April 2018 Update

What is the best way to support all the work that you see in these updates?

By contributing monthly you help keep FoE going - and growing! Your monthly donations are tax deductible - yes it is is getting close to tax time again - and you know you get bang for buck from us as we don't pay a CEO a huge wage or have a large admin department. We are proud of our largely volunteer run network, proud of our flat, anti-hierarchical structure and proud of the wage equity we practice for the few of us who do get paid!

No bosses, equal say, equal pay.


Radioactive Exposure Tour 2018

2018 radtour participants at a Mound Spring on Arabunna land.

This year's Radioactive Exposure Tour (radtour), organised by FoE's Nuclear Free Campaign, was a big success. The 28 participants heard from Traditional Owners and campaigners working to stop SA becoming the world's nuclear waste dump and current nuclear battles.

A number of participants in this years' radtour have been heavily involved in international work culminating in last year's UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Dimity, an ICAN founder, brought the Nobel Peace Prize Medal on the radtour.

READ MORE ABOUT THE TOUR HERE>>


6 months to make a difference - Victorian Election campaign launch

6 months to make a differenceVictoria is undergoing profound change as the population grows, entire industries go to the wall, and climate change starts to really impact on our landscapes, economy and lifestyles. Yet Melbourne continues to sprawl, as low-density development covers valuable farmland and remnant vegetation, supported by transport infrastructure that will perpetuate our current reliance on cars.

In November 2018, Victorians will head to the polls. It is an opportunity for political parties to present detailed plans for responding to these challenges.

Join us as we launch our vision for Victoria: A state that works for community, climate, environment and economy.

RSVP>>foe.org.au/6months

Please share the event on Facebook.


Foreign donations legislation to be watered down?

The far Right and their mates in the fossil fuel industry have waged a long campaign to have the tax status of green groups revoked. This campaign has been through many stages (check here for a short history) and the latest front in the campaign has been to ban us from accessing foreign donations and to tie us up in ridiculous levels of red tape.

There has been an enormous community backlash to this campaign, and the long awaited report from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) into the Foreign Donations Bill was released late in the day on April 9.

It would appear that government is bowing to public pressure on this issue and the committee is recommending the government remove the most onerous and limiting aspects of the legislation. Check here for our full reaction. The fight is not yet over! The next hurdle will be when the amended legislation is tabled in federal parliament, probably sometime in June. Stay tuned for details.


There’s still time to have your say on food safety

Our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has just extended the submission deadline for its review of ‘New Breeding Techniques’ – meaning we’ve still time to stop them shredding their GMO regulations.

At the biotechnology industry’s bidding, FSANZ is considering deregulating a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes. This means they would enter our food chain and our environment with no safety testing and no labelling. The risks are enormous and the results could be catastrophic.

Reviews commissioned by the Austrian and Norwegian governments concluded that not enough is known about the risks these new GM techniques pose. They recommended that products derived from them require comprehensive case-by-case risk assessments.

Take action: Demand all GM food be assessed for safety

Submissions close on 19th April.


Snap rally for renewables at COAG

COAG RallyMelbourne, Friday April 20, 8am.

For months the Turnbull government has been attacking states like Victoria, South Australia and the ACT for leading on renewable energy, in an attempt to bully them into adopting their 'National Energy Guarantee' (NEG) that seems designed to wreck renewables.

On Friday the 20th of April, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will meet in Melbourne to discuss the NEG, which risks sending renewable energy investment off a cliff and locking in polluting coal and gas.

This is our chance to show the Turnbull government we want to see an energy system powered by wind and solar, and an end to dependence on fossil fuels!

With renewables under attack, who will be the community's renewable energy champion at COAG?

Join Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria and other allies for a snap rally for renewables at outside the COAG energy council meeting at the Sofitel Hotel at 25 Collins Street, Melbourne on Friday the 20th April.

Please rock up from 8:00AM, the exact time is to be confirmed. We'll let you know of any changes.

Bring placards and your smiling faces for the cameras!

Contact: Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth Melbourne patrick.simons@foe.org.au

Facebook event page is here - please share with your networks.


Linc Energy found guilty of polluting groundwater

Linc Energy GuiltyQueensland energy company, Linc Energy, have been found guilty of polluting a significant part of the Darling Downs at their underground coal gasification (UCG) facility.

For several weeks Linc Energy has been on trial in the Brisbane District Court on five counts of willfully and unlawfully causing environmental harm between 2007 and 2013 after allowing toxic gas to leak from its operations.

Yet there are plans to allow UCG in South Australia. We need a national ban and Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, has the power to act to ban this dangerous technology - and he needs to act now!

Please sign our petition.


Kuark forest receives partial protection!

Kuark ForestFollowing a long campaign and thousands of hours of survey by community activists, sections of the Kuark forest in far east Gippsland have been protected by the Victorian government.

In March, the state and federal governments have extended the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for another two years and announced protections for East Gippsland.

The Kuark forest is an incredibly significant area that combines cool temperate and warm temperate rainforests. The long running community campaign, led by our affiliate member Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO), has made this remote forest into a major Victorian issue.

Our full response can be found here.


Climate Justice Legals Network

Legal Support NetworkThere is an increasing need around the country, to connect legal professionals, students and those interested in human rights, with campaigners and advocates working for climate justice.

CounterAct are seeking barristers, solicitors, law students and people with experience in various aspects of law to be part of a Climate Justice Legals Network.

We are also seeking to extend the knowledge base of grassroots activists about the legal system, so if you’d like to get involved in supporting people working for environmental and social justice in this way, it could be the place for you! (ie, no legal experience, but a good organisational mind) 

Find out more about the project here.

To get involved please register here


Friends of the Earth Netherlands launch climate litigation against Shell with Australian implications

FoE takes Shell to Court

Friends of the Earth Netherlands has taken the first step in legal action against Shell to stop the destruction of the climate.  This ground-breaking case, if successful, would significantly limit Shell's investments in oil and gas globally and in Australia by requiring them to comply with global climate targets. 

Shell’s oil and gas reserves in Australia contain some 1,000,000,000ton of CO2.  Over the last 10 years Shell has invested more than $50 billion in Australian oil and gas projects, many which will continue produce fossil fuels for the over 25 years. 

The case is unique because it is the first climate lawsuit demanding that a fossil fuel company acts on climate change, rather than seeking compensation.  

Friends of the Earth Australia will be supporting this campaign, find out more here.


Call for ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria!

Call for ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria!Despite alarming melting of polar icecaps, bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, and autumn bushfires, the Turnbull government is refusing to act on climate. National emissions are increasing and Australia will fail to its pledges to the Paris Agreement.

The Turnbull government’s ‘do-nothing’ approach to climate change exposes communities to impacts such as intensifying bushfires, heatwaves, droughts, and extreme weather. 

The Federal government’s failure means we need to see more leadership from Victoria.  

Thanks to the Daniel Andrews government who strengthened Victoria’s Climate Change Act last year, we now have an opportunity to influence the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030. 

An Independent Expert Panel chaired by the Hon. Greg Combet will recommend targets to the state government and are seeking community input. 

CLICK HERE to have your say on Victoria's Emissions Reduction Targets.

Ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets will ensure Victoria contributes a fair share towards efforts to tackle climate change. Ambitious targets strengthens the case for key Friends of the Earth campaigns to:

  • Repower Melbourne’s train network with solar, wind, and storage.

  • Create the Great Forest National Park (GFNP) and East Gippsland Emerald Link Reserve. 

  • Shift funding from mega roads to critical public transport infrastructure such as Melbourne Metro 2.

  • Establish a publicly owned retailer backed by 100 percent renewable energy to ensure clean, fair, and affordable electricity for all.

  • Deliver Victoria's first climate-focused state budget to invest measures that rein in emissions and protect communities from climate impacts. 

 MORE INFO: Visit Act on Climate's website


Bill McKibben - Accelerate Climate Action tour

Bill McKibben Tour

As part of a global effort to accelerate climate action, 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, is coming back to Australia at the end of April and early May.

Bill will be talking about the substantial shifts globally in renewables, divestment and litigation, and what this will mean in countries like Australia.

We’re already moving towards a future without fossil fuels – but it’s time to accelerate our response.

 

Check out the national tour event page to see when Bill is near you.