In October Bill Ray, the Anglican Bishop of North Queensland, and Tim Harris, the Catholic Bishop of Townsville, released a joint statement “In the Care of our Common Home: Sister Earth”. Recalling numerous past Christian leaders who have reminded us of our inter-connectedness with all of creation they say, “For Christians, this care for our common home is not an optional or secondary part of our daily living, rather it is “an essential part of our faith”. They go on to say that our dominion over the planet needs to be understood in the sense of “responsible stewardship” especially to future generations.
The Bishops' statement also draws attention to Laudato Si – On Care for our Common Home, the document on the environment released by Pope Francis in June 2015. Laudato Si is not addressed to Catholics or Christians alone but to every person in the world – such is Pope Francis’s concern for a planet where we no longer respect Nature as a shared gift.Read more
Divestment Day 2016 is coming up! Here’s a quick guide to what divestment is, the successes that divestment campaigns have had so far, and what we are doing this year.
Divestment is the opposite of investment. It’s rearranging your finances so that you aren’t supporting the fossil fuel industry through your bank, investments, superannuation or insurance. We have power as consumers to choose financial services products in-line with our strongly held convictions about climate change.Read more
North Queensland Conservation Council’s members and supporters gathered this morning outside a Reef Summit meeting being put on by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, dismayed at news reports this week that half of the Great Barrier Reef may already be dead. (See: Terry Hughes tweet, Dr Russell Reichelt in Monday’s Senate Estimates)
Dozens of concerned locals met at Townsville Bulletin Square to create a moving visual representation of coral mortality.
“This is an unprecedented tragedy. It appears half of the Reef may be dead following back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017” said NQCC Coordinator Maree Dibella.
“Climate change isn’t a future possibility. The climate has already changed by 0.7 degrees and we’ve seen how this small increase has devastated the Reef. It’s absolutely crucial we take every effort to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees if we have any hope of the Reef remaining for the next generation.”
“We need smart and swift action right now. This means no new coal projects. That starts by stopping Adani’s mine. Today we’re calling upon the State Government to rule out cutting a royalties deal with Adani. We are also asking the Federal Government to not hand Adani $1 billion of Australian taxpayers’ money to prop up this otherwise failing project.”
“People at the rally want to see the Reef survive bleaching events and sea temperature rise. We need to protect the near 70,000 jobs that rely on a healthy Reef ecosystem. We want investment in our region for long-term, sustainable jobs, not coal jobs liable to a typical mining boom and bust cycle.”
“DOING BUSINESS WITH ADANI A RISK TO NORTH QUEENSLAND”
North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC) is shocked by a new report that shows that not even the Federal Minister responsible, Senator Matt Canavan, knows where a $1 billion taxpayer-subsidised loan would go to within the Adani group of companies which operate many of their entities in tax havens.Read more
This is a post by outgoing Community Campaigner Jacob Miller.
The Adani Carmichael Project has increasingly benefited from State and Federal Government support while the list of financial institutions distancing themselves the project continues to grow. Supporters of the mine try to justify the project, citing the supposed economic benefits for North Queensland and even go so far as to claim coal from the mine will help India reduce its carbon emissions. This post is going examine and dispel the myths that are being used to prop up the case for the Carmichael project.Read more
Between them, the very low level of Ross Dam, TCC's water restrictions (currently Level 3) and the continuing lack of rain focused unprecedented attention on Townsville's water security from 2015 onwards and particularly from 2016 after the city recorded its driest-ever year in 2015 (2016 was not much better). It seems that most people realise there is no single solution - that we will have to approach the problem on several fronts to fix it - but there is little agreement on priorities.
NQCC published four blog posts under the heading NQCC Water Security Series towards the end of 2016:
- Part 1: Townsville Water Discussion Paper (Gail Hamilton)
- Part 2: Water Wonderland or Pipe Dreams? (Vern Veitch, re Hell's Gate Dam)
- Part 3: Hell’s Gate Dam Forum (Maree Dibella for NQCC)
- Part 4: How will climate change affect Townsville’s water security? (Malcolm Tattersall)
A Case For a Floating Solar Farm in Townsville’s Ross River Dam (Elly Hanrahan) is not nominally part of the series but follows naturally from it.Read more
This, the fourth post in our water security series, began as a response to the first of them, the Townsville Water Discussion Paper, and addresses an issue which none of the first three looked at. Parts 2 and 3 are here and here. This is a guest post by Malcolm Tattersall. Once again, views expressed are the author’s, not those of NQCC.
When I read Gail Hamilton’s post six weeks ago I agreed with nearly all of it but noticed a gap which was potentially important, i.e. the impact of climate change on our water security: the ‘Regional Water Supply Security Assessment’ from the Department of Water and Energy Supply (2014) (pdf here), upon which she relied for her ‘current situation’ section, didn’t consider climate change effects at all.
That seemed quite odd to me since we know that climate change is with us already on a global level – that most of the hottest years on record have occurred this century, that desertification is a key driver of conflicts in the Middle East, and that sea level rise is drowning low-lying islands and threatening major cities around the world. Some of us have also been feeling, on a much more local and personal level, that Townsville has been having weaker Wet seasons and hotter summers than ever before, and I happened to know, because I looked at it recently, that Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) data backs up our feelings.Read more
New laws are being introduced by the Queensland Government to change the way mining companies obtain water licences. This was originally written in the Townsville Bulletin as a “roadblock” for the project, without even naming what the proposed legislation is or about.
NQCC responded with this letter to the editor, but under a different headline (the title of this post) than what was published . Despite gaining the necessary environmental approvals at the State and Federal levels, it is not our position that the project “has the environmental green light”. This is highlighted by our support of continued legal challenges of the environmental approvals not taking into consideration the impact that emissions from burning coal will have on the Reef. We wholly support the Australian Conservation Foundation and Environmental Defenders Office appealing the recent decision of the Federal Court on this matter.Read more
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.Read more
The Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resource Management (NRM) Plan was officially launched on 26th August. 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.