Happy NAIDOC Week! We hope you can get along to an event near you (find Townsville events here) to help mark this important week in the spirit of this year's theme: "Get up! Stand up! Show up!"
The past few weeks have been choc-full of government policy and budget announcements with implications for our environment, so we will continue to do our best to keep you well-informed as things unfold.
We have also been keeping busy out and about, carrying out engagement, education and advocacy (locally and in the southeast) - and there's plenty more of that to come!
We hope that you enjoy this edition of Paperbark as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.
In this edition:
- Funding for National Parks
- Plastics Ban Progresses
- Decarbonising Queensland?
- NQCC Updates:
- What We're Working On
- Eco Fiesta
- Ministerial Roundtable
- Member Event
- Coming up:
- JCU Market Day
- Green Drinks
- Calls to Action:
- Become a Litter Hero
- Waddananggu Celebration: Webinar
- Tell Lockton to say no to Adani
- Reef Restoration & Adaptation Advisory Group
- Low Emissions Agriculture Road Map: Have your say
- Some Good News
- New National Park for FNQ
- Climate Election Report
Funding for National Parks
One of the most exciting announcements to come out of the Queensland budget was $262.5 million for the acquisition and expansion of National Parks (read QCC's media release here). This is something we've called on for some time now, joining the state-wide conservation movement with joint letters like this one and bringing it to the attention of politicians at Ministerial Roundtables and meetings like the one pictured above, with Townsville MP and Resources Minister Scott Stewart.
Plastics Ban Progresses
Plastic-Free July has kicked off with the Qld Government announcement of the newest additions to the Queensland plastics ban, along with their five-year roadmap. Items banned as of September 2023 include:
- helium balloon releases
- plastic-stemmed cotton buds
- polystyrene packing peanuts
- all disposable plastic bags (with new standards introduced for heavy, "reusable" shopping bags)
Progress on this issue is slow going, but we will continue to advocate for the reduction of litter at the source. You can help awareness with your friends and family this month using resources about Plastic Free July.
The Queensland budget contained some positive commitments for nature and the climate, and we applaud these and acknowledge the hard work of many advocacy groups who have pushed for these wins! However... these announcements come alongside a cumulative commitment of $183.1M for maintenance work of existing coal fired power plants.
This, along with the newly released Qld Resources Industry Development Plan, (containing watered-down commitments to decarbonisation), suggest that our state's transition away from fossil fuels is not on track to happen as quickly as needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
We will continue to advocate for stronger ambition across all industries in Qld.
What We're Working On
The nature of our "advocacy" work can sometimes be difficult to communicate, so below is a quick overview of the kinds of things we're currently working on and the groups we're actively involved with.
We are proud to be represented on the Townsville Local Marine Advisory Committee, the Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters, Townsville's Illegal Dumping Committee, Sunwater's Community Reference Group for the raising of Burdekin Falls Dam, Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) and many more!
In collaboration with community members, our member groups, and other organisations, we are working to progress campaigns on; efficient water use/management, climate action, renewables and nature, expansion and better protection of National Parks, litter and plastics, illegal dumping, and an independent EPA for Queensland (just to name a few!).
We're also kept busy with the kinds of events and activities outlined below...
Did you see us at Eco Fiesta?? We had a wonderful time with great engagement, thanks to the support we received from Boomerang Bags and our vibrant volunteers!
Stall visitors of all ages helped to bring our "Sustainability Tree" to life, with suggestions for local environmental initiatives. We also had lots of great chats with locals and posed for photos with some celebrities, like Gardening Australia's Hannah Moloney and The Mental Sistas!
Crystal spent the second week of June in Brisbane, in workshops with other Queensland environment groups and in meetings with Meaghan Scanlon (Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef) and members of the Dept of Environment and Science.
Topics covered during the Ministerial Roundtable included Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Planning & Development, Laws for Biodiversity, Protected Areas and Reef & Water.
As always, the week was filled with valuable learning on all sides, and we look forward to seeing what opportunities lie ahead for collaborations between the Qld Government and newly elected Federal Government.
A few weekends ago, we enjoyed a laid-back members' gathering in the backyard at our Railway Estate office. We shared updates around some current campaigns and the Ministerial Roundtable, while getting to know some of our new members a little better.
Not a member yet? Sign up today! It's quick, easy, and costs as much (or as little) as you wish to contribute.
JCU Market Day
Didn't get a chance to contribute to our Sustainability Tree at Eco Fiesta? Come and see us at JCU's Semester 2 Market Day! You can have a chat, contribute to our tree and pick up a t-shirt or some free Climate Action Now signs!
When: 12-3pm Wednesday 27 July
Where: JCU, Townsville campus
At the last Green Drinks, Diana told us all about Green Caffeen - an initiative to cut down on single-use coffee cups.
This month, we'll be joined by some members of Social Workers for Climate Action, so make sure you come along to learn about them and their activities!
When: 6pm onwards, Friday 22 July
Where: Grill'd (3 Palmer St, South Townsville)
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 available. Get in touch to order yours, or hit us up at one of our events!
* $40 each or $35 for NQCC members *
CALLS TO ACTION
Become a Litter Hero
Interested in volunteering with Tangaroa Blue to help reduce litter at some popular Townsville events?
Email [email protected] to express your interest and join the mailing list to receive updates!
Waddananggu Celebration: Webinar
The Wangan and Jagalingou Cultural Custodians are hosting a webinar on 20 July to share more about the upcoming Waddananggu Celebration, marking One Year of Reoccupation of their homelands, at Adani's mine site.
What: Webinar to share exciting plans for the Waddananggu Celebration!
When: 6:30-7:30pm Wednesday 20 July
Tell Lockton to Say No to Adani
Send a pre-drafted email to Lockton, asking them to commit to not working for Adani’s disastrous coal project.
Reef Restoration & Adaptation Advisory Group
The Stakeholder and Traditional Owner Subprogram of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), that is developing innovative approaches to help the Great Barrier Reef respond to the impacts of climate change, is creating an Advisory Group.
They are looking for a diverse group of enthusiastic regional leaders who can think strategically and creatively about the risks, opportunities, and benefits of reef restoration for Great Barrier Reef communities.
Expressions of Interest for membership are open until 8 July. Further information and the Expression of Interest form can be found through the link below.
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
New National Park for FNQ
Last week, the Qld Government announced that the Tumoulin Forest Reserve, 77km south of Cairns, is to become Queensland's newest National Park! This continues their commitment to acquire and protect areas of high biodiversity value throughout the state.
Climate Advocacy Work: Final Report
Have you wondered how this election became the climate election we so badly needed? The folks as CANA have shared their detailed assessment of the combined impact of climate advocates throughout Australia.
"Building on decades of work... many of CANA’s organisations focussed intensely on engaging with communities in the lead up to the election a month ago. More than 50 groups worked in more than 120 electorates, engaging with candidates and parties, and encouraging voters to think about climate. Thanks to the dozens of organisations and thousands of campaigners that we couldn’t all name in this brief assessment... we made it the climate election."
If you couldn't attend our Townsville Climate Rally, make sure you check out (and share) videos of all of our presenters online!
Thank you for helping us stand up for our climate and nature. We think you're amazing.
Crystal and Tiff
North Queensland Conservation Council