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Pages tagged "water"

Media Release : Urannah Dam won't help Queensland Recover

7 May 2020

Mackay Conservation Group has questioned the Queensland Government’s support of a proposal to spend $2.9 billion on Urannah Dam in Central Queensland saying this is not the best use of public funds to enable an economic recovery.  

The Urannah Dam Project which was first proposed in the 1960s, was progressed today when the Queensland Coordinator General declared it a new coordinated project.

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, said “Queensland and Australia are facing an extraordinary crisis, the Queensland Government has proposed to progress another $2.9 billion pipe-dream.  

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Media Release: Conservation group calls for urgent action to prevent future coral bleaching

Media Release

24 April 2020

Mackay Conservation Group is mobilising the local community to speak out about climate change and its devastating impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

BleachedAcropora_MagneticIsland_March2020_KlaraLindstrom.jpgOver the past five years the Reef has experienced three major coral bleaching events. The most recent coral bleaching happened over the past month and was the most widespread yet seen. Persistent or prolonged bleaching can lead to the death of coral.

Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Professor Terry Hughes, said in a media statement earlier this month “For the first time, severe bleaching has struck all three regions of the Great Barrier Reef – the northern, central and now large parts of the southern sectors.”

Widespread coral reef bleaching is linked to extremely hot sea temperatures caused by climate change. In February sea surface temperatures were the hottest on record.

For the first time ever, many reefs offshore from Mackay suffered from severe bleaching during the 2020 event

Whitsunday diver instructor, Tony Fontes, said “I am confident that Reef tourism will survive the COVID pandemic. It won’t be easy and many individual operators probably won’t make it. 

“But beyond this pandemic, our continued survival is entirely dependent on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, and a healthy Reef is something that we can no longer take for granted.”

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Media Release: Swim Raises $12,000 for River Protection

Mackay Conservation Group logo

Media Release

23 February 2020

Public Donates $12,000 To Protect Rivers

Members of Mackay Conservation Group have plunged headlong into a campaign to safeguard our rivers.

Community members have donated $12,000 to Mackay Conservation Group’s campaign to protect the region’s rivers from pollution, overuse and dams. 

Boy swimming in a poolThe group organised the Swim For Our Rivers swim-a-thon at the Pioneer Pool in North Mackay on Saturday. 

Eight teams participated in the fundraising event, with a total of more than 40 people involved, aged from five to seventy-five. 

Mackay Conservation Group will use the funds to commence a campaign that aims to protect the Urannah Creek, west of Mackay, from a proposed dam. 

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Adani Water Grab

Stop Adani protesters17 January 2020 Shared from Radio 4MK
https://www.4mk.com.au/news/local-news/124030-adani-responds-to-claims-of-water-grab

Adani Responds To Claims of 'Water Grab'
By Michelle Brewer

Community opposition is growing against Adani’s plan to extract up to 12.5 billion litres per year from the Suttor River in central Queensland according to the Mackay Conservation Group.

The group said, "Hundreds of people have written to the Federal Minister Susan Ley objecting to the federal government’s handling of Adani’s water scheme".

In December the Mackay Conservation Group requested that supporters contact the federal member for environment Susan Ley and ask her to urgently review Adani’s application to extract 12.5 billion litres of fresh water annually from the Suttor River in central Queensland. in response, over 500 community letters have been sent to the minister’s electoral office over the last few weeks.

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Irwin's Turtle - We could lose it without really knowing it

A person holding an Irwin's TurtleOne 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.

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The Great Barrier Reef is being suffocated, we need to help it breathe again.

Photo credit: CSIRO

 

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and important ecosystems on the planet, and yet it is being suffocated by chemical and sediment run-off from the terrestrial environment.  This isn’t normal.  This isn’t natural.  It’s because of us.  Humans.  How can we be doing this when we are so dependent on it?  And why isn’t more being done to help?

The reef provides 64 000 jobs and $6.4 billion directly to the Australian economy every year.  But even more than this, the reef is critical in carbon sequestration and the health of the planet.  It is nicknamed ‘the rainforest of the ocean’ for a reason and this is because it provides us with the oxygen we all breathe day in day out. 

The Great Barrier Reef is a farmer – it provides millions of people with fresh food every day, and to many, this is their main source of protein.  The Reef is a chemist – it is full of bioprospecting properties, many yet to be discovered, but is the source to some of our leading anti-cancer drugs.  The Reef is an artist – it is one of the most beautiful and unique structures on the planet and attracts over 2 million tourists every year.  This is the foundation of the tourism industry in Queensland, which produces billions of dollars for the economy.  And it doesn’t stop there.  The Great Barrier Reef is also a guard.  It protects Queensland’s precious coastlines from extreme storms and flooding.  This is especially important in a time of increasing threats from climate change and the severe consequence of rising sea levels.

We respect our human farmers, chemists, artists, and guards.  So why don’t we respect our Reef when it is doing all these things and more?

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Tell the Government to fund the future of our Reef

image of Tell the Government to fund the future of our Reef!

Photo credit: The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers. 

 

A decline in water quality is one of the leading threats to the Great Barrier Reef, and is preventing the Reef from building resilience to other threats such as climate change.  

The Reef is being smothered in chemicals and sediment from the surrounding polluted water, caused by industrial, agricultural and urban development.  This is leading to a severe decline in Reef health and resilience. 

Reports have concluded that an investment of $8.2 bn is needed over the next decade to fix the water quality issues.  Yet, over the course of 5 years, the Australian and Queensland Governments are jointly investing only about $120 million a year in Reef water quality improvements.

We are therefore asking the Governments to invest $1bn for projects throughout Great Barrier Reef catchments to help improve the quality of water.  This seems like a big ask, but it’s an important investment in protecting the more than A$5 billion that the Reef generates for the Australian economy every year, alongside the other crucial roles the Reef plays in the environment, both locally and globally.

Please sign this petition asking the State and Federal Governments to allocate funds for much needed water quality projects.

https://mackayconservationgroup.good.do/reefwaterqualitycampaign/reefwaterqualitycampaign/


Time to Stop Rubbishing Our Oceans

Tomorrow (June 8) is World Oceans Day, so it’s time to consider the big blue bits that cover 70 per cent of our Earth’s surface. We know that our oceans are being damaged by human activity including overfishing, mining and dumping of waste. Together we can protect and restore our oceans.

Plastic waste is accumulating in huge garbage patches that will remain in the oceans for decades or even centuries. The garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is almost as big as Queensland. There are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans, that’s more than 600 items for every single human alive today. 

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Irwin's turtle. Will we lose this shy Australian before we even get to know it?

Photo supplied by Jeff Tan

For those who may have missed it Thursday 22 May was world turtle day, a special day to celebrate and raise awareness of these iconic creatures.  

Here in Central Queensland we have a wealth of sea and freshwater turtles including the unique Irwin’s Turtle (Elseya irwini). Irwin’s turtle was unknown to science until 1990 when it was discovered by renowned conservationists Bob and Steve Irwin.

Irwin’s Turtle is a fresh water turtle found only in the Broken-Bowen River system in central Queensland and has an estimated range of only 25km. Very little is known about Irwin’s turtle and there may be as few as 5000 individuals.Population studies of Irwin’s turtle have found that juvenile turtles, particularly young males, are under-represented.  These kind of population imbalances are concerning and may be caused by increased predation, making the species especially vulnerable to population shocks, habitat destruction and climate change.

Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creek

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New water laws will protect the reef

For decades Queensland’s sugar cane farmers have been throwing money into the creeks and rivers that flow past their properties. That’s the money spent on excess fertiliser that runs off during heavy rain and makes its way to the ocean. It’s estimated that three quarters of nitrogen fertiliser put on cane farms leaches from the soil within a few months of application.

When nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser enters rivers and ends up in the Reef, it upsets the natural balance of the marine environment. Algae love nitrogen and phosphorus. In a high nutrient environment algae can then become so numerous that the sunlight that normally reaches the sea floor can no longer do so. That means seagrass and other light dependent bottom-dwelling organisms have trouble growing and reproducing. Crown of Thorns starfish that destroy hard corals also love nitrogen and that’s one of the reasons they are in such large numbers on the Reef at present.

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