The Queensland Government recently announced a new policy regulating trans-shipping (unloading and reloading at sea) of coal off Queensland including within the Great Barrier Reef. While this looks like increasing protections it breaks a commitment by the Labor Party to not allow trans-shipping in reef waters by making exceptions for "designated ports", like Abbot Point. With a quick turn around date for the proposed regulation NQCC made a submission, available here: Trans-shipping_submission.pdf.
NQCC submission on the Coral Sea Marine Park Draft Management Plan.
On 20 September public comments closed on the federal Department of Environment and Energy’s Draft Management Plan for the Coral Sea. This was an opportunity for NQCC to have its views heard along with groups and individuals from around the country and the full text can be found here.
You may recall, Australia was heralded as a world leader in 2012 when the Marine Park Network and particularly the Coral Sea Marine Park were declared by the Labor Government. The Australian public overwhelmingly supported their declaration. This followed some 15 years of research, advocacy and consultation including some 10 years work by consecutive governments of both major parties. It included campaigning by NGOs in Australia, such as former colleagues of mine at WWF, one of whom received a richly deserved AO in part for her role in the Coral Sea declaration. To see this good work partly unravel is disillusioning. But it is not over yet!Read more
Last Saturday the North Queensland Conservation Council hosted a screening of “Chasing Coral”, a recently released film that documents the disastrous bleaching events that have destroyed large areas of coral reef around the world. Following the film there was a panel discussion featuring Dr John ”Charlie” Veron, Tony Fontes, a tourism operator from Airlie Beach and Dr David Wachenfeld, the Director of Reef Recovery at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.Read more
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CURRENTLY ACTIVE IN NORTH QLD
OTHER REGIONAL CONSERVATION GROUPS
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.”
North Queensland Conservation Council is shocked by the figures revealed in today's Senate Estimates by the head of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Russell Reichelt . The 2016 coral bleaching event resulted in 30% mortality, and the results of the 2017 bleaching event surveys show a further 19% has died.
"Never before has a back-to-back coral bleaching event occurred on the Great Barrier Reef. Climate change isn't a future-tense possibility. It's happening. The climate has changed. It appears half of the Reef is dead" said NQCC Coordinator Maree Dibella.
"We need smart and swift action right now, otherwise we face losing the Reef within one generation. That means no new coal projects, and a rapid transition to renewable energy. This starts with stopping Adani" said Ms Dibella.
The #StopAdani Roadshow returns to Townsville on 27 April after the original event was cancelled due to Cyclone Debbie. Organisers are expecting to the 400 seat theatre at Event Cinema.
“The momentum to Stop Adani just keeps growing. We are excited by how many North Queenslanders are getting behind this event and joining the movement to Stop Adani” says North Queensland Conservation Council coordinator Maree Dibella.
“Communities are putting on film screenings in Port Douglas, Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton. There are over 110 community groups leading campaigns in their towns and suburbs, with 12 just in regional Queensland.Read more
Protecting our ocean
Join us in celebrating the beautiful clear water of the northern tropics and safeguarding it from unnecessary dredging and other activities that muddy our wonderful Cleveland Bay – an ecological hotspot and fundamental to our unique lifestyle.
Let’s make one thing clear. We’re not here to close the Port of Townsville – just to make sure that excessive, damaging and unnecessary growth doesn’t destroy the wonderful marine environment and leisure activities we are privileged to enjoy in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.Read more
Another busy month at NQCC! November will be another eventful month, with Maree attending the Environment Roundtables with other Queensland enviro groups, NQCC hosting an intern, and our unmissable trivia night on the 19th – don’t forget to purchase your tickets!
In this issue: Townsville Port expansion – radioactive contamination at Ben Lomond – Adani ‘critical infrastructure’ – Hell’s Gate Dam forum wrap-up – fisheries reform – Marine Park review – Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – NQCC’s trivia night – EOI for 2017 postcard exhibition.Read more
Click here to add your name to save our local waters from the Port’s muddy plan!
NQCC’S ACTION ON PORT EXPANSION
Media alert for Port forum 24 October “Community gathers about Port expansion plans”
Media release 19 October “The Port’s muddy plan for local waters just got bigger”
Community forum at Magnetic Island RSL 26 October – RSVP here.Read more