crazy start to the year… as much of Australia sweltered under record
breaking heatwaves, Liberal politicians in Canberra were passing around a
big lump of coal and singing the praises of fossil fuels. In the USA Donald
Trump is planning to withdraw his country from the UN Climate agreement and
locally the federal government has ramped up its attacks on renewable
energy, and is doing everything in its power to promote new coal mines.
going to be a tough year – both in terms of our campaigns but also in
keeping our spirits high. As always, the antidote to despair is action…
In a good development, the legislation which will permanently ban fracking in the state of Victoria
passed through the state’s Lower House last week – without dissent. It will
now go to the Upper House. We have secured support from all parties for
this historic legislation. What a great day it will be when Victoria
becomes the first Australian state to permanently ban onshore
unconventional gas drilling and fracking!
Meanwhile Opposition parties
in SA, QLD and Victoria have taken the extraordinary position of attacking
state renewable energy targets (our response is here). This is a puzzling and very
troubling move. It seems that at both state and federal levels the
Coalition is determined to position itself on the wrong side of history by
firmly embracing climate denier policy positions.
Trump withdraws US
from TPP, Turnbull must concede trade deal is dead
After six years of campaigning by grassroots groups across 12 countries, US
President Donald Trump has formally begun the process to withdraw from the
Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Friends of the Earth Australia says the withdrawal of United States from
the Trans Pacific Partnership is the final nail in the coffin of the deeply
flawed trade deal and has implications for the Turnbull government's
The deal has been shown to favour the rights of corporations over community
through the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS), and makes
no mention of climate change in its over-6000 pages, despite the
catastrophe currently facing our planet.
Whilst the demise of the TPP is indeed to be celebrated, the inherent risks
of the deal have not dissipated. ISDS is still invariably included in trade
deals entered into by Australia.
“It is time that the Australian Parliament put people and the planet before
profits and pass legislation banning ISDS outright from any future trade
agreements. It is not in our interest, but in the interest of multinational
corporations, to enter into such an agreement."
Friends of the Earth
Australia welcomes the majority report finalising the Senate Committee Inquiry into the Trans Pacific Partnership
(TPP). Whilst we concur with the Australian Greens and Senator Nick
Xenophon that the recommendations are lacking in strength, the report
nevertheless spells the final death knell of the TPP. As the committee
states, “Given the clear position of the Trump administration, it is
apparent the TPP will not enter into force in its current form”.
Public Lecture -
Diversity & Community by Camilo Moraes
architect Camilo Moraes will present a lecture on his projects that feature
low environmental impact and the use of local or natural materials. Two are
in far away landscapes of Chile and the project “Minga Valpo, emergency
houses” was built through community workshops in response to Valparaiso
Where: Friends of the Earth Melbourne Food Co-op, 312 Smith St Collingwood
When: 7-9pm Wednesday 15th Feb
Friends of the
Earth Adelaide - Campaign Meeting Thursday
2nd March @ 6pm
Regent St South
Tea, coffee & snacks provided
Help shape the future direction of Friends of the Earth Adelaide.
We invite members and friends to tell us what the important issues are that
you would like us to be campaigning on. There are existing campaigns and
projects we would like to continue and extend, and we might want to pick up
on some of the campaigns other FoE groups are working on. We’d like to hear
what you’re interested in working on, and what you think our priorities
Our current campaigns include two Collectives - Clean Futures Collective
(mining, energy, climate change, renewables, unconventional gas) and Fair
Food Adelaide (food sovereignty, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Food Swaps).
Proposed new campaigns include "Food & Climate Change"
(Meatless Mondays)," Green Cities" handbook update, and
"Consumption & the Environment". Please get in touch if you
are happy with our current suggestions, or have suggestions of your own.
Friends of the
Earth Adelaide - Annual General Meeting
Thursday 30th March @ 6pm
Regent St South
Tea, coffee, snacks provided
Guest Speaker: Anne Daw, Agricultural Advocate – “Gas & Mineral Mining
Gifts to help the
not send a set of beautiful colouring- in sheets about local endangered
creatures to your young relatives and friends this year? They will also
receive a colourful certificate with their name and birthday greetings from
you. The beautiful artwork is by local artist and FoE FNQ secretary Cate
Adams. Your donation will support FoE campaigns in Far North Queensland.
Find out more about pesticides
that are found in our food and waterways.
Fran Murrell has done extensive research on problems associated with
Glyphosate, the world’s most frequently used herbicide. Fran is one of the
co-founders of MADGE "Mothers Are Demystifying Genetic
Engineering", a group formed in 2007 concerned about the genetic
modification of food. Check out madge.org.au
Anthony Amis is a Land Use researcher with Friends of the Earth based in
Melbourne. He has a twenty year interest in pesticides, particularly its
impact on waterways and the environment. In 2016 Anthony produced a report
which collated pesticide waterway pollution across Australia available at
Friends of the
Earth Melbourne at the National Sustainable Living Festival
The annual National Sustainable Living Festival 'Big
Weekend' ran from 10-12 February on Wurundjeri land at Birrarung Marr, on
the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne. Over the Big Weekend, Friends of
the Earth hosted and participated in a number of talks and events where
thousands of visitors come to get up to date on what's happening in the
environment movement and catch up on campaigns. Friends of the Earth
Campaigners Ursula Alquier and Chloe Aldenhoven inspired audiences, sharing
the success of the #VicGasBan in Victoria, and the importance of empowering
communities to work collectively on shared challenges. Cutting to the big
issues, Campaign Coordinator Cam Walker spoke of the shock waves sent
through the climate movement following the election of Donald Trump and
along with columnist Jeff Sparrow put forward the essential need to build
community power to defeat the far right's attacks on climate and social
justice in the long term.
Friends of the Earth stood out at the festival as an organisation
continuing to campaign at the grassroots level, working on issues that
matter, with communities directly impacted by unsustainable industries and
practices. Melbourne's new Grow FoE Collective dedicated hours of time on
the Friends of the Earth stall, with campaigners from many of our local
collectives on hand to educate and inspire stall visitors about the work
FoE Melbourne is doing to mobilise communities to take action on the
environment here in Victoria and nationally. Guests of the festival were
able to use our new #MobileFoE solar powered phone charging station, play
some FoE Twister, and talk to our campaigners about their work on
accelerating renewables, influencing climate policy, ending the fossil fuel
industry, working with traditional owners against the threat of nuclear
waste dumps, and on supporting organic growers at our famous Food Co-op. We
had countless great conversations over the three days about our campaigns,
and volunteers spoke to hundreds of people, with many new people excited to
get involved and get active!
To get involved, or volunteer with one of our campaigns - contact us and come along to one of our volunteer info
nights, coming up later this month!
to Act on Climate
FoE Melbourne’s new climate campaign, Act on
Climate VIC, has been out and about, helping secure cross party support for
the Climate Change Act, which will be back in parliament in a couple of
weeks. Check our video of our event outside parliament on the first sitting
Act On Climate has an info night coming up on Wednesday on the 22nd Feb
forest logging exempt from federal environment law
On Monday 6th February over 100 people joined speakers from
Friends of the Earth affiliate Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) and also The
Wilderness Society Victoria in a snap rally to condemn the Daniel Andrews
government's decision to extend the 'regional forest agreement' which
expired on the 3 February this year.
Since the late 1990s the logging industry in Victoria has been exempt from
adhering to federal environment laws that protect our nationally threatened
wildlife. Only native forest logging gets this special exemption known as a
'regional forest agreement' (RFA).
“Since the RFA was signed 20 years ago, [populations of] Federally listed
threatened species have dramatically declined. State based protections have
failed to adequately protect forest wildlife and have allowed industrial
scale logging in sensitive habitats,” said GECO and Friends of the Earth
Forest spokesperson Ed Hill.
As an outcome of interest stimulated after the
Climate Justice Speaking Tour last year, the Climate Justice collective is
working with a lecturer from the QUT School of Civil Engineering and the
Built Environment to set up a student project based on the Carteret Islands
relocation program in Bougainville, hopefully on an ongoing basis. Ursula
Rakova, the Tulele Peisa director, will spend a week in Brisbane in early
July, and there are plans to organise some major fundraisers during her
Last week our affiliate Market Forces recently secured a fantastic outcome,
with HCF becoming the first health fund to announce it will divest fully from fossil fuels. This is an Australian
first for a health insurance fund and what makes HCF’s announcement all the
more important is the fund’s recognition that fossil fuels are harmful to
the health and well being of their members.
Market Forces is gearing up for a big 2017 and you can be a part of it!
Join our Melbourne volunteer team at our first meeting of the year, meet
like-minded people and find out how you can help turn off the flow of money
to dirty coal, oil and gas projects.
Tuesday 21 February @ 6-8pm
Level 9, 94 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
Help raise money for the
campaign to stop the insane Adani Carmichael coal project while enjoying
some local Melbourne music from The Same Boat and B.O.S.S. Proceeds
(after event costs) will be split equally between the Wangan and Jagalingou
people (traditional owners of the area Adani wants to mine) and Market
Forces to support the campaign to stop Adani's mega mine.
Thursday 23 Feb, 8.30pm
Bar Open, 317 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
$25 solidarity price (comes with free album)
Film Festival is returning to Cinema Nova this February 16 with an
inspirational line up of world-changing films! To celebrate, we have a
double pass to give away to The Bentley Effect, screening Thursday 2nd of March at
6:30pm followed by Q & A with the filmmaker and panel discussion with
The Bentley Effect tells the story of an inspirational community who stood
up to a gas juggernaught. Their deep love of the land led to a massive
social movement and a historic showdown in Bentley, outside Lismore NSW.
What happened in this once peaceful valley has now become the stuff of
legend and is reverberating around the globe.
Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) program
Are you a woman and an active
environmentalist living in Australia? Are you looking to take your next
step in leadership?
Then WELA 2017 is for you!
The WELA program will
bring together 20 women environmentalists of different ages and diverse
backgrounds; they will be working on a variety of environmental issues and
campaigns around the country, some with environment groups, some
independently, in both paid and unpaid roles.
WELA 2017 is a leadership program designed by women for women. It aims to
address the ways in which women's crucial leadership in the environment
movement is undervalued and often not reflected in formal leadership
positions. It will examine critically ideas about leadership and support
women taking even more environmental leadership in Australia. The program
• three residential retreats in Victoria (May, July and October)
• mentoring sessions with experienced women environmental leaders
• small group projects on key issues facing women environmentalists
• access to an ongoing supportive network of powerful women!
The retreats will be facilitated by Holly Hammond (Plan to Win) along with special guests with expertise
in campaigning, political life, management, and many other aspects of