False Cape update by lindash


False Cape update

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									                                     26               1                                         March 2006

False Cape update
by John Rainbird
On the development front, the             dogs were allowed to
campaign to save False Cape still         roam free on the site
dominates the agenda. Of late we          overnight until the
have had some great additional            developer was asked
support and input from various            to remove them after
individuals which has helped progress     EDO tipped off the          Bulldozed road at False Cape
elements of the campaign that needed      Department of
more effort. Dan Smith from               Environment and Heritage. We have           development. We are grateful for the
ImageSmith is building a website for      also received a number of                   support from our barristers, Stephen
the campaign at no cost                   photographs taken on site showing           Keim and Tracy Fantin, and we have
(www.falsecape.org.au ), and Steve        the newly constructed roads and             managed to raise a significant amount
Lane from Makad has also offered to       numerous large loose boulders on            of funds required to cover court
assist with graphics at no cost; we       steep slopes earmarked for housing.         costs; however, we still require
are enormously grateful for their         These photos do nothing to alleviate        additional funds. We urge you to help
support. We also need to say a            our concerns about environmental            us win this David and Goliath battle –
special thanks to Kirsty Ruddock          damage and future safety issues.            write to the paper, support the court
and Hayley Blackman at the EDO-           Despite the rhetoric from the State         case, lobby your MP.
NQ (see EDO legal update on page          that they are helpless to intervene,
5) and Mark Buttrose from Save Our        and despite advice from their own             Please help us ...
Slopes, who have been instrumental        assessment officer to reject the
                                                                                        to distributethe pamphlet on Cairns
in helping us tackle this enormous        application, the Department of
                                                                                        East Trinity Scenic Rim – see a
development.                              Natural Resources and Mines
                                                                                        photocopied version of this colour
                                          approved road access to the site
                                                                                        pamphlet with this Ecotone. To
Despite the development supposedly        through a state reserve.
                                                                                        help, please contact CAFNEC on
being a dog free zone in the interests
                                                                                        Ph: 4032 1746.
of the environment, two large guard       We are now in the courts to take the
                                                         council, in particular, to
                                                         task for blatantly             INSIDE ...
                                                         ignoring the relevant
                                                                                        Farewell to Nicky                p3
                                                         planning codes for
                                                                                        False Cape legal update          p5
                                                         hillslope development.
                                                                                        New national park on Cape York p6
                                                         This case is gaining
                                                                                        Rubbish on Kuranda Range Rd p7
                                                         increasing attention
                                                                                        Climate change update            p8
                                                         across the national
                                                                                        Envirofiesta 2006                p9
                                                         environment sector as a
                                                                                        Bike tour appeal for volunteers p10
                                                         test case for
                                                                                        Tadpoles and disease            p11
                                                         inappropriate coastal
                                                                                                 ... and lots more
Farewell Nicky                             our grant applications for
Nicky Hungerford, inveterate               the event and did an
campaigner for the forces of good          excellent job. If you have an
and slayer of the forces of evil,          interest in helping to co-
CAFNEC stalwart and overall                ordinate the event, your             Banner displayed at the John Butler concert
amazing woman has left us to take          time and efforts would be
her extensive portfolio of skills          most welcome. Please
offshore. Nicky’s departure will leave     contact campaign@cafnec.org.au           delivered to tourists and students.
a pair of very big shoes to fill (not                                               Organisations are welcome to
wanting to scare off prospective           False Cape                               contact CAFNEC for similar
applicants!). CAFNEC’s position in         False Cape is of course high on our      educational engagements.
the community as an effective non-         agenda. CAFNEC continues to work
government organisation and our            with Save our Slopes, Environmental      General meeting
financial capacity to continue the         Defenders Office and individual          CAFNEC will host an evening of
campaigner position is due in no small     members of the community to protect short environmental films on April
way to Nicky’s contribution over the       Cairns scenic backdrop and               10th. A reminder and more details will
years.                                     environmental values. See the articles be sent out closer to the date. This
                                           on pages 1 and 5 for an update. The      will also be an opportunity to
On behalf of the Management                Wilderness Society kindly arranged       introduce our new campaigner, so
Committee, Nicky, “Thanks a million,       for CAFNEC to have a stall at their      please come along and welcome him/
see you later and good luck”. See          recent John Butler concert and for       her.
you later because we’re sure we will,      the banner that was hung in the
being the CAFNEC addict you are!           auditorium and left up during the        Thanks Bill
                                           concert (top right).                     Our thanks to Bill Bray who has
Management Committee doings                                                         stepped down from the Management
CAFNEC Management Committee                Public outreach and education            Committee after nearly three years.
and staff held a planning meeting in       As part of our public outreach and       Bill has been an invaluable member of
November to map out priorities for         public education, I had an               the MC, providing strong support for
2006. We identified several                opportunity to talk to outdoor           staff, representing CAFNEC on
management focus areas including           education students at TAFE recently.     various committees and playing a
policy and procedures reviews,             Students undertaking this course will    pivotal role in CAFNEC events such
workplace health and safety, funding,      be employed as outdoor education         as Envirofiesta, the Wilderness Bike
and equipment upgrades. A WH&S             teachers or tourist guides. This was a Ride and much much more.
audit has since been undertaken by         welcome chance to promote
members of the MC to ensure we             CAFNEC, discuss some of the              Yours for a Peaceful, Green World.
comply with WH&S regulations, and          issues in FNQ and discuss how            Di Horsburgh
policy reviews are underway. We are        environmental messages can be
currently considering a potential
grant for equipment upgrades. The
concept of MC portfolios, as
mentioned in my last report, was
considered and modified to sub-
committees. If you have a specific
area of interest you would like to
be involved with on a volunteer
basis, please contact CAFNEC
for sub-committee contact details.

A regular item for discussion is
Envirofiesta planning. This is well
in hand thanks particularly to
Nicky, Paul and Lena. Lena was
employed by CAFNEC on a
short-term contract to co-ordinate       Kerryn and Di fly the flags for False Cape

So long and thanks for all the fish                                   So long and thanks for all the spice
by Nicky Hungerford                                                           by Ellie Bock
The rain is teaming down, the palms dripping                                      Red, fiery and bringing tears to your eyes –
and the friendly frogs out the window are                                         describes not just chillies (being a favourite of one
croaking. A cyclone is looming off the tip of                                     of our most favourite people), but the woman
Cape York – and Marie’s predication that                                          herself. Generally the tears are tears of laughter –
there is often a cyclone on her birthday                                          until it comes to saying farewell.
seems to be ringing true. The Wet is finally                                      Whether you’ve met her in the serene surroundings
here and FNQ is looking fabulous.                                                 of Cominos House, out in a dusty paddock with the
                                                                                  cows and the cockies, or hanging out, having a yarn
But it’s time for me to move on again. Yes,                                       under a tree up Coen way – you know the woman’s
after being involved with CAFNEC for 14                                           for real. We are saddened to say farewell from
years, the last eight as either an employee or                                    CAFNEC to a very rare, very talented individual –
a volunteer, I am packing up and leaving the                                      Nicky Hungerford.
shores of Australia to work in south-east
Asia.                                                                             All who know her or have seen her in action will
                                                                      miss her dearly – be they friends, colleagues, admirers or
I have been getting increasingly frustrated with the way              adversaries (some of the latter may be rather relieved?!).
the governments of this country deal with important issues.           From her early days at CAFNEC in those days well before some
Their attitude to the normal person is becoming more and              form of (very) mini-permanence arose for the organisation’s
more arrogant and what threads they had of connection to              campaigner position, Nicky committed herself to the
their voters seem to have disappeared. Ego and money                  organisation with an energy and zest that still astounds, amazes
seem to be the main drivers. This, coupled with constantly            and sometimes defies all reason (although the reason is
banging my head up against a brick wall with important                admittedly a very good one). Together, Nicky and our
issues, has left me feeling very disempowered. The cure               coordinator John Rainbird have come to be the public face of
for me is to head off and get some perspective about                  CAFNEC.
everything – and where better than living and working in
Asia?                                                                 She has been a key mover within the environment movement in
                                                                      far north Queensland, the Gulf country and the Cape York region
                                                                      for a substantial amount of time and in such a wide-ranging
Through Australian Volunteers International I have a new              capacity for our organisation that it almost beggars belief how
job as a communications/media officer for the Foot-and-               she juggled it all so effectively. Nicky’s stellar presence,
Mouth Disease Campaign. While based in Bangkok, I will                contribution and engagement in myriad different forums,
also be working in Burma/Myanmar, Laos PDR,                           committees, boards and institutional bodies was a highlight of
Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.               the work she has done for CAFNEC and for the environment
                                                                      movement as a whole. She embodies the tenacity and spirit of an
I have loved my work here in the past years and will miss             exceptional environmental consciousness and conscience in a
it all very much. It’s always difficult to leave mid campaign         region where development continues to relentlessly encroach on
– but when I went to Sri Lanka in 1996 for 2 years I felt             far northern ecosystems, resources and lifestyles.
the same way about the landclearing campaign. And while               A brief bio-snap shows Nicky cutting her teeth early on in the
we have pretty well knocked over broadscale landclearing              Tasmanian dam blockades, steadfastly and resolutely assisting
in this state, it took another five years after I returned to         environmental movements and organisations throughout
really get there. I am hoping that when I do return False             Queensland during the early and late 1990s and most of the
Cape will be well and truly over and that everyone can                present decade, volunteering to live and work in Sri Lanka for a
devote themselves to other things like the impact climate             number of years in the mid 1990s, advising key policy-makers,
change will have on this region.                                      lobbying her huge heart out, hammering through the green
                                                                      message regardless of who’s sitting in the top seat……..
I want to thank all the extraordinary people I have worked
with over the years. It’s been both a privilege and a                 You could go on for pages about the actions, campaigns, feats,
                                                                      conferences, events, meetings and forums she planned,
wonderful opportunity. You have given me hope in                      coordinated, organised, managed, chaired, facilitated and
humanity and that FNQ is in fine hands. Very special thank            campaigned on. Needless to say she is an individual who is truly
yous to: John Rainbird and Marie Short, my very dear co-              one in a billion and all who know her will attest to her great
workers, whose support and friendship has kept me                     strength of character, her excellent humour (except perhaps in
laughing; Michael Bryan, our wonder treasurer who has                 the early mornings) and her formidable perseverance. The really
kept this organisation buoyant for so many years; all the             fantastic thing about Nicky is that she doesn’t hold it against
management committees over the years; the volunteers                  you when you don’t exactly agree with her 100% - she remains a
who cut newspapers, stuff envelopes, write, file, answer              passionate environmental educator and inspirational campaign
phones, staff stalls and organise fundraising events,                 strategist.
newsletter, Envirofiesta and the Bike Ride; those who put
                                                                      Nicky leaves us to continue her good works overseas – as media
in submissions… the list is endless and that is why we are            advisor to government and community organisations in the area
such a great organisation. Finally, to Stan Gentle, Cominos           of foot-and-mouth disease throughout south-east Asia. Her
House caretaker, who always keeps me laughing and stops               skills and dedication will be an asset to our neighbours in that
me from working into the night.                                       region.

Take care. Good Luck and maintain your passion for this               We wish her all the very best, safe travels, health and happiness
very special part of the world.                                       in the next chapter of her busy, ever-changing life.

Thank you ............... Nicky                                       Til we next meet again – see ya later Nicky!
2006 has taken off with a flying start     Jann Crase has stepped
for CAFNEC, with a full year of            into Nicky’s shoes as
projects, campaigns and events             director of conservation
already filling up our agenda. After       and CAFNEC rep on the
two years in the campaigner’s              Northern Gulf NRMW.
position, we are losing the immense        Nicky played a very
talents, passion and integrity of Nicky    significant role in this
Hungerford, and her loss will be           organisation, and Jann’s
sorely felt. Thanks Nicky – we wish        awesome talents and
you all the best in your new role. We      understanding of northern
have also lost our much loved vice-        issues will no doubt ensure that this    to address this deteriorating situation.
president, Bill Bray, who is taking a      continues to be the case.                The Cassowary Recovery Plan has
much deserved break from his                                                        now been revised, and some Federal
position on a range of community           One of our members Andrew                funding has gone into conducting
committees – thanks Bill for your          Simmonds has offered to be our rep       studies into the situation. Desley
massive support and contribution to        on the Cairns Local Marine Advisory      Boyle has just introduced a
CAFNEC, and we look forward to             Committee (LMAC) for which we            Temporary Local Planning Instrument
having you back on board one of            are most grateful – we are happy we      in the Cardwell Shire to override
these days!                                again have someone to carry our          current planning provisions in relation
                                           banner in this forum which is an         to lot size and residential densities.
CAFNEC has received funding from           advisory committee to the Great          Whist this is a welcome initiative, time
the FNQ NRMW to organise a                 Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority       will tell as to whether it simply slows
meeting of environment groups in our       (GBRMPA). Andrew is also assisting       down or helps arrest the species
region. We have been keen to               me to develop an action for Earth        decline in this area. We will continue
progress the idea of hosting a meeting     Day, on April 22, to focus attention     to pressure the State to take stronger
to bring all the FNQ groups together       on the climate impacts on the GBR.       action whilst there is still a glimmer of
for a while, and it is great we are now    We aim to get around 100 or so           hope for this sub-population.
able to realize this idea. The key aims    people in the water to spell out “Save
of the meeting will be to discuss          Our Reefs” in the inshore reef area      Whilst there are enormous challenges
common issues, consider how we             off Cairns. If you would like to be      facing our environment locally and
can support each other and discuss         part of this event, please contact       globally, the environment movement
avenues for collaboration as well as       CAFNEC.                                  is continuing to improve and increase
provide an opportunity to meet key                                                  its collaboration in responding to
politicians and decision makers. We        There has been a lot of focus on the     these issues. With the great support
hope this can become a regular event       cassowary situation in Mission Beach     of its members, we are determined to
which will assist us all to work more      recently, thanks to the constant         turn the tide, so please continue your
effectively towards protecting FNQ’s       lobbying of CAFNEC and C4.               support – together we will make a
magnificent environment.                   WTMA have also thrown their              difference.
                                           support behind a call for the State                              John Rainbird
 Free ECOS magazines
 For those of you interested in a          Government to take immediate action                                 Coordinator
 sustainable future, we have some
 editions of ECOS magazine to give
 away. It is a bi-monthly CSIRO
 magazine reporting on the science and
                                               CAFNEC GENERAL MEETING
 news behind sustainability in the
 environment and industry. We have a         Join us for an evening of short environmental films covering
 supply of the following editions: Nov-                       issues from local to global.
 Dec 2004, Jan-Mar 2005 & Apr-May
 2005. Come and collect as many as you                             When: 10th April
 like from our office in Cominos House,                 Time: 6.00pm for a 6.30pm screening
 at 27 Greenslopes St, North Cairns.
 Don’t miss out on this very interesting          More information: phone CAFNEC: 4032 1746

                                    False Cape legal update
                                         also requires areas unsuitable for             challenged the use of expert
                                         development due to slope steepness             evidence in the case.
                                         and instability to be identified at the
                                         outset, which was not done in this             Reef Cove’s strike out
                                         case. CAFNEC and SOS will also                 application was scheduled for hearing
                                         argue that the Cairns City Council             on Wednesday 15th February but the
                                         made an error by regarding itself as           application was not heard as
                                         bound to approve the application               CAFNEC and SOS amended their
                                         because of previous rezoning of the            application to address some of Reef
                                         area to Special Facilities Zoning,             Cove’s concerns. Reef Cove have
                                         despite the conflict with the Hillslopes       indicated that they still wish to
                                         DCP and Planning Scheme.                       challenge the first ground of the
                                                                                        amended application. The strike out
                                         A Directions hearing was scheduled             was heard on 3rd March 2006,
The Environmental Defender’s Office      for Monday 6th February 2006, but              together with the challenge to the use
of Northern Queensland Inc (EDO-         the hearing was postponed as the               of expert evidence. Judgement has
NQ), on behalf of CAFNEC and             solicitors for Reef Cove Resort                been reserved.
Save our Slopes (SOS), lodged an         Ltd filed an application in the court
application in the Planning and          seeking to strike out the first ground         The final hearing has been confirmed
Environment Court in December last       of the SOS and                                 for the 12th and 13th April. EDO-
year against approvals for a 102-lot     CAFNEC application on the basis                NQ and barristers Stephen Keim
subdivision, a resort hotel,             that it was akin to a merits appeal            (SC) and Tracy Fantin are appearing
townhouses and resort village            and not an application for                     on behalf of CAFNEC and SOS.
infrastructure granted to Reef Cove      a declaration. Reef Cove also                  Interested readers are welcome and
Resort by the Cairns City Council.                                                      encouraged to attend!
The site at False Cape, east of
Cairns, borders two World Heritage
Areas: the Great Barrier Reef and the
Wet Tropics of Queensland. At
present it is largely undeveloped and                      To celebrate their 10th Anniversary
forms part of the green mountainous                 The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern
backdrop to Cairns, but the                        Queensland (EDO-NQ) is having a TRIVIA NIGHT!!
approvals would see around 1500
people accommodated on 40.6
hectares. CAFNEC and SOS are                                Friday 31st March 2006 7.30pm
concerned about the adverse impact                        Crosswell Hall @ Cairns State High
on visual amenity and the safety of
the development, given the site’s
steep slopes, which contain a number                                                            Tickets $20 per person
of large boulders.                                                                                        or
                                                                                                Book a table of 8 for $140
CAFNEC and SOS are seeking                                                                       Drinks will be available
declarations from the Court that the                                                             for purchase at the bar
approvals granted by Council are                                                                and nibbles are provided
invalid and should have been refused
                                                                                                All proceeds go to assist
due to significant conflicts with the
                                                                                                the casework of the
Hillslopes Development Control Plan                                                             EDO-NQ
(Hillslopes DCP) and the Strategic
Plan of the transitional Cairns
Planning Scheme. In particular, a                                     LUCKY DOOR PRIZES
substantial part of the development is                               AUCTION OF ARTWORK
to be constructed on slopes greater
than 1 in 3, in conflict with the
Hillslope DCP. The Hillslopes DCP             For details and to register contact EDO-NQ at edonq@edo.org.au or (07) 4031 4766

New national park for Cape York Peninsula                                            country of Shelburne
Environmentalists in Queensland are        eastern coast of Cape York                Bay.
celebrating the creation of a              Peninsula.
magnificent new 200,000 hectare                                                      Building on the
national park in southern Cape York        The new national park will link the       goodwill and
Peninsula. This is the first large scale   existing Lakefield and Cape Melville      success of the
national park to be created in the         national parks to create one of           Jack Lakes negotiations, the
region since 1995.                         Australia’s largest protected areas.      Queensland Government hopes to
                                           The national park will protect            create a string of new national parks
The Jack Lakes National Park was           important areas of rainforest,            and Aboriginal lands before the end
formally created in Cooktown on 15         nationally significant wetlands and       of 2006.
December 2005. At a memorable              wild tropical river systems; it is home
ceremony attended by Indigenous            to 96 different species of birds          In a further welcome development,
Traditional Owners, representatives        including the endangered crimson and      the Queensland Government has
from the Wilderness Society and the        star finches.                             commissioned an independent
Australian Conservation Foundation                                                   scientific assessment of the World
and two Queensland Government              Over the past 11 years, the               Heritage values of Cape York
Ministers, the new national park was       Queensland Government has                 Peninsula and the steps required for
declared and a further 200,000             purchased more than 1.6 million           eventual listing. It is expected that the
hectares of land were returned to the      hectares of land, including the           report will be released in mid 2006.
ownership and management of                Kalpowar blocks, along the east
Traditional Owners.                        coast of Cape York Peninsula as part      Lyndon Schneiders
                                           of a comprehensive strategy to            Queensland Campaign Manager
This historic outcome was the result       protect the remarkable natural and        The Wilderness Society
of 10 years of negotiations between        cultural conservation
the Queensland Government,                 values of this wild,
Traditional Owners and conservation        diverse, remote and
groups. These lands, formerly known        beautiful region. Lands

                                                                                                                                 Photo by Anthony Esposito
as the Kalpowar blocks, and                purchased by the
operated for many years as a cattle        Queensland Government
station, were purchased by the             include extensive areas of
Queensland Government in 1994 as           old growth tropical
part of an ambitious conservation          rainforest at the
initiative aimed at creating a 1200 km     McIlwraith Range and the
long ‘wilderness zone’ along the           spectacular white sand

ACF celebrates Kalpowar deal on Cape York
The Australian Conservation                values of the region – are realised.      ensuring ongoing engagement with the
Foundation (ACF) was lucky enough          ACF is very proud to have played a        peoples of Cape York. ACF, with the
to participate in the Kalpowar             role with our conservation colleagues     Queensland Government and the
handover ceremony in Cooktown on           The Wilderness Society and                Cape York Land Council, was also
15 December 2005. ACF Executive            CAFNEC in securing this fantastic         happy to provide funding towards the
Director Don Henry addressed the           outcome.                                  production of a DVD documenting
audience, which included Queensland                                                  the Kalpowar handover. In the DVD
Government Ministers Desley Boyle          ACF would also like to acknowledge        ACF’s Cape York Officer Leah
and Henry Palaszuczuk, Kalpowar            the hard behind-the-scenes work of        Talbot talks about ACF’s vision for
Traditional Owners, friends and            Nicky Hungerford and CAFNEC in            Cape York and congratulates the
family, State Government staff, and        keeping the conservation groups up        Kalpowar TOs for sticking it out
conservation representatives, telling      to date with information and pulling      over such a long process. Copies of
them that ACF is committed to              people together for meetings on the       the DVD are available from the Cape
the Cape York Land Tenure                  whole land tenure                         York Land Council or Leigh Harris at
Resolution process where decisions         process. CAFNEC’s role as the             Ingeous Studios.
such as Kalpowar – that deliver both       highly respected, legitimate regional
protection to the natural and cultural     conservation voice is critical to
Smelly Business: Friends of the Earth Kuranda
calls for waste transport by rail, not road
Friends of the Earth Kuranda (FoEK)        We cannot understand why the
has written to the authorities opposing    decision was made to transport the
the transport of thousands of tonnes       garbage along a tourist route, through
of smelly garbage along the Kuranda        the World Heritage Area, creating
Range Road, through the Wet Tropics        pressure on traffic flow and road
World Heritage Area. Since the             conditions when a rail line, which
closure of the Bedminster Plant, an        could easily be extended, runs to          Garbage truck on the Kuranda Range Rd
average of 15 truckloads per day of        within 2km of the Springmount dump.
putrid waste is transported by road        The inclusion of a rail line into the site  problem, regardless of whether the
from Cairns to the Springmount dump,       as part of the developer’s proposal         Bedminster Plant becomes fully
near Mareeba.                              was seen as an environmental tick           operational or not. We have been
                                           when the development application for        informed that Mareeba’s waste will
FoEK has long held concerns about          the waste station was granted, but          again be sent to Cairns (as will
health and safety issues of toxic          alas this potential benefit has not been Douglas Shire’s waste) for
waste spills, such as the ammonium         developed. We urge the                      processing, with residual from all
nitrate spill in 2004. We have also        environmental authorities to revoke         three councils then being trucked
received regular comments from road        licences for the transfer of waste and      back to the Springmount dump via the
users complaining about the                toxic substances by road through the        Range Road.
nauseating smell when travelling           World Heritage Area and the State
behind these trucks and at least one       Government to support rail transfer as A viable long-term solution is needed
incident of load leakage creating a        a more sustainable and less risky           which, among other things, does not
road safety hazard. One road worker        transport option.                           put extra stress on the Kuranda
stated that the smell was making his                                                   Range Road and contribute to a false
job of monitoring traffic on the Range     According to our enquiries into the         community perception that the current
Road extremely unpleasant and that         future of garbage disposal in the FNQ Range Road is insufficient for
the smell permeated into the forest for    region, this will be an ongoing             community needs.
at least 200m.

World Environment Day June 5th 2006 – a day of celebration
by Sue Hayes
World Environment Day (WED),               We aim to do this by holding a            pivotal to changing attitudes towards
commemorated each year on 5 June,          specialised evening event on Monday       environmental issues and advocate
is one of the principal vehicles through   5th that will include a scrumptious       partnership which will ensure all
which the United Nations stimulates        supper and a unique film focussing on     nations and peoples enjoy a safer and
worldwide awareness of the                 environmental themes. Throughout          more prosperous future.
environment and enhances political         the evening the four organisations
attention and action.                      will be showcasing successful             We want to engage and stimulate
                                           conservation outcomes in the region       awareness of the environmental
This year, with the combined               which have been achieved through          threats facing northern Australia and
environmental forces of the                their combined environmental forces.      what actions each of us can take to
Australian Conservation Foundation                                                   create a greener, cleaner planet.
(ACF), The Wilderness Society              By harnessing the strength and skills
(TWS), Cairns and Far North                of the local environmental                We are still at the early stages of
Environment Centre (CAFNEC) and            organisations in the region we aim to     planning this day and welcome any
the Environmental Defenders Office         give a human face to environmental        interested people who wish to help
(EDO), we wish to celebrate this           issues, empower people to become          volunteer to coordinate this event.
World Environment Day together             active agents of sustainable and
with Cairns and its wider regional         equitable development, promote an         If you wish to be part of this exciting
community.                                 understanding that communities are        day then please don’t hesitate to call
                                                                                     Sue Hayes (07) 4031 5760 or
                                                                                     email: s.hayes@acfonline.org.au

Climate change update
by John Rainbird
CAFNEC is convening a meeting in          the truth is still struggling to
May, in conjunction with FNQ              get out there. One of the                     Global warming - the evidence
NRMW, which we hope will lay the          great lies is the notion that
foundations for the Wet Tropics           clean energy sources                         Climate Change is warning that
region to develop a regional response     cannot meet energy demands.                scientists are now unable to place a
to tackling climate change.               Hermann Speer, member of the               reliable upper limit on how fast and by
                                          German Parliament and leading              how much the atmosphere will warm
It is unlikely we will see any            energy expert, has identified Australia    as carbon dioxide levels increase;
significant State-based or Federal        as the nation with the greatest            raising the possibility the earth’s
initiatives to seriously address this     potential to fuel its future using clean   temperatures may rise above the
issue, as both levels of government       energy. Germany’s move away from           ceiling quoted in earlier accounts.
are too busy kowtowing to the dirty       coal and nuclear towards a clean           Chris Rapley, head of the British
coal and aluminum industries and the      energy future has already created          Antarctic Survey, warns that the huge
short-term economic gains they bring.     160,000 jobs and they are on track to      west Antarctic ice sheet may be
Queensland is the world’s largest coal    be free of dirty fuels by 2050. We         starting to disintegrate, an event that
exporter, and the State Government is     have no excuse not to be a world           would raise sea levels around the
currently salivating over the Bowen       leader in this area instead of being a     world by five metres. “The last IPCC
Basin coal boom whilst Cairns, the        pariah state.                              report characterised Antarctica as a
Great Barrier Reef and the montane                                                   slumbering giant in terms of climate
Wet Tropics rainforests have all been     Meanwhile the next draft report of         change,” he said. “I would say it is
identified by leading climatologists as   the Intergovernmental Panel on             now an awakened giant. There is real
having very gloomy prospects due to                                                  concern.”
climate change. The aluminum lobby
is also extremely powerful. This
industry is the largest user of energy
                                           Mittagong Forum
                                           Approximately six years ago a forum       networks. MF has three core areas
in the Queensland industry sector and
                                           was convened in Mittagong by              of focus: training of participants and
it has already been putting significant
                                           former Australian Conservation            progressing mechanisms to expand
pressure on the State and Federal
                                           Foundation President, Peter Garrett,      these lessons to the broader
Governments to omit it from any
                                           which brought together key                movement; developing of
climate change mitigation measures
                                           environment groups to consider            mechanisms to assist the movement
which may affect its profits.
                                           ways to enhance the effectiveness         to become financially more
                                           of the Australian environment             independent; and focusing on
Given this background, we have                                                       strategy and assessing the changes
                                           movement. After some teething
decided to try and progress positive                                                 in the national and international
                                           problems over the first couple of
action at a regional level. If we can                                                geopolitical landscape which may
                                           years, the forum now has a clear
get this project off the ground, we can                                              affect non-government organisations
                                           process and direction, and provides
develop a response, built and owned                                                  in particular.
                                           an important space for discussions
by the community, which empowers
                                           on issues which impact on the
us to tackle this critical issue and                                                 The forum has also become an
                                           movement’s capacity to deliver
delivers benefits to the local economy     environmental outcomes.                   important space for developing
and community. It will need the                                                      improved understanding and
support of local governments, industry     Around 25 groups are now members          relationships between groups and
and the broader community to               of the forum, and CAFNEC is               individuals; participants are treated
succeed, and I believe it will.            fortunate to have been engaged in         with equal respect and consideration,
                                           the process for much of this time.        regardless of the group they
The recent ABC Four Corners                Along with Environs Kimberly, we          represent. The forum has been
program helped to expose the rot at        are one of the smallest group at the      supported by philanthropic funds as
the heart of the Federal Government’s      table, the majority of other groups       well as contributions from member
appalling response to climate change.      representing state conservation           groups. For more information about
Powerful industry forces continue to       councils and national and                 the forum contact Kate Walsh, the
disseminate falsehoods, often              international organisations and           new forum coordinator, on
faithfully relayed by the media, and                                                 k.walsh@acfonline.org.au

Envirofiesta 2006
Planning is well underway for this        We will present a “Living Simply
year’s festival and now the real work     Expo” where we will showcase
is about to begin. The date has been      lifestyles, activities and tools that can
set for 5th August, just a few days       help us simplify our lives and our
before the full moon and just a week      impact on this beautiful, unique and
after Cairns Peace Week.                  fragile planet. Our aim for the Expo is
                                          to present practical tools, skills and      The work putting this festival together
The theme of the festival this year       ideas that we can use to make small         is huge and needs lots of CAFNEC
will be “Living Simply.” Using this       steps that make a real difference to        members to volunteer. There are lots
theme we will explore the often-          our lives and collectively to the           of rewarding and sometimes
overlooked fact that life can be          broader community.                          challenging and enjoyable roles to play
appreciated a lot more when it is                                                     in this wonderful community event.
simplified. We will also continue to      Envirofiesta will still contain all the     Contact the CAFNEC office and
look at the need for those of us in the   favourite components such as a local        leave your details and interests. If you
“civilised” world to make sacrifices      circus content, a dynamic and               have any personal contacts who could
concerning our consumption habits,        interactive young people’s space, a         help with things like marquees, tepees,
working along the lines of “living        cottage market zone, roving                 portable toilets, solar panels, or even
simply so all may simply live.”           characters, art exhibitions, cultural       items that could enhance the décor of
                                          and contemporary dancing, a huge            the festival, please let us know.
                                          quality local line-up on the big stage,
                                          CAFNEC’s much loved café and                Envirofiesta is solidly placed as the
                                          garage sale and so on.                      premier environment festival of north
                                                                                      Queensland. If your new year’s
                                          Envirofiesta is a great opportunity for     resolution was to help make a
                                          local businesses, community and             difference, meet new friends and
                                          cultural groups, the Traditional            have lots of fun then Envirofiesta is
                                          Owners and international tourists to        the project for you.
                                          share a common respect, love and                                      Paul Christie
                                          concern for the natural environment.
 Urgent       – values survey follow up                                                Treeforce needs tree-
 Firstly, thanks to all those CAFNEC members on the e-mail list who gave of
 their time to complete the VALUES survey. I’m now looking for more willing
                                                                                       planting volunteers
 volunteers to complete a follow-up study.                                             The tree planting season in the far
                                                                                       north is from February to the end
 What’s it all about? Values is one of those words that has many meanings,             of May so Treeforce needs willing
 depending on the how, why, and who of its use. I’m trying to build an overall         volunteers now.
 picture of values as a concept by creating what is called a ‘concept map’.
                                                                                       The next Treeforce Tree Planting
 Who is asking? I’m a PhD candidate at James Cook University in Cairns.                Activity is on Sunday the 26th of
 My research is largely about the psychology of language. I’m studying the             March and then every second
 meanings of values as used in discussions of the Wet Tropics World                    Sunday after that. Starting time is
 Heritage Area. I want to see if there is any difference in the use of values          7.00am with morning tea beside
 between those involved in different environmental pursuits. Are we all talking        Freshwater Creek at 9.00am.
 about the same thing?
                                                                                       You will see the Treeforce sign on
 What am I asking you to do? Send me your address as soon as possible so               the left of the Redlynch Intake
 that I can post my new study out to you (this one                                     Road, 1km past the St. Andrew’s
 can’t be e-mailed). There are three tasks in all, Denise Dillon                       School roundabout, as you travel
 which should altogether take you around two       Ph: 4042 1652                       towards Crystal Cascades. Turn
 hours to complete. I realise this is a big time   denise.dillon@jcu.edu.au            left on to the dirt track and follow
 commitment that I’m asking of you, but I offer in School of Psychology                the signs. Please bring your hat,
 return my heartfelt gratitude for your assistance James Cook University               sunscreen, gloves and covered
 and commitment to another important               PO Box 6811                         shoes. For more information phone
 environmental issue.                              CAIRNS 4870                         Lisa O’Mara on 4053 7314.

Bike tour may fold due to lack of skilled volunteers
by Jon Metcalfe                                        Jobs on the Far North Wilderness Bicycle Tour
Here is a letter from a rider after last year’s                        ( 3 categories)
ride:                                             1 Catering:
Thanks CAFNEC, I haven’t stopped                  - Chief cook/caterer and cooking overseer (1 person)
talking about the tour since we got               Plan meals. Organise purchases. Take oversight of meal preparation and give directions
back. I’ve done a number of different             to helpers. Adjust plans as needed. (Huge job with many stresses.)
                                                  - Kitchen helpers (3 to 4 people)
bicycle tours and I’ve never had so much
                                                  Take directions from chief caterer and work with him/her to prepare evening meals. Be
fun, seen so much fantastic country and           very familiar with purchases, and also lay-out of fridge. (Huge job with many stresses.)
eaten so well, all done with such great           - Morning breakfast preparation (1 to 2 people)
people. I’d just like to sincerely thank          Liaise with chief caterer and organise breakfasts each morning. Help clean and pack up
you, and all the CAFNEC team, for your            kitchen equipment each day. Must like early rise.
efforts in making the Wilderness Tour             - Lunch preparation and serving, plus afternoon smoko and after-ride snacks (1
such a memorable event in my life.                person with vehicle)
Kind regards                                      Liaise with chief caterer to organise lunch preparation, pack and drive to lunch stops
Paul                                              each day before riders arrive. Liaise with forward sign-and-safety car to have them drop
As the above thank you suggests, the              morning teas at designated stops. Organise after ride snacks. Must know route lunch-
Wilderness Bicycle Tour is becoming an            stops very well and have a good idea about the flow and timing of each day.
                                                  Vehicle requirements for catering area:
event with a big reputation. This is due to
                                                  Cars with tow balls are almost compulsory on the tour. They are handy in emergencies
the fabulous efforts of many volunteers           if another car can’t tow something. Also tow balls can be used with bike racks to tow
over the last five years. However, there          the Catering Crew’s bikes, so they too can have a bit of a ride. Of the seven or eight
comes a time when new volunteers have             people in Catering, at least three cars are needed. The lunch person obviously needs a
to come in to share the effort. While the         car. In previous years one kitchen helper used her car to tow a medium-size trailer. One
Tour is one of CAFNEC’s best revenue              other helper needs a car in order that all the catering crew is transported.
raisers, its big downside is that it requires     2 Camp set up and removal:
skilled volunteers and specialised                - Luggage trailer (a second (minor) job for a volunteer already allocated; in previous
equipment. However if we all spread the           years this has been the breakfast person)
word, those skills and that equipment will        Tow big luggage trailer from Cairns to Cardwell loaded with bikes, and back to Cairns
emerge; it’s happened now for five years!         loaded with luggage. Heavy load. Need large 4WD. Train the riders to pack luggage
                                                  properly. Be able to get trailer to next site before first riders arrive.
CAFNEC needs the revenue from the                 - Pantec driver and assistants (2 or 3 people)
bicycle tour in order to keep its staff           Must have experience in driving trucks with trailer, slowly and carefully on dirt roads.
                                                  Ordinary license sufficient. Load and unload Pantec each day. Very physically
levels and thus the ability to campaign
                                                  demanding with constant pressure.
locally and regionally. This year the ride        - Bar and facilities trailer (two people, one with car)
is planned for the first week of the              Organise purchase of saleable items (beer, soft drink, energy bars) beforehand and help
September school holidays, 23-30 Sept.            load. Be available every night to serve and keep track of sales. Organise a re-supply if
However, possibly 12 more skilled                 needed. Need car with tow bar to tow a trailer with kitchen equipment. Help load and
volunteers are needed. Ideally, some of           unload kitchen equipment each day. Needs good organizational ability and dedication.
these volunteers will also have reliable          3 Rider support area:
vehicles which can be used; see right for         - Forward signs, water and rider support (1 person with ute)
a full list of jobs and vehicle requirements      Need ute with space for 10 water containers. Also need tow bar to tow toilets for first
for the tour. Even if you don’t have the          three days. Must know route intimately and know best placement of signs. Be prepared
skills and equipment outlined, you                to stop forward-coming cars to warn of danger. Must always be on top of water needs
probably know someone who                         each day, dispensing and filling 200 litres. Must liaise with lunch person for drop-off of
does. Contact them. Many of the                   water, tables and morning smokos at places where required. Must gather back
volunteers on the bike tour over the last         equipment from tail-end Charlie each day.
                                                  - Tail-end Charlie/bike trailer (1 person with car)
five years have come from outside
                                                  Usually last, picking up slow riders, food, water and signs from stops. Need car with
conservation circles. The benefits of the         tow bar to tow fully loaded bike trailer to Cardwell and partly loaded back to Cairns.
ride are numerous for volunteers. Each            Must know how to organise space and tie things down. Must know route very well.
year we get better at giving time                 Must have very high degree of patience juggling slower rider’s desires.
so everyone can have a bit of a ride. Each        - Removal of toilets
year we get more organised! Camping out            Person with car and tow ball, required to attend at Innot Hot Springs on the Tuesday
under starry skies for a week is also a           of the week to remove the toilets back to Cairns next morning. (Evening meal and
treat. But perhaps the greatest benefit is        breakfast supplied!) Suit person who can’t attend all week but still wants to help.
the thanks we get from very appreciative
riders, and the knowledge that our efforts        Summary of vehicle requirements over all areas
will keep CAFNEC’s doors wide open for            1)   Car to transport catering crew;           5) Ute for day-water and to tow toilets
yet another year.                                 2)   Car to dispense lunches;                      first 3 days;
If you can help on this year’s tour contact       3)   Car to tow medium-sized box trailer;      6) Small 4WD to tow bike trailer;
CAFNEC on 4032 1746 or e-mail                     4)   Car to tow medium/large facilities        7) Large 4WD to tow luggage trailer;
bikeride@cafnec.org.au                                  trailer;                                 8) Car to tow toilets back to Cairns (1 dy).

                         Being a tadpole is not always fun!
                    Our start-and-                   this problem is really making the
                                                                                                               Is the newsletter of the Cairns &
                    stop wet season                  rounds. It is spreading through                           Far North Environment Centre
                    is creating havoc                Cairns suburbs and we’re also                             (CAFNEC). Ecotone is published
                    for frog breeding.               receiving dead tadpoles from                              every three months and sent to over
                    The good rains                   Mena Creek, Mt. Carbine,                                  300 readers.
                    fall and the adults              creeklines off the Macallister                            Reader contributions, including
                    feverishly get                   Range, and reports from Mareeba                           letters, are very welcome: content is
                    stuck into                       and Cooktown.                                             subject to the editor’s discretion.
creating the next generation – and                                                                             Disclaimer:
a week later, the tropical sun is                    Please look in your backyard                              Views expressed in Ecotone are not
beating down upon the water and                      ponds and contact us if you see                           necessarily those of CAFNEC as a whole.
terminating the next generation.                     any of these signs:                                       CAFNEC Management Committee:
Then some more good rain and                         * tadpole numbers decreasing;                             President:                  Di Horsburgh
more tadpoles – before the clouds                    * bent tails;                                             Vice-President:
                                                                                                               Secretary:                      Ruth Zee
vanish and more tadpoles die.                        * dead metamorphs;                                        Treasurer:                 Michael Bryan
                                                     * unusually very pale or very dark                        Com. Member:            Tammy Andrews
Even if the clouds remain, tadpoles                                                                            Com. Member:                   Ellie Bock
                                                     tadpoles.                                                 Com. Member:                Robert Rutten
are not having much luck. The latest                                                                           Com. Member:                 Paul Christie
new disease problem detected by                      We are also looking to sample                             CAFNEC staff:
                                                                                                               Coordinator:               John Rainbird
the Cairns Frog Hospital appears to                  other bodies of water, so if you see                      Campaigner (acting):        Di Horsburgh
be an aquatic virus that causes mass                 any tadpoles along the roadside or                        Administrator:               Marie Short
die-offs in tadpoles, bone disease,                                                                            Ph: (07) 4032 1746 / 4032 1586
                                                     in drains, please note the locations                      Fax: (07) 4053 3779
malformations and sudden death of                    and phone us.                                             Email: mail@cafnec.org.au
juveniles. This problem has been                                                                               Address: PO Box 323N
                                                                                                               North Cairns, Qld 4870
coined the “Redlynch virus” until we                 Cairns Frog Hospital 4053 4367                            Web address: www.cafnec.org.au
can get it properly isolated and                     arvos and eves                                            ECOTONE is produced by Stella Martin
identified. And, most unfortunately,                                                                           with editorial assistance by Di
                                                     www.fdrproject.org.au                                     Horsburgh and Marie Short.

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                                                                  Please send or email articles or letters, ideally as
                Deadline for the next Ecotone is 18th May 2006.

                                                                  Word attachments, not in the body of the e-mail,
                                                                                                                         IMPORTANT DATES:

                                                                  to CAFNEC (with graphics if you have them).

                                                                                                                         March                                                  10th: 6pm – CAFNEC general meeting, an
                                                                                                                                                                                evening of short environmental films.
                                                                                                                         26th: 7am – Tree planting with Treeforce (see
                                                                                                                         page 9 for details)
                                                                                                                                                                                22nd – Dive into Earth Day: REEF ACTION

                                                                                                                         31st: 7.30pm – EDO 10th anniversary Trivia             5th – World Environment Day
                                                                                                                         Night fundraiser, Crosswell Hall @ Cairns High
                                                                                                                         School. $20 per head                                   August
                                                                                                                                                                                5th – Envirofiesta

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