Welcome to June's edition of Paperbark! Yes, this shocking year is halfway through. This month we've seen a renewed push from Whitsundays MP Jason Costigan for a coal-fired power station in Collinsville (without a feasibility study) while Townsville's Sun Metals is powering ahead with a green hydrogen facility - a potentially exciting new industry for North Queensland. The discussion around "just transitions" continues, as state and federal governments struggle to commit to socially and environmentally responsible economic recovery strategies.
This month we were also deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Jon Brodie, and dedicate this edition of Paperbark to his courage and his dedication to science and conservation.
In this edition:
- Dr Jon Brodie Remembered
- Updates from the Team
- State Election Campaign
- Membership Drive
- Climate Conversations
- Coming up in July
- Green Drinks
- Plastic Free July
- Film Screening
- Online Activism
- Other News and Events
Dr Jon Brodie: Thank you & Farewell
NQCC would like to pay tribute to prominent water quality scientist and marine conservationist Dr Jon Brodie, who sadly passed away this month. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and join with our community in honouring his life's achievements.
Dr Brodie, Professional Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at JCU, applied his experience and expertise to protecting our Great Barrier Reef and was highly regarded for his dedication to his work. He was a long-time supporter of NQCC and provided helpful insights into local marine issues throughout the years.
We value his profound contribution to science, knowledge and conservation. His fearless, evidence-based approach to environmental conservation has left a remarkable legacy that will continue to inspire us and other conservationists for a very long time to come. Thank you, Jon.
UPDATES FROM THE TEAM
Campaigns Update: State Election Asks
We are getting very close to the end of the financial year, this is the time of the year when NGOs and community groups ask our wonderful members for donations, including us. Our members and donations assist us be your voice for the Environment. 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us however if you are able to make a small tax deductible donation it is always great appreciated.
The 2020 State Election is quickly approaching and NQCC will have two main campaign focuses: increased funding for National Parks and ensuring North Queensland is a climate resilient region.
Funding for Queensland’s National Parks has been reduced by successive State Governments. Promises have been made and broken. The conservation value and work carried out by National Parks rangers and other staff has been undervalued for too long. NQCC will be advocating strongly for increased funding for National Parks and a recognition of their conservation value.
North Queensland and the entire globe is facing a climate emergency. Even if greenhouse emissions reached net zero tomorrow, we would still be dealing with climate impacts for anywhere between 40 to 60 years. This means continuing extremes in our climate, more intense cyclones and accelerated biodiversity loss. NQCC will be calling on political parties to increase funding into climate resilience programs to ensure our native species, habitats, natural processes and communities are well-equipped for the challenges to come.
We will be launching our State Election campaign in the near future, meeting with sitting members and candidates. Please follow us on Facebook and check your emails for opportunities for our members to help out during the campaign.
‘Renewables are regional jobs’
Simon (Campaigns Manager)
Membership Drive Update: 121 Members (and counting...)
It's been about six weeks since we launched our Membership Drive, and I am excited to announce that we've reached 121 members! Thank you to all who have joined and renewed!
This is a really great start, but I know there are plenty of passionate people out there who should be members but simply haven't heard about us. Can you help us grow our organisation?
Our wonderful friends at Mary Who? Bookshop have thrown their support behind this year's membership drive, which means that we have TWO $50 bookshop vouchers to offer as incentives for recruiting new members! The easiest way to do this is to copy and paste this link into an email or online message and send it to a friend: https://www.nqcc.org.au/membership_annual
The winners will be announced at our AGM in September, so there's still time to get your name in the draw!
Earlier this month, we celebrated World Environment Day with a virtual workshop and online survey for our members. Thank you to all of the survey respondents and workshop participants for your contribution! You can read the summary of the responses in our blog post.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our activities over the past twelve months - you're amazing! As we head into the new financial year we are looking to increase our volunteer engagement and gain new monthly donors to help grow our capacity! If you have something to offer, this is a great time, and we would appreciate it so much.
Crystal (Community Campaigner)
Climate Conversations Update
Our Climate Conversations training has been equipping participants with the boost they need to take the conversations to the streets. We’ve held two market stalls at Cotters Market to practice these conversations and to engage with the Townsville public. It’s been wonderful to get to hear what people think within the community and it gives us even more determination to champion the cause.
Volunteers and community members at our Cotters Market stalls this month.
During our physical distancing period our conversations happened in other ways and our trainees participated in many positive conversations, using our survey as a guide.
There is no doubt that there is a need for change within the community for a greater shift towards climate action - our positive approach to encouraging this movement is already proving successful. There’s so much power in connection with our fellow humans and I truly believe this is how we will enact change.
A personal update from me...
I have loved being involved with NQCC and connecting with the community. Sadly my time as the Climate Conversations Coordinator is coming to an end and I will be moving South to pursue my marine biology post grad studies. I will continue to be involved with NQCC as a passionate member and I look forward to seeing what brilliant things Crystal and Simon will achieve with the support of the committee.
I am going to be holding one last climate conversations training before I leave so if you’d like to join me at 10am this Friday, RSVP below. I’d love to see you! Also, if you’ve done the training before and would like a refresher, let me know.
Keep advocating for our planet!
Tessa (Project Coordinator)
COMING UP IN JULY...
Are you ready to attend Green Drinks face-to-face? As restrictions lift, we're keen to meet in person once again! Please join us from 6pm on Friday 10 July at The Commonwealth Hotel in South Townsville. We will be securing our booking a week ahead of the event, so please RSVP with the link below by Friday 3 July.
Plastic Free July & 'Story of Plastic' Screening
The concept of Plastic Free July started with humble beginnings in WA in 2011. Now, it's a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. This is also a wonderful opportunity to educate yourself and those around you about the impacts of plastic on our environment and to have fun exploring some creative solutions!
Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?
To highlight the impacts of plastic on our environment and explore local solutions, we are hosting a backyard screening of THE STORY OF PLASTIC - a film that explores the global plastic crisis, featuring interviews from those on the front lines. Afterwards, we will be hosting a Q&A session with Diana Condylas from Plastic Free Townsville .
Date: Wednesday 22 July
Time: 6pm for a 6.30pm start
Location: NQCC Office - 114 Boundary St, Railway Estate
If you would like to volunteer at the event or contribute to the Q&A session, please contact Crystal at [email protected] or on 0406 421 061 - we'd love you to get involved!
Independent MP Zali Steggall will introduce a private member’s bill to Federal Parliament and call for a free vote. The Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 sets out a clear national framework to ensure Australia has:
- a positive response to the challenges of climate change;
- national plans for adapting to climate change;
- national plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and
- transparent monitoring, reporting and accountability.
You can read an overview of the bill here.
Queensland Conservation Council - National Parks for Life Campaign
Share your memories from Queensland’s national parks. Maybe it is a special place you go with your family every year, your traditional homelands, your favourite campsite spot, your favourite beach, an awe-inspiring wildlife encounter or maybe your favourite hiking adventure. QCC would love to hear your story.
National parks are a safe haven for wildlife, are central to tourism and, under joint management between Traditional Owners and Queensland Parks and Wildlife, good for culture. QCC aims to build a map busy with your adventures and connection to the natural world to show our government why we need a bigger and better system of parks and protected areas across Queensland. This will help to demonstrate why well-managed national parks and other protected areas are crucial to Queenslanders.
Queensland Conservation Council is collecting memories and photos to display on this map to not only celebrate but to also get a better deal for our much loved national parks.
Solar Citizens: Townsville Organiser Wanted!
Queensland is on the brink of a renewable energy boom, so this is an exciting opportunity to make a lasting contribution to Australia's renewable energy future. If you’re passionate about people power and making clean energy a reality for North Queensland, Solar Citizens wants to hear from you! They’re looking for a dynamic and self-motivated person who has the skills, initiative and drive to grow, develop and support a thriving network of active volunteers in Townsville. You’ll recruit and roster volunteers to look after a campaign shopfront, organise events and network with renewable energy advocates in Townsville and beyond. Applications close 5pm Friday 3 July.
End of Financial Year Donations
This financial year is almost at an end! If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to NQCC. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
We are so thankful to all of our donors who have showed their generosity and support this financial year! Your donations give us the resources and confidence we need to make bold new plans for the future.
The economic recovery our government has planned for our country looks likely to be fuelled by environmentally-destructive industries and developments, and we know that we need to stand stronger than ever to ensure our native species and ecosystems are protected.
Asking for help when so many families are experiencing financial uncertainty isn't easy for us, but we know that our environment can't wait for better economic times. We may only have one chance at this. If you can, please dig deep.
Do you have a petition, action, project or event that you'd like to share with our community? Email Crystal at [email protected] with the details so that we can help you get the word out!
We really do appreciate your support in any and every form that it takes. Your voice matters, and together we will make a difference.
All of us here at NQCC