and disease are threatening these native species. To inform us about the threats to our feathered and fishy friends, as well as how we can better protect them, the Tasmanian Independent Science Council is bringing together a group of experts.

Registrations are essential. You can register here.


Dr Jennifer Sanger is a passionate independent forest ecologist, who will speak about the threatened Swift Parrot, and what can be done to protect it.

Dr Rodrigo Hamede, who specialises in disease ecology and epidemiology at the University of Tasmania, will speak about the Tasmanian Devil.

Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith is a marine biologist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and CSIRO, who coordinates the Handfish Conservation Project and leads the National Handfish Recovery Team. She will speak about her work aiding the recovery of critically endangered handfish species in Tasmania and restoration of their habitats.

Professor Benjamin Richardson, an international scholar of environmental law at the University of Tasmania Law Faculty, will speak about eco-restoration and climate refugia for threatened species.

Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick AM is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania. He will be our MC for the evening.

Tasmanian Threatened Species: Problems and Solutions

lutruwita/Tasmania is poised to be a global leader in restoring nature at a time when the United Nations has declared 2021-2030 to be the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. From the iconic Lake Pedder and the Midlands wildlife corridor, to oyster reefs and coastal marshes, lutruwita/Tasmania is a hub of innovative marine and terrestrial rewilding projects.

The Tasmanian Independent Science Council (TISC) invites the public to examine successes, challenges and solutions to restoring some of Tasmania's most treasured ecosystems. Join us for an online forum featuring leading experts from academia and the community. Speakers include Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick (UTAS), Dr Neil Davidson (UTAS/ Greening Australia), Iona Flett (NRM Cradle Coast) and Jennifer Hemer (NRM South), and the forum will be moderated by author and Environmental Law Professor Ben Richardson (UTAS).

Register here.

Enquiries can be made to Professor Ben Richardson at:

Thank you to Lindsay Hope for the covering image. 

Tasmanian Threatened Species: Problems and Solutions

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