Mackay Conservation Group AGM 2014. An invitation to all interested readers and existing members.
Location: 156 Wood Street, Mackay
It's been a great year for us as we celebrated twenty years at our premises in 156 Wood Street. The Environment Centre was opened in 1994 by Bob Brown. Pictured below is one of MCG's most active members Judy Stewart, preparing props at the Environment Centre for our demonstration at George Christensen's office on Friday. And next year, an even more important date, it is the thirty year anniversary of the Mackay Conservation Group. So much has happened in that time - some great wins and very sad losses but MCG has always stood firm for the environment in this beautiful and rich area.
This year is no exception. It's been a time of growth for the organisation, and we've been at the forefront of some of the most important environmental issues. I look forward to seeing you all at the Mackay Conservation Group Annual General meeting next month for a celebration of the year that was.
Time: 5.30pm, Tuesday 2nd December
Location: 156 Wood Street, Mackay
Follow these links for the agenda for the meeting, and the nomination form. Thanks to Secretary Christine Carlisle for preparing these forms.
Queensland's Government is currently the subject of an unprecedented federal inquiry after a deal between the Palmer United Party, Labor and the Greens. Over the next six months a Senate committee will examine Queensland's use of Commonwealth funds, the administration of the state's judicial system, and questions around development and environmental approvals. You can read the full Terms of Reference here.
The inquiry has a specific focus on approvals for coal and gas projects and provides a unique opportunity to expose the failures of the Qld Government to protect land, water and communities. Even the Queensland government themselves have admitted in an Auditor General's report last year that they do not have the resources, the systems or the data to adequately monitor and regulate resource projects. So there is plenty to talk about.
Are George Christensen and the Federal government tricking the Queensland public while treating Adani to Australia’s grazing land, precious water resources and now the Caley Valley wetlands?
On Friday October 31st around thirty supporters and members of Mackay Conservation Group gathered outside George Christensen’s office to protest Greg Hunt’s decision to fast track the proposal to dump dredge spoil in the Caley Valley wetlands at Abbot Point.
As you can see from our previous posts, Mackay Conservation Group has been working on this issue for years with concern over the impact of port developments on this precious area.
And worse, the Queensland taxpayer is footing the bill for the development, even though it is for private mining companies with ALL of the profits going off shore! Is this a good use of taxpayers funds?
The Queensland government maintains that the coal industry is necessary to fund schools and hospitals in our great State. But what’s the truth?Read more
Hunt fast tracks Abbot Point coal terminal project after pressure from Queensland government
Greg Hunt has today decided that dredging and dumping for the controversial Abbot Point project does not need to go through a full environmental impact assessment.
The Queensland government has a proposal to dredge 1.7 million cubic metres from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and dump the spoil into the adjacent Caley Valley wetlands.
‘The Queensland government wants to start dredging for the Abbot Point coal terminal next March and so has pressured Greg Hunt to fast track the process, stating that it can be assessed quickly on ‘preliminary documentation,’ said Co-ordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group, Ellen Roberts.
As you may have seen in the news, last Friday Jeff Seeney made a formal request to the Federal government for approval to dump dredge spoil on land. This comes after weeks of media speculation and an adjournment to our case until the onshore dumping is resolved.
Patricia Julien and Mackay Conservation Group have been working on the issue of the Caley Valley wetlands for many years now. See for example this story in 2012, when Patricia and Tub Wilson raised concerns about what coal port expansion would mean for the wetlands.
Pictured below: Patricia being interviewed at the wetlands in 2012, and right a pair of painted snipes
Patricia from Mackay Conservation Group is an active part of a national campaign for better air quality standards in Australia. From our friends at Nature Conservation Council of NSW:
Air pollution makes us sick. Stricter standards must be set and enforced to protect the 3,000 Australians who die prematurely from air pollution each year and the many thousands more who suffer ongoing health impacts.
Right now, Australia’s environment ministers are considering new pollution standards that would better protect our most polluted communities and most vulnerable community members.
Have your say by sending an email or submission to the Environment Ministers. Follow this easy online email form here: http://www.nature.org.au/get-involved/take-action/clear-the-air-australia-needs-stricter-air-pollution-standards
If you want to do a more detailed submission, click Read More to be taken to a more detailed submission guide.
Logging has recommenced in Crediton State Forest habitat of the Eungella honeyeater after being stopped thirteen years ago. The Eungella Honeyeater has the smallest range of any Australian bird species. It includes Eungella National Park and the surrounding state forests. It is listed as of medium risk of decline from climate change and logging poses another risk to its food sources, lerps and nectar from flowering eucalyptus species said Patricia Julien Research Analyst with Mackay Conservation Group. It population was estimated in 2013 at 2,500.
The Queensland Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture refused to monitor impacts of logging on the Eungella honeyeater saying the Eungella honeyeater had survived past logging and it is still present. Birdlife Mackay President Daryl Barnes stated members were concerned because it is a popular attraction for birdwatchers and they have noted an apparent decline in its numbers.
Pictures below: the famous Eungella Honeyater, and Patricia from Mackay Conservation Group with Richard and Daryl from Birdlife Mackay seeking out the honeyeater
Last week Mackay Conservation Group celebrated 20 years at 156 Wood Street, which has provided a secure home for the last 20 years.
Did you know that 'melaleuca' is Greek for black/white and refers to the colours of the trees after they've been affected by fire? If you've looked out the window when driving around Mackay you'd probably know that this species of tree is very special to this area and particularly likes the low lying swampy parts.
We had a great day out on September 28th visiting the melaleuca forests - and other vegetation types - in the Slade Point Nature Reserve.
Mackay Conservation Group have been successful in seeking an adjournment in the trial set for the end of October. Time was sought to allow North Queensland Bulk Ports to provide details of suggested plans to switch to an alternate onshore dumping of dredging materials rather than dumping of dredged materials in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Pictured are our lawyers Saul Holt SC (right), and Michael Berkman and Revel Pointon from the Environment Defenders Office.