Conservation group calls for urgent action to prevent future coral bleaching

Media Release

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.

BleachedAcropora_MagneticIsland_March2020_KlaraLindstrom.jpgOver 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.”

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Mackay Regional Council- Candidate Climate Survey Results

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?
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Mackay Climate Petition

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Media Release - Rivers fundraiser exceeds expectations

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.

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Mackay Conservation Group logo

Media Release

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. 

Boy swimming in a poolThe group organised the Swim For Our Rivers swim-a-thon at the Pioneer Pool in North Mackay on Saturday. 

Eight teams participated in the fundraising event, with a total of more than 40 people involved, aged from five to seventy-five. 

Mackay Conservation Group will use the funds to commence a campaign that aims to protect the Urannah Creek, west of Mackay, from a proposed dam. 

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