Paperbark July 2016

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Welcome to the July edition of Paperbark! At the time of writing, the dust is still settling from the Federal Election. We know that the Liberal National coalition will continue, the seat of Herbert is still undecided, and it will be weeks before the final make-up of the Senate is confirmed. In this issue: Election wrap – Plastic Free July – Coal Dust – Butterfly trip to Maggie – Citizen science bird study

Election Wrap-Up

The future for climate campaigning at a Federal politics level is uncertain. Although some of the worst blockers in the last Parliament have exited, many voters rejected the major parties and voted for populist minor parties, such as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

This is not good news for action on climate change. A Parliament under the influence of right-wing climate action blockers, puppeteered by the coal and gas industry, is going to make the fight for climate justice much more difficult.

An election is just one of many ways that we can contribute to good policy outcomes. Moving forward now, it’s important that we remember we can continue organising in our communities to deliver a strong people-powered movement that demands a transition to renewable energy and climate justice for all.

Plastic Free July

NQCC is getting on board with ‘Plastic Free July’, aiming to raise awareness of how prolific plastic is in our lives and to reduce our consumption of plastic products.

It’s only half way through July and you can still sign up for the challenge.

The worst four items of single-use plastic are straws, water bottles, bags and coffee cups.

Coffee cups… yes, they look like they are made of paper, they feel like they are made of paper, but in fact they are lined with plastics that do not break down. If you have a few minutes, why not enjoy your coffee from a ceramic cup in the café? Or, you could bring your own reusable coffee cup. Keepcup is a leading Australian company making funky coloured reusable cups – NQCC will be placing an order soon to sell cups to our members at wholesale cost. If you MUST have your coffee on-the-go, try forgoing the lid at least.

For more tips about how to avoid plastic, head over to the Plasic Free July Facebook page.

Event: Free Movie, Friday 15 July

As part of Plastic Free July, we are we are putting on a movie event about the extent of the plastic bag problem, in a funny and inspiring way.

We will also be talking about starting a new volunteer group in Townsville to (literally) create a solution to the bag problem!

When: 4:30 pm Friday 15 June

Where: 23 First Ave, Railway Estate

More info on the Facebook event or our website.

Boomerang Bags

Reusable bags would be great, if I could actually remember to take them into the shops with me! That’s why Boomerang Bags are such a great idea.

Volunteers get together and make eye-pleasing bags from donated and recycled fabrics. Then, the bags are stamped with ‘borrow and bring back’ and are stocked at local businesses. So far there are 35 groups making these bags around Australia, over 28,000 bags have been sewn and 14.2 million plastic bags have been replaced.

Do you like sewing? Do you have an old sewing machine collecting dust?

Our first sewing bee is on 24th August, head to our Facebook page for more details. Or email Maree if you can help out with donating materials.

Coal dust, the environment and pollution guidelines

Kathyrn Burns, a marine scientist at JCU and NQCC supporter, has had an article published in The Conversation. It explains how the pollution guidelines leave a gap in assessing the impact of coal upon the reef and marine environment. The Conversation, if you haven’t heard of it, is a great source of in-depth news, analysis and research written by academics. Their environment and energy section is particularly good at policy analysis.

Magnetic Island butterfly trip 24 July

Our friends at Wildlife Queensland  have planned an exciting trip to Magnetic Island to observe a special congregation of butterflies as they semi-hibernate in winter.

When: 8:45 am ferry to Magnetic Island for a 9:30 am start at Horseshoe Bay

Where: Magnetic Island, various locations

More information: at their website or email [email protected]

Calling all bird lovers and citizen scientists!

The Austrailan Bird Feeding and Watering Study would love your help. If you have a bird bath in your backyard, a bird-friendly native garden, or a bird feeder, then your contribution is valuable to scientists who are researching interactions people have with birds in their own backyards, and the impact on bird diversity and abundance. You can find more information and sign up here.  

That’s a wrap for July! If you have any ideas for next month’s Paperbark, please email [email protected] or call the office on 4771 6226.

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  • Maree Dibella