Welcome to 2022! We are so honoured to have you with us.
Last week the Australian Government announced $1 billion over nine years to support the health of the Great Barrier Reef. While we strongly support innovation, restoration and projects that help to improve ecosystem health, we know that CLIMATE ACTION NOW is required if we are to limit the worst impacts to the Reef. This is what we'll be pushing for in this year's federal election. Want to help? Join us here!
Our thoughts are with all those in mourning following the recent passing of Suzie Smith - a beloved champion for nature in North Queensland. We encourage you to read this beautiful tribute from Wildlife Qld Townsville Branch, which highlights her commitment, her character and her legacy, which will live on through all those who knew her.
In this edition:
- Some Good News:
- Congrats to Carolyn Dixon!
- NQCC Updates:
- Climate Action Townsville
- Green Drinks
- Opportunities & Actions:
- Tangaroa Blue: Citizen science from your couch!
- End Deforestation in Qld - petition
- Have your say about an Independent EPA
SOME GOOD NEWS
Carolyn Dixon's Environmental Contributions Recognised
Photo credit: Townsville City Council
We would like to congratulate NQCC member and local volunteer Carolyn Dixon on being awarded Townsville's Environmental Excellence and Sustainability Award last week!
She has been recognised for her long-term commitment to the preservation of the natural environment of Magnetic Island (Yunbenun), her leadership, care and coordination of volunteers and her "energy, dedication and commitment to ensuring ecological landscape restoration".
Congratulations, Carolyn. Well deserved!
Climate Action Townsville Update
Did you see our emails about our new Climate Action Townsville (CAT) group? This group is an opportunity for you to step up your role in the climate movement in Townsville and North Queensland!
There are many ways to take action, including some that can be done from the comfort of your own home. You could assist us with social media, letter writing, market stalls, fundraising or something else that suits your interests and skills!
Our first ever meeting was held last Friday afternoon via Zoom and was attended by an enthusiastic group of twelve, who contributed some wonderful ideas for encouraging local climate action!
We will be holding these meetings fortnightly on a Friday afternoon from 4pm, with the next one occurring online on Friday 11 February. Keep an eye on your inbox and/or join the "Climate Action Townsville" Facebook Group for updates!
Thank you to all who joined us this month for Green Drinks in the courtyard at Grill'd! It was a lovely evening with many new faces. We learned a thing or two about Tangaroa Blue Foundation, including opportunities for getting involved (scroll down for more on this).
The next Green Drinks will occur from 6pm on Friday 18 February. We appreciate that many people are either isolating or avoiding gatherings, at least for the next few weeks. As such, we will confirm closer to the date whether this event will take place in person or online.
To be notified, please ensure that you are signed up for Green Drinks updates here and consider joining our Green Drinks Facebook group (it's a great place for sharing and connecting)!
Movie Night with Tangaroa Blue
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is inviting volunteers to take part in their final round of the Ditch the Flick Auditing Hollywood project. Through this project, top films of each year (between 1970 – 2019) will be audited for cigarette events. The aim is to determine whether there is a correlation between smoking in films and smoking events in real life.
Each film must be audited three times by different individuals (total of three separate audits), so there are plenty of movies to choose from.
On 30 December, the Queensland Government released the State’s land clearing report, which uses satellite analysis to determine how many hectares of forests have been cleared.
It showed that 680,688 hectares of trees and other woody vegetation had been cleared between 2018-2019 - almost double the 392,000 that was cleared the year before!
Queensland's forests are home to 219 endangered animals and play a critical role in carbon sequestration.
Preliminary analysis from Queensland Conservation Council indicates that;
- About 84% of the woody vegetation that was destroyed was at least 15 years old.
- About 93% of the clearing was for pasture, for cattle and sheep.
- 10,000s of hectares of likely habitat for koalas, quolls and brigalow belt endangered birds was cleared
Will you sign a petition addressed to Premier Palaszczuk to end deforestation in Queensland?
Independent Environmental Protection Agency
The Palaszczuk Government is undergoing public consultation on the establishment of an independent environmental regulator in Queensland, as part of an important election commitment.
Queensland is currently the only state in Australia without an external independent Environmental Protection Agency.
The survey is quick and easy and open to all Queenslanders who have a view on environmental protection. Submissions will be used to inform future decisions around a potential independent EPA.
The survey has eight questions and takes around five minutes to complete and will close on Sunday 6 February 2022.
Want to take one step further? Email the Minister <[email protected]> and ask her to ensure that this EPA has:
- A clear mandate and objectives to protect the environment, considering climate change and health as key factors in decision making
- Sufficient independent power and resources to assess and decide applications without intervention from Ministers or other departments, and undertake compliance monitoring and enforcement
- Transparent and meaningful community engagement and proactive public disclosure of environmental information
- A governance model that provides for expert environmental science and regulatory leadership including implementation of a Board of independent experts and establishment of a Chief Environmental Scientist position
If you would like to learn more about what a strong independent EPA could look like, the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) are hosting a webinar from 5pm this Tuesday, 1 Feb. You can register here to attend.
We look forward to working with you throughout 2022! Thank you for all that you do.
Crystal and Tiff
North Queensland Conservation Council