Big conservation news has been breaking this month, with the release of the IPCC's Synthesis Report, big changes to the Safeguard Mechanism and the strengthening of Queensland's environment laws.
While we endeavour to help you keep across all of these big stories, our work remains focussed on what can be done in our beautiful little corner of the world.
Here, we are facing the real conflict between the clean energy rollout and biodiversity protection (brought about by poor planning and assessment processes) and gas developments continue to threaten the natural and cultural values of the Channel Country in our region's southwest. Keep reading for how you can take action on both of these issues!
We always have something planned around the corner, and this month is no different! Saturday 22 April will see us celebrate Earth Day by calling upon our State Government to push forward with an independent EPA for Queensland - we're calling it EPA Day! Pencil it in your calendar and keep an eye on your inbox for updates.
This month we sadly say goodbye to Tiff, who has played a vital role in our organisation for almost two years. She has encouraged and supported me through the ups and downs of this work, and will be sorely missed!
Thanks as always for taking the time to read our updates. I really hope you enjoy this edition of Paperbark!
In this edition:
- NQCC Updates:
- Farewell, Tiff
- Upper Burdekin Windfarm submissions
- Channel Country Townsville event
- In Other News
- Safeguard Mechanism
- IPCC report
- Changes to Qld Environment Laws
After almost two years as the driving force behind NQCC's Community Engagement and Fundraising, Tiffany Bond is sadly leaving us to pursue another career opportunity.
Tiff's dedication to her work shone through, and she represented NQCC with passion and professionalism, making many positive connections with local businesses and community groups along the way.
During her time with us, she ran several memorable fundraising events and made a meaningful contribution to NQCC's community presence and reputation. Her imagination brought us innovations such as the Cool it for Climate fundraiser and our popular Sustainability Tree.
Her passion for conservation runs deep, so expect to see her around the traps! You might even catch her at tonight's Green Drinks at Riverview Tavern if you're coming along.
Crystal and the Management Committee thank Tiff for her contributions to NQCC, and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
Upper Burdekin Wind Farm Submissions Open
Image: a graphic impression of the proposed Upper Burdekin Wind Farm, near Mt Fox
The rapid rollout of renewable energy projects has come, and our planning and assessment processes are currently inadequate to ensure that the transition to clean energy doesn't exacerbate our biodiversity crisis. Several wind projects have been proposed for areas of high biodiversity value in North and Far North Queensland, and their assessment process is quite different to that of other types of development.
The site of Windlab's proposed Upper Burdekin Wind Farm is on habitat known to support threatened/endangered species including koalas, Sharman's rock-wallaby, red goshawk, and the northern greater glider.
We have been engaged with Windlab since very early in the project, and have been bringing you updates via Paperbark for several months now. Just a few weeks ago, their draft Public Environment Report was made available, and this is open for public comment until Monday 3 April.
Our friends at CAFNEC have done a lot of leg work in preparing a highly detailed submission and developing an easy-to-use submission template, which we encourage you to use, if you can, by 5pm Monday.
Stand in Solidarity with Traditional Owners of the Lake Eyre Basin
NQCC is proud to support a special event in Townsville, to hear first-hand from the Traditional Owners and leading experts in ecological and cultural heritage research on the Channel Country, in Queensland’s Lake Eyre Basin.
This event will deep dive into the connections between First Nations cultural heritage and nature conservation - and why both are so important. Join us to learn what makes the Channel Country so special to its Traditional Owners and the local community, and how you can get involved in the fight to protect the great free-flowing desert rivers that sustain this living landscape.
Date: Wednesday 5th April
Time: 4:00 pm arrival for a 4:30pm start; finish 7:00pm
Location: Room 30, Building 14 (ATSIP), James Cook University, Townsville
Light refreshments will be provided following the panel event, courtesy of the JCU Indigenous Education and Research Centre. Please ensure you RSVP!
IN OTHER NEWS
This month, the Synthesis Report of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment was released. It paints a dire picture, and reinforces the importance of Australia's role in reducing emissions. As always, the Climate Council has produced a fantastic explainer that we recommend you check out.
As of yesterday (Thursday), amendments strengthening Australia's Safeguard Mechanism have been passed in both houses. This is big news, because it means that Australia's biggest polluters will have to actively reduce their emissions each year, and not just rely on offsets. It will also likely have ramifications for future planned fossil fuel projects. You can read more about it just about anywhere, including in The Guardian or The Australian.
Qld's Environment Laws Strengthened
On Wednesday, Minister Scanlon announced changes to Queensland's environmental laws, including an "early no" step in the EIS process for project proposals that are unlikely to gain approvals. The changes have come from consultation with conservation groups, agriculture and industry, and we are very pleased to see them.
Want to support our work? Consider donating your containers to our office or to your closest depot! Our ID is C100 283 66. Click here to learn more!
Thank you for helping us to promote and protect North Queensland's environment!
North Queensland Conservation Council