Our Water Our Lifeblood

Every which way you look at it - water is life. Every cell of every thing needs water. 

In Queensland we experience water in every form, from the very wet to the very dry but wherever you are, water is life. However, in the twists and turns of the Stop Adani campaign the issue of water is sometimes forgotten. 

Our water is our lifeblood in Queensland and that's why so many people took action at the Walk for Water on the 16th of June and are signing the pledge calling for the cancellation of Adani's water licences

Adani's Carmichael mine will drain at least 270 billion litres of groundwater over the life of the mine - that's four Sydney Harbours! Lock the Gate brought water management expert Tom Crothers to Mackay to explain the impacts that the mine could have on not only local landholders in the Galilee Basin, but to all those who rely on the Great Artesian Basin. 

The drain on Qld water resources is just the beginning. The really concerning part is the lack of research that has been conducted to estimate the likelihood of damage to aquifers, sediment layers and neighbouring springs and therefore the impacts on water resources that regional communities desperately rely on in times of drought. 

That's why a Motion of intent was passed by the crowd, calling on the Qld Government to cancel Adani's Water licence, so that precious regional water resources are protected. 

You can also sign the pledge which will be sent to Premier Palaszczuk and other ministers.

Keep reading to find out more about how Adani's mine threatens Qld's vital water resources.

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The ecological value of bats

The Mackay region is lucky enough to have over 30 bat species call the area home. In the urban areas, the most common bat you’ll see is the Black Flying-Fox (Pteropus alecto), which is a larger species and can be seen in sizable numbers flying in the sky at dusk. Bats are social creatures and form nursery colonies to rear their young.

All bat species are unique and play a crucial role in the ecology of the environment. The majority of bat species eat insects and are appropriately called insectivores. Other bats prefer to eat nectar, pollen, fruit and seeds. These bats are called frugivores. And then there are bats who are omnivores, which eat both insects and fruits.

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We oughta be worried about our water

World Water Day is a day to celebrate a truly precious resource and a day to learn more about how we can protect it. 

This year the group focused on groundwater and in particular the potential impacts of opening up the Galilee Basin to mining. 

Just this week a study was released with information suggesting that Adani's Carmichael mine could threaten the existence of the ecologically and culturally significant Doongmabulla Springs. 

Read more about the report here.

The springs are home to a number of endemic species, that would face extinction if the springs were sucked dry. 

A group of dedicated volunteers waded deep into Adani's murky water licence and the predicted threats to groundwater on World Water Day and will take this information to the wider community. Read on for access to some great information resources. 

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Sign the pledge to cancel Adani's Water Licence

The Adani coal mine puts at risk water resources that are the lifeblood of Central Queensland.

Don’t stand by and watch Adani rob us of life-giving water.

Sign the pledge to the Queensland Premier, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Minister for Environment.

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Submissions on Tree Clearing Laws close this Thursday

On March 8, the Queensland government introduced a bill into the parliament to amend tree clearing laws. The parliament is now asking for submissions about the bill and we only have until midday on Thursday 22 March to make the laws stronger.

To make a submission click here: mackayconservationgroup.org.au/treeclearingsubmission

The most recent government report shows that 400,000 hectares of bushland was destroyed in Queensland during 2015-16. The previous year 300,000 hectares were lost. Over five years, more than one million hectares were bulldozed. That's equivalent to 1000 bulldozers driving side-by-side, destroying forests all the way from the New South Wales border to the tip of Cape York and killing 46 million native animals in their path. 

You can help put an end to this uncontrolled destruction of wildlife habitat by making a submission to the Queensland parliament about the new tree clearing laws. By adding your voice the parliament will know that Queenslanders want strong laws that protect important habitat. 

Make your submission by clicking here: mackayconservationgroup.org.au/treeclearingsubmission

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Everybody Wins!

Is your electrical bill going through the roof?

Are you concerned about carbon emissions and climate change?

You are not alone but together we can create a brighter future. 

Join the community at the Mackay Renewable Energy Forum to learn how to bring down your energy costs and carbon emissions.  Everybody Wins. 

The forum will bring together experts in the field of renewables, who will explain the current and very bright future of renewable energy in Australia.

You can also meet with renewable energy providers who can provide you with the technical details on how to bring your electrical bill down and reduce your carbon emissions.

When: Saturday, April 7, 2018, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Where: Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre

To register for this free event (donations are welcome), go to https://everybodywins.eventbrite.com.au

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Can the ALP oppose Adani and still win seats in regional Qld?

Veteran journalist, Dennis Atkins, wrote in the Courier Mail recently that Bill Shorten's equivocation on Adani could cost his party the next election. He says that there's no doubt that Adani is unpopular with voters and that "even some people in northern Queensland don’t like it." 

A few months ago a dedicated group of volunteers surveyed people at local supermarkets to find out what Mackay residents thought about Adani. More than a few of us were surprised when the results came in. It wasn't a few people who don't like Adani. We found, after interviewing a statistically valid sample of around 250 residents, that:

  • 77.2% opposed the NAIF loan for Adani
  • 86.2% opposed unlimited water licences for Adani
  • 85.4% opposed a royalties holiday for Adani

Another number that came out of the survey was in response to the question “Do you support or oppose new coal mines in Qld?” You would think that in a 'coal town' the number who support new coal mines would be high but we found that only 41.2% support new mines opening. Public opinion up here is not as clear cut as people in Canberra think.

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Get Involved in Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags works to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in the making of Boomerang Bags – community made, using recycled materials. Boomerang Bags provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

By getting involved, you are participating in a global movement, celebrating a grassroots initiative focusing on community building and sustainability.

Sign up here: mackayconservationgroup.org.au/boomerang_bags_signup

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International Women’s Day

Women are the leaders of the environmental movement worldwide. Today we're celebrating International Women's Day and the role that women take in the politics, research and organising that is at the core of our movement.

These are a few of the women who have contributed to our success over the past 30+ years. Thankyou for all your efforts.

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Living with the land

Mackay Conservation Group member Simon Gedda has been living on a grazing property south of Mackay all his life. Over the years his methods of managing the land have changed including his relationship with dingos. Here's his story...

What I see on our land...

We used to saturate our property with baits until I witnessed the harrowing and cruel death of some of my own dogs from 1080. I decided then that it was too risky for our dogs sake and stopped baiting to see what would happen. Well that was 25 years ago and I haven't baited since. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I started to realise the importance of the dingo as an important predator in keeping kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits and pigs in check. Also, feral cats do not like hanging around dingo territory. I have seen dingoes chasing wild pigs through mobs of cattle and picking off the piglets one by one. 

I have observed dingoes mingling with unconcerned cows and calves around dams — week after week when all the natural waters have dried up — and came to the conclusion that if the cows aren't worried about them, then “why should I?”. We do have the odd one killed and a few bitten but in the whole scale of our operation it is minuscule and does not warrant retaliation . 

I feel the reason we don't have an issue with losses is that we are better at keeping the cows in good order so they can feed their calves properly so they are not an easy target, and also the cow has a better chance of protecting them. In fact we lose less calves and have fewer bitten now (some years none) than when we use to bait. I consider this to be a management issue. 

I have had a few of my own dogs killed because they wandered away from the safety of the homestead complex but that is my responsibility to make sure they are safe.

Dingoes actually have their own predators, that being Wedgetail Eagles and Carpet snakes when they are vulnerable in the first few weeks of their lives.

I see dingoes on our property, mainly reds with a few black and tans and to tell you the truth I have never seen a "wild dog". I have a respect for them as a major predator, and my fear would be to see the balance shift to the point where I wake up one day and see 50,000 kangaroos eating all our grass, as I witnessed on a property in Western QLD a few years ago. 

 

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