Keep an Eye on the Reef

img_0229_small.jpgKeep an eye on the reef

If you spend time out on the water or by the water’s edge then you should think about downloading the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s mobile app “Eye on the Reef”.

The app is one of the tools that GBRMPA and marine scientists use to learn more about the location of marine creatures. 
It enables scientists and reef managers to better target research and monitoring activities.

Eye on the Reef is a program started in 1997. At that time tourism operators made weekly reports to GBRMPA about the state of the coral reefs they were visiting. 

The program enabled scientists to collect and analyse a much greater volume of data than ever before.
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Slade Point Reserve Beautiful Walk

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Teal St, Slade Point

1.45pm Saturday 30 July 2016

The Mackay Conservation Group is holding its third Beautiful Walk for 2016.

This walk will be held at the Slade Point Reserve and we will meet at the end of Teal Street in Slade Point.

We will guide everyone along the track through Moreton Bay ash forest, weeping paperbarks and grasslands, with the opportunity to learn about bird life, plant species, as well as conservation projects that are ongoing and the establishment of the reserve. Keep an eye out and you might spot a Black-faced monarch or one of the other 130 species of birds that live here. 

Please ensure you bring along a hat, mosquito repellent, a water bottle, as well as your family and friends. Come and explore this hidden gem, we hope to see you there!

You can RSVP here.

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Will you chip in $2 to help us stop Rio Tinto's shonky Blair Athol sale?

Shonky_Rio_Deal.jpgRio Tinto has offered to sell the Blair Athol mine for $1 to a tiny mining company called TerraCom Limited.

Rio Tinto has also agreed to pay TerraCom $80 million in cash if they agree to take over the rehabilitation liability.

Why would Rio Tinto give away a mine and $80 million in cash in exchange for $1? Because Rio Tinto knows that the real cost of cleaning up the mess they have left behind at Blair Athol is more like $200 million to $300 million.

We want to highlight the absurdity of selling a coal mine for $1 by making Rio Tinto a better offer. With your help we can offer Rio Tinto $2,000 or more, to buy the mine and receive the $80 million cash they have offered TerraCom.

Of course our offer would be on the condition that Rio Tinto agrees to pay the full cost of rehabilitation if it exceeds $80 million.

And if Rio Tinto fails to accept our cash offer we will use any donations to help fund our ongoing campaign to ensure that they can’t offload their responsibilities to restore the mine to what it was before mining commenced.

Will you chip in $2 to help us expose Rio Tinto’s corporate tricks?

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Urannah Dam will waste taxpayers money

Urannah_landscapes-25_copy.jpegMackay Conservation Group released a report last week which shows that tens of millions of taxpayer’s dollars will be wasted if the proposed Urannah Dam west of Mackay goes ahead

The report is a review of 17 previous studies into the dam dating back to the 1960s, none of which have provided sufficient evidence to justify a new dam, yet the federal government has recently committed $3 million to an 18th feasibility study of the Urannah Dam proposal.

The report, An Economic Analysis Of The Urannah Dam Project, found that it is most likely that for every $1 spent on the dam, only 75 cents of economic benefit would be returned. Even the most optimistic scenario from previous studies shows that the Urannah Dam would barely break even.

The key findings of the report are:

  • The Urannah dam is a more expensive option to deliver water for irrigation, the Galilee basin, and for the Bowen region;
  • The Urannah dam is a cheaper option to supply water to the Bowen basin, however, there does not appear to be enough additional demand for water supply to warrant construction of another water source in the near future;
  • The Burdekin Falls Dam costs $11.5M per annum less than the proposed Urannah dam at delivering the same economic outcome;
  • The Urannah dam provides a return of $0.75 for every dollar invested assuming full consumption of water by agriculture and mining.
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Healthy Rivers to Reef Info Session

Healthy_Rivers_to_Reef_Partnership_Logo.pngThe Great Barrier Reef is being threatened from many fronts. Climate change, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, disease outbreaks, extreme weather, shipping, ghost nets, rubbish and introduced species are all stressing the reef. The reef is also being stressed by large quantities of nutrients and sediments flowing into its waters from coastal streams.

5489466-3x2-940x627.jpgThe Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership has been formed to identify water quality problems in rivers from Bowen to Hay Point. The partnership aims to ensure that rivers and streams are properly managed to reduce the flow of pollutants into the reef.

On Wednesday 6 July at 6pm we will be hosting an information session about the partnership to introduce the partnership and the most recent report card on our waterways. Di Tarte and Charlie Morgan will explain how the report card has been developed and how the project will proceed in the future.

If you are concerned about the health of the reef and our waterways, please come along to this meeting.

6pm - 7pm Wednesday 6 July 2016

Mackay Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay

RSVP at mackayconservationgroup.org.au/healthy_rivers

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POSTPONED: Slade Point Reserve Beautiful Walk

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SORRY, WE HAVE HAD TO POSTPONE THIS EVENT FOR TWO WEEKS. MORE DETAILS WILL BE POSTED SOON.

The Mackay Conservation Group is holding its third Beautiful Walk for 2016 at Slade Point Reserve.

Slade Point Reserve contains the only coastal dune and wetland systems close to Mackay. Come and explore this hidden gem!

Learn about the conservation history of this special place as we wander through Moreton bay ash forest, weeping paperbarks and grasslands. Keep an eye out and you might spot a Black-faced monarch or one of the other 130 off birds that live here.

This event is open to the public and totally free. 

This walk will be held at the Slade Point Reserve and will take all walkers through the circuit, with informal addresses about bird life, plant species, conservation projects that are ongoing and the establishment of the reserve.

Don't forget your mosquito repellant, walking shoes, sunscreen and sun protection, water, snacks & your friends and family!

July 09, 2016 at 1.45pm - 4pm

Slade Point Reserve, Teal Street, Slade Point

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Your Vote Can Save The Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. It is being threatened by poor water quality from coastal rivers, Crown of Thorns starfish Aiduma_0196-4W.jpgand climate change. 

On top of all those threats, the Mercury reported on Monday that a ship passed through the reef on its way to Brisbane with a crew that didn’t understand how to use its navigation equipment. That could have led to a disaster.

In the past, politicians have mostly dismissed environmentalist’s distress about the condition of the reef. That lack of concern ended last year when UNESCO proposed to declare the World Heritage status of the reef “in danger”.

Since then we have seen significant impacts like dumping of capital dredge spoil in the ocean banned.

This year’s coral bleaching catastrophe has again focussed political attention on the condition of the reef.

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Coal Mine Rehabilitation Campaign

Members of Lock the Gate and the Mackay Conservation Group travelled to central Queensland to get footage of several of the mines in the area in order to evaluate how much rehabilitation has been undertaken at several sites. 

Check out the video at the link below to learn more about the campaign. If you want join and keep up to date with the progress of the campaign by filling in the form at the link below.

http://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/mine_rehab

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Greg Hunt - We have a problem

Great Barrier Reef Reaches Apocalypse Level Three Coral Bleaching Alert 

 

2015 was the hottest year on recordCoral_Bleaching_and_snorkellor.jpg

January 2016 - the hottest January on record

February 2016 - the hottest month ever recorded

In March 2016 we're heading to be the hottest year on record yet again.

In this Olympic year – these are not world records we want to be breaking!

AND our Great Barrier Reef is suffering…..

The Great Barrier Reef, once touted as the world’s best managed and healthiest reef system  in the world, is now facing a coral bleaching apocalypse.  Increased water temperatures brought on by global warming are cooking the northern section of the Reef, consider by scientists to be the most pristine region of the Reef.

Today  the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)  issued a level three coral bleaching alert,  based on wide-spread severe bleaching in the northern section of the reef.  

The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, has talked down the event but he failed to address the scope and severity of the bleaching.

 

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Landclearing Reforms

land_clearing_photo_small.jpgGreenies! Tree huggers! They’re a couple of emotive terms for describing people who care about their local environment and want to see it protected for generations to come.

While some people seem to think that the environmental movement is hell-bent on stopping development and saving every last blade of grass, the reality is a lot different.

It may surprise you to know the types of people who contact the Mackay Conservation Group for help, and the diversity of issues we deal with every week.

Last week we had a call about neighbours polluting waterways with toxic waste, another person was concerned about the impact of coal dust on their health, yet another wanted to know what he could do about unauthorised coastal developments; and this is just to name a few.

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