Paperbark January 2023

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Attending Big Eye Theatre's Survival Day events in Gurambilbarra (Townsville) last week, we were heartened to witness a groundswell of curiosity, respect and support for local First Nations stories on 26 January.

As an organisation, we recognise that we cannot be the voice for the environment without working in partnership with our region's First Nations people, who have cared for country for millennia. This is the focus of our First Nations Partnerships Subcommittee, which aims to incorporate First Nations perspectives to our environmental advocacy in North Queensland. Please get in touch if you'd like to support this work!

It's only January, but there are already plenty of things to get involved in. We hope you enjoy this edition of Paperbark!

In this edition:

  • Conservation News:
    • Dr Adam Smith recognised with Sustainability Award
    • Help keep big polluters accountable on climate
    • Upper Burdekin Windfarm updates available
  • Coming Up
    • Planet-Conscious Townsville Thurs 2 Feb
    • World Wetlands Day at Mundy Creek Sat 4 Feb
    • "Franklin" screening Wed 22 Feb
    • Green Drinks (date TBC)
  • Opportunities
  • Further Reading/Actions


Congrats to Dr Adam Smith


Dr Adam Smith with his award (photo credit: TCC)

We would like to congratulate Dr Adam Smith on receiving Townsville City Council's Environmental Excellence & Sustainability Award!

A familiar face in the local marine conservation community, Dr Smith was nominated for his "outstanding contribution to research and conservation initiatives in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park" and in recognition for his "countless hours of volunteering and leading community education initiatives around the Great Barrier Reef."

Congratulations, Adam! You can read more about his nomination and other award recipients here

Help Keep Big Polluters Accountable on Climate


In December last year, NQCC joined conservation groups from around the country in a joint letter to call upon the "dirty dozen" industrial polluters to publicly commit to:

  • support at least a 43% reduction in total emissions from facilities covered under the Climate Safeguard Mechanism by 2030
  • deliver real reductions in climate emissions and rule out the unfettered use of "offsets"
  • seek no special deals for new coal, oil and gas projects.


Upper Burdekin Wind Farm: Info & Updates


Upper Burdekin wind farm impression (photo credit: Windlab)

While NQCC supports the transition to renewables to replace fossil fuels and mitigate the climate crisis, this transition cannot happen at the expense of nature and biodiversity, and must meet the expectations of local communities and Traditional Owners. 

We have engaged frequently with Windlab (proponents of the proposed Upper Burdekin Wind Farm), who have provided regular briefings and updates. They have been highly responsive to community feedback, and have been ready to respond to questions and concerns, of which we know there are many.

The next Community Information Session will be held on Saturday 11 February from 10am-1pm at the Mount Fox Campground. Information is also available on their website (below), and if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can sign up for project updates. If you have questions or concerns you feel have not been adequately addressed, please email us so that we can help elevate them.

Other NQ Conservation News

  • The Queensland Government has announced an Australia-first critical minerals facility for Townsville, to support the transition to renewables and battery storage. 
  • Two new nature refuges (private protected areas) have been announced for North Queensland. The Norfolk and Herbertvale Nature Refuges, both north-west of Mt Isa, will see an additional ~60,000ha protected for biodiversity!


Planet-Conscious Townsville


Our Changing Climate event banner

You are invited to join Planet-Conscious Townsville's next event, from 5.30-8.30pm on Thursday 2 February in Flinders Lane, Townsville City. You will hear from panellists who are taking action in both the local and international spaces to mitigate the impact and adapt to our changing climate (including NQCC Vice President Tamara Inkster-Draper!).

As always, there will be plenty of time to network with other planet-conscious individuals! Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased below.

World Wetlands Day


Mundy Creek Landcare flyer

Join us in celebrating World Wetlands Day at the Mundy Creek Landcare site, from 4.30-6.30pm on Saturday 4 February!

Access the site from Harold Phillips Park or Lockheed St, Garbutt. Wear a hat and protective clothing and BYO drinking water. We will be there selling our climate action t-shirts and meeting new potential supporters, so come along and say hi!

"Franklin" Screening


Protester takes a break, credit: George Krieger

Townsville Amnesty International Group are hosting a screening of "Franklin" at 6.30pm on Wednesday 22 February at Townsville Central BBC Cinemas.

For this screening to go ahead, enough tickets must be sold before 13 Feb, so don't delay! Tickets are $25 each, and the screening will include a Q&A session.

"The eight-year-long ‘Franklin campaign’ is revealed as the most significant environmental protest in Australia’s history; an inspiring example of the power of non-violent direct action to bring about lasting change." Watch the trailer here.

Green Drinks


January Green Drinks photo collage

January Green Drinks took place at the Rockpool Pavilion and was a delightful affair, with fourteen attendees sharing some "green" conversation while overlooking the water. 

Details of our next Green Drinks event will be circulated in the next few weeks. Make sure you're on our Green Drinks mailing list or in our Facebook group to receive updates!

There is still time to contribute your feedback to help us shape Green Drinks in 2023 (it only takes a minute or two!). Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far - we've loved your ideas!



Assistant Treasurer Wanted


We are always looking for ways to improve our organisational resilience, and are on the lookout for an Assistant Treasurer to provide additional support and step in when needed. Basic financial literacy desired but no qualifications or prior experience required for those willing to learn on the job! Reply to this email to express your interest. 

Write Letters to the Editor


Would you like to see more climate and conservation letters in our local papers? You could contribute! With the support of experienced letter writers, you can help change the narrative in local publications. Interested? Go here and select "I'd like to write letters to the editor". We'll be in touch with more information!  

Save Coffee Grounds From Landfill


Do you have some free time on Tuesdays or Fridays? Want to help prevent coffee grounds ending up in landfill? Contact David on 0416 662 410 to assist the Smart Coffee Project with deliveries! 

Women's Environmental Leadership Program


Applications are now open for the next Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) program! Register here or share with anyone you think might be interested. 

Further Reading/Actions

Have Your Say on the expansion of Qld's Container Refund Scheme by 20 February.

Read a summary of COP27 from NQCC Vice President Tamara Inkster-Draper, who attended the UN climate conference in Egypt last year. 

Check out the 2019-2020 Qld SLATS (Statewide Landcover and Trees Study) data, which was released late last year. This Guardian article contains a good summary of the conservation movement's response. 

You might also like to check out this ABC article about how "blue carbon" projects are helping to restore wetlands and improve biodiversity and water quality here in North Queensland. 

Thank you for supporting our work for North Queensland's environment! 

Yours naturally,

North Queensland Conservation Council


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  • Crystal Falknau