Urannah Volunteers Needed

We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with our Urannah Campaign. There are lots of things to do to ensure that Urannah Creek is protected from the crazy dam that has been proposed yet again. Over the past fifty years, the dam has been rejected more than 17 times because it makes no economic sense. Now the federal government has sponsored another feasibility study. We need volunteers to help us ensure this dam does not proceed.

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Robert & Terri Irwin speak about Irwin's Turtle

Robert and Terri Irwin interviewed about the Irwin's Turtle and the dam that will destroy its habitat on MixFM

Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creek

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Steve Irwin's rare and remarkable bum-breathing turtle 'smack bang' on site of proposed Urannah Dam

Indigenous man in a black hat holding and looking at a green turtle with a cream white bill standing in a creekA turtle named after famed naturalist Steve Irwin that has the ability to breathe through its bum may be under threat from the proposed $4 billion Urannah Dam.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-01/urannah-dam-proposal-threat-to-bum-breathing-steve-irwin-turtle

Freshwater species elseya Irwini, or Irwin's turtle, was unknown to science until 1990 when 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin and his father Bob sent photos of a distinctive snapping turtle to the Queensland Museum.

The turtle's known habitat is limited to a 25-kilometre stretch of the Bowen River inland from Mackay.

James Cook University doctorate candidate Jason Schraffer said he was concerned about a significant risk to the isolated population of Irwin's turtles.

"The only known study population is smack bang on the site of the proposed dam," he said.

Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creek

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Stop Adani Phone Jam

In seven weeks some of Adani's insurance expires so they're busy trying to find insurers to cover their dirty coal mine. We have convinced many insurance companies to not cover Adani but we still need to get another nine insurers to rule out support. We can do that by bombarding insurers offices with calls from people who are concerned about the climate damage of opening up the Galilee Basin coalfields.

So let’s ensure those remaining insurer’s phones ring hot with the #StopAdani message!

On Tuesday 6 October we will be meeting at the Mackay Environment Centre and online to learn how to do that and make a couple of calls each. Please RSVP for this event so we can join together to make as many two minute calls as possible. 

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Hunt for the Irwin's Turtle - 29 Sept 2020

When the the Australian continent separated from Gondawana about 180 million years ago, our freshwater turtles began a long journey of evolution distinct from turtles in other parts of the world. A unique species, Irwin's Turtle, evolved in isolation: a pink-nosed turtle that is able to survive for extended periods submerged by extracting oxygen from the water. It lives in the beautiful, crystal-clear waters of Urannah Creek, west of Mackay. 

Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creek

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Urannah Campaign Update

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Mackay Conservation Group’s former coordinator, Ian Sutton, undertook a biological assessment of the Urannah Creek west of Mackay in 2004. He found a hidden valley in almost pristine condition. Ian described a valley without weeds that provided habitat in the form of Bluegum forest and endangered Black Ironbox, with stands on Ironbark on its slopes.

Urannah Creek is the most permanent river in the Burdekin system and supports healthy fish and turtle populations.

Although Urannah is close to several population centres, the topography and the lack of good road access makes it a very remote place. During the dry season four wheel drive vehicles are necessary to access the creek. In wet season the area virtually impassable. The valley is walled in by the ranges on all sides, except for a gap near Mt Cauley where the Broken River exits on its journey westward.

These physical barriers and the joint boundary with Eungella National Park to the south east, plus the lack of any past ‘pasture improvements’ render the area an isolated ‘island’ of virtually pristine natural heritage. Ian described the valley as a secure, almost unique example of pre-European landscape of the area. Those values haven’t changed since 2004. This unique and important area west of the Eungella rainforest is once again under threat, with plans of a massive dam, industrial scale irrigated agriculture and a questionable hydroelectric scheme.

Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creek

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Successful campaign to remove weeds

Many in the Mackay Community would be aware for some years I have been raising awareness and concern regarding the proliferation of weeds in water ways, particularly the lagoon in the Botanic Garden stretching westwards to Racecourse Mill. My concerns are the number of types of invasive weeds above and below surface almost choking each other for existence and totally choking the whole water way, to the detriment of platypus and other aquatic life species.

It is obvious that any neglect of controlling these weeds, they will eventually be transferred by bird life to every creek, dam, waterway in the region, eventually changing the whole ecology of our waterways, and I’m sure not for the better. 

So! After many times “knocking on doors” was very pleasantly surprised to see a major effort of a machine excavator removing the weeds west of the rail overpass.Combined with the weed spraying in the water near the water treatment plant, with biological trials the water way is looking clearer than it has for years.

The extent of weed invasion in surrounding waterways in the region I am now sure is well on the radar of authorities and being monitored, am pleased to see the increased effort to manage the problem.

Graeme Ransley

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COVID-19 recovery is no excuse to gut environment laws

E42F0001-F97D-4317-9E88-FADDD1163442.jpegThere is a good reason that Australia’s system of environmental laws has been developed. Without proper controls, people and the environment are at risk of long term harm.

Queensland has had its fair share of environmental disasters. A good example is the issue of toxic waste.

Prior to laws being enacted to list contaminated land, people who purchased a property in our state had no idea whether the land had been previously used to dump toxic waste.

The most famous case of land contamination in Queensland was at Kingston, south of Brisbane. A gold mine operated in the area for several decades. Cyanide from the mine was disposed around the site. After the mine closed, the local council allowed a waste disposal company to use the mine site to dump oil. It then became a domestic and industrial waste tip.

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World Environment Day - It's time for Nature

ButterflyHere’s a difficult question for you. If there could only be one other species of animal on earth which would you choose? 

Would it be a faithful dog to keep you company? Bees are important, they pollinate so many plants that provide us food. Maybe you’d choose beauty in the form of a cassowary or a magnificent wedge-tailed eagle. It could satisfy you knowing there are dolphins in the ocean. What about termites that dispose of fallen timber? Which one would you choose? It's an impossible question.

This year the United Nations' theme for World Environment Day is Time for Nature. We are all being called on to act to protect our natural world. To defend it from ourselves and to never give up.

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Gautam Adani wants a renewable future but still supports Carmichael Mine

In a blog published last week, Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, says that renewables are fast becoming the cheapest and best source of energy, especially for countries that currently rely on fossil fuel imports. 

He wrote “Today, as COVID19 challenges the fundamental assumptions of our lives, the urgency of a green revolution in the energy sector gains greater importance. While the immediate economic impact may slow us down, we are presented with an opportunity to pause, rethink, and design a new and faster transition to a low carbon future.”

“The adage that renewables are good for the environment, but bad for business is increasingly a thing of the past. Today, we see an accelerating trend where policies facilitated by governments, public awareness and support for action on climate change, and the economies of scale continue to create massive market demand and job creation through renewables while simultaneously addressing the energy security for countries dependent on energy imports.”

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