Big Solar in the Rain!

Big Solar in the Rain!

NQCC’s Townsville launch of the Big Solar campaign will go ahead come rain or shine! According to co-organiser Janet Dearden “Nothing will dampen our enthusiasm for Big Solar”.

The campaign, one of many around the country, will call on the federal government to commit, this year, to at least 2000MW of Big Solar projects (either solar thermal or solar PV power stations) to be built by 2015.

We’ll be gathering at 9.30am this Sunday (18 March) on the banks of Ross Creek near Victoria Bridge to form the words ‘BIG SOLAR’, using massed people to make the shape of the letters. And of course, we’ll be inviting the media. Together we can make a difference! Let’s show our support for BIG SOLAR and make our MPs pay attention!

Four of the five candidates at NQQC’s ‘The Environment and the Election’ forum held on Thursday 15 March at Townsville Yacht Club promised to be there – so this is your chance to show your support for Big Solar while bending the ear of an election candidate!

Bring HighViz gear, a small mirror, plenty of enthusiasm – and an umbrella!

For more information, check out our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/events/387796771234335/ or contact Janet (4724 2072), Mary (4725 7245) or Gerald (0401 429 021).

Will you help us launch NQCC’S BIG SOLAR Campaign on Sunday 18 March?

Following from the success of last year’s Coal Seam Gas rally, we will be launching our BIG SOLAR Campaign in Townsville on Sunday 18 March. In support of the national BIG SOLAR Campaign by 100% Renewable Energy, we are calling for the Government to commit, this year, to at least 2000MW of Big Solar projects (either solar thermal or solar PV power stations) to be built by 2015.

To achieve this we’re going to need public support and the attention of the media. So we’ll be gathering on the banks of Ross Creek near Victoria Bridge to form the words ‘BIG SOLAR’, using massed people to make the shape of the letters. And of course, we’ll be inviting the media. Afterwards we’ll have a CELEBRATION with live music and free food. We’ll also have speakers, posters, banners and information on the BIG SOLAR Campaign.

Can you come along? Together we can make a difference! Let’s show our support for BIG SOLAR and make our MPs pay attention!

Where: On the banks of Ross Creek near the Victoria Bridge – between the river, Victoria Bridge and Dean Street – South Townsville

When: 9.30am, Sunday 18 March

Want to be involved by helping with this event (even in a small way)? We’d love you to join us.

For more information, check out our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/events/387796771234335/ or contact Janet (4724 2072), Mary (4725 7245) or Gerald (0401 429 021).

‘The Environment and the Election’ forum – Thursday 15 March

Now here’s an important date for your diary!

Candidates for the State seat of Townsville will present their views and answer questions about the environment at ‘The Environment and the Election’ forum to be held at the Townsville Yacht Club at 6pm on Thursday 15 March.

The forum, organised by North Queensland Conservation Council, will give members of the public the chance to compare the environmental policies of the parties, as briefly presented by the candidates, and to ask questions during the Q&A session – which will take up most of the forum.

In announcing the forum, NQCC Coordinator Wendy Tubman said “We are aware that there is a lot of community interest and concern about the local and broader environment and how State government policy will affect it.

Whether it’s solar power and renewable energy, protection of the reef, coastal development, the future of coal seam gas in the area or something else again, the forum will provide the opportunity to ask specific questions about specific environmental issues that are influenced by the State government.”

The forum is free of charge and open to all.

Look forward to seeing you there!

North Queensland and Mackay Conservation Councils slam dredging plans


North Queensland Conservation Council and Mackay Conservation Council today joined a coalition of representatives from the fishing and tourism industries, reef scientists and the Australian Greens in voicing extreme alarm about the impact of massive dredging planned for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the marine environment in general.

“Most people would reasonably assume that if the government establishes a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and then campaigns internationally to have the Reef recognised as a property with World Heritage values, they are serious about protecting something of immeasurable wealth”, said NQCC Coordinator Wendy Tubman. “But, instead, we see a government so absorbed in creating quick money by exploiting the country’s mineral resources, that they are prepared to destroy an irreplaceable living wonder for ever.”

“It is a scandalous mis-use of power” she said, “and one that will not help them when the people get to decide on their legacy. Millions of thinking Australians understand that the pursuit of wealth must have limits – and destruction of our reef and marine environment is way beyond those limits.”

“The permanent loss of species and of the vast and magnificent reef does not bear thinking about. Yet, at the moment, we see a handful of politicians, backed by a phalanx of mining executives, stealing the heritage of the people of the world in order to expand ports and export Australia’s natural resources. It’s outrageous and must be stopped.”

Contact: Wendy Tubman, NQCC (ph) 4771 6226 (mob) 0451 176 761

 

Underwater Legend Valerie Taylor Urges Protection of the Coral Sea

Underwater Legend Valerie Taylor Urges Protection of the Coral Sea—While We Still Have Time

BRISBANE, 11 January 2012—The Coral Sea is a beacon of hope in the world’s oceans, yet the Australian Government’s recently released draft plan for the Coral Sea will not give it the protection its marine life needs, according to Valerie Taylor AM, renowned underwater photographer and conservationist.

To highlight her concerns, Ms Taylor has narrated a short film showcasing the beauty of the Coral Sea and urging Australians to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conserve it. The film can be viewed at www.protectourcoralsea.org.au.

“As Australians, we are privileged to have such a healthy area of ocean under our responsibility, yet I am concerned that the government’s proposal fails to adequately safeguard the Coral Sea for future generations”, Ms Taylor said.

“I’ve seen the changes that have occurred in our oceans over many years. Establishing a very large, highly protected marine national park in the Coral Sea would safeguard this special area just like national parks do on land”, she continued.

“The government’s proposed Coral Sea Marine Reserve falls short of protecting the area’s fragile coral reefs, vital breeding sites, and spectacular marine life, including big fish like sharks, tuna, and marlin”,  Ms Taylor added.

“Only the eastern half of this ocean treasure has been set aside as a safe haven for marine life. But it is the western Coral Sea where most of the species-rich coral reefs and critical spawning sites for black marlin and threatened tuna are found. Just two of 25 reefs are proposed for high-level protection in the draft”, said Daisy Barham of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

“Although oil and gas development, and mining would be banned from the proposed Coral Sea Marine Reserve, the spectacular marine life of the coral reefs, canyons, and seamounts remain threatened by various types of fishing”, she continued.

“The Coral Sea may be the world’s last great tropical ocean ecosystem where a highly protected marine national park on a very large scale could be established and effectively managed. The government should seize the opportunity to safeguard the coral reefs and leave a legacy that Australians—and the world—can be proud of”, said Imogen Zethoven of the Pew Environment Group.

Protect our Coral Sea is a coalition of 13 Australian and international conservation groups, which comprises the Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Marine Conservation Society, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, Greenpeace, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Parks Association of Queensland, North Queensland Conservation Council, Pew Environment Group, Project AWARE, Queensland Conservation Council, Wildlife Queensland, and WWF Australia.##

Editor’s Notes:

  • Valerie Taylor began diving in 1956 and pioneered underwater footage of sharks when she became the first person in the world to photograph great white sharks without the protection of a cage.  As a cinematographer for the film Jaws, Valerie and her partner, Ron Taylor, brought marine life to movie screens and TV for many Australians.  Valerie was the recipient of a Centenary Medal in 2001 and was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for her outstanding contribution to marine conservation. 
  • More than 270 marine scientists from 35 countries, including Australia, have endorsed a science statement calling for the establishment of a worldwide system of very large, highly protected marine reserves in areas such as the Coral Sea: http://bit.ly/swXyUc
  • In the past 50 years, more than 90 percent of the world’s large predatory oceangoing fish have disappeared because of overfishing (Source: R A Myers & B Worm, Nature, Vol 423, 15 May 2003).
  • Less than 1 percent of the world’s oceans are fully protected.
  • Protect Our Coral Sea, a coalition of 13 Australian and international conservation groups, is calling on the federal government to establish a large, world-class, highly protected marine park in Australia’s Coral Sea that will provide a haven for marine life and recognize its historic significance. www.ProtectOurCoralSea.org.au
  • The Protect Our Coral Sea coalition comprises the Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Marine Conservation Society, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, Greenpeace, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Parks Association of Queensland, North Queensland Conservation Council, the Pew Environment Group, Project AWARE, Queensland Conservation Council, Wildlife Queensland, and WWF-Australia.