Wanna snap the future? Get a pic of a king? 

If so, join other Queenslanders up and down the coast who will be busy photographing the king tides that will hit in a few days time (on Magnetic Island at exactly 8.36am on Sunday 22 January – that’s NEXT SUNDAY). 

The project is based on the fairly reasonable assumption that, if we know what the future is going to look like, we will be better prepared to cope with it. 
King tide at Geoffrey Bay, January 2011 Photo: Barbara Gibbs. 
Courtesy of Magnetic Times  www.magnetictimes.com.au
And as we know that, due to human activity and the appalling failure of our leaders to address adequately the problem of carbon emissions, sea levels are going to rise as a result of climate change, the king tides will give us an idea of what normality will look like within a few decades.

On Magnetic Island the January king tide is set to peak at 3.83 metres (still 0.28 metres short of the official highest astronomical tide for Townsville, which was itself exceeded at least once last year) at 8.36 am on Sunday 22 January.

The Witness King Tides Project is an initiative of those peerless monitors of all things environmental, the Australian and Queensland governments, supported by Surf Life Saving Queensland, Queensland Centre for Photography, Australian Coastal Society, Bleach Festival and Green Cross Australia, the local affiliate of Green Cross International – which was established In 1993 by president Mikhail Gorbachev in the hope that the world's most pressing environmental challenges could be solved by reconnecting humanity to the environment.

So if you want to see the future – and help us all plan for it – mark your calendar, get out there on Sunday 22 January with you camera (or phone) and upload your best photo(s) to the Witness King Tides Project website.

To register to be part of the project click here

Logo & image: Witness King Tides www.witnesskingtides.org
After many years of work by a number of island residents, the island’s ‘buffer zones’ of unallocated state land – the areas of land between the National Park and urban development – have now been included in the island’s National Park.

Click image to enlarge
The area (red) now included in the Magnetic Island National Park.

This, in effect, increases the Island’s National Park by 31% – and means that 3616 hectares of the Island are now protected under the NP system. 

‘The addition strengthens the protection that is provided to the island’s natural and cultural resources’ Member for Townsville Mandy Johnson said about the expansion. 

‘The rocky, wooded terrain of these areas is a key scenic feature of the island and a large part of the appeal for residents and tourists alike, and now it is protected for the future’, she said.

Mandy acknowledged the importance of the areas now protected to the Wulgurukaba people, the Traditional Owners of the area, and the support they had given to the inclusion of the new areas in the National Park.

Speaking on the island, Mandy also acknowledged the work of many Island residents over the years to bring about the expansion, and made special mention of the work done by MINCA founder-member, the late Peter le Grand, who worked on the project from when it was first mooted in 2003 up to his death, almost three years ago.

Member for Townsville Mandy Johnstone (r), with Linda Wootten, partner of the late Peter le Grand, a driving force behind the inclusion of the buffer zone in the island’s national park (l), and island activist, Tania Thoreau in front of land that will now be National Park.

Mandy explained that the expansion of the Magnetic Island National Park was part of a raft of new additions to the national parks of Queensland made by the State government, which is committed to increasing the national park estate to 7.7 per cent of the area of Queensland by 2020.

MINCA welcomes with enthusiasm the inclusion of the buffer zones in the National Park – which ensures their protection in perpetuity, and thanks the Wulgurukaba people for their support of this issue.

Free yourself with Freecylce
OK, so you made a New Year resolution to get rid of all those things around your place that you have been hanging on to for years ‘just in case’. You know what they are – those few extra pavers left over from the job that was done a couple of years ago, that chair that you have been meaning to fix for longer than you care to think about, the jars that you have been keeping for the marmalade you never make, the toys that the kids have out-grown, the (dare we say it) Christmas present, sent by a well-meaning someone, that you will never in a million years use...

Yep, you’re determined ... this year. It’s gonna happen this year. For sure.

But, question – how do you divest yourself of surplus stuff without adding to Magnetic Island’s already dire landfill problem?

Answer – Freecycle. Join up to Magnetic Island’s own Freecycle site and join the 8,862,750 members in 5,009 groups around the world who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

It's all about re-use and keeping good stuff out of landfills, giving away (not selling or exchanging) the stuff that you don’t want – on the basis of ‘one person’s unwanted stuff is another’s treasure’. All legal items (except pets and livestock and people’s labour) can be put up for grabs on the Magnetic Island Freecycle website – and all members can choose to be notified when something new comes up for grabs – a great way to get treasures to come to you without having to search (or, even worse, drive) around!

Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (on Magnetic Island that’s MINCA!) and membership is free.

So sign up, and start freecycling.

Freecycle - changing the world one gift at a time!