Welcome to our April newsletter, full of radical news, updates and events from the many faces of FoE.
Don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to know more! [email protected]
Voice your objection to iron oxide copper-gold copper mineralisation at Ngarndamukina / Lake Torrens
This month, despite opposition from at least four First Nations groups, 20 truckloads of drilling equipment, accommodation units, ground protection matting and ancillary vehicles have been delivered to Lake Torrens National Park. Mining, and the permission granted by the SA Premier to "damage, disturb or interfere" with a sacred site risks destroying its cultural heritage and puts at risk the unique salt lake ecosystem.
To stay in touch with the First Nations communities on the frontline as resistance builds to protect Ngarndamukina / Lake Torrens, follow the campaign on the 'Save Lake Torrens' Facebook page.
Climate Strike - #FundOurFutureNotGas
Large parts of NSW and SE QLD are experiencing a flooding emergency. SS4C is thinking of and standing with all the people who are impacted- particularly those who have lost homes and livelihoods, been evacuated or stranded and who are anxiously watching the rising waters.
“We saw just over a year ago extreme bushfires in our local area. This is what climate disruption looks like. This is the climate crisis in our daily lives. It’s already costing us. Our government is not taking action, and so these impacts will worsen into the future.” These are the words of Will Potter, proud Gundungurra man and Co-founder of SS4C in the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains area.
The Morrison Government could be protecting our climate, land and water, and creating thousands of new jobs by growing Australia’s renewable energy sector and backing First Nations solutions to protect Country. Instead, they are lining the pockets of multinational gas companies, which are fuelling the climate crisis, devastating our land and water, wrecking our health and creating very few jobs.On May 21, we’re striking to tell the Morrison Government that if they care about our future, they must stop throwing money at gas.
Great turn out at Easter Camp as protest enters 9th week!
Over 30 people attended our Easter citizen science and skill share camp over the long weekend, including Green Senator and First Nations activist Lidia Thorpe. Volunteers did surveys for Greater Gliders, tree measuring, and marked out a walk through an incredible area of threatened forest in the Cottonwood area.
Community protests have halted logging for the last 9 weeks in the area. One area was removed from the immediate logging schedule, while two others are currently being blockaded. A report GECO worked on with East Gippsland environment groups and VNPA shows Errinundra is a critical refuge for species like the Greater Glider, which are still threatened by logging where they're found. Almost 60 coupes are scheduled around Errinundra, and 90,000ha are scheduled in forest refuges across Eastern Victoria. Full story here.
Forest Fundraiser to raise costs for taking VicForest to court
Please join WOTCH on Sunday the 2nd of May for a special event to raise money for its ongoing court case against VicForests, to protect bushfire-affected threatened species habitat.
We will be gathering on Wurundjeri country at St. Andrews community hall and featuring forest community musicians, artists, speakers and an art auction. There is a limited number of tickets, so secure your attendance and grab tickets early!
Creating an extended Snobs Creek Wildlife Reserve for nature based tourism
The Central Highlands, to the east and north east of Melbourne are an incredible biodiversity hotspot, with varied landscapes, beautiful rivers, and heavily treed mountains with forests of Mountain Ash and remnants of cool temperate rainforest. Sadly, it has been heavily logged for many decades and impacted by bushfires.
In response, local communities and environmental organisations have campaigned to see the region receive adequate protection. At present, the Snobs Creek valley, in the north end of the Central Highlands is a focus of local campaigning. Residents of the area are calling on the state government logging authority, VicForests, to protect an area with high conservation value forests that is due for logging. Further information about this proposal, and how to support it, can be found here.
Why save Snobs Creek and the Rubicon Forest?
Dr. Lea Jellinek will be talking about ‘Why we need to Save the Rubicon Forest’ at the Kathleen Syme Library, 251 Faraday St, Carlton for 7 - 9:30pm, Wed 14 April. You are invited to come with Lea on a journey into our precious forest on Dry Creek Hill, above Snobs Creek Waterfall.
This is a free event. Full details on this event available here.
A logging road in a national park?
The Victorian government logging agency, VicForests, intends to log a total of 11 “coupes”, or sections, of mature forest, much of it dominated by Alpine Ash, in the headwaters of the Little Dargo River, an area of state forest that lies right next to the Alpine National Park. One coupe has already been logged. The remaining coupes have not yet been scheduled for harvesting. There is still time to stop this ecological disaster – if we act now.
What is happening in the Little Dargo catchment is emblematic of a much wider threat occurring across the mountain environments of south eastern Australia.
And to make the situation even worse, there are plans to put a logging access road through the Alpine National Park to access some of these coupes. Find out more here.
More & Better Funded National Parks
Friends of the Earth FNQ supports Queensland Conservation's National Parks for Life campaign for better funding and a doubling of Queensland's protected areas.
'Well-managed national parks and private land reserves are our best chance to protect endangered wildlife, conserve nature for future generations and protect cultural values. Queensland currently has only approximately 8.2% of land in protected areas, lower than any other state or territory in Australia.' explained Andrew Picone, Protected Areas Campaign Manager.
'More funding will enable the government to purchase areas of high conservation value and employ more land and sea rangers to help manage and protect these areas. Specifically we're asking for:
- Ongoing investment in Cape York to buy and return lands back to First Nations people with a further $10 million each year over four years;
- An increase in the annual funding for new national parks to $55 million over the next four years with a commensurate increase in management funding, and
- An increase in annual funding to support the growth of private reserves to $24 million over the next four years. '
Start your own Worker Cooperative
A 10 Week Course, Tuesday nights, 7-9.30pm. Starting the 27th April
This work is designed to help you know, deep in your bones, that you can do this. You can be a part of a worker cooperative, you could even start one yourself... with a few others.
Worker Cooperatives are rare in our culture, we don't see them, we don't know them, we can't imagine ourselves within them... YET, when we look at what they are, the worker owned cooperative is a powerful antidote to much of what is wrong with work, employment, management, corporate extractive practices. In a world that is just getting worse, maybe it's time to do things differently.
SEIZE the MEANS of PRODUCTION.
Own the work, with a worker owned cooperative. Whether gardening, coding, caring, cleaning or building is your thing, doing it within a cooperative means you can engage the whole of yourself to do the work you really want to do. Email [email protected].
It’s time for a Just Transition
Australia has traditionally relied on coal fired power stations to meet its energy needs. This is now rapidly changing, yet the federal government refuses to accept reality. Up to five of Australia’s remaining 16 coal power plants could be financially unviable by 2025 due to a flood of cheap solar and wind energy entering the electricity grid.
Around the world, forward thinking governments are planning for closure, to reduce the impacts on affected workers and their communities. For instance, in Germany, coal exit legislation has been passed, which aims to have coal power phased out by 2038 at the latest.
Sadly, Australia continues with ‘business as usual’ promoting new fossil fuel development and backing coal power. However, ignoring the trend will not make it go away.
It is time to establish a national Just Transition Authority. Please sign the letter to the PM here.
Call For Scott Morrison To Take Real Commitments To Biden's Earth Day Summit:
United States President Joe Biden has invited Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to attend a World Leaders Summit on Climate Change. The high-powered summit on Earth Day, April 22, is designed to secure commitments from 40 countries to increase ambition on climate ahead of the critically important COP26 meeting in Glasgow this November. Will Prime Minister Scott Morrison go to the summit empty handed?
Friends of the Earth Australia are setting expectations with an online petition ahead of the summit that calls on the Prime Minister to take real commitments to the meeting. The action will be a springboard for
Communities across Australia have shown incredible resolve by rebuilding after climate-fuelled bushfires and floods, and leadership by shifting to renewable energy sources. It's time for the Federal government to show the same level of commitment on climate.
People's Climate Strategy Launch Event Announced
Friends of the Earth Melbourne has been working with community members across the state since July last year to write a People’s Climate Strategy for Victoria. Over 1,000 community members have shaped the strategy with their local knowledge about climate impacts and ideas for the climate solutions they want to see from governments.
The community's strategy will be launched with a special event at the historic Trades Hall—home of the Victorian union movement—on Earth Day, Thursday 22 April.
Join supporters and community members on the night to be among the first to hear about the findings and our plans for how the climate strategy will influence state and federal politicians. The event will feature speakers from School Strike for Climate, Disability Resources Centre, Trades Hall, Friends of the Earth, and more.
Still Waiting For Victoria's Climate Targets:
The Victorian government was required to set state Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30 in March 2020... It's now April 2021 and the community is still waiting for an announcement.
The Act on Climate collective pulled together an online action that allows Victorians to email their local member of Parliament to ask a simple question: Where are Victoria's climate targets? We believe that mass participation in this action will shake things up.
The United States will announce its 2030 Emissions Reduction Target at President Joe Biden's World Leaders Climate Summit on Thursday 22 April... When will the Andrews Labor government announce Victoria's targets?
Legislation banning nuclear power in Australia should be retained
Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula was "deeply saddened" that uranium from Rio Tinto's Ranger mine on Mirarr country in the Northern Territory was exported to Japanese nuclear companies including TEPCO.
Legislation banning nuclear power in Australia should be retained: FoE national nuclear campaigner Jim Green has a recent article in RenewEconomy discussing the push by unhinged culture warriors to repeal state and federal laws banning nuclear power. The bottom line: Legal bans should be retained because the introduction of nuclear power would delay and undermine the development of effective, economic energy and climate policies based on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Renewable energy is affordable, low risk, clean and popular. Nuclear is not. Full article here.
And in The Ecologist, Jim Green and David Noonan write about Australia's role in fuelling the Fukushima nuclear disaster: The disaster was fuelled by Australian uranium but lessons have not been learned and the uranium industry ‒ aided and abetted by the national government ‒ continues to fuel global insecurity with irresponsible uranium export policies. Read the full article here.
Food Sovereignty for a Just Recovery from COVID-19
This new video series shows 6 Friends of the Earth groups supporting communities around the world to feed people during the pandemic. The COVID 19 crisis affected the industrial food systems, which are built on a fragile global supply chain, relying on the exploitation of workers and destructing the ecosystems.
The groups supported peasants, fisherfolks, women’s collectives, and communities with initiatives as fisheries, food cooperatives, social programs, mutual aid, solidarity kitchens, and agroecological farming.
The series shows the urgency of local agroecology and proves that short supply chains are resilient and innovative. It is estimated that 270 million people will face hunger due to COVID 19 while government actions are focused on supporting business.
We are calling on the UN Committee for World Food Security to take action and provide guidance for governments to prioritize the Right to Food and Food Sovereignty. The pandemic highlighted the existing injustice and inequality in the industrial food system. You can watch the series here.