The long awaited final report from the House of Representatives Inquiry into environmental organisations has now been released. Many in the community had anticipated that the report would recommend changes that would severely limit the activities of environmental groups. Sadly, this is the case. For background on this report and the political agenda against the environment movement, please check here. The report acknowledges that environment groups are doing an important and necessary job in protecting our precious environment. However, it contains a number of deeply flawed recommendations, which if implemented would profoundly change the environmental protection movement in Australia.
Anyone who had hoped that the Turnbull government would be significantly different to the Abbott government on environmental issues will be very disappointed by the 2016 budget. “Many people had hoped Prime Minister Turnbull would stare down the far Right elements of his government and deliver a fair and reasonable budget that offered meaningful action on the environment. But spending on the environment is forecast to fall by 17% by 2019-20. “Prime Minister Turnbull has missed the opportunity to deliver a budget worthy of the climate and environmental imperatives of the 21st century” said Cam Walker for Friends of the Earth Australia. “Instead he has opted to prop up greenhouse polluters and continue concessions that subsidise the mining and aviation sectors. This is money that would be better spent on education, health and the environment.”
Friends of the Earth Brisbane applauds the federal government decision to drop 5 sites, including one in Queensland, from its list of sites nominated to house national nuclear waste. We now call on the government to remove the final site, Barndioota station, in SA from consideration and to drop the flawed site selection process immediately. After announcing a list of 6 proposed sites in November, 2015, the federal government will reportedly announce that a site in South Australia is the only site short-listed to house a new national nuclear waste repository. The proposed site in Queensland, at OmanAma, near Inglewoood on the Darling Downs, and 4 other nominates sites in NSW, SA and NT are reported to have been dropped from the list.
Calls for international moratorium on underground coal gasification following immediate ban in Queensland, Australia
APRIL 18, 2016: Responding to the breaking news that the State Government of Queensland in Australia has just implemented an immediate ban on all underground coal gasification in that State, Chloe Aldenhoven, Coal and Gas Spokesperson for Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia said: "These kind of radical and dangerous mining techniques show the desperation of a fossil fuel industry going into decline. “We need an international moratorium on this madman technology before it inflicts any more damage on people and the environment." “As they anticipate the inevitable transition to renewable energy, mining companies are inflicting increasingly reckless and environmentally damaging mining techniques on communities.
Speaking tour on the climate change precipitated relocation of atoll peoples in Papua New Guinea, and the implications for climate justice in an Australian context The visiting speakers will be: Ursula Rakova, director of Tulele Peisa, the Carteret Islands relocation program in Bougainville Pais Taehu, Chairman of the Coalition of the Atolls – Temarai Association – comprising the four atoll groups within the Bougainville political boundary The tour, scheduled from 9 to 22 April, will include speaking events in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
The Nuclear Royal Commission continues its investigations and will hand down the final report in May. The Commission is looking into the risks and opportunities of furthering a nuclear industry here in SA including increased uranium mining, uranium enrichment, nuclear power and dumping international nuclear waste. Three sites in South Australia, two at Kimba and one in the Flinders Rangers have been shortlisted to become a national nuclear waste dump. South Australians have a long history of opposing waste dumps and have state legislation opposing it. We are working hard to have a voice in the debate and represent many South Australians who don't want us to go down the radioactive path.
Friends of the Earth International Press Release Auckland, New Zealand 4th February 2016, Today trade ministers from 12 countries party to the giant 'Trans Pacific Partnership' held a symbolic signing of a trade deal which sets the economic and pro corporate rules for 40 percent of the world economy. Friends of the Earth International warned that the 'Trans Pacific Partnership', or TPP, will threaten people and planet, if ratified. Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Friends of the Earth International Economic Justice Coordinator, said: “The TPP signing ceremony is nothing more than a photo opportunity to try and prop up this deeply unpopular and environmentally destructive deal. Trade ministers know that it will be very difficult to ratify the TPP in national parliaments, particularly in the US where all leading presidential candidates oppose it.”
Fires have raged across Tasmania since lightning strikes ignited more than 100 spot fires on January 13. Since that time, about 14,000 hectares of World Heritage Area forests and other vegetation have been incinerated, with almost 100,000 hectares of land burnt in total. Overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the fires, the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) initially – and understandably - concentrated on human assets like towns and infrastructure. As TFS workers fought a heroic campaign against fires that threatened communities, a series of wildfires burnt huge areas in the north-west and on the central plateau. It was the arrival of milder weather as well as additional fire-fighting crews from interstate in the second week, especially teams of remote area fire fighters, which allowed serious operations to occur to slow the fires in mountainous and forested regions.
By Bill Waren, senior trade analyst, Friends of the Earth US Friends of the Earth is disappointed but not surprised with what President Obama had to say in his State of the Union address about the environmentally-destructive Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Nor were we astonished that the reaction of most Members of Congress was unenthusiastic. What is most remarkable is that President Obama devoted less than 30 seconds of his hour long speech to the TPP, his most significant legislative proposal in 2016. Without doubt, he sees the TPP as a legacy defining achievement in the course of his eight years in office. But rather than making a reasoned argument in support of the TPP, he quickly changed the subject.
Big energy companies have sought to "open up" Victoria to onshore gas drilling and fracking--putting prime farmland and water resources at risk. Regional communities around the state have said "no" to risky unconventional gas extraction. On the other side of the coin, the Federal government has sabotaged our renewable energy sector by cutting the national Renewable Energy Target by 20%. The federal government's attack on renewables has resulted in a 90% decrease in investment and 2,500 people losing their jobs. In the first half of 2016, the Victorian government will need to decide whether to lift the current ban on onshore gas drilling. They will set the state Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025 (the VRETs). The community has waited too long for the Parliament to resolve these issues.