Our Kuranda property was recently sprayed with the herbicide Roundup by Council workers without our authorisation. Our property adjoins Jumrum Creek which ultimately flows to the Great Barrier Reef via the Barron River, the source of Kuranda’s drinking water. Due to the ecological sensitivity of our property and region, we initiated a formal complaint through the Queensland Ombudsman. Mareeba Shire Council’s actions and subsequent dismissive response reveals a common belief that Roundup is innocuous. While this complacency has been fostered through decades of aggressive marketing by agrochemical company Monsanto, there is mounting research suggesting Roundup is toxic not only to the environment, but to human health.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Roundup’s declared principle ingredient ‘glyphosate’ as "probably carcinogenic to humans". The European Chemicals Agency has classified it “a substance causing serious eye damage and being toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects". After bitter division in 2017 the European Union approved a limited 5-year licence for glyphosate, with France declaring a ban within 3 years. Currently, more than 700 US farmers, landscapers & gardeners are involved in a lawsuit against Monsantoclaiming that exposure to glyphosate caused their cancers.
Tests for glyphosate routinely find traces in soil, water, food and human urine.Read more
Governments and the agricultural sector have long held ambitions of conquering the vast rivers and natural landscapes of northern Australia. Since the 1940s the Commonwealth and state/territory governments have poured billions of dollars into R&D and water infrastructure projects in an attempt to expand irrigated agriculture across the north.Read more
Wednesday 3rd January
Kuranda: 11 Kuranda Cresc, [text: where is the meeting again? 0403214422]
Members and Friends and potential campaigners! Bring your friends
You are invited to the FoE FNQ New Year tea party this Wednesday 3 January at 6pm, at 11 Kuranda Cresc. Celebrate the wins of 2017 and help set our priorities for 2018. Bring a plate and share a meal in the rainforest while putting the world to right.
All welcome who are interested in protecting this very special area. You and your valuable time and energy are appreciated and needed.
If you cannot come to the party but would like to be involved, please let us know your availability so you can come next time! We can organise video links in 2018 if that works best for you... You are important to us. 😀
And in the meantime have a very Happy New Year.
Thank you all for your support in 2017!
John, Margaret & Sarah
Successes and Activity 2017
Stop Adani communications, database and action support
Cassowary Keystone strategy assistance
Bat interventions at Mareeba
Supporting Koah community's campaigns about contaminated bore water & fire management
Plans and issues for 2018 include:
Land clearing and land use in FNQ
Poison use in the region
Establishing a Tablelands FoE working group based in Mareeba
plus bring your concerns and campaign ideas.
- A local council that understands the special nature of the Kuranda region, is as open to environmentalists as developers and listens to the residents' concerns. A State Government inquiry into alternative local government arrangements for the Kuranda Region would be a great start. Alternatives to be investigated could include (a) merging the Kuranda Region with Douglas Shire and (b) creating a new Kuranda Region Council, separate from Mareeba Shire.
- Sustainable planning and land clearing laws that are enforced with adequate monitoring. These should protect old growth and recovering forest - and stop our communities and wildlife being threatened by mega developments such as KUR-World and Adani.
Mareeba Council Fails Kuranda Community Again
At the July 2017 council meeting, it took just nine minutes for council to pass more than four motions, two of which allowed assessment of high density, rural residential developments in an environmentally fragile area (Myola Valley, Kuranda) under the old, 2004- and now superseded planning scheme.
The high density. rural residential development applications are for the Kuranda vets' land (subdivision into approximately 48 blocks of around 2 acres in size) and the Barnwell road property (site of the ambitious and possibly fictional KUR-World project) of 176 blocks also of around 2 acres each.
These subdivisions would not be deemed appropriate according to the Mareeba Shire Council 2016 plan, the FNQ2031 plan and the State Planning mapping (Matters of Environmental significance). Hence this extraordinary tactic of trying to have the developments assessed under the old plan, which was rejected a decade ago by the Kuranda community and eventually by the State Government.
In previous articles we mentioned the dangers associated with conventional agriculture as bores have turned up with too high levels of arsenic in Koah possibly due to the use of arsenic during tobacco farming times. Conventional farming uses many dangerous chemicals. Some insecticides, for example the much used Methomyl and Chlorpyrifos are anti-cholinesterases(nerve poisons) just like Sarin. In fact it was only after some potent insecticides were developed that armies also saw their usefulness in chemical warfare.
It follows that keeping conventional agriculture as far away as possible from environmental values and populated areas is a safe precaution.
What you can do:
Ring MSC on 1300 308 461 or 07 4086 4500
Ask them: "put the old 300 metre buffer zone back into the new MSC2016 plan to protect against dangerous spray drift. This will help to avoid 'accidents' like we saw in Mareeba last year, in future."
Use social media to say Stop #spraydrift [#spraydrift is the globally used hashtag for this issue which effects communities across the world]
Come along to the Friends of the Earth FNQ meeting for January
Informal dining atmosphere - think coffee, pizza and politics.
Lift from Cairns around 4:30pm.
Lift back after the meeting.
We have this monthly OPEN meeting to discuss HOW the different campaigns and affiliates might support each other. How do we leverage and sync operations and resources so that we get SYNERGY! How do we COOPERATE!!