MINCA is proud to announce that it now has over 100 members – and the 100th member – and so winner of our competition is ... Julie Heath! 

Julie will become the proud owner of an original Mel Williams painting. Thanks for coming on board Julie – and thanks and welcome to all our new members. 

All those who joined up as a member of MINCA for the first time between 5 November and 23 December were put in the draw to win an A4 print of Charlie McColl’s great photo of the Adelaide at Cockle Bay at dusk.

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Julie Heath - MINCA's 100th member! (Photo: George Hirst)
And the winner of that is ... Mark Carpenter. Congratulations Mark!

Attracting over 100 members is a huge achievement for a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation on the island – and we’re pretty chuffed about it.

But, apart from being rightly proud, we are encouraged that so many people have ‘joined the club’ dedicated to protecting the very special environment that for many of us is our home and that for all of us is World Heritage Magnetic Island. 

MINCA, now coming up to its sixteenth year of operation, has an impressive track record, but the task is never over. With increased development, a changing climate and other pressures, the environment of Magnetic Island and its surrounding waters will need continuing support. It is the existence of members that enables that to happen.

A special thanks to our very active membership officers (Pen and Mel), to all those who have served on the MINCA Management Committee over the years – and to our wonderful members.

May you enjoy a peaceful and joyous festive season and an enlightening and productive 2012.

And if you are reading this as a non-member (or know of someone who might like to be a member), please visit our membership page! 

 
 
Father Christmas, King Tides and now this... another invasive alien (weed) arrives in Queensland.

The Queensland Herbarium is asking everyone to keep an eye out for Praxelis clematidea, a weed of South American origin which is known to be highly invasive in most situations in north Queensland.

The plant forms dense swards and is not deterred by grazing as it is not eaten by stock. Like virtually all weeds, it is a particular threat in disturbed situations and roadsides.

It is easily confused with blue billygoat weed (Ageratum houstonianum) that is widespread on the island, but can be identified by differences in the shape of the flower heads, seeds and leaves.

The differences are demonstrated below.

If you find any Praxelis, the Herbarium would like you to send a specimen to The Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Rd, Toowong, 4066.

For more information on collecting, call 38969318 or email queensland.herbarium@epa.qld.gov.au

 
 
(Photos courtesy of DERM)

Littering and dumping have been illegal for ages – but fining those anti-social few that persist in making their waste everyone else’s problem has depended on the offence being witnessed by an ‘authorised officer’.

Now, changes to the legislation mean that everyone can report online anyone seen littering, or dumping waste from a vehicle, trailer or vessel. This includes people who drop litter as they get into or out of a vehicle. It also includes those who allow waste to fly off a vehicle, trailer or vessel.

Feel uncomfortable about being a ‘dobber’?

Don’t.

Litter and dumped waste pollute waterways and aquatic habitats; are often mistaken for food by animals and marine life  – blocking their digestive tracts and killing them painfully and slowly; can entangle aquatic animals and birds; can block waterways and stormwater drains, increasing the likelihood of flooding and erosion; attract rodents, insects and other vermin that pose a health risk; increase the risk of fire; and reduce the aesthetic appeal of public places. 

Penalties for individuals include $300 for throwing, for example, a drink container, food wrapper or bus ticket from a vehicle, trailer or vessel. The fine rises to $400 if what is thrown is dangerous, such as broken glass or a lit cigarette. Fines for dumping (including of garden waste) range from $400 to $1650 for individuals, according to the amount dumped. These fines multiply tenfold if the alleged offence is unsuccessfully contested in court.

Click here for more information on waste management in Queensland.

And do the right thing!