The second half of 2022 has already been action-packed! At a federal level, we've seen the long-awaited release of the State of the Environment Report (more on that later) and the legislation of Australia's new emissions reduction target discussed in parliament.
Locally, State Government funding is supporting on-ground restoration projects, like Phil's Bush Cleanups' Operation Habitat Auto!
Whatever your level of involvement in conservation work or the movement, this edition of Paperbark offers plenty of ways to step up your support. Please enjoy the read!
In this edition:
- Conservation News
- State of the Environment Report
- NQCC Updates:
- Operation Habitat Auto
- Burdekin Campaign Update
- Independent EPA for Qld - joint submission
- JCU Market Day
- Water Report Card now available
- Green Drinks
- Calls to Action:
- Qld CAN roadmap and launch
- Sign Solar Citizens' petition
- Sign the Invasive Species Council's petition
- Tell Lockton to say no to Adani
- Low Emissions Agriculture Road Map: Have your say
- Some Good News
- Five billion containers recycled
- ARENA used for renewables
- Other environmental organisations to get involved with
State of the Environment Report
The State of the Environment Report is a five-yearly comprehensive national assessment of the state of the Australian environment, written by independent experts.
The latest one has been described as "grim", "sobering" and "shocking" - though most of us aren't particularly shocked to learn that the state of our environment is "poor" and getting worse.
You can read the full report here, or watch Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek's National Press Club address here. There are also plenty of handy summaries and articles around, like this one from ACF.
This report provides plenty of reasons for despair, but there is some good news and reason for optimism that the Australian Government is under more pressure than ever to protect nature.
Operation Habitat Auto is a Go!
We are proud to announce that our application for funding through the Qld Government's Community Sustainability Action Grants was successful, which means that Operation Habitat Auto is underway! This project has been designed and instigated by Phil's Bush Cleanup, to remove car bodies from a nature reserve on the south side of Townsville, which has been particularly prone to illegal dumping.
Burdekin Campaign Update
Pictured: John Connell and Dr Claire Holland present at the inaugural conference of the Research for Ethical Development network in Cairns.
In early July, NQCC volunteer and retired Environment Scientist David Cassells attended the annual Developing Northern Australia Conference in Mackay. Here, he presented "The need for Integrated Catchment Management: A Case Study in the Burdekin River Basin". At this conference, attended by many ministers, he spoke directly with Senator Nita Green (special envoy for the Great Barrier Reef) and the Hon Madeleine King (Minister for Northern Australia).
In mid-July, JCU's new cross-disciplinary research group - Research for Ethical Development (RED) held their inaugural conference in Cairns. Here, John Connell and fellow authors A/Prof Carmen Reaiche and Dr Claire Holland made a presentation entitled "Emerging Issues and Need for New Governance Mechanism on the Burdekin Basin", to raise issues affecting the Burdekin Basin from a governance perspective.
We continue to receive much interest in our campaign to ensure the Burdekin doesn't become the next Murray-Darling.
Following the Federal election, we have written letters to various Ministers and Senators, tailored to their portfolios and covering one or more of three key themes:
- Management of the environment and natural resources;
- Opportunities for improving water-efficiency in the Lower Burdekin (and associated environmental outcomes); and
- The questionable use of public funds for business cases for dam proposals in the Burdekin River Basin.
EPA for Qld: Joint Submission
The Queensland Government has promised to investigate setting up an independent Environmental Protection Agency in this term of government.
The Queensland conservation movement sees this as a fantastic opportunity to get the kind of environmental powers in government that we need, and to overcome some of the problems we currently face.
Over the past few months, NQCC has joined a cohort of conservation groups to kick off a state-wide campaign to make this happen. In the past few weeks, we have had conversations within LEAN (Labor Environment Action Network) and invited allies to sign onto a joint submission about the importance of an EPA in fixing our broken environmental laws.
JCU Market Day
Tiff and one of NQCC's star volunteers Amaya attended JCU's Semester 2 O-Week Market Day this week, to meet some new students and let them know what we're all about! We had a fantastic day engaging with students as they dropped by our stall to have a chat, pick up a Climate Action Now sign or sticker and participate in our Sustainability Tree activity. It's wonderful to see our tree coming to life with many new leaves added with actions that people would like to see Townsville City Council take to improve sustainability and better protect nature. We also had 27 new volunteer sign ups and 21 potential member sign ups which is very encouraging.
A big thank you to Amaya for volunteering her afternoon to helps us out and to the JCU Student Association for allowing us to be part of another successful event. Thanks also to Becca from The Greens stall and the two Officers from the Police Dog Squad who helped setup our gazebos.
If you would like to contribute to our Sustainability Tree which will be presented to TCC once full, please get in touch with Tiff Ph: 0428 987 535 or Email: [email protected]
Dry Tropics Water Report Card
Pictured: DTPFHW Executive Officer Jake Hammelswang and Chair Di Tarte with the 2021 Report Card
The Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters is one of five regional report card partnerships along the length of the Great Barrier Reef. The data collected and presented in their annual report cards aims to inform management decisions around water quality in local waterways that flow to the Reef and empower the local community to understand the health of waterways in their own region.
NQCC is a proud member of this partnership, and was represented at their recent Report Card Launch by Management Committee member and volunteer Linda Davis. This latest report card rates the health of the waterways in our region over a 12 month period, using high quality data from a range of sources.
Thanks to everyone who attended July's Green Drinks, particularly those who attended for the first time! You can find more about what was discussed on the Social Workers for Climate Action and Fair Bite Townsville Facebook pages.
Supporter Shirts Available
Our t-shirts are on the move, and we just love seeing them around the place! Thank you to everyone who has supported us with a purchase!
Designed by our Climate Action Townsville group, these shirts look and feel great and carry a positive and powerful message. Sizes XS to 2XL are now available for purchase via our online shop. Please get in touch if you prefer direct payment and pick-up, or hit us up at one of our events!
$40 each or $35 for NQCC members*
* Members discount does not apply to online orders, please contact Tiff via Ph: 0428 987 535 or Email: [email protected] to arrange payment and delivery/pick-up.
CALLS TO ACTION
Qld CAN: A Climate Solutions Roadmap for Qld
Qld Conservation Council has partnered with the Australian Conservation Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund to create a climate solutions roadmap that demonstrates how we can create jobs while cutting pollution to protect nature and communities from climate impacts.
Join the Queensland CAN launch to hear experts and special guests outline the roadmap that includes around 100,000 Queensland jobs created from 8 industry pathways.
The roadmap provides the foundation for a campaign that shows that Queensland CAN benefit from climate solutions. Let’s show our state decision-makers that Queenslanders are calling for climate action now. Invite your friends by sharing the Facebook event!
What: Qld Climate Campaign Launch
Where: Online, via Zoom
When: Tuesday 2 August, 6.30-7.30pm
Renewables are the Solution to the Energy Crisis: Petition
Join Solar Citizens in calling on the Queensland Government to act now to support cheaper power bills by:
- Ensuring 6,000 MW of new renewable energy and 1,000 MW of storage comes online by 2025.
- Mapping a pathway for Queensland to become at least 100% renewable by 2030.
- Helping renters and social housing tenants access the benefits of cheap solar energy.
Call on the Australian Government to Fight Invasive Species
The State of the Environment Report highlighted the significant role that invasive plant and animal species play in the destruction of Australia's wildlife and ecosystems.
The Invasive Species Council is calling on the new Australian Government to radically increase investment to effectively protect our vanishing wildlife and ecological communities from harmful invasive pests, weeds and disease.
Tell Lockton to Say No to Adani
Join Market Forces as they call for Lockton to commit to not working for Adani's disastrous coal project. It only takes a minute!
Queensland Low Emissions Agriculture Roadmap
Help shape the future of agriculture in Queensland. Your feedback is welcomed on the draft Queensland Low Emissions Agriculture Roadmap 2022-32 to reduce agriculture emissions and increase carbon farming.
You can submit your thoughts on the roadmap by completing the online survey, or uploading a written submission using the form provided on the same page (follow the link below). Consultation closes on 10 August 2022.
SOME GOOD NEWS
Qld has recycled five billion containers, Qld Government Media Statement, 9 July. You can donate your containers to NQCC using our scheme ID: C100 283 66! There is a new recycling centre in Idalia - make sure you check it out!
Chris Bowen frees ARENA from Taylor’s fossil fuel mandate, puts focus back on renewables, Renew Economy, 22 July
If you'd like to step up your on-the-ground involvement in conservation, there are plenty of amazing environmental organisations active in North Qld for you to get involved with!
MATTERS OF INTEREST
You can now report a perceived breach of environmental law through a new Federal Government online form? Tell your friends! Click here to check it out.
Tangaroa Blue is hiring! They are looking for someone to undertake data entry, support the maintenance of data system files, vet data from other users and complete project reporting. It is a casual role (approx. 8 hours per week) and, as work will be carried out from home, any location throughout Australia will be considered. Learn more about the role here.
Thank you for helping us stand up for our climate and nature. We think you're amazing.
Crystal and Tiff
North Queensland Conservation Council