Our Future Plan

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.

2016 State of the Climate report released

Australia is experiencing more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons according to the findings of a new climate report from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology.

The biennial CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology State of the Climate report draws on the latest climate monitoring and science to show how the climate is changing.

CSIRO Senior Scientist and leader of the NESP Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, Dr Helen Cleugh says the changes re due to an increase in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, which act like a blanket by keeping heat in the Earth’s lower atmosphere.

“Australian temperatures will almost certainly continue to increase over the coming decades. Temperature projections suggest more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days.”

State of the Climate 2016: Fast facts

  • Australia has warmed by around 1 °C since 1910.
  • The number of days per year over 35 °C has increased in recent decades, except in parts of northern Australia.
  • There has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.
  • May–July rainfall has reduced by around 19 per cent since 1970 in the southwest of Australia.
  • April–October growing season rainfall has reduced by around 11 per cent since the mid-1990s in the continental southeast of Australia.
  • Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
  • Global sea level has risen over 20 cm since the late 19th Century with about one third of this rise due to ocean warming.
  • The 2016 global annual average CO2 level will almost certainly exceed 400 ppm.
  • The overwhelming contribution to the additional CO2 in the atmosphere is from human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels.
  • The atmospheric CO2 increases in 2015 were the highest ever observed.

You can read the full story here on the Bureau website. The report is available here from the Bureau or here on the CSIRO website.

Customised climate forecasting for lot-feeder

The University of Southern Queensland has been engaged by lot-feeder Mort & Co to provide a customised climate forecasting service to help it better manage risk in its business, which includes cattle, cereals and cotton.

“This sort of customised climate forecasting is based on a three-month risk assessment, which might say an El Nino is likely to bring drought or challenging conditions to eastern Australia, but above-average seasonal conditions for the US, India or China,” USQ International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences climate scientist Dave McRae said.

“As a big commodity producer and consumer, that’s quite important to Mort & Co because of their exposure to international beef and feedgrain prices.”

You can read more about it in the Queensland Country Life or at the University of Southern Queensland.

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.

Community Consultation is here!

This Plan belongs to the community and that includes you.  We value your opinion and would love to hear from you – about your thoughts on our region and how its assets should be assets.  So whether you are a land holder, student, scientist or just a concerned citizen, we would love to hear from you.