Paperbark September 2020


You may be wondering why you're reading your September Paperbark in October. The answer is quite simple - with so much happening in the lead-up to our AGM, we thought we'd hold out until the Official Business was over before sending you our monthly update. Apologies for the suspense!

There has been a staggering amount of environmental news to report on over the past several weeks, but as this edition of Paperbark is a little longer than usual (jam-packed with updates, opportunities and other interesting stuff), we'll dive right in. 

In this edition:

  • NQCC News:
    • Our AGM 
    • Annual Report
    • Membership Drive Update
    • Burdekin Basin Seminar
    • Green Drinks
    • Trivia Night announcement
  • Local Activities:
    • Solar Citizens yard signs available
    • GBR Clean-Up: Hinchinbrook Island
    • Save the date: Quiz and Solar Farm Tour
  • Online Activism Opportunities:
    • QCC's Power Up Queensland Vision
    • Townsville Alliance Assembly
    • Victor Steffensen's Cultural Fire Webinar
  • Interesting Things:
    • Research survey: exploring the psychological impacts of climate change
    • Umbrella Studio exhibition: "Final Curtain"
    • Compost with your neighbours through ShareWaste





2020 Annual General Meeting

We were joined by 22 members at our AGM on the last night of September. The evening went very smoothly, with perfect weather and some friendly bats for company. Highlights included reports from our President, Staff and various sub-committees. 

All Committee positions were uncontested, and we are thrilled to announce the following as members of the NQCC 2020/21 Management Committee:

Peter Hanley (President)
Chris Pam (Vice President)
Alastair Birtles (Vice President)
Tash Henderson (Treasurer)
Tiffany Bond (Secretary)
Cam Leitch (Ordinary Member)
Linda Davis (Ordinary Member)
John Connell (Ordinary Member)
Matthew Garbutt (Ordinary Member)

With a strong and passionate Management Committee and two dedicated staff members, our future looks particularly bright! We'd like to give a special welcome to new Committee members Tiffany Bond and Matthew Garbutt and we'd like to thank Alastair, Chris, Tash and Tiffany for stepping into office bearing roles.

We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of Cam Leitch as our dedicated Treasurer for the past two years and David Kault for his contribution to the Committee over the past twelve months.

Introducing our 2019-20 Annual Report...

2019-20 Annual Report

At our AGM we also tabled our 2019-20 Annual Report, which is available online. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed to our activities over the last financial year. Although the second half of 2019-20 included a global pandemic and change in staff, we managed to advocate for National Parks, make important submissions and engage and empower our community through events and online training. 

Membership Drive Update

For the past few months, we've been putting the call out to grow our membership, and we've had a terrific response! Our membership has grown over the past few years, with new members making up a significant portion. This year we reached a total of 162 members, and we would like to give a very special welcome to our 34 new members and our five members who this year committed to Life Membership!

Thank you to everyone who renewed their membership, referred a friend, signed up a family member or shared our call outs on social media - you're all legends! At our AGM we announced the winner of our $50 Mary Who Bookshop voucher - Penelope Sheridan took away the prize, having recruited 10 new members! Thanks Pen!

Burdekin seminar audience

Burdekin Basin Seminar

A Seminar exploring the threats and long-term health of the Burdekin Basin was held on Monday 14 September and was attended by over 40 participants, including a wide range of experts, decision-makers and stakeholders.

Each speaker delivered a presentation of strong scientific rigor, followed by clear areas that need our attention. They provided an overview of the whole Basin, the processes at play and issues that need attention in the short term, particularly when considering the numerous development proposals for the river system. Some of the key issues explored were:

  • Turbidity in the river caused by dams, and the flow-on effects to aquatic ecosystems and the Great Barrier Reef;
  • Rising of the water table in the Lower Burdekin; and
  • Erosion of Cape Bowling Green. 

The scope of issues covered demonstrated the importance of an integrated management approach for the whole of the Burdekin Basin. 

We are seeking to have the presentations made available and are making a transcript from our recordings, with the assistance of volunteers. We will be providing information and updates as they become available, so watch this space. 

Green Drinks poster

Green Drinks!

Townsville's Green Drinks is an informal, monthly social event for people who care about conservation, sustainability and all things environmental! It is an opportunity for networking, creativity and thought-sharing on environmental issues and solutions. Green Drinks are agenda-free, non-politically aligned and everyone is welcome! 

Whether you're new to the environmental movement, new to town, or simply looking for opportunities to meet new people, this is a great event to come together with like-minded Townsville locals!

What: An informal networking event
When: 6pm onwards, Friday 9 October
Where: The Commonwealth Hotel in South Townsville



Trivia Night: Save the Date!

Trivia 2020 is going to look a little different to previous years, but we're keen for it to go ahead. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, numbers will be strictly limited, so be sure to add the date to your calendar and book your tickets as soon as they become available! In the meantime, if you think you'd enjoy volunteering on the night, let us know using the link below.

What: Annual Fundraising Trivia Night
When: 6pm Friday 13 November
Where: CWA Hall, Denham St (TBC)


Solar Citizens Renewable Manufacturing Info Night

Solar Citizens Yard Signs

Solar Citizens are continuing their work in Townsville to change the conversation about clean energy and share the message that renewable energy is already powering thousands of jobs.

Last month they hosted a Renewable Manufacturing Information Night to discuss the huge industry and employment opportunities knocking on the door of regional Queensland – including a share in 25,000 long-term jobs that could be created across regional Australia if a ‘green steel’ industry got up and running.

To call on all sides of politics to up their renewable energy policy ambition before the state election, Solar Citizens are encouraging households and businesses to host a yard sign saying, ‘I support more clean energy to keep powering jobs’. 

GBR Clean up banner

Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up: Hinchinbrook Island

The Tangaroa Blue Foundation, through the ReefClean Project, is calling on citizen scientists, schools, community groups, local governments, and all ocean lovers to participate in the GBR Clean-Up throughout the month of October.

A number of launch events will be held across the GBR region, including at Harbour Beach (Mackay), Alva Beach (Ayr), Hinchinbrook Island, Innes Park (Bundaberg) and Farnborough Beach (Yeppoon). The program also invites groups to adopt and register their own sites to be cleaned throughout the month.

Alva Beach cleanup

NQCC Management Committee members Tiff Bond and John Connell pitch in at Alva Beach

From the 8th-11th of October, Tangaroa Blue will be heading out to Hinchinbrook Island. Volunteers can either choose to camp on Goold Island for the whole trip (limited places), or catch the boat from Cardwell for a day trip on Saturday or Sunday. The boat is free and lunch is provided to all volunteers!

All debris collected at the clean-ups will be sorted and entered into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. This information will help us track litter to its source and prevent it from entering our oceans in the first place. To register, follow the link below or email [email protected].

What: Clean-up event
When: Thursday 8 - Sunday 11 October
Where: Ramsay Bay, Hinchinbrook Island

Save the Date:
Climate and Renewables Quiz & Ross River Solar Farm Bus Tour

You are invited to join Uncle Rusty Butler and Dr Bill Laing (Climate & Renewables Analyst) for a fun and educational Climate & Renewables Quiz, followed by a guided bus tour of the Ross River Solar Farm. 

  • Quiz prizes to be won
  • Coffee Dominion van onsite
  • See a Tesla electric car up close
  • Renewables demonstration van
  • Solar Farm tour guided by a solar engineer

Date: Sunday 15 November
Where: JCU Daycare (outdoors)

What: Climate and Renewables Quiz
When: 1-3pm
Cost: Free or by donation

What: Bus Tour of Ross River Solar Farm
When: 3.30-5pm
Cost: $10 pp

For more information contact Bill Laing on 0439 891 452 or email [email protected]. Pay on arrival.


QCC's Power Up Queensland Vision

Queensland Conservation Council would like to share their vision to power up Queensland with 100% renewable energy!

QCC has commissioned two Australian energy system experts to provide possible scenarios for 100% renewable energy in Queensland. Join the webinar to learn more about these scenarios and how Queensland can become 100% renewable.

What: Renewable Queensland Vision webinar
When: 6pm, Thursday 8 October

Townsville Alliance Assembly

"An amazing experience of democracy in action!" 

That is how one participant described the online Assembly with the Premier and Opposition Leader held on 14 September, organised by the Queensland Community Alliance (QCA).

Over the past six months, members of the QCA developed the Maroonprint for Queensland reconstruction which consists of a number of policy commitments grouped under seven broad headings. On 14 September both Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington joined the online Assembly which was attended by more than 900 participants representing community groups, unions and religious communities. Together we negotiated responses to the policy commitments from both leaders.

The exciting news is that Townsville will have its own Election Assembly on Wednesday 14 October. This will be our opportunity to negotiate with candidates in the upcoming State election. Visit QCA's website for more information on the Townsville Assembly and the Maroonprint proposals.

What: Online assembly
Who: MPs and major party candidates for Townsville, Mundingburra, Thuringowa and Hinchinbrook
When: 7-8.15pm, Wednesday 14 October


Victor Steffensen

Victor Steffensen: Cultural Fire Webinar

With the scars from this year's catastrophic fire season fresh in our memories and on the landscape, join Cultural Fire Practitioner Victor Steffensen as he explores the role of cultural burning in the landscape and the future for our nation's fire management moving forward. He will be joined by Barry Hunter, to discuss the role of Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers in fire management.

What: Ticketed webinar
When: 9.30-11am, Wednesday 28 October
Cost: $55


Eco-anxiety: Exploring the Psychological Impacts of Climate Change

Teaghan Hogg is a PhD (Clinical Psychology) candidate at the University of Canberra and is conducting research on the psychological impacts of climate change via an online survey, and she'd appreciate your contribution.

This research seeks to better understand individual experiences of anxiety relating to climate change and other environmental problems (e.g., global warming, ecological degradation and species extinction). If you are 18 years or older you are eligible to participate in this 20-minute online survey. To say thank you, participants who complete the survey can enter the draw to win one of five $20 pre-paid visa vouchers. Participation is completely voluntary and you may withdraw from the study at any point. Data is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Canberra (project number 4483).

Reef Rambler from Final Curtain

Don’t Miss "Final Curtain"

Final Curtain” is the art exhibition currently on display at Umbrella Studio of Contemporary Arts. It is an exciting collaboration between local artist and long-time NQCC member Marion Gaemers and Cairns-based artist Lynnette Griffiths. The exhibition investigates the line between rightful and illegal sea dumping, menace and harmlessness, environmental change, and makes statements about life in rapidly accelerating times of change.

The impact of climate change, loss of habitat and destruction of marine environments is of particular concerns to both artists. "The amount of plastic rubbish along the coast is increasing at a huge rate" says Lynette. "I’m horrified that much of it is permanent".

"Final Curtain" can be viewed at the Umbrella Studio at 408 Flinders Street (beside Mary Who) from 2 October to 15 November. See the Umbrella Facebook page for opening hours.

ShareWaste image
Give Your Waste a Second Chance with ShareWaste

ShareWaste connects people who wish to recycle their kitchen scraps with their neighbours who are already composting, worm-farming or keep chickens. Now you can divert waste from landfill while getting to know the people around you! ShareWaste connects people to recycle their organic waste, make more soil and grow produce. They bring together hosts (who receive organic waste) with donors (who donate their organic waste) to process kitchen scraps into new soil.

Thank you for all that you do for our environment.

Yours naturally,

The NQCC team

Registered Charity tickNQCC is a registered charity. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.

Donate today!

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  • Crystal Falknau