Media Releases

Revealed: Massive Hidden Costs of secret RCEP trade deal

Dec 08, 2016

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Jakarta, December 8th The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Jakarta, Indonesia this week (December 2-10 [i]. If signed, RCEP would grant corporations the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue governments at international tribunals whenever they feel government regulation can limit their profits[ii].

New research reveals that investors have launched 50 lawsuits at secret international arbitration tribunals against governments negotiating the RCEP agreement for a total of at least $31 billion US dollars.


Jay Weatherill overturns Citizens' Jury verdict

Nov 14, 2016

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SA Premier Jay Weatherill's announcement that he plans to continue pursuing his nuclear waste dump plan is a great disappointment to many South Australians and especially to Indigenous people from across the state who said a clear 'no' to the proposal at the recent Citizens' Jury.

The Community Views Report released on Sunday, reflecting a statewide consultation process, found that 53 percent of respondents opposed the plan to import high-level nuclear waste while just 31 percent supported the plan. Over three-quarters of Aboriginal respondents opposed the plan.


South Australia storm a wakeup call to act on climate change

Sep 29, 2016

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As emergency workers assist South Australians with the fallout from a historic storm that knocked down multiple power lines, causing a blackout across the state, national environment organisation Friends of the Earth say the storm is a wake up call to act on climate change and disaster preparedness.

“Playing politics while South Australians deal with an unprecedented natural disaster is dangerous and the community expects better. The facts are that climate change is set to increase the number of extreme weather events, yet ideologues have wasted no time in blaming renewables for the state-wide blackout" said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth's campaigns coordinator.


Energy Minister right on renewables and climate, wrong on gas

Jul 28, 2016

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New federal energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg has indicated a significant shift in energy policy for the Coalition. Minister Frydenberg has said that more renewable energy will be required with the decline of coal.

The minister has also called for more gas supplies and suppliers and for gas moratoria to be removed.

Friends of the Earth are encouraged by the positive rhetoric on renewable energy but urge the new minister to support bans on risky onshore gasfield development.

“Mr Frydenberg correctly notes that renewables are not to blame for recent high electricity prices in South Australia” said Cam Walker of Friends of the Earth Australia.


Fuelling the fire: new coal technologies spell disaster for climate

Jul 25, 2016

Underground_Coal_Gasification.jpgA new report by Friends of the Earth International demonstrates how Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and Coal Chemical technologies threaten to destabilise the earth’s climate and irreversibly damage local environments.

The report, launched today, comes in the wake of UCG being banned in Queensland, Australia. There is interest in and development of UCG in Europe, Russia, Canada, the US, China and India. It is currently under moratorium in Scotland.


Markets say retain state powers over GM bans and keep GM food labelling

Jul 21, 2016

gm_free_food.jpgGM-Free Australia Alliance members reject the Productivity Commission’s recommendations to remove states’ rights to ban genetically manipulated (GM) crops for marketing reasons and to remove GM food labelling. GM crops pose unacceptable risks to our health, the environment and key export markets and removing the bans and GM labeling would eliminate choice for farmers and consumers.

Louise Sales from Friends of the Earth’s Emerging Tech Project says: “The Productivity Commission has ignored the compelling evidence from the Tasmanian and South Australian Governments, and other stakeholders, that show the value of remaining GM-free. Instead its report reads like a Monsanto press release.”


Trans-Pacific Partnership 2016 Election Scorecard

Jun 17, 2016

TPP_Scorecard.jpgFriends of the Earth is a founding member of the TPP Unions and Community Roundtable. We are committed to preventing the ratification of the TPP, and work with a variety of politicians, unions, community groups and individuals in order to achieve this goal.

In order to accurately score politicians on their commitment to disabling the TPP, the following two questions were emailed to all parties and independents currently holding seats in the upper or lower house:


Climate change impacts on central Victoria

Jun 10, 2016

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In the lead-up to the Bendigo in a Warming Future forum, which will be held in Bendigo on June 15, a fieldtrip hosted by local ecologists highlighted the impacts of climate change which are already being felt in northern Victoria.

Warning on local climate      

Climate change is already taking its toll locally. During a field trip to Bell Swamp and Mount Alexander on Friday, local ecologists pointed out examples of the impact on the region’s ecology.

Examining a large group of dead Grey Box at Bell Swamp, located to the north west of Maldon, Damien Cook, ecologist with Rakali Consulting said, “trees die all the time and it's a natural occurrence, but so many dying at once indicates environmental change. These trees were aged between 300 and 500 years and had lived through countless floods and droughts. They’ve died as a consequence of recent extreme weather events – the millennium drought followed by the massive flood of 2011”.


FSANZ fails us again: risky nanoparticles found in baby formula

May 18, 2016

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Wednesday, 18th May 2016

Independent testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth US has found risky nanoparticles deemed unsafe for use in toothpaste in baby formula. Six samples of baby formula made by Gerber®, Enfamil®, Similac® and Well Beginnings™ - which are all available online in Australia - were tested. Four of the samples contained nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite. Furthermore, 100 per cent of the hydroxyapatite particles in the samples were nano - demonstrating conclusively that they were intentionally produced (1).

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded that the needle-like form of nano-hydroxyapatite found in Gerber® Good Start Gentle®, Well Beginnings™ Advantage®, and Enfamil® formulas, which is similar in shape to asbestos, is potentially toxic and should not be used in toothpastes, tooth whiteners and mouth washes.


Prime Minister must reject anti-democratic attack on environmental groups

May 04, 2016

Defend_Enviro_Orgs.jpgThe long awaited final report from the House of Representatives Inquiry into environmental organisations has now been released. Many in the community had anticipated that the report would recommend changes that would severely limit the activities of environmental groups. Sadly, this is the case.

For background on this report and the political agenda against the environment movement, please check here.

The report acknowledges that environment groups are doing an important and necessary job in protecting our precious environment. However, it contains a number of deeply flawed recommendations, which if implemented would profoundly change the environmental protection movement in Australia.