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Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

NEWS IN 5 / Friday October 22 2021

IN BRIEF / The latest news affecting the Douglas Shire

Cane Farmers Turn Reef Action Into Income

A unique collaboration between the Palaszczuk Government, business and landholders is seeing Queensland farmers earn additional income and prevent 18,000kg of nitrogen from reaching the Great Barrier Reef – as well as helping drive Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. 

Called the Reef Credit Scheme, the market-based collaboration allows farmers and other property owners in reef catchments to undertake projects that improve water quality to generate a tradeable unit of pollutant reduction or Reef Credit, which is then sold onto businesses who want to protect the reef or meet their corporate responsibilities. 

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said five sugarcane farmers have successfully traded 18,000 Reef Credits in the second ever tranche of Reef Credits to be sold, earning money for their business as the sunshine state continues its COVID-19 economic recovery.

“Each Reef Credit represents a kilogram of nitrogen pollution which has been prevented from reaching the reef,” Minister Scanlon said.
 
“The scheme is a unique way to protect the reef while also supporting business and valuing the work of farmers who take actions on their land to reduce nutrient or sediment run-off.

“This type of action is extremely important as we look for ways to help drive industry through the pandemic but also after the recent decision by UNESCO to revisit the status of the reef in February next year.
 
“It’s a credit to the farmers, to industry and government collaboration and is a key aspect of our record $1.4 billion investment in this budget for the environment.”

Multiple Assaults in Cape Tribulation

Far North Detectives have arrested and charged a 39-year-old Diwan man following an alleged violent incident at Cape Tribulation last month.

During the early hours of the morning on September 8, it will be alleged the man became involved in an argument with four tourists who were camping in camper vans along Cape Tribulation Road.

The argument escalated after the Diwan man allegedly struck one of the vans with a machete while demanding property.

It will be further alleged the man used the machete to threaten the group before taking a bottle of alcohol.

As the man was leaving, he allegedly struck a 23-year-old tourist in the face with the machete causing a small graze to the man’s face.

Following the investigation an arrest warrant was issued for the 39-year-old Diwan man.

Yesterday morning, the man surrendered to police and he was arrested and later charged with four counts of common assault, two counts of wilful damage and one count each of going armed as to cause fear, armed robbery and assault occasioning bodily harm.

He is scheduled to appear at the Mossman Magistrates Court on November 3.

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Dust Off the Snorkel Gear and Grab a GoPro

Dust off your snorkel gear and grab your GoPro, the Great Reef Census is back and we need your help in the water! The Census is a groundbreaking citizen science effort to survey the Great Barrier Reef.

Whether you’re on the Reef or on the other side of the world, you can be part of this important conservation initiative.

Over the next 10 weeks Citizens HQ is calling on all snorkellers, divers, spearos, boat owners and tourists across the Reef to jump in the water and carry out a simple photo survey, capturing vital data to conserve and protect the Great Barrier Reef!

Data collected from the Great Reef Census is used by the marine science community, marine managers, conservation and industry groups to help understand the constantly changing and evolving condition of the Great Barrier Reef. The aim is to have citizen science data bolster the core science used in decision making and management of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Reef Census is a Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef project in partnership with University of Queensland, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australian Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University. 


Traditional Owners Granted First Cape York Heritage Area Water Licences

Traditional owners in the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Area have been granted water licences under the region’s water plan for the first time.

Minister for Water Glenn Butcher made the announcement as part of National Water Week – with this year’s theme of Caring for water and for Country. 

Minister Butcher said two water licences, accounting for more than 5000 megalitres, had been granted to a Traditional Owner group in the Coleman and Normanby catchments. 

“These water licences and the discussions leading up to them represent meaningful change towards collaborative resource management with Traditional Owners,” Mr Butcher said. 

“The CYPHA reserve, established under the Cape York Water Plan, provides for more than 485,000 megalitres of water reserved for Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders in Cape York to achieve their social, economic and cultural aspirations.

“During the development of the water plan we heard from Traditional Owners who wanted a greater say in water resource management on Country. 

“We have provided this opportunity through the provisions of the water plan and the granting of water licences which enable eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups who manage Country to make decisions about if or how this water is used.” 

FNQ Vaccination BLITZ this Saturday

Our largest vaccination blitz to date will take place this weekend and anyone yet to be vaccinated is encouraged to come forward and get their first dose.

The Super Saturday vaccination blitz will include pop-up vaccination clinics at up to 100 high schools across the state in addition to existing community vaccination locations.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the school pop-up clinics would be available across multiple regions this Saturday, with a focus on areas with low vaccination uptake.

“We need Queenslanders to vaccinate before it’s too late,” the Premier said.

“Vaccinations are the key to saving lives and reuniting Queenslanders with their friends and family.

“We’re working hard to make it as quick and easy as possible for all Queenslanders to get vaccinated.

“That’s why we’re establishing vaccination clinics at dozens of schools right throughout the state.

“Super Saturday is our largest vaccine push to date. If you’ve been saying you’ll just wait a bit before getting the vaccine – it’s time for you to come forward and get vaccinated now.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath reminds the public, “remember it takes at least five weeks to be fully protected from the vaccine.

“We cannot be complacent. Just because COVID-19 may not have reached your community yet does not mean it won’t.

“We need more of our regional Queenslanders to get vaccinated now to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.

“The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against serious illness from COVID-19 and it is key to charting a course through the next stages of the pandemic.

For the full list of vaccination locations and opening times, visit the Queensland Health vaccination locations webpage. https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine/book/vaccination-locations

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