Somewhere in your home, there’s probably a photo of you enjoying the outdoors. Walking on a beach during summer holidays. Hiking in a forest. Standing by a natural landmark.
When many of us visit these wonderful natural places, we don’t always think about why they exist. But the reality is that many of our most cherished landscapes – from Kakadu in the Northern Territory to the Franklin River in Tasmania – were only protected by the hard work of environment groups.
But currently the ability of environment groups to campaign to protect the places we love is under attack. The Abbott government is conducting an inquiry into environment groups and their tax deductible status. We’re concerned it’s another attempt to limit free speech on environment issues.
On Monday 21 September, the House of Representatives Inquiry into the Register of Environment Organisations is coming to Melbourne to hear evidence from us about the critical role environment groups play, and why we should not be treated differently from other charities. The Inquiry will also be hearing from the forestry and coal seam gas industries (no surprise what they’ll be arguing).
Environment groups have been working together to respond to this threat. We know that Australians support our important work and do not support the Abbott government's ideological attacks on our cherished natural landscapes and our renewable energy industry.
Thousands of you have already made a submission to the Inquiry speaking up for environment groups and our work. Thank you for that important contribution.
Now we need to take things to the next level.
When the pollies come to Melbourne for the hearings on 21 September, we want them to see hundreds of people on the steps of Parliament House on Spring St, holding photos and banners of the beautiful natural places they care about. This Inquiry is a massive distraction, and the pictures will be a reminder that Australians care about the natural environment, and support the organisations that protect it.
Bring: A photo of a place you love that has been improved or saved by an environment group, or a personal story about why you support environment groups. A camera crew will be roaming the crowd to record these stories.
This rally has been organised by:
Australian Conservation Foundation
Friends of the Earth
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
The Wilderness Society
East Melbourne, VIC 3002
Google map and directions