Shoal Point - Low Tide Beautiful Walk 2017

IMG_0229_small.jpg23 July 2017, 3pm-5pm

It has been a while since we held a Beautiful Walk so we decided to begin again with one of our favourites, at Shoal Point. We have timed this walk to coincide with a very low tide when all of sandy and rocky foreshore will be exposed.

You'll see lots of amazing creatures such as this feather star. Feather stars are crinoids and related to starfish and sea urchins. They have been described as "the most peaceful and beautiful starfish." It is very pleasing to watch their delicate tentacles wave in the tidal currents as they capture their food.

RSVP here: http://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/shoal_point_beautiful_walk_2017

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Water is life

Stop Adani Mackay and the Mackay Conservation Group joined groups from across Australia in a #waterislife roadside protest last weekend. 

In drought stricken Queensland, water is one of our most precious resources, and the Adani Carmichael mine directly threatens the water sources that thousands of farmers and regional communities rely on. 

With a track record of environmental destruction in India, the Adani company cannot be trusted with our water. 

Water is life - and Mackay locals are going to keep fighting to protect Queensland's water!

If you would like to keep up to date with Stop Adani Mackay, like their Facebook Page or contact Maggie on 0434837774 or by emailing maggie@mackayconservationgroup.org.au 

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Be part of the #WATERISLIFE Mackay Roadside Action!

This weekend people around Australia will be taking part in peaceful roadside actions to demonstrate support for clean water, our most precious resource. Mackay Conservation Group would like to invite you to be part of our local contingent and help us draw attention to the developments and practices that are damaging our water.waterislife.png

When: Saturday July 8th, 10am - 12pm (noon)
Where: Cnr Bruce Hwy & Sams Road.

At present, the Adani Carmichael mine is receiving a lot of heat from environmental groups all across Australia. The proposed mega-mine sits on the largest underground water body in the world, the Great Artesian Basin. If this project goes ahead it will extract and pollute billions of litres of groundwater each year - causing irreversible damage to these groundwater systems and the surrounding farmers and communities in which they vitally depend. This comes at a time when 87% of Queensland is drought declared, the most widespread drought declaration ever recorded in the state.
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Let's ensure we #banthebag

Plastic-bag-ban.jpgThe Queensland Government is calling for submissions on the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017.  This amendment introduces two important initiatives:

Firstly, a statewide container refund scheme; and, secondly, a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags in Queensland

The bill also amends the end of waste framework in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 to ensure better end use of recyclables.

Mackay Conservation Group supports this initiative.

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Today is World Sea Turtle Day!

seaturtle2.jpegToday, we are celebrating World Sea Turtle Day! These beautiful reptiles have nested on parts of the Queensland coast for thousands of years, so of course they deserve their own day dedicated to their magnificence!

Mackay is fortunate enough to have turtle nesting and hatching occurring right on its doorstep. Throughout the region, the main species of sea turtle nesting on the mainland is predominantly the Flatback turtle, observed from Seaforth to Armstrong Beach. The Green and Loggerhead species have also been recorded laying on local beaches, however these observations are in much smaller numbers.

Although, sea turtles have survived in the oceans for over 100 million years, at present, all Marine turtles around the world are recognised as a being of conservation concern. Australia is home to six of the seven species of marine turtles, including the Green, Flatback, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley turtles - all of which are currently classified as either vulnerable or endangered. Additionally, Australia has some of the largest marine turtle nesting areas in the Indo-Pacific region, and has the only nesting population of Flatback turtles in the world, so we urgently need to take care of them.

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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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