Well, what a month it has been up here in North Queensland! If any friends or relatives needed convincing that climate change is happening right now (and not in a few decades' time), this month should quell any doubts for sure.
We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and getting any and all support required. It has been heartwarming to witness the acts of compassion showed during this one-in-five-hundred-year event. North Queenslanders have a long history of resilience, which will serve us well as we head further into the Anthropocene.
Here at the office, we've been very fortunate to escape the floods with nothing more than a bit of mould, so rest assured our work continues (we just smell a bit more like vinegar and clove oil than we probably would like).
In this edition:
What We've Been Up To:
- JCU O-Week Market Day
- Tarquin's Visit to Cardwell
- Green Drinks
- Schools Strike for Climate
- The Australia Institute Presentation 'Heatwatch'
- Climate and Health Alliance Workshop
- Postcard Exhibition Rescheduled (Artworks still welcome!)
- Help us Raise $3,000 to save National Parks!
- Some Background Info
- New Life for Your Old Hiking Boot
- Toilet Paper Fundraiser
- Containers for Cash
- Review of Queensland’s Environmental Offsets Framework
- EcoFiesta Speakers Program
What We've Been Up To
JCU O-Week Market Day
As students prepare to begin semester one, NQCC took the opportunity to meet and greet those with an interest in environmental conservation at JCU's O-Week Market Day. A big thank you is due to Tessa Hodge, who kindly volunteered at the stall, explaining who we are and how students can get involved with us. If you are currently studying (or between jobs) and would like to see how we can help you to use and expand on your skills, while adding to your résumé, let us know!
Tarquin's Visit to Cardwell
On Saturday 16th February, our Campaigns Manager Tarquin met with residents who are concerned about protecting Hinchinbrook Island National Park from development. The Cardwell residents were passionate about the issue and were throwing around great ideas about spreading the word on this issue. They are keen to be further involved and look forward to having further involvement with NQCC on this issue and the general protection of all of Queensland's National Parks.
Green Drinks - Friday 8th March (New Venue!)
For 2019, Green Drinks will be held on the second Friday of every month. The first Green Drinks of the year will be at Grill'd in the function space at the back of their restaurant in Palmer Street. Vanessa from Tangaroa Blue has coordinated speakers who will be talking to the theme of Marine Plastics. Come along and bring a friend!
Schools Strike for Climate
On Friday 15th March, students all around Australia will be striking from school to bring attention to the urgent action required to tackle climate change - the biggest threat to their future. Townsville students are fired up and ready to make this a big event, and you can help make it happen! Whether you are a parent, teacher, community member or student yourself, you can show your support by sharing the event among your networks and building as much community support as possible.
The Australia Institute Presentation 'Heatwatch'
Tuesday 19th March, 6.30-8.00pm, Townsville venue TBC
Heatwatch will also be presented at Airlie Beach on 20th March and in Mackay on 21st March.
This summer, Queensland has experienced unprecedented heatwaves, fires and devastating floods. January was Australia’s hottest month on record. Heatwatch is an evening for community members, business leaders and Government Representatives to find out the latest about how heat is the biggest killer and the economic and health impacts of a warming climate. Presenter Mark Ogge is the Principal Adviser on climate and energy at the Australia Institute. He will be presenting the HeatWatch Townsville report which uses CSIRO and BOM data to track the increases in extreme heat to date, and state of the art CSIRO projections for future increases in extreme heat. Find out what’s happening to our climate, what we can expect in the coming years and what can be done about it.
Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) Workshop
NQCC will be presenting at the CAHA Workshop for Townsville medical professionals on Sunday 31 March. This exciting alliance is for strong climate action and are looking to grow their presence in our region. We welcome your assistance in promoting the workshop among your networks. Further details to come.
Postcard Art Exhibition - *Rescheduled*
Due to some flood damage sustained at their Flinders St location, Umbrella Studio has had to reschedule their upcoming exhibitions and shows to allow time for repairs to take place. As such, the new dates for our Postcard Art Exhibition are as follows:
Exhibition Opening: Friday 17th May
Fundraising Auction: Friday 21st June
As a result of postponement, we are happy to announce that we can continue accepting artworks throughout the next two months! All media types are welcome, including photos, textiles, prints, sketches and even small sculptures. Visit our website to learn how you can contribute to this fantastic event.
Help us Raise $3,000 to Save National Parks
Can you help us reach our $3,000 target by mid-March to fund our postcard campaign? Already in the design stage, the postcard will be widely distributed in cafés, cinemas and libraries. They will also be sent out as part of our Postcard & Letter-Writing Kit Mail-out to the growing number of people who want to help us spread the word in communities all over Queensland! The design work has already started thanks to NQCC member Sabine Carter and features Hinchinbrook Island National Park on the front (courtesy of the generosity of photographer Steven Nowakowski). NQCC also welcome those who are able to donate their time to this cause, contact us at [email protected] or fill out our volunteer form.
Background: Private development must remain outside National Parks
The Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID) Kate Jones in partnership with Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch released an Expressions of Interest (EOI) process on Hinchinbrook Island NP (Thorsborne Trail), Whitsunday Island NP (Whitsunday Island Trail) and Great Sandy NP (Cooloola Great Walk) in October 2018. We are expecting the shortlist of proponents from the EOI process to be announced by Minister Kate Jones before the end of March. These short-listed proponents will then be required to provide a detailed project proposal before the 'winning' proponent is selected.
The Queensland Conservation movement is opposed to the current trend of opening up National Parks to commercial interests. This includes, but is not limited to the EOI process. The Government is attempting a complete change of their business model and hope that the public won't realise the impact on the natural values of our state's most fragile places. When in opposition, both the ALP and the LNP have taken the position that leasing public land is as good selling it off because Government control is lost over those properties.
It is not just leases being offered through the EOI process. The EOI gives proponents opportunity to develop and operate eco-accommodation and tour guidance within the boundaries of these 3 NPs; the Government will provide state-owned NP land; exclusive ground leases for a term of up to 60 years; assistance during the approval process; a “one-government” approach to comply with other government requirements; and a contribution of up to $5 million for eco-accommodation built along the Whitsunday Island Trail.
New Life for Your Old Hiking Boot!
Your worn-out and tired hiking boot could have a life beyond the trails and into the limelight of our campaign trail to save our National Parks and the Thorsborne Track on Hinchinbrook Island! If you have an old boot that is worthy of this great cause, please drop by at our Townsville office on 114 Boundary Street. If dropping by outside of business hours, feel free to leave the boot/s at our front step.
"Who Gives A Crap" Toilet Paper Fundraiser
Last month we introduced a new fundraising activity, involving bulk (and great value!) toilet paper. Great for households, businesses and those who don't use cars (we know it can be awkward carrying toilet paper on your handlebars). Also a great addition to any natural disaster stockpile and the empty carton is very popular with cats and small children.
To order your box of 48 recycled toilet rolls for just $50, call or text Mary on 0432 577 240. To learn more about the product, click on the image below.
Containers for Cash
Our collection bins at the office have been cleared out and are ready to be re-filled, so if you've got some pesky eligible containers laying around at home or wasting precious space in your recycling bin, we will happily take them off your hands!
Thank you so much to all of you who have been donating your containers over the past few months - we really appreciate the support we've been shown, and it's been exciting to watch those numbers climb - every bit really does help! We are still accepting containers at the office, but if taking your containers to a drop-off point, you can also quote our ID number (C100 283 66) to donate your refund to us.
If you'd like to get further involved or have any questions regarding the scheme, please contact Crystal at [email protected].
Review of Queensland’s Environmental Offsets Framework
The Queensland Government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Queensland Environmental Offsets Framework. If you are interested to assist NQCC compile a submission with the support of our Campaigns Manager, please contact us. This is a great opportunity for environmental students and we invite any insights from the many on-the-ground and knowledgeable people who are supporters of NQCC. You are also able to make your own submissions as a concerned member of the public. The Government's site with more info is here and submissions are due by 5pm on the 15th April.
EcoFiesta Speakers Program
NQCC will be working with Townsville City Council's event team to hold another environmental speakers program at the EcoFiesta event on Sunday 26th May. If you'd like to make a five-minute speech on your passion or project as part of the program, we'd love to hear from you. Please email your interest to [email protected].
Until next month!