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Perth, Australia

Pugh J.D.,Edith Cowan University | Twigg D.E.,Edith Cowan University | Martin T.L.,Perth Business Center | Rai T.,Edith Cowan University
Midwifery | Year: 2013

Objective: the ongoing attrition of the midwifery workforce frustrates future workforce planning and the provision of maternity services in Western Australia. This project determined factors contributing to the intention of the midwives to move jobs and/or leave the profession. Design: a cross-sectional survey approach was taken for this descriptive research utilising a self-administered questionnaire developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Office, Department of Health, Western Australia. Setting: public and private health sectors in Western Australia, April-May 2010. Participants: 1,600 midwives employed in the public and private health sectors throughout Western Australia were invited to participate: 712 responded (44.5%), one-fifth of the state's registered midwives. Findings: most midwives worked part-time in a clinical role in public hospitals. Almost half intended moving jobs within 5 years and/or leaving midwifery. Excluding midwives of retirement age, the most common reasons for intending to move jobs were family commitments, working conditions and role dissatisfaction. Those intending to leave midwifery cited work-life balance, career change and family commitments. Midwives thought addressing the following issues would improve midwifery retention: flexible work arrangements, remuneration, staffing and caseload, workplace culture, professional development and models of care. Key conclusions: retaining the midwifery workforce requires attention to workforce practices particularly flexible work arrangements and workloads; models of care to strengthen midwives' relationships with clients and colleagues; and accessible professional development. Implications for practice: a review of workplace practices at unit and institution levels is urgently required in Western Australia so that midwives can achieve work-life balance and practice to the full extent of their professional role. These changes are necessary to forestall premature retirement of skilled and experienced midwives from the profession and workforce churn. © 2012.

Spickett J.,Collaborating Center for Environmental Health Impact Assessment | Spickett J.,Curtin University Australia | Katscherian D.,Collaborating Center for Environmental Health Impact Assessment | Katscherian D.,Perth Business Center | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review | Year: 2012

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a developing component of the overall impact assessment process and as such needs access to procedures that can enable more consistent approaches to the stepwise process that is now generally accepted in both EIA and HIA. The guidelines developed during this project provide a structured process, based on risk assessment procedures which use consequences and likelihood, as a way of ranking risks to adverse health outcomes from activities subjected to HIA or HIA as part of EIA.The aim is to assess the potential for both acute and chronic health outcomes. The consequences component also identifies a series of consequences for the health care system, depicted as expressions of financial expenditure and the capacity of the health system.These more specific health risk assessment characteristics should provide for a broader consideration of health consequences and a more consistent estimation of the adverse health risks of a proposed development at both the scoping and risk assessment stages of the HIA process. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Grant J.C.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Nichols J.D.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Yao R.L.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Yao R.L.,Guangxi Forestry Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

Understanding depth distribution of roots may help develop an understanding of plant productivity and the limits to productivity by indicating which parts of the soil profile are being accessed for water and nutrients. The subtropical east coast of Australia provides climatic and soil conditions that produce some of the highest plant productivity rates in the country. This has been recognised by the hardwood plantation industry and over the last decade a substantial estate of plantations has been established with plans for further expansion. However, two of the major species used, Eucalyptus dunnii and Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata, have had little published research directly related to root depth distribution in the area. We examined root depth distribution in established plantations of E. dunnii and C. citriodora subsp. variegata under three contrasting soil types using the techniques of soil trench profile and coring. The results showed that the fine roots of C. citriodora subsp. variegata are at lower densities in poorly structured subsoils than the roots of E. dunnii. The root densities of both species in the subsoils of a Vertosol soil (with high levels of reactive, shrink-swell clays) were lower than for the other soil types. In native vegetation Vertosols are often colonised by grasses with few, scattered trees from a limited range of species. Our findings show lower levels of root growth in the Vertosols, particularly into the subsoil and this is likely to be the reason that productivity on these, otherwise fertile soils, is restricted. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Harper R.J.,Perth Business Center | Harper R.J.,University of Western Australia | Harper R.J.,Murdoch University | Sochacki S.J.,Perth Business Center | And 2 more authors.
Energy and Fuels | Year: 2010

Producing biomass from plantations of short rotations (3-10 years) of fast growing woody crops that are alternated with agricultural production, in a system termed phase farming with trees (PFT), could offer a range of advantages compared to the use of permanent coppiced plantings. These include providing landholders flexibility in land use and increasing the sustainability of farming systems by lowering water tables, removing excess nutrients, and improving soil quality. Disadvantages from permanent belts and blocks, such as competition with adjacent agricultural crops are reduced. PFT thus offers a method of producing both food and fuel from the same land, while increasing the sustainability of current agricultural systems. This paper describes the development of the PFT system in the dryland Mediterranean climate of southwestern Australia. Dry biomass yields of high-density (4000 trees/ha) plantings of Eucalyptus occidentalis of up to 22 tons/ha were achieved after 3 years and up to 54 tons/ha of Pinus pinaster (2000 trees/ ha) after 7 years, in environments with only 300mmof annual rainfall. Biomass yields of up to 31 tons/ha of E. occidentalis were achieved after 7 years on salinized soils, which had been effectively abandoned to agriculture.Wedescribe the factors that affect yield in thiswater-limited environment, including the impact of initial planting density, rotation length, species, site selection (soils and landscape position), and fertilization and assess the impact of the system on sustainability in terms of removal of excess water and nutrients. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

Sochacki S.J.,Murdoch University | Sochacki S.J.,Perth Business Center | Harper R.J.,Murdoch University | Harper R.J.,Perth Business Center | And 3 more authors.
GCB Bioenergy | Year: 2013

In dryland environments 3-5 year rotations of tree crops and agriculture represent a major potential bioenergy feedstock and a means to restore landscape hydrologic balances and phytoremediate sites, while maintaining food production. In soils with low natural fertility, the long-term viability of these systems will be critically affected by site nutrient status and subsequent cycling of nutrients. A nutrient assimilation index (NAI) was developed to allow comparison of species and tree component nutrient assimilation and to optimize nutrient management, by quantifying different strategies to manage site nutrients. Biomass, nutrient export and nutrient use efficiency were assessed for three short rotation tree crop species. Nutrient exports following harvest at 3 years of high density (4000 trees ha-1) were consistently higher in Pinus radiata, with values of 85 kg ha-1 of N, 11kg ha-1 of P, and 62 kg ha-1 of K, than Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus occidentalis. Component NAI was generally in the order of leaf

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