A recent report published in Nature Sustainability provides a thorough examination of the approval process for Adani’s underground water licence. The authors are some of Australia's leading water experts. They examine the evidence from all parties and show that there is still significant uncertainty about the water source of the ancient Doongmabulla Springs and 150 associated wetlands.
The assessment process was political from the start. The federal environment minister's approval came just hours before the government went into caretaker mode for the 2019 election. At the time, the Queensland environment minister commented that the decision "reeks of political interference". The federal minister had come under intense pressure from within the government to approve the water plan even though it wasn't complete. Mackay Conservation Group's concern was that the pre-election federal sign off on the water license was a rushed decision that didn't permit a full examination of the scientific evidence.Read more
After finding some gliders living in a nesting box at his place, Tom Curtis recently pondered whether they had a better life than him. He wondered whether life would be calmer as a possum, without all the worries that Covid-19 and other crazy world events have brought. In response he received a letter from a marsupial living in the big Moreton Bay Ash in his garden.
Thank you for your letter asking to become a glider and live in our tree. This raises a couple of points. Firstly, we don't have any magical powers to turn people into small and incredibly-cute marsupials. If you therefore remain at 65kg, with no gliding membranes between your arms and legs, we think you will struggle to survive launching yourself into space from a 30ft Moreton Bay Ash.
Every day during the Coronavirus epidemic there has been at least one state or national leader holding a news conference outlining the situation and their plans to keep us all safe. Every one of them was flanked by a senior medical expert to lend scientific credibility to their statements. During this crisis, Australians have trusted scientists, yet when it comes to the climate crisis politicians scoff at the scientific evidence.Read more
by Peter McCallum, Coordinator, Mackay Conservation Group
The most intense moments of my life have been witnessing the birth of my children. New life entering the world filled me with love, hope and enormous responsibility.
No parent would intentionally place their child in danger. The opposite is true. Parenting is a process of protecting a new young life, while giving the child the opportunity to learn to live independently.
Maybe that’s why I despair for the future. I have two beautiful grandchildren whose journeys are just beginning. But what sort of world will they inherit from me?Read more
7 May 2020
Mackay Conservation Group has questioned the Queensland Government’s support of a proposal to spend $2.9 billion on Urannah Dam in Central Queensland saying this is not the best use of public funds to enable an economic recovery.
The Urannah Dam Project which was first proposed in the 1960s, was progressed today when the Queensland Coordinator General declared it a new coordinated project.
Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, said “Queensland and Australia are facing an extraordinary crisis, the Queensland Government has proposed to progress another $2.9 billion pipe-dream.Read more
30 April 2020
Today's news that coal mining giant Peabody Energy will be cutting its workforce by ten per cent shows the danger of relying on resource industries according to Mackay Conservation Group.
Peabody Energy says it will lay off 570 staff in Australia and the United States as it grapples with the effects of bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.Read more
24 April 2020
Mackay Conservation Group is mobilising the local community to speak out about climate change and its devastating impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
Over the past five years the Reef has experienced three major coral bleaching events. The most recent coral bleaching happened over the past month and was the most widespread yet seen. Persistent or prolonged bleaching can lead to the death of coral.
Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Professor Terry Hughes, said in a media statement earlier this month “For the first time, severe bleaching has struck all three regions of the Great Barrier Reef – the northern, central and now large parts of the southern sectors.”
Widespread coral reef bleaching is linked to extremely hot sea temperatures caused by climate change. In February sea surface temperatures were the hottest on record.
For the first time ever, many reefs offshore from Mackay suffered from severe bleaching during the 2020 event.
Whitsunday diver instructor, Tony Fontes, said “I am confident that Reef tourism will survive the COVID pandemic. It won’t be easy and many individual operators probably won’t make it.
“But beyond this pandemic, our continued survival is entirely dependent on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, and a healthy Reef is something that we can no longer take for granted.”Read more
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
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