Environmental Law

Why we must ban secret corporate courts from trade deals

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a dispute resolution method included in hundreds of trade and investment agreements designed to give exclusive legal protection to foreign companies investing abroad, giving them the right to sue host governments in a private tribunal over any perceived breach of the rules around the treatment of investors. This secret corporate court system is system is a threat to Australia’s democracy and environment and we believe it should be banned.

Click here to read in full Friends of the Earth’s briefing on The case for banning Investor State Dispute Settlement in Australia

ISDS allows Foreign investors can bypass domestic courts and have their case heard by three arbitrators who decide whether the host state is liable to pay huge sums in compensation. The origins of the provisions came from the need to protect companies against the seizure of their assets by host states, for example a mine being nationalised without just compensation. Investment agreements have since evolved to include the values of non-discrimination, prohibition of performance requirements, fair and equitable treatment and free movement of capital, and most controversially, indirect expropriation, in which any government measure perceived to affect the actual or expected profits can be challenged.

Read more at https://www.foe.org.au/secret_corporate_courts_from_trade_dealsRead more >>

Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by the Senate in their inquiry report

We have had some good news from the Senate Inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. AFTINET (Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network Inc) have been campaigning against the TPP for years. You can join up to receive AFTINET updates here:

Friends of the Earth Australia is a member of AFTINET.

The AFTINET website reports:

“One of our big campaign wins last year was getting a Senate inquiry into the TPP.

“The report has now been released and it’s another victory for fair trade. In it, Labor said the failed TPP’s implementing legislation should be deferred, since the US’ withdrawal killed the deal. The Greens and the Nick Xenophon team have consistently rejected the TPP.

“This means that the Government cannot pass the TPP legislation, because Labor, the Greens and Nick Xenophon team have a majority in the Senate.

“The report also reflected many of our criticisms of the TPP.

“This is another victory in our seven-year campaign, and will help to ensure that the TPP is not used as a bad model for future trade agreements like the RCEP.

“You can read more in our media release.

– AFTINET”… Read more >>

Make a quick submission to AVPMA about Roundup being found to be a potential carcinogen by the WHO

Please make a brief email submission to the APVMA Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority asking them to take notice of the World Health Organisations findings that glyphosate (Roundup) is a potential carcinogen. This is being organised by Friends of the Earth Melbourne.

Link to make an easy submission here

Roundup is widely used for weed control around the world, especially in home gardens and by councils. It is also used on GM crops and to help non GM crops around harvest time.

From the FOE Melbourne website:

Last year the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – declared glyphosate – the main ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp – a probable carcinogen. We hoped that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) – would intervene to protect our health. It hasn’t.

The APVMA has decided not to review its current approval for glyphosate because it claims to know better than the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organisation. Why so? Because it has access to unpublished industry data that has never been subject to peer review and that regulators refuse to make public!

Who trusts the word of giant chemical companies over the World Health Organisation?

Monsanto has made enormous profits from virtually unrestricted use of glyphosate and now the truth has come out. Monsanto has lied to us again – and the APVMA must stop supporting an industry that is putting all of us at unnecessary risk.

Contact us if you need help with your submission adelaide.office@foe.org.au… Read more >>

D Noonan’s Submission to ARPANSA

Independent Environmental Campaigner David Noonan has prepared a public submission to the draft Australian Radiation Protection And Nuclear Safety Agency Information for Stakeholders & associated Regulatory Guide to Licensing a Radioactive Waste Storage or Disposal Facility.

A copy of the submission is available at the link:

dnoonan-submission-to-arpansa-info-for-stakeholders-12dec2016Read more >>

Important: Talk to your MP about nuclear waste dumps

One of the most important things you can do to prevent nuclear waste dumps in SA is to talk to your MP. MPs are saying their constituents are not contacting them opposing the dump proposals and silence is either seen as consent, or that its not a big issue for constituents.

You don’t need to be an expert, just talk to your MP about your own perspective and speak from the heart. Its a good idea to ask them for their position and opinion and which way they would vote. Its particularly important to speak up about the international dump during October and November.

State MPs

Talk to them about your opposition to SA becoming the world’s nuclear waste dump. Let them know your environmental concerns, worker and public safety concerns, future generations, lack of respect for Traditional Owners and transport and terrorism risks. Tell them you want to keep the legislation that currently bans nuclear waste dumps.
More information here and here.

To find your State MP look up your suburb to find your electorate here then find which MP represents your electorate here.

Federal MPs

Talk to them about the federal government’s plan to put a waste dump at Wallerbedina, near Barndioota, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.
Talk to them about the need to keep federal legislation that bans the establishment of nuclear waste dumps in Australia. Ask them how they would vote if a bill to change the legislation was introduced.
If your MP is Labor, ask them to keep strong to the Labor platform of banning nuclear waste dumps and ask them how they would vote if a proposal to overturn the ban were introduced.
More information here.

To find your Federal electorate and Federal MP search here.

Any questions? Contact us at adelaide.office@foe.org.au… Read more >>