Environmental News

New CEO amid Board reshuffle

David Curtin - Monday, February 24, 2014

Keep Queensland Beautiful reveals new CEO amid Board shuffle

Rick Burnett who held the position for four years, met with the organisations new Board of Directors last month, when both parties agreed on his departure.

His departure comes after a board of six new Directors were elected at the January 20, Annual General Meeting.

Newly elected Chairman, Peter Black said both Burnett and the board recognised that it was an appropriate time to hand the baton onto a new CEO.

"Rick has been an asset to Keep Queensland Beautiful over a long period of time and has overseen some of the most successful years in the organisations history - mainly the rebranding of Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland last year to Keep Queensland Beautiful, a move to refocus on local State litter and recycling issues.

"The Board acknowledges his wonderful service and wish him well in whatever path he decides to take in the future.

Black said current Keep Queensland Beautiful employee, David Curtin (previously responsible for Organisational Development and Fundraising) has been appointed as interim CEO.

Among his key responsibilities as interim CEO, Curtin will oversee the implementation of a program review, volunteer and donor recruitment drive, develop strategies to increase the revenue base and launch a state-of-the-art smartphone application to improve Queensland's dirty litter habit.

The new CEO has highlighted the need for transformation at the organisation, promising to deliver renewed programs, relevant to key stakeholders and local governments across Queensland.

"Our iconic programs; Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches are tired - they're older than I am and we all know, to remain relevant, we need a new coat of paint every now and then.

"Our plan is to revitalise these programs and the delivery to strengthen the tourism economy in Queensland and give Councils something to shout about and be proud of, something that will involve the young and old in our robust Queensland communities.

"Queensland is still the worst littered mainland state in Australia - we need to work with the Government and communities to improve our rating." Curtin said.

Support our new vision; become a member, donor or volunteer: visit keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au

David Curtin, Chief Executive Officer
P: 07 3040 2999 | 0435 602 737
E: DCurtin@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au

Peter Black, Chairman
P: 07 3040 2999
E: info@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au  

Currumbin Beach wins cleanest award

David Curtin - Monday, November 18, 2013

Currumbin Beach wins cleanest national award

Currumbin, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, has been named Australia’s “cleanest beach” for 2013 in the annual Keep Australia Beautiful awards announced in Perth today.

The win follows Currumbin being named Queensland’s cleanest beach by Keep Queensland Beautiful (KQB) earlier this year.

KQB’s CEO, Rick Burnett, said the win was fantastic recognition for the efforts of the local community and the Gold Coast City Council, and presented another great opportunity for Queensland tourism.

“We know we have great beaches, but this award reminds all of Australia, that we have the best,” Burnett said.

“I would like to thank the local volunteers in the beach-care groups, and all those local residents who take pride in keeping this wonderful beach and marine environment so well maintained and litter-free.

“People all over will recognise the name Currumbin for its world-acclaimed wildlife and bird sanctuary, and now they can be reminded of its adjacent and beautiful beach.”

National KAB judge, Ms Averil Bones, highlighted the work of a number of Currumbin organisations including:
  • Friends of Currumbin  - involved in plantings in parks, catchment, dune and beach restoration, general maintenance, fencing, beach access awareness, community sponsorships;
  • BeachCare in partnership with Friends of Currumbin – providing maintenance activities, coast care education, and outreach to other groups, educational institutions and local businesses;
  • Griffith Centre for Coastal Management –  (CoastEd and BeachCare) – school and community-based activities;
  • National Surfing Reserves dedication – as part of Gold Coast’s Point Breaks National Surfing Reserves;
  • Bleach Festival – celebrated all art forms kissed by the ocean, encrusted in salt and bleached by the sun;
  • Currumbin Vikings Surf Life Saving Club community activities; and ‘green’ waste partnership with the Currumbin RSL; 
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s partnership support for community programs;
  • SWELL Sculpture Festival – a 10-day outdoor sculpture exhibition; 
  • Currumbin Alley Board-riders club activities; and
  • Gold Coast Community Catchment Crawl – SEQ Catchment funded Natural Resource Management networking event to raise awareness of NRM activities on the Gold Coast.

Burnett said it was “fitting” that Currumbin Beach was also in the Currumbin electorate, held by Queensland Tourism Minister, Jann Stuckey MP.

“The Minister has been a strong supporter of Queensland beaches being well-maintained and litter-free as prime natural resources and important tourism assets,” Burnett said.

Ms Stuckey said she was absolutely thrilled to see the hard work of the local community acknowledged and rewarded by this national title.

“Residents of Currumbin are well aware we have something pretty special here on the southern Gold Coast, and it is fantastic to see that Keep Australia Beautiful agrees,” Ms Stuckey said.

“I congratulate everyone for their combined efforts that have resulted in Currumbin being declared Australia’s Cleanest Beach 2013. We are a tight-knit and proud community.

“I extend an invitation to all Australians to visit our little slice of heaven, with our world-famous beaches just one of the numerous attractions we have on offer here.  From the shores to the hidden treasures of our valleys - you certainly won’t be disappointed.  

A local ceremony and presentation will be held at Currumbin on Wednesday (Nov 20, 2013) at 9.30 am, at the Currumbin SLSC / or a nearby venue to be announced.


Rick Burnett, CEO
Keep Queensland Beautiful
M: 0419 460 782
E: rburnett@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au

Mundubbera named Queenslands Tidiest Town 2013

David Curtin - Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The fruit growing town of Mundubbera - 200 kilometres west of Bundaberg has been named Queensland's Tidiest Town for 2013.

Bird experts left puzzled as birds fall dead from skies

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013
EXPERTS are looking for clues as to why common black kites are falling dead from north Queensland skies.

Black kites, also known as shite-hawks and firebirds, are medium-sized birds of prey and are among the few raptor species which gather in flocks.


Testing has so far excluded bird flu and Newcastle disease, both highly contagious viral infections linked to mass deaths of migratory wild birds, and transmissible to humans.

But the cause of the latest spate of deaths, possibly linked to a cross-border infection, is still a mystery.


Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/bird-experts-and-scientists-left-puzzled-as-birds-fall-dead-from-north-queensland-skies/story-e6frg6n6-1226681410308

Why EU carbon price is wrong for us

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013

As Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has made his share of bad calls on climate change policy: he wasted the bipartisan consensus for an emissions trading scheme in 2009, then shied away from a double dissolution election. Now he seeks to make his government a smaller target on climate change by trying to seem like he is dismantling Labor's own legislation.

The price in the EU scheme is low, only about $6 a tonne. The European price could of course rise in future. Some forecasts predict sharply rising prices, on various assumptions. But futures markets, where companies invest their money according to their expectations, have 2020 EU permit futures at only about $8.

The EU price could even fall. It depends on Europe's growth outlook and changes to its carbon policy, both uncertain. In Australian dollar terms, the exchange rate matters also.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/why-europes-carbon-price-is-wrong-for-us-20130718-2q74q.html

Australia pledges more cash to battle reef starfish

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013
Australia pledged another Aus$5 million (US$4.6 million) to the fight against a predatory starfish devastating the iconic Great Barrier Reef Thursday, revealing 100,000 of the creatures had been wiped out so far.

Environment Minister Mark Butler said the new funding, on top of Aus$2.53 million already pledged, would support a programme of culling the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, which is naturally-occurring but has proliferated due to pollution and run-off.

A major study of the reef's health published last year revealed coral cover had halved over the past 27 years and attributed 42 percent of the damage to the starfish.


Read more: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/18047928/australia-pledges-more-cash-to-battle-reef-starfish/

From sugar to solar: Qld council to build 10MW solar farm

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013

The Sunshine Coast council is set to become the first in Australia to build a utility-scale solar farm, transforming 20 hectares of a former sugar cane plantation near Coolum in Queensland into a solar PV power plant that would generate enough energy to meet half the council’s electricity needs for the next 30 years.

The proposed Valdora Solar Farm would be one Australia’s largest – the site, which was identified as an ideal location back in 2011, has planning approval for a 10MW facility, which would make it the same size as Australia’s current largest operating solar power plant, the Greenough River Solar Farm in WA.


Read more: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/from-sugar-to-solar-qld-council-to-build-10mw-solar-farm-81196

Solar methanol and the third industrial revolution

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013

The Hydrogen Economy has often been touted as the next big energy source. However, due to the prohibitive cost of its infrastructure, hydrogen has gone out of favour. Fairly recently, Professor George Olah, Nobel Laureate, has proposed using methanol (think methylated spirits). Methanol is a liquid at room temperature, it can be used in the pre-existing gasoline infrastructure and, unlike LNG, it can be transported by ordinary oil tanker.

However, the tantalising promise of methanol is that it can be used as a fuel in a fuel cell. Fuel cells can operate at an efficiency of 80 per cent, as against gas-fired steam turbines of 50 per cent, and coal-fired steam turbines of 40 per cent. These are best practice numbers; many Chinese coal-fired steam turbines are much less efficient than 40 per cent.


Read more: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/solar-methanol-and-the-third-industrial-revolution-42856

Scientists power phone using urine

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013
British scientists report that they have harnessed the power of urine to charge a mobile phone with enough electricity to send texts and surf the internet.

Researchers from the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory in south west England said they had created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down urine to generate electricity, in a study published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.


Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/07/17/3805074.htm

Vertical vegies are the new green

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Monday, July 22, 2013

They're called edible walls: small and otherwise difficult-to-use outdoor spaces that are being turned into mini vertical fruit and vegetable gardens.

In land-scarce Singapore, a private engineering company has teamed up with the Government to design six-metre tall "vertical farms" with yields reportedly five times higher than conventional farming. At New York's Discovery High School in the Bronx, the science classroom gave birth to the first indoor edible wall in the city, which now generates enough produce to feed the school's 450 students. And in the UK, edible walls are joining already popular ornamental green walls.

Next month, Sydneysiders will be given a taste of edible walls at the first exhibition of its kind in Australia. Researchers and students from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) will build several walls as part of the Design Sydney 2013 exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. The City of Sydney is supporting the initiative and several leading Australian green wall companies will showcase their designs.