Reef campaign meeting

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.

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Galilee Basin State Development Area

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.

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Educational Movie Series

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 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.


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Landholders affected by rail lines

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.

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Congratulations Mackay Conservation Group

Congratulations to you and your friends Ellen for a great job,

Cheers, Pippy

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Profile the Great Barrier Reef!

Here's a great graphic for your Facebook profile! Make sure you change it before GBRMPA makes it's decision on January 31st.

(You can copy it by right clicking)

Displaying don't dump.jpg

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Countdown to Decision Day for the Great Barrier Reef

On the 31st of January the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) will make a decision on whether to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil to be dumped in the Reef’s waters. From around the country GBRMPA has received tens of thousands of letters and emails to their office and thousands of calls to say ‘don’t dump on our reef’.

 Join us this Friday 24th January to let GBRMPA know that you don’t support dumping in the Reef’s waters.

This Friday - one week out from the looming decision - we are taking the community’s message to GBRMPA. In Townsville, a representative from the tourism industry will meet with General Manager Bruce Elliott to present a petition and urge him to refuse the sea-dumping permit for Abbot Point. This is the final stand to show that majority of Australians want dredging and dumping banned in the Reef.

In Mackay we will meet outside the GBRMPA office and make the message clear that we don’t support dumping in the Reef. We are the voice of the Great Barrier Reef and together we can remind GBRMPA it’s their job to protect our international icon.


What: Taking a final stand for our Reef to say no to dumping in the Reef.

Where: 43 River Street (cnr of River and Woods St), Mackay QLD 4740

When: 12 noon this Friday 24th January


Please click here to RSVP:


Lets stand together this Friday and remind GBRMPA it’s their job to protect our international icon.

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Come work at Mackay Conservation Group

Are you passionate about environmental protection? Do you want to empower the local community to achieve positive environmental outcomes?

Mackay Conservation Group has two positions available: Co-ordinator and Community Organiser.

The Co-ordinator is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Mackay Conservation Group, including campaigns, projects, membership, advocacy and fundraising. Click here for a detailed job description and selection criteria for the Co-ordinator position.

The Community Organiser will develop and support a grassroots campaign to oppose the destructive impact of new coal developments, including the proposed coal terminals at Dudgeon Point and Abbot Point, and associated mines and infrastructure.

Click here for a detailed job description and selection criteria for the Community Organiser position.

For more information on either position please contact Christine Carlisle on 0411 554 761.

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MCG protests Abbot Point decision

On Thursday 12 December there was a strong showing from Mackay locals at a protest we organised at the North Queensland Bulk Ports office in Wellington Street, Mackay against the approval of the dredging and terminal construction at Abbot Point, near Bowen. Turning the tables

In an event described by the Daily Mercury as 'dramatic' we threw dredge spoil over some of local marine creatures: dugongs, reef fish and sea turtles. All of these animals will have their habitat affected by the proposed 3 million cubic metre dredging project.

The photo above was taken by ABC Tropical North, and the full story can be seen at their website:

For more information about the Abbot Point coal port expansion:

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Act to Save Bimblebox Nature Reserve

What is Bimblebox?

Bimblebox Nature Refuge is a peaceful 8000 hectare sanctuary in central-west Queensland.

Bimblebox is a wonderful example of remnant semi-arid woodlands with an understorey largely made up of native shrubs and grasses, and is home to a rich diversity of birds, reptiles and other animals.

In May 2011 a flock of endangered Black Throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta) was sighted on Bimblebox, which has been confirmed by Birds Australia.

The Black-throated Finch is a small (up to 12cm), sleek and stocky bird. It has a thick, black bill and a black eye line which makes them appear to be wearing wrap-around sunglasses. They have a pale blue-grey head, cinnamon-brown body, black tail and black bib which extends down to the breast, earning them the nickname Parson Finch.  Photo: Annette and Ray Sutton
The Black-throated Finch is a small (up to 12cm), sleek and stocky bird. It has a thick, black bill and a black eye line which makes them appear to be wearing wrap-around sunglasses. They have a pale blue-grey head, cinnamon-brown body, black tail and black bib which extends down to the breast, earning them the nickname Parson Finch. Photo: Annette and Ray Sutton. Source:

Bimblebox threatened by a plan to build largest open cut mines on earth

The peaceful refuge that is Bimblebox is threatened by a plan by mining billionaire Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal to build the Galilee Coal Project (formerly known as ‘China First’).

The Environmental Impact Statement outlines a proposal to extract 40 mega-tonnes of coal per year.

The coal would be transported on a yet-to-be-built 468km rail line up to Abbot Point and shipped through the Great Barrier Reef on its way to China where it will be burnt for energy generation.

The ambitious and polluting plan has not yet received formal government approval, which means there is a still a chance to stop it.

It is outrageous and absurd that in the 21st Century, with all that we know about Australia’s biodiversity crisis and the threat of climate change, that a protected area rich in biodiversity and with carbon stores intact could be sacrificed for the sake of producing more climate changing coal.

What can you do? 
Contact Greg Hunt

Phone: (02) 6277 2276 or (03) 5979 3188

Check out the Bimblebox Nature Reserve website:

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