We have a jam-packed edition of Paperbark for you this month, so we recommend setting aside 15 minutes or so to delve into our updates and take a few quick and easy online actions, such as renewing your membership, registering for an event or signing a petition.
We are currently in the middle of Reconciliation Week, and this year's theme is "More than a word". To help bring this to life, we recommend you check out this practical list of 20 Actions for Reconciliation in 2021.
We hope you enjoy this month's Paperbark!
In this edition:
- NQCC News:
- Membership fee changes
- Ministerial Roundtable
- Climate Strike
- Alligator Creek update
- Water Campaign Update
- Coming Up:
- Our Townsville
- Green Drinks
- Postcard Art Exhibition
- In Other News...
- Pre-budget Assembly with the Deputy Premier
- Evening with the Minister
- #StopAdani and Beyond - Online Roadshow
- Petition: Protect Channel Country from Fracking
- Microplastic Survey Training Workshop
- Some Good News - a wrap up of some of the month's good news stories
General Meeting Outcome
NQCC members were invited to a General Meeting on Wednesday last week to discuss proposed changes to our annual membership fees, and to get to know our committee and staff and learn about our campaign to protect the Burdekin Basin.
After some robust and reasoned discussion among our members, our proposal to entirely remove annual membership fees was amended, to instead offer annual membership on a pay-as-you-wish basis, with the option of no-cost membership.
What does this mean for you?
When purchasing annual membership, you may choose the amount of your membership fee (or a no-cost option). As usual, you will then be invited to make a tax deductible donation or sign up as a monthly donor for as little as $5 a month.
If you are joining as an NQCC member for the first time, your application will need to be endorsed by the management committee at their next meeting, in line with our Rules of Association.
If you support our work, we want you with us!
Earlier this month, NQCC Coordinator Crystal Falknau attended the first Environment Minister Roundtable for 2021. The first of its kind to be held outside of Brisbane, conservation organisations from across the state travelled to Cairns to collaborate with one another and meet with Meaghan Scanlon, Queensland's Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and the Minister for Science and Youth Affairs (RSVP to meet her online this Wednesday here!).
Topics for discussion included biodiversity and protected areas, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and planning, renewable energy, climate action and coal mining and gas. These meetings, which are supported by Queensland Conservation Council, are invaluable for connecting the state-wide conservation movement and ensuring regional issues are given the time and attention they deserve.
School Strike 4 Climate
NQCC staff and members attended the #SchoolStrike4Climate at Jezzine Barracks on Friday 21 May. It was inspiring to hear young students and First Nations people speaking so passionately about their concerns and hopes for our future.
The message was clear - we must unite and stand together as a community to protect our children’s future. This should not be their fight! Thanks to everyone who supported this event and to the young organisers for pulling it together. We are working with the organisers to see how NQCC can help make the next one bigger!
National Parks Update
In last month's Paperbark we mentioned the closure of the Alligator Creek camping ground and directed you to this article from Wildlife Queensland's Townsville Branch, which highlighted some of the issues and concerns relating to the decision.
This month, Crystal met with the Acting Principal Ranger for our region, to discuss this decision and lack of consultation with the conservation sector. We gained valuable insights into the decision-making process, the development plans and the long-term cultural and conservation objectives for the area.
As it stands, the planned outcomes for the Alligator Creek section of Bowling Green Bay National Park appear to align with our cultural and conservation values. Although the small number of campsites will be missed by those who frequented them, we have been assured of the following:
- This section of the National Park will become more accessible for those with a disability or mobility issues, providing these individuals and their families the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature - a privilege many of us take for granted.
- The park will remain open to the public 24 hours a day, allowing for spotlighting and dusk/dawn wildlife spotting.
- The Ranger Station that has long been vacant is hoped to once again be occupied, enhancing the day use visitor experience.
This particular development decision was pushed forward as a Covid recovery project, hence the lack of community awareness or consultation. We have been given assurances that the conservation sector would be consulted with on matters such as this in future, as our National Parks are incredibly close to our hearts.
Water Campaign Update
Running Our Rivers Dry
At the beginning of May, NQCC volunteer and committee member John Connell had an informative letter published in the Townsville Bulletin, outlining the ridiculous scale of the combined water projects proposed for the Burdekin Basin. Just in case you missed it (or don't tend to read The Bulletin), we've uploaded it to our blog for your convenience.
Erosion of Cape Bowling Green
Did you know that Cape Bowling Green is facing a significant and imminent threat? Dr Eric Wolanski - an invaluable volunteer on our Burdekin Basin sub-committee - has carried out a mass of important research around the erosion of Cape Bowling Green, and we've provided a short summary on our blog. You could learn something new today!
NQCC Stall at Our Townsville
This year, our beloved Ecofiesta will not be taking place on World Environment Day weekend as usual. Instead, it will be rolled in with other well-known events to create a large community event called Our Townsville. This event will take place in Andersons Gardens from 9-3 on Sunday 6th June.
Our stall will be in the "Our Environment" section, marked on the map in green. We'd love to see you, so why not swing by and get a photo with us!
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!
Our last Green Drinks was held at Grill'd and we had a ball - we were even visited by a friendly local possum! Next month we'll be mixing things up again and heading over to beautiful Yunbenun Magnetic Island!
Join us from around 5pm onwards on Sunday 13 June at Smugglers Wine Bar in Nelly Bay. Don't forget to bring a friend!
Artists & Volunteers Wanted!
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.
IN OTHER NEWS
Pre-Budget Assembly with the Deputy Premier
Queensland Community Alliance
From 6pm on Monday 31 May, 1000 community leaders will assemble online and in person to share stories and gain commitments from the Queensland Deputy Premier (Steven Miles) on issues that matter to them.
Queensland's conservation movement will be among those calling for real action on climate change, and we would love you to join us to show your support.
Evening with the Minister
Don't forget to register for Wednesday evening's online forum with Meaghan Scanlon, the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs.
Queensland Conservation Council will be asking her to share her commitments on addressing climate change, better ways to reduce and manage waste, and expanding national parks and other protected areas.
This will be a conversation not to be missed, and a critical opportunity to demonstrate to the Minister the love that Queenslanders have for our environment, and all that it provides to us.
Please come along and invite a friend to this online event on Wednesday 2 June, 6.30-7.30pm.
#StopAdani and Beyond - Online Roadshow
The #StopAdani and Beyond Roadshow is your opportunity to get active with one of the most prominent movements in Australia working to end coal and stop the climate crisis. You'll hear from some inspiring speakers, learn about what's happening with Adani's coal mine and our movement's plan to stop the mine, and connect and take action with like-minded people.
Join the action online from 6-7.45pm on Tuesday 8 June.
Protect Channel Country From Fracking
Protect the Bush Alliance
The Queensland Government continues to ignore its commitment to protect the Channel Country. Unconventional gas fracking can still occur on fragile floodplains and wetlands. This will damage vast areas of natural habitat, threatening the survival of millions of birds.
Microplastic Survey Training Workshop
Interested in learning more about microplastics and their impact on us and the environment?
Come and participate in a full-day AUSMAP Practical Training Course which will focus on identifying microplastics and finding effective solutions.
The training will take place from 9-4 on Thursday 12 August at Townsville Sports House in North Ward.
Do you have a story, activity or event to share with your fellow Paperbark readers? Email [email protected]
SOME GOOD NEWS
In the good news this month...
From The Guardian: "A key approval for Adani’s Carmichael coal project has been overturned by the federal court, which ruled the federal government made a “legal error” in the way it assessed and approved plans for the miner to pump 12.5bn litres of water a year from a Queensland river."
From the ABC: "The Australian Federal Court has ruled that Environment Minister Sussan Ley has a legal duty not to cause harm to young people of Australia by exacerbating climate change when approving coal mining projects."
Again, from the ABC: "Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered by a court in the Hague to slash its greenhouse gas emissions and investors have forced Chevron and Exxon Mobil to do more on climate change."
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