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FoE Monthly News & Events - Feb 2020

Holding these difficult times in our hearts FoE continues to fight for a world where environmental protection, social justice and economic welfare for all, go hand in hand. Communities really are rising up louder than ever. Read our monthly newsletter for many opportunities to stand with us and get involved. 

Kimba nuclear waste dump: SA communities rally and resist

Hundreds of people attended a rally on Sunday in Kimba, South Australia after Matt Canavan announced the area to be the site for the national radioactive dump. He assured people by saying he was satisfied that there was “broad community support”, despite ignoring years of community action against the proposal and the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners.

‘We will fight until the Morrison government backs off… South Australians have greater ambitions for our state than to be someone else's nuclear waste dump’, shares Dr Jim Green in this response.

Koala Massacre Currently Occurring in South West Victoria

Friends of the Earth is devastated to hear of the koala massacre currently occurring in SW Victoria. According to our local sources 'hundreds of koalas' have been killed or injured during logging activities in this week alone. In response to community concerns we have issued this petition calling on Daniel Andrews to champion important protections for koalas. Please share widely.

Bushfire update

As the fires continue to burn, the debate is shifting firmly to the question of what’s next, and how do we respond.

The calls for more fuel reduction burning, and even opening up national parks to logging will continue to grow. The Right and resource groups are attempting to seize control of the narrative. It is essential we don’t let them get away with it.

Check here for resources on the question of climate change, fuel reduction and much more.

Check the following story from Report from FoE International, covering what has been happening in Australia and Indonesia.

Developing countries have endured devastating climate impacts for decades, but now impacts are inevitably hitting parts of rich countries too. For all those who believed that once rich countries were affected, their governments would take hitherto unconsidered dramatic climate action, there is a salutary message here. For decades Australia has refused to come close to doing their fair share on climate action’

Kick off 2020 with a powerful message for climate action that can't be ignored

Join us for a human sign at the Monash University Clayton soccer pitch in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne! February 16.

Momentum is building at the community level for Victoria to lead on climate. With PM Scott Morrison govt refusing to tackle the climate crisis, we need Premier Dan Andrews to show greater leadership. 

The Victorian Labor govt will soon set Emissions Reduction Targets for the years 2025 and '30. It's the first time a state government will set short- and medium-term targets across the whole economy.

Please check here for further information.

Please help us to defend the gas drilling moratorium

From 2011 until 2017, the Victorian community, especially regional communities in the south of the state, campaigned hard to win the ban on fracking and the moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling.

While fracking (unconventional gas drilling) was banned permanently, a moratorium was placed on onshore conventional exploration and drilling. This has been in force since 2014, and will expire on June 30, 2020.

In the next few months, the state government will decide whether to extend the moratorium or let it lapse. Over the past year, the Victorian Gas Program has been investigating what onshore gas resources exist. Once the final report is released (likely to happen within the next 3 months), the government will make a decision about the future of the moratorium. We need to build a strong voice demanding that the state government acts to protect our state by extending the onshore gas moratorium for another five years.

We are organising state wide actions over the weekend of February 8 and 9 to get the issue on the government’s radar. It is easy to get involved: check the website here or the facebook page here.

Trains not toll roads!

Transport is Australia's 2nd largest and fastest growing contributor to carbon emissions. Want more sustainable transport ? Transport is how we connect people and places. And it's a climate justice issue. Everyone should be able to move around in a sustainable way. Without public transport, many people are left isolated. 

For too long, the road lobby have pressured our governments to fund mega toll roads like the North East Link. More mega roads mean less parklands and more air pollution. Both of which contribute to climate change, and threaten our health. Meanwhile vital transport projects  are left on the sidelines. Without sustained community pressure, the road lobby will continue to derail our public transport options.

Sustainable Cities is a local grassroots campaign working with our community in Melbourne to fight for a more connected, sustainable and equitable Melbourne. We're working to stop the destructive destructive toll roads and fight for better public transport. We're bringing together community members, transport academics, planners and small businesses. Together, we will put pressure on the Victorian government to commit to more public transport.

A generous donor has committed to match all donations we raise up to $15,000 by Feb 29! Money raised will go towards vital campaign costs to help us stop the North East Link toll road and push for the MM2 train line in the lead up to the 2021 Victorian budget. This will include employing a dedicated campaign coordinator, printing materials, rolling out actions, and organising round-table meetings with transport stakeholders. Decisions made today about transport, will shape our city for decades to come.

Please help us reach our goal so we can continue to work towards a decarbonised, better-connected, more liveable city for all Melburnians.

You can donate here.

Email Minister Gunner - NT Communities are drinking Uranium tainted water

Friends of the Earth is deeply concerned to see a number of communities in the Northern Territory consuming drinking water with elevated levels of uranium. The communities most impacted appear to include Laramba, Wilora, Willowra and Kings Canyon. The combined population for all 4 of these communities is ~1100 people.

People in the communities at most risk should be afforded any viable options which reduce the risk of radiation exposure through their drinking water. Please take a couple of minutes to email to Michael Gunner and express your concerns about people being exposed to unsafe levels of uranium in their drinking water. There's an email template at the bottom of this blog.

Protect local forests

In November 2019, the Andrews government announced a commitment to immediately end logging in remaining Old Growth forests, protecting around 90,000 hectares, with all logging in native forests across the state to stop by 2030.

With the overuse of native forests, 2030 was always too late to phase out logging. But now this summer’s fires have added an urgent dimension to the question of when native forest logging will end. 

Clearly we must move rapidly to transition the native forest industry. 'Business as usual' logging is no longer an option.

Please send an email to the Premier and Resources Minister calling for an end to native forest logging, a rapid transition out of native forest logging, and no salvage logging after the fires.

Taking Total to court

In October, Friends of the Earth France, Survie, AFIEGO, CRED, NAPE/Friends of the Earth Uganda and NAVODA are taking Total to court for its failure to elaborate and implement its human rights and environmental vigilance plan in Uganda. This is the first ever legal action of its kind - seeking emergency proceedings against Total for non-compliance with its legal obligations under the 2017 French duty of vigilance law, which aims to address corporate negligence. This case is now underway. Details here.

Bushfire survivors launch claim against ANZ under international law for financing climate change

Australian Bushfire victims, together with Friends of the Earth Australia, will launch a historic claim against ANZ under international law to hold the bank accountable for financing fossil fuel projects that contribute to the climate crisis. 

Last week members launched the action at ANZ Headquarters in Melbourne, where they handed over the complaint, signalling the start of legal proceedings. Read more here.

Radioactive Tour 2020

For over 30 years Friends of the Earth has been running the Rad Tour to help people experience first-hand the social and environmental impacts of the nuclear industry.

Join them this year for an experiential tour into uranium mining, waste dump sites and connect with different communities affected by the industry. You will also visit some of the beautiful places in SA including the Flinders Ranges and Lake Eyre. April 10-19th -- Sign up here.

KUR-World is KURputt!

Stopping this mega resort, planned in the ecologically sensitive Myola valley close to Kuranda near Cairns in Far North Queensland, was a great win for the Kuranda community. The campaign was a huge team effort spearheaded by local community group KUR-Alert and supported by FoE FNQ together with other community, environmental and land care groups in the region. Thank you to everyone who put in submissions about KUR-World and for the technical and logistical support from FoE Australia.
Thousands of submissions were sent to the Queensland Coordinator General - including from international environmental groups such as the Forests and Biodiversity team in FoE International. This is a great win but the fight is not over: the developer has been given permission by the local council for a subdivision on this land. The Kuranda community continue to look for ways to stop this happening and so protect the habitat of the irreplaceable wildlife in this area.

Douglas Shire Council bans the use of Glyphosates

#SprayFreeFNQ have had a win with the Douglas Shire Council banning the use of Glyphosates by Shire operations. They are leading the way as the first of the 12 northern shires and councils to ban the use of Glyphosate. #SprayfreeFNQ will target each of the councils one by one using the FNQ Regional Oganisation of Councils FNQROC. Initially the focus is on use of poisons in public parks, walkways and playgrounds to protect the health of people using these spaces. 
In the future broader use will be given attention as there appears to be science indicating a severe impact on frogs and other creatures that share our world. 

Brisbane to host the 2020 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Brisbane will be hosting the UN Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, 23 - 26 June.  Around 3,000 participants are expected.  FoE Climate Frontlines has started working with local contacts to develop a coalition to plan civil society involvement in the conference.  As well as focusing on extreme weather events and other climate change related disasters, it's an opportunity to highlight the risks of deep sea mining and other projects in the Pacific Islands region with potential disastrous consequences for local populations.  More information here.

Perth Fire Fundraiser / Rise Relief 

Hosted by Friends of the Earth Perth, enkel, Floating Mantis & Accidental Discharge please come along to this Perth fundraiser for fire relief for First Nations communities and wild life rescue. This will be a one night event full of music, poetry and art. Tickets here.


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