Friday, October 19, 2012

Ken McKay benefit

A very special event has been set down for Thursday, November 22 (from 7:00pm) at the

Barron Valley Hotel in Atherton (there will be a $20 entry fee). Some of the finest local musicians will be performing in honour of Ken McKay, the region's finest singer-songwriter (in my professional estimation). As well as raising funds for Ken's battle with cancer, the event will pay tribute to a memorable career that has yielded classics like 'Bartalumba Bay' and 'Gloria'.

Tony Hillier :    The Ken McKay story

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sarus Cranes Atherton Tablelands

Apparently they are on the endangered list so it was good to see such a large number in one location on the way from Malanda to Atherton on the weekend.  Flocks of these birds can be seen up here at sunset at this time of the year, heading to wherever they go to roost (like Bromfield Swamp).

Sarus cranes are closely related to the Brolga and can often be seen together in flocks more here

Found this video of the fascinating Saurus crane courting ritual.

and some slightly smaller brolgas strutting their stuff....

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plans to change alcohol laws in communities

Article from 'The Conversation' by Peter d'Abbs
Professor of Substance Misuse Studies, Menzies School of Health Research at Menzies School of Health Research

The newly elected conservative governments in Queensland and the Northern Territory have opened the way to relaxing laws restricting access to alcohol in Aboriginal communities.

In Queensland, a number of observers including Aboriginal leaders Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton and Warren Mundine, have expressed their dismay and argued the case against plans to dismantle the restrictions, pointing to the high levels of alcohol-related violence and social dysfunction prevalent prior to the restrictions being introduced from 2002 onwards, and to evidence of improvements in areas such as assaults and school attendance.

Friday, October 5, 2012

East Trinity under pressure again

There is growing political interest in revisiting the proposal of developing the eastern side of Trinity Inlet. In fact there is a fanciful idea being put forward at the moment for the disposal of dredge spoil to reclaim the area for housing development. At this point it might pay to have a look at some important historical aspects of this area.

Catalyst: Saving Acid Wetlands - ABC TV Science
This link takes you to a Catalyst story from May 2011 regarding the work that has gone into reclaiming the wetlands as a nature reserve and the removal of acid sulphate soils.

Denis Walls of the Cairns Wetland Park committee 2011


The East Trinity Reserve:

"Some people have short memories. The East Trinity wetlands, which I and my colleagues have previously promoted for a 'Cairns Wetlands Park', is now a government owned protected area, was subject to a decade of debate and a supposedly final resolution adopted. A failed sugar cane enterprise resulted in a serious acid sulphate problem. Urban development was proposed by various developers and rejected by community and government. As a result the various decisions, the land was acquired from the developers by Government for a wetlands reserve and a world best practice acid sulphate remediation process was put in place. Now, through some bizarre twist, dumping of dredge spoil on the remediated wetlands is being claimed to have 'environmental (and economic) benefits'. The truth of the matter is that any proposal for land reclamation of the East Trinity wetlands can only be about development for there are no environmental benefits, only impacts. And the loss of an opportunity to establish a world class Cairns Wetlands Park as an environmental, educational and tourism facility on the doorstep of the CBD."
 Peter Hitchcock AM

Cairns based international environment and heritage consultant