Pages tagged "Filter:Media Release"

Purified Recycled Water is the right choice for South East Queensland

Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) joins with scientists and Queensland’s Water Minister in supporting the move to use purified recycled water (PRW) to bolster SEQ’s potable water supply. 

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Palmer power station "may not be in the public interest”, says Environment Department

Clive Palmer’s controversial plan for a massive new coal-fired power station in central Queensland may face fresh challenges, with the state’s Department of Environment and Science concerned that the project approval "may not be in the public interest”.

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Qld energy planning lagging dangerously behind National roadmap

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 20 year energy roadmap released today forecasts renewable energy will meet 83% of national demand by 2031 and Queensland’s coal fired power fleet should begin retiring in 2025, to close 70% of units by 2032. The energy roadmap comes ahead of the State’s 10 Year Energy Plan and in the midst of surging power prices. 

Queensland Conservation Council Energy Strategist, Clare Silcock, says that the 10 Year Energy Plan should follow the national roadmap. 

“AEMO’s roadmap confirms the energy transition is accelerating and irreversible. It forecasts that cheaper renewable energy will drive coal replacements up to three times faster than currently scheduled, which the Queensland Government needs to start seriously planning for,” Ms Silcock said. 

“Today’s final 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) is far more ambitious than the Queensland Government’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030. This is not a political ambition, it is a reflection of months of consultation with stakeholders to determine the most likely future,” Ms Silcock said.

“With the current energy crisis exacerbated by unreliable coal in Queensland, with multiple breakdowns at peak times, building new renewable energy to replace coal cannot come soon enough.”

“The ISP’s Hydrogen Superpower scenario reinforces that there are huge opportunities for Queensland in future industries supported by reliable renewable energy. Queensland has all the resources we need to lead in the development of industries such as hydrogen, green manufacturing and green metal production. We need the Queensland Government to get the planning right to replace coal with renewables and aim for the hydrogen superpower economy” Ms Silcock said.

“Queensland Government’s CS Energy and Stanwell have the unique opportunity to lead the renewable energy transformation while ensuring workers and communities are supported into new industries. We need the 10 Year Energy Plan to lead this transition in a way that protects workers, communities, cultural heritage and biodiversity. 

We need the Government to fund transition planning in our regions and set out clear guidelines for managing renewable energy development in a way that improves biodiversity and ensures free, prior informed First Nations consent.” Ms Silcock said. 

Media contact: Clare Silcock [email protected]


Win for nature in Queensland Budget as $300m committed to national park growth & management

The Queensland Conservation Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts today welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s $300 million investment in strengthening Queensland’s national parks. 

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Queensland Manager Andrew Picone said investments of this scale have the potential for massive outcomes for nature conservation in Queensland. 

“Today's announcement includes $200 million to buy more land for national parks.

"This means at least one million hectares of new protected areas thanks to today’s funding commitment.

“With an annual investment of $50 million over four years, we can expect to see some of Queensland’s most significant, threatened and underprotected landscapes added to our national park estate.

“Well-managed protected areas are the most effective way to safeguard biodiversity and bring threatened species back from the brink of extinction.” 

Nature Campaigner for the Queensland Conservation Council, Jon Ferguson said more national parks across Queensland protect vital habitat for threatened species and bring jobs in the tourism and land management sectors in regional Queensland.  

“Queensland is the most biodiverse state in Australia, so investing in new national parks means investing in making sure our native plants and animals are protected.

“Our state’s national parks support highly valued nature-based tourism while protecting exceptional wildlife and natural places.

“National parks contribute $2.7 billion to Queensland’s economy and support over 24,000 jobs, mostly in regional areas.

“As we rebuild Queensland’s economy, national parks have a critical role to play in delivering much needed employment, economic, health and environmental co-benefits.”

Today's commitment is in addition to the $40 million announced earlier this month for threatened species and includes the $38.5 million announced in March this year for the management and return of land of cultural and natural significance on Cape York to First Nations people. 

QCC and the Pew Charitable Trusts encourage the Queensland Government to negotiate new national parks with First Nations Peoples under the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent and to focus on the delivery of equitable joint management arrangements.

Contact: 

Hannah Schuch, 0434 796 566 

Andrew Picone, 0457 798 359

Jon Ferguson, 07 3846 7833


Independent report calls for protection of 70,000 hectares of State Forest in South East Queensland

In 2020, the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) commissioned a desktop review of the conservation values of State Forests within the South East Queensland Planning Area. In October 2021, this report was provided to the Queensland Government in support of policy commitments to end native forest logging on public land throughout the region by 2024. 

In summary, the report identified 68,543 hectares across 19 state forests suitable for protection as national or conservation parks. The table below provides a list of the identified state forests and the consultant’s report is published on QCC’s website.

Included in the list of areas recommended for protection is Beerwah State Forest on the Sunshine Coast, earmarked for logging by the Palaszczuk Government in December last year. 

The proposed logging of Beerwah State Forest has emerged as a flashpoint for community opposition to native forest logging and calls to protect native forests across Queensland. 

“We have not seen this level of public opposition to logging native forests since the 1990s,” said the QCC’s Nature Campaigner, Jon Ferguson. “Logging Queensland’s native forests is out of step with community expectations '' 

“We need to see an immediate end to logging in South East Queensland and firm commitments to phase out logging on public land across the rest of the state,” said Jon Ferguson.  

“Protecting these state forests will help protect Queensland’s koala population,” said Narelle McCarthy, spokesperson for the Sunshine Environment Coast Council. “These forests are also home to other threatened species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo and the Greater Glider.” said Sunshine Coast Environment Council.  

“Protecting State Forests throughout Queensland is an undervalued opportunity to deliver vital conservation outcomes, saving unique ecosystems and 1000s of threatened species, many of which are found nowhere else,” said Jon Ferguson.

“There are already over 200,000 hectares of plantations in South East Queensland which supply wood for housing and construction. There is no reason to be logging native forests that could be new National Parks,” said Susanne Cooper, President of National Parks Association of Queensland. 

There are an estimated 68,543 hectares of State Forests recommended for protection within the SEQ Planning area. Providing national or conservation park protection for these areas would give effect to the Palaszczuk Government’s policy commitments to protect forestry land and end native forest logging in the SEQ Planning Area. 

To reach this figure our consultants used a methodology similar to that currently used by the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to rate the conservation value of specific land units.

Their methodology considered biodiversity values, regional ecosystems, climate resilience, adequacy, threatened species, connectivity, integrity and practicality.

The Queensland conservation movement is calling for a staged end to native forest logging on public land across the state and stronger regulation of forestry on private land. 


Table: State Forests Recommended for Protection

State Forest 

Size (ha)

Notes 

Beerburrum West

2517

Sections adjacent to Glasshouse Mountains NP 

Beerwah 

129

Lot 1 

Bellthorpe 

480

Links two sections of existing Bellthorpe NP 

Benarkin 

10,148

Sections adjacent to Belthorpe NP

D’aguilar

209

Area in western section

Deer Reserve 

2660

Excluding small area of plantation 

Delaneys Creek 

290

Important koala habitat 

Deongwar

4722

Area adjacent to Ravensbourne NP

Diaper

2179

Important part of Conondale complex 

East Nanango 

4185

North-east section 

Elgin Vale 

9638

Eastern section 

Imbil 1

8130

Southern section 

Jimna 

10,286

North-west section 

Luttons

183

Western section

Mt Stanley 1

103

Area adjacent Forest Reserve 

Peachester 

738

Koala habitat 

Squirrel Creek 

6615

Important part of Conondale complex 

West Cooroy 

1154

State biodiversity corridor, koala habitat 

Yabba State Forest 

15909

Important part of Conondale complex 

Total

68,543

Estimate only

 

For further information and comment, contact: 

Jon Ferguson, Nature Campaigner, Queensland Conservation Council

0431 470 328

Narelle McCarthy, Spokesperson, Sunshine Coast Environment Council

0424 465 487

Susanne Cooper, President, National Parks Association of Queensland

0423 783 022


Rio Tinto announcement promises emissions reduction, future proof jobs

Queensland Conservation Council has welcomed the news from Rio Tinto today that they will look to power the Boyne Island smelter with 4 GW of firmed renewable energy by 2030. 

“Queensland has a massive opportunity to expand our manufacturing, based on our great renewable energy resources, to create long term jobs while reducing our carbon emissions. We’re very pleased to see Rio Tinto recognises this and is moving towards this clean, cheaper energy future”, Queensland Conservation Council Director Dave Copeman said. 

“The world is moving towards renewable energy. If Queensland doesn’t keep up we will be left with expensive and aging fossil fuel assets. We will miss out on the future-proof jobs that renewables offer.” Mr Copeman said. 

“The Queensland Government is developing the 10 Year Energy Plan at the moment. We need that to show strong leadership to put communities and the environment at the heart of the move to renewable energy.” Mr Copeman said.

“We’re calling on the Queensland Government to lay out plans to build 6 GW of renewable energy and 2 GW of storage by 2025, through planned renewable energy zones that protect our biodiversity and provide long term jobs and benefits for communities.” Mr Copeman said.

“This is the scale of ambition we need to lead the renewable energy transition, when private companies such as Rio are planning their own development of 4 GW of firmed renewable energy by 2030.We also need a well funded, independent transition authority, that combines central access to the Queensland Government with regional, place based planning.” Mr Copeman said.

 

Media Contact: Dave Copeman [email protected] 0408841595


Emergency Energy meeting: Two 100mw batteries could save Queenslanders $100mil in power prices

Queensland Conservation Council has called on Energy Minister Mick de Brenni to take a bold plan to build storage and commit to renewable energy long term to the first Energy Ministers meeting under new Federal Climate and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen tomorrow.

“We know that big batteries would save Queenslanders money. Our analysis found that two 100 megawatt, two hour batteries would have reduced wholesale electricity prices by over $100m in just one week in the February heatwave. We need Minister de Brenni to commit to a big battery build to solve the energy crunch.” Queensland Conservation Council Energy Strategist Clare Silcock said.   

“When South Australia faced blackouts, their response was to build a 100 megawatt battery in 100 days, bringing down power bills and delivering energy security. Queenslanders are about to be hit with a significant rise in power prices which means we need action from Minister de Brenni,” Ms Silcock said. 

“If South Australia could do it, Queensland can do it too. Minister de Brenni should commit to two 100 megawatt two hour batteries by the end of Winter, to start bringing down power prices for Queenslanders and safeguard our energy system ahead of summer,” Ms Silcock said. 

“After more than a year of planning, we are confident that Queensland Government can build batteries on land it already owns, connected to a transmission network it owns, to be operated by generators that it owns, quickly.” Ms Silcock asked.  

In the last 12 months, outages across all power stations have pushed up prices. In May, an average of over 3 GW of coal capacity was unavailable, around 40% of the state’s entire coal fleet.  

“The only time we’re getting any relief in prices is in the middle of the day when rooftop and large-scale solar is generating. This demonstrates how desperately we need more renewable energy capacity and more storage,” Ms Silcock said. 

Renewable energy expansion in Queensland has stalled since 2017 due to lack of political appetite that would make space for investment from renewable energy proponents. 

“We can’t rely on coal to get us out of this energy supply crisis. At tomorrow’s Federal Energy meeting, we need de Brenni to show that Queensland is ready for the jobs and industry opportunities that renewable energy delivers and the battery storage we need to keep prices stable long term,” Ms Silcock said. 


Media contact: Clare Silcock [email protected]


Funding shows Qld hasn’t given up on threatened species recovery 

Sunday 5 June 2022

Queensland Conservation Council strongly welcomes today’s announcement of nearly $40m of new funding for threatened species from the Qld Govt.  

“We can save our iconic native species. We know it will take funding and research, and strong laws to protect habitat from clearing, logging and development,” said QCC Director Dave Copeman.  

“Today’s funding announcement by Minister Scanlon is a clear demonstration that the Queensland Government hasn’t given up on our incredible native wildlife. This $14.7m funding for recovery plans for threatened species and Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers is an important commitment.   

“We were disappointed beyond words at the news that the outgoing Federal Minister Sussan Ley abolished 176 Recovery Plans for threatened species and habitats as one of her last acts as a Minister. It seems she’d just given up on preventing the all too common march to extinction.  

“Australia regrettably leads the world in mammalian extinctions. We have lost more than 10% of our mammal species since 1788. 

The new Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek should review this decision, and recommit to the recovery to healthy populations for all threatened species in Australia. 

“Queensland has the highest number of threatened species in Australia, and they face the greatest extent of habitat destruction in the country, principally through shocking rates of landclearing. 

 

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$8.6 million investment in Brigalow koala habitat welcome

The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) welcomes the announcement made today by Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon of the $8.6 million to revegetate and protect key koala habitat in the northern Brigalow Belt.

“In the last several months, koalas have been uplisted to endangered both federally and in Queensland. It is more important than ever that koala habitat be restored and preserved.

“This is especially significant for an area like the Brigalow Belt where the 2018/2019 SLATS report shows the largest amounts of deforestation have occurred.

“While we celebrate investment to revegetate cleared koala habitat, it would be even better if the Government prevented koala habitat from being destroyed in the first place,” said Jon Ferguson, QCC’s Nature Campaigner. “We continue to call on the government to take the necessary steps to protect this iconic Australian species.”

These steps include:

  1. Closing loopholes in the Vegetation Management ACt that allow clearing of koala habitat
  2. Expanding and extending the SEQ Koala Conservation Strategy
  3. Increase funding for the Protected Area Strategy
  4. Strengthen environmental laws that were weakened under the Newman Government

“We can save the Koala and other threatened species, but we must act now, follow the advice of conservation scientists and protect their habitats from the destruction that drives extinctions,” says Jon Ferguson.


For further information and comment, contact:
Jon Ferguson, 07 3846 7833