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MCG in Court!

MCG launches legal action against Federal Government approval for dredging and dumping in Reef’s waters

Press conference: 10am Monday March 24, outside Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 119 North Quay (cnr Tank Street) Brisbane QLD

Mackay Conservation Group will today commence court proceedings in Brisbane’s Federal Court challenging Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s decision to approve dredging and dumping within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The Mackay Conservation Group is represented by the lawyers at the Environment Defenders’ Office Queensland and supported by thousands of Australians who have donated to fund the action to protect the Reef from the impact of dredging and dumping.

The case will centre on the Federal Government’s decision to approve dredging and dumping for the proposed export coal terminal at Abbot Point, less than 50kms from the Whitsunday Islands. In a novel test for Australia’s environment laws, Mackay Conservation Group will argue that the Minister has failed in his obligation to protect the World Heritage Area.

Ellen Roberts, Co-ordinator of the Mackay Conservation Group said the dredging and dumping is a damaging practice that could ruin the Reef, and the Minister’s decision has to be challenged.

‘The world will be watching this case. The World Heritage Committee has expressed concern over the Australian and Queensland governments’ efforts to protect the Reef, particularly from mega-port development and the associated dredging and dumping.


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Have you always wanted to go to Green Island?

Did you know there are some fantastic coral reefs just walking distance off the coast of Mackay?

Mackay Conservation Group is inviting you to join us on Sunday 30 March for a walk to Green Island at low tide. On the way we'll be able to see excellent examples of soft and hard corals.

Meet us at the Shoal Point play park at 12 noon. Bring along walking shoes suitable for water, drinking water, hat, sun screen and camera.

This is part of our Beautiful Walks series, encouraging appreciation of Mackay's beautiful natural environment. For more information call the Mackay Conservation Group office on 4953 0808.

 

 


Reef campaign meeting

It's going to be a big year for the campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef from coal ports. This Thursday we're inviting all new and existing volunteers to a campaign information night and strategy session.

When: Thursday 13 February at 6pm
Where: 156 Wood Street

As you know, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approved the dumping of dredge spoil at Abbot Point and there has been outrage expressed across the country. There are events in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth today about the decision. The campaign for the Reef has gone national and as people who live alongside the GBR our voice is crucial.

Below is a photograph from our event outside the GBRMPA office on January 24th.

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We did have this meeting planned for 30 January, but then were struck by Cyclone Dylan!

Some topics for discussion on Thursday:
1. connecting with other groups in our area, such as in the Whitsundays, who are concerned about Abbot Point
2. what is the situation for the Dudgeon Point proposal and what should we be doing about it
3. our coal dust monitoring project
4. volunteer roles such as website updates and facebook, community engagement

The outcome of the meeting will be activities and actions for the next few months!

For more information contact Ellen on 0408 583 694 or Gemma on 0423 044 431.


Profile the Great Barrier Reef!

Here's a great graphic for your Facebook profile! Make sure you change it before GBRMPA makes it's decision on January 31st.

(You can copy it by right clicking)

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Countdown to Decision Day for the Great Barrier Reef

On the 31st of January the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) will make a decision on whether to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil to be dumped in the Reef’s waters. From around the country GBRMPA has received tens of thousands of letters and emails to their office and thousands of calls to say ‘don’t dump on our reef’.

 Join us this Friday 24th January to let GBRMPA know that you don’t support dumping in the Reef’s waters.

This Friday - one week out from the looming decision - we are taking the community’s message to GBRMPA. In Townsville, a representative from the tourism industry will meet with General Manager Bruce Elliott to present a petition and urge him to refuse the sea-dumping permit for Abbot Point. This is the final stand to show that majority of Australians want dredging and dumping banned in the Reef.

In Mackay we will meet outside the GBRMPA office and make the message clear that we don’t support dumping in the Reef. We are the voice of the Great Barrier Reef and together we can remind GBRMPA it’s their job to protect our international icon.

Details:

What: Taking a final stand for our Reef to say no to dumping in the Reef.

Where: 43 River Street (cnr of River and Woods St), Mackay QLD 4740

When: 12 noon this Friday 24th January

 

Please click here to RSVP: http://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/stand_up_for_the_reef

 

Lets stand together this Friday and remind GBRMPA it’s their job to protect our international icon.


MCG protests Abbot Point decision

On Thursday 12 December there was a strong showing from Mackay locals at a protest we organised at the North Queensland Bulk Ports office in Wellington Street, Mackay against the approval of the dredging and terminal construction at Abbot Point, near Bowen. Turning the tables

In an event described by the Daily Mercury as 'dramatic' we threw dredge spoil over some of local marine creatures: dugongs, reef fish and sea turtles. All of these animals will have their habitat affected by the proposed 3 million cubic metre dredging project.

The photo above was taken by ABC Tropical North, and the full story can be seen at their website: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/12/11/3909708.htm

For more information about the Abbot Point coal port expansion: http://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au/abbot_point_a_disaster_in_the_making


Oppose the Dudgeon Point coal terminal

How would you feel if a gigantic coal terminal, spraying coal dust and digging up the seabed, was about to be built just a few miles south of your home?

That’s the situation for the people of Mackay.

Just 20 or so kilometres south of this central Queensland coastal town lies an enormous coal port, its piers stretching 2 km out to sea with great mounds of coal lying in the open, waiting for the prevailing winds to blow them over the population of Mackay.

The coal port already exists, but a proposed expansion would see capacity increased to 180 million tonnIMG_0630.JPGes per annum

Sign the petition against the proposed coal terminal at the Communities Protecting our Region website: http://www.dudgeonpoint.org/no_dudgeon_point_coal_port_petition

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Protect the turtles

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As Queensland prepares to build the largest coal ports in the world on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, few protections are in place to prevent the destruction of fish, coral and iconic marine mammals.

Green and Flatback turtles nest along the beautiful Abbot Point Beach just east of the sand dunes containing the Juru burial grounds which themselves would adjoin the enormous coal stockpiles.

As the coal dust blows off the stockpiles and rain leaches toxic chemicals into the near shore marine waters, the turtles will ingest this pollution via consumption of the local sea grasses.

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Don't dredge the Reef

If coal miners and coal port owners get their way, 16 million cubic metres (~4535 million tonnes)[1] of the seabed at Abbot Point in Queensland will be dredged and dumped into the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The proposed dredging is to allow the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Port near Bowen in Queensland.

The mud to be dredged is enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 30 times over.

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Stop the boats!

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The proposed massive increase in mining and coal ports on the Queensland coast adjacent to the World Heritage protected Great Barrier Reef is predicted to see an increase of 5 times in the number of shipping transits.

This increases by 5 times the risk of oil spills, reef damage, groundings and boat strikes on marine mammals like dolphins, whales and dugongs.

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