EcoPress October 2018

October 2018

Stop Adani Meeting
Thursday 11 Oct 5.30pm
Volunteers Meeting
Tuesday 16 Oct 6.30pm
Beautiful Walk
Sunday 21 Oct 8.30am
Our next Stop Adani meeting will be on Thursday 11 October. We'll be celebrating the success of our recent doorknock and planning new activities for the upcoming crucial weeks in our campaign to keep coal in the ground.

The Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay

Peter Rosier will present a talk on the Tragedy of the Commons. Some people are permitted to treat the environment as a dumping ground for the wastes of our industrial society, the worse things are for us all. Afterwards we'll hear about the current situation with Great Barrier Reef water quality and government responses.

The Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay

 

 

Emma Barrett has another fantastic treat in store for us in less than two weeks. This month we're visiting the shorebirds that have migrated all the way from Siberia to overwinter on Mackay's sunny beaches. This annual migration is a very special part of living in Mackay so come along to our Beautiful Walk and learn about our precious wildlife.

The Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay

Shorebirds & waders at Shellgrit Creek

The waders are almost back on Mackay's shores and we're going to welcome them in true MCG fashion with a Beautiful Walk! Each year, these little shorebirds travel long distances between Australia and the northern hemisphere, chasing the warmer weather. Some waders fly from countries as far away as Japan, China, Siberia and Alaska. After their arduous journey to Mackay, the waders spend the next 6 months resting and feeding on our coasts. We're excited to welcome the new arrivals and would love you to join us!

Guest speakers from Birdlife Mackay will be on hand to identify bird species and tell us more about their behaviour and ecology. It's a great opportunity to get outdoors and discover the nature at our doorstep with other like-minded people.
Please wear enclosed shoes and appropriate clothing. Don't forget your water bottle, sunscreen, hat and binoculars!

RSVP your place today, we will book out soon. 

 

 

We knocked a few blocks

Clipboards in hand, our crew is about to hit the streetsLast weekend our volunteers began a campaign that will put an end to the Adani Carmichael mine once and for all and will prevent any coal mines being opened in the Galilee Basin.

Volunteers from our #StopAdani group undertook our first door-knock in Mackay, visiting around 80 houses in an hour. We spoke to local residents and found them to be uniformly welcoming and very thoughtful about the issues we raised. We also found that Mackay people are almost unanimous in their opposition being granted free and unlimited access to groundwater, especially in this time of drought when so many people inland are struggling. The vast majority want our local politicians to oppose Adani being granted access to 12.5 billion litres of river water each year. 

This week we learned that Adani has been given another special water deal by the Queensland Government when news broke that Adani has been granted a reprieve from paying their water licence. This is yet another example of the government bending over backwards to ensure that Adani is given everything it wants. 

Our door-knocking campaign enables us to reach people that Adani — even with its billions of dollars in profits — can't do. We had many very meaningful conversations with members of the Mackay community and they told us why they think that its important to protect water in our arid continent. People are concerned that we are giving away our priceless water that will sustain generations to come so that a billionaire can become even richer. 

Around Australia over 80 teams of volunteers door-knocked their suburbs and towns. It's clear that all those communities are against this mine and our politicians are out of step with public opinion. So, we are going to ramp up this door-knocking effort over the next six months so that politicians know the strength of community feeling on this issue.

If you would like to join a door-knocking team please email maggie@mackayconservationgroup.org.au. You can also find out more about the campaign by attending a Stop Adani meeting at the Environment Centre, the next one is Thursday 11 October at 5.30pm.

 

Grab a Defend Our Water fence sign

Waving Defend Our Water signs on Sydney StWe have abut 100 Defend Our Water: Not One Drop For Adani fence signs to put up around the city. If you live in Mackay and would like one, please let us know. They are available to pick up from the Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay. We want to see signs all over the city to show that people are fed up with the special deals that Adani is getting on water. To order yours please click on the link below:

Shark Nets Still Killing Marine Life

baby whale caught in shark net on Gold CoastTwo shark incidents in the Whitsundays in 24 hours led to calls by local politicians, especially George Christensen and Jason Costigan, to call for a shark cull. The Queensland Government responded by installing baited hooks on drum-lines to catch any shark in the vicinity of Cid Harbour. 

Public opinion ran hot against this hysterical response from political representatives. Within a week the drum-lines were removed and sharks are once again free to enjoy the marine environment in the Whitsundays. However things are different in Mackay. 

Several of Mackay's beaches have drum-lines and shark nets installed, in what is an unscientific program aimed at reassuring the public that the government is doing something to keep them safe from a problem that largely doesn't exist. 

The drum-lines and nets used in the shark control program at Mackay's beaches catch many non-target species, including critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles, Green Sawfish and Grey Nurse Sharks. Yesterday many news outlets around the country reported on a baby whale caught in a shark net at a Gold Coast beach. Around 42% of the marine animals killed by nets and drum-lines at our beaches are non-target species. The Queensland Government response has been to propose new laws that would exclude people from approaching shark nets and drum-lines so they can't take photos of marine creatures caught up in them. 

It's time we stopped killing any marine creatures including sharks. You can send an email to our state MPs by clicking on the link below. We must make them aware of the strong public outrage at killing marine animals that are doing no harm.

It's that time of year again

Run Away, it's the AGM!Yes, it's time to put on your running shoes and head for the hills ... we're holding our annual general meeting in November!

The annual general meeting is the best time to step forward and take on a role in the organisation. Although we have a very strong committee, some members have been on the board for many years (or decades) and are looking to step back, so we're hoping that you may come forward and offer your time to help us manage this vibrant and engaging little organisation up here in North Queensland.

We're all across modern technology, so you don't have to be living in Mackay to take part in our monthly management meetings. It does help to be in Mackay if you want to take an active role in the day to day happenings at the environment centre.

If you think that you have some skills that would benefit Mackay Conservation Group, please contact Peter McCallum by email peter@mackayconservationgroup.org.au. The AGM will be held on Tuesday 13 November at 6.30pm at the Environment Centre, 156 Wood St Mackay.

More details will be sent to members shortly. 

 

Au revior Maggie

Maggie MckeownMaggie Mckeown came to work with Mackay Conservation Group on the Stop Adani campaign in July last year. She was already a person with a passion for the environment who saw climate change as the biggest challenge faced by humanity and all the other life we share our unique planet with. She had been a passionate volunteer with Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping before applying for a job with MCG. 

Maggie has been a powerhouse since she arrived. Her first task was to meet with a sceptical band of Stop Adani volunteers and explain how she could guide and support them on their quest to defeat one of the worlds biggest companies from opening one of the worlds biggest coal mines. She was taking on a big challenge.

Since then Maggie has been working tirelessly, organising events, arranging media interviews, hitting the phones to turn people out, writing submissions and all the other things that have to be done to win a campaign. And now she's leaving. 

We're all sad to see Maggie go. But she's off on a new adventure and it's very likely that her name will pop up again in as we wrest control of the world's environment back from the forces of darkness. 

We'll be having some drinks, nibbles and a bit of music at the Environment Centre on Friday 26 October to say farewell to Maggie, so if you'd like to come along, please do (its a BYO event but Taylor's pub is just up the road if you need to grab supplies). 

 

We're running on the smell of a stale lentil burger

Eighties band Transition Vamp sang "I don't want your money honey, I want your love". Well, Mackay Conservation Group has been getting lots of love lately. Exposing Adani's attempts to hide their knowledge of pollution at Abbot Point brought the group lots of praise. We have been kicking goals for years because we have a very dedicated group of volunteers who do the most difficult work. We are hoping that this year we can raise some extra funds to support their work.

MCG would love to be able to install a quality audio visual system in the environment centre so we can show films and presentations more easily at meetings. The problem is, although we have lots of love, we don't have much money. So if you can spare a few dollars to help us purchase a new data projector and speakers, please make a donation. 

 

Adani in Bowen Magistrates Court

On Tuesday 23 October, Adani will be in court over the coal pollution it allowed to escape from Abbot Point last year. The company was issued with a $12,190 fine by the Queensland environment department following an admission that its Temporary Emissions Licence had been breached by over 800%. Adani is challenging the fine. 

This is the first test of the world's strictest environmental conditions that Adani is supposed to be governed by according to various members of the Queensland and Australian governments. If you would like to join us at Bowen magistrates court to observe the case, please contact Maggie by email maggie@mackayconservationgroup.org.au. It's likely that the case will be adjourned to another court so we aren't expecting any major events on the day, but you never know, Adani may plead guilty. However, don't hold your breath.

 

Something to reflect on

A local community group in the Whitsundays is setting up an exciting renewable energy project that will show that renewable energy can produce electricity day and night and that it can remain in community hands.

Sol Reflection is a co-operative that aims to construct a concentrated molten salt power station that will reduce power prices and put ownership of power production in the hands of local enterprises. If you would like to know more and how you can help get the project off the ground, please go to  solreflection.org.au.

Membership of the co-operative costs just $100 and is available to people around Australia. 


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