On March 28 MCG launched legal action against Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt over his decision to approve the dredging and dumping of dredge spoil for the Abbot Point coal terminal. We had our first day in court on 2nd May, in the Brisbane Federal Court with Judge Dowsett sitting for a 'directions hearing', essentially a chance for all parties to propose timelines.
Over 65 Mackayites gathered for our Beautiful Places Walk off the coast of Shoal Point on Sunday March 30.
The day started with a picnic and then local Morrie Pearson led the group over the sands and towards Little Green Island at low tide. We saw a wonderful array of wildlife including a variety of soft and hard corals (including one affectionately named 'blobby'), crabs, shells and birds.
The event was covered by Channel 7 and the Daily Mercury. The pictures below say it all! For more pictures go to the Mackay Conservation Group facebook page.
An important update on our Beautiful Places walk around Little Green Island!
The weather looks good so we will be going ahead.
The walk itself will not start until 3pm as this is the best time for the tides.
The picnic will start at 12pm, but the walk not until 3pm.
For more information call Moira on 0450 944 114.
MCG launches legal action against Federal Government approval for dredging and dumping in Reef’s waters
Press conference: 10am Monday March 24, outside Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 119 North Quay (cnr Tank Street) Brisbane QLD
Mackay Conservation Group will today commence court proceedings in Brisbane’s Federal Court challenging Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s decision to approve dredging and dumping within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The Mackay Conservation Group is represented by the lawyers at the Environment Defenders’ Office Queensland and supported by thousands of Australians who have donated to fund the action to protect the Reef from the impact of dredging and dumping.
The case will centre on the Federal Government’s decision to approve dredging and dumping for the proposed export coal terminal at Abbot Point, less than 50kms from the Whitsunday Islands. In a novel test for Australia’s environment laws, Mackay Conservation Group will argue that the Minister has failed in his obligation to protect the World Heritage Area.
Ellen Roberts, Co-ordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group said the dredging and dumping is a damaging practice that could ruin the Reef, and the Minister’s decision has to be challenged.
‘The world will be watching this case. The World Heritage Committee has expressed concern over the Australian and Queensland governments’ efforts to protect the Reef, particularly from mega-port development and the associated dredging and dumping.
Did you know there are some fantastic coral reefs just walking distance off the coast of Mackay?
Mackay Conservation Group is inviting you to join us on Sunday 30 March for a walk to Green Island at low tide. On the way we'll be able to see excellent examples of soft and hard corals.
Meet us at the Shoal Point play park at 12 noon. Bring along walking shoes suitable for water, drinking water, hat, sun screen and camera.
This is part of our Beautiful Walks series, encouraging appreciation of Mackay's beautiful natural environment. For more information call the Mackay Conservation Group office on 4953 0808.
It's going to be a big year for the campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef from coal ports. This Thursday we're inviting all new and existing volunteers to a campaign information night and strategy session.
When: Thursday 13 February at 6pm
Where: 156 Wood Street
As you know, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approved the dumping of dredge spoil at Abbot Point and there has been outrage expressed across the country. There are events in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth today about the decision. The campaign for the Reef has gone national and as people who live alongside the GBR our voice is crucial.
Below is a photograph from our event outside the GBRMPA office on January 24th.
We did have this meeting planned for 30 January, but then were struck by Cyclone Dylan!
Some topics for discussion on Thursday:
1. connecting with other groups in our area, such as in the Whitsundays, who are concerned about Abbot Point
2. what is the situation for the Dudgeon Point proposal and what should we be doing about it
3. our coal dust monitoring project
4. volunteer roles such as website updates and facebook, community engagement
The outcome of the meeting will be activities and actions for the next few months!
For more information contact Ellen on 0408 583 694 or Gemma on 0423 044 431.
Galilee Basin State Development Area
The Galilee Basin extends north past Hughenden, south to Charleville and west beyond Winton to Middleton. It covers ~247,000 sq. km. The Queensland government has announced its intention to open up the Galilee Coal Basin and the land in between as a State Development Area. Altogether this looks to affect ~262,000 sq. km.
Ostensibly this is to allow more coordinated planning for coal and gas mining and supporting infrastructure. Up to four rail lines are currently proposed to the coast. It poses a major threat to the viability of the grazing industry in that region as at least 105 properties are affected by the four line proposals with some properties facing a potential two to three lines across their operations. If fully developed there would need to be more than the two coal train lines currently proposed by the Queensland government. The lines cross a large section of flood plains used to fatten cattle following floods, so that is valuable country.
The next MCG Environmental Education series will be Friday Feb 28th at the Cook Theatre CQU Mackay campus from 6-8pm.
Free but RSVP to Ros Lowry at 4953 0808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for catering purposes.
Three short films will be shown. Two are from Lock the Gate and one is from the Environmental health sector. The two Lock the Gate films are directed by two Northern Rivers film makers, who have volunteered most of their time. Please attend and make a donation to help us protect communities at risk.
35 min Undermining Australia. Personal stories of Australian whose lives have been changed forever by coal mining.
35 min Fractured Country About the risks to communities from invasive gasfields.
16 min film The Human Cost of Power is a new short film which explores the health and climate implications
of the massive expansion on coal and gas in Australia.
The film was produced for the Climate and Health Alliance – a coalition of healthcare stakeholders with a common advocacy agenda for action on climate change to protect and promote public health – and the Public Health Association of
Australia (PHAA). PHAA is the principal non-government organisation for public health in Australia.
We held a meeting in Collinsville on 4 February to share our concerns with landholders about Adani's North Galilee Basin Rail. People present at the meeting heard from Fiona Campbell from the Environment Defenders Office about their legal rights, from Patricia Julien about the Environmental Impact Statement and Ellie Smith about Lock the Gate's work with landholders in the Galilee Basin,
The presentation for all three speakers from the evening is available here.