|SCEC has been rather active in the lead up to the UN Climate talks now wrapping up in Paris. On Wednesday 25th November, Narelle and Leah attended the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy workshop at QUT in Brisbane. Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Steven Miles MP, who has also completed Climate Reality training, announced he would be attending the conference. "Reflections from week 2 of the Paris Climate Talks" on the Climate Councils website provides some insights.Later that evening, SCEC hosted a film screening of ‘This Changes Everything’ at the Maleny Community Centre. The film was based on the novel by Naomi Klein who builds on the idea that ‘we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.’ Over 120 people experienced this compelling film-thank you to all who came along and left motivated to take action and conversations on climate change further. Special thanks to SCEC management committee members Natalie, Jillian and Mary-Jane, as well as Jenny from Maleny Land, Air and Water for ensuring a memorable evening was had by all.
On Saturday 28 November, SCEC's Paddle Out for Climate Action at Noosa was a huge success with clear skies, calm water and over 300 participants gathering with their surf craft and signs of support. People of all ages were in attendance, some travelling from all over the coast to join in the fun and to make a collective and important statement. Lilly, a senior student from Maleny High School, made an impassioned and considered plea on behalf of current and future generations for action on climate change. A local surf film producer took some stunning aerial drone footage of everyone in the water and you'll be able to experience the event through the clips we'll be uploading to the website soon! The event received some good media coverage appearing on the 7 News and WIN News alongside the Climate Marches that took place on the same day throughout the nation and across the globe. Photos from the event are being posted periodically on the new SCEC Instagram page which we invite you to follow. Additional media coverage can be found at Noosa News and The Sunshine Coast Daily.
There has been so much happening in the environmental and planning legislation space. Who better than the incredible folk from the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland to give us the low down on what's been going down..
EDO and SCEC are planning another LawJam in third week of January on the Draft Planning and suborindate legislation. If you’re interested in attending, please send Narelle an email at [email protected]. This legislation directly affects what happens in our local natural and built environments and the LawJams are a great way to get a better understanding of the planning system and your rights.
Bruce Highway Upgrade: Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway project
Contractors Fulton Hogan/Seymour Whyte Joint Venture and The Infrastructure Group were selected by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in early November to submit proposals for the detailed design and construction of the Bruce Highway upgrade project from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway.
According to TMR, the assessment panel chose these groups based on their demonstrated capability and capacity to deliver a project of this complexity, and experience on similar infrastructure projects. Under the double Early Contractor Involvement process (dECI), these two contractors have until late March 2016 to prepare and then present their offer, with an award of contract expected in mid-2016.
Shortlisted proponents have been tasked with addressing key issues identified via community engagement. Encouragingly, environmental factors remain a high priority with the aim to reduce the impacts on the Beerwah State Forest to the greatest extent possible. Maintaining access to local businesses, particularly the Aussie World precinct, is also a key consideration, as is minimising impacts for the community and road users during construction, which is expected to start in late 2016.
With a commercial-in-confidence period now in place, there are some restrictions on the information that TMR can provide to the community in the coming months due to the competing nature of the dECI process. However, SCEC and other community groups such as the Save Steve Irwin Way Forest Group continue to provide information and seek updates as much as possible. The protection of the high biodiversity values of the Steve Irwin Way Forest through a vastly improved final design which avoids the forest and delivers conservation outcomes overall is imperative.
Be sure to attend to the public forum being convened by Mark McArdle MP this Saturday 12 December from 9-11am at the CCSA Hall, 1 Nutley St, Caloundra to find out more and provide your feedback directly to TMR.
Read more here.
Sunshine Coast Light Rail
SCEC had a briefing with the Sunshine Coast Light Rail team recently and was updated on the progression of feasibility studies for a light rail system intially between Maroochydore and Caloundra. Eventually the system could link most major coastal destinations and attractions and connect with buses and trains to form an integrated public transport network for the region. Very exciting! Click here to learn more and stay informed.
Environment Levy recognised
The Sunshine Coast Council has been awarded the 2015 Group Wildlife Conservation Award by the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors at the prestigious Steve Irwin Gala in recognition of its Environment Levy Program.- See more here.
The environment levy is a crucial source of funding for acquisitions, community partnerships and environmental programs across the region and delivers significant conservation outcomes. While SCEC does not support flying-fox dispersals, and moreover the inappropriate use of important Environment Levy funds to undertake these activities, we are fortunate to have a source of funding to support the great work of our community groups and to enhance the biodiversity and natural values of the region. Well done to Council on receiving this award- one we can all celebrate!
After six years with SCEC as Executive Officer, we recently bid farewell to Wiebe ter Bals.
Wiebe has made many invaluable contributions during this period, including outstanding work on the Caloundra South and Halls Creek campaigns, climate action events, the World Environment Day Festival, research and strategic planning. And the list literally does go on…whether behind the scenes or out in front, Wiebe made it count and we are extremely grateful for his incredible work and passion. Wiebe has also been instrumental in ensuring SCEC is equipped with contemporary systems to increase our capacity and maximise our efforts as the region’s peak environmental advocacy organisation. In wishing Wiebe all the very best for his future endeavours, we are fortunate to have him take on the role as acting SCEC President following the recent resignation of the amazing Keryn Jones due to personal and professional circumstances. We sincerely thank Wiebe for his expertise and knowledge which have delivered significant benefits to SCEC and the broader Sunshine Coast region. Wiebe'sefforts for positive change will continue to make a difference.
Happy International Volunteer Day – 5th December!
SCEC would like to extend a big thank you to our volunteers and acknowledge the generous contribution they make to the organisation, whether that be through fundraising, assisting at events or ensuring the daily functioning of the office. We would also like to sincerely thank our Management Committee for their wisdom, support and ongoing commitment to SCEC over the years.
Speaking of volunteers, SCEC would like to welcome our newest office volunteer, Julie. Julie will be commencing her Environmental Science degree at USC in the New Year and has extensive experience working in administration across a number of Australian universities.
Do you know someone will skills in social media and WordPress/html? SCEC is looking for an enthusiastic volunteer to join our team with specific skills in social media and WordPress/html. We are looking to enhance SCEC’s online presence across various platforms to help people stay informed on our campaigns, encourage participation and help share the wonderful achievements of our member groups.
We are also looking for a volunteer photographer with their own equipment and skills in photo editing to capture the spirit of our events! If you have someone in mind for either roles, please let them know and invite them to email [email protected]for more information.
You are invited to the SCEC New Year Cruise! This year our cruise has a theme “Pirate Protectors of the Pumicestone Passage.” We’ll be gathering at the Pelican Waters jetty on 29 January at 5:15pm for a 5:30pm departure. Tickets are $20 and include tapas and a drink on arrival. Click here to RSVP to the event and to find out more.
Collaboration with the Pente Poets, the Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance and SCEC will see the ‘Hinterland to Headland – Poetry in Place’ event on the weekend of the 22nd-24th January 2016. The event is made up of four smaller poetry reading events across different locations. Themes and locations include: Yandina – Heritage theme, Maroochy Botanic Gardens- Bushland theme, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, Maleny – Rainforest theme, The Bluff, Alexandra Headland – Coast theme. The opening event in Yandina will include a Welcome to Country by Lyndon Davis and music by a local ukelele band. The closing event at The Bluff will include drinks and tapas by the rising solstice full moon to the sounds of an acoustic guitarist. Click here to RSVP for the event.
The WED Festival 2016 will have a new flavour- and we're seeking your input, ideas and involvement! To honor the great successes of previous years while keeping to our grassroots, WED2016 is taking a more refined approach and will be including all the greatest highlights identified by you! We're even returning to WED's early home of Cotton Tree Park. Festival veterans will remember the good vibes and inspiration shared by all way back when SCEC first hosted a World Environment Day Festival in 1979. So please email Leah at [email protected] with your favourite memories from the past and what you'd like to see and experience as the SCEC tradition of WED evolves. Let the creativity begin and the spirit of WED soar!
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 protected]
If you have not yet liked us on Facebook, please be sure to do so! Share our page and get us over 2000 likes by the end of the year!
Can you spare $10 this Christmas? If so, please give to the SCEC Christmas appeal. A little can go a long way. We have a goal of $1000, can you help us reach it?
We are pleased to announce that you can now allocate a percentage of your online purchases to SCEC through the Give Back Campaign. It works quite simply – all you need to do is download the app to your phone and then scroll through the participating stores. You will then be taken to the store’s website where you can make your online purchase as usual. By going through the app, you will be given an option at the checkout to donate a percentage of your sale to a charity of your choice. More details on how you can encourage big business to donate to SCEC using the Give Back campaign can be found here. A big thank you to Natalie from the management committee for initiating this one!
Friday 11 December: International Mountain Day
Friday 11 December: Entries open for ‘Wetlands in Focus Photography Prize.’ There are prizes for the best shots of wetland plants, animals, landscapes and even for photos of wetland volunteers! There’s $1500 in cash prizes on offer. It’s free to enter and entries are open right up to the end of February 2016. Enter competition here.
Saturday 12 December at the CCSA Hall, 9-11am: Final public forum on the Bruce Highway and Caloundra Rd Interchange upgrades at 1 Nutley St, Caloundra, organised by Mark McArdle, Member for Caloundra.
Friday 22 January: Opening of Hinterland to Headland – Poetry in Place 5pm, Yandina Anglican Church. Includes Welcome to Country, Poetry readings, fundraiser sausage sizzle, and Ukulele band.
Saturday 23 January: Hinterland to Headland – Poetry in Place, 10am – 11am, Maroochy Botanic Gardens. Includes Poetry readings, café situated close by.
Saturday 23 January: Hinterland to Headland – Poetry in Place,2pm – 3pm, Mary Cairncross Park, Maleny. Includes Poetry readings, café situated close by.
Sunday 24 January: Closing of Hinterland to Headland – Poetry in Place 6pm – 8pm, The Bluff, Alexandra Heads. Includes Poetry readings, tapas and bar by the solstice full moon and an acoustic guitar performance.
Friday 29 January: SCEC New Year Cruise – ‘Pirate Protectors of the Pumicestone Passage’, Meet at the Pelican Waters jetty at 5:15 for a 5:30pm departure. Tickets $20 and includes complimentary tapas and thank you drink on arrival. Dress up theme. Limited spots RSVP here.