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Showing posts from December, 2013

CRL’s pre-Enterprise vegetation variety mapping

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Map from the mining company's own pre- Enterprise mine environmental studies report, showing the rich variety of vegetation. The areas in green, numbered 11, represent the previously mined "revegetation" areas.

FOSI attached this map to its submission to the parliamentary committee which examined the Newman government's amendments to the North Stradbroke legislation.

Prior to our submission, both Sibelco and the Newman government were claiming that half of the Enterprise mine ore body had been mined previously.

After we lodged our submission, the government department advising the committee finally admitted, in evidence to the parliamentary committee, that Sibelco's own map showed that just over 70% of the area was "undisturbed" vegetation.

Open letter

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There has been a tremendous response to FOSI's open letter to Campbell Newman published on page two of the Courier Mail 20 November 2013. 
Many other environment groups applauded it and some, including the Queensland Conservation Council published it on their websites. During the debate on the Bill, the letter was read out in Parliament by the opposition environment spokesperson, Jackie Trad, who remarked that the letter "said it all". She also tabled it for Hansard.
The open letter was also published on our blog, the original post may be accessed here.

Falling Back to Earth

Exhibition by Cai Guo-Qiang at GOMA to 11 May 2014
'It reminds me of this past week in parliament,' joked Queensland Arts Minister Ian Walker when he viewed Cai Guo-Qiang's installation titled Head On at GOMA's new exhibition, Falling Back to Earth. This mesmerising work features 99 wolves hurling themselves at a glass wall and perhaps Mr Walker saw it as a metaphor for the proclivity of politicians to make blind and foolish decisions.

Another, equally stunning installation is Heritage which was inspired by the artist's visit to Blue Lake on North Stradbroke Island in 2011. In surroundings of shadowless dreamy white, 99 wild animals from all parts of the world drink peacefully from a blue lake which is surrounded by pristine white sand. On one level the installation expresses the theme behind Cai's exhibition, which according to him is 'the return to a harmonious relationship between man and nature, re-embracing the tranquillity in the landscape.'

Certain…

Exhibition: Falling Back to Earth

by Cai Guo-Qiang at GOMA Reviewed by Julie Kearney Falling Back to Earth, Exhibition at GOMA to 11 May 2014. Photo by Sue Ellen Carew.

'It reminds me of this past week in parliament,' joked Queensland Arts Minister Ian Walker when he viewed Cai Guo-Qiang's installation titled Head On at GOMA's new exhibition, Falling Back to Earth. This mesmerising work features 99 wolves hurling themselves at a glass wall and perhaps Mr Walker saw it as a metaphor for the proclivity of politicians to make blind and foolish decisions. Another, equally stunning installation is Heritage which was inspired by the artist's visit to Blue Lake on North Stradbroke Island in 2011. In surroundings of shadowless dreamy white, 99 wild animals from all parts of the world drink peacefully from a blue lake which is surrounded by pristine white sand. On one level the installation expresses the theme behind Cai's exhibition, which according to him is 'the return to a harmonious relationship…

Extension of sand mining to 2035 no certainty

The passing of the Bill by parliament did not receive much publicity probably due to the sacking of the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee occurring on the same day.

Importantly, under the amendments to the North Stradbroke Act, which became law on 27 November, no application for the extension of sand mining at Enterprise mine can be made before 2019. In other words, 2019 remains the end date for mining for another six years.

The key section relating to the timing of applications to extend the Enterprise mine leases is 11C of the amendment act https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/ACTS/2013/13AC063.pdf

11C allows applications for renewal “within the renewal period”. Section 11C(3) defines the “renewal period” as, in effect, during the last year of the current term.

31 December, 2019 is the expiry date of the current terms of the Enterprise leases, including the main one, ML 1117- see Schedule 1 of the 2011 Act. https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/N/NorthSt…

Shearwater wreck

Once again we are seeing the sad sight of many dead and dying birds on Straddie beaches. They are the short tailed shearwaters also known as mutton birds.

More than 3500 birds were blown up on shore this year and started crashing on October 7, buffeted by strong easterly winds from a cold front out to sea.

The birds die from exhaustion and malnutrition because their store of energy is depleted after a long migration from Siberia.

Short tailed shearwaters are pelagic, that is, they live their life in the open ocean and are a migratory species. There are approximately 23 million in the world, breeding on the Australian islands during the warmer months, mainly in Tasmania and islands in the Bass Straight.

The shearwater is the most abundant Australian seabird. There are about 285 colonies in south-east Australia with 18 million birds arriving in Tasmania each year.

More than 200,000 shearwater chicks are harvested commercially under licence in Tasmania each year, prized for their down and …

Microplastic - a Developing Threat to Our Oceans

Scientific studies in Australian waters and in the seas around Britain have found that microplastic concentrations are increasing and showing evidence of effects on ocean ecosystems.

Australian scientists from the University of Western Australia set up ocean net stations to trap plastic fragments, siting these nets around most of the circumference of the continent and across to Fiji. Results have ascertained an average of 4256.4 pieces, at a median size of 2.8mm, per square kilometer with much higher concentrations contributing to this average coming from nets positioned around the populated areas of Sydney and Brisbane. Unfortunately these results put Stradbroke Island in a hot spot for plastic.

Studies undertaken by scientists from Plymouth and Exeter Universities, on the English south coast, involved investigating the effect of ingestion of microplastics on lugworms, an indicator species at the bottom of the food chain. An important food source for fish and seabirds, lugworms also…

Advert: Sand mining damages Stradroke

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Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year to all FOSI members!

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FOSI would like to wish all members a safe and enjoyable Christmas break.