Friends of the Earth Australia's response to the 2019 federal election result
Like many of us, you were probably saddened by the outcome of the federal election on Saturday.
While it really was the #ClimateElection, with community concern about climate and energy policy being greatest since the federal election of 2007, Saturday has delivered a re-elected Coalition, which is run by climate deniers and blockers.
While these results may pose a huge setback for meaningful action on climate change and environmental protection, we have been inspired by all those who made climate action a major issue at the ballot box this election.
People across the continent rallied alongside school strikers and their clear demands for action and their calls to stop the Adani coal mine, for no new coal, oil and gas projects, and for 100% renewable energy by 2030.
We know this is what is needed. However, the Morrison Government has no meaningful policy on climate change. The blockers in Government and their allies in the Murdoch press feel emboldened (already QLD MP Matt Canavan is calling for the Adani mine to be built). The Coalition owes Clive Palmer big time. And he wants a big new coal mine in Queensland.
The next three years will be tough. There is the chance the Coalition will restart its campaign against green groups who have charity status, like Friends of the Earth, in an attempt to break our power. But we will not be broken.
Instead, across the Friends of the Earth network, we will continue to work with frontline communities impacted by climate change, ‘connecting the dots’ on climate science and speaking up for climate justice.
Victorians overwhelmingly want to see action on the climate crisis and environmental protection. Yet efforts to rein in emissions and ensure healthy ecosystems are threatened by two new local fossil fuel projects.
Earlier this year, Friends of the Earth launched a campaign to stop them.
We are working with local groups along the breadth of Victoria’s pristine coastline. In Victoria’s south-west, communities are opposing planned oil and gas exploration in the Otway Basin. And in the south-east, locals are working to stop an experimental waste-carbon injection project and gas exploration off the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach.
These new fossil projects pose a real risk to Victoria's coastline and an even greater risk to the climate.
Please support us with a tax-deductible donation before June 30.
Protect the Strzelecki Koala
According to our Strzelecki Koala Map, over one quarter of the most important koala survey sites in the Strzeleckis were burnt during the March/April 2019 Budgeree/Yinnar South fires. Perhaps hundreds of koalas may have been killed in the fire.
Friends of the Earth is requesting that the State Government list the Strzelecki Koala under the State’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (FFG Act). Current and historical factors have contributed to the precarious position this animal now finds itself in.
Currently, the animal has minimal protection. The Strzelecki/South Gippsland population needs to be managed under a separate management unit, different to koalas elsewhere in Victoria and South Australia that are descendants of translocated "inbred" populations.
Secret Federal approval of Yeelirrie uranium project
The Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price secretly signed off on approval of the Yeelirrie uranium mine the day before the federal election was called, despite committing last year to wait for the outcome of legal proceedings currently before the WA Supreme Court.
Tjiwarl women Shirley Wonyabong, Elizabeth Wonyabong, and Vicky Abdullah are the three applicants behind the landmark legal case against the WA State Government and Canadian company Cameco.
Yeelirrie is important to each of the women, their ancestors, and their families. They have fought hard to protect this site for over 40 years, and they say they will not stop fighting for country and culture.
Things you can do:
- Send a letter in solidarity with the Traditional Owners opposing the mine to show your support via email or mail to:
mail: C/O KA Garlick CCWA 20/2 Delhi St, West Perth WA 6005
- Donate to the Yeelirrie legal challenge here
Join us to open the Yami Lester Room
After months of renovations, our community meeting space at FoE Melbourne is almost complete! Please come along and join us, to formally open the Yami Lester Room at Friends of the Earth Melbourne.
This will be a casual event, open to people to come and check out the room, reminisce about the many, many meetings, actions and campaigns that have been born from the building, and pay tribute to Uncle Yami.
Yami Lester was a Yankunytjatjara Elder, atomic test survivor, Aboriginal rights activist, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. This portrait (taken by Jessie Boylan) at Yami's home on Walatina Station, has long been hanging on the walls of Friends of the Earth, and his legacy remains an inspiration to so many who gather in the office.
We look forward to seeing you there! You can read more about Yami and his lifetime of activism in an article published after his passing in 2017.
We acknowledge that this event will be held on unceded Wurundjeri land, and apologise that this event is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.
WHEN: May 30, 2019 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
WHERE: The Yami Lester Room, Upstairs at Friends of the Earth Melbourne
312 Smith St
Collingwood, VIC 3066
Community Forum: Climate Impacts & Solutions on the Bass Coast
How is climate change impacting the Bass Coast and what can we do about it? Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective and Bass Coast Climate Action Network are pleased to host this special World Environment Day event.
Guest Speakers Dr Penny Whetton (honorary CSIRO fellow and IPCC author), Dr Ruth Reef (Monash University's Coastal Research Group), and Aileen Vening (Bass Coast resident and citizen scientist) will outline the ways in which the climate crisis is impacting the Bass Coast. More speaker to be announced soon.
Working Group Meetup: "Green New Deal"
A bold and ambitious plan to tackle climate change known as the Green New Deal is building momentum in the United States. Its backers herald it as a visionary approach that could create jobs while cutting emissions, uniting environmentalists, racial justice campaigners, workers and Indigenous activists. While its detractors claim that it is aspirational and impractical, the idea is ruffling feathers among fossil fuel backers.
After a confronting summer in which we've seen record-breaking heatwaves across the continent; unprecedented flooding in Queensland; and the alarming ecological crisis unfolding on the Baarka (Darling River), it's clear we're facing a climate emergency.
Off the back of community discussions about the Green New Deal, this April we kicked off a new working group at FoE Melbourne to dig deeper into the ideas and plan next steps, so we can turn our vision for ambitious climate action into reality.
WHEN: Wednesday 5th June
WHERE: FoE Food Coop - 312 Smith St, Collingwood
Snacks and beverages will be provided. All are welcome.
Momentum building for bold & ambitious emissions cuts in Victoria
The Act on Climate collective's campaign for the Victorian Labor government to set bold and ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets is gathering momentum. Given that Victoria is the only state required by law to set short- and medium-term targets, it's an important opportunity for the climate movement to build upwards pressure on the Federal government.
Act on Climate analysis of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions featured in The Age just days after the state government received independent advice on emissions cuts. The analysis showed the Andrews government must commit to bold and ambitious action this year or Victoria will miss its 2050 target of zero-net emissions by over a decade. (And we need to achieve zero emissions much earlier than that!)
Adding weight to the story, over three hundred supporters emailed Premier Dan Andrews and key Cabinet to put climate action on their agenda. Since then the Minister for Agriculture has said that climate change was a priority and the Minister for Climate Change visit coastal communities impacted by rising seas and intensifying storm surges.
The Victorian govt has until March 31 next year to set the state's first short- and mid-term Emissions Reduction Targets.
Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective is fighting for science-based targets that will get us to zero emissions as soon as possible.
But we're not the only players in the game...
Corporate forces will deploy their lobbyists to push the govt into setting low targets and ensuring there are loopholes galore. This outcome would imperil our climate and leave communities exposed to intensifying impacts.
Join us for a walking tour of Melbourne to find out who is blocking climate action in Victoria.
Add Your Voice To Protect Ninety Mile Beach
This coal project, headed by Japanese giant Kawasaki Heavy Industries, aims to produce hydrogen using coal. However, as Japan will only take the hydrogen if it can be claimed to be ‘low-carbon’, commercialisation of the plant would be partnered with a waste-carbon injection site (what the fossil fuel industry calls 'carbon capture and storage') off Ninety Mile Beach, where coal-waste would be injected into the seabed off Victoria’s coastline. Furthermore, the export of hydrogen through the Port of Hastings would involve the dredging of a sensitive environment that is already suffering from industrialisation.
Using coal to produce hydrogen and then injecting the waste into the seabed poses a danger to the health of communities in the Latrobe Valley and Ninety Mile Beach, as well as the health of the environment.
Healthy Rivers Need Water
To remind people about the disaster unfolding in the Murray Darling, we took to the streets to put Darling River disaster up in lights one more time and projected images of the Menindee Fish Kills onto iconic buildings in Melbourne.
The mega toll road, the North East Link, would bring more traffic and congestion to the Eastern Freeway - come join the fight to stop this! Submissions are open now - make a submission today using our template and tips.
The North East Link will be bringing 95,000 MORE CARS onto the Eastern Freeway!! So we're gonna be hitting the freeway overpasses with massive banner drops over the coming weeks.
When: Wednesday 7.30-8.30am 22 May, 29 May, 5 June
Where: footbridge accessed from Estelle St, Bullen or Carron St, Balwyn North
Check the Facebook event for more info