What's New?


Solar Citizens: The plot thickens

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Solar Citizens is calling for you to take part in urging candidates to support a selection of policies that will help all consumers access household solar and storage.

"Australia’s electricity system is broken because a handful of energy moguls have too much industry power and they’re calling the shots. Take a moment to email your federal election candidates, asking them to adopt policy solutions to propel the clean energy transition in a way that is fair for all – not just the big energy players."

Solar Citizens has developed an online tool that can be used to find and email your local candidates regarding this issue.

For more information, please visit Solar Citizens' website here.


Next BIEPA meeting

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The next Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association (BIEPA) Inc. meeting will be held on Monday, 22 April 2019 at 7:00pm in the ANZAC Room, Bribie RSL (99 Toorbul St, BONGAREE).

Guest speaker and marine biologist, Dr Ben Diggles, will tackle the Pumicestone Reef Restoration Project, concerning the the nutrient loading and excessive sedimentation that have choked the subtidal shellfish reefs in Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay.

Their Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Monday, 22 April 2019 at 7:00pm.

For more information, please visit BIEPA's website here.


Fight for our Reef

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Join the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) in urging candidates to take a stand for the Great Barrier Reef.

The AMCS has developed a tool that lets you find and email local candidates in your area to stop Adani and support renewables.

For more information, visit AMCS' website here.


EDO Qld Law Alert: Saving the koala, Adani's NGWS, zipline victory and more

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Qld has developed a plan, along with other conservation groups, calling for an immediate moratorium on development and tree clearing in koala habitats across Queensland.

EDO Qld has also challenged the Federal Government's decision to assess Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme without investigating its impact on Australia’s water resources.

The Brisbane City Council has also withdrawn their support for the controversial Mt Coot-tha Zipline Project.

For more information on the above points, please click on the links provided.


Take action in the lead up to the election

Thursday, 18 April 2019

(Places You Love Alliance)

The Federal Election has been called for May 18, and many of you are ramping up your election campaign activities. Now more than ever is the time to ensure that nature laws are on the national political agenda. Asking questions of political candidates is an easy but very effective way to do this - see below.

The Greens’ environmental laws policy is out and it closely reflects our Alliance’s four key policy asks. We are now keenly awaiting detailed, costed policies from Labor and the Coalition, and will keep you updated with detailed policy analysis closer to the election.

Can you ask your local candidate a question?

The election campaign presents a great opportunity to put pressure on the major parties by asking candidates about their party’s position on nature laws.

We have a handy guide for asking candidate questions at candidates forums and shopping centres! Please share this resource with your supporters and networks and encourage them to start asking the hard questions. Remember this is a guide only and can be adapted to suit your use.

Source: http://www.placesyoulove.org/


The pressure is building!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

(News from BirdLife Australia)

We are only weeks out from the Federal election and the pressure for stronger nature laws continues to build.

New polls show that the environment is a top issue for voters, so let’s keep it in the minds of all candidates by asking them for a firm election commitment to stronger nature laws.

The groundswell of support for new environmental laws is palpable.

We felt it at our community events — from Melbourne and Brisbane to Perth and Adelaide. We spoke to hundreds of you, passionate individuals, sharing your own stories of our failing nature laws and how you are taking action to protect the birds and places you love. Thousands more have shown support by sharing stories, signing our petition, and emailing or speaking to their MP.

The most important thing that you can do between now and the election is make your voice heard. Email your MP and speak to your election candidates. Ask them to commit to protecting nature by fixing our broken nature laws. Tell them why this is important to you.

But the election isn’t the end of this fight. Once our elected leaders take office, we must hold them to account, ensuring that new, stronger environmental laws and independent institutions are implemented.

In the lead up to the election on 18th May, we must make sure our voices are heard, we must continue to Act for Birds!

Thank you for using your voice to Act for Birds,

Andrew Hunter

Conservation Campaigner

Source: https://birdlife.org.au/


Humane Society International welcomes the Australian Greens' bold plan to avert extinction crisis

Thursday, 18 April 2019

(Humane Society International Media Release)

Humane Society International (HSI) says the Australian Greens have grasped the seriousness of the extinction crisis facing Australia and have the plan that is necessary to avert it.

The Greens' environment policy released yesterday says they will establish a $2 billion a year Nature Fund and deploy strong new legislation and independent authorities to administer it.

HSI welcomes the commitment to desperately needed initiatives to recover threatened species and their habitats, which include fully funded recovery plans for every threatened species and a plan to address habitat destruction and climate change.

"The commitment to a new generation of environment laws with an independent watchdog and an Environment Commission to set standards, is urgently needed to protect the places and wildlife that Australians all love,” said Alexia Wellbelove, HSI Senior Campaigner.

HSI is a co-founding member of the Places You Love Alliance which has been calling for major environmental law reform for Australia.

"HSI calls on all federal political parties to match the legislative and financial ambition set out in the Greens' environment policy platform as we approach the federal election,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.

Media contact:

For interviews with Alexia Wellbelove, Senior Campaigner at HSI please contact: Benjamin Vozzo, HSI Communications Coordinator - 0450 258 057 or (02) 9973 1728

Source: https://hsi.org.au/


Less Waste, Less Plastic – More Solutions

Monday, 15 April 2019

(Boomerang Alliance)

Boomerang Alliance

The Boomerang Alliance and its 48 national, state and local NGOs allies have identified two critical environment issues for the next Commonwealth Government - Saving Recycling and Phasing Out Single Use Plastic Takeaway Products.

“Our message is ‘Less Waste, Less Plastic – More Solutions’. We are seeking commitments from all political parties to support policies that address these two issues of great concern to the community. The Commonwealth government has a major role to play,” said Jeff Angel, Director of the Boomerang Alliance.

“With Asian markets for recyclable materials from Australia closing down and local governments confronted with sending most of their kerbside recycling to landfill, it's time to recognise that this system Australians greatly value is under severe threat. The National Waste Policy (NWP), recently agreed upon with all States, tries to set out an agenda for the future, but its aims cannot be achieved without constructive investment and policy support.”

“Claims in a current affairs’ show last night that recycled plastics exported to other countries for recycling are not being actually or safely recycled are just another story feeding into a growing loss of confidence in recycling. Whether true or half true or not at all, government must confront our recycling crisis for the sake of our economy and environment.”

“This is the reason why Boomerang alliance has placed investment in domestic recycling at the top of our election asks. The Labor party have promised a $60 million investment in domestic recycling. We need committed funding from the Coalition too; as well as ‘Buy Australian Recycled Content’ rules.”

“At the same time the world is facing a plastic pollution epidemic caused by plastic wastes that can’t be reused, composted or recycled and end up in the ocean. Australia must play its part in breaking the dangerous plastic habit.”

“Without concerted and effective action, Australia is set to go back 50 years to the days when waste was dumped or burnt and the only things recycled were the bottles collected for a refund,” said Angel.

Funding for Recycling Industry Development Fund. We have asked for $150m. This fund will help develop a domestic reprocessing industry to recycle products collected by households and business as an alternative to sending them overseas; to landfill; or incineration. Included in this are proposals for tax incentives for business and government procurement policy to ‘buy recycled.’

Phase out date for single use takeaway plastics (coffee cups/lids, straws, cups and containers and cutlery). This follows the EU decision to phase out some key items in 2021 and increasing calls for similar action around the country. There are plenty of alternatives and will contribute to achieving the 2025 goals for all packaging to be composted or recycled.

National bans on plastic bags and plastic microbeads and introduce CDS in every State. This meets Commonwealth promises internationally and puts pressure on remaining states (Victoria and Tasmania) to act. The current voluntary microbead ban has not gone far enough and has loopholes.

The Product Stewardship Act should be strengthened by including eco-design requirements on packaging that minimise use and ensures packaging can be reused, composted or recycled. If we don’t make industry act, then local governments, waste industry and consumers and the environment will continue to suffer the cost of disposal and from litter.

Adopt a Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy. This is an on-going program to examine and find solutions to other single use plastics. It involves engagement with industry and community sectors in retail, agriculture, industry and marine environments.

Support global action and assist our pacific neighbours to address plastic waste and litter. We want the Commonwealth to be pro-actively involved in global initiatives and, in particular, look to provide specific bi-lateral funding to Pacific and near neighbours to assist with plastic litter clean up and development of community-based recycling operations.


Further Information:

Jeff Angel, mob: 0418 273 773

Toby Hutcheon (QLD Manager), mob: 0422 990 372

Authorised by Jeff Angel, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Source: https://www.boomerangalliance.org.au/


A Saga of Palm Oil, International Conflict, and Forest Destruction

Sunday, 14 April 2019

ALERT (Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers)

In September last year, Indonesian President Jokowi imposed a moratorium on new oil-palm plantations — a key driver of forest destruction in that mega-biodiversity nation.

Though only partially effective, Jokowi’s initiative was applauded by conservationists and scientists worldwide.

But now, barely six months later, Jokowi is threatening to renege on his much-praised moratorium. Why?

Massive Stakes

Jokowi’s threat is flat-out scary, given the alarming rate of forest loss in Indonesia and the key role that oil palm plays in deforestation.

From 2001 to 2017, Indonesia lost 24.4 million hectares of forest cover — an area larger than the United Kingdom — making it one of the worst forest-destroyers and greenhouse-gas emitters on Earth.

Borneo, in particular, is the epicenter of oil palm production. Since 2005 oil palm expansion has surpassed logging as the leading cause of Borneo deforestation.

Such rampant forest loss greatly imperils the enormous biodiversity and intensely high concentrations of endangered species in Indonesia.

What's happening

So why is Jokowi so upset?

He wants to punish the European Union — for daring to introduce a measure to phase out biofuels produced from palm oil by 2030.

The E.U.’s rather bungled experimentation with biofuels started in 2003, in an attempt to reduce their use of fossil fuels and greenhouse-gas emissions. They quickly became the biggest consumer of biofuels in the world.

But the Orangutan in the room is that the E.U. failed to realize just how much deforestation was caused by oil palm, both directly and indirectly (by displacing other land uses, such as rice or corn, that in turn felled yet more forest).

The E.U.’s biofuel spree was initially a bonanza for Indonesia and Malaysia, which together produce over 85 percent of the world’s palm oil. Industrial plantations and smallholders alike expanded already-massive estates into forests and carbon-rich peatlands to take advantage of the situation.

In response, alarmed environmental organizations and scientists warned that the E.U. was actually driving deforestation — producing far more greenhouse gases from forest destruction than they’d save by marginally reducing fossil-fuel use.

Hence, the E.U. now plans to phase out palm oil.

And that has made Indonesia and Malaysia very, very mad.

Blame for the E.U. too

As this saga unfolds, there’s plenty of blame to go around. The E.U.’s new policies are flawed because their palm oil “phase-out” does not in any way stop E.U. importers from buying palm oil from Indonesia – it only stops them from counting it toward their renewable-energy targets.

And if palm oil is certified as deforestation-free — which certain producers are able to do — then it can be freely bought by the E.U. too.

For their part, Indonesia and Malaysia have been playing hardball with the E.U. for many months, engaging in an increasingly shrill and heavy-handed lobbying effort.

It seems they are intent on deforesting, despite rhetoric to the contrary. Their tactics have shifted to promoting smaller and medium-sized producers collectively called “smallholders” — traditionally thought not to cause massive forest loss.

But smallholders now comprise over 50 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil estate, and they are one of the largest deforesters of all.

In fact, helping “smallholders” has become the catch-cry of the Nigeria-based Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, a lobbying group partly supported by climate-skeptics combating efforts to slow global warming.

Malaysia is now spending big money to get the Nigeria group to lobby the E.U. on its behalf. And if ever there was an industry-supported wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing, the Nigeria group is it.

Election Fever

On top of all this, President Jokowi faces a national election just days away, on April 17 — a fight for his political life. To survive he’s tried to appease the powerful palm-oil industry.

Almost overnight, he’s transformed from an environmental good-guy — someone who’s battled destructive wild fires and haze, tried to slow palm oil expansion, and promoted several other eco-smart measures — into a nationalistic mouthpiece for the oil palm industry.

He’s even threatening to give the E.U. the middle finger, instead selling Indonesia’s palm oil to China and India — massive consumers that are happy to buy palm oil regardless of its source or impact on forest destruction — so long as it’s as cheap as possible.

In a true pique of recklessness, Indonesia is even threatening to pull out of the Paris climate accords.

Let’s hope this ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ transformation of President Jokowi is temporary — a kind of ephemeral election madness that overtakes many politicians in the heat of battle.

If not, then the world will have a lot to worry about.

Take-home Lessons

President Jokowi’s oil-palm moratorium is far from perfect, with breaches of the current moratorium being reported almost daily.

But for all its faults, the moratorium has indeed slowed the rate of forest loss. It includes not just a freeze on new licences, but also a planned review of oil-palm licencing which, if actually implemented, would catch big and small illegal deforesters alike.

And for all its weaknesses, the E.U. ‘phase-out’ is a step in the right direction so long as it doesn’t open the door to other biofuel crops such as soy — much of which also comes from destroying forests.

So, let’s see whether President Jokowi gets re-elected on April 17. And if he does, let’s hope he leaves his moratorium in place.

And let’s watch Indonesia, Malaysia, and Europe closely — to see whether they pursue sustainable-development policies generally. Or effectively become forest-destroying puppets of their powerful agriculture lobbies.

Source: http://alert-conservation.org/


Special Edition - eNews Bulletin

Sunday, 14 April 2019

A special edition of the HOPE eNews Bulletin has been released for the month of April. It features several articles on member organisations of the Places You Love (PYL) Alliance - a network of 56 environment groups fighting for new environmental laws in 2019.

View the newsletter here.


Volunteers needed by HOPE!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

More active volunteers – both local and remote (i.e. online) – are required to help us maintain our level of activity. Volunteers are needed to help with projects, events and display activities, as well as general admin duties and media/publications work. We invite members and supporters to step up and volunteer some time and talents to help share the workload.

Current vacancies include: Researchers; Media Officers; Publications Team members; and Newsletter Editor

A fair portion of the above work would ideally be done by locals (i.e. in the Toowoomba area) because the HOPE office is in Toowoomba. However, quite a bit of the literature review, research, media and publications activity can be done via email. If you have a little bit of time to help us in any way, then contact the HOPE office on email office@hopeaustralia.org.au or phone (07) 4639 2135.

Please contact the office on 07 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au to offer your assistance.

Current volunteer positions available are:

  • Researchers – required to review and comment on a range of discussion papers, policy documents and reports provided by government departments, business and industry organisations and NGOs
  • Media Officers – required to write media releases, event notices, date claimers and design promotional flyers/posters for projects, campaigns, events and activities
  • Publications Team members – required to write information articles for our newsletter; website summaries; and assist with the development of PowerPoint presentations and information sheets
  • Newsletter Editor – required to write and/or source articles and other items for compilation into monthly E: News Bulletin

Campaign and support suggestions needed

Are you aware of any upcoming environmental or sustainability campaigns – big or small? HOPE wants to get behind the right campaigns and projects as much as we can. If you know of a local project in your community, or an environmental campaign that people might have heard of but aren’t sure how to help, please let us know. We can use our existing channels – our newsletter, social media, website and word of mouth – to show our support. If there is a particular theme or topic you are passionate about or want to hear more of, please also let us know – original ideas are always welcome too!

Please forward your suggestions to the HOPE office at office@hopeaustralia.org.au.


A National Strategy for Waste & Recycling can serve all Australians

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Despite Labor Party's commendable plan for a cleaner Australia, its decision to roll back the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) will potentially impact some of the leading recycling initiatives led by The National Waste Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC).

“Waste and recycling services are essential to all Australians. Therefore, it is critical that whichever party wins the upcoming Federal election – they work proactively with industry to create jobs, serve communities, protect workers and reduce pollution.”

To read the full article, click here.


2019 Federal Election: when you cast your vote, place the environment first!

Monday, 11 March 2019

The Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law (APEEL)'s review saw climate change, deforestation, the impacts of mining, decreased funding of key environment related departments and the unprotected marine environment as some of the major issues with Australia's current environmental legislation.

Read the full open letter by visiting the Media Activities page, or by clicking here.


Join us for The People's Climate Protest on 15 March 2019!

Friday, 26 February 2019

On Friday, 15 March 2019, HOPE Inc. invites you to support The People's Climate Protest, motivated by the evergrowing effects of climate change and the currently inadequate approach of the Federal Government to these issues.

Climate change not only impacts the environment, but also the socio-economic well-being of Australians - with the State Government emphasising the effects in the local region.

Read the full story here.


HOPE's Petition Calling on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

P E T I T I O N

Dear Citizens of Australia,

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. (Australia) has initiated a national e: petition calling on the Australian Federal Government to sign the United Nations (UN) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

HOPE, a member group of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANw) www.icanw.org fully supports the need to protect Australia, our residents and our environment from the threat of nuclear attacks

 “The almost 15,000 nuclear weapons represent an overwhelming threat to human and environmental health. They have the capacity to cause death and suffering on an unprecedented scale, with widespread destruction of healthcare and other infrastructure and the natural environment. In the event of their use again, very little humanitarian response would be available to assist any survivors.

Therefore, nuclear weapons must never be used again. The only way to ensure this is to abolish them.” (sourced from Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

WE DON’T WANT ANOTHER INTENTIONAL (OR ACCIDENTAL) CATASTROPHIC EPISODE LIKE THE BOMBINGs OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI (6 and 9 August 1945, respectively)!!!

With a Federal Election due later this year, we are asking Australian citizens to sign our e: petition which calls on the Australian Federal Government to sign the United Nations (UN) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

We further ask that current Australian Federal Parliamentarians and prospective candidates in this upcoming Federal election, also sign this e: petition.

The petition may be found at https://www.change.org/p/australian-government-support-the-un-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons.

We also ask that you circulate this petiton to your networks as we don’t just want 10’s of thousands of signatures, we want 100s of thousands of signatures to drive home the need for Australia to “shout out” for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 213