Herbicide Complacency

Herbicide Complacency


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.

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The transition to renewable energy is underway: Kuranda Paper February 2018:

If you like your energy clean and carbon free then you may be happy that a transition to renewable electricity is underway in Australia. Around the country a number of large-scale renewable power stations are under construction. In 2017 alone 4670 megawatt (MW) of renewable generating capacity was added to the national market. South Australia installed one of largest battery facilities in the world, providing reliable network storage. New technologies are coming online, such as solar thermal and pumped hydro that can be used during periods of high demand.
In North and Far North Queensland, there are a number of commercial scale renewable facilities under construction, and many more in the pipeline. Construction of thecontroversial Mt Emerald Wind farm west of Walkamin is nearing completion and will have 53 turbines generating 180 MW of electricity. Two large solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are being built at Lakeland and at the old Kidston goldmine near Georgetown. Additional large solar projects are proposed for Mareeba (announced in late 2017) and at Lakeland, a pumped hydro plant for the Kidston mine, and plans for a big wind farm at Forsayth. Rooftop solar installations are also very popular, and over 18,000 homes in the region have installed PV systems.


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Rivers of north Australia under siege

The Ord River

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.

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New Years Tea Party to Celebrate FoE FNQ at Kuranda


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

KurWorld assistance

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.






Stuck for Christmas Presents? Kuranda Paper December, 2017

Children love the Friends of the Animal's native wildlife colouring- in sheets-beautiful and informative. Available from www.foefnq.com.au
Thank you to the State candidates Cameron Boyd ( the Greens), Cheryl Tonkin ( Independent) and Craig Crawford ( Labor) who responded to our questionnaire about the topics below. Their answers can be seen on our website www.foefnq.com.au Some of our requests to Santa are taken from their good ideas.
Dear Santa,
Instead of Adani and KUR-World, here's what we'd like this year from our newly elected State government ( at time of writing still unknown)
  • 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.
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Election Questionaire 2017 Qld Election

Friends of the Earth Questionnaire for Barron River Electorate, Queensland Election November 2017
FoE FNQ has once again conducted a State election questionnaire - with all candidates for the Barron River electorate invited to reply to ten questions of particular interest to FoE members and supporters in this area.
The results are below.
They provide insight into the policies and opinions of the four candidates who responded: Craig Crawford (ALP), Andrew Hodgetts ( Independent),  Cheryl Tonkin (Independent) and Cameron Boyd (Queensland Greens). FoE FNQ thanks these candidates for their answers.
We are disappointed, but not altogether surprised, that the LNP candidate Michael Trout chose not to reply at all. Perhaps he thinks he can avoid scrutiny on environmental policies, such as the LNP's plan to build a new taxpayer-funded coal-fired power station in FNQ?
 Likewise, the One Nation candidate didn't respond. 
 This State election is under the Compulsory Preferential Voting (CPV) system, like the Federal election for the House of Reps. To lodge a valid vote it's necessary to number EVERY box in order. In the case of Barron River, this election, that means numbering ALL the candidates 1 (first) to 6 (last). The order of your last preferences may end up being crucial to who ultimately receives your vote, so think carefully before you vote!
Based on our evaluation of the questionnaire responses - combined with the candidates' performance at election forums (note: the LNP and One Nation candidates failed to show up to either the Cairns or Kuranda forums) and other publicly-available policy material - we recommend that voters concerned about the environment put the LNP and One Nation last (that is, numbers 5 and 6) in this election.
Final reminder.. to cast a valid vote in this election, number ALL the boxes 1 to 6. If in doubt, check with a Electoral Commission of Queensland official at the voting booth.
1/ Do you support a State Government inquiry into alternative local government arrangements for the Kuranda Region, in which the Kuranda region community is adequately consulted?*
Craig Crawford (Labor): I have not seen any evidence justifying Kuranda to be removed from the MSC so i do not support an enquiry.
Andrew Hodgetts ( Independent):Considering the Kuranda community has no active representation at the local level, I would absolutely call for and support any enquiry into local government arrangements. Community consultation is paramount, the needs and concerns of the Kuranda community are considerably different to those of the Mareeba community.
Cheryl Tonkin (Independent): Absolutely. Witnessing the position the Kuranda Community currently finds itself in relation to the MSC and even State Government causes me great concern. The State Government under the Co-ordinator General instituted a “Community Reference Group” (farcical though this one is) to “hear” the concerns of the local residents. Our Community needs their own Voice as a Community Reference Group that is instrumental in informing and instructing MSC of the direction and destiny of THIS community of OURS.


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Foe FNQ in the Kuranda Paper August 2017

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.


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Industrial Chemical #SprayDrift in Residential Koah

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

Email info@msc.qld.gov.au 

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]


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Pushing for Renewables

Australia is fortunate to have an excellent daily web journal - Giles Parkinson's Renew Economy - which is professionally-written and covers the issues of climate change and energy policy in considerable detail.
Because most of the mass media reports these issues so poorly, it's well-worth getting information on these topics from credible alternative sources.
Normanton_solar.jpgIn fairness, The Guardian also covers climate change very well, as does the ABC. Yet the amount of disinformation in much of our mass media is horrific.
Take the case of the recent power blackouts ib South Australia. The Turnbull Government swiftly seized upon these incidents as "proof" that renewable energy increases energy insecurity. A large swathe of the Australian "commentariat" uncritically repeated this untruth.
In fact, the outages had nothing to do with renewable energy - see for instance Renewable energy witch-hunt continues after South Australia outage or Wind energy not to blame for South Australia power outage.
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Friends of the Earth FNQ Meeting - First for 2017

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.
call 0403214422

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!!