Media Release: Community donates $10k to protect Steve Irwin's Turtle

16 March 2021

Highlights:

  • Turtle discovered by Steve Irwin could be sent to extinction by a dam
  • Community members raising funds to protect the turtle
  • Dam will return just 26 cents in benefits for every dollar it costs

Back in 1990, renowned naturalist Steve Irwin was fishing with his father Bob when he spotted an unusual looking turtle in the Burdekin River system. The pair captured and photographed the animal before releasing it back into the wild. The photos were sent to a researcher who believed it was new to science. 

It took another three years until scientists could examine a real turtle and confirm that it was in fact a new species. In honour of the Irwins, the turtle was named Elseya irwini, commonly known as Irwin's Turtle. 

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Did You Catch Our Webinar "Hunt For The Gastric Brooding Frog"

Why do scientist think the extinct Northern Gastric Brooding Frog may still be found in the warm waters of Urannah Creek, west of Mackay? If you missed our webinar on this unique creature to our region, the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog, click below.

Another reason we need to band together as a community to #SaveUrannah 

 

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Send A Submission Opposing the Urannah Dam Project

The Queensland Government is still taking submissions for the URANNAH DAM PROJECT until the 29th of January 2021.
Submitting the reasons that you oppose the Urannah dam is an important step to ensure that the proponent appropriately examines and address the project's potential direct and indirect environmental, social and economic impacts.
It is a powerful way to have your say in our democratic process and a way to have your voice heard. 
We have made it really easy for YOU to have your say by completing our easy-to-do submission form.
Click the button below and simply enter your name and address and away you go!
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Proposed $2.9bn Urannah dam in Queensland could return as little as 26c per dollar

The dam’s benefits have been overstated and the business case does not take environmental costs into account, economist says

The Urannah dam project near Mackay has been supported by about $15m in federal grants since 2016. New economic analysis has questioned the value of the proposed 1.5 trillion-litre dam.

A 1.5 trillion-litre north Queensland dam proposal backed by both the federal and state governments could return as little as 26c for every dollar invested, an economic analysis has found.

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Dams condemned by farmers, environmentalists and scientists

Media Release 

27 November 2020

The Queensland Coordinator General has today released draft terms of reference for Environmental Impact Statements for increasing the size of the Burdekin Falls Dam and construction of a new Urannah Dam both of which are in the Burdekin River basin in North Queensland. 

The projects have become increasingly controversial, with farmers, scientists and environmentalists raising serious concerns about the consequences of reducing the flow of water in Australia’s second largest river basin.

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Media Release: LNP Dams Plan was a Political Fizzer

2 November 2020

The outcome of last weekend’s Queensland election shows that voters could not be swayed by the promise of the biggest dam building program in Australia’s history.

The LNP promised to build a major new dam on the Burdekin River to irrigate dry lands in the interior of Queensland. The scheme would have cost tens of billions of dollars and led to unsustainable reductions in freshwater flowing to coastal ecosystems, including estuaries that fisheries depend upon.

The policy was targeted at voters in key electorates in Townsville. In an announcement in August, LNP leader Deb Frecklington said “the biggest benefit will be felt in Townsville” and “[the] project that will secure Townsville’s economic future for generations to come”.

Voters returned ALP candidates in all three Townsville seats with swings of about three per cent.

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Urannah Volunteers Needed

We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with our Urannah Campaign. There are lots of things to do to ensure that Urannah Creek is protected from the crazy dam that has been proposed yet again. Over the past fifty years, the dam has been rejected more than 17 times because it makes no economic sense. Now the federal government has sponsored another feasibility study. We need volunteers to help us ensure this dam does not proceed.

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Robert & Terri Irwin speak about Irwin's Turtle

Robert and Terri Irwin interviewed about the Irwin's Turtle and the dam that will destroy its habitat on MixFM

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

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Steve Irwin's rare and remarkable bum-breathing turtle 'smack bang' on site of proposed Urannah Dam

Indigenous man in a black hat holding and looking at a green turtle with a cream white bill standing in a creekA turtle named after famed naturalist Steve Irwin that has the ability to breathe through its bum may be under threat from the proposed $4 billion Urannah Dam.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-01/urannah-dam-proposal-threat-to-bum-breathing-steve-irwin-turtle

Freshwater species elseya Irwini, or Irwin's turtle, was unknown to science until 1990 when 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin and his father Bob sent photos of a distinctive snapping turtle to the Queensland Museum.

The turtle's known habitat is limited to a 25-kilometre stretch of the Bowen River inland from Mackay.

James Cook University doctorate candidate Jason Schraffer said he was concerned about a significant risk to the isolated population of Irwin's turtles.

"The only known study population is smack bang on the site of the proposed dam," he said.

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

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Hunt for the Irwin's Turtle - 29 Sept 2020

When the the Australian continent separated from Gondawana about 180 million years ago, our freshwater turtles began a long journey of evolution distinct from turtles in other parts of the world. A unique species, Irwin's Turtle, evolved in isolation: a pink-nosed turtle that is able to survive for extended periods submerged by extracting oxygen from the water. It lives in the beautiful, crystal-clear waters of Urannah Creek, west of Mackay. 

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

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