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Pages tagged "climate"

A chance to have your say - inquiry into the Newman Government

Queensland's Government is currently the subject of an unprecedented federal inquiry after a deal between the Palmer United Party, Labor and the Greens. Over the next six months a Senate committee will examine Queensland's use of Commonwealth funds, the administration of the state's judicial system, and questions around development and environmental approvals. You can read the full Terms of Reference here.

The inquiry has a specific focus on approvals for coal and gas projects and provides a unique opportunity to expose the failures of the Qld Government to protect land, water and communities. Even the Queensland government themselves have admitted in an Auditor General's report last year that they do not have the resources, the systems or the data to adequately monitor and regulate resource projects. So there is plenty to talk about.

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Breaking news: Cripps strips legal rights to object to mines

Energy Minister Cripps gags objections to mine projects in last minute change to environmental laws

Mackay Conservation Group has condemned laws passed by Queensland Parliament at five minutes to midnigavel_hand.jpgght on Tuesday night that strip rights from community groups and most landholders to object to large mining projects, such as coal mining projects in the Galilee Basin.

‘This is completely underhand and represents gross deception of the people of Queensland by Energy Minister Cripps.

‘These laws were not debated in Parliament, or given any chance for public comment.

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Our Cup of Sunshine Runs Over

Did you get down to Mackay's Cup of Sunshine event on Tuesday August 19, when we wrote letters to Glenn Lazarus from Palmer United, asking him to support the Renewable Energy Target, which helps the renewable energy industries achieve 20% of all Australia's energy coming from clean sources? 

Well good on you, because Lazarus has confirmed less than two weeks later all PUP Senators will vote against Abbot's solar killing plan. Lazarus even went so far as to say that, 'the majority of Australians want Australia to move away from dirty fuel like coal and to increase our use of renewable energy sources.'

We couldn't agree more.

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Mackay Conservation Group on the 7.30 Report

Infrastructure company The Mitchell Group plans for a new coal port at Hay Point, this one using untested barging technologies in the Great Barrier Reef.

Last month the 7.30 Report visited Mackay, speaking with concerned locals including myself and Betty Hobbs from Mackay Conservation Group. Click on the link below to watch the story:

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Carmichael Mine Approved Despite Impacts on Water, Habitat and the Reef

The Federal government’s decision today to approve Adani’s Carmichael coal mega mine in Western Queensland is blind to the devastation it will cause to water, habitat and the local environment says Mackay Conservation Group.

‘Carmichael will be one of the world’s biggest coal mines and the environmental impacts of the mine as well as associated infrastructure, such as ports and rail, are simply unacceptable,’ said Mackay Conservation Group Co-ordinator Ellen Roberts.

‘The mine will use 12 billion litres of water every year. This water will be pumped from underground sources which are vital to maintaining agriculture and wildlife in this dry environment. There will be drops to the water table ten kilometres from the mine.’

‘The conditions placed on the mine relate to further studies on impact on groundwater and species, which raises concerns that Greg Hunt did not adequately understand the impacts of this mine before making the approval.’

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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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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.


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: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/12/11/3909708.htm

For more information about the Abbot Point coal port expansion: http://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/abbot_point_a_disaster_in_the_making


Oppose the Dudgeon Point coal terminal

How would you feel if a gigantic coal terminal, spraying coal dust and digging up the seabed, was about to be built just a few miles south of your home?

That’s the situation for the people of Mackay.

Just 20 or so kilometres south of this central Queensland coastal town lies an enormous coal port, its piers stretching 2 km out to sea with great mounds of coal lying in the open, waiting for the prevailing winds to blow them over the population of Mackay.

The coal port already exists, but a proposed expansion would see capacity increased to 180 million tonnIMG_0630.JPGes per annum

Sign the petition against the proposed coal terminal at the Communities Protecting our Region website: http://www.dudgeonpoint.org/no_dudgeon_point_coal_port_petition

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Protect the turtles

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As Queensland prepares to build the largest coal ports in the world on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, few protections are in place to prevent the destruction of fish, coral and iconic marine mammals.

Green and Flatback turtles nest along the beautiful Abbot Point Beach just east of the sand dunes containing the Juru burial grounds which themselves would adjoin the enormous coal stockpiles.

As the coal dust blows off the stockpiles and rain leaches toxic chemicals into the near shore marine waters, the turtles will ingest this pollution via consumption of the local sea grasses.

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