Adelaide FoE Notes

These posts are to appear in the fortnightly newsletter

East Gippsland old growth forest blockade enters fourth day

Media Release – 25th January 2018  — Goongerah Environment Centre  (GECO)

Old growth logging operations in far East Gippsland have been stopped again for the fourth day this week, as conservationists continue to blockade the access road to the VicForests logging coupe at Granite Mountain, near the Errinundra National Park.

A person is suspended in a hammock hanging from a tripod structure that is blocking the road and preventing access to the logging site. Logging in the old growth forest has been unable to proceed since the blockade was established on Monday morning.

“Giant trees have thrived here for centuries, trees that were growing well before the British colonised Australia are under threat, thanks to the efforts of the people on the blockade this ancient forest is safe for today. The Victorian government urgently need to formally protect East Gippsland’s forests by extending existing parks and reserves,” said Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill.

“East Gippsland is the Victorian stronghold for old growth forest, it’s the only place remaining on mainland Australia where forests are continuous from the alps to the coast. The region has been identified by the Victorian government has having the highest biodiversity value in the state, yet the government continue logging at a massive loss to the tax payer,” said Ed Hill.

VicForests internal documents reveal a $5.5 million dollar annual loss on logging in East Gippsland[1].

“There are great economic opportunities in East Gippsland that do no involve trashing our environment. With adequate investment in nature based tourism, environmentally focussed land management programs and carbon sequestration our forests could bring great wealth to the region, instead these valuable natural assets are being destroyed at the expense of the environment and the tax payer,” said Ed Hill

“If the native logging industry was sustainable they’d be logging plantations and re growth only.… Read more >>

Radioactive Exposure Tour 2018

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a journey through Australia’s nuclear landscape.

Run by Friends of the Earth, this year’s Tour will take place from Friday 30th March to Sunday 8th April, 2018

We will visit communities in Kimba and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, who are stopping a radioactive waste dump on their land.

We’ll head for Arabunna country, watch the sunset over Lake Eyre and see the Mound Springs — oases which are fed by the underlying Great Artesian Basin and host unique flora and fauna. Sadly, some of the Mound Springs have been adversely effected or destroyed altogether by the massive water intake of the Olympic Dam mine.

The Tour will visit BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, the largest uranium deposit in the world. The mine is a longstanding environmental and social disaster.

In Woomera, we’ll hear first-hand accounts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu Field from nuclear veteran and whistle-blower Avon Hudson. We’ll also stop by Nurrungar, the desert surveillance base that closed in 1999.

Participants get to experience consensus decision making, desert camping and vegetarian cooking in affinity groups while travelling to some of the most beautiful and ecologically significant environments in Australia. If you’re interested in learning about the industry or anti-nuclear campaigning, the “Rad Tour” is an essential start or refresher.

The costs are: concession $600 / waged $800 / solidarity $1000.
$200 deposit option available. Full payment due by 28th Feb 2018.

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a drug and alcohol-free event. Kids are welcome. Dogs need to stay at home. Tour vehicles only.

If you would like to register your interest in taking part in the 2018 Radioactive Exposure Tour, please complete the form posted at www.melbournefoe.org.au/radtour2018 and we will be in touch. Please note that completing the form does not guarantee you a place on the tour.… Read more >>

Ban the Bomb!

There was an excellent talk by Professor Thakur, Director of the ANU Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament on the new UN treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons, Building Nuclear Peace. You can hear the whole speech in the Hawke Centre podcast of the event, or get a quick overview in this interview from 3d’s Environment Show.

Also of considerable interest is the acceptance speech last Sunday night, as ICAN was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. It starts at the 50:51 mark in the ceremony video.… Read more >>

A New Threat to Charities and Environmental Organisations

December 7th: the Turnbull Government announced a new threat to Environmental organisations and Australia’s charity sector.

After a long-running campaign waged by the Minerals Council and the hard right to strip environmental organisations of their charitable status, the Turnbull government has appointed a known ideological warrior as head of the charities commission.

The Turnbull government has appointed Gary Johns to lead the federal charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-For- Profits Commission (ACNC).

TAKE ACTION to Defend Enviro Orgs: Call on PM Turnbull to stare down the hard right on charities

The ACNC monitors the compliance of charities and maintains a list of registered organisations. It also ensures charities abide by the laws in the Charities Act.  Assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar announced the appointment at Parliament House on Thursday morning.

Over 100 Australian charities wrote an open letter in June to the Prime Minister after Assistant Minister Sukkar failed to re-appoint Susan Pascoe as Commissioner, despite very strong positive recommendations for her reappointment.  The Assistant Minister had refused to meet with anyone from the ACNC for over six months even though he is responsible for the agency, and did not even meet with Susan Pascoe prior to not renewing her contract.

Gary Johns’ track record on charities

The former Labor MP has expressed controversial views about charities in the past. He previously argued that advocacy should not count as a charitable purpose and backed an unrealised Abbott government promise to remove it.

Such a reform would be devastating for environmental charities. He was Senior Fellow at the conservative Australian think tank the Institute of Public Affairs (the IPA), and the head of its Non-Government Organisation Unit. He joined the IPA in 1997 and left in 2006. The IPA has had a long term interest is seeing green groups lose government funding (background here).… Read more >>