One of Mackay’s unique species is Irwin’s Turtle. Back in 1990 the famous naturalist Steve Irwin and his father Bob were fishing near the Bowen River when Bob spotted an unusual white headed turtle. They caught one, photographed it and returned it to the wild. Later the pair sent the photos to experts for identification. It turned out the turtle they found had never been recorded by scientists.
Irwin’s Turtle is very good at hiding from scientists. It took another three years before a second was found and a proper identification made. The scientists who described the turtle named it Elseya irwini in honour of the pair who first alerted the scientific community to its existence.
Irwin’s Turtle has a very limited range, perhaps only 25 square kilometres in total. It inhabits the Bowen River and tributaries such as Urannah Creek where the water is clean and free flowing. These turtles require well oxygenated water and sandy banks to survive.
Irwin’s Turtle has evolved in isolation for 150 million years. We have known it for less than 30 and we could wipe it out in a decade. Very little is known about Irwin’s Turtle’s life cycle or the extent of its habitat, yet we may send it to extinction by building a dam on Urannah Creek.Read more
14 May 2019
Commenting on new CSIRO emails released today by the ABC, showing the agency was pressured by the Coalition government to approve Adani's controversial water plan within a number of hours, despite holding outstanding concerns, underline why Minister Price’s controversial decision should be reviewed, said Mackay Conservation Group today (“Adani water plan ticked off within hours despite lack of detail, internal CSIRO emails reveal”, ABC today).
Peter McCallum, Mackay co-ordinator of the Defend our Water Campaign - Not One Drop for Adani said, “It’s clear from these new CSIRO emails, released under right to information laws, that the agency responsible for properly scrutinising Adani’s groundwater plans was under a lot of pressure to tick off on the plans before the election was called.
The ABC reports the CSIRO was asked to provide a letter of advice, on which Minister Price could rely, merely on the basis of a verbal briefing and a short summary document provided that day.
“Adani CEO Mr Lucas Dow calls the CSIRO and GeoScience Australia ‘two of the most preeminent science organisations in Australia’. Knowing they had outstanding concerns about Adani’s groundwater plan are cause for all Australians to be concerned about the risks posed to our precious water supplies by Adani’s mine.
11 May 2018
Adani Industry rally: Mackay locals demand future for youth, water and agriculture
As the Resource Industry Network prepares to rally in Mackay on Saturday, spokespeople for the Central Queensland Defend our Water campaign are calling for a future beyond coal that protects young people, Queensland water resources and agriculture.
Mackay cane grower Len Thompson said, “Coal has been a big part of Queensland’s past but we can’t bet our future on it. Locals around here realise Adani’s mine offers false hope. Whoever wins government has to develop a plan which will work for Central Queensland’s long term economic future.
“As a farmer I know that water is essential and a big question mark hangs over Adani’s groundwater impacts.
“Adani’s mine threatens Queensland’s water and our food security. We can’t afford to damage agriculture by digging new mines which will drive even more heatwaves, droughts and fires in this region.”
‘Defend our Water’ launches anti-Adani ad campaign for Central Qld
TV, radio, digital, print, billboards for Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay
Ads spotlight Adani’s failure to comply with Queensland laws
Central Queenslanders are to be reminded of Adani’s poor track record on water, including breaking Queensland laws, in a major advertising campaign being launched today by the Mackay Conservation Group to run in Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay in the lead up to the Federal election.
The advertising campaign materials can be viewed and downloaded HERE
Peter McCallum, Mackay co-ordinator of the Defend our Water Campaign - Not One Drop for Adani said, “We’ve taken out these ads to make sure the community knows that before Adani has even been granted final approvals for their mine, they’re already breaking the rules.
“Queensland has laws to protect our water, but Adani clearly doesn’t play by the rules. How can we trust them to look after Queensland’s water?”
The advertising campaign will run in Central and North Queensland on television, radio and print media as well as billboards.Read more
Adani's Carmichael mine threatens the health of ancient and precious water sources connected to the Great Artesian Basin. Regional communities rely on it this water, and Australian's everywhere want to protect it.
Adani's Carmichael mine will drain at least 270 billion litres of groundwater over the life of the mine - that's four Sydney Harbours! Read more about the predicted impacts here.
That's why we are joining together to Walk for Water and call on the Qld government to do the right thing for Queenslanders and Australians by saying no to letting Adani tap in to our water resources.
This is a really important event and part of a big push to secure water resources into the future - we need as many people as possible to come along!
Plus there will be speakers, music and a colourful parade of people - what better way to stand up for our water?!
We'll be holding regular meetings in the lead up so let us know if you would like to help make it all happen.
RSVP now so that we can keep you updated with details, speakers and so much more! And make sure share and invite your friends on Facebook!
If you can't come to the walk, make sure you sign the pledge to protect our water!
Cnr Wellington Street and Alfred Street
Mackay, Queensland 4740
Google map and directions
The Adani coal mine puts at risk water resources that are the lifeblood of Central Queensland.
Rivers, ancient springs and aquifers that form part of the Great Artesian Basin are all threatened by the dangerous Adani project. But we need this vital water in times of drought.
Don’t stand by and watch Adani rob us of life-giving water. Locals are standing up to protect Qld's water and you can help!
Sign the pledge to the Queensland Premier, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Minister for Environment.
Pledge: "Water is life. It’s time to put water for Queensland before water for mining giants. We’re calling on you to cancel Adani’s water licences to take river water and groundwater, and to protect our fragile water resources for future generations."
Urannah dam has created many jobs over the years but only in the economics and engineering community. Over the past 50 years 18 studies have been undertaken into the feasibility of the dam by both government and non-government organisations. They have all concluded the same thing, the dam doesn't stack up. So we were surprised when the Federal Government floated the idea it would fund another $3 million feasibility study into the dam.
That feasibility study appears to be going nowhere. Media reports late last year indicate that the consortium that has been awarded the funding is wracked with infighting over how the money would be allocated so no work has been done. The Queensland Government has proposed that the money should be allocated to Sunwater. But when Sunwater last investigated Urannah dam it found the dam to be uneconomic.
The proposed Urannah Dam is located within the Bowen and Broken River catchments, 95km north-east of Mackay adjacent to Eungella National Park. If it went ahead it would be built on land that is currently leased by the Queensland Government to the Urannah Properties Association. It is subject to a native title claim registered by the Widi people in 2006, which covers an area of approximately 5,400 square kilometres. The dam site contains important initiation grounds among other cultural heritage values. The Widi people continue to campaign strongly to retain their native title rights over the land.
Constructing Urannah Dam has been estimated to cost between $250 and $300 million. In 2016 Mackay Conservation Group engaged an engineer, Thomas Williams, to undertake a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of Urannah Dam. He determined that the dam would be uneconomic as it would return only $0.75 for every $1.00 invested. He found that there are cheaper ways to provide water for industrial purposes in the Galilee and Bowen Basins.Read more
Last week we premiered the brand new #StopAdani documentary A Mighty Force. With a combined membership of around two million people, the movement to stop Adani's unbankable mine will continue to grow and shift the politics on coal.
At the Mackay premiere of the Stop Adani documentary, A Mighty Force, local cane grower Michelle Ready explained to locals why she is so passionate about stopping Adani's mega-mine.
My name’s Michelle and I’m a farmer’s wife. I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve taken time to do the research and have spoken with many, better informed people, including farmers who are at the coal face, so to speak. The farm we’re on has been in my husband’s family around 60 years, and we wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the groundwater. It provides all our domestic needs. On the farming side however, we’re lucky to have limited access to the creek, when the rains fail to come.
But there are farmers who aren’t as lucky as us, whose only reliable source is groundwater from the Galilee Basin, part of the Great Artesian Basin. Out there, at the Carmichael mine site, groundwater is everything, and it absolutely defies belief that our elected officials have decided to give it away, free and unlimited amounts of it, to a company with the most atrocious history of environmental degradation.
Coal mines require enormous amounts of water. I remember years ago hearing that wars would be fought over water, and I thought at the time, “no way there’s so much water, what’s the problem”. I was wrong. Farmers are the first to feel the effects of drought, and climate change, yet eventually everyone will. Look at Cape Town. Broken Hill.Read more