AUGUST 2022 BRANCH UPDATE

Greetings all – since the last update, three posts have been published for you to read (and enjoy or learn from!), so links for each of those are given below. These are followed by several news items, including details of our August walk. And there’s something just for fun, if you read right to the end!

June field trip report: Our excursion to a stretch of Little Bohle River on Bohle Plains attracted a good number of people interested to see a site so close to town but which most of us had never visited. Read the account here - which includes a couple of great photos of an elegant and skilful fisher.

Joint Branch walk at Mission Beach: A small group from Townsville had a beautiful walk at Mission Beach in the friendly company of Cassowary Coast-Hinchinbrook Branch members. You can read the account here, which also includes dates of three more walks planned by that Branch.

Stay alert for crazy ants: Yellow crazy ant infestations have been found at a number of sites in and around Townsville, most worryingly close to the boundary of the Mt Elliott section of the Cape Bowling Green National Park. Find out more about these highly invasive pests which can cause havoc and injury to our native plants and wildlife as well as to crops, domestic animals and people. 

An Independent EPA for Queensland? Following an approach from NQCC, the Townsville Branch added its name to a joint submission, prepared by the Environmental Defenders Office, regarding the proposed Independent Environmental Protection Agency in Queensland. The submission aims to ensure that an Independent EPA will address the serious issues existing in environmental regulation and governance in this State, and will actually support and increase the integrity, efficiency and outcomes of that governance. 

In particular the submission calls for 1) meaningful First Nations representation in decision-making, 2) a much stronger role and voice for the Dept of Environment and Science (now often over-ridden by other agencies or Departments), 3) adequate resourcing to enable compliance and enforcement, 4) avoidance of ‘regulatory capture’ - a system whereby the framework of regulations designed to protect the environment, becomes subordinated to the interests of those individuals, bodies or industries that it is meant to regulate and 5) establishment of clearly-defined goals, and decision-making processes which align with these goals. Please ask us if you would like to read the submission.

Large-scale habitat loss. Photo Kerry Trapnell.

Large-scale habitat loss. Photo Kerry Trapnell.

The State we’re in…. Most of you will have heard news bulletins about the release of the latest State of the Environment Report, commissioned by the previous government, although only released post-election. It makes sad reading, documenting collapsing ecosystems, increasing numbers of threatened plant and animal species, the dire impacts of extreme weather events and higher temperatures on species and habitats, and the continuing loss of environmentally and culturally important sites … and much moreBy clicking on the title (above) you can access the report itself and consume as much or as little as you can cope with. It is easy to browse by sections, and select segments within those sections. You can also read a neat summary from NQCC which includes some positives (yes, there are some!).

EVENTS COMING UP

August Field trip Sunday 21st:  This month’s trip will be to a creek at the bottom of the Bluewater Range. It has some flowing water, some sand, lots of rocks, and interesting vegetation around it. As well as the usual stuff to bring (especially WATER), hiking poles may make walking easier among rocks. Wear suitable shoes if you want to walk in the water.

Meet at 8.45 at the entrance to the park which is a short distance from the highway along Forestry Road, Bluewater. People can share cars from there if they wish. Feel free to wear a mask if you choose. Latecomers need to drive approx.13 km along Forestry Road. The bitumen finishes before you get to the creek but the gravel road is in good condition. About 50 metres before a give-way sign, and another sign warning of only 4WD access ahead, there is a small clearing on the left for parking.

Goondaloo site. CDTLI photo.

Goondaloo landcare site. CDTLI photo.

Celebratory tree-planting Sunday 28th August 8-10am. To mark National Tree-Planting Day and National Landcare Week, our local Coastal and Dry Tropics Landcare group (CDTLI) have over 100 seedlings to plant along Goondaloo Creek, one of the creeks which flows through the JCU campus into Ross River. This will enhance their mighty efforts to stabilise and re-vegetate the creek banks (previously choked with Leucaena) and create healthy new habitat for wildlife. If you haven’t been involved with Landcare activities before, this is a great chance to find out more about what’s involved – especially if you have youngsters in your family or household, as the Junior Landcare team and their co-ordinator, will also be present.  All volunteers will receive a free Bush nursery voucher, and the morning will finish with a free BBQ. The site is located on Discovery Drive, the road that leads off the Annandale roundabout and runs behind the hospital before entering the JCU campus. For more info contact the CDTLI secretary.

Alligator Creek (Cape Bowling Green NP, Mount Elliott section)…. the saga continues and sadly it now looks likely that the re-opening of the visitor area won’t happen until our walks program for 2022 is almost over. The following statement has been posted on the DES Parks and Forests website: Due to planned construction works, the Alligator Creek visitor precinct at Bowling Green Bay National Park will remain closed and completion date has now been revised to 28 October 2022. This is due to increased numbers of Covid19 cases affecting staffing in recent months, which has delayed the construction of the walking track and bridge component of the project. You can read the full statement here

And just for fun…. test your knowledge of native/non-native trees in this ABC quiz. And when you’ve done that, why not vote for your favourite Aussie tree?

NB. Please note that copyright of all images in this post resides with the photographers. Pease contact us to obtain permission to use. 

 

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