Welcome to Friends of the Earth Melbourne June enews our state-wide monthly update. In this edition click + collect your Food Co-op orders, support and donate to DrillWatch and help save our Strzelecki Koalas. Vote in the Cane Toad Awards and book a table for our trivia night, rejoice our historic court victory over Shell’s global emissions, then listen to a 3CR Dirt radio podcast to hear all about the win. Pressure the PM ahead of COP26, note the new delivery date for the People’s Climate strategy and chip-in and sign-up, then vote online for your favourite Act on Climate t-shirt design. Check out Sustainable Cities Stop North East Link alliance news, submit a piece for the next Chain Reaction magazine, and read all about the current government’s proposed legislation aimed at silencing civil society from advocating, again.
Friends of the Earth Melbourne is a community network of activists and supporters organising together on environmental and social justice campaigns. We are part of the Friends of the Earth Australia network and Friends of the Earth International, the largest grassroots environmental organisation on the planet, active in more than 70 countries. Our philosophy and practice is grounded in our messaging 'mobilise, resist, transform'. Make a donation, volunteer or intern, and join an event.
Melbourne Covid lockdown update: Our campaigns office will be closed and staff are working from home. Our Food Co-op and Cafe is open for take away service, groceries and bulk products following covid-safe guidelines, operating at reduced hours Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 11am-4pm & Sun 11am-3pm. Please wear a mask, QR/sign in, practice physical distance and use hand sanitiser provided. Food Co-op click + collect online orders here
Support the Food Co-op & Cafe through the challenges of COVID-19. All members receive a discount on meals and purchases at the Co-op. Become an Active Friend Member here
The ban on conventional gas drilling in Victoria will be no more from July 1. This is bad news for regional communities, for our farmers and for the climate. The good news is that a resource is being put together that will support communities to defend their land, health and future. In coming months we will be supporting the launch of 'DrillWatch', a new digital resource for communities resisting new gas developments in Victoria. DrillWatch will map current gas developments and allow communities to log information like proposed gas infrastructure, community consultations, and drill rig sightings, and coordinate their resistance to any planned exploration or drilling. Community resistance is now the only thing standing between the underground deposits and the gas guzzlers.
Take the Pledge to support communities on the frontline here
Help us roll out this resource across the state with a donation here
SKAT has recently launched its latest petition calling on Environment Minister Sussan Ley to list the threatened and genetically diverse Strzelecki Koala under the EPBC Act. Our latest koala surveys out of Won Wron State Forest have revealed low koala numbers, most likely confirming estimates of a population size of 1,500-2,000 unique Strzelecki Koala's. Can you help us to champion the importance of this particular koala to sustain koalas in Victoria?
Send an email today to Sussan Ley here
Since the 1990’s, together with Friends of Gippsland Bush (FoGB) we campaigned for the protection of rainforest catchments in the Strzelecki Ranges in Agnes River, Franklin River, Dingo Creek, Albert River and College Creek which resulted in the creation of the Brataualung Forest Park in 2018. Now, the Brataualung Forest Park in Gippsland is home to some of the most important koala habitat in Australia! These forests make up part of the habitat zones of the Strzelecki Koala, Victoria's only endemic koala population. With possibly only 1500 - 2000 Strzelecki Koalas remaining in the wild, every patch of forest matters. Without the work of Friends of the Earth and community groups committed to the protection of native forests, much of this forest would be converted to pine plantations. The new reserve will eventually provide habitat for hundreds of Strzelecki koalas. The initial protection of 1600 hectares in the Brataualung Forest park in 2018 created a permanent refuge for koala populations in the region. Another 6,000 hectares has been promised by the State Government by 2027, a third of which will be added to the Brataualung Forest later in 2021. We need to continue the work to ensure that future handbacks of bush can be added to the Brataualung Forest Park, and we need to make sure that koalas in the Strzelecki Ranges are protected under Federal Environmental Laws.
Support our forest & koala protection work with a tax deductible donation here
Read more about the Bratualung Forest Park and our campaign to protect the Strzelecki Koala here
Friends of the Earth Australia, Jubilee Australia and ActionAid Australia just launched the inaugural Cane Toad Award. This is your opportunity to have your say on which Australian corporation should be named and shamed for being the biggest #CaneToad. The nominees are ANZ, Rio Tinto, BHP, Mayur Resources, The Just Group and Resgen.
Find out more and cast your vote here
Momentum is building for the inaugural #CaneToadAward, and FoE Melbourne is hosting a special awards night event - TRIVIA! On July 1* we'll be testing your knowledge of nominees and asking you who are their mates, their philanthropic arms, their greenwashing pals? Who are the talking heads of political parties and outspoken proponents of these toxic & extractive industries? Location, prizes and more to be confirmed. Following the quiz we'll be awarding our very first #CaneToadAward! (*Pending Melbourne lock-down advice & Covid-safe updates.)
Book your table of 6 for $100 here
Read up on nominees and cast your CANE TOAD AWARD VOTE here
You may have heard about the landmark Shell case brought forward by Friends of the Earth Netherlands (including 40+ Australian co-plaintiffs) when for the first time in history, a judge has held a corporation liable for causing dangerous climate change! Read the full story here.
Sam Cossar from Friends of the Earth Australia shares, "This is a landmark victory for climate justice and will impact Shell’s operations globally, including here in Australia by requiring their business to be in line with global carbon targets. Our hope is that this verdict will trigger a wave of climate litigation against big polluters, to force them to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels." There is also a good inside story on the court case from Donald Pols of Friends of the Earth Netherlands available here.
International pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to lift Australia's climate ambition. We think it's time for the PM to feel pressure on the homefront too, particularly in the lead up to the critically important COP26 climate summit. In April, President Joe Biden announced the US will halve its emissions by the end of the decade. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went even further by committing to an ambitious 63 percent emissions cut by 2030. We think it's time for Scott Morrison to match Boris and Biden on climate. If you agree, please share our Act on Climate posts to set the scene for this important campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
The community has written the plan for how to tackle the climate crisis and we're on the cusp of delivering it to every state and federal MP in Victoria. But due to the statewide lockdown, we made the decision to delay the mass delivery by a fortnight. The rescheduled Delivery Day will now occur on Friday 18 June (fingers crossed). With a bit of extra time on our hands, we may as well use it to our advantage. We're a little short of our crowdfunding target of $5,000 to cover printing and organising costs. And we're still looking for community champions to deliver the climate strategy to their local MPs on the big day. Get involved, watch this video - chip into the crowdfunder - sign up for Delivery Day.
The time has come for the Act on Climate collective to get some t-shirts. Bailey Sharp of the Workers Art Collective has drafted four incredible options for our first ever run of t-shirts. We wanted a design that represents our community-driven campaign with emphasis on Climate Justice. We think they all look great and can't make up our mind about what design to get printed. Will you help us pick which mock-up gets finished and printed?
Vote here for your favourite Act on Climate t-shirt design
The StopNorthEastLink campaign had some great publicity this last week due to the tireless determination of Barry Watson, who used FoI to discover that NELP contractors had under-reported tree canopy loss by 80% at Borlase Reserve, their works site. This got coverage in The Age and an interview of Michelle Giovas on the ABC morning show by Virginia Trioli, after which the NEL CEO had to come on and mount a weak defence.This tied in very well with our submissions to the Whitehorse Urban Forest Strategy consultation, in which we were able to point out the massive tree loss that NELP will result in, and the utter inadequacy of their so-called tree replacement strategy for maintaining the pollution and noise control, beauty and other amenity from the current trees that will be destroyed for this futile hugely expensive boondoggle of a project. Join us here to stop it!
Chain Reaction is Friends of the Earth Australia's national magazine published three times a year. Send us your articles, local campaign updates and activist hot-takes. We love all creative content, including, but not limited to news, stories, poetry, art and photography. This issue has a theme: Gender Justice and Dismantling Patriarchy. Not all articles need to be about this, but we would love to hear your perspective or experience on the intersection of gender justice and dismantling patriarchy and the climate justice movement. Get in touch to join the Chain Reaction collective with your suggestions and pieces.
Submission deadline: 23 July 2021
Send to: [email protected]
Federal Coalition continues its campaign against green groups
The federal Coalition has waged a long campaign against green groups. It has a long agenda to limit advocacy and has made many attempts to have the charity status of groups taken away. Here is some background reading on the earlier version of this campaign.
FoE Melbourne has been subjected to many politically motivated reviews and investigations over the years, and this consumes time and resources that should be spent on campaigning. That is why the government pursues these types of investigations. The current approach is to propose changes in regulations which would allow for the deregistration of charities in cases where staff commit a summary offence (the most minor of legal breaches). The new regulations could, for example, allow large charities like the St Vincent de Paul Society or UnitingCare to be stripped of charity status if one of their employees attends a protest and does not move on when directed by police. The current government is once again proposing legislation aimed at silencing civil society from advocating. If the regulations are tabled we will need a massive mobilisation to stop them. Here is a good story from The Guardian on the proposed changes.
Stay safe and warm until next month.