Paperbark July 2020

Welcome to July's Paperbark! Read on for some of the environmental news highlights of the month before plunging into NQCC's exciting news and events...

After some delay, Independent Reviewer Graeme Samuel has released the EPBC Act Review Interim Report. The report finds severe deficiencies in the department's processes, and recommends an "independent cop" to oversee our national environmental laws. However this recommendation has already been rejected by the Federal Government, because who wants independent oversight?. Meanwhile, a university student from Melbourne has sued the Australian Government for not disclosing the financial risks of climate change. 

The Queensland Community Alliance (QCA) has announced their "Maroonprint" for Queensland's COVID-19 recovery, with environmental conservation playing a significant role. This month also saw our State Government move to ban single-use plastic and commit $10 million in funding for priority environmental projects in Great Barrier Reef catchments.

Meanwhile, here in NQ, Collinsville's proposed coal-fired power station continues to make headlines and flying foxes are being removed from their roost in Charters Towers using controversial methods. 

In this edition:

  • NQCC News:
    • Hells Gates Dam and Burdekin River Campaign Update
    • State Election Campaign: info session coming up!
    • Volunteers wanted!
    • Membership drive update
    • The Story of Plastic: backyard screening
    • Green Drinks (Fri 14 August)
  • Member of the Month
  • Other News and Opportunities:
    • Solar Citizens new Townsville shopfront
    • Don't tax the sun!
    • Townsville Yellow Crazy Ant Taskforce 
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The Story of Plastic: Backyard Screening

Story of Plastic title

THE STORY OF PLASTIC is a 90-minute film that takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. The film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe and features interviews with experts and activists on the front lines of the fight. With engaging original animation, archival industry footage beginning in the 1930s, and first-person accounts of the unfolding emergency, the film distills a complex problem that is increasingly affecting the planet’s and its residents’ well-being.

THE STORY OF PLASTIC is presented by The Story of Stuff Project, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the way that we make, use, and throw away Stuff so that it is more sustainable, healthy, and fair.

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Dam Study is Flawed

This letter was printed in the Townsville Bulletin on Monday 27 July 2020.

Newspaper clipping

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Hells Gates Dam: July 2020 Update

Turbid water below Burdekin Falls Dam

Turbid water below Burdekin Falls Dam (NQCC field trip, June 2020)

As more information comes to light from feasibility studies into the construction of Hells Gates Dam, it becomes ever clearer that this proposal is not only economically unfeasible but also a significant risk to the health of the Burdekin River and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - particularly when considered alongside other projects proposed for the river system.

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Paperbark June 2020

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Welcome to June's edition of Paperbark! Yes, this shocking year is halfway through. This month we've seen a renewed push from Whitsundays MP Jason Costigan for a coal-fired power station in Collinsville (without a feasibility study) while Townsville's Sun Metals is powering ahead with a green hydrogen facility - a potentially exciting new industry for North Queensland. The discussion around "just transitions" continues, as state and federal governments struggle to commit to socially and environmentally responsible economic recovery strategies. 

This month we were also deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Jon Brodie, and dedicate this edition of Paperbark to his courage and his dedication to science and conservation.

In this edition:

  • Dr Jon Brodie Remembered
  • Updates from the Team
    • State Election Campaign
    • Membership Drive
    • Climate Conversations 
  • Coming up in July
    • Green Drinks
    • Plastic Free July
    • Film Screening
  • Online Activism
  • Other News and Events
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World Environment Day Survey: The Results

This World Environment Day (5 June), we invited our members to a virtual interactive workshop, to learn from our their local knowledge and experience. This was complemented with an online survey for those who couldn't attend. 

The responses have provided us with some valuable insights...

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Paperbark May 2020

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May seems to have disappeared in a flash, but there has been no shortage of environment-related political discussion circulating. In the same month that the Townsville Bulletin reported  (for subscribers only) on a study that found "big potential for growth" in North Queensland's timber industry, we learned that logging of native forests likely worsened the summer bushfires. And while many economists have demonstrated the viability of growth in renewables in our country's pandemic recovery, the Federal Government remains loyal to fossil fuels and land is released for coal and gas exploration in Queensland.

Now for the good news: one-third of Rio Tinto's investors have called for tougher climate change targets; Australia's Reserve Bank has called for a post-pandemic renewables push; a group of young people are taking Clive Palmer to court over his coal mine; Australian researchers are leading the way in solar panel technology development; and Yallambie residents in Mt Isa demonstrate how communities can take charge of caring for their environment.

Needless to say, our job is bigger and tougher than ever before. We're fired up, passionate and we've got our wits about us. To show your support, we ask that you join or renew your membership and consider donating or becoming a monthly donor if you can. Every name and every dollar helps us to face the challenges ahead. 

In this edition:

  • Updates from the team
  • NQCC news:
    • Environment Day Members' Workshop!
    • Award-winning volunteer celebrations
  • Online events & activism opportunities
  • Other news and events
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Paperbark April 2020

How are you? Hopefully you are making the best of these strange times. We certainly have been (but more on that later).

Sadly, it hasn't been the best month for our environment, with reports that our Great Barrier Reef is suffering "near-annual" coral bleaching and our country's environmental health has received a result of less than one out of ten on a major environmental scorecard. With this on top of COVID-19 restrictions keeping us away from some of our favourite natural spaces and cancelling numerous environmental events, you could be forgiven for feeling a bit down lately.

If your optimism is in need of a boost, read on to learn all about what's new at NQCC (it's exciting) and how you can continue to contribute to the movement, even in lockdown. We also recommend giving yourself a few minutes to read about how "tackling climate change is vital for the strongest economic recovery after coronavirus", because the future is just around the corner.

In this edition:

  • NQCC News:
    • Meet our new Campaigns Manager
    • Welcome to the Committee, Chris
    • Renew NQ: Climate Conversations update
    • Hells Gates Dam feasibility and impact review
  • Online Activism Opportunities:
    • Declare a Climate Emergency, Townsville 
    • Write for Renewables
    • Students are striking for the climate - online
    • Queensland's Natural Wonders Awards
  • May's (bird-themed) Green Drinks
  • Member of the Month
  • COVID-19 self-care tips
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Covid-19 Self Care Tips

Looking after yourself during a pandemic can be challenging. The good news is, we're all in this together! If you are currently doing something that benefits your well-being that isn't on this list, get in touch at [email protected].

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Paperbark March 2020

Well, it's been a March like no other. COVID-19 has changed life as we know it and thrown many families into tough times they weren't expecting. Our thoughts go out to those in our community experiencing hardship and we encourage you to reach out if you are in need of any kind of support.

The impacts of this pandemic cannot be overstated. But, as we come together as a global community to protect those most vulnerable to this virus, we are learning valuable lessons about what it takes for governments and citizens to make big changes. These lessons will serve us well in our fight for climate justice. 

While our year ahead is clouded with confusion and uncertainty, we will use this opportunity to encourage a paradigm shift to ensure that the future we build when the dust settles is the kind of future we have all been working towards - one where our environment is valued and sustainability is key. For an inspirational take on the situation, as well as some points about the importance of the EPBC Act Review, read this article published in The Guardian on the weekend.

Thank you in advance for your support during this time. Stay connected, stay healthy and stay at home if you can.

In this edition:

  • Farewell from Tarquin
  • Climate Conversations Project
  • What you can do about single-use plastics
  • EPBC Act Review
  • (Virtual) Green Drinks
  • Member of the Month
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