Paperbark September 2016

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Paperbark is a monthly e-update of NQCC activities, campaigns, news and events.

Welcome to this month’s issue of Paperbark. We’d like to welcome a new staffer to the NQCC community – Jacob Miller. In the role of community campaigner, Jacob will be organising some big events coming up this year, producing media and written content on our site and improving NQCC’s community outreach. Welcome Jacob!

In this issue: Proposed funding cuts to ARENA – ACF loses court case to Adani – Queenslands climate change action policy – Toxic lead dust from Townsville port – Burdekin Dry Tropics Regional NRM published – Interactive sea level rise modelling launched – Upcoming events – General notices.

News updates

Proposed funding cuts to ARENA

The Federal Parliament last week introduced a bill proposing to strip ARENA of $1.3 billion of its funding. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is a crucial component of Australia’s climate change action and is responsible for driving most of our innovative renewable energy projects. This post explains why ARENA is so important. NQCC has also written a letter to our newly-elected Federal MP Cathy O’Toole, urging her and the Labor Party to support ongoing funding of ARENA. Read our letter. The matter was referred to the Senate Economics Committee, to which we made a submission. The Senate will report back on 13 September. Read our submission to save ARENA.

Maree Dibella interview
Maree Dibella interviewed by WIN TV

ACF loses court case against Adani

The Federal Court investigated whether former Environment Minister Greg Hunt failed to consider the emissions that will be caused by coal exported from the mine and its effect on our obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Although the dismissal was a disappointing outcome, the campaign to halt the Adani Carmichael mine isn’t over. NQCC Coordinator Maree was interviewed by WIN TV, stating our position that the Adani mine should be shelved by the State and Federal Governments, and calling upon the new Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg to reconsider the mine’s approval and choose the Reef over coal – we can’t have both.

Read the media releases from EDO and ACF.

Queensland’s climate change action policy

The Queensland Government recently called for submissions on its discussion paper ‘Advancing Climate Action in Queensland’. We submitted our recommendations for an effective climate policy. Read NQCC’s submission here.

NQCC recommended:

  • legislating climate action through a Climate Change Act or Charter (which will embed emissions reductions targets, climate change mitigation and adaption into all areas of government decision making).
  • A moratorium on all new and expanding thermal coal mines.
  • Establishing a timeline for coal fired power station closures.
  • Halting all coal seam gas projects.
  • Tightening land clearing legislation to rein in emissions coming from the land use, land use change and forestry sector (Queensland currently takes up 90% of Australia’s emissions in that category).
  • Remove fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Develop decentralised, community-based power systems.
  • Improve energy efficiency standards.
  • Increase air pollution and emissions monitoring.

Toxic lead dust from Townsville Port

New data coming from updated monitoring equipment at the Townsville waterfront appears to confirm long-held community concern about heavy metal pollution from the Port of Townsville. The data demonstrates lead pollution higher than the allowable benchmark. NQCC’s representative on the Port Stakeholders Working Group Charlie McColl has written an in-depth piece about the issue. Read Charlie’s article.

Burdekin NRM plan

Burdekin Dry Tropics Regional NRM published

The Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resource Management Plan was released by NQ Dry Tropics recently. It is the only one of its kind in the region and forms the blueprint for how the community can work together to protect and sustainably manage our natural resources for the next 10 years. Read the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Plan here. Read our wrap up article here.

Interactive sea level rise modelling launched.

Coast Adapt in an online coastal climate risk management framework developed by NCCARF to support adaptation to coastal climate change and sea-level rise. It includes effective response options and estimated costs of adaption plans.

Click here to see Townsville. The inundation maps show that the NQCC office in Railway Estate will be inundated, as will be the new stadium. Will your home survive?

Other NQCC news…

Wrap up of Hon Dr Stephen Miles lecture about the Reef and water quality

Vegetation management reforms not passed by Queensland Parliament

NQCC fundraising dinner a success

Upcoming Events

Great Barrier Reef Film Festival

The Great Barrier Reef Film Festival aims to present a range of feature, historical, documentary and short films. Some of these may feature our Reef as a location, it’s flora and fauna, or relate to living on small islands or near the Reef, but it is not limited to this.

When: 9-11 September

Where: Arcadia Village Motel, Magnetic Island

More information available on Facebook and What’s On Townsville.

National Landcare Week

We have made a directory of local, on-ground conservation projects that you might like to volunteer with. Now is as good time as ever to link up with a local group doing great work to restore our natural places!

When: 5-11 September

With the conservation and social justice communities closely linked, we’d like to share the following:

JCU and Amnesty International Townsville Human Rights Lecture

Kon Karapanagiotidas will be presenting a lecture on ‘How to champion human rights from a values based model of action & engagement’ Kon is the founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne.

When: 13 September – More details and RSVP here.

One World – Many Voices’ Human Rights Concert.

‘Aquapella is putting on their annual concert, with $5 of each ticket going to Amnesty and Oxfam. Tickets at the door. More info here.

When: 7pm start, 17 September

Where: Sacred Heart Cathedral

General Notices

Humpybong Flora and Fauna Survey

Our friends at Protect the Bush Alliance are conducting a preliminary flora and fauna survey of threatened species at Humpybong, 40km south of Townsville. Volunteers are being sought to assist; both this initial survey and with ongoing data collection. You can join in for one or multiple days. 4WD access only.

When: Monday 19th to Saturday 24th September

See this flyer for more information.

Email Sheena Gillman or call 0409 268 076 to register your interest.

Wildlife Spotter Citizen Science

Assist researchers by looking for animals in wilderness photos taken by automated cameras around Australia. One project project focusses on the endangered Northern Bettong, only found near Paluma and Mt Zero. Click here to get involved.

Community Landcare Grant applications now open

NQ Dry Tropics is taking applications for up to $10,000 for community groups to deliver on ground works that protect and rehabilitate priority natural areas. Applications close 30 Sept. More information here.

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  • Maree Dibella