The DERM (Department of Environment and Resource Management in Queensland) website makes it crystal clear...”A nature refuge agreement is perpetual, attached to the land, and binds successive owners of the land. A perpetual agreement is the best means for you to ensure that your good land management practices and restoration work will be continued when future generations or when ownership changes”.

Tell that to the owners of Bimblebox. Their 8000ha nature refuge is under threat from Waratah Coal, which plans an open-cut mine that would destroy more than half of the refuge, and long-wall mining under the other half. And the Bimblebox owners can’t just say ‘no thanks’!

The Environmental Impact Statement (prepared by Waratah) is open for public comment until 19 December. Find out more about Bimblebox Nature Refuge and make a submission.

Bimblebox is the first nature refuge to be so threatened by mining – and what happens there will influence what happens on other nature refuges around the state. If you want to see Bimblebox and other nature refuges protected from mining for future generations, PLEASE find time to make a submission by the due date.

How COULD they do it? 
Nature Refuges are areas of land nominated by landholders and after assessment by a Departmental Nature Refuge Officer, accepted by the  Department. In making the assessment, consideration is given to:

·  areas containing, or providing habitat for, plant and animal species   that are rare or threatened;

·  habitats or vegetation types that are threatened, such as  endangered and of concern regional ecosystems;

·  habitats and ecosystems that are poorly represented in existing reserves;

·  remnant vegetation;

·  movement corridors for native animals, especially those linking areas of remnant vegetation or existing reserves;

·  significant wetlands, including mound spring communities; and/or

·  cultural heritage.

The assessment also considers the significance of the potential nature refuge at a property, landscape and strategic level. Nature refuges are those that:

·  at a property level, contain significant conservation values that are of a sufficient size, condition and placement in the landscape to remain viable in the long-term;

·  at a landscape level, increase the representation of the state's biodiversity and establish or maintain landscape linkages and corridors; and/or

·  at a strategic level, possess exceptional values or circumstances that directly or indirectly contribute to improved conservation in Queensland.

Given the selection criteria, it is incredible that Bimblebox (or any) Nature Refuge can be handed over for coal mining. Please find the time before 19 December to make a submission asking for the protection of Bimblebox from mining.

Media Release

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mahogany Gliders - Cardwell and Ingham

Are you looking for a different way to spend your time? Why not try volunteering with Conservation Volunteers! We have some great projects on offer.

Mahogany Gliders are rare, nocturnal mammals only found in specific areas of North Queensland. The shy often elusive night feeders feast on nectar and pollen from a number of different species of trees and shrubs and rely on hollow eucalypts for nesting.

They are listed as endangered and with your help Conservation Volunteers can assist with species surveys and habitat restoration.

“The effects of Cyclone Yasi are still evident and practical hands on conservation activities are very important in helping nature refuge habitat” explains Karen Vidler, Regional Manager Townsville.

In partnership with Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM), join a team to contribute in a practical way to better understand and preserve the species and habitat.

There are two upcoming projects departing from Townsville; Monday 28 Nov to 2 Dec in the Cardwell region and 12 to 16 Dec in the Ingham region. The cost of $208 covers transport to and from Townsville, meals and accommodation for 5 days.

To reserve a place please contact Wendy Willcox 0409 934 263 or email  townsville@cva.org.au

Volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, meet new people and learn new skills – while making a real difference to the environment. You choose the level of your commitment, and can enjoy the experience with others and meet new people, make friends and gain new skills.

Conservation Volunteers Australia is Australia’s leading organisation for practical conservation, completing more than 2000 conservation projects across Australia every year.

Conservation Volunteers Australia welcomes everyone who shares a love of the outdoors and a commitment to the Australian environment.

To get involved Freecall 1800 032 501 or visit www.conservationvolunteers.com.au

Wow! Sometime over the next few weeks, MINCA expects to sign up its 100th member!

And we are encouraging new folk into the team – and celebrating having so many people committed to the protection of our magnificent world heritage-listed environment – with stunning prizes. 

Courtesy of MINCA member (and Membership Officer) artist Mel Williams, the 100th member will win a small original Williams painting! And the person nominating the 100th member will win an ever-ready, environmentally friendly Fizbag in a design of their choice and a small, local tree to plant.
But wait, there’s more!

Everyone submitting a successful application for membership between now and 24 December will be in the draw to win an A4 print of Charlie McColl’s stunning photo of the Adelaide in Cockle Bay at dusk (see below). The nominee of the winner of the draw will also win a Fizbag of their choice and a tree to plant.

HINT: Membership of MINCA (with the additional chance to win a fabulous prize) would make a great Christmas present!

So, get out and spread the word, sign up new members, and help MINCA become a centenarian!

Download copies of the membership form here 
or email membership@minca.org for help.

Photo: Charlie McColl. The Adelaide, Cockle Bay