Let’s get this straight, habitat loss is the number-one threat to Australia's species

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Brendan Wintle, University of Melbourne and Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University

Earlier this month, Australia’s outgoing Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews told ABC radio that land clearing is not the biggest threat to Australia’s wildlife. His claim caused a stir among Australia’s biodiversity scientists and conservation professionals, who have plenty of evidence to the contrary.

The ecologist Jared Diamond has described an “evil quartet” of threatening processes that drive species to extinction: habitat destruction; overhunting (or overexploitation); the presence of introduced species; and chains of linked ecological changes, including co-extinctions.


Read more: Australia’s species need an independent champion


In modern times we can add two more to this list. The first is catastrophic disease outbreaks, such as the chytrid fungus that has been instrumental in the catastrophic decline or extinction of almost 200 frog species, or the facial tumour disease that still threatens to wipe out Tasmanian devils in the wild.

The second is human-induced climate change, which appears to have caused one extinction in Australian Territories and is predicted to result in many more.

So the evil quartet has now become an evil sextet. It sounds ugly because it is. But does habitat loss through land clearing still top the list? The answer, in short, is yes.

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BIG BOOK SALE!

BIGBOOKSALE_(1).pngThe time has finally come for the Environment Centre to clean out its pre-loved library.

We will be holding a BIG BOOK SALE to help hundreds of our old, rare and collectible books find a new home.  

When: Tuesday the 24th - Saturday the 28th of October (9am - 5pm weekdays & 10am-12pm Saturday)

Where: The Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay

There will books on bird life, marine ecology, soil health, butterflies, plants and forestry, sustainable living, marketing, environmental law and economics, and much MUCH more! 

We will be exchanging books for gold coin donations, so bring a friend, your neighbour and a pocket full of change, prepped and ready to dive into the pages.

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Join us in making a #STOPADANI HUMAN SIGN!

lamberts.jpgOur politicians aren’t getting the message, so it’s time for us to spell it out for them, with giant #StopAdani human signs!

On Saturday 7 October, crowds of people around Australia will be converging on iconic locations to make massive human signs. We will show our government that the people don't want the Adani Carmichael mine and the special treatment Adani is being given.

RSVP for the rally Here! 

We know that governments will do just about anything they can to assist Adani's unviable mine get off the ground. That's why they're planning to pump $1 Billion of taxpayers money into the project using a slush fund.

We have spoken to Mackay people and more than three quarters of them don't want a taxpayer subsidy for the mine.

It's time for people in Mackay to make a public demonstration against the mine. Will you join in our human sign at Lamberts Beach?

We want to make our rally fantastic, so bring your friends, you dog, your neighbours and your Mum & Dad to help make this a huge event.

 

 

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ABC 4 CORNERS EXPOSES ADANI

adani_exposed_final.pngThis week, ABC 4 Corners exposed the web of opaque company structures,  dodgy dealings, environmental vandalism and political protection that surrounds Adani’s operations in India.
 
You can watch the program on IView if you missed it!
 
Adani denies everything, and while they are currently under investigation in India for money laundering, tax evasion and price gouging, allegations similar to these have been investigated in the past and all charges have disappeared before penalties were imposed.
 
Adani is a company that seems to wield undue influence over the police, customs and politicians in India.  We cannot allow this behaviour to infect our political system here.  
Already Adani has been given free water, royalty free coal and wants a $1 billion loan.  We want to save the Great Barrier Reef, and protect our climate.  Our aims are incompatible with Adani in Australia.
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Media Release: Report finds Adani polluted sensitive wetlands

33962498356_dd790646b7_z.jpgMackay Conservation Group says a new Queensland Government report confirms Adani’s coal terminal has polluted the nationally significant Caley Valley wetlands during Cyclone Debbie and shows the company cannot be trusted to operate a mine, rail and port operation in Queensland.

A report commissioned by the Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP), which relied on samples taken four weeks after the cyclone, has found up to 10 per cent of sediment in the wetlands near Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal was actually coal that the company allowed to leave its site. This follows Adani being fined $12,900 for polluting the Reef coast. Adani is currently challenging the fine in court.

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, who visited the contamination site at the invitation of DEHP to observe the contamination first hand, said “It was clear to me that there was coal everywhere we looked when we visited the site a month after Cyclone Debbie. This report confirms those observations and makes clear that Adani is not fit to operate a massive coal project in Queensland,” Mr McCallum said.

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Organisation of the Month - Congratulations BirdLife Mackay!

BirdLife_Mackay_(1).pngActive in the region for 30 years, BirdLife Mackay is the region's primary go to group for local bird lovers and enthusiasts.

With their dedication to creating a brighter future for Australian birds, the BirdLife Mackay team is often found monitoring seasonal changes in bird life and their habitat, as well as migratory and endangered species, including the Eungella Honeyeater - which isn’t found anywhere else in the world. 

The Group will also be participating in the upcoming Eungella Bird Watching and Bushwalking Festival, taking place later this month from September 25th to October 1st. The event will be jam packed with bushwalks, local market stalls, guest lectures, exhibitions and social evenings, and would be a great opportunity to meet other bird admirers.

BirdLife Mackay has monthly outings on the first Sunday of each month, where they take group members to various bird-abundant locations throughout the region, such as Demoleyns Lagoon and Lake Barfield.

Are you a passionate bird lover? Perhaps you would like to meet and engage with people with similar interests? With spring in the air, and migratory birds in full flight, this could be the perfect time to take this passion to a new level and become a member. It’s free!  You can also follow them on Facebook to keep updated with upcoming events and outings, here.

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Stop Adani National Rally

header_kooyong_stop_adani_action.jpgThis is part of a national rally  to send a message to our politicians that we do not want them spending our $1 billion on a destructive mine that will cook the climate and wreck the Reef.  

We will have big banners and signs at the iconic Lamberts beach Lookout and a drone will capture the images.  We will then move from the Lookout to Lamberts Beach and  will then take the rally into town (you will need your cars!) and hang the banners over the Forgan Smith Bridge.  

This needs to be big!! so wear red, bring hat and water, signs if you have some,  and get ready to rally  and feel the people power as we fight for a viable future.  

Meet at the Lamberts Beach Lookout by 9.00am on 7th October and we'll move on from there.   There is a small carpark , but plenty of off road parking at the bottom of the hill.

Please RSVP for this event here

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Join us at Al Gore's new film An Inconvenient Sequel

Inconvenient_Sequel_with_button.jpgAn Inconvenient Sequel is the riveting and rousing follow-up to Al Gore's follow up to An Inconvenient Truth which brought climate change into the heart of popular culture. It shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.

The documentary addresses the progress made to tackle the problem of climate change and Al Gore's global efforts to persuade governmental leaders to invest in renewable energy, culminating in the landmark signing of 2016's Paris Climate Agreement.

Join us at the Mackay City Cinema on Friday 25 August at 9.00pm for a screening of this important movie. Purchase tickets here mackayconservationgroup.org.au/inconvenient

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The lazy person's guide to saving the world

CchJHm8W0AAE0fy.jpgSaving the world isn’t an easy task. However, even the smallest of actions can have a big collective impact.  Recently, the United Nations released an article ‘A Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World’ which serves as a splendid reminder that each and every one of us has the power to make change and contribute to the more efficient world we wish to see. A drop in an ocean but an ocean made of drops nonetheless. The message is clear - change begins with you!

From the comfort of your couch to the comfy cushions at a cafe, below we have included some easy breezy tips and tricks of how you can lighten your ecological footprint in your everyday life. Who knows, maybe you will improve you own well-being — as well as our planet along the way.

 1. Save electricity

Saving electricity saves resources and saves you money. So turn off the light switches, let your hair and clothes dry naturally, turn off your appliances at the switch when you are done. 90 per cent of the energy used when running your washing machine is used to heat water. Choosing to wash only a full load of clothes with cold water is moving in the direction of being more ecologically effective. 

2. Use less water

Here in North Queensland, freshwater isn’t as abundant as our actions may translate, so we need to do what we can to save as much of it as we can. Take short showers, turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth and don’t bother rinsing the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.

3. Move away from plastic

We can’t wait for governments to #banthebag, we need to take responsibility to reduce plastic consumption into our own hands.  Plastic debris ends up in our waterways & in the bellies of our marine life. Mackay neighbours the most beautiful and diverse reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, and we need to do what we can to protect it.  Buy minimally packaged foods. Carry your own water bottle, coffee cup and cutlery and of course remember to take your own bags to the supermarket. 

4. Shop local

Shopping local is thinking global. Supporting local business and growers helps keep local people employed and helps prevent trucks and planes driving far distances. Did you know that every Wednesday morning Mackay’s Greater Whitsunday Market exhibits a variety of only local products and produce? 

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Mackay says No to Adani

Survey shows Mackay residents opposed to Adani

A community survey released today by the Mackay Conservation Group has uncovered overwhelming opposition in Mackay to the Adani Carmichael mine and the special treatment it is receiving from the government.

Almost 80 per cent of Mackay people do not support the $1 billion taxpayer funded loan to Adani. Even greater numbers (86 per cent) oppose the Queensland government giving Adani access to free, unlimited water. Eighty-five per cent of people were also opposed to the royalty free period that the State government has granted to Adani.

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All of the graphs and figures are available here.

You can join the Stop Adani movement right here in Mackay! Find out how you can get involved and help to protect our land, water and air for generations to come!

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