Where Should We Get Our News?

• Guest post by Malcolm Tattersall

Most Aussies over forty grew up with the expectation that our media outlets took their responsibilities seriously: that they would be reasonably objective, apolitical and accurate, and that stories would be given appropriate weight, such that wars, natural disasters and government corruption appeared on the newspapers’ front page and footballers’ divorces appeared on an inside page, if at all. The last ten years, and especially the last five, have seen changes for the worse, some of them driven by changes in technology, especially the rise of the internet. Where should we get our news if we want to be well-informed citizens?

Newspapers

Newspapers have become far less profitable as advertising has moved online, so they have simply had less money to support what was always (ostensibly) their primary function, i.e. reporting the news. Continue reading “Where Should We Get Our News?”

Clearing law loss a disaster for the Reef, climate change and wildlife

Last night, the Queensland government failed to pass vital land-clearing reform legislation.

This is a disaster of Queensland’s making.

It’s a huge win for big agriculture and a terrible blow for our Reef, climate change and hundreds of Queensland’s vulnerable or endangered species.

The health of our Reef is directly linked to increased erosion that comes from the tree clearing. Queensland has now passed up the chance to take real steps to protect our Reef for Australians and visitors around the world who support a major tourism industry.

Clearing in Queensland has doubled since 2011 to almost 300,000 hectares a year, more than half of this in reef catchments.

The rejection of this legislation is at odds with $8.2 billion recently announced to restore erosion and fix water quality in catchments flowing to the Reef.  These reforms were essential for the Reef to stay off the UNESCO World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.

It’s tragic that, as a State, we aren’t doing a better job of protecting our state and its globally significant natural assets.

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More coverage: ‘Queensland land-clearing controls face defeat with former Labor MP voting no’, in The Guardian, and ‘Toughened tree clearing laws fail to pass Queensland Parliament in blow to minority Labor Government’, on ABC News.

NQCC fundraising dinner a success

On Sunday 14th of August, NQCC hosted a fundraising dinner to celebrate our community of past committee members, donors, volunteers and staff. Additionally, former NQCC Coordinator Susan Brown was visiting Townsville after spending the past 11 years in Geneva working for WWF. We thought a dinner at the NQCC HQ would be a good opportunity for our community to gather.

Thank you to all of our guests. All funds raised will help NQCC continue its work as an advocate for the environment and to be ‘the mouse that roars’ on local conservation matters. And thank you to Susan who has very generously donated the sum of our fundraising efforts.

We look forward to more opportunities to bring our diverse and lively NQCC community together in the future!

Dinner

The Hon. Dr Steven Miles presents on the challenges facing the reef and the cost to fix it

On the 11th of August, NQCC staffers Maree Dibella and Jacob Miller attended Hon. Dr Steven Miles’ presentation on the challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef, as the Virginia Chadwick Memorial Lecture. Dr Miles unveiled the findings of a report by the Water Science Taskforce that details an $8.2 billion strategy to save the reef over the next decade.

The strategy is to reduce the amount of sediment the runs off in the reef by managing vegetation clearing and addressing gully erosion. Of particular concern is the Fitzroy catchment near Rockhampton, taking about three-quarters of the recommended funding, as well as the Burdekin catchment to the south of Townsville, which requires $1.39 billion for rehabilitation.

Continue reading “The Hon. Dr Steven Miles presents on the challenges facing the reef and the cost to fix it”

Paperbark e-newsletter August 2016

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Welcome to this month’s Paperbark! It’s been a busy month of planning events and making submissions about various conservation issues being reviewed. Just a reminder if you were a member in 2015/2016, you have until 5 September until your membership officially lapses. Click here to renew your membership. In this issue, Protecting our wildlife – Vegetation Management laws – Climate Change Policy – Upcoming Events – General Notices.

Continue reading “Paperbark e-newsletter August 2016”