EDO Qld senior solicitor Revel Pointon was on the road this month to provide community workshops around central coast Qld. We covered a lot of distance and a lot of different topics to empower regional communities to understand the laws and their rights to be involved in decisions that impact their health, environment and community.
As always, it was great to catch up with folks living in regional areas of Queensland, to understand better the issues facing farmers, coastal dwellers and our inland and coastal environments. From sea turtles and coastal erosion to migratory birds and toxic air emissions – there is a lot of work to do ensure our laws and government decisions adequately protect our ecosystems, threatened species and community health.
Big thanks to the impressive conservation groups who hosted us in their regions – we couldn’t have done it without you!
A synopsis of the workshops we provided in each town is below, along with a copy of the slides:
HERVEY BAY - Hosted by WPSQ Fraser Coast Branch
In Hervey Bay we provided a two hour workshop to the community members of Hervey Bay and surrounds on three key topic areas of interest:
- Understanding planning decisions and your rights to be involved
- Tree clearing laws and community enforcement
- Mining and gas assessment processes and community rights
BARGARA - Hosted by Sea Turtle Alliance
In Bargara we provided a presentation and panel talk on our planning laws, including opportunities to be involved in development decision making both formally and informally, and a snapshot of other environmental laws that may apply to planning decisions – including the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).
ROCKHAMPTON: Joined by The Australia Institute and hosted by Capricorn Conservation Council
In Rockhampton we focused on community rights to be involved in decision making and assessment of resource activities such as mining and gas. We were joined by Mark Ogge of The Australia Institute – discussing the threats of climate change to Rockhampton on the basis of their recent research into likely increases in heat exposure, and Dr Elizabeth Hanna of Australian National University who spoke on health impacts of heat increases.
GLADSTONE As part of RePower Gladstone - Hosted by Gladstone Conservation Council
In Gladstone we spoke on community rights to protect air, water and environment around mining, gas and industry impacts, along with opportunities to be involved in climate change policy development of the Queensland Government. Many other speakers presented on the opportunities available to Gladstone to transition smoothly and fairly to renewable energy.