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FoEA News September 2021

Welcome to our September newsletter, where you can find news, updates and events from the many faces of FoE.

Thank you for your ongoing support, whether it's reading our content, volunteering, participating in our events or donating to keep us strong. 

We couldn't do this without you.

Waddananggu - The Talking

Waddamuli ngadyu narri coedie

Hello, My name is coedie

Ngaya Waddana Ngadyu yamba nani mundu

I am speaking from my homelands

Yinda Daga-gu Yina Banna

You need to come here

Gundarrana Ngaligu Binda

We’re fighting to live.

I’m asking everyone to come to my homelands to join me and my family at Waddananggu – ‘The Talking’.

Waddananggu is an evolving and multifaceted ceremony. We have set up a stone Bora ring and ceremonial ground opposite Adani’s mine and are asserting our human rights as Wangan and Jagalingou people to practice culture.

Come to witness Waddananggu – ‘the talking’ – and stand with us to protect our human rights to practice ceremony and culture, and protect our homelands.

RSVP or Support others to go here. 

Court injunction stops illegal logging in East Gippsland

Illegal logging has been halted in an important area of forest home to critically endangered Masked Owl, and Yellow-bellied Gliders.

Conservation groups sounded the alarm over illegal logging in the Colquhoun State Forest on Gunnai Kurnai Country, where citizen scientists found a high density of Yellow-bellied Gliders in December last year.

Logging had already started in December last year when citizen scientists halted the destruction after detecting a significant population of Yellow-bellied Gliders, requiring protection of the area. GECO, Gippsland Environment Group (GEG), and Friends of Bats and Habitat have been working together to see the area protected. VicForests are required by law to find and protect biodiversity values prior to logging. Despite this, the Department aren't taking any legal action against VicForests. GECO received a letter from the logging regulator stating the report and detections had triggered a protection zone. But they didn't protect forests up for logging, and refused to prosecute VicForests for illegally logging forests that should've been saved.

Bulldozers were about to move into the adjacent forest, but thankfully Environment East Gippsland and their legal team secured an urgent injunction to stop the imminent logging of the forests.

You can support their tireless work to defend East Gippsland's forests in court by donating here.

October 15 Is the Time to Take Action! 

The implications of the climate crisis are getting clearer and clearer every day, yet the Morrison government is continuing to fund this ecological collapse.

We immediately need:

  1. No new coal, oil and gas projects
  2. 100% renewable energy generation & exports by 2030
  3. Fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and their communities

Bushfires, floods, and other climate disasters are so evident, yet our government is refusing to listen to our cries.

This is why we need you to strike with us. We are angry. We are scared. We are anxious. Our government must act, urgently.

Strike with us on October 15 to demand real action on the climate crisis! Visit here to find out more.

Online Action: Clean Up AGL To Protect Health

Next Wednesday healthcare workers, students and community members across the country will be taking action in a digital event to get Australia's biggest climate polluter, AGL, to replace all its coal-burning power stations with renewable energy before 2030.

The health impacts of climate change are already being felt now and include the impacts of heatwaves, extreme weather events, air pollution and an increase in vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, as well as the mental health impacts of climate change.

AGL is responsible for 8% of Australia's domestic emissions, with its 42 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions annually being double that of the next biggest polluter. AGL's three coal-burning power stations are ageing and deteriorating, with unchecked air pollution from unfiltered chimneys causing increased mortality, asthma, stroke, impacts on unborn babies and heart disease. The company is in significant turmoil, with multiple CEOs in recent years and a looming demerger and shake-up of senior management, so there's never been a better time to shift them from being Australia's biggest cause of climate change to part of the solution.

Take action yourself and promote to your friends, particularly in healthcare & RSVP here. 

Earthworker Education

Earthworker Education is gearing up for our next iteration of the work - to grow short courses that teach the WHY, WHAT and HOW of Co-operatives. 

The two sessions that are set for Siteworks (with online back ups) starting at the end of September are prerequisites for the BOOTCAMP as it’s important that the foundations are set well. We need to be able to rest comfortably in the understanding of the principles, and the history of the worker cooperative movement, as well as some Earthworker history too. 

The BOOTCAMP will use the framework from the last chapter of Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta, a call to custodianship. Within this epic work is a simple expression of the cultural processes and protocols that are the basis for the wisdom lived with Earth, with each other, for millennia. Specifically the notions of “Respect, Connect, Reflect and Direct” as defined as the Spirit, Heart, Head and Hands of how humans can BE together, live, work and enjoy life lived well in harmony. 

This education is an experiment in attempting to foster the conditions for emergence, for some real and potent capacities to build strong working trust, in ourselves, in each other.

You can view the brochures here.

Update your knowledge about the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

The Nuclear Free Collective worked with David Noonan to create an infographic on the proposed nuclear waste dump in Kimba, SA.

And Dr Margaret Beavis from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) has written a clear overview about some of the misconceptions related to the proposed dump, how there are cleaner, cheaper and more reliable ways to make nuclear medicine and why we need to stop the current expansion of nuclear waste production

For the full briefing see here.

Podcast: Building more inclusive spaces that welcome and celebrate LGBTIQA+ folks

Zianna Fuad from Friends of the Earth Australia joins Phil Evans on 3CRs Dirt Radio to discuss LGBTIQA+ struggles, and how they intersect with climate justice work.

We also run through 6 ways to build more inclusive movements:

  1. Educate yourself about LGBTIQA+ struggles and share knowledge and resources.
  2. Challenge harmful perceptions and actions, especially if you’re straight and cis-gendered.
  3. Never assume identity - invite people to share if they feel safe to do so.
  4. Use inclusive language - in meetings, and in your campaigning, and organising materials.
  5. Be deliberately inclusive.
  6. Turn up and be good comrades.

Full podcast here.

Invite to FoE FNQ meeting

With guest speaker Anthony Amis, FoE Australia's Spokesperson on Pesticides & Water Quality

Wed 8 Sept 6.30pm via Zoom.

6.30pm Short talk by Anthony Amis on pesticide use, regulation and monitoring in Australia followed by group discussion

7pm General meeting

This meeting is open to everyone, not just members, so feel free to forward this invite to anyone you think might be interested.

You can also help by

FoE PFAS Investigation Continues

For some time, FoE has been concerned about the impact of "forever chemicals" PFAS (Per and polyfluroalkyl substances).

PFAS are industrial chemicals used in a variety of applications including fire fighting foam, non-stick cookware, stain resistant fabrics and water resistant clothing. PFAS chemicals have been linked to liver damage, thyroid diseases, hormone suppression and cancer. They are ubiquitous in the environment.

Over 2020/21 FoE Melbourne sent off a number of Freedom of Information requests to all Victorian water authorities. FoE was concerned that not only were water authorities releasing PFAS contaminated water back into the environment after treatment, but PFAS contamination could also be impacting on recycled water treated at water treatment plants and then piped elsewhere including agricultural crops. Another byproduct of waste water treatment treatment plants are biosolids, which also can be applied to farmland.

As of early September, 12 FoI's have been sent back to FoE with another 4 outstanding. All water authorities have recorded PFAS in recycled water and biosolids, with several domestic water supplies also being contaminated. Once all the information has been received a report will be compiled. PFAS are toxic at levels even lower than a swathe of pesticides. Guideline limits for PFAS are usually measured in parts per trillion. (one part per trillion is equivalent to one thousandth of one drop of liquid in an Olympic sized swimming pool!!!) Drinking water guidelines have only been written up for three PFAS chemicals. Thousands of PFAS chemicals have been discovered. For more information contact [email protected]

See the full PFAS map here. 

Challenges of Climate Change to the Cultural Identity and Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations

Climate Frontlines succeeded in holding the third of it's sessions on "Challenges of Climate Change to the Cultural Identity and Sovereignty of Pacific Atoll Nations" in 2 half days towards the end of July, with great presenters from a range of grassroots, political and academic perspectives. 

A big thank you to Phil Evans for amazing technical and other advisory support. The video material will be online shortly.

Our member Stella Miria-Robinson, who joined the FoE International team for COP24 in Bonn, has been invited by FoE Japan to contribute a presentation from the Pacific to an upcoming event. Phil has provided Stella with 2 video clips from the above event to enhance her presentation, and these will later be sent to FoE International as part of their background material for COP26 in Glasgow.

National Day Of Action For Australia's 2030 Climate Target Announced

Friends of the Earth has called a national Day of Action on Friday 1 October—one month before COP26—to call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take a strong 2030 climate target to the summit.

The United States and United Kingdom have increased their 2030 targets. With scientists issuing a "code-red warning" to humanity, it's time for Australia to put its shoulder to the wheel on climate.

We want to create a massive buzz on social media on the day and take action to influence the government's decision making.  

Will you contribute a photo to help us kick off the big day? 

If your organisation or grassroots group would like to support the Day of Action, please click here. The more groups get involved, the greater our impact.  

With your help we can make the call for climate ambition impossible for the government to ignore. Let's get to work!

​​Launch of Better Buses campaign!

The Sustainable Cities collective is super excited to announce we are launching our new campaign, Better Buses, in just 2 weeks! Better Buses is a community led transport campaign for frequent, reliable and electric buses in Melbourne's West, and a better bus network statewide.  This campaign will build a network of local climate, transport, union, community and social sector groups, in particular in Western Victoria, to demonstrate support for bus reform that reduces emissions, creates local jobs and connects to existing and future transport infrastructure.

When: Wednesday 15th September, 6pm - 7.30pm

Where: Online via Zoom RSVP HERE 

If you are passionate about better bus services, sustainable transport and more public transport across Melbourne - we'd love for you to join us! Share our Facebook event through your social media channels and invite your friends to come along too. For more details please contact [email protected] or Sustainable Cities on Facebook.

FoE Melbourne forests campaign update

 As we reported in the last newsletter, the FoEM forests campaign is up and running again.

We have created 3 working groups in our key areas of work:

  • First Nations solidarity.
  • A rapid, just, and ecologically sound transition out of native forest logging.
  • Supporting existing, grassroots forest protection groups across Victoria. 

The next meeting will happen on September 21, 2021 at 7:00pm. We welcome new people. 

Please rsvp here so we can let you know whether it is a meeting in our office in Collingwood or will need to happen via zoom. 

Drillwatch Launched

After a seven year moratorium, gas companies are now free to explore for gas in the food bowls of western Victoria and Gippsland. In a huge backward step, a ban on conventional drilling was lifted on July 1, 2021, and we now risk increasing fossil fuel extraction in the era of climate crisis. 

Additionally, state and federal governments are facilitating the further development of offshore oil and gas in the waters of western Victoria and Gippsland.

To assist communities in the campaign against new oil and gas in Victoria, we have launched Drillwatch.

Please check the website for details and to sign the pledge to oppose new fossil fuels.

And, as seismic testing gets under way in Bass Strait near King Island, please join us in calling on the federal government to cancel all offshore oil and gas licenses.

SKAT Update

As representatives of the SKAT (Strzelecki Koala Action Team) Collective we would like to introduce and discuss ways in which together we can protect the endemic and genetically robust Strzelecki/South Gippsland Koala. We will be providing our latest campaign updates so that you can stay in the know, so that together we can support our ambition to protect our beloved koala. There are no expectations, if you wish to simply listen than you are more than welcome to. 

We believe that this species of koala may be able to better withstand climate change and disease due to its genetic diversity. We believe that there are only 1,500-2,000 Strzelecki/South Gippsland koalas remaining in the Gippsland region so we want to grow and build awareness behind the importance and need for protection of this koala whilst also advocating for the sustained koala population of Victoria. 

We are hoping to grow our own unique and diverse team of volunteers whom show an interest in contributing to our SKAT Collective so that we can come together and help our beloved koala, and fundamentally our dear wildlife.

Does this interest you, or do you know someone that might like to help us out? Join here. 

ActionSkills Community Hosting Crowdfunder 

ActionSkills has been providing essential hosting and website maintenance for activist and community groups for many years for free. We also manage and pay for domain names for numerous groups.

During 2020, we made major upgrades to these systems, which will allow us to provide managed hosted services for even more groups, as well as improve the speed and service for our current groups.

We have also been producing educational guides, including privacy, to support activist groups, and have created over 32 hours of free webinars on planning and setting up websites.

All of these services we provide free to these amazing groups, as we believe it to be of vital support. However, keeping these websites running does cost, and during 2020 and 2021 this has all been personally funded by me.

So I am asking for you to chip in to help keep these websites up and running, and to directly support these groups. 

Volunteer with Friends of the Earth Melbourne 

Are you passionate about protecting our ecosystems and taking action on climate change? Friends of the Earth Melbourne is working with communities across Victoria to stand up to big corporations and fight for a just and sustainable future.


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