Letters: Readers buzz with bee-autiful discovery
The discovery of a thought-to-be extinct bee proved one of our most popular stories this week. And for good reason.
Our Facebook page was abuzz with comments about the Eungella find, excited about the extraordinary discovery but also the community support.
I suppose now is the time to say people swarmed to celebrate the find and were bee-witched by the apparent randomness of it, but it is a credit to PhD candidate James Dorey who had traversed the eastern coast of Australia from South Australia up to Cairns to research bee evolution.
But hopefully the find can evolve the region's story too, that the wonders of what's up in the mountains will inspire more people to visit.
Another big story - literally - is Broken River Information Centre's Oskar Krobath getting the funds to install a giant platypus.
With the help of local legends Jay and Dave from Triple M, the money for the monotreme streamed in and will help ensure no visitor will leave Eungella without seeing a platypus.
Those elusive little creatures are one of the many things that make the region wonderful.
And that is a story the Daily Mercury is always keen to share, to keep the buzz going and the wonders of the region bubbling to the surface.
What's the greatest thing about our region? As always drop us an email to share your thoughts to email@example.com
Tara Miko, Deputy Editor
Church on Palmer ghost
This is an inquiry to the ghost specialists in Mackay.
Do ghosts move with a building when it is relocated?
The church was originally sited close to and facing Grendon St and was relocated to its present site about 60 years ago. Did the ghost relocate also?
Doug Peterson, Rural View
Medevac law negotiations
In December 2019, the Morrison government secured the vote of Senator Jacqui Lambie which gave them the numbers for the repealing of the Medevac law which had allowed sick refugees held in offshore detention to be treated onshore.
Senator Lambie refused to reveal the details of the negotiations at the time, tearfully claiming there were no deals done, but citing it was because of national security reasons.
Recently, Senator Lambie called on Prime Minister Morrison to release the details of those negotiations, saying he has had enough time, and if he doesn't do so, she will.
The public deserves to know how Senator Lambie's vote was secured for the repealing of the contentious Medevac law.
Rob Richards, Walkerston
Theory throws hot water on CO2 global warming "con"
I hope John Ibbotson's entertaining and jovial dismissal of the threat of CO2 is more widely circulated.
But only if it is accompanied by the excellent commentary provided by our Editor.
Setting aside some of the hype, much of what John said was true. But the Editor rightly introduced additional and more relevant facts that John had ignored - and which tell a vastly different story. How important language is!
Climate and weather are vastly different realities and are not interchangeable.
It is widely accepted that all past climate change events were driven by combinations of variations in the output of solar energy from the sun, cyclical variations in the Earth's assymetrical orbit around the sun, and variations in the Earth's rotation around its wobbling axis.
End of climate change story, other than to accept that these changes progress insidiously over long periods of time and are identified by retrospectively analysing data covering long time periods of the order of 10,000 years and more.
As the Editor points out, for the first 99.975% of the past 800,000 years (i.e. till about 1800), the Earths CO2 levels peaked at 300ppm (widely accepted that level was steady at about 280ppm for that time period).
Over the past 0.025% of that time period (i.e. the past 200 years) CO2 levels have experienced a relative increase of 50%.
Contrary to what Ibbotson says, carbon dating reveals that the bulk of that increase is attributed to burning fossil fuels.
It is very misleading of Ibbotson to suggest otherwise as it falsely undermines the genuine concerns held by the public regarding the impact of fossil fuel burning.
If the temporal change in CO2 levels was plotted for the past 800,000 years on a sheet of A4 landscape graph paper, a horizontal straight line at the 280ppm level would progress for 99.975% of the passage across the plot area before transforming into a near-vertical line rising to 410ppm.
Even a buffoon, not mentioning any names, should be concerned about the ramifications of the reality of such a weird graphical image.
It is simply wrong to continue to pump ever-increasing levels of CO2 into the atmosphere. Forget about the waffle about climate change and accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels. Just do it!
Rex Singline, Bucasia
Climate change is not a religion
"Sacrifice its workers on the altar of climate change"? [Dawson Jobs at Risk, DM 16/2/21] Seriously? Is that like sacrificing its construction on the altar of asbestosis?
Sacrificing its coal mines on the altar of black lung disease?
Sacrificing its agriculture on the altar of DDT?
Changes were made in those cases and change needs to be made again.
Climate change is not a religion, it is a scientific fact. Always has been, always will be.
It is also a fact that toxic emissions are now hastening its progress with unprecedented acceleration.
Other nations that have been industrialised far longer than Australia recognise this and are working to transition to safer practices.
Get with the game plan before it is too late. Those who can't adapt will die.
Brooke McReynolds, Mackay
Rally around our female veterans
This International Women's Day (March 8), Mates4Mates is encouraging people to get involved and support the female veteran community.
This year, the theme is Choose to Challenge, providing an opportunity to celebrate women's achievements and take action to change the world for the better.
We know that veteran issues are often seen as a male-centric issue, but it's important that female veterans impacted by service feel seen and heard. We want them to know that there is support available for them too.
Nearly one third of all those reaching out for support at Mates4Mates are women - many who are veterans.
Defence-related injuries, mental health issues and suicide can affect anyone in the Defence community.
Sadly, the rates of suicide among ADF veteran women are more than two times higher than those of Australian women who have not served.
Let's use this time as an opportunity to rally around female veterans - mums, daughters and grandmothers - and show we care. If you know a veteran, reach out and show them that they're not alone and encourage them to reach out for support.
Those impacted by service who need support can reach out to Mates4Mates on 1300 462 837.
Georgia Ash, National Clinical Manager, Mates4Mates
Clive and Coral Don't Mix
Clive Palmer wants to build a coal mine 10km from the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland Government has said OK, we will consider it.
No, we will not consider it. Someone needs to remind Clive and the Queensland Government that the only way coral and coal can exist together is to leave the coal in the ground.
This is a very bad idea on many levels. First and foremost, is global warming, fuelled primarily by the burning of coal.
The impacts on the reef are well-known and devastating.
We do not need another new coal mine to add to the problem. As well, the world, including Australia, is quickly moving away from coal. Clive should wise up and invest in renewable energy.
Secondly, this particular mine is located about 10km downstream of Broad Sound - a nationally important coastal wetland and one of Queensland's largest fish habitats, with its waters part of the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area.
Now the Queensland government said it would allow the project to move to the assessment stage.
Very bad idea.
The national Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development has provided advice to the Queensland government on the proposal.
A key problem with the mine, the IESC said, included "significant and irreversible damage to internationally valued estuarine and near-shore ecosystems subjected to mine-affected water" as well as risks to creeks, pools, and the direct loss of 8km of waterways.
The IESC added: "The IESC cannot envisage any feasible mitigation measures, including offsets, that could safeguard these irreplaceable and internationally significant ecological assets and their associated water resources."
Enough said. Science and common sense make it very clear that there is no way forward for this mining proposal. It is time for the Queensland Government to shut it down.
Tony Fontes, Airlie Beach
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JobSeeker rate change not enough for state's most vulnerable
The Federal Government's modest recent increase to the JobSeeker payment does not begin to address the disadvantage that exists across Australia, and is a sorely missed opportunity to keep Queensland's most vulnerable residents over the poverty line.
The increase of $50 per fortnight equates to just $3.57 per day, meaning individuals on JobSeeker will still be forced to choose between paying their rent or putting food on the table. Many families have already been treading water for months, with the soon-to-expire Coronavirus Supplement the only mechanism keeping them afloat due to job losses and an increasing cost of living.
During the initial launch of the $550 Coronavirus Supplement to fortnightly JobSeeker payments, we saw a noticeable decrease in the number of people turning to Vinnies Queensland for support compared to the previous year, even in the middle of a global pandemic.
People found a level of comfort and stability in their everyday lives.
With the JobSeeker rate to reduce to just $44 a day from March 31 and pandemic supplements ending, more than 315,000 Queenslanders relying on this support will be at a $125 shortfall compared to the relative poverty line of $433 per week as determined by ACOSS in 2018 - leaving these people struggling to keep their heads above water financially.
With only one job available for every nine Queenslanders looking, rising private rental costs and an unprecedented competitive housing market, the impending reduced support is generating a perfect storm for our state's most vulnerable.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Vinnies Queensland remains committed in our support of the Australian Council of Social Service's call for a permanent increase of $25 a day to the JobSeeker payment.
This small increase should be viewed as a start, and the conversation must continue.
Vinnies has supported struggling Queenslanders for more than 125 years and one thing has remained consistent that entire time - when the most vulnerable among us receive the support they need, the entire community benefits.
Kevin Mercer, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland
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When it's more than just grief
Family members, first responders and witnesses who suffer ongoing psychological effects following significant tragedies can find it difficult to carry on.
The children of the Mission Beach mother killed in the horrific midair skydiving accident in 2017, have made psychological injury claims following their loss.
They have done so because the grief they have suffered has extended past what could be ordinarily expected following the loss of a loved one.
Family members diagnosed with a recognised psychological injury, due to the unexpected nature of a tragedy are entitled to make these claims.
Such claims can also be brought by relatives who have loved ones involved in road or workplace accidents.
As a personal injury lawyer, I often see the impact of such trauma which can cause adverse reactions in people, making it difficult for them to continue working or living the same way they were prior to the event.
First responders don't always realise the impact of rescuing a stranger from a burning car or witnessing a colleague suffer in a workplace accident until months or years after the incident.
The inquest into the Mission Beach incident found there had been failures on behalf of the skydiving company in the packing of the parachutes which had caused the tragedy.
While the law cannot turn back time to erase the tragedy, family members can seek compensation for the pain suffered, as well as the financial and medical losses experienced in the past and future.
The impact of a psychological injury can often be harder to demonstrate in comparison to a physical injury but the ability to make a psychological claim is there for a reason.
It can help in the difficult journey to move forward with your life and access the support you need.
Sarah Singh, Slater and Gordon Townsville Associate
Choose to challenge
The theme for this International Women's Day is 'Choose to Challenge'.
International Women's Day is a global initiative that aims to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
This International Women's Day Cancer Council Queensland celebrates the difference women are making within the cancer community.
I am honoured to share case studies of our female leaders and to celebrate their amazing achievements.
Here at Cancer Council Queensland, we have female leadership across: executive leadership, fundraising, marketing and communication, research, prevention and support, human resources and legal.
Every minute, every hour, everyday these women are working towards a cancer free future.
If you need support or cancer-related information, please phone Cancer Council Queensland on 13 11 20.
Ms Chris McMillan, CEO Cancer Council Queensland