Position Vacant — Community Organiser

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If you are looking to become central to the campaign to stop Adani and end new coal projects then Mackay Conservation Group wants to employ a Community Organiser. Applications close on Monday.

Full details and a position description are available at www.ethicaljobs.com.au/Members/Mackayconservationgroup/community-organiser---mackay

Mackay is a tropical coastal town with a population of ~ 120,000, situated midway along the Queensland coast, and in the heart of coal country.  

Please consider this position. You will be well supported in the role by those of us already engaged in this 'fight of our times', both locally and as part of a wider movement.

Look forward to hearing from you.  

Applications close 9.00am, 12th June.


Peter

 

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Adani and Qld Government conceal dodgy deal on royalties

As you would have seen in the media, the Qld Government is making dodgy deals with Adani. The new deal on royalties is being kept hidden from the public. QueensladaniQLDGOV.jpeganders are not being told the details of this deal, let alone how much it is going to cost them.

Prior to the 2015 election, the current Qld Government promised that "Adani must ensure its project is viable in an open, competitive marketplace. Labor will not do any secret deals." But yesterday the Qld premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, did just that, she signed a secretive royalties deal that could cost the State hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds, dressed as a ‘loan’ for the first five years of the mine’s operation, in Central Queensland. How much Adani is expected to pay and how much they will actually pay back, is in a realm of uncertainty. Exactly what this deal entails, only Adani and the Qld Government knows.

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Volunteer needed - Casual Cleaner

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Mackay Conservation Group is looking for a casual cleaner to volunteer 1-2 hours per week. The job would entail general cleaning of the Environment Centre. No experience required.

We are looking for someone who has a high attention to detail and is self-directed. This position would provide an opportunity of experience and satisfaction, through providing a community service within a group that focuses on local conservation and environmental protection. Cleaning products will be supplied.

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Coal contaminating our waterways - Why it matters?

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Despite the fact that the Australian coal trade has moved on average 360 million tonnes of coal annually over the past 8 years, there has been very little research into the effects of coal in waterways and the ecosystems they support.

 

Although coal is a naturally occurring mineral, the chemical structure of coal often contains a range of nasty pollutants, including uranium, thorium, arsenic, mercury, lead and other elements that are also toxic at low concentrations.  Although these issues are yet to be examined carefully there is some solid scientific basis for concern of coal chemically polluting our waterways.

 

A major threat posed by coal spills into water bodies is also the physical implications, with the simple presence of coal dust shown to cause ecological harm. Coal contaminated seawater can kill corals and slow down the growth rate of sea grass and fish.  Coastal mangrove systems are also vulnerable with coal cover impairing the ability of the trees to photosynthesize, in turn affecting the food cycle and therefore the populations of various species that engage with these environments.

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Volunteers Needed: Submission on Burdekin Catchment Water Quality & Environmental Values

burdekin-main-report1.jpgWe're looking for a couple of volunteers to develop a submission on a discussion paper on environmental values and water quality guidelines for the Burdekin Catchment.

The Burdekin has the highest average annual volume of outflow into the Great Barrier Reef and as a result makes the largest contribution to the water quality of the reef. This discussion paper looks objectives that must be achieved in order to improve the sustainability of land use and protect the reef from impacts of land based activities.

If you have an interest in this issue then it would be great to hear from you so we can gather together a small team to work on parts of the submission. Training and qualifications aren't a necessary requirement. What we need are people who can read and comprehend a report then provide comments that reflect the environmental values of the community.

The Draft environmental values and water quality guidelines: Burdekin River Basin fresh and estuarine waters discussion paper can be found on the Queensland Government website along with a number of other discussion papers for catchments around Queensland. Submissions are due by the end of June so we need to make a start on this project soon. 

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has offered to provide us with a one hour briefing on the issue on Tuesday 30 May from 3pm to 4pm or Wednesday 31 May from 9am to 10am.

If you are interested in coming to the briefing and/or helping with the submission, please contact Peter McCallum via email peter@mackayconservationgroup.org.au 

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Koalas heading for extinction in SE Qld

Tree clearing is destroying koala habitat so fast in South East Queensland that there may be no koalas left there in a couple of years. Here in Central Queensland trees are being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Sign our petition to call on the state government to enact strict tree clearing laws in urban and rural Queensland.

 

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Solar Makes Sense for Business

business_rooftop_solar.pngSome of our regional businesses have invested in rooftop solar energy and are reaping the rewards. Langfords Hotel, Porters Cannonvale, MacDonald & Murphy are among the businesses that are benefiting from solar installations. 

Most businesses in Mackay use most of their electricity during daylight hours so solar is a great option. Large users of electricity are slugged with an extra tariff, called a demand charge, when they exceed a threshold average consumption per month. By installing solar they can reduce average consumption and avoid the extra tariff. Even small businesses can cut electricity bills to almost zero by installing solar.

It makes real economic sense for all businesses to consider renewable energy. The investment will pay for itself in five or six years and most installations are guaranteed for 20 years. There are many great environmental reasons to consider installing solar power but the economics alone should be enough to convince you. However there is a long way to go to make our businesses ecologically friendly.

Sign our 100% renewable energy petition to Malcolm Turnbull

 

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MCG Supports Mining Jobs

2010_0410063.jpgMackay Conservation Group supports a Queensland mining project worth at least $7.3 billion that has been approved by the state government and the mining companies involved have already committed to. Sound a bit weird? It’s not really, the project is mine rehabilitation. 

The Queensland government currently holds over $7 billion in Financial Assurance to fund the clean-up of mines if mining companies fail. We estimate that that level of funding would easily create 2,000 direct jobs for ten years and many could commence today if rehabilitation was undertaken progressively rather than waiting until mining is completed. The reality is however that mining companies have been delaying mine rehabilitation and, in some cases, have no plan to rehabilitate land at all.

Across Queensland there are 220,000 hectares disturbed by mining operations but only 556 hectares that have been fully rehabilitated. Today, only one twelfth of mined land has had some rehabilitation work done. In 2006 that figure was one third.

The Queensland Government has recently issued two discussion papers on mine rehabilitation. They are the first of six papers that will be released for public comment in coming months. Mackay Conservation Group and Lock the Gate have been working on reforming the mine rehabilitation sector since 2015. We have raised questions about the extent and quality of rehabilitation in public and in private discussions with government, academics and the mining industry. The papers look at the method of funding bonds paid by mining companies and the way that rehabilitation is planned.

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Uncontrolled Tree Clearing Must End

clearing_5.jpgMore than 1 million hectares of bush, forest and trees have likely been cleared since the Newman LNP Government let loose the bulldozers on Queensland. 

In response, organisations including Mackay Conservation Group, WWF-Australia, the Wilderness Society and the Queensland Conservation Council have launched an alliance to end land clearing in the state.

“Queensland is in the midst of an environmental crisis from land clearing,” said Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman.

“The Newman Government gutted land-clearing laws four years ago today but the explosion in land clearing had started beforehand when the LNP announced it would stop enforcing the laws.

“More than 1 million hectares of bush, forest and trees have likely been razed since the Newman LNP let loose the bulldozers on Queensland. Since 2013 nearly 300,000 hectares has been cleared in Queensland every year we have data; an area the size of the Gabba is bulldozed every three minutes.”

Sign our petition to call on the Queensland Government to end uncontrolled tree clearing

Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig said: “This is one million very good reasons to make our land clearing laws much better and more effective in protecting native wildlife.

“Today we are launching an alliance of organisations from across the state united in their efforts to stop this terrible destruction.

“Parliament needs to be given another opportunity to end Campbell Newman’s destructive legacy on land clearing. By strengthening tree clearing laws, we can protect wildlife and bushland and ensure a future for species such as the endangered koala.”

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Look out for the Tawny Coster Butterfly

Tawny_Butterfly_(1).jpgWe are asking members of the community to keep a close eye out for Tawny Coster butterflies (Acraea terpsicore). This is a newly arrived species from Asia - that, as far as we know, has made its way through southern Asia and down to the northern Territory in 2012. It’s anticipated spread across Australia has proved to be very rapid, averaging at more than 350 km per year, with this rate of spread quickening in pace.

In March of this year, they reached the east coast of Australia, including the cities Cairns and Townsville. Simultaneously, heading south and further inland with sightings recorded from Georgetown to Charters Towers and Longreach.  

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