Six months into 2021 and we've certainly been kept on our toes! For those affected by lockdown conditions, we hope that you are staying safe and well, and as comfortable as possible.
With the new financial year kicking off this week, we invite you to become a monthly donor for as little as $5 a month, to supercharge the work we do here in beautiful North Queensland. Thank you to everyone who has given so generously - we really appreciate your support!
This edition of Paperbark provides an outline of what we've been up to in June, what we have planned, and ways for you to get involved - even from home! We hope you enjoy the read.
In this edition:
- NQCC Updates:
- Our Townsville
- Consultation & Meetings
- Burdekin Basin Campaign
- Healthy Waters Report Card Launch
- Actions & Activities for You:
- Collect your Climate Action signs!
- Green Drinks
- Join our Committee!
- Postcard Art Exhibition
- Museum of Underwater Art: have your say
- Regenerative Songlines Online Event
- Heal Country Heal Climate Webinar Series
- Plastic Free July
- The Good Stuff - a wrap up of some of the month's good news stories
NQCC at "Our Townsville"
In place of Ecofiesta, this year we relished the opportunity to get amongst Townsville's wider community at "Our Townsville" - a mega event held this month in Anderson Gardens.
Visitors to our stall got to explore the impacts of repeated coral bleaching events on coral reefs using lolly snakes and we had plenty of wonderful conversations based on "Our Vision for Townsville" and our activities.
Welcome to all of our new signups who will be receiving Paperbark for the first time today - it's great to have you with us!
Consultation & Meetings
This month, NQCC was represented at local consultation workshops to provide feedback for the State Regional Infrastructure Plan and Resources Industry Development Plan. In these workshops, we joined the conversation with a range of stakeholders and put forward conservation perspectives and priorities on your behalf.
We were also visited this month by Queensland's Shadow Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Sam O'Connor MP. We used this meeting to discuss the environmental issues and opportunities for our region, with particular focus on National Parks and climate change (among other topics). It was great to reach consensus on many aspects of "Our Vision for Townsville", which really piqued his interest.
Burdekin Basin Campaign
Earlier this week, our Burdekin Basin Subcommittee met online with Professor Hugh Possingham, Queensland's Chief Scientist, to outline the issues facing the Burdekin Basin and explore opportunities for introducing a mechanism for basin-wide management. He agreed that better regional planning and a more holistic management approach would be beneficial. His influence may be instrumental in helping our messages to reach important decision-makers.
This meeting followed other online meetings with staff from the Department of Environment and Science, including Mike Ronan - Manager for Wetlands (who introduced us to this incredible online resource), and Dane Moulton - Senior Policy Officer for the Environmental Policy and Programs Division, both of whom were very informative and receptive regarding our campaign for better management of the Burdekin River.
We will continue to work closely with relevant government departments, representatives and consulting groups where possible to share knowledge and grow our influence.
In an exciting development, an abstract by NQCC volunteer John Connell, outlining some of the issues facing the Burdekin, has been accepted by the International Rivers Foundation, to be presented at the International River Symposium in September this year. Watch this space!
Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters: Report Card Launch
NQCC is proud to have joined the Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters - an initiative made up of a range of stakeholders from industry, scientific research groups, education, community and all levels of government.
Launched in January 2019, the Partnership produces an annual Report Card that provides the Townsville community with an independent picture of the health of local waterways and the Great Barrier Reef.
The Report Card includes all freshwater, estuaries and coastal waterways off Townsville that link the land to the outer Great Barrier Reef and will help to guide future planning and investment into waterways.
This week, we attended the launch of their latest Report Card, now available online.
ACTIONS & ACTIVITIES FOR YOU!
Below are some ways that you can get behind our campaigns and other events, many of which (with the exception of Green Drinks) can be done from the comfort of your own home. Let's make the most of this lockdown!
Share Your Support for Climate Action!
We have received a sizeable shipment of Climate Action Now signs, posters and stickers, and we need your help to make them visible all around Townsville and North Queensland!
Displaying a sign or a sticker on your fence or letterbox, in a window or at your workplace sends a clear message to leaders in politics, business and community that we want climate action now!
Help us spread the message by sharing a photo of your new sticker or sign on social media and tagging us, or emailing your photo to [email protected].
Reply to this email to arrange pick-up from our office at 114 Boundary St, Railway Estate (once restrictions have lifted). Contactless delivery may also be arranged, depending on your location.
Green Drinks is an informal and friendly networking event for people who care for the environment. We always have laughs, stories and information to share with each other!
We took our last Green Drinks across the ditch to Magnetic Island (Yunbenun) where we were thrilled to catch up with some new and old friends at Smugglers Wine Bar. Thank you to all who came along!
The next Green Drinks will be held at Grill'd in South Townsville from 6pm on Friday 9 July. We hope you can join us!
Join Our Committee!
Some of our Management Committee roles are still available, and this is a wonderful opportunity to work closely with us and bring your unique strengths and perspectives to our wonderful organisation.
No previous board experience is necessary - you will be well-supported by our friendly committee members and staff. Being an NQCC committee member is a rewarding experience that provides opportunities to grow your skills, meet new people and make a meaningful contribution to our work.
Interested? Want to learn more? Simply tick the relevant box on our volunteer page to express your interest and we'll be in touch with all the information you will need!
Artists & Volunteers Wanted!
Why not use your time in lockdown to get artistic for a good cause?
NQCC's biennial Postcard Art fundraiser is on for 2021! On show at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts from early September, postcard-sized artworks will be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition, with all funds supporting our work here in North Queensland.
We are looking for volunteers to assist with the exhibition and auction, as well as artists to donate small works of art.
Please help us to spread the word with your arty friends!
Museum of Underwater Art: Have Your Say
The Museum of Underwater Art wants to extend its exhibition into the waters of Magnetic Island (Yunbenun). While multiple locations are being considered, it appears that Geoffrey Bay (an ecologically important 'green zone') is the favoured location.
Magnetic Island Nature Care Association (MINCA) has developed an informative flyer which provides an overview of the issues and a more detailed submission guide, to help you to express your thoughts while there is still time.
Comments and submissions are due by Tuesday 13 July 2021.
Regenerative Songlines Australia
This exciting online event will launch the Regenerative Songlines Australia network, and will feature prominent guest speakers.
Tune in via Zoom on Thursday 8 July from 10am until 3pm.
A fundamental goal of the network is to transform the extractivist, colonial mindset and practices of the dominant industrialised society, economy and culture of Australia, towards regeneration and restoration, so that we can live and thrive within bioregional ecological limits and planetary boundaries.
Heal Country Heal Climate Webinar Series
To celebrate National NAIDOC Week, the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation Australia and Better Futures Australia are hosting a free webinar series — Heal Country, Heal Climate. Join this critical dialogue among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to explore climate change impacts and solutions, from Monday 5 - Friday 9 July from 6pm.
Plastic Free July
Will you take up on the challenge next month to reduce your plastic use? Whether you are refusing single-use plastics, making a permanent switch or looking for a place to start, it all requires a little bit of planning.
If you are signing up, remember to tell your friends and family to encourage everyone to make a difference!
You can also join us at Green Drinks for some more ideas-sharing and advice from Plastic Free Townsville's Diana Condylas!
Do you have a story, activity or event to share with your fellow Paperbark readers? Email [email protected].
THE GOOD STUFF
In the good news this month...
Money for Renewables
When in Townsville for the State of Origin earlier this month, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that $2 billion would be invested into renewable energy and hydrogen jobs in Queensland. While we celebrate this commitment, we echo Queensland Conservation Council's sentiments that this must just be the beginning, with the need to reduce our state's emissions as quickly as possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Claude's Block in Good Hands
This month, MINCA (Magnetic Island Nature Care Association) successfully crowdfunded over $400,000 to purchase Claude's Block. This means that the future of this biodiverse block of land will be protected and regenerated for conservation well into the future. Well done MINCA and to everyone who gave generously!
Good news comes from the small but powerful actions of people like you. Thank you for whatever it is that you do to make our world a better place.
Crystal and Tiff
North Queensland Conservation Council