Pesticides are rife across the Australian landscape. Thousands of toxic sites exist across the country. Since the creation of the Australian Pesticide Map in November 2017, statistics have shown that by far the page that has generated the most interest, is the page relating to Homebush Bay in Sydney. This interest is also likely to highlight that Homebush Bay and the ongoing dioxin pollution Sydney Harbour are the number one pesticide hotspots in the country. Homebush Bay is marked with the yellow pin on image.
Scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have discovered that cattle gene edited not to grow horns unexpectedly contain bacterial DNA. These include complete DNA sequences that confer antibiotic resistance. The study demonstrates how risky the Federal Government’s current proposal to deregulate a number of these new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes is.
Australian Mining companies Solgold and a subsidiary of Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, continue to encounter problems in Ecuador. Solgold, an Australian exploration company is starting to come under sustained resistance from local communities, alarmed that hundreds of thousands of hectares of Ecuador is now under mining concessions owned by Solgold. Rinehart's problems have been receiving international media attention, after the Ecuadorian Government employed 2000 troops in July to clear out her mining concession, Imba 2, in the north of the country of 10,000 "illegal" miners. The army was apparently sent in by President Lenin Moreno, after a terse meeting with Hanrine, the Hancock subsidiary, in April.
Profound structural change is already underway in Australia. The country is going through a poorly planned energy transition due to failures in government policy. Neither energy generators or the workers who rely on these sectors have the certainty they need. Inaction by the federal government has resulted in investment uncertainty and hence inconsistent growth in renewables, storage and efficiency. This uncertainty, matched with the impacts of globalisation and climate change, and an industrial relations system that is not working for the benefit of the majority of working people has led to workers, particularly in regional Australia, exposed to changing industries and insecure jobs.
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.