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Friends of the Earth Australia
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What a 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.

Frack_legislation_Feb_2017.pngIt’s 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!

Portland_Climate_action_Feb_2017.jpgMeanwhile 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 policy.

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."

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Senate Committee puts final nail in TPP coffin

Ratify_a_dead_trade_agreement-_(2).pngFriends 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”.

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Public Lecture - Diversity & Community by Camilo Moraes

Food_coop_lecture.jpgYoung Chilean 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 fire (2014).

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
Box Factory
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 should be.

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.

All welcome.

Enquiries or Robyn 0423 219 096

Friends of the Earth Adelaide - Annual General Meeting

Thursday 30th March @ 6pm
Box Factory
Regent St South
Tea, coffee, snacks provided

Guest Speaker: Anne Daw, Agricultural Advocate – “Gas & Mineral Mining vs Farmland”

All welcome

Gifts to help the wildlife

FoE-FNQ-Friends-of-the-Animals-Colouring-pages-cover-72dpi.jpgWhy 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. See

Pesticides Information Night

Pesticides_Information_Night.jpgFind out more about pesticides that are found in our food and waterways.

SPEAKERS: Fran Murrell (MADGE Australia Incorporated) + Anthony Amis (Friends of the Earth Australia)

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

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

For further information contact Anthony Amis:

Or check out the Facebook event

Gold coin donation

Friends of the Earth Melbourne at the National Sustainable Living Festival

SLF_Team.jpgThe 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!

Time to Act on Climate

Act_on_Climate.jpgFoE 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 day here.

Act On Climate has an info night coming up on Wednesday on the 22nd Feb 6:30pm downstairs

Victorian native forest logging exempt from federal environment law

GECO.jpgOn 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.

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Climate Justice - Tulele Peisa

Tulele_Peisa.pngAs 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 visit.

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 Volunteer Meeting

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

More info and RSVP

Adios Adani! Fundraiser Gig

Market_Forces_Adani_Fundraiser.jpgHelp 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
$10 entry
$25 solidarity price (comes with free album)

Book now

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Transitions Film Festival - The Bentley Effect

The_Bentley_Effect.jpgTransitions 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 Alex Kelly.

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.

For your chance to win, head to the Transitions Film Festival 'win' page and enter the code MBENTLEYFOE

The Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) program

WELA_Header_Options_V5-1_440_px.jpgAre 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 includes:

• 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 leadership.

For further details contact Sue Lewis:

WELA Program information and application form

Friends of the Earth Australia