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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"Wilderness Matters" - 25 years of protecting the Hinchinbrook Channel

Display open to the public!

Wilderness Matters Multimedia display

WHERE: Cardwell & District Historical Society (next to police station)
WHEN: Until 16th November 2019

The event is coming to Townsville soon in November - more details to come!

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Don't Put Greenies in the Corner!

Are you the type of person who revels in reading horror stories?  If you’re a ‘yes’ then the next paragraph is just for you as it is a snap shot of the world today.  If you’re a ‘no’ then read further down about how we fix this mess, focusing on what can be done.  Of all the groups working towards conservation and climate action, we are all committed to deep and genuine systemic changes such that we live within the planet’s biophysical realities and ecological processes.

Sadly, protecting the environment and transitioning towards zero emissions is not a fundamental driver of decision-making for the majority of governments, businesses, communities or individuals.  Rather, the environment is mostly an optional extra that can be conveniently pushed to the periphery.  The more urgent protecting biodiversity becomes along with the need for stronger action on climate change, NQCC and our supporters become ever more anxious to see transformative change.  Our society is polarised like never before as people yell down the echo chambers of social media, bolster each other’s unchallenged beliefs from all sides and turn on the caps lock for people with opposing opinions.  There are great people within governments and politics but unfortunately any of their best efforts don’t measure up to the scale of the problem.  At the same time, governments are harder to engage in environmental advocacy at such a crucial time.

So how do we get out of this mess?

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Trivia Night 2019

Our 2019 Trivia crowd

Friday 18th October saw our annual fundraising Trivia Night come to life once again, where we got up to some good old-fashioned mischief for a good cause!

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QCC Anniversary 2019


Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) held a special 50th Anniversary event in Brisbane on the 19th October for an evening of music, champagne and reminiscing amongst QCC's extended family that is the Qld conservation movement.  It was like a star-studded evening with some of Qld's most notable conservation leaders there to share stories of fighting the good fight during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen days and when our state Government didn't even have an environment department!

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Paperbark September 2019

The start of this month (and the beginning of Spring) has seen an early start to the bushfire season around the nation. We've been warned about hotter, drier conditions and longer bushfire seasons by the IPCC for some years now, but this month has really started driving the point home. Our climate is changing around us, and while its impacts on human civilisation feature in stories of the mainstream media, its impacts on habitats, ecosystems and vulnerable species are considered far less noteworthy. This is something that we hope to bring attention to in our continued fight for immediate action to address the climate crisis.

In the face of this worldwide environmental destruction, the movement for climate action is growing, as seen in the form of thousands of concerned citizens following Greta Thunberg's example and taking to the streets as part of the Global Climate Strike on Friday the 20th. Townsville's event drew a crowd of around 700, and featured inspiring speeches, enthusiastic chants and delightfully creative placards. This blog post by NQCC member Malcolm Tattersall cleverly captures the range of organisations supporting the Townsville Strike, providing links to each one to help you get involved.

Townsville strikers with their signs

Strikers with their messages at Townsville's Climate Strike.

In this edition:

  • NQCC's AGM - Welcome to new Committee Members!
  • Campaign News:
    • Meetings with Ministers at Regional Parliament
    • Can you help save this tree?
  • Fundraising, Members & Events:
    • It's Trivia Time again!
    • Get in on our Fundraising Raffle!
    • Member of the Month
    • Connecting Regional Qld: Sustainability Summit
    • AYCC's Climate Justice Bootcamp
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AGM 2019

NQCC's 2019 Annual General Meeting was held on the evening of Wednesday 18th September, in the leafy backyard of our office. We kicked the night off with some tasty nibbles and homemade vegetarian nachos (special thanks to interns Mapendo and Parimal for their culinary contributions) before settling in for the presentations. 

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Paperbark August 2019

Making headlines this month was our Prime Minister's highly anticipated visit to Tuvalu, where he assured our Pacific Island neighbours that their plight to save their nations is not as important as the revenue Australia receives from exporting thermal coal.

Meanwhile, back home, cane growers are providing a substantial platform for the one scientist who says the reef is "actually in great order", and the Queensland State Government is proposing new legislation that would see climate protesters face harsher fines than the environmental vandals they oppose. 

Voices for the environment are more important than ever, and together we are strong! The best kind of action is community action, so find a way to get involved and together we will shape the future.

Looking for inspiration? Green Drinks is held on the second Friday of every month, and if you live outside of Townsville, investigate starting your own!

In this edition:

  • Upcoming Events 
    • AGM - Wed 18 September
    • Climate Strike - Sat 20 September
    • Trivia Night - Fri 18 October
  • Our Activities:
    • Campaigns Update
    • JCU Market Day
    • Meet our Interns!
  • Member of the Month (new feature!)
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Paperbark July 2019

Ok, so this month may not have reached the heights of excitement experienced last month, but July has still been a busy time for us. Much like a duck paddling away under water whilst floating calmly along the surface, we've been working quietly yet furiously behind the scenes. So, while we have no exciting events to reminisce upon this month, we hope you'll enjoy this rather informative edition of Paperbark, containing some important updates on some of our biggest campaigns.

Also, if you've been attempting to limit your use of plastics this month, well done! The most important step is raising awareness around how prevalent it is in our lives and how dangerous it can be for the environment. Feeling overwhelmed by the endeavour to reduce your impact? Read this article.

In this edition:

  • Polystyrene balls on Magnetic Island
  • "One in a Billion" - Starting Conversations
  • National Parks campaign update
  • Toolakea Beach Development Submission
  • JCU Intern Placements at NQCC
  • August Green Drinks
  • AGM coming up!
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Plastic Free July 2019

This is a guest post by NQCC's current secretary, Priscilla Peto. Priscilla took up the challenge of "Plastic Free July" three years ago and shares with us her experiences and lessons since her last blog post two years ago. The views expressed in this post are the author's and not necessarily those of NQCC.

It's been a good three years of trying to reduce plastic in my life, and two years since I wrote about it with NQCC to mark Plastic Free July - an initiative founded in Perth by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz. 

To my delight, I've found the practice has become quite widespread with my friends, family, and colleagues. Especially since the plastic bag ban was implemented in July 2017. It's been great to see individual efforts increase, but we must not forget our job in pressuring our Local, State and Federal Governments to legislate real change.

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