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Pages tagged "habitat"

Shonky $1 mine deal gets worse

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has removed significant conditions from the indicative approval for transfer of the mining lease for Blair Athol mine from Rio Tinto to the debt laden TerraCom Resources.

The removal of those conditions means that TerraCom may be able to cut ties with its subsidiary Orion Mining at some time in the future, leaving Orion with the mine rehabilitation responsibility.

The department has also removed a condition that the company must demonstrate that the government would have priority over any other debtors in relation to the cash financial assurance for rehabilitation.

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Landclearing Reforms

land_clearing_photo_small.jpgGreenies! Tree huggers! They’re a couple of emotive terms for describing people who care about their local environment and want to see it protected for generations to come.

While some people seem to think that the environmental movement is hell-bent on stopping development and saving every last blade of grass, the reality is a lot different.

It may surprise you to know the types of people who contact the Mackay Conservation Group for help, and the diversity of issues we deal with every week.

Last week we had a call about neighbours polluting waterways with toxic waste, another person was concerned about the impact of coal dust on their health, yet another wanted to know what he could do about unauthorised coastal developments; and this is just to name a few.

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Bat Baby On Board!

Black_Flying_Fox_-_James_Niland.jpgWith female Black Flying-foxes giving birth and raising their young, we are again seeing an increase in numbers at several roosts around Mackay. The females elect to give birth in areas where there will be an abundant food supply while their young are dependent and learning to fly.

When first born, the young cling to their mothers belly fur as she flies out to feed at night. When they become a bit heavier, they are left to “creche” in the roost at night, with adult females often returning through the night to check on the creche, and to feed their own young. At about three months of age, the juveniles will begin to test their wings with short flights from the roost but continue to feed from their mother.

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Mackay welcomes international air travellers

Bar Tailed GodwitWe all love Mackay’s beaches as a place to relax and have fun. But how often do we think of them as a home for birds?

Thousands of shorebirds depend on them, either to nest or to feed on. And as more and more of us use the beach for recreation, we need to be careful how we do it.

Our beaches host two main groups of shorebirds: ones which live here all year round and nest on the beach, such as Red-capped Plovers, and migratory shorebirds, such as Bar-tailed Godwits, which arrive from their northern hemisphere breeding grounds at the start of our summer, to fatten up by feeding on our tidal flats.

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Queensland needs more protected habitat

When I grew up in the 1960s watching Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was part of my weekly ritual. Skippy could play the piano, tie knots and even operate a two-way radio. But even a kangaroo as clever as Skippy could not prevent the ongoing extinction of wild animals like her.

In the time since Skippy became an international superstar the world has witnessed a biodiversity crisis. Species extinction is estimated to be 100 to 1000 times as fast as any time in the past. The main cause of extinction is habitat destruction. “At the current rate of habitat destruction it is estimated that within the next 100 years or so about half of the world's existing species may be extinct,” according to the Queensland Museum.

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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


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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What happens when you ask a marsupial to improve your life?

After finding some gliders living in a nesting box at his place, Tom Curtis recently pondered whether they had a better life than him. He wondered whether life would be calmer as a possum, without all the worries that Covid-19 and other crazy world events have brought. In response he received a letter from a marsupial living in the big Moreton Bay Ash in his garden. 

Dear Tom,
Thank you for your letter asking to become a glider and live in our tree. This raises a couple of points. Firstly, we don't have any magical powers to turn people into small and incredibly-cute marsupials. If you therefore remain at 65kg, with no gliding membranes between your arms and legs, we think you will struggle to survive launching yourself into space from a 30ft Moreton Bay Ash.

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Adani Found Criminally Liable for Land Clearing

 

Adani has been found guilty by a Queensland court for the criminal offence of providing false and misleading information to the Queensland government about land clearing at its mine site in central Queensland. The charge carried a maximum penalty of 2.8 million dollars and up to two years in jail. Adani was only fined $20 000 but the offence reflects badly on their corporate credibility and their claim to be a fit and proper organisation, trusted to conduct major mining operations in Australia. 

The conviction of providing false or misleading information to government regulators is a serious offence and Adani's actions undermine the integrity of the system that is supposed to protect communities, vegetation, groundwater, the reef and rivers from pollution and exploitation.

Adani has form on breaking our collective trust and misleading the community about capital work at its mine site, letting coal sludge flow into the Great Barrier Reef coastal waters and polluting the Caley Valley wetlands. Adani continues to mislead about the number of jobs their mine will create.

This conviction is yet another reason why we can't trust Adani with our precious icons like the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Artesian Basin.

 Background - ABC reporting link

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-06/adani-fined-after-pleading-guilty-court-qld/11932640