A number of high profile arrests, raids and media suppression orders have hit journalists documenting environmental and human rights violations within Australia over the last couple of months. From arrests of French journalists documenting protests, to the recent ABC raids, the Australian clamp down on press freedom has been noted internationally. As always, the ability of the press to document on these important issues challenges the public's perception of government democracy and protection of rights.
Australia’s emissions are once again at a record high but obscure figures from the Australian Defence Force cast doubt on the overall validity of the latest numbers.
Friends of the Earth urge Federal govt to act on climate on fifth anniversary of the carbon price repeal
Friends of the Earth have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the fifth anniversary of the carbon price repeal to urge action on the climate crisis. The repeal of the national carbon price received the Royal ascent on 17 July, 2014. Since then, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise and states and territories have filled the leadership vacuum. The environment group says that with national emissions increasing and the IPCC warning of "catastrophic" impacts, it's time for the Federal government to put its shoulder to the wheel:"Communities are showing leadership on the climate crisis and so are the states and territories. It's about time the Federal government put its shoulder to the wheel," said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Australia's campaigns coordinator.
Civil society groups and members of the communities affected by the federal government’s proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) are deeply disappointed with Justice White’s ruling that the exclusion of Barngarla Traditional Owners from a ballot intended to gauge community support was not a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Changes to the Gene Technology Regulations tabled in Federal Parliament threaten to undermine Australia’s status as the world leader in organic food production. These changes will become law unless the Senate disallows them. The decision would leave the majority of new CRISPR and other gene editing applications unregulated.
Industry Super Australia (ISA) ‒ a research and advocacy body for Industry SuperFunds ‒ has published a report promoting nuclear power, prompting a sceptical response from Industry Super Holdings, which is controlled by super funds including AustralianSuper, Cbus, Hostplus and HESTA.
“There is little recent published information on water quality in the rivers of the Gippsland Lakes catchment. Although data may be collected through a range of routine monitoring programs, it has not been consolidated or analysed. This provides little information on water quality trends in these river systems. The small amount of published information is related only to salinity, water clarity and total nutrient concentrations. There is no information on nutrient dynamics, and very little on toxicants in rivers and streams.” EPA Victoria. Gippsland Lakes and catchment literature review Report Publication 1585 February 2015.
New report uncovers Australian banks financing palm oil companies responsible for deforestation and human rights violations
Friends of the Earth Australia media release. June 26, 2019 The Big four banks who were found to be exploiting Australians in the royal commission have been exposed in new research by Friends of the Earth to be financing even worse practices overseas. During the 2010–2018 period, the big four Australian banks had a total financial involvement (across loans, underwriting, bond holdings and shareholdings) of at least US$6.4 billion(AUD $9.5 Billion) in six major companies involved in the palm oil supply chain. Approximately $928 million (AUD$1.3billion) of this would be directly exposed to the palm oil business, given that these companies are involved in a number of business sectors of which palm oil is one.
Media reports from Ecuador are highlighting a recent gunfight near the the community of Buenos Aires located in the north of the country. Reports suggest that rival mafia interests are fighting over control of a massive illegal mining operation that is located on a mining concession owned by the Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.