Welcome to the May edition of Paperbark!
With a new month comes a new acting coordinator. I, Maree, would like to thank Wendy Tubman for her enormous contributions to NQCC over the past years in the position of coordinator. Filling her role is a responsibility I’m not taking lightly and I am diving straight into continuing the good work of NQCC as the voice for the environment.
In this issue: Pollution Free Politics, Vegetation Management, two movie screenings, Eco-Fiesta, a solar farm for Townsville, Adani in court, government attacks environmental groups, Coastcare and more.
Event: Pollution Free Politics, 18 May
Our Government needs to stop subsidising the industry that is destroying our reef! Our Great Barrier Reef has experienced its worst ever recorded bleaching event. The message is clear – we can have coal or we can have a healthy reef.
Townsville will be joining communities up and down the reef coastline to deliver to their Federal MP a “Bleached Coral Cup for outstanding inaction on climate change”. This event fits into a national week of action calling for politicians to support a ban on fossil fuel subsidies and donations from the fossil fuel industry as part of the Pollution Free Politics campaign.
Will you join us?
WHAT: Delivery of bleached coral trophy to MP Ewen Jones
WHEN: Wednesday 18 May, 10am
WHERE: Ewen Jones’ office, Nathan Business Centre, 340 Ross River Road, Cranbrook
Vegetation Management Amendment Bill
NQCC made a submission to the Parliamentary Committee about the Vegetation Management Amendment Bill. Our main concerns were the destruction of habitat for native animals, the impact of soil erosion runoff to the Reef and that tree clearing contributes to climate change by destroying carbon sequestration.
Thank you to everyone in NQCC who also made a submission.
Next up is a public hearing on 18 May 5:30-7:30 pm at Rydges Southbank, Townsville.
Event: NQCC Social and Movie ‘Disobedience’ 13 May
NQCC will be hosting a movie event at HQ NQCC – a chance to meet and mingle with other NQCC members and volunteers in a social setting. ‘Disobedience’ is about what people power is capable of achieving when faced with humanity’s biggest crisis. BYO drinks and camp chairs if you have them – we only have a limited number of seats to provide.
WHEN: 6 pm, 13 May
WHERE: HQ NQCC, 114 Boundary Street, Railway Estate
Event: Movie Screening ‘Racing Extinction’ 29 May
On 29 May, NQCC will be hosting a movie night as a major fundraiser. ‘Racing Extinction’ is a documentary about undercover activists trying to stave off a man-made mass extinction. Tickets are $10. Kids are free. Drinks will be available for purchase.
WHEN: 6 pm (7 pm start), Sunday 29 May
WHERE: Kith and Kin, 123 Ingham Road, West End
Event: EcoFiesta 29 May
NQCC will be participating at this year’s EcoFiesta. Please email me if you have a great idea about what we can do.
WHEN: 9-3 Saturday 29May
WHERE: Queen’s Gardens, Gregory Street, Townsville
Solar Power for Townsville!
Australia’s biggest solar farm is going to be built 80km south of Townsville at Clare. 350,000 panels using single-axis technology will have a capacity of 100 megawatts, with an option to expand by 35 megawatts.
The project will be built, operated and maintained by Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, and Origin Energy will purchase 100% of the farm’s generation. It is expected to be operational in 2017 with an anticipated annual production of 260 gigawatt hours.
A development application for a second major solar project is being considered by Townsville City Council. This project would be on a disused mango farm at The Pinnacles. 135 megawatts of power would be harvested by 450,000 panels at the solar farm, making the most of our 320 days per year of sunshine. Subject to approvals, it is also expected to be operational in 2017. It would provide power to 65,000 Townsville households.
NQCC has written a submission to Townsville City Council in support of this project. You can make a submission up until the end of this week.
Adani taken to court
The Australian Conservation Foundation and Environment Defenders Office have been busy in court this week mounting a legal challenge against the Adani Carmichael mine. Their argument challenged the consistency of the Minister’s approval of Carmichael with the government’s obligation to protect the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Read more.
Attack on Environment Groups
Environmental groups such as NQCC could lose their tax deductibility status for donations unless each year they spend at least a quarter of the money they receive on “environmental remediation works” such as tree plantings. A report was released on 4th May aiming to curtail the activism and advocacy efforts of many environment NGOs. NQCC has made a media release outlining our opposition to the proposed changes, on the basis of the widely recognised fact that prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. We aim to prevent damage to the environment, rather than fix things after the event. However, we respect and applaud the work of other voluntary organisations that do focus on environmental remediation. You can help too.
Helping Geoffrey Bay Coastcare
NQCC has auspiced a project undertaken by Geoffrey Bay Coastcare. “Weeding working bees and planning workshops have occured over the past few months and the project is in the final completion stages. A big thank you to NQCC for auspicing the project and allowing us to focus our efforts into the on ground works” says Tony O’Malley.
NQCC also thanks the volunteers and Coastcare group for their hard work to regenerate our beautiful natural assets, as well as NQ Dry Tropics for providing the Community Landcare Grant funds.
For any further information, email Tony.
World Fish Migration Day 21 May – Ayr
The lower Burdekin has many significant wetlands that are key to good Reef health. On 21 May why not have a nice drive to Ayr and learn about this special region? Click here for more information about this free community event.
Thanking Jesse Lozo
Jesse Lozo volunteers cleaning the NQCC office and has celebrated a six month milestone at NQCC. NQCC is very appreciative of his help. Thanks Jesse!
June Paperbark Submissions
Do you have an interesting story to contribute to Paperbark? NQCC is always keen to receive member submissions on anything related to the environment, nature and conservation. Email us!
Paperbark will arrive in your letterbox in the middle of June if you have already signed up to receive it. If you haven’t, please visit this page to do so.