The year is ramping up for NQCC with a few important environmental matters already hitting our desk as you will see in this edition of Paperbark. You will also see that there is quite a theme of reinvigorating our members and supporter involvement.
On this note, we are proud to announce our Climate Change Conversations project. Your support in the coming months will be important! The project brings together community engagement activities with new messages that will help to activate wide ranging support for North Queensland to become a carbon-neutral community! This is about addressing the polarisation which has hindered stronger action on climate change across Australia (our article from last year explores what is needed to overcome this).
In this edition, you will read about more ways you can contribute to our work from sending in your biodiversity case studies to help with our EPBC Act submission to coming along to our monthly Green Drinks or visiting a politician or two...
This will be a big year of politics starting off with local elections next month. Now is a great time for all of us to be talking to Local Councillors about the environment!
Read on to find out more and remember another way you can contribute, is through your donations by going here!
In this edition:
- Message from NQCC President
- Collinsville Power Station
- EPBC Act Review
- Climate Change Conversations - Hello Tyler!
- JCU Market Day
- Local Elections
- Smart Drum Lines
- Green Drinks
- Member of the Month
Message from NQCC President
At our February Management Committee meeting, Tarquin our Campaigns Manager informed the Committee that she would not be renewing her contract when it finishes in early April. Tarquin’s decision was largely motivated by family reasons - Tarquin, Chet and Aveda plan move to Brisbane to reconnect with family.
At the meeting the Committee expressed its gratitude to Tarquin for her commitment over the past two years and for her outstanding contribution to the conservation movement in this time. We also expressed our sorrow that she will be leaving us. A sub-committee of Tash Britton, Linda Davis and Peter Hanley has been appointed to recruit Tarquin’s replacement.
The Committee are planning a social gathering at the end of March to give members the opportunity of farewelling Tarquin and her family. More details of this gathering will be sent to you shortly.
Collinsville Power Station
George Christensen supporting coal, abc image: Emma Machan
The Federal Government announced $4 million for a feasibility study into the building of a brand new coal-fired power station near Collinsville (90km inland from the Whitsunday Coast). NQCC's President, Peter Hanley has expressed our disappointment in a letter to the Federal Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson.
NQCC like most people can see that power stations no longer need coal! In 2018, three new solar farms were ‘switched on’ in the Townsville & Dry Tropics region and a further 12 large power plants driven by the wind, sun and water are in pipeline. If all of these proposed projects were to go ahead, they could generate more than 15% of Queensland’s current electricity needs and at the same time, provide North Queenslanders with cheap electricity and jobs! Check out Solar Citizen's information about Qld's Renewable Energy boom.
Let your Federal Member of Parliament know what you think!
If you live within the Herbert electorate, have a chat with Phillip Thompson: call (07) 4725 2066 or visit his electorate office on the corner of Ross River Road & Nathan Street, Cranbrook.
EPBC Act Review
North Queensland's Cassowary, Gulbaru Gecko and crocodile
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is reviewed every 10 years by the Federal Government. This process requires the review of the operation of the EPBC Act, and whether its objects have been achieved. The date for submissions has been extended to Friday 17th April. Go here to find out more and to read the Discussion paper.
NQCC would like to hear from you - particularly with North Queensland case studies of how the EPBC Act has helped or hindered biodiversity protection. Email your case studies to [email protected].
We look forward to sharing more information and a submission guide in March to assist your involvement.
Climate Conversations - Hello Tyler!
NQCC's Climate Conversations Project is HERE! Tyler Peirce is our very own Climate Conversations Coordinator! The project is seeking your involvement to help build a unified response to climate change in our region! In March, Tyler will be running information sessions that give you tips and tricks about having effective conversations with anybody about climate change! We will be emailing you soon with more details.
Tyler Peirce, Climate Conversations Coordinator
NQCC will be taking the message out into the community about the numerous sustainable solutions at our finger tips here in Townsville. Communities across Queensland are investing in carbon-neutral initiatives and sustainable energy to provide a healthier environment, attract new business, create jobs, and build stronger communities! Townsville mustn't miss out on these opportunities to reduce emissions and create a healthier community at the same time!
To find out more about the project, email [email protected].
JCU Market Day
Tessa Hodge and Matthew Garbutt, JCU O-Week stall
O-Week Market Day was last week was a success. NQCC volunteers, Tessa Hodge and Matthew Garbutt initiated interesting conversations with the students about their top reason for addressing climate change - to conserve native species and habitats, to secure a sustainable economy or to protect vulnerable communities. We conducted the 'bottle cap poll' with the majority of the people's vote favouring the protection of native wildlife! This was our best O-Week stall yet despite the hot day and we have a few people interested to come along to Tyler's upcoming climate conversation events. Thanks to our stall volunteers Tessa and Matthew - they really got people engaged!
NQCC has started meeting with Townsville City Council Councillors discussing our priority issues: 1) the protection of flying foxes, 2) conservation of our precious water resources to prevent the building of new dams, and 3) helping Townsville and North Queensland become a carbon-neutral community.
Queensland local elections are on Saturday 28th March. This is an excellent time to speak to your Mayor and Councillor no matter where you are!
Our recent blog post How Local Governments Can Help the Environment, includes a guide to help you identify the important local government matters to raise as important environmental election issues in your area. Councillors and Candidates want to hear from you and it really makes a difference!
Smart Drum Lines
Photo credit: AMCS/HSI/N.McLaughlan
On Tuesday 4th February 2020, an agreement was announced between the Commonwealth and State governments to re-deploy SMART drum lines trials within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
In line with Australian Marine Conservation Society's, NQCC supported this non-lethal shark mitigation approach as an improvement on previous conventional drum lines that lead to many unnecessary shark deaths. We spoke with Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) Senior Sharks Campaigner Dr Leonardo Guida who works hard to spread the message about why sharks are important to a healthy reef. Without sharks, marine food webs could become unstable and possibly collapse, with major implications for the 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in revenue provided by the Great Barrier Reef. Read the full article here including more about how smart drum lines work.
March Green Drinks
Want to spend some time with people who care about the environment? Let's meet up for a drink and a chat!
When: Friday 13 March, anytime from 6pm (come and go as you please)
Where: Seaview Hotel on the Strand - we will have some tables out the front (if the weather permits!)
Member of the Month: Tessa Hodge
Tessa Hodge with her partner Jake and dogs, Harry and Tobias.
Why did you become a member of NQCC?
When I first moved to Townsville I was concerned that there wasn’t a strong presence for climate action and conservation. Then I found NQCC and its related organisations and I realised there is a whole network of people who really care about the environment here which is fantastic.
What are your life passions?
I am passionate about the natural world. I am fascinated by all species and I feel strongly about protecting the wonderful planet and all our incredible natural resources.
How does nature fit into your life?
Nature has been a strong presence in my life since I was a child, I grew up in South Australia and spent every summer on the coast exploring. To this day, going on adventures into nature with my partner and our dogs is my favourite thing to do. I spend lots of time in nature and when I’m home I’m thinking about it as I am nearly finished my degree in Zoology & Ecology and Marine Biology.
Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for others who love the environment?
Try to immerse yourself in nature as often as you can. Take a moment to breathe in the feeling it gives you, as when you’re feeling overwhelmed with news of disaster and inaction against climate change, remember what you’re fighting for and how necessary it is to protect.
Tarquin and Crystal
North Queensland Conservation Council