Charlotte Borthwick – The severity of the recent bushfire crisis makes it clear that things are no longer 'business as usual'. Bushfires are being exacerbated by our rapidly warming climate and lack of water in our waterways due to drought and over-extraction for irrigation.
Friends of the Earth has uncovered a disturbing incident in the Holey Plains State Reserve, in Central Gippsland, Victoria. FoE has found an area of several hundred hectares, in the Reserve which appears to have been impacted by spray drift from an adjacent pine plantation which was recently aerially sprayed. Thousands of trees appear to have been impacted. The trees were slowly recovering after being severely burnt by bushfires which ravaged Holey Plains in early 2019.
Covid 19 has made life extremely complicated. Despite, the obvious problems FoE has managed to conduct 140 koala surveys in the Strzelecki/South Gippsland Region during 2020. These surveys were largely made possible through a successful grant application to the Tucker Foundation. The grant has meant that 200 koala surveys could be undertaken.
Friends of the Earth Australia express our solidarity and support to the authorities of the Shuar Arutam People (PSHA), to the Shuar People in general, and to all peoples and nations of the Ecuadorian Amazon, currently facing a possible outbreak of COVID-19, in their communities.
The Andrews government logging agency VicForests have written to Friends of the Earth member group, Goongerah Environment Centre, outlining plans to log thousands of hectares of forests affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires in East Gippsland, despite the known devastating ecological impacts of salvage logging.
April 1 2020 marked the deadline for the buy-out of the ten remaining Professional Fishermen who had operated without catch limits in the Gippsland Lakes, Australia's largest inland waterway. Black Bream annual harvest catches had progressively reduced from 480 tonnes in 1984/5 to 13 tonnes in 2017/18. The buy-out was in the order of $8 million.
Legal exemption for the logging industry from federal environment law was signed off on Monday for another ten years in spite of the horrific impacts of the bushfires on forests and wildlife.
Friends of the Earth has produced a new report investigating breaches to Australian food import regulations between the years 2017-2019. The data was compiled by analysing data published in Monthly Failing Food Reports produced by the Department of Agriculture. Map highlighting where most Australian imported food breaching MRL's was sourced from can be found here
The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill amends the National Radioactive Waste Management Act to specifically target South Australia for a national nuclear waste 'facility' ‒ a repository for low-level waste and an above-ground 'interim' store for long-lived intermediate-level waste including nuclear reactor fuel waste.
Residents and tourists have expressed dismay at the extent of tree clearing in hundreds (possibly thousands) of kilometres of roadside reserves in the aftermath of this summer's devastating bushfires. Many of these roadsides contain extremely valuable habitat.