Pages tagged "water"
Urannah Campaign Update
Mackay Conservation Group’s former coordinator, Ian Sutton, undertook a biological assessment of the Urannah Creek west of Mackay in 2004. He found a hidden valley in almost pristine condition. Ian described a valley without weeds that provided habitat in the form of Bluegum forest and endangered Black Ironbox, with stands on Ironbark on its slopes.
Urannah Creek is the most permanent river in the Burdekin system and supports healthy fish and turtle populations.
Although Urannah is close to several population centres, the topography and the lack of good road access makes it a very remote place. During the dry season four wheel drive vehicles are necessary to access the creek. In wet season the area virtually impassable. The valley is walled in by the ranges on all sides, except for a gap near Mt Cauley where the Broken River exits on its journey westward.
These physical barriers and the joint boundary with Eungella National Park to the south east, plus the lack of any past ‘pasture improvements’ render the area an isolated ‘island’ of virtually pristine natural heritage. Ian described the valley as a secure, almost unique example of pre-European landscape of the area. Those values haven’t changed since 2004. This unique and important area west of the Eungella rainforest is once again under threat, with plans of a massive dam, industrial scale irrigated agriculture and a questionable hydroelectric scheme.
Sign our petition https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/protect_urannah_creekRead more
How politicians walked away from science for Adani
A recent report published in Nature Sustainability provides a thorough examination of the approval process for Adani’s underground water licence. The authors are some of Australia's leading water experts. They examine the evidence from all parties and show that there is still significant uncertainty about the water source of the ancient Doongmabulla Springs and 150 associated wetlands.
The assessment process was political from the start. The federal environment minister's approval came just hours before the government went into caretaker mode for the 2019 election. At the time, the Queensland environment minister commented that the decision "reeks of political interference". The federal minister had come under intense pressure from within the government to approve the water plan even though it wasn't complete. Mackay Conservation Group's concern was that the pre-election federal sign off on the water license was a rushed decision that didn't permit a full examination of the scientific evidence.Read more
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.Read more
Media Release: Conservation group calls for urgent action to prevent future coral bleaching
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.
Over 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.”Read more
Media Release: Swim Raises $12,000 for River Protection
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.
The 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.Read more
Adani Water Grab
17 January 2020 Shared from Radio 4MK
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.Read more
Irwin's Turtle - We could lose it without really knowing it
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
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?Read more
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.
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.