Welcome to our May 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]
Tour de Carmichael - Cycle for Country
The Tour De Carmichael - Cycle for Country kicked off yesterday on Wangan and Jagalingou Country and marks a significant moment in the history of resistance of Wangan and Jagalingou people to the Adani Carmichael mine!
Led by Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owner Coedie McAvoy, more than 130 people from across the country will be cycling over 105km from the Gregory Highway to the entrance to the Adani mine site. The Tour will demonstrate continued First Nations resistance to the proposed Adani coal project and expose Adani’s destruction of Country, water and wildlife.Please watch & share updates from "Wangan and Jagalingou - Standing Our Ground" on Facebook.
100 companies say NO to Adani’s coal as Lloyd’s of London insurer Arch refuses to underwrite Carmichael project
Arch Capital Group has become the 100th company to rule out support for Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project in central Queensland. Arch operates an insurance syndicate in the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, where Adani has been seeking insurance for its beleaguered coal mine and rail project.
After ten months of sustained pressure by climate campaigners from the #StopAdani movement Arch issued a statement committing to “not issue any insurance policies covering the Adani Carmichael coal mine”.
A huge congratulations to our national project Tipping Point and StopAdani Moreland, Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, #StopAdani Northern Beaches, and everyone who picked up the phone, wrote a letter or turned up at an Arch office. Together, we pushed another major global insurance company to choose people and the climate over Adani's coal!
A full list of companies who have ruled out Adani Carmichael is here.
Victoria's climate targets announced!
On the weekend the Andrews govt announced that Victoria will reduce its emissions by 45-50 percent by 2030.
Friends of the Earth and allies such as Environment Victoria campaigned to secure science-based climate targets for Victoria since 2017. We were pushing for a world-leading cut of 75 percent by 2030 and ended up with a commitment from the government to halve Victoria's emissions over the next decade.
While the 2030 target adopted by the state govt was not what we were calling for, it is a significant outcome. FoE Melbourne's media release is here.
We understand that there are differing views on what level of ambition is acceptable given the dire state of the climate crisis. Act On Climate will hold an online forum on Thursday 13 May to unpack the announcement.
Now the Andrews Government has stepped in line with the United States by reducing emissions by up to 50 percent by 2030, it’s time for the Morrison govt to match these targets or beat them!
Earthworker Green Ban Tours back on!
We're proud that our famous 'Green Ban Walking Tours' of Melbourne are back as part of the Australian Heritage Festival this year!
Walk Melbourne as never before with Green Ban activist & Earthworker co-founder Dave Kerin, visiting key sites while learning the legacy of people power protecting heritage & public good. May 14th! Grab your tickets today.
Healthy Futures is proud part of the FoEA federation and a vibrant network of health professionals, students & supporters organising to address climate change & related health issues. Our main campaigns are to reduce air pollution from coal and to convince AGL to replace its coal assets with renewables by 2030.
In March we stood on the steps of the Victorian Parliament with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, Maribyrnong Truck Action Group and Communities for Clean Air and delivered The People’s Clean Air Action Plan to the Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley MP.
We heard from health experts, campaigners and community members alike, who spoke of the effects that air pollution has had on themselves and their communities.
All Australians deserve clean air and a safe climate but our state, territory and federal governments are not doing enough to protect us from pollution and its health impacts. If you'd like to support our work please complete our new supporter survey to tell us about you and what you care about most.
Taungurung Nira-Balluck Elder Stresses Importance of Snobs Creek
"What's happened on Taungurung country over the past couple of years is a national tragedy. The loggers have been running amuck and causing alot of problems. Of major concern is what has also happened in the Royston and Rubicon River catchments. These rivers also flow into the Goulburn River, which in turn flows into the Murray River.
It seems to me that the Taungurung Country might be the most heavily logged country in the entire Murray Darling Basin. We haven't been told anything about this logging" Uncle Larry added. Full story here.
Powerful words from Bidewell-Maap Elders and Aunties on Errinundra logging
Last year three generations of First Nations Bidewell families visited the Bidewell reserve on the Errinundra Plateau, where logging is scheduled. Over 60 coupes are on the schedule on Bidewell Country around Errinundra/Cottonwood forests..
But there is no consent from Bidewell Elder's to log, or be on their traditional lands. Last year Bidwell-Maap Traditional Owners wrote a letter to the Victorian government condemning logging planned in the Bidewell reserve near the Errinundra Plateau. The coupes are still on the schedule, and right now logging threatens forests on Bidewell Country where protests have disrupted logging for 3 months.
Community opposition to mineral sands mine keeps growing
Kalbar Resources, a company that has no mining experience, has proposed a mineral sands and rare earths mine at Glenaladale, near Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.
The Fingerboards mine has not yet been approved by the Victorian Government, but after several years of investigation, Kalbar believes the site is suitable for an open cut mine to extract minerals including zircon, rutile and ilmenite — a titanium mineral, and rare earths.
On May 1, more than 400 people gathered at Glenaladale to show their opposition to the mine.
Market Forces takes on Hostplus at the AFL
Supporters of Market Forces' Hostplus Divest campaign recently attended an AFL match to hand out clap banners and flyers to spread the word about the campaign. Hostplus is a major sponsor of the Gold Coast Suns, and as you can see in the photo, the action definitely got the attention of the players!
Hostplus invests $50 billion on behalf of hundreds of thousands of young Australians working in cafes and restaurants, as well as workers in the tourism, sports, and recreation sectors, which face the brunt of climate impacts. Market Forces is working with these members to tell Hostplus to get their money out of dirty coal, oil and gas, and into a clean energy future.
Find out more about the campaign and get involved at hostplusdivest.org.
Guardians of the Wet Tropics: Strengthening Community & Protecting Wildlife
We (FoE Far North Queensland) are busy organising community-led gatherings to brainstorm and solve issues around environmental degradation on the edge of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Our first gathering for 2021 consisted of different grassroots groups and members of the community in the Mission Beach region. We listened to everyone's core values and shared common interests. We plan to do it again on the 8th May!
The Guardians project aims to:
- Connect neighbours across the Wet Tropics bioregion to build healthy community relationships, including engaging with local First Nations people and listening to people's stories.
- Collectively upskill Wet Tropics neighbours with best practices to protect the Wet Tropics World Heritage bioregional boundaries from the many threats including land clearing, weeds & pests.
- Assist neighbours to work together to revegetate, protect and enhance this Wet Tropics World Heritage buffer zone.
If this interests you please contact Ingrid Marker, FoE FNQ member and community organiser here.
Last chance to sign the Community Energy Target petition!
The Community Energy Target petition is wrapping up - we need your signature to let Lily D'Ambrosio know the time is right for a community-led transition.
With the Victorian State Government's response to their climate change inquiry due in May, now is your last chance to call on the state government to deliver a Community Energy Target by signing the petition here.
We are calling on the Victorian Government to:
- Set a Community Energy Target of 100MW by 2025 as part of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET).
- Respond to and implement the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry in the 2021-22 budget.
Stop the Fish Creek Quarry Expansion
South Gippsland Shire have recently issued a permit amendment on a 24 ha works authority area, on Council owned bushland on Lavers Hill, which is part of the Hoddle Range. The site is located approximately 2.5km south east of the small Victorian community of Fish Creek.
The permit amendment allows for the existing quarry to be expanded into the Fish Creek water supply catchment. The plan would allow clearing of all native vegetation on a steep hill in the middle of the Cape Liptrap/ Strzelecki Ranges biolink. The link is important for a variety of species including lyrebirds, koalas and other species. The site also allows for spectacular views of Wilson's Promontory and the Tarwin Valley.
Maralinga veteran Avon Hudson at an atomic test site at Maralinga
Totem and Ore is a new 100-minute documentary covering the atomic bomb tests in Australia and the contested histories of uranium mining and nuclear waste dumping.
Indigenous communities have had to live with nuclear weapons testing since the 1940's, infecting communities with the effects of radioactive fallout and nucelar waste dumps.
WOTCH Forest Fundraiser huge success!
The Wildlife of the Central Highland forest fundraiser was a huge success, raising $11,000 for the VicForests court case!
Climate Change Challenges to the Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations
Climate Frontlines, in partnership with the Climate Change Network of the Pacific Islands Council of Qld, is in the process of organising the third and final event in a series addressing "Climate Change Challenges to the Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations". A combined live and online workshop is scheduled to be held in Brisbane on the afternoon of Thursday 22 and the morning of Friday 23 July.
As well as sharpening the ideas of what sovereignty means to peoples of the Large Ocean States of the Pacific, especially those comprised entirely of atolls, it will explore the implications of the possible forced evacuation of their homelands by the people of atoll nations and how their sovereignty can be maintained under these circumstances. Further information will be available in next month's newsletter.
It’s time for 10 minute trains
By 2050 transport use in Melbourne will more than double, filling up our trains and causing more delays. Serious action must be taken now. The Sustainable Cities collective is running a campaign for 10 minute trains, to make sure you can turn-up-and-go. More frequent trains on existing lines can begin now.
But to match demand we need to scale up, and the proposed Melbourne Metro Two (MM2) rail would facilitate more frequent services as demand grows. We’re calling on Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, Treasurer Tim Pallas, and Premier Daniel Andrews to commit to funding a business case for MM2 in the 2022 budget.
Sustainable Cities Campaigner Job Opportunity
The Sustainable Cities Campaigner will work with Friends of the Earth collectives, the Public Transport Users Association and campaigning communities to build political power to influence key transport and planning policies, to make our transport system more focused on public transport, walking, cycling and proximity.
No Future For Nuclear!
Thirty-five years ago the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Ukraine had a catastrophic meltdown and fire. Large areas of Eastern Europe and far beyond were contaminated with radioactive fallout. The human, environmental and economic impacts have been massive and continue today.
On April 26, the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the Electrical Trade Union launched a new website to help ensure the lessons of Chernobyl are not lost on current political decision-makers.
The ETU represents over 70,000 electricians, apprentices, electrical and power workers around Australia and this lived industrial experience has seen the union take a strong stand against ill-considered calls to advance nuclear power in Australia. Much respect to the crew at the ETU for this initiative and an important reminder that our shared energy future is renewable, not radioactive.
See also the civil society statement opposing nuclear power in Australia with 50+ signatory groups including overwhelming support from Australia's trade unions.