Paperbark December 2019

With 2019 almost at an end, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for being a part of our movement to protect our environment here in North Queensland!

This year, thanks to your support, we've achieved some rather remarkable things! Here is a quick look back at NQCC's activities and achievements in 2019:

  • We've made submissions on the following:
    • The Mineral Resources (Galillee Basin) Amendment Bill
    • The EPBC Referral - Flying Fox deterrent
    • The Queensland Environmental Offsets Framework
    • Mackay Tourism's Wallaby Sunrise Tours at Cape Hillsborough Beach
    • The North Queensland Country Club Resort and Equestrian Centre at Toolakea Beach
    • The North Queensland Regional Plan
  • We've been vocal about climate change, supporting the Strikes for Climate and hosting a Climate Concert as part of Queensland's Climate Week, as well as advocating for better climate change engagement in our region from policy-makers
  • We've grown our campaign to #SaveOurNationalParks with demonstrations, media events, market stalls, petitions and postcards
  • We've worked hard to keep our environment at the forefront of peoples' minds, with attendance at a wide range of community events

In this edition:

  • Boomerang Bags volunteer opportunity
  • Ministerial Environment Roundtable 
  • Let Queensland's Tourism Minister know what you want for Christmas
  • Cranky Curlews have your last-minute Christmas shopping sorted!
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North Queensland Regional Plan Submissions

The first Regional Plan for North Queensland has been drafted by the Queensland Government following the consultation process back in 2017.  There was a long delay between these two phases for some unknown reason.  NQCC took the time to provide feedback on the draft with the valuable input of its members.

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The EPBC Act Review

Analysis: The EPBC Act review – a once-in-a-decade opportunity

This post is written by Rachel Walmsley, Director of Law Reform and Policy in Sydney from the Environmental Defenders Office. The article originally appears on the EDO website.

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Paperbark November 2019

The unprecedented bushfires experienced in Queensland and NSW this month have well and truly sparked political fervour around climate change. All around the country, firefighters, farmers, bushfire victims and regional mayors have come out in support of climate change action to protect human property and lives, but also our shared natural environment.

This has shifted the climate change conversation: no longer is it between the conservation movement and the rest of the population - it's between those who are linking the science with reality and political inaction, and those who choose to believe some wild conspiracy theories instead. (Speaking of conspiracy theories, did you know Greta Thunberg is a time traveller? No joke.)

Frustrated by a lack of policy action, local convenor of LEAN (Labor Environment Action Network) and longtime NQCC supporter David Cassells has lodged a petition calling on the Government to convene a Hawke-like National Summit to listen to scientists, fire management specialists and First Nation knowledge holders to craft a bipartisan national response to both the bushfire emergency and the wider climate emergency. Please sign the petition here and share among your networks!

If you've been having some tense conversations with family members and colleagues about the role of environmentalists in the bushfire emergency, we have some tips below to help guide such conversations. We also recommend you take five minutes to enjoy this interesting little video by the ABC featuring Craig Reucassel and about thirteen minutes to listen to this fascinating interview with former fire chief Greg Mullins.

In this edition:

  • Did "Greenie" policies contribute to this bushfire season?
  • NQCC's submission to the NQ Regional Plan
  • Wilderness Matters - remembering Hinchinbrook protests with a lively event
  • Flying foxes threatened by dispersal methods
  • Sharks still at risk of culling
  • Proposed Vanadium project
  • Hells Gates Dam update
  • Introducing Arcadia Coastcare's new beaut website
  • Queensland's Container Deposit Scheme celebrates 12 months
  • Member of the Month!
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Hells Gates Dam: Feasible? We Think Not

There is no need for the Hells Gates Dam and it makes no sense! When Townsville faced a water crisis several years ago, all sorts of suggestions were made about the best way to secure a water supply for Townsville. The Hells Gates Dam was suggested by many as the way to guarantee water supply for Townsville, but we disagree.

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Sharks still under threat

Photo credit: AMCS/HSI/N.McLaughlan

Help North Queensland Conservation Council and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) to urge Queensland's Fisheries Minister Mark Furner to abandon shark culls within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and to instead move to non-lethal methods. Sign this petition to help reach 10,000 signatures! *Warning: graphic image below*

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The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble

This post is written by Jon Day.  The article orginally appears on The Conversation website.

When the managers of the Great Barrier Reef recently rated its outlook as very poor, a few well-known threats dominated the headlines. But delve deeper into the report and you’ll find that this global icon is threatened by a whopping 45 risks.

The most publicised main threats relate to climate change and poor water quality, and are unquestionably the most damaging.

However, many of the 45 threats are not well known or understood. All but two are happening now - and most are steadily getting worse. Collectively, it means the Great Barrier Reef is heading for a “death by a thousand cuts”.

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Paperbark October 2019

Paperbark header

October has seen NQCC join with other members of the conservation movement to celebrate two significant anniversaries, which has us reflecting on how far we've come and what vitally important achievements we have made! We have also had a bit of fun with our largest annual fundraising event, which we were thrilled to share with our local supporters.

While our State and Federal Governments are still taking negligible action on our top environmental crises, the power, passion and innovation of scientists, individuals and businesses means that there is some good news out there!

  • Just last week, the Climate Council announced that wind and solar generated more electricity than brown coal in the last quarter, despite the lack of government policies in place to support a transition to renewables. 
  • Throughout National Bird Week (21 - 27 October), over 103,000 checklists were submitted to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, up from 84,000 last year - a positive sign for the future of citizen science (and for bird conservation)!
  • A floating boom designed to collect and remove plastic from the Pacific Ocean is now functional, which spells out good news for the marine life affected by the pollution. This project is also a source of inspiration for innovative solutions to our environmental problems. 

In this edition:

  • National Parks: No longer protected from development
  • Adani Royalty Holiday
  • Don't put Greenies in the Corner! - Recognising contemporary challenges and opportunities within our movement
  • QCC celebrates 50 years
  • Hinchinbrook Channel campaign: 25 years on
  • Trivia Night: we came, we played, we triumphed!
  • Fundraising raffle - winners and stats
  • November container drive!
  • Upcoming events
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Adani Royalty Holiday?

There are so many reasons to oppose the Adani mine in the Galilee Basin - contribution to climate change, environmental destruction, and the impact on water resources and the Great Barrier Reef.

Here is another - Adani is currently negotiating with the Queensland Government for a royalty “holiday” – this would mean that Adani could defer royalty payments for as long as ten years. This would result in a subsidy to Adani that could be as high as $700 million which works out at around $350 per Queensland taxpayer.

Adani wants to dig up Queensland coal, sell it overseas and not pay a cent in mining royalties for up to a decade.

Want this to change? Read on...

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Update on Townsville's Port Master Plan

At a meeting in Brisbane on 18th October 2019, NQCC met with the Department of Transport and Main Roads about the draft Townsville Port Master Plan.  This is a strategic level of planning that is an attempt to manage the Queensland Government's uncomfortable paradox of allowing port developments within a world heritage area while they try to manage their international obligation to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 

Digesting the Port Master Plan to determine exactly what the environmental outcomes are is an intense and complicated task. Probably the best opportunity for NQCC and our community of conservationists is to ensure important environmental values within the 'Master Planned Area' are mapped on the 'overlays.'  The overlays are like maps that set up requirements for monitoring or environmental assessment of impacts for proposed development activities into the future.  The idea of the plan is not to duplicate existing legislation but to fill in where there might be any gaps.

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