Environmental Law

Important petition: Block the TPP legislation in the Senate

We don’t normally share petitions but this is an exception, calling on Labor, the Greens and Cross Benchers to block the TPP legislation in the Senate.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (or TPP) is a dangerous trade deal with the potential to destroy thousands of Australian jobs.

The deal was negotiated by Malcolm Turnbull behind closed doors and allows corporations to sue our government just for making laws in the public interest. The TPP risks our jobs, our health and our democracy.

We have to defeat the TPP because:

it allows corporations to sue Australia just for making laws in the public interest (like lowering the cost of medicines for the sick).
it will force Australia to take even more workers on dodgy visas, undermining our wages and conditions and allowing corporations to make a killing off the backs of exploited foreign workers.
it says it will protect workers and the environment but is vague and almost unenforceable.
We have to stop this corporate power grab –and we can.

Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the votes to ratify this dangerous deal if Labor, the Greens and the crossbench Senators unite to block it.

Sign the petition calling for all parties to vote down the TPP and to stand with Australians.… Read more >>

Help protect SA’s Limestone Coast from gas fracking

Please help protect the Limestone Coast from gas fracking by signing the petition letter to the Premier.

https://www.communityrun.org/petitions/protect-the-limestone-coast-from-invasive-mining-and-gasfields?source=facebook-share-button&time=1465768092

Dear Premier,

The South East of South Australia (Limestone Coast) is known for its world famous clean and green produce, including wine, beef, lamb, vegetables, fruit, and crops. Tourism plays an important role, with the UNESCO listed Naracoorte Caves Park, RAMSAR listed Bool Lagoon and Piccaninnie Ponds, the wine trails, beautiful coastal towns, the Blue Lake and other spectacular areas.

The South East makes up 2.2% of the state and contains over 40% of the state’s prime agricultural land. Over $1 billion in food, wine and fibre is produced annually. With significant exports, it is of paramount importance that our ‘clean and green’ image is not compromised by proposed unconventional/conventional gas and mineral mining, which threatens our groundwater, agricultural land productivity and tourism.

We live in the driest state in the driest inhabited continent in the world. The Government released a document “Conserving Nature 2012 – 2020”. ‘Drought conditions are likely to increase in frequency across many parts of South Australia, as a consequence of climate change, particularly in agricultural areas’… Our water is already under severe stress as prolonged dry periods persist in Southern Australia. Our industries and communities are reliant on underground water.

Fracking for shale and tight gas is an extremely water-intensive practice. It requires vast amounts of water and large amounts of chemicals in each fracking operation. Disposal of wastewater from shale and tight gas operations is a serious problem. Shale and tight gas operations can have severe consequences for human and animal health.

The South East’s thin layer of prime agricultural land sits over limestone, which is porous and brittle. The limestone is prone to subsidence and is exacerbated by mining, drilling and fracking. Decline in water levels (such as use for fracking and mining) increase the risk of seawater intrusion.… Read more >>

TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade election scorecard media release

Friends of the Earth Adelaide welcome the initiative shown by FOE Melbourne with their ranking of parties and candidates on trade related issues, especially the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Media release June 17, 2016

Parties and candidates rated on trade issues

Today the TPP Unions and Community Roundtable Coalition, of which Friends of the Earth is a founding member, has released a Federal Election 2016 TPP Scorecard ranking all currently elected parties’ and independents’ stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In order to accurately score the parties and politicians on their commitment to disabling the TPP, the Roundtable asked two questions:

If elected, will you:
1: Vote against the enabling legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
2: Introduce or support legislation to ban ISDS in all trade agreements?

So far the TPP Union and Community Roundtable has received responses from the ALP, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team, Glenn Lazarus and Andrew Wilkie. As evidenced by their ticks on the scorecards, the Greens, Xenophon, Lazarus and Wilkie all responded with an unambiguous “Yes” to both questions.

However, the response from the ALP demonstrated an alarming vagueness, stating that Under Australia’s treaty-making arrangements the Parliament must examine trade agreements. The review of the TPP by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) was not concluded at the time Mr Turnbull caused the dissolution of the Parliament. The TPP will be examined by JSCOT in the next Parliament whoever forms government – that’s how our treaty system works; and that A Shorten Labor Government will not agree to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in new trade agreements. A Labor Government will seek to remove these provisions from existing trade agreements and work to ensure ISDS provisions do not prevent governments from pursuing legitimate public policy goals.

Friends of the Earth TPP and trade spokesperson Kat Moore said “time and again, the major parties have bluffed their way through questions regarding the TPP, committing to nothing, whilst meanwhile our sovereignty is being eroded, and our environment, health, jobs and basic freedoms put at risk.… Read more >>

Frydenberg Fridays – let the Minister responsible for national nuclear waste dumps know how you feel

Frydenberg Fridays – an initiative of the ACE Collective, Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Contact the Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg to oppose the dumping of Australia’s radioactive waste on the Adnyamathanha people and support the local communities in opposition to a national radioactive waste dump in the Flinders Ranges.

South Australia is at risk of being turned into the nation’s nuclear waste dump.

The Turnbull Government is advancing plans to build a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. The announcement in April 2016 named Barndioota – Wallerbidina as the site.

We need your support to protect this region from nuclear waste.

The Wallerbidina site is of great cultural, historical and spiritual significance to Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners, who are calling this decision a desecration of their culture. Regina McKenzie, who lives at Yappala Station near the dump site, says: “The area is Adnyamathanha land. It is Arngurla Yarta (spiritual land). The proposed dump site has countless thousands of Aboriginal artifacts. Our ancestors are buried there. The nominated site is a significant women’s site. Throughout the area are registered cultural heritage sites and places of huge importance to our people.”

Friends of the Earth has been working closely with Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners who are united in their opposition to the proposed dump.

Regina McKenzie and her family are asking for support.

One way you can do this is by contacting Minister Frydenberg and expressing concern about the national dump plans. In the lead up to the final decision, your voice can be a powerful support to the Adnyamathanha people and will be appreciated for generations to come.

To contact Minister Frydenberg:

Call his Melbourne office – (03) 9882 3677

Send an email – josh.frydenberg.mp@aph.gov.au

Write a letter – 695 Burke Road, Camberwell VIC 3124

Some points to mention in your letter/email to Minister Frydenberg:

Impact on Aboriginal Traditional Owners

The Adnyamathanha community is unanimously opposed to the development of the proposed nuclear waste dump at Wallerbidina Station, and view this proposal as an attack on their cultural beliefs, history and heritage.… Read more >>

Nuclear ports for SA or Darwin?

Nuclear Ports brief by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner

“Nuclear port in Australia to store High level Nuclear wastes and receive waste ships every 24 to 30 days for decades”

Nuclear Port Brief David Noonan May2016

Premier Jay W can’t credibly call on SA ‘to decide’ without our knowing basic key relevant information – like what region in SA is targeted for a Nuclear port?

Is the coastal region south of Whyalla – potentially Cape Hardy or other sites – the only regional option to bring High level Nuclear wastes into SA?

Or does Premier thinks Darwin & down through NT is his (only other?) option – a surprise to NT in this Federal election & in having their own NT election in August…

As pre-requisites to any so called ‘decision’ and as key initial implications of any proposed decision.

There are lots of hurdles in International nuclear dumpers way – the SA Parliament legislated to prohibit international nuclear waste, the import, transport, storage and disposal of High level Spent Nuclear fuel, back in 2000 under Liberal Premier John Olsen.

Presumably at a minimum Premier Weatherill intends to repeal this legislation in November…

The NT Parliament also legislated to prohibit International nuclear wastes and that would have to be repealed before NT could be linked into any Inter dump agenda.

Hon. Mark Butler MP restated ALP National Platform position: “Labor will Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste” at recent National Press Club

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/labor-national-president-mark-butler-raises-doubts-about-international-nuclear-waste-dump-proposed-for-south-australia/news-story/12626f088948b5b9e72953e65ac2dd30

The State Government intends to make a decision on the international waste dump proposal by the end of the year after an extensive community consultation process.

2015 National Policy Platform states:
154. Labor will:
· Vigorously and totally oppose the ocean dumping of radioactive waste;
· Prohibit the establishment of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia;
· Fully meet all Australia’s obligations as a party to the NPT; and
· Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas in Australia.… Read more >>