Pages tagged "habitat"
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
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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How are we rating 2018? It will be a big year!
It would be wonderful to think that this year would be a quiet one for Mackay Conservation Group with nobody wanting to engage in environmentally damaging development, mining companies recognising that they are morally obliged to rehabilitate the land and that governments took strong action to slow climate change. We can only hope!
So until that happens, we have planned a busy year and we'd really love you to be part of it. Join us and become a part of Mackay Conservation Group.
The Adani mine has been a major focus for MCG members for the past five years. We have worked with other organisations around Queensland and Australia to block the project. The Stop Adani movement has cut off Adani's finance sources, we have challenged their approvals and we haven't gone away. The community has moved and across Australia and here in Mackay there is overwhelming opposition to Adani. This week in the Daily Mercury we saw that mainstream farmers don't want the mine to proceed and do want more renewable energy. “We don’t need Adani. More solar, more wind” said Randall Ford (centre) and Gordon Galletly (left) is concerned about Adani's unlimited access to water which is already in limited supply.
Adani isn't finished yet but this year will be the turning point. Townsville Mayor has set August 8 as the deadline for Adani to commence work at their mine site or the council will withdraw support. She's obviously feeling the pressure from her community. Labor hasn't made its position on Adani clear yet but we will keep working on them and the more sensible members of the Coalition to say no to the mine.Read more
Australia is a global top-ten deforester – and Queensland is leading the way
Noel D Preece, James Cook University and Penny van Oosterzee, James Cook University
When you think of devastating deforestation and extinction you usually think of the Amazon, Borneo and the Congo. But eastern Australia ranks alongside these in the top 10 of the world’s major deforestation fronts – the only one in a developed nation. Most of the clearing is happening in Queensland, and it is accelerating.
Only last year a group of leading ecologists voiced their alarm at new data which showed the clearing of 296,000 hectares of forest in 2013-14. This was three times higher than in 2008-09, kicking Australia up the list as one of the world’s forest-clearing pariahs. At the 2016 Society for Conservation Biology Conference, a Scientists’ Declaration was signed by hundreds of scientists, expressing concern at these clearing rates.
Read more: Queensland land clearing is undermining Australia’s environmental progress
But the latest snapshot, Queensland’s Department of Science report on land cover change published last month, showed a staggering 395,000ha of clearing for 2015-16: an increase of one third on 2014-15. As far as we can tell this rate of increased clearing is unmatched anywhere else on the globe.
showed a staggering 395,000 of clearing for 2015-16: which is an increase of one third on 2014-15, or 133% over the period
Strong vegetation management laws enacted in Queensland – the Vegetation Management Act 1999 – achieved dramatic reductions in forest and woodland loss. But the subsequent Liberal National state government, elected in 2012, overturned these protections.
The current government, elected in 2015, has tried and failed to reinstate the protections. In response, “panic clearing” caused clearing rates to shoot up, in anticipation that the state election will deliver a government that will reintroduce the much-needed protection of forests.
The Queensland Parliament is now in caretaker mode ahead of the November 25 election. The Queensland Labor Party has pledged to reinstate laws to prevent wholesale clearing, while the LNP opposition has vowed to retain current clearing rates.Read more
Let’s get this straight, habitat loss is the number-one threat to Australia's species
Brendan Wintle, University of Melbourne and Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University
Earlier this month, Australia’s outgoing Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews told ABC radio that land clearing is not the biggest threat to Australia’s wildlife. His claim caused a stir among Australia’s biodiversity scientists and conservation professionals, who have plenty of evidence to the contrary.
The ecologist Jared Diamond has described an “evil quartet” of threatening processes that drive species to extinction: habitat destruction; overhunting (or overexploitation); the presence of introduced species; and chains of linked ecological changes, including co-extinctions.
Read more: Australia’s species need an independent champion
In modern times we can add two more to this list. The first is catastrophic disease outbreaks, such as the chytrid fungus that has been instrumental in the catastrophic decline or extinction of almost 200 frog species, or the facial tumour disease that still threatens to wipe out Tasmanian devils in the wild.
The second is human-induced climate change, which appears to have caused one extinction in Australian Territories and is predicted to result in many more.
So the evil quartet has now become an evil sextet. It sounds ugly because it is. But does habitat loss through land clearing still top the list? The answer, in short, is yes.Read more
Organisation of the Month - Congratulations BirdLife Mackay!
Active in the region for 30 years, BirdLife Mackay is the region's primary go to group for local bird lovers and enthusiasts.
With their dedication to creating a brighter future for Australian birds, the BirdLife Mackay team is often found monitoring seasonal changes in bird life and their habitat, as well as migratory and endangered species, including the Eungella Honeyeater - which isn’t found anywhere else in the world.
The Group will also be participating in the upcoming Eungella Bird Watching and Bushwalking Festival, taking place later this month from September 25th to October 1st. The event will be jam packed with bushwalks, local market stalls, guest lectures, exhibitions and social evenings, and would be a great opportunity to meet other bird admirers.
BirdLife Mackay has monthly outings on the first Sunday of each month, where they take group members to various bird-abundant locations throughout the region, such as Demoleyns Lagoon and Lake Barfield.
Are you a passionate bird lover? Perhaps you would like to meet and engage with people with similar interests? With spring in the air, and migratory birds in full flight, this could be the perfect time to take this passion to a new level and become a member. It’s free! You can also follow them on Facebook to keep updated with upcoming events and outings, here.Read more
Lindeman Island Land Grab
Let's ensure we #banthebag
The Queensland Government is calling for submissions on the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017. This amendment introduces two important initiatives:
Firstly, a statewide container refund scheme; and, secondly, a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags in Queensland.
The bill also amends the end of waste framework in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 to ensure better end use of recyclables.
Mackay Conservation Group supports this initiative.Read more
Koalas heading for extinction in SE Qld
Tree clearing is destroying koala habitat so fast in South East Queensland that there may be no koalas left there in a couple of years. Here in Central Queensland trees are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
Sign our petition to call on the state government to enact strict tree clearing laws in urban and rural Queensland.
MCG Supports Mining Jobs
Mackay Conservation Group supports a Queensland mining project worth at least $7.3 billion that has been approved by the state government and the mining companies involved have already committed to. Sound a bit weird? It’s not really, the project is mine rehabilitation.
The Queensland government currently holds over $7 billion in Financial Assurance to fund the clean-up of mines if mining companies fail. We estimate that that level of funding would easily create 2,000 direct jobs for ten years and many could commence today if rehabilitation was undertaken progressively rather than waiting until mining is completed. The reality is however that mining companies have been delaying mine rehabilitation and, in some cases, have no plan to rehabilitate land at all.
Across Queensland there are 220,000 hectares disturbed by mining operations but only 556 hectares that have been fully rehabilitated. Today, only one twelfth of mined land has had some rehabilitation work done. In 2006 that figure was one third.
The Queensland Government has recently issued two discussion papers on mine rehabilitation. They are the first of six papers that will be released for public comment in coming months. Mackay Conservation Group and Lock the Gate have been working on reforming the mine rehabilitation sector since 2015. We have raised questions about the extent and quality of rehabilitation in public and in private discussions with government, academics and the mining industry. The papers look at the method of funding bonds paid by mining companies and the way that rehabilitation is planned.