This month, NQCC and local tree advocates arranged a meeting with the Townsville Mayor and relevant council staff. Crystal and Joanne met with Mayor Jenny Hill, Matt Richardson (Construction, Maintenance and Operations) and Greg Bruce (Environmental Services) to discuss a way forward with a better process for caring for Townsville's trees.Read more
The Office of Australian War Graves
Townsville City Council
Queensland Dept. Environment and Science
On Friday 19 March 2021, two majestic and well loved fig trees (Ficus benjamina) were cut down and removed from Anzac Park, allegedly because they had "outgrown the area" and were "significantly impacting on the infrastructure in the Garden of Remembrance".
These large trees, which attracted birds and provided shade for the Garden of Remembrance, were loved by the people of Townsville.
There was no community consultation process or transparency around why the decision was made, what other solutions were explored, or even which department (or level of government) was responsible for the decision. These trees were public assets and as such, belong to the people, not a government department.
Currently, there is no requirement for the community to be consulted in such matters, despite the impact such a decision can have on a community. We believe that this needs to change.
These trees were significant to the community and enhanced a special, meaningful place. We cannot afford to lose more large, old trees unnecessarily. They attract and protect native wildlife, add to the natural amenity of our surroundings and provide shade, which is crucial in the tropics - particularly in a warming climate.
We cannot return these lost trees, but we request that the process for this kind of decision be changed to provide our community - and all communities - the opportunity to be consulted with regarding the fate of significant trees on public or commonwealth land. We also call for a Tree Register, to ensure the history of our trees is protected for the future.
According to TCC's media release, "Another tree will then be planted in the same area to offset the loss of the two weeping figs". We propose that this is insufficient, and ask that appropriate reparations be made - preferably with community involvement.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we have recently (9 August) secured documentation relating to this decision, courtesy of the Office of Australian War Graves. You can view the full pdf document here.
In Townsville, we marked World Wetlands Day by inviting organisations involved in wetland conservation to share their work with interested members of the community. We are so grateful for the contributions of NQ Dry Tropics, Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare, Wongaloo Conservation Park and the Townsville Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters, whose representatives volunteered their time to share valuable relevant information with us.Read more
We live in one of the most beautiful locations in the world with the iconic Great Barrier Reef Marine Park right on our doorstep, along with many other fragile ecosystems that provide shelter and food for marine animals including many endangered species. Unfortunately these ecosystems and marine animals are under threat not only from the effects of climate change but also from marine debris.Read more
Can you help us fundraise by recycling?
There are two easy ways for you to donate your 10c refund from eligible bottles and cans to NQCC:
- Drop them off at our office, at 114 Boundary St, Railway Estate in the marked garden waste bins (please ensure lids are removed and check here to ensure your containers are eligible for a refund)
- Take them to your closest refund point and quote our ID number: C100 283 66 (This sends your refund directly to our account!)
In November 2018, after some delay (and 41 years after South Australia), Queensland introduced a Container Deposit Scheme, aimed at reducing litter and improving recycling rates.
For NQCC, this introduced itself as an opportunity to help raise community awareness around the benefits of recycling and the dangers of littering (particularly in waterways) while supplementing our fundraising activities.
Following the kind donation of some garden bins by Jenny and Peter from Garden Waste: 1800 888 635, we started our collection, spreading the word throughout our networks. In the first twelve months of the scheme's operation, NQCC raised over $1,400, thanks to the generosity of our supporters!
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 study on the viability of a Floating Solar Farm on the Ross Dam is a guest post by Elly Hanrahan, an intern for the North Queensland Conservation Council. All views expressed are the author's and not necessarily those of the NQCC.
Townsville is currently experiencing its driest 11-month period since records began in 1841. With no action on water security from any level of government, desperate residents have formed the newly created Facebook group called ‘Water For Townsville Action Group’ in order to come up with a plan to secure Townsville’s water supply into the future.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
This is the third part in a four-part series that discusses issues about water in our region. Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here. Part four asks how climate change will affect our region’s water security.
NQCC hosted a forum about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study currently being conducted by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. NQCC was grateful to have the on-hand expertise of Patricia O’Callaghan (TEL CEO), David Lynch (principal economist for the study) and Jon Brodie (waterways expert). Here is what we were told about the dam and the study, plus questions that came from the audience.Read more
This is the second part in a four-part series that discusses issues about water in our region. Read part 1 here. Part three is a summary report of information shared by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study at our forum that was held on 10 October. Part four asks how climate change will affect our region’s water security.
Guest post written by Vern Veitch. All views expressed are the author’s and not the official opinion of NQCC.
With Townsville in a drought and under Level 3 water restrictions, the public are asking a lot of questions. Water falls out of the sky so why does it cost so much? Why don’t we just build another dam? If the dams are on higher ground, then why does water have to be pumped?
Mainstream media in Townsville certainly muddies the waters by publishing half-truths and not publishing all the really important bits of information. Through a concerted media effort, the public has been led to believe that Hell’s Gate is the answer to endless and cheap water.Read more