Voting in council elections can be difficult. Even long term residents can find it hard to find candidates that they can confidently say represent their values or policy views.
With this in mind, the Mackay Conservation Group surveyed all 21 candidates running for election in the Mackay Regional Council about their views on key climate change issues.
The survey asked council candidates to share their views on three questions all related to climate change. Candidates were asked to respond by indicating their level of support.
The questions were:
- Do you support Mackay Regional Council declaring a climate emergency?
- Will you support Mackay Regional Council planning for a zero net emissions regional economy by 2050?
- Do you support the diversification of the Mackay region’s economy and a just transition for workers in thermal coal mines?
2 March 2020
Rivers Fundraiser Exceeds Expectations
The threat to wildlife posed by the proposed Urannah Dam has inspired community members to donate more than $20,000 to Mackay Conservation Group over the past six weeks.
Late last year the group began planning a fundraising swim-a-thon, hoping to raise $10,000 for a campaign to highlight the impact Urannah Dam would have on the Irwin's Turtle.
The Swim For Our Rivers fundraiser attracted a lot of community support and more than doubled expectations.
Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, said "donors contributed amounts from $5 to several thousand dollars.
"We were stunned when one person approached us to say that they would match any donation we received in the last week of the campaign, up to $10,000. It was such a pleasant surprise.Read more
23 February 2020
Public Donates $12,000 To Protect Rivers
Members of Mackay Conservation Group have plunged headlong into a campaign to safeguard our rivers.
Community members have donated $12,000 to Mackay Conservation Group’s campaign to protect the region’s rivers from pollution, overuse and dams.
Eight teams participated in the fundraising event, with a total of more than 40 people involved, aged from five to seventy-five.Read more
Adani has been found guilty by a Queensland court for the criminal offence of providing false and misleading information to the Queensland government about land clearing at its mine site in central Queensland. The charge carried a maximum penalty of 2.8 million dollars and up to two years in jail. Adani was only fined $20 000 but the offence reflects badly on their corporate credibility and their claim to be a fit and proper organisation, trusted to conduct major mining operations in Australia.
The conviction of providing false or misleading information to government regulators is a serious offence and Adani's actions undermine the integrity of the system that is supposed to protect communities, vegetation, groundwater, the reef and rivers from pollution and exploitation.
Adani has form on breaking our collective trust and misleading the community about capital work at its mine site, letting coal sludge flow into the Great Barrier Reef coastal waters and polluting the Caley Valley wetlands. Adani continues to mislead about the number of jobs their mine will create.
This conviction is yet another reason why we can't trust Adani with our precious icons like the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Artesian Basin.
Background - ABC reporting link
17 January 2020 Shared from Radio 4MK
Adani Responds To Claims of 'Water Grab'
By Michelle Brewer
Community opposition is growing against Adani’s plan to extract up to 12.5 billion litres per year from the Suttor River in central Queensland according to the Mackay Conservation Group.
The group said, "Hundreds of people have written to the Federal Minister Susan Ley objecting to the federal government’s handling of Adani’s water scheme".
In December the Mackay Conservation Group requested that supporters contact the federal member for environment Susan Ley and ask her to urgently review Adani’s application to extract 12.5 billion litres of fresh water annually from the Suttor River in central Queensland. in response, over 500 community letters have been sent to the minister’s electoral office over the last few weeks.Read more
One of the MCG's community organisers, Emma Barrett, resigned late last year to return to her home in Western Australia. So now we're hoping to find someone who is looking for a challenging new role in 2020 as a community organiser for our Central Queensland coal and climate change campaign.
As a Mackay Conservation Group community organiser you will work as part of a small team to:
- identify, recruit and manage a team of local campaign volunteers according to a plan developed by Mackay Conservation Group;
- contribute to and provide feedback on the campaign plan;
- train and motivate campaign volunteers;
- reliably and consistently record data;
- engage in written and oral communication with members, supporters and the general public, face-to-face and through various print and electronic media;
- maintain parts of the MCG website and social media platforms;
- organise campaign related events
To find out more about the job please click the button below to download the position description.
Federal Government approves Adani water project.
The federal government has approved the North Galilee Water Scheme for the second time in 12 months. The first approval was overturned after a court ruled that the federal environment minister’s office had not properly assessed hundreds of submissions.
The approval will grant the Adani corporation access to up to 12.5 billion litres per year from the Suttor River in central Queensland. This decision makes a mockery of federal environment laws meant to protect rural communities, farmers and the environment”.
The Federal Government has chosen to not apply the water trigger to Adani’s Water project which means there will not be a rigorous assessment of the environmental impacts of the project. Adani will only have to provide "preliminary documents".
Adani has already been fined for polluting coastal wetlands and now they will be allowed to drain billions of litres of precious river water without a proper environmental assessment. Adani can not be trusted to manage our most valuable water resources.
This is yet another free-kick for Adani who have already been gifted an unlimited 60-year groundwater licence and is currently in negotiations for a royalty holiday that is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The water trigger was put in place for exactly this type of project. The government is failing to follow the safeguards that were put in place to protect rural communities, farmers and the environment from water-guzzling coal mining projects.
Our region is in critical drought and the federal government have chosen to grant the Adani coal mine access to billions of litres of precious river water. Adani’s single coal mine has a licence to extract more water from the Suttor River every year than the 122,000 residents of the city of Mackay use annually.
One of Mackay’s unique species is Irwin’s Turtle. Back in 1990 the famous naturalist Steve Irwin and his father Bob were fishing near the Bowen River when Bob spotted an unusual white headed turtle. They caught one, photographed it and returned it to the wild. Later the pair sent the photos to experts for identification. It turned out the turtle they found had never been recorded by scientists.
Irwin’s Turtle is very good at hiding from scientists. It took another three years before a second was found and a proper identification made. The scientists who described the turtle named it Elseya irwini in honour of the pair who first alerted the scientific community to its existence.
Irwin’s Turtle has a very limited range, perhaps only 25 square kilometres in total. It inhabits the Bowen River and tributaries such as Urannah Creek where the water is clean and free flowing. These turtles require well oxygenated water and sandy banks to survive.
Irwin’s Turtle has evolved in isolation for 150 million years. We have known it for less than 30 and we could wipe it out in a decade. Very little is known about Irwin’s Turtle’s life cycle or the extent of its habitat, yet we may send it to extinction by building a dam on Urannah Creek.Read more
Media Release 25/11/2019
Queensland government and Adani royalties deal deadline fast approaching.
On Monday the Mackay Conservation Group handed a petition with more than 1200 signatures to Mackay state MP Julieanne Gilbert calling on the Queensland government to keep their election promise not to use public money to fund Adani’s mega coal mine in central Queensland.
The Queensland government are currently in negotiations to gift the Adani mine a royalty-free holiday that would allow Adani to defer royalty payments to Queensland for up to 10 years. Assuming the mine ever become profitable.
The Mackay conservation group have gathered the petitions from our support in central Queensland and around the country because we are concerned that the Queensland government are on the cusp of subsidising Adani’s Carmichael mine to the tune of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
The agreed deadline for the negotiations is the 30th of November though taxpayers may never know the terms of any agreement as both parties have remained secretive about the talks, citing commercial in confidence.
The previous deadline for negotiations of 30th of September passed without an agreement or an explanation from Adani or the Government but spokesperson for the Mackay Conservation Group Mr Michael Kane said that Adani Australia are so heavily in debt that the company may not have any assets or cash reserves that the Queensland government could accept as collateral for such a massive loan.
“We know that the government is considering a deal that could effectively save or delay Adani paying up to $700 million in royalties.'' Said Mr Kane. “In the last state election, the premier promised that no government funding would be given to Adani and that the Carmichael mine must stack up financially.”
“Any royalty holiday for Adani would break that promise and would amount to an enormous government subsidy or taxpayer-funded loan.”
“Australia’s mineral resources belong to all of us and royalties are the price that every mining company has to pay so that Australian receive a fair return for our non-renewable resources. Why should Adani get special treatment when every other mining company in Australia have to pay their fair share.”
“The Queensland government has already done far too much to support a project that will contribute to the destruction of the Reef and guzzle up to a trillion litres of the ground and river water over the life of the mine.”
“Significant questions have been raised by financial experts about Adani Australia’s financial position. Adani Australia is currently carrying billions of dollars in debt and hasn’t paid any real taxes in Australia since 2011. If the Carmichael project turns out to be unviable or fails, then taxpayers will be left to foot the bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“The fact that Adani is asking for a special Royalty deal highlights that the project does not stack up financially. There isn’t a single financial institution in the world who are prepared to finance Adani’s mine why is the Queensland government even considering it?”
End of release.
For interviews contact
Mackay Conservation Group