As a lot of us know, it can be exhausting trying to save the planet, especially when our government turns around just days after the Environmental Sector Roundtable and approves the Adani Coal Mine. Not to mention the announcement directly following our worst ever coral bleaching event. These actions leave you thinking.. to say the least.
In a country like ours where we are so well provided for, it's easy to become complacent. Perhaps we need to lose all of our koala's, shade, coral, clean drinking water and air quality before leaders will make decisions we can be proud of. Or perhaps we can just throw a fun environmental festival by the beach, share some cold brews, tell some stories about the good old days, and pass on our wisdom to the ones with the real power- The People. By truly connecting with our fellow human beings and continuing to lead by example- we'll get there. After all, this is the Age of Aquarius isn't it?
This month SCEC are wondering what inspired you to become ecologically responsible? We know different things appeal to different people, so we're all ears. I know for me- it was sitting at The Dreaming Festival at Woodford many years ago and hearing the Indigenous Aunties singing around a campfire in the early hours of the morning. I don't know what their lyrics meant, but if the Earth could sing, I'm almost certain that it would sound something like that.
Land clearing in Queensland has increased exponentially as a consequence of the Newman government’s rollback of the Vegetation Management Act. The rate, scale and type of broadscale clearing threatens our wildlife, our climate and the reef.
A recent analysis by WWF-Australia showed an alarming 211,820 hectares of the bushland cleared in the period between 2012-2014 was habitat where 200 threatened species (139 plants and 61 animals) are known to occur or are likely to occur. This staggering loss included 40,312 hectares of koala habitat – an iconic species recently listed as vulnerable to extinction.
Not only has vital habitat for wildlife been irreversibly destroyed, but such a significant spike in clearing has driven up greenhouse gas emissions contributing to dangerous global warming.
The Palaszczuk government recently introduced the Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 to parliament which would effectively reinstate provisions as they stood in 2012.
These amendments would bring the legislation closer to restoring necessary environmental protections through adequate and reasonable controls on large scale land clearing. Read more here.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
The local government elections held on 19 March delivered little change in terms of representation with the incumbent Mayor and Councillors (except a new Councillor in John Connolly for Division 4) returned for another term.
This was a pivotal election for the region’s future with impacts like climate change and increasing population growth driving massive developments currently without supporting infrastructure. Such things will see the character and lifestyle values of the region severely tested.
Council will need to address these pressing issues while protecting the environment and community interests in an open, objective and collaborative way – the community expects nothing less.
SCEC undertook a survey of candidates in the lead-up to the election and you can see all the responses here. Note the responses from the now re-elected Councillors to see how they hold to these positions over the next four years. You won’t find responses from Councillors Cox or Rogerson as they did not participate in the survey, however, they are no less accountable.
You can also read the accompanying media release issued on the eve of the election.
Environment Minister's Roundtable - 22 and 23 March 2016
In late March, Queensland’s peak environment group, the Queensland Conservation Council co-ordinated the attendance of environment groups from across Queensland in two days of Roundtable meetings with the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, the Hon Dr Steven Miles, his Departmental Directors-General and senior departmental staff. A very wide range of topics was discussed including proposed land clearing legislation, climate change, the Great Barrier Reef, coal seam gas, rivers, financial assurance and rehabilitation of mine sites, water reform, air pollution, wildlife, and national parks and protected areas.
These meetings are extremely valuable and serve as a great opportunity for SCEC to collaborate with the breadth of the conservation sector and to bring our important regional issues and activities into this key forum. We continue to progress these and other matters with the Minister and his Departments and sincerely thank them for hosting these mutually beneficial meetings. We also acknowledge the great work of our conservation colleagues for so ably representing Queensland's environment, members and the future of all Queenslanders.
Call to Action!
The Sunshine Coast Environment Council – in association with the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, WWF-Australia and The Wilderness Society – recently held LawJam’s on vegetation management reforms.
These informative presentations are now available
Help protect our wildlife and ecosystems from broadscale clearing by doing a submission by 25 April!
Upcoming SCEC Events
The SCEC Fundraiser Member Cruise is 2 weeks away! We have just 12 tickets left so get in quick! Come cruise around the Pumicestone Passage on sunset and enjoy some canapes and a cold drink among like minded folk! Saturday 30 April from 4pm-6pm is when you'll be afloat. We’ll be gathering at 4:15pm for a 4:30pm departure. Tickets are $20 and include tapas and a drink on arrival. We only have a few tickets left so get in quick! Click here to purchase tickets and to find out more. If you already have a ticket, we'll see you there!
World Environment Day Festival 2016- Cotton Tree Park- New vibe, old tribe- This year's festival theme"WE are the environment, WE are the solution"- Music by Band of Frequencies, Gian, Peter Hunt, The Brains Trust, Holly Knott (12 year old soul singer activist extraordinaire), Comedy by Rod Quantock, Stone and Wood sunset bar, Live art, Children's Forest, speakers, workshops, craft, installations, drama performances, community groups, exhibitors, Travel Smart organised bike rides, raffle, stories from local legends, car display- the list goes on. And even better- it's FREE!
If you have not yet liked us on Facebook, please be sure to do so! Share our page and help us reach 3000 likes during 2016!
If you consider yourself a picture person, follow us on Instagram to see the latest photos from our events and campaigns. If you have a high quality photo from the region, or a snapshot of your group in action, send it to us and we’ll help share it with the world. Email photos to [email protected]
16 April- Brisbane Catchments Network presents “Connect to your Catchment”. Family fun at New Farm Park here.
16 April (3rd Saturdays)- Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group Working Bee. Namba Creek, 8am- Southern side of Model Railway, Florence Street, Nambour. You’ll need to come in bush protective clothing including boots/shoes and a hat. Some of the plants need to go in at the waters edge and if you have a pair of gumboots, bring them, as that’s the easiest way to get them planted. Tools provided. Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information. All upcoming events for Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group can be found here.
16 April – Yandina Community Gardens Documentary Screening ‘Fed Up’. The film that will change the way you eat forever here.
20 April- Bush Regeneration Master Class- Field Nutrition, Burung Landcare workshop. During this workshop you will learn about food intake for working in the field and hydration strategies. More info here.
21 April- ‘Geology of the Sunshine Coast’, Noosa Landcare workshop.Warwick Willmott, geology guru for Queensland, is returning after the sell-out workshop in 2014. Numbers are limited, so book early here.
21 April- Permaculture Noosa monthly meeting. A market place sharing surplus home grown produce and plants, followed by meeting and supper. More info here.
22 April- Noosa Parks Association- Friday Forum- Blazing the Biodiversity Trail in Brazil by Edwin Hammet. 10am for 10:30 start. With short talk from Leah (SCEC) regarding WED Festival . More info here.
22 April – Barung Landcare’s Roving Restorers – Planned morning of tree planting to enhance the Koala habitat at the Koala Walk Nature Refuge between 9 am and 12 pm. Details available here
23 April- Surfrider Foundation- Australian Premiere- "All the Way to the Ocean"- Great education cartoon made by Joel Harper. 4pm to 6pm at The J, Noosa. Tickets available here. Facebook event page here.
24 April – Noosa & District Landcare – Stories by Sunset – Listen to the stories and song of the frogs of Cooroy Creek as told by Lyndon Davies and the Gubbi Gubbi dance group. Talk by Tim Hackwood BSc Environment. Emerald Street Amphitheatre, Johnson’s Park, Cooroy 5pm- 7pm (after Cooroy Originals). Free sausage sizzle, tea & coffee/cold drinks. More details here
27 April (4th Wednesdays)- Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group Working Bee. Gulung Gung (Q. Park Ext.), 7am- Behind Price Busters, Howard Street, Nambour (across the creek from Quota Park). Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information. All upcoming events for Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group can be found here.
29 April- Noosa Parks Association- Friday Forum- Solitary Bees by Dianne Clark. 10am for 10:30 start. More info here.
30 Apr – Yandina Community Garden Guided Garden Tour. An inspirational garden tour to see permaculture principles and design ideas in action. More info here.
30 April–2 May: Maleny Wood Expo. Workshops now open for bookings. Three days of family fun promoting the work of local artisans using beautiful sustainable timber. More info here.
30 April – Film Event “This Changes Everything”- Sunshine Coast Lets- Inspired by Naomi Klein’s non-fiction bestseller “This Changes Everything”, the film presents the human face of worldwide battles against the global fossil fuel Industry. Screening times:- 3:30pm for 4:00 pm and 6:00pm for 6:30 pm. Tickets: Adults $15.00; Student card holders $5:00. Bookings essential. For tickets and booking options email [email protected]
6 May- Noosa Parks Association- Friday Forum- Why tree leaves are different colours by Rod Jamieson. More info here.
7 May- Bellbunya Open Day Organic Cafe & Swap-Meet. A fun, educational family-friendly Open Day- Evening! More info here.
7 May- Yandina Community Gardens Workshop Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Honey Bees….. and didn’t know who to ask!Presented by Paul Moriarty of the Sunshine Coast Amateur Beekeepers Group. More info here.
7 May – Symphony by the Sea – Mother’s Day Concert hosted by Development Watch and performed by The Sunshine Coast Symphony Orchestra. This “simply classical” event will be held at Coolum Civic Centre. Tickets: Advance purchase- $22 General; $20 Concession . At the door- $25General; $22 Concession Details here
Weekend of 13-14-15 May- Surfrider Foundation 'Double Island Point Beach Clean Up' weekend. Includes dune care, education and live music. Pack the 4wd's and camp gear for another HUGE weekend of fun and activism. Spread the word! Book these dates in and register NOW. 13-14-15 MAY and 7-8-9 OCTOBER. Check out our promo video filmed at the October 2015 clean up here.
15 May- Yandina Community Gardens (YCG) Open Day. Gardening Australia presenter, Jerry Coleby-Williams will be the main speaker for the day – presenting 2 talks and leading a ‘garden wander’. Fun family friendly day out with stalls, food and live music. Details here.
Ongoing – Faunawatch Walks- Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland – every second Wednesday of the month at Maroochy Bushland Botanical Gardens, Tanawah. Find out more here
Exciting Employment Opportunity with Bellbunya Eco Community!
Are you interested in working with young people in a hands-on environmental project at Bellbunya Eco Community in 2017? To explore the possibility, you can visit Bellbunya for a couple of days or more during May 28- June 10 or June 25- July 8 (not weekends) this year. The position is paid (not all that much, but definitely worthwhile!). If interested, come along for two or so days during this year's International Student Volunteer (ISV) trip for some experience in what the job entails. For more information, contact [email protected]
This is a picture of a rather hairy Huntsman Spider that was creeping around the home of one of the SCEC team. It was reported that one night, as the spider slowly walked across the balcony railing, it spat a white fluid from it's behind, reaching a distance of approximately 70cm. The spider seemed very peaceful and was not in any way threatened or hesitant. A few days later when the spider reappeared, it was gracefully relocated to the outside garden. It was reported as seeming somewhat old and tired. Does anybody know what this white liquid could be? If so, email [email protected]
Have a great month!
All the best from the SCEC team.