Our Future Plan

The NRM Plan in your words

We travelled from Stanthorpe in Southern Queensland to Injune, out west, asking people about the future of our landscape and communities. What do they think will make our region more sustainable? Is there a future for our kids? This film was produced as part of our Regional Natural Resource Management Plan for the Border Rivers and Maranoa-Balonne which sets out project priorities for the next 20 years or so. We hope you enjoy the film and please – have your say on the plan.

What critter is that?

Have you ever spotted a plant or animal and been unsure of what it is?  If the answer is yes, then you’re not alone. Not only that, but the Atlas of Living Australia has come up with a set of top tips for identification!

  1. Visit the ALA identification page
  2. Use the ALA maps to see what’s already been spotted in your location.

All the links you need are on this ALA blog post.

PS, that cute little guy in our image? That’s a pobblebonk. You can read all about the species here on the Frogs of Australia website.

NCCARF webinar series starting soon

A series of upcoming webinars by NCCARF will explore key climate adaptation topics from extreme events, to urban and natural system, and to trade, aid and tourism.

Over the next three months, four webinars (see topics and summaries below) will explore these topics with a panel of experts as well as provide participants the opportunity to join in the discussion online.

At NCCARF we work to support decision makers throughout Australia as they prepare for and manage the risks of climate change and sea-level rise. We do this through new research, communication and networking.

Register your attendance at: https://nccarfwebinars.eventbrite.com

Read more here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nccarf-climate-adaptation-webinar-series-tickets-32611157851

Extreme climate events: future risks and impacts
21 March 3pm AEST
Extreme climate events – heatwaves, floods, windstorms and bushfires – can quickly become disasters if communities aren’t prepared. Extremes are how we will experience the change in climate – more so than creeping averages. So how do we prepare for these dramatic events? Join our webinar panel looking at projections of extreme climate in the future, the impacts of these events on our built environment and communities, and how we can adapt.
Professor Jean Palutikof (NCCARF)
Dr Scott Power (Bureau of Meteorology)
Dr Matthew Mason (University of Queensland)

Trade, aid and tourism under climate change
18 April 1pm AEST
Climate change in Australia means more than just what happens at home. It can affect Australia’s appeal as a tourist destination, alter the competitiveness of our export and create new international tensions that must be managed through foreign policy. Australia has strengths in research and development, natural resource management, energy technologies and climate change adaptation practices that can be mobilised to meet these challenges. Join us for a discussion about Australia and its international context under a changing climate.
Professor Jean Palutikof (NCCARF)
Professor Jon Barnett (University of Melbourne)
Additional panelist to be confirmed

Cities adapting to climate change
3 May 2pm AEST
Our urban centres are already facing  challenges of growing demands on housing and infrastructure. Preparing cities to be ‘climate ready’ is critical to minimising risk for urban communities and, in the longer term, to improving urban resilience to projected climate change impacts. The challenges are complex and prompt a rethink of the traditional ways that we plan and build our cities and infrastructure. So how do we change the way we plan, manage and maintain or cities into the future?
Dr Sarah Boulter (NCCARF)
Professor Barbara Norman (University of Canberra)
Associate Professor Ron Cox (University of NSW)

Natural ecosystems – from land to sea
22 May 1pm AEST
Bleaching coral, massive bat and bird die-offs, and changing sex ratios in turtles are just some of the alarming evidence of how natural ecosystems are already succumbing to the changing climate. The implications for our fauna and flora—as well as the businesses that rely on them (e.g. fishing, farming, forestry and tourism)—are broad ranging and potentially devastating. So what can we do? Do we need to change the way we manage and conserve our natural resources? Do we need to change our business models?
Dr David Rissik (NCCARF)
Professor Stephen Williams (James Cook University)
Additional panelist to be confirmed


Impact of climate change pervasive: report

The impact of climate change on the Australian environment and its ecosystems is increasing and some aspects may be irreversible, the latest State of the Environment report has warned.

In articles by in the Queensland Country Life and Sydney Morning Herald, it was noted that a summary provided to Fairfax Media warns of increasing pressures from coal mining, the coal-seam gas industry, habitat degradation, land-use change and invasive species.

Further concentration of the country’s population in coastal cities, particularly in the south-east corner, will also put “substantial pressure” on the environment, the report says, particularly if urban growth is “poorly planned and executed”.

You can read

Accessing regional stats on business and innovation

The Office of the Chief Economist has two interactive self-service tools to help unlock Industry and Innovation data for Australian regions.

The Industry Map is a companion product to the Australian Industry Report (see Chapter 7 of the 2016 issue). This tool can help you unlock industry changes in your region. This tool contains the department’s first issue of experimental Gross Regional Product data as well as business counts, population estimates, labour force and industry employment data.

The Innovation Map is a satellite product to the Australian Innovation System Report and the Australian Geography of Innovative Entrepreneurship (2015) research paper. This tool identifies the location of innovation activities (R&D expenditure, patent and trademark applicant counts) and business creation (new businesses) across Australia over time.

You can find them here: https://www.industry.gov.au/Office-of-the-Chief-Economist/Publications/AustralianIndustryReport/Industry-Innovation-Map.html

HINT: when you click through to the industry or innovation maps, our regions are Darling Downs & Maranoa, and Toowoomba.

Ag climate forum in the Burnett


One of our neighbouring natural resource management groups is planning an ag climate forum in May, with QMDC Chief Executive Officer Geoff Penton among the guest speakers.

Join the Burnett Mary Regional Group in the Bunya Mountains from the 10-11 May 2017 for the Ag Climate Forum – a two-day, facilitated event for agricultural extension officers, industry stakeholders and NRM professionals.

The Ag Climate Forum will feature presentations from people working at the coalface of climate science research, practice change and policy in Agriculture.  Keynote and invited speakers include:

  • Robbie Sefton, Sefton & Associates
  • Professor Richard Eckard, University of Melbourne
  • Graeme Anderson, Agriculture Victoria
  • Ben Keogh, Australian Carbon Traders
  • Geoff Penton, Queensland Murray-Darling Committee
  • Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural Services
  • Terry McCosker, CarbonLink
  • Neil Halpin, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD)
  • Stephen Kimber, Department of Primary Industries (NSW)
  • Justine Cox, Department of Primary Industries (NSW)
  • Bree Grima, Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers
  • Terry McCosker, CarbonLink
  • Veronica Chapman, Burnett Catchment Care Association.

The Ag Climate Forum will be held at the Poppies on the Hill Cafe Conference Centre in the picturesque Bunya Mountains.  It starts at 10.30am on Wednesday, 10 May, and concludes at midday the following day.  Cost to participate is just $75 per person – includes all meals, twin share accommodation at the Bunya Mountains, and take home resources. Download the flyer  and speakers profile for further information.

RSVP online via  TryBooking by 5 May – or phone BMRG on 4181 2999.  Queries – contact Ag Climate Forum Coordinator and Facilitator Michelle Haase via email.

This event is an initiative of the Burnett Mary Regional Group’s Carbon Farming Project, which is funded by the Australian Government. For more information on the Carbon Farming Project, please contact Cathy Mylrea at Burnett Mary Regional Group for NRM on 07 4181 2999 or email.



Reptile sex reversal and climate

We are only just starting to appreciate the full sexual diversity of animals. What we are learning is helping us understand evolution and how animals will cope with a changing world.

In humans and other mammals, sex chromosomes (the Xs and Ys) determine physical sex. But in reptiles, sometimes sex chromosomes do not match physical sex. This is called “sex reversal”. Some species, including snakes, use sex chromosomes like humans do. But in other species, such as crocodiles and marine turtles, sex is determined by the temperature the eggs are raised in.

Read more in this blog from the CSIRO: https://blog.csiro.au/sex-lives-reptiles-leave-vulnerable-climate-change/

2016 a year of extreme weather: BOM

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 2016 was a year of extreme weather events.

Major weather events for the year included:

  • flooding occurred from June to September in western, central and southern Queensland following the State’s second-wettest winter on record
  • supercell thunderstorms caused extensive damage across southeast Australia and parts of southeast Queensland during early November, with widespread reports of golf-ball sized hail
  • a tropical low at the end of the year brought exceptional December rainfall to a number of regions between the northwest of Australia and the southeast, with some flooding and flash flooding resulting in the Kimberley, around Uluru in Central Australia, and around Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart.

The World Meteorological Organization figures have announced that 2016 is very likely to have been the warmest year on record for global mean temperatures. BOM reports that Australia was warmer than average in 2016, with a national mean temperature 0.87 °C above average, and it was the fourth-warmest year on record.

You can read the full article from the BOM here: http://media.bom.gov.au/releases/333/2016-a-year-of-extreme-weather-events/


CSIRO tackling summer heat

Where building temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius (10 more degrees and you could fry an egg on the sidewalk!), it is easy to understand why a high proportion of electricity is used for air-conditioning and to supply fresh water.

Conventional energy sources such as diesel are becoming increasingly unsustainable, so CSIRO is working to equip households and community-based enterprises with energy management resources.

This work is happening in North Queensland and the Northern Territory and you can read more over on the CSIRO blog.

Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy

The Queensland Government is working with the community to make sure the state is on track to manage the impacts of climate change.

The government is seeking community feedback by December 14, 2016 to help inform the development of the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy.

Submissions may include suggestions on what adaptation will look like in a particular region or sector, or you can share details of important adaptation activity already happening.

Visit the Queensland Government site here for submission details and background documentation.

Wheat and climate

Wheat growers facing a delayed start to harvest after a wetter-than-average winter and mild spring are keenly aware of the impact climate variability has on profit.

But how can weather be effectively factored into farm planning?

It is a question well-known climatologist Professor Roger Stone, Director at the International Centre for Applied Climate Science at the University of Southern Queensland, investigated as part of a ‘Risk in Farm Profit’ research project funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

You can read the full story at the Queensland Country Life online.