Press release: NQCC calls for stronger government action as coral bleaching worsens

This is the text of a media release distributed by NQCC on Monday 14 March:

North Queensland Conservation Council is extremely concerned that coral bleaching in the Far North of the Great Barrier Reef is now so bad that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has upped its response to level 2.

In the light of this, NQCC calls on government to prevent further Reef degradation by taking strong action on climate change and better financing water quality improvement programs.

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Paperbark February 2016

Paperbark banne

In this issue: Welcome back; Feeling the heat; NQCC News in brief; Carmichael Mine; Contaminated dust deposition; Water issues; A GLOBAL agreement on climate change – Paris December 2015; Divestment – Westpac commitment, Market Forces ‘Burned’ Report; improved SuperSwitch; Decarbonisation – Inspiration for Action; Earth Hour; Townsville Against Live Export; Turning clicktivists into real-world activists; Diary Dates.

Welcome back
It seems crazy to be wishing people a happy new year when we are over a 10th of the way through 2016 – but we do hope that the year ahead will be a good one for you and yours.

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Qld government approves Carmichael Mine

climate march

In an expected but infuriating and unreasonable move, the Queensland government yesterday approved an environmental authority (EA) for Adani in relation to what is being referred to as ‘the $16 billion Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project’. The obvious flaw in this title is, of course, that Adani does not have the $16 billion – and has precious little chance of raising it.

The EA is the second last legislative approval needed – the last being a mining lease. This will be approved (or not!) by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, the bailiwick of Dr Andrew Lytham. Minister Lytham has said that he is not interested in ‘fast-tracking’ the project (a request of Adani and Townsville Enterprise Limited, amongst others) and that it has to go through due process.

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Keeping up with Abbot Point

abbot point from above

Fresh back from Paris, on Monday this week, Greg Hunt (again) gave his approval for the expansion of the Abbot Point port. The expansion would be necessary for what would be Australia’s largest coal mine, Adani’s Carmichael mine, to go ahead.  (Prize to anyone who can explain how those two fit together!)

To refresh memories in this complicated process, Minister Hunt’s first approval for the port expansion allowed the dredge spoil to be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park – that was stymied by legal action by NQCC and ended up with a law banning spoil being dumped anywhere in the Marine Park.

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Paperbark December 2015

Paperbark is a monthly e-letter of current NQCC activities, campaigns, news and events

The Paris agreement

The people marched, leaders and the world’s powerful converged on Paris, and an agreement was reached. Better than past outcomes? Definitely. Sufficient to address the problem? Unfortunately not.

As George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian, ‘… the Paris agreement is full of soft facts: promises that can slip or unravel. Until governments undertake to keep fossil fuels in the ground, they will continue to undermine the agreement they have just made.’

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Fun and Fundraising at NQCC’s Trivia Night

trivia night collage
Trivia Night 2015. Photos courtesy Malcolm Tattersall

Once again, the annual NQCC Trivia Night was a source of much amusement, and much-needed funds!

A record 13 tables competed for the supreme honour of having their team names on the championship board – and for the first time in living memory, there was a dead heat. Both winning teams declined the offer of a ‘Dance-Off’ for first place, so both teams’ names will be up there on the board for eternity. And the winning teams? 2013 winners ‘The Suppository of Wisdom’ featured again – this time joined by ‘The Civil Disobedience Penguins’ (disciples of First Dog on the Moon).

Guest ‘quiz wizards’ Deb and Daina (of Magnetic Island Bootcamp fame) injected some hilarious new action-packed interludes with a number of ‘In it to win it’ games – ‘Suck it up’, ‘Elephant Balls’ and ‘Get forked’…

The night netted around $2500 for NQCC – and we thank all those who came along and took part.

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COP21 and acronyms like FFS

Cranky Curlew Productions are up to some more creative messaging in the spirit of raising awareness for Australia taking on its responsibilities and doing its share to reduce carbon emissions. In a reiteration of 'Heads in the Sand 2' footage filmed on the The Strand, Townsville in November 2015, we have this GIF. CrankyCurlew_FFS Did YOU know....Australia still subsidises fossil fuels $12 billion annually! For F#*&s Sake!

COP21 explainer – 5 must-watch videos

Seriously, a blog post on The Climate Reality Project website is really useful for understanding the importance of COP21.  And its in a video format. 

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Heads in the Sand 2 – When it all starts to move

Heads in the Sand 2 is a mass animation stop-motion clip on global warming, created on the beach at Townsville’s Strand promenade for the decision-makers in Paris. 

When hundreds of climate protestors gathered on the Strand Beach, Townsville, following Townsville’s Climate March at the start of Cop 21 UN Climate Conference, North Queensland Conservation Council and friends from Cranky Curlew Productions had some special ‘Heads in Sand’ work for them.

This animated flick puts a little bit of North Queensland style humour on a very serious subject.

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Great turnout for climate march!

climate march

Photo: Greg Keating

An estimated 600+ people marched on a hot Saturday afternoon in Townsville to join over 2300 such groups in 150+ countries calling on global leaders to take strong and effective climate action.

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Townsville Community Marches for Climate Action

A large crowd is anticipated to join in the Townsville People’s Climate March on the Strand on Saturday afternoon.

The Townsville march is one of over 2380 marches being held around the world over the weekend. The marches precede the beginning of the 21st United Nations Climate Summit (CPO21) in Paris next week.

Townsville and communities worldwide will call upon global leaders to commit to strong climate action, a rapid and just transition to clean, renewable energy, a safe climate and a better, safer and fairer future for all.

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