In this month’s Paperbark we have lots of updates about our campaigns and important details about upcoming events – including our AGM and Hell’s Gate Dam forum next Monday and our annual trivia night.
In this issue: Adani updates – save ARENA wrap – dead dugongs – marine parks – local water security – Boomerang Bags – saving frogs – divestment day – AGM and Hell’s Gate forum – our annual trivia night – Aussie Backyard Bird Count
The State Government introduced new groundwater licencing reforms, which the Townsville Bulletin dismissed as “inventing new problems for Adani”. We wrote a letter to editor to set the record straight, and we were published! Read our letter.
Local councils to our south have been meeting with Adani representatives to discuss subsidies at ratepayers’ expense. Mackay Conservation Group protested the meetings with Mackay Regional Council, and Cherry Muddle from AMCS is meeting with Whitsundays Regional Council to lobby for no handouts to Adani. Our reasoning is simple – this project is not bankable! No Federal or State funding, 14 banks have turned their backs, and the last straw is asking our local councils to prop up the project. NQCC enquired with Townsville City Council if they were in any such discussions, and sent this letter to Mayor Jenny Hill, with nil responses. We have now circulated our letter to all Councillors.
NQCC’s Maree and a volunteer Jordan met with Cathy O’Toole about cuts to ARENA funding. Ms O’Toole happily received a copy of our Senate submission and an open letter, which she said she would take to the Labor caucus. As we know now, ARENA still lives on, albeit with $500 million slashed. We are proud to say we helped ARENA survive, with recommendations from our submission being quoted in the Senate report!
Jordan and Maree at Cathy O'Toole's office
Our contribution to the Senate report
NQCC’s Jacob was interviewed by Channel 7 last Friday after the sad news that four dugongs were recently found dead on Queensland beaches, two being in the Townsville area. We were concerned that investigations weren’t conducted to determine the cause of death, considering that it is estimated that only 600 dugongs remain between Cooktown and Bundaberg. It is paramount to examine what is harming the endangered dugongs to best know how to protect them.
Lodge a marine park submission
Massive sanctuary cutbacks are proposed in crucial hotspots around Australia, including the globally important Coral Sea – the cradle to the Great Barrier Reef and one of the last places on Earth where ocean giants still thrive. As well as butchering our Coral Sea Sanctuary, these plans pander to the oil industry in the Kimberley and Great Australian Bight. They pave the way for destructive trawling in the North, gillnetting in the South, and cut back crucial sanctuary protection at Lord Howe and Bremer Bay – including a Southern Right Whale nursery!
The Government is asking for your feedback. Add your name today to reject the cutbacks and fully restore our National Network of Sanctuaries
Water Security Series
As the Ross Dam levels lower and as we eagerly await the summer wet season, now is a great time to open up a dialogue discussing issues about water in our region. NQCC President Gail Hamilton has written the first part in our three-part series. Read Gail’s water discussion paper here. Part two will explore dam infrastructure options, and part three will be a summary report of information shared by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study at our upcoming AGM and forum. You can RSVP to the AGM and forum event here.
We have established a project group that gets together to make shopping bags from unwanted fabrics. Donations of fabrics, threads, scissors and sewing machines are invited. Once we have about 1000 bags we’ll start with selected retailers to take our bags and encourage shoppers to choose no plastic.
How to be a part of it: Come by the NQCC office (114 Boundary Street, Railway Estate) for our sewing meets, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 3:30pm. We have templates, tools and teachers to get you started! If you or your group prefer to sew at home, please attend one workshop to get training and supplies.
For details contact Maree (4771 6226, [email protected]) or Jeanie (4779 5010, [email protected])
Crowdfunding to save the Corroboree Frogs
Tiffany Kosch has written a guest post on our blog detailing JCU’s One Health Research Group’s efforts to save the Corroboree Frog from extinction. The frogs are critically endangered with only 50 remaining in the wild. Their numbers having been aggressively reduced by the chytrid fungus. The research seeks to determine which genes enable resistance to the fungus, which would allow selective breeding of the frogs to establish self-sustaining, chytrid resistant Corroboree Frog populations. The group is running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds required to perform genetic tests which you can contribute to here.
National Divestment Day
We are partnering with Market Forces to deliver a local event in Townsville for National Divestment Day. Leading into it, we have written this article about what divestment is and how it is effective.
When: Friday 7 October, 9-11 am
Where: meeting at Townsville Bulletin Square
AGM and Hell’s Gate Info Forum
We look forward to seeing you and updating you on our actions for this year and strategic plan for next year. In particular, NQCC are concerned about the proposed Hell’s Gate dam and will host a forum before the AGM to hear some of the issues. Nominations are also invited for committee positions. All are welcome to attend both the AGM and the forum.
When: Monday 10 October, 6 pm
Where: NQCC Office, 114 Boundary Street, Railway Estate
More info and RSVP here.
The NQCC Trivia Night is back again with hilarious challenges, brain tantalising quizzes and ample opportunities to bribe your way to glory. As previous punters will agree, this is our jewel in the crown of our events calendar.
When: Saturday 19 November, 6:30 for 7pm start
Where: QCWA Hall, 134 Denham Street Townsville
Tickets and RSVP here
The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on again this month from 17-23rd October. To get involved all you need is 20 minutes, your favourite outdoor space, and some keen eyesight. You’ll be contributing to a vital pool of information from across the nation that will help us see how Australian birds are faring. More information sign up here. http://aussiebirdcount.org.au/
Volunteer opportunities: social media ambassadors. NQCC is working hard to generate and publish more original content. To help our articles spread far and wide and promote our work, we need your help on Facebook! We have made a ‘social media ambassador’ group for those interested in sharing our stories and news with your friends and expanding the reach that we have. Email Maree to be added.
Let us know what you think! We love hearing from our members about what they enjoyed in Paperbark or ideas for our next one. Get in touch if you want to be a guest contributor for our blog!