What's New?

18/10 2017

10 Years of Earth Hour

18/10 2017

Help Protect The Aussie Places We Love

15/10 2017

News from #breakfreefromplastic!

Plastic-Spitting Dragon Protests at Our Oceans Conference in Malta | © Bente Stachowske / Greenpeace

Our Ocean conference

On October 5th and 6th, the Our Ocean conference in Malta brought together royalty, governments and businesses to make bold commitments on ocean protection. Key #breakfreefromplastic movement members like Zero Waste Europe, Seas at Risk, Plastic Change International, and Greenpeace International made sure the conference was more than just talk and demanded binding action to address plastic pollution.

The iconic dragon spitting plastic waste from our recent Cleanup activities in Freedom Island, Europe, and around the world, called widespread attention to the need for rapid and ambitious policy and corporate accountability.

Global Coordinator, Von Hernandez discusses why we were in Malta, SHARE now!

Inside the conference, Nicky Davies, Program Director of the Plastic Solutions Fund, delivered a compelling presentation as part of a panel on marine pollution. Nicky’s speech was an effective counterweight to corporate commitments, none of which focused on the need for reduction and implementation of REAL zero-waste solutions!

other #breakfreefromplastic news...

Ban the Bead

ToothbrushThe Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) gathered key stakeholders from the health, environmental, and personal care sectors in Bangladesh to discuss the imminent threat of microplastic pollution. ESDO is set to pilot a project which aims to reduce or eliminate the use of microplastics to protect the Bay of Bengal.
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New Policy to Combat Waste

SMS staff led by Pratibha Sharma teaches residents in Mumbai on how to adopt a zero-waste model. Go Pratibha!
The city of Mumbai, India, which generates over 9,000 metric tons of garbage daily has a brand new policy to combat waste! Stree Mukti Sangathana, a women’s liberation group led by movement changemaker Pratibha Sharma (pictured above), teaches residents in Mumbai how to adopt zero-waste into their daily lives. Go Pratibha!
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11/10 2017

Eco-Business - News & Views

Editor's Choice

Around the world in an electric car

Wiebe Wakker—pictured here in Penang, Malaysia—is traveling from the Netherlands to Australia in an electric car, without any money. Image: Wiebe WakkerWhat's it like to travel the world in an electric car, relying on donations of food, lodging and electricity? Eco-Business spoke to 30 year-old Dutchman Wiebe Wakker about his 51,000km journey from the Netherlands to Australia.
Read now »

Does technology a smarter city make?

Will the fourth industrial revolution bring about a more sustainable world? From left: Eco-Business's Jessica Cheam, Surbana Jurong Consultants' Tan Szue Hann, Government Technology Agency's Vivien Chow, and Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University's Subodh Mhaisalkar.Cost and culture have been big barriers to the adoption of more smart and sustainable solutions in cities. But is technology the cure-all we think it is anyway? Experts debated this at a forum held by Eco-Business and BMW.
Read now »

Australia's energy must be two-thirds renewable to meet 2030 climate target

Wind turbines in Victoria, Australia. Renewable energy made up 13 per cent of Australia's energy mix in 2016. Image: Rodney Campbell, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Australia has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2030. A five-fold increase in the share of renewables in its energy mix by then is the cheapest way to meet this goal, new research has found.
Read now »


All News

World can meet growing food demands and limit warming to 1.5C

Farmer dries rice in front of her home in Kampung Thum, Cambodia. Image: De kleine rode kater, CC BY 2.0Carbon emissions from agriculture can be significantly cut while still meeting the food demands of the world’s growing population, a new study says.
Read now »


All Opinion

Solar power alone won't solve energy or climate needs

A portable solar panel system is set up next to a building in Mongolia. Solar energy systems on average deliver between 10 to 12 per cent of installed capacity. Image: Dave Lawrence/World Bank, CC BY-NC-NDThe tumbling prices of solar technology has helped to kick-start the clean energy revolution, but it’s not the silver bullet to solving climate change. Jatin Nathwani from the University of Waterloo explains why.
Read now »

Eco-Business » Newsletter »

11/10 2017

Land Clearing Alliance message to HOPE

Getting involved in the Queensland Land Clearing Alliance

Dear Friends of the Environment,

As you may have seen, land clearing in Queensland just got a whole load worse, and it was already really bad. Official data released last week showed a 33% increase in clearing in2015/16. This included a 45% increase in GBR catchment clearing, and the further decimation of regional ecosystems such as the Brigalow Belt. Peri urban clearing is also a major ongoing problem for wildlife and critical habitat. Right now, every second we have a tree destroyed and an animal killed in Queensland from clearing.

Thanks to all of you who have already helped get this message out. The campaign to raise and re-awaken community awareness about land clearing is swinging into action...but we need to make sure Queenslanders are reminded of the scale of the problem and the need for stronger laws complemented by initiatives for forest and woodland retention and carbon farming.

The Queensland Land Clearing Alliance, which makes up a number of conservation and wildlife carer groups has produced a 10 Point Plan to Reduce Tree Clearing:

  1. Use all available means to immediately protect forests and woodlands currently under threat from tree clearing, including declarations prohibiting clearing in sensitive Queensland areas;
  2. Permanently protect remnant/old-growth forests and woodlands from being cleared;
  3. Permanently protect high conservation value forests and woodlands from tree clearing;
  4. Apply a consistent approach to protection of forests and woodlands across all sectors responsible for excessive tree clearing (including agriculture, urban development and mining);
  5. Ensure strong monitoring, enforcement and resourcing of tree clearing laws;
  6. Remove high risk self-assessable clearing codes, particularly for ‘thinning’;
  7. Continue to improve mapping for vegetation and halt exemptions via property maps;
  8. Establish a land carbon fund and resource relevant state departments to research land carbon opportunities for Queensland land holders;
  9. Ensure all clearing is referred to the Australian Government for approval, if it is likely to impact on protected matters under Federal environmental law;
  10. Commit to regular (minimum annual) full reporting of clearing data and impacts.

Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) is a lead coordinating organisation in the Alliance, and our aim is to provide information and advice about the issues and solutions, assist with things like photos of clearing and impacted wildlife, and support for media and comms. If your organisation would like to be part of the Queensland Land Clearing Alliance, please let me know asap.

Even if you don’t wish to be part of the Alliance, you can still play an important role in helping to get the message out there on social and news media, and by talking about the issues in your organisations and communities.

Thanks for all you do for nature protection and climate action.


Dr Tim Seelig, QCC Coordinator
Queensland Conservation Council
9/10 Thomas Street, West End, QLD 4101
Email: tim.seelig@qldconservation.org.au

10/10 2017

Invitation to proposed 2018 FREE Going Solar Forums

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Invitation to proposed 2018 FREE Information Forums on "Going Solar - On/Off Grid with Battery Storage"

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc., with the technical expertise provided by ACDC Energy, is proposing to stage a series of free information forums on “Going Solar – On/Off Grid with Battery Storage” in 2018.

ACDC Energy will outline the benefits of ‘going solar and/or upgrading your existing system’, and of the options available for the purchase and installation of solar PV and battery storage systems. ACDC Energy will provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions such as “solar power; battery storage; on/off grid … how does it all work?”

They will also offer expert advice for those looking for basic energy management, through to people considering going completely off the grid.

Solar systems are not just for domestic premises. Business owners, school representatives and community groups would be encouraged to come along to learn about how solar might benefit their organisations said Mr Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc.

Some advantages of solar include savings on electricity bills. Once a system is installed it costs virtually nothing to operate, saving you money on your power bills. Solar also benefits the environment by providing clean energy - for every 1kw of solar installed a tonne of C02 is saved every year, added Mr Ondrus.

Expressions of interest are now being sought from anyone interested in attending one of the proposed information forums.

Please register your interest by contacting HOPE at office@hopeaustralia.org.au

Frank Ondrus, President - HOPE Inc.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 2135

10/10 2017

National Recycling Week : 13 - 19 November 2017

All you need to know for National Recycling Week plus carbon neutral workplaces and living sustainably tips

5 ways to start your environmental sustainability journey today

Coffee Cup_Keep Cup © Keep CupAre you finding that you're becoming more and more aware of environmental issues, want to do your part but feeling overwhelmed about where to start? We've got you sorted.
Find our more …

Fight waste and get a bargain at the Big Aussie Swap

Big Ausssie SwapPlanet Ark is calling on Australians to join the War on Waste and take part in the Big Aussie Swap during National Recycling Week from 13th - 19th November, as councils, community groups and individuals around the country get on board.
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Have a fun fling!

Friday File FlingThe Friday File Fling, supported by Planet Ark 100% Australian Recycled Paper is a fun, easy and a great way to de-clutter your office. And a perfect fit for an office team engagement activity, just add drinks and nibbles!
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Celebrating more than 10 years being Carbon Neutral

Wind turbineBusinesses have the opportunity to set themselves apart by showing true leadership in sustainability. Printing and marketing firm, Finsbury Green, is one who has certainly taken the lead. With a robust environmental strategy that has been developed over 15 years, they have some impressive environmental achievements.
Find our more …

Planet Ark » National Recycling Week »

Land Clearing Alliance Statement

New dramatic escalation in tree clearing in Queensland shows why stronger laws must be passed

  • New data shows disastrous increase in deforestation / tree clearing rates, resulting in millions of native animals including our iconic koala being killed and injured
  • Newman LNP Government’s gutting of tree laws 4 years ago a critical factor
  • Campaign for stronger laws against tree clearing to be feature of the state election

The latest Queensland Statewide Landcover and Tree Survey (SLATS) has just been released by the State government, indicating that 395,000 hectares of land was cleared in Queensland in the last twelve months for which we have data. This report shows a further dramatic rise in clearing of forests, woodlands and trees in Queensland between 2015-2016.

Clearing has risen by another 33% over the previous year, and the published data are still at least one year behind real time suggesting things could be far worse still today.

Organisations including WWF-Australia, the Wilderness Society and the Queensland Conservation Council have responded with a renewed call for stronger laws to save Queensland’s unique wildlife - before it’s too late.

Queensland is in the midst of a hidden environmental crisis from deforestation, said Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman.
These new figures are shocking, putting Queensland up there with the world’s worst offenders for forest destruction. More than 1 million hectares of bush, forest and trees have been razed since our laws were weakened: that’s an area the size of the Gabba bulldozed every three minutes for the last 4 years.

Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig said: Queensland’s tree clearing crisis just got a whole load worse. This is yet another reminder of the scale of the problem we have with land clearing in this state, and why we must make our land clearing laws much better and more effective in protecting native wildlife.

The current Parliament has frustrated attempts to do this, and in the meantime ever larger areas of Queensland are being destroyed by the bulldozers.

The next Queensland Government needs to commit to strengthening laws on tree-clearing, protect wildlife and bushland and ensure a future for species such as the endangered koala. We will be looking closely at the environmental policies of the parties and candidates contesting the next election and assessing those policies in terms of capacity to practically reduce the level of land clearing in Queensland, and otherwise protect natural habitats and wildlife.

WWF-Australia Protected Areas and Conservation Science Manager Dr Martin Taylor said: Excessive tree clearing destroys our forests and bushland, kills and injures millions of native animals, including the endangered koala, and threatens the Great Barrier Reef through muddy runoff. We need stronger laws to protect our landscapes and forests, our food and water supplies, our soils and climate. If we lose these animals, we can’t get them back. They’re gone forever.

We already know that at least 84,000 ha of critical Queensland habitat for koalas was cleared in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 years. With the total area bulldozed leaping up by 33% statewide we expect even more koala habitat has been destroyed in the period of this new report. That means hundreds of koalas killed, injured and homeless. Losing Queensland's faunal emblem would be a tragedy.

Vanda Grabowski from Koala Action Inc said: We see the horrible consequences of clearing. I’ve raised over 50 rescued koalas personally, many of whom come back to me dead, sometimes within months, because they don’t have enough habitat left in which to survive after the area has been cleared. I see the direct results of deforestation and it breaks my heart. All the time I put in is wiped out by human interference. It’s heartbreaking especially when you know the government could easily stop this happening.

Environmental Defenders Office Qld law reform solicitor Revel Pointon said: In the meantime, we need the government to act right now to protect our wildlife, avoid dangerous climate change and meet our Reef 2050 commitments.

Firstly, the government needs to get rid of the worst of the previous government’s unsustainable self-assessable codes, such as the thinning code, which allows the majority of broadscale clearing now allowed in Queensland without assessment. Secondly, the government could be declaring restrictions on clearing over particularly sensitive areas, like reef catchments, that require immediate protection from their current exposure under the significantly weakened clearing laws.

The alliance comprises the Queensland Conservation Council, WWF-Australia, the Wilderness Society, the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Queensland, the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Gecko Environment Council, Mackay Conservation Group, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), the Queensland Koala Crusaders, and Koala Action Inc. Together these groups represent tens of thousands of Queenslanders.

The alliance is calling on all political parties to back the push for stronger tree-clearing laws to better protect remnant and other high conservation value woodlands and habitats, and to use a range of means to strengthen legal protections, remove risky self-assessments, support better enforcement, clearing monitoring and reporting.

Tim Seelig, Coordinator
Queensland Conservation Council

Check out this infographic highlighting the scale of the issues:

QCC landclearing infographic
View | Download

08/10 2017

The truth about gas

The Australia Institute has been hard at work debunking the gas lies and econobabble.

Because the simple the truth is, we have enough cheap easy-to-extract gas in Australia to last 100 years. As Australia Institute advisor, Mark Ogge, wrote in Crikey -- there's just one problem: private corporations are selling it all overseas.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? But it’s true. In the last decade, tens of thousands of square kms of Queensland farmland has been covered in gas fields.

The export gas rush in Australia is one of the largest and fastest expansions of a gas industry ever seen, anywhere in the world. We are awash with gas. The problem is we are allowing almost all of the cheap and 'easy-to-get-at' gas to be sent overseas.

When Gov strikes deal with gas exporters for domestic supply is a headline trumpeted by the media as a Coalition win, you know there's a problem somewhere.

Are we as a community really expected to believe that it's generous of gas exporters to let Australians use their own gas?

And as Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Frydenberg turn up the heat on the Northern Territory Government, our Director of Research, Rod Campbell hit back on ABC's PM , saying the Federal Government's arguments are pure politics, and not based on economics.

And as Executive Director Ben Oquist said on SkyNews, it is a total, deliberate distraction to be beating up on communities who want to protect their groundwater and farmland, like those in Narrabri, to suggest they are responsible for the gas shortage.

Three important points to remember about the so-called gas crisis:

  1. The 'gas crisis' is not about abundance of gas, it's about price of gas. It's a gas price crisis.
  2. We have tripled the amount of gas supply in eastern Australia. As a nation we've seen one of the biggest gas booms in the history of the planet, and yet we're being told we're running out.
  3. This is all about the politics of: who allowed gas exports in the first place, who should have done something since, and what can be done in the coming months.

The thing is, despite the outrageous gas prices Australian households are paying, our research shows voters back state fracking bans.

In fact, as reported in The Guardian Australia Institute research shows twice as many Australians support a moratorium on fracking in their respective states than oppose.

So the good news is despite the Turnbull Government continuing to use states and state-based fracking restrictions as a scapegoat for gas prices, our research shows voters aren't buying it.

~ The Australia Institute Team

P.S. This isn't new, Richard Denniss has written numerous pieces about the gas price crisis and how we got here. Back in March he wrote this blistering op-ed in the Fairfax media, Where Did All the Gas Go? likening the current gas price crisis to the Irish potato famine:

"Just as the Irish exported huge quantities of food during the famine that cost nearly one million lives, Australia is exporting record amounts of gas in the middle of an alleged 'energy crisis'."
"You can see why Mr Turnbull would rather blame the states and environmentalists than explain clearly that so-called 'free trade' has losers as well as winners. But such blame shifting will do nothing to lower gas prices, or help avoid blackouts next summer."

And in his essay in The Monthly, Feeding the Beast, Richard explores the cosy relationship between gas lobbyists and our energy policy, writing:

"Politics will decide how much harm the gas industry can do to our farms, our environment and our other industries. That’s why ex-politicians are so important to it."

P.S.S. Sadly, our report Cooking up a Price Rise published four years ago in July 2013 also predicted a gas price crisis, saying at the time:

"Gas prices in eastern Australia are going to rise substantially. These price rises are not driven by a lack of supply but rather by an increase in demand. Once the eastern Australian gas market is connected to the world gas market, domestic gas producers will be able to sell at the world netback price – also known as the export parity price – which is substantially higher than current gas prices."
The Australia Institute » Read on Medium »

08/10 2017

RenewEconomy | A very important question

Why are we still pursuing the Adani Carmichael mine?

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gautam Adani are still resolved to press ahead with the Carmichael mine, with taxpayers’ help. AAP Image/Cameron Laird

Why, if Adani’s gigantic Carmichael coal project is so on-the-nose for the banks and so environmentally destructive, are the federal and Queensland governments so avid in their support of it?

Once again the absurdity of building the world’s biggest new thermal coal mine was put in stark relief on Monday evening via an ABC Four Corners investigation, Digging into Adani.

Where the ABC broke new ground was in exposing the sheer breadth of corruption by this Indian energy conglomerate. And its power too. The TV crew was detained and questioned in an Indian hotel for five hours by police.

It has long been the subject of high controversy that the Australian government, via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) that is still contemplating a A$1 billion subsidy for Adani’s rail line, a proposal to freight the coal from the Galilee Basin to Adani’s port at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef.

But more alarming still, and Four Corners touched on this, is that the federal government is also considering using taxpayer money to finance the mine itself, not just the railway.

No investors in sight

As private banks have walked away from the project, the only way Carmichael can get finance is with the government providing guarantees to a private banking syndicate, effectively putting taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in project finance.

The prospect is met with the same incredulity in India as it is here in Australia:

Watching on from Delhi, India’s former Environment Minister can’t believe what he is seeing
Ultimately, it’s the sovereign decision of the Australian Government, the federal government and the state government
But public money is involved, and more than public money, natural resources are involved
I’m very, very surprised that the Australian government, uh, for whatever reason, uh, has uh, seen it fit, uh, to all along handhold Mr Adani.

Here we have a project that does not stack up financially, and whose profits – should it make any – are destined for tax haven entities controlled privately by Adani family interests. Yet the Queensland government has shocked local farmers and environmentalists by gifting Adani extremely generous water rights, and royalties concessions to boot.

Why are Australian governments still in support?

The most plausible explanation is simply politics and political donations. There is no real-time disclosure of donations and it is relatively easy to disguise them, as there is no disclosure of the financial accounts of state and federal political parties either. Payments can be routed through opaque foundations, the various state organisations, and other vehicles.

Many Adani observers believe there must be money involved, so strident is the support for so unfeasible a project. The rich track record of Adani bribing officials in India, as detailed by Four Corners, certainly points that way. But there is little evidence of it.

In the absence of proof of any significant financial incentives however, the most compelling explanation is that neither of the major parties is prepared to be wedged on jobs, accused of being anti-business or anti-Queensand.

There are votes in Queensland’s north at stake. Furthermore, the fingerprints of Adani’s lobbyists are everywhere.

Adani lobbyist and Bill Shorten’s former chief of staff Cameron Milner helped run the re-election campaign of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. This support, according to The Australian, has been given free of charge:

Mr Milner is volunteering with the ALP while keeping his day job as director and registered lobbyist at Next Level Strategic Services, which counts among its clients Indian miner Adani…
The former ALP state secretary held meetings in April and May with Ms Palaszczuk and her chief of staff David Barbagallo to negotiate a government royalties deal for Adani, after a cabinet factional revolt threatened the state’s largest mining project.

Adani therefore enjoys support and influence on both sides of politics. Next Level Strategic Services co-director David Moore — an LNP stalwart who was Mr Newman’s chief of staff during his successful 2012 election campaign — is also expected to volunteer with the LNP campaign.

So it is that Premier Palaszczuk persists with discredited claims that Carmichael will produce 10,000 jobs when Adani itself conceded in a court case two years ago the real jobs number would be but a fraction of that.

If the economics don’t stack up, why is Adani still pursuing the project?

The Adani group totes an enormous debt load, the seaborne thermal coal market is in structural decline as new solar capacity is now cheaper to build than new coal-fired power plants and the the government of India is committed to phasing out coal imports in the next three years.

Why flood the market with 60 million tonnes a year in new supply and further depress the price of one of this country’s key export commodities?

The answer to this question lies in the byzantine structure of the Adani companies themselves. Adani already owns the terminal at Abbot Point and it needs throughput to make it financially viable.

Both the financial structures behind the port and the proposed railway are ultimately controlled in tax havens: the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Singapore. Even if Adani Mining and its related Indian entities upstream, Adani Enterprises and Adani Power, lose money on Carmichael, the Adani family would still benefit.

The port and rail facilities merely clip the ticket on the volume of coal which goes through them. The Adani family then still profits from the privately-controlled infrastructure, via tax havens, while shareholders on the Indian share market shoulder the likely losses from the project.

As the man who used to be India’s most powerful energy bureaucrat, E.A.S. Sharma, told the ABC: My assessment is that by the time the Adani coal leaves the Australian coast the cost of it will be roughly about A$90 per tonne.

We cannot afford that, it is so expensive.

More questions than answers remain

This renders the whole project even more bizarre. Why would the government put Australian taxpayers on the hook for a project likely to lose billions of dollars when the only clear beneficiaries are the family of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani and his Caribbean tax havens.

My view is that this project is a white elephant and will not proceed. Given the commitment by our elected leaders however, it may be that some huge holes in the earth may still be dug before it falls apart.

RebnewEconomy » The Conversation »

07/10 2017

HOPE congratulates iCANw on their Nobel Peace Prize

iCANw (International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons) wins Nobel Peace Prize 2017

Nobel Peace Prize 2017

It is a great honour to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 in recognition of our role in achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This historic agreement, adopted on 7 July with the backing of 122 nations, offers a powerful, much-needed alternative to a world in which threats of mass destruction are allowed to prevail and, indeed, are escalating.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries. By harnessing the power of the people, we have worked to bring an end to the most destructive weapon ever created – the only weapon that poses an existential threat to all humanity.

This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth.

It is a tribute also to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions around the world, whose searing testimonies and unstinting advocacy were instrumental in securing this landmark agreement.

The treaty categorically outlaws the worst weapons of mass destruction and establishes a clear pathway to their total elimination. It is a response to the ever-deepening concern of the international community that any use of nuclear weapons would inflict catastrophic, widespread and long-lasting harm on people and our living planet.

We are proud to have played a major role its creation, including through advocacy and participation in diplomatic conferences, and we will work assiduously in coming years to ensure its full implementation. Any nation that seeks a more peaceful world, free from the nuclear menace, will sign and ratify this crucial accord without delay.

The belief of some governments that nuclear weapons are a legitimate and essential source of security is not only misguided, but also dangerous, for it incites proliferation and undermines disarmament. All nations should reject these weapons completely – before they are ever used again.

This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.

We applaud those nations that have already signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we urge all others to follow their lead. It offers a pathway forward at a time of alarming crisis. Disarmament is not a pipe dream, but an urgent humanitarian necessity.

We most humbly thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee. This award shines a needed light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons. Before it is too late, we must take that path.

07/10 2017

Homeless and Helpless - Native Wildlife Need Our Help

Hi Friend of the Environment

This week, the Queensland Government released the latest figures from the State Land-cover And Trees Survey . The results are horrifying - but not unexpected. In just one year, nearly 400,000 hectares of native Australian wildlife habitat has been bulldozed in Queensland. That is one tree ripped up every second, one animal killed every second.

The rate of land clearing has gone up 33% compared to the previous year. Enough is enough… We need stronger land clearing laws in Queensland! With the state election looming, there has never been a more important time to come together and make sure our politicians stick to their promises and strengthen land clearing legislation.

This time around, we need to make sure that tree clearing and wildlife protection are high on the election agenda. Help us out by donating today. Your donation of $50 will get this important message out to another 8,000 people! With your help, we can build a state-wide movement to demand strong action on land clearing and save our native wildlife.

The time is now to take action on land clearing. Every donation, petition signature, and offer to volunteer makes a huge difference. We can't win this without you!

Yours for the environment,

Tim Seelig, QCC Coordinator
Queensland Conservation Council

06/10 2017

Ecosystem Services review paper from Costanza et al

Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go?


It has been 20 years since two seminal publications about ecosystem services came out: an edited book by Gretchen Daily and an article in Nature by a group of ecologists and economists on the value of the world’s ecosystem services. Both of these have been very highly cited and kicked off an explosion of research, policy, and applications of the idea, including the establishment of this journal. This article traces the history leading up to these publications and the subsequent debates, research, institutions, policies, on-the-ground actions, and controversies they triggered. It also explores what we have learned during this period about the key issues: from definitions to classification to valuation, from integrated modelling to public participation and communication, and the evolution of institutions and governance innovation. Finally, it provides recommendations for the future. In particular, it points to the weakness of the mainstream economic approaches to valuation, growth, and development. It concludes that the substantial contributions of ecosystem services to the sustainable wellbeing of humans and the rest of nature should be at the core of the fundamental change needed in economic theory and practice if we are to achieve a societal transformation to a sustainable and desirable future.

View/download paper »

Prof. Robert Costanza | VC's Chair in Public Policy | The Australian National University | Crawford School of Public Policy | Website: www.robertcostanza.com, Google Scholar, Research Gate, Scopus

Co-Editor in Chief, Solutions (www.thesolutionsjournal.com) | Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (RSA) | Fellow, Asia and the Pacific Policy Society | Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm, Sweden | Senior Fellow, National Council on Science and the Environment, Washington, DC. | Affiliate Fellow, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont | Co-chair, Ecosystem Services Partnership (es-partnership.org) | deTao Master of Ecological Economics, deTao Masters Academy, Shanghai, China

03/10 2017

Save Australia's ecological research

Ecologists protest Australia’s plans to cut funding for environment-monitoring network

Scientists say the move will reduce the country’s capacity to predict future ecosystem changes.

Theo Allofs/Getty Images
Field sites in the Simpson Desert are part of Australia's Long Term Ecological Research Network.

Every year since 1990, ecologist Glenda Wardle of the University of Sydney has ventured to the same ex>panse of desert in central Australia to take stock of its flora and fauna. But this year may be the last time Wardle can collect data from the 8,000-square-kilometre site in the Simpson Desert. The consortium that operates her research area and 11 other long-term sites, comprising more than 1,100 individual field plots, will stop funding this network by the end of the year because of budget cuts and shifting priorities, say its leaders.

Without this money, which covers a large portion of the operating costs at these sites, 6 of the 12 will probably close, says ecologist David Lindenmayer, who is the science director of the network and is based at the Australian National University in Canberra. This would break time-series data that scientists have collected over decades, he says.

It’s a foolish decision given the environmental effects that are occurring throughout the world, and especially in Australia, says Gene Likens, an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Without the information collected at these long-term sites, he says, it will be impossible to know how to manage these landscapes effectively under climate change.

Other researchers, however, concede that tight budgets mean that not all facilities can be funded.

As Australia plans to cut its ecosystem-surveillance network, other countries are expanding theirs. The US National Science Foundation, for example, announced in March that it would expand its own network of 25 long-term ecological research (LTER) sites by adding 3 new ones. Terminating Australia’s LTER network is totally out of step with international trends and national imperatives, wrote Lindenmayer and 68 authors in a letter published in Science1 on 11 August. They say urgent and direct investment by the Australian government is crucial.

Budget cuts

The cuts in Australia follow years of piecemeal support for ecological research infrastructure. Only five years ago, the government tasked a consortium known as the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) with bringing together the country’s existing LTER sites. The dozen sites in the resulting Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) cover deserts, rainforest, savannahs and alpine regions and collect data to answer questions specific to each ecosystem. The oldest field locations have been running continuously for 73 years.

In June, TERN director Beryl Morris and chair of the advisory board Lyn Beazley sent a letter to LTERN’s executive director, Emma Burns, stating that the network would not be funded beyond 2017. I was completely blindsided, says Burns, an ecologist at the Australian National University.

Burns says the reason given for cutting LTERN's funding, along with support for a complementary ecosystem-modelling facility known as eMAST, was so that TERN could meet the needs of the government’s planned environmental prediction system while staying within its budget, which is Aus$6 million (US$4.7 million) for 2016–17, a decrease of more than 50% since 2010–11. The government did not respond to questions from Nature about the future of LTERN.

Morris, who is based at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, where TERN is administered, says that TERN is funded as research infrastructure and must now develop an environmental prediction system open to all researchers. To do that, she says, it must collect data on a continental scale that is generalized, not bespoke, so you can predict from it.

But Burns says the local and international scientific communities do not agree that TERN can deliver an environmental prediction system without LTERN. Time-series data and modelling are essential to a prediction system, says Wardle.

Michael Mirtl, who chairs the International LTER Network and is based at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany, says the network’s closure will be a loss for groups in other countries that looked to Australia for guidance on how to integrate an LTER network and other surveillance systems with data processing and modelling systems. I think many people in Australia making decisions were simply not aware of how excellent the Australian achievement was in the field, says Mirtl.

Experimental design

Plans to withdraw funding from LTERN resurrect an ongoing debate in ecology about whether it is better to invest limited resources for environmental forecasting in broad-scale surveillance — generating lots of data by taking the same measurements in the same way at sites across the landscape — or in targeted ecological monitoring, which looks for drivers of change in specific ecosystems.

Likens says that standardized surveillance and instruments are useful, but he and others, such as Lindenmayer, believe that monitoring should be driven by researchers asking questions that answer problems. In the tropics of northern Queensland, for example, cyclones are the main driver of environmental change, whereas in parts of inland Australia, cattle grazing is the biggest factor. That means you can’t just measure the same things in different environments, says Lindenmayer.

Ecologist Ben Sparrow of the University of Adelaide and environmental chemist Mike Liddell of James Cook University in Cairns, both of whom direct other TERN facilities, say TERN doesn’t have the money to keep all its facilities running. Sparrow says that arguing over the merits of broad-scale surveillance and targeted monitoring is not constructive: both systems are necessary for understanding the environment, as is remote sensing using satellites. The fundamental point is the lack of resourcing from the government, says Sparrow.


  1. Lindenmayer, D. et al. Science 357, 557 (2017).
View article on Nature

02/10 2017

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Jerry Coleby-Williams profile photoBorn in London to a family of gardeners and farmers, Jerry Coleby-Williams has been passionate about plants since he was four years old.

Coleby-Williams fell in love with Australia after being awarded a scholarship to study West Australian flora in 1982. Captivated by the native plant life, 'unspoiled' landscapes and Australian people, he decided to emigrate in 1992.

Since then, Coleby-Williams has become one of the nation's foremost authorities on conservation and horticultural matters – serving as horticultural consultant for Queensland Conservation's first official policies on food and grey water use, as well as drafting the proposed management of weeds on Lord Howe Island, consulting for the renovation of several of Sydney's parks and gardens, managing the estate of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, and much more.

Since 1999, Coleby-Williams has also been a regular presenter on ABC TV's Gardening Australia, and is highly involved in horticultural publishing, being a writer and consultant for Gardening Australia Magazine.

Check out his superb site & blog: Jerry Coleby-Williams | Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

(And we gratefully acknowledge that Jerry is Patron of HOPE.)

01/10 2017

Why Won't Australia Stop Illegal Timber Imports?

Why make laws without the political will to enforce them?

Five years ago, Australia passed a national law requiring its wood-products importers to take reasonable precautions not to import stolen, illegally harvested or bribery-bought timber into the country.

This crucial law, paralleling similar legislation in the US and Europe, is designed to help save rare ecosystems and wildlife species in timber-producing nations, such as Papua New Guinea or Indonesia, while making it harder for ruthless timber thieves to undercut honest timber producers.

Remarkably, although the law was passed five years ago, to date there’s been absolutely no enforcement in Australia. The conservative political leaders in power know that enormous quantities of illegal timber are being imported, but they haven’t levied a single fine, arrest or infraction.

This brief story from SBS, the national Australian news show, is definitely worth watching.

Please share the message with others interested in the battle to stop illegal logging.

All best,


William F. Laurance, PhD, FAA, FAAAS, FRSQ
Distinguished Research Professor
Australian Laureate & Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation (Emeritus)

Director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS)

Director of ALERT (ALERT-conservation.org)

29/09 2017

QCOSS | Energy Forums

Switch On ... in your community

In the dark about your electricity bills?

Join us to find out how to save money on your power bills

  • Are you receiving all the government energy rebates you are entitled to?
  • Would you like to understand what you can do to manage your energy use and costs?
  • Do you have your own energy saving tips to share with others in your community?

Bring your bill along to this free event to learn more about how you can save energy and money.

There will be two short information sessions at 3:30pm and 5.30pm, followed by opportunities to have a conversation about your energy bills, learn how to read your bill, how to work out the cost of using appliances and share tips for saving energy.

Afternoon tea will be provided from 3pm with some hot food from 5pm.

These are free public event and everyone is welcome.

Make sure you bring your own bill along too for a chance to win some great prizes.

Switch On events will run in the following locations, please register by clicking on your location below:

City Golf Club, 254 South St, 12 October - 3pm to 7pm
Rockhampton Leagues Club, Cnr George & Cambridge St, 19 October - 3pm to 7pm
RSL Diggers Club, 42 Blackwood Rd, 13 November - 3pm to 7pm
Town Hall, Kent Street, 2 November - 3pm to 7pm
Show Grounds(TBC), 9 November - 3pm to 7pm
Sunshine Coast
Caloundra RSL Services Club, 19 West Terrace, 21 November 3pm to 7pm
Northreach Baptist Church, 23 November, 3pm to 7pm
Gold Coast
Currumbin RSL, 165 Durington Street, 27 November 3pm to 7pm

29/09 2017

Report on coal-fired power stations | EJA

Toxic and terminal

Toxic and terminal: How the regulation of coal-fired power stations fails Australian communities. is an important piece of research

Based on a study of a number of coal fired power stations across Australia, including Gladstone and Stanwell in Queensland, by EJA.

The report shows Australia’s power stations are allowed to emit far more pollution than those in the US and Europe, operators are failing to adopt available pollution reduction technologies and one even admitted to falsifying pollution reports.

Nearly 900,000 Australians in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria live dangerously close to coal-fired power stations that cause asthma and respiratory illnesses and increase the likelihood of stroke and heart attack, the report by Environmental Justice Australia has found.

And those 900,000 living in close proximity to the power stations are not the only ones affected – emissions from the five NSW power stations account for 87% of Sydney’s sulfur dioxide pollution.

Toxic and terminal: How the regulation of coal-fired power stations fails Australian communities. is the result of exhaustive research, Freedom of Information searches, surveillance of Australia’s major power stations and advice from health experts and industry whistleblowers. The report finds:

  • Coal-fired power stations emit more than 30 toxic substances and are Australia’s biggest source of fine particles (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx).
  • In most cases emissions limits in Australia are much more lax than those in the US, EU and China.
  • Mercury limits for some NSW power stations are 666 times higher than the US limits.
  • Pollution reduction technologies that have been available for many years and are used overseas could significantly reduce power station emissions but are not in use in Australia.
  • New coal-fired power stations, even those described as ‘ultra-super critical’ or ‘HELE’ (high efficiency, low emission) only marginally reduce toxic emissions
  • A representative of Yallourn power station admitted that at times of excessive pollution it ‘simplified’ its reporting by stating it was emitting at levels that correspond with its licence.
  • Despite much evidence of failure to comply with pollution licence conditions, no power station in Victoria, NSW or Queensland has been prosecuted for any offence in the past ten years (instead they have been issued with inadequate penalty notices).

The report recommends the Federal Government to commission an independent study into the health impacts of Australia’s coal-fired power stations, and calls on state governments to require all power stations to urgently reduce their toxic pollution in line with international best practice.

EJA » Media Release » Find out more »

28/09 2017

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is back!


Spring has well and truly sprung, and birds are singing and nesting – ready to be counted for BirdLife Australia's fourth annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

The #AussieBirdCount is a great way to connect with the birds in your backyard, no matter where your backyard might be — a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, a farm, down by the beach, or the main street of town. Your backyard can be anywhere you find birds.

It only takes 20 minutes and the data collected helps BirdLife Australia to better understand the birds living where people live. And as a little extra incentive, there are some incredible prizes to be won!

It’s easy to get involved. You can:

  • Register your interest as a Counter now through the website
  • Download the free Aussie Bird Count app from Google Play or the iTunes app store
  • If you already have the Aussie Bird Count app from last year, there’s no need to delete it – an update is available on 1 October
  • You can also submit your counts through the website if you prefer not to use a smartphone or tablet to take part
  • And if you're a teacher, check out our Bird Count curriculum-based lesson plans to get your students (or the whole school!) involved

If you’ve taken part before and are registered for this year why not introduce someone to the wonderful world of birding through this easy, fun, all-ages event?

If you have questions about the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, please head to our FAQ page, where you’ll find more information about registering, participating, and troubleshooting.

28/09 2017

Tonight's Four Corners is about Adani!

WATCH the upcoming explosive 4Corners on Adani Mon 2 Oct

Adani is not a company we can trust to build one of the most environmentally destructive projects in Australian history. It cannot be trusted to care for workers, local communities, our precious water, the Great Barrier Reef or to pay back a $1 billion loan of taxpayers’ money.

Next Monday night (October 2nd), ABC’s investigative team from Four Corners will be exposing Adani’s shonky business dealings and reliance on tax havens as Adani pushes to build Australia's biggest coal mine. #StopAdani

Just what will the investigative team at make of the Adani coalmine saga? Tax havens, fraud, pollution, unsafe work sites. And just why is a billionaire being offered a $1 billion Australian taxpayer-funded loan? Must-see TV: ABC, Mon, Oct 2, 8:30pm. #StopAdani

Digging into Adani | Story background and trailer » October 7 | #StopAdani Big Day of Action »

28/09 2017

Australia's GM Regulations are under attack

Australia's GM Regulations are under attack

GM backers want to:

  • remove the state's GM-free powers;
  • end GM and GM-free food labels;
  • deregulate all GM products and new GM techniques.

Please support Gene Ethics comments to the National GM Regulatory Scheme Review 2017

Endorse our comments by email, by Monday Sept. 25, 2017 | Include your full name and all contacts | We'll send you our final comments for sign-off

Prefer to comment yourself?

Deadline is Midnight, Friday Sept. 29, 2017

Ideas below may assist you, but please rephrase in your own words.

  • Friends of the Earth notes may also help you, or email us for advice.
  • Submit your brief comments here with the required cover sheet.
  • If that fails, email comments to the Review, with all your details, here
The Review has 3 steps

Get Review email updates here

  1. written comments: 25 July – 29 Sept 2017: everyone raise key issues.
  2. draft policy options: 6 Nov – 14 Dec 2017: explore issues papers, workshops, forums, surveys, targeted meetings, market research, and written comments.
  3. validate draft findings: consultation (March 2018?), draft for public comment online.

Qs, email the Review or T: 02 6289 3204

Thanks to all who commented so far

Review Terms of Reference

  1. Investigate the:
  2. To ensure the Scheme:
    • protects the health and safety of people and the environment;
    • has laws that meet the needs of the Scheme, now and in future;
    • is improved and strengthened, to be more effective;
    • is agile, to relate to fast evolving scientific and commercial contexts;
    • accommodates further technological developments;
    • is sustainable, with funding and means needed to run the Scheme;
    • supports innovation.
  3. Consider published comments on:

28/09 2017

27/09 2017

#LoveQld campaign

Hello Friend of the Environment,

Do you #LoveQld? Do you think we should have a Queensland where long term protections are in place to ensure our food, water and air are safe and free from pollution?

The Queensland election could be called at any time and we need your help to put coal and gas on the agenda. It’s all on the line – our food and water, our health, our thriving agricultural and tourism industries.

Jorge Pujol, internationally renowned founder of Art for Earth, will be teaming up with Lock the Gate supporters to construct a public art installation in Brisbane as part of our #LoveQld campaign.

We’d love you to join us and be part of this creative action. Become an artist for a day or just a few hours!

Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rock
Sunday October 8th, join us for the installation between 10am - 7pm or for a BBQ at 3pm.

Jorge and friends will be creating a largescale, eye-catching artwork using candles to bring attention to the #LoveQLD campaign. The more people we have, the easier it will be to create!

Bring your family and a picnic and help raise awareness in the city for the voices of regional Queensland. .

If you have family and friends in Brisbane who might like to join us, please share this event on Facebook to let them know.


I look forward to seeing you at this exciting event,
Yours, for the love of QLD,
Lock the Gate Queensland

PS Check out Jorge’s amazing work »

25/09 2017

Volunteers sought to assist with research

Research project that is looking into the anti-fracking discourse and how it impacts decision-makers in Australia and the UK.

My name is Catriona Meyer-McLean and I am a PhD candidate at The University of Adelaide in the Geography, Environment, and Population department of the School of Social Sciences.

Under the supervision of Associate Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray, I am undertaking a research project that is looking into the anti-fracking discourse and how it impacts decision-makers in Australia and the UK, and I’m keen to find people who may be interested in participating in an interview with me.

It would be great to hear from people about fracking and unconventional gas development. Anyone who may be interested in participating and giving his or her side of the story, please contact me, your participation would be greatly appreciated.

I will be in Queensland in the second week of November. Interviews will be audio-recorded and only about an hour, and there will be no further participation required.

The research is independent and is not funded by any organisations.

Please don’t hesitate contacting me if you have any queries. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards
E-mail: catriona.meyer-mclean@adelaide.edu.au

Landcare Forum | Saturday 14 October 2017 | Dalby, Qld

Dalby, 14 October
Dalby Senior Citizens Hall
To register as a speaker or attendee, contact: MaryLou Gittins, lcows@bigpond.com

23/09 2017

Warning & plan | Queensland Conservation


Over the last five years, more than one million hectares of native forests and bushland has been cleared in Queensland. Queensland is the land clearing capital of Australia. Our current clearing levels lock in continued widespread devastation to wildlife and the habitats they depend on.

This clearing has destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of koala habitat, as well as the habitat of hundreds of other species. Clearing is the primary cause of significant declines in koala populations in several parts of Queensland. In addition, tree clearing and deforestation is a direct contributor to dangerous climate change as landscapes devoid of vegetation no longer store carbon from the atmosphere.

This clearing crisis has come about through changes to Queensland's land clearing legislation in 2012-2015 under the Newman LNP Government. These changes dramatically weakened the legislation protecting habitat across Queensland and has led to a unprecedented rise in clearing rates.

An area the size of the Gabba stadium is now bulldozed every three minutes in Queensland. QCC (Queensland Conservation Council), along with an alliance organisations, is calling on all political parties to end the destruction of habitats by strengthening our land clearing laws via a 10 Point Plan to Reduce Tree Clearing:

  1. Use all available means to immediately protect forests and woodlands currently under threat from tree clearing, including declarations prohibiting clearing in sensitive Queensland areas;
  2. Permanently protect remnant/old-growth forests and woodlands from being cleared;
  3. Permanently protect high conservation value forests and woodlands from tree clearing;
  4. Apply a consistent approach to protection of forests and woodlands across all sectors responsible for excessive tree clearing (including agriculture, urban development and mining);
  5. Ensure strong monitoring, enforcement and resourcing of tree clearing laws;
  6. Remove high risk self-assessable clearing codes, particularly for ‘thinning’;
  7. Continue to improve mapping for vegetation and halt exemptions via property maps;
  8. Establish a land carbon fund and resource relevant state departments to research land carbon opportunities for Queensland land holders;
  9. Ensure all clearing is referred to the Australian Government for approval, if it is likely to impact on protected matters under Federal environmental law;
  10. Commit to regular (minimum annual) full reporting of clearing data and impacts.

23/09 2017

Caley Valley Wetlands Report | Queensland Conservation

Adani Coal Port pollution report shows wetlands contamination, begs more questions than it answers

Peak environment body Queensland Conservation Council has expressed alarm at formal evidence of coal pollution in the ecologically significant Caley Valley Wetlands, and has suggested this raises a series of questions about monitoring, enforcement and responsibility.

A report released by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection indicates there is coal contamination in the Caley Valley Wetlands, which lie next to the Adani Coal Terminal at Abbot Point. The report shows that at one section near to what’s known as the ‘W1’ release point, sediment in the wetlands contains 10% coal pollutant.

While the report appears to suggest that there has not been any environmental harm from this, Queensland Conservation Council believes it is far too early to make such statements given the toxic hydrocarbon substances in question.

Adani Coal Holdings which manages the Adani Abbot Point facility was recently fined a paltry $12,000 for an unauthorised release of water from the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, which was eight times over the additional limit that was temporarily granted to the company. Adani is now challenging that fine.

This Adani coal port pollution report clearly shows that the Caley Valley wetlands contain coal contamination, said Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig.

We still don’t know exactly why there were such huge water releases from the Adani Abbot facility, how much coal was in the water and where it all went.

But now we do know that sediment in sections of the wetlands contains 10% coal pollutant. That is vastly more than we would expect to occur naturally, and it confirms that there is coal contamination in the Caley Valley Wetlands. Adani should be held responsible and fined.

Whether this contamination is a result of water pollution, airborne pollution, or both is not obvious. The absence of baseline historical and periodic data makes it hard to be certain, but there is now strong if not irrefutable evidence that the coal terminal is responsible.

It is likely that we have a situation of long-term contamination of the wetlands, most likely made worse by water releases containing elevated levels of coal sediment. This raises key questions about the environmental safety and sustainability of this and similar facilities.

Regrettably, we simply don’t know what the long-term effects of coal in these environments may be on local wildlife, Coal is not a clean inert substance, it’s a hazardous hydrocarbon, and we may not fully know what it is doing ecologically for some time.

This case has also highlighted that there is a complete lack of baseline and periodic data collection, independent environmental monitoring, and real-time enforcement of standards.

Until we know what exactly is going on at Abbot Point, the government should seriously consider suspending Adani’s operating licences as well as commissioning further research.

Dr Tim Seelig
Queensland Conservation Council

21/09 2017

Queensland Climate Change Response

Community information events

What does climate change and a low-carbon world mean for you, your business and your community?

What is the Queensland Government doing to lead our shared response?

Here in Queensland we need to prepare ourselves to meet the risks and harness the opportunities that climate change will bring.

Around the world, and here in Queensland, changes are being made as regions transition to lower-emission economies.

This is your opportunity to find out more.

Come along to a community information session and hear about the Queensland Government’s Climate Change Transition Strategy and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and what they mean for you.

Dates and locations

To register simply click on the location links below.

Gold Coast
Wednesday 27 September
Thursday 28 September
Friday 29 September
Wednesday 4 October
Thursday 5 October
Tuesday 10 October
Wednesday 11 October
Tuesday 17 October

For further information

Visit www.qld.gov.au/climatechange
Email climatechange@ehp.qld.gov.au

22/09 2017

CarbonBrief article | Limiting global warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5C could save two-thirds of Asia’s glacier ice

Keeping global temperature rise to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels could ensure that two-thirds of the ice stored in Asia’s high-mountain glaciers is still around at the end of the century, a new study says.

These glaciers provide water to at least 800 million people living in Asia.

However, it could be too late to save all of Asia’s iconic snowy landscape, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. The research finds that, if global greenhouse gas emissions were stopped today, 14% of Asia’s glacier ice would still disappear by the end of the century.

And, if no efforts are made to curb global greenhouse gas emissions, two-thirds of the glacier ice in Asia’s high mountains could vanish by 2100, the study says.

The great melt

Glaciers are huge rivers of ice that ooze their way over land, powered by gravity and their own sheer weight. The thousands of glaciers that are strung across the high mountains of Asia contain the largest store of permanent ice and permafrost outside of the North and South poles.

Despite its snowy exterior, the mountainous region is expected to warm up at a faster pace than the surrounding low-lying land as global temperatures rise.

This is partly because snow has a high albedo, which means it reflects a high proportion of the sunlight back into the atmosphere, says Philip Kraaijenbrink, a PhD student at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and lead author of the new study published in Nature. He tells Carbon Brief:

Snow reflects a large part of the incoming radiation, up to 90%, which means it has a high albedo. And a high snowline consequently means that more energy stays at the Earth’s surface.

In other words, as the glaciers retreat, they expose more of the dark, rocky ground beneath. This means the land then absorbs more of the sun’s radiation and heats up more quickly, melting more ice.

The study is the first to use mathematical modelling to investigate how the ice stored by Asia’s glaciers will fare under a range of future global greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

Whether a glacier retreats or advances each year largely depends on its “mass balance” – the difference between how much snow it receives and the amount of its ice that melts away. Glaciers that lose more mass through melting than they gain from snow will shrink and retreat back up the valley.

Using their glacier mass balance model, the researchers ran simulations of a world that was 1.5C warmer than pre-industrial levels. All of these simulations are based on the “RCP2.6” scenario, which assumes that greenhouse gas emissions peak between 2010 and 2020.

Under 1.5C of global warming, Asia could lose around one third of the ice stored in its glaciers by 2100, compared with levels of ice observed from 1996 to 2015, the researchers find.

And under a “stabilisation” scenario, which assumes that greenhouse gas emissions will level off around the middle of this century (RCP4.5), half of Asia’s glacier ice could disappear by the end of the century.

However, two-thirds of Asia’s glacier ice could be lost by 2100 if no efforts are made to prevent climate change (a scenario called RCP8.5), the researchers find.

The researchers also find that, if global greenhouse gas emissions were halted today, 14% the ice stored in of Asia’s glaciers would still vanish by 2100. This is because it takes several decades for the full effect of recent warming on the glaciers to play out, Kraaijenbrink says.

Asia’s changing snowscape

The map below shows how the impact of 1.5C of global temperature rise varies across Asia’s glaciers. On the map, colour is used to indicate the localised impact of 1.5C of global average warming, with white indicating warming of 1.9C and red showing warming of 2.3C.

Map showing the impact of 1.5C of warming on glaciers in the High Mountains of Asia (HMA). Colour indicates protected change in temperature from pre-industrial times to the end of the century, with white indicating warming of 1.9C and red showing warming of 2.3C. Grey circles indicate the projected amount of glacier that will remain under 1.5C of warming by 2040 (light grey), 2070 (medium grey) and 2100 (dark grey). Source: Kraaijenbrink et al. (2017)

The map also includes grey circles that indicate the projected amount of glacier ice that will remain under 1.5C of warming by 2040 (light grey), 2070 (medium grey) and 2100 (dark grey).

The difference in projected ice loss can be explained in part by differences in the amount of debris that sits on top of each glacier. Debris, such as large rocks and stones, are picked up by glaciers as they carve their way through mountain valleys.

Depending on its thickness, this debris can either suppress or enhance ice melt. Thin debris accelerates melt because it absorbs more heat than debris-free ice. However, thick debris can act as a blanket buffer, protecting the ice beneath from changes in temperature.

This explains why the Hissar Alay, a mountain range spanning the territory of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and the Qilian Mountains in China show the most extreme decline, with only 32% and 30% of their ice expected to remain, respectively, by 2100 under 1.5C of warming. The glaciers in both of these mountain ranges are scattered with only a thin layer of debris.

It could also explain why the Karakoram, a large mountain range spanning the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, could retain up to 80% of its ice by 2100, despite experiencing a high level of regional warming.

(Carbon Brief has previously reported on the shrinking and surging of the Karakoram’s glaciers.)

Glaciers in the Karakoram are covered in a thick layer of debris and so could be better able to cope with global warming, Kraaijenbrink says.

The large glaciers of the Karakoram lose the least mass, percentage wise. This is however the region with most ice, and although 80% of the ice remains there in a 1.5C scenario, this would still mean an absolute loss of about 325bn tonnes of ice. This is roughly equal to the entire glacier mass of the Tibetan Plateau and Qilian Shan combined.

Understanding the effects of debris has allowed the researchers to get a more detailed view at how ice loss could vary from region to region, says Dr Ben Marzeion, a climate scientist from the University of Bremen who was not involved in the study. He tells Carbon Brief:

The study shows that the insulation effect of debris will not save the glaciers of high mountain Asia from global warming because the overall mass losses it projects are similar to previous studies that did not consider the effect of debris cover. However, the spatial distribution of mass loss is different

A dry future?

The loss of glacier ice from the Asia’s high mountains could spell bad news for millions of people living in China, India, Nepal, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Currently, meltwater from the glaciers provides a relatively steady supply of water to the rivers during the annual melt season. This water is used for irrigation, drinking water and hydropower.

Climate change could increase the rate of ice melt and, as a result, lead to a sharp increase in the supply of meltwater in the coming decades, Kraaijenbrink explains.

However, as the glaciers lose ice, they retreat and their surface area becomes smaller. Less and less of the glacier’s surface becomes available for melt, resulting in a gradual drop of the glacier discharge [meltwater] at a certain point in time. This point is known as peak meltwater.

It is not yet known exactly when “peak meltwater” could occur, he says, but his projections suggest it could happen as early as 2030, under both RCP2.6 and RCP4.5.

However, simulating changes to local water resources requires an understanding of all of the complex factors that contribute to river flow, notes Dr Alex Gardner, a scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, who was not involved in the research. He tells Carbon Brief:

The study stops short of identifying the implications of the glacier loss on local water resources. To answer this question you need to understand how seasonal stream [river] flow would be modified under these different [emissions] scenarios.

Glaciers typically only supply a small fraction of the total yearly flow of water to a river, he says. However, glaciers can have have a large influence on the timing of water availability.

Glaciers store water in cold often wet times of the year and release it during warm summer months when other sources of streamflow may be in short supply. This augmented supply of water, through glacier storage and runoff, can be critical when other sources are absent
To fully understand the implications of the projected glacier loss on future stream flows will require understanding the resultant change in river input, relative to other sources, upstream of dependent populations

Protecting the ice

Another finding from the new research is the extent to which thick debris could protect glaciers from global warming.

Because of this, it is possible that dropping a thick layer of stone and rock on top of debris-free glaciers could help to protect them from future warming, Kraaijenbrink explains.

Covering debris-free glaciers with a thick layer of debris will indeed help to reduce ice melt and retain the glaciers in the landscape for a longer period. However, this would be a very large undertaking and our efforts may be better aimed at reducing the causes of climate change and glacier mass loss.

He adds that it may be too late to stop all of the ice from melting..

We have already considerably warmed the earth since the industrial era and we have caused an imbalance of the glaciers as a result. At the moment, we observe their retreat almost everywhere on the globe
Consequently, I do not think that we as mankind can do anything about an, at least considerable, loss of the world’s ‘Third Pole’.
Read entire article on CarbonBrief » Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A. et al. (2017) Impact of global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius on Asia’s glaciers »

19/09 2017

Release of APEEL final report

Blueprint for the Next Generation of Australian Environmental Law

The Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law (APEEL) has just released their final report, Blueprint for the Next Generation of Australian Environmental Law.

The blueprint is an accessible summary of a large body of work undertaken by APEEL over the past few years. The APEEL website also has the following detailed technical papers written by APEEL members:

  1. The foundations of environmental law
  2. Environmental governance
  3. Terrestrial natural resources management
  4. Marine and coastal issues
  5. Climate law
  6. Energy regulation
  7. The private sector, business law and environmental performance
  8. Democracy and the environment

APEEL is comprised of leading Australian experts in environmental law as well as some leading international experts. Details about Convenor, Adjunct Professor Rob Fowler, and other panel members can be found on the website. I encourage you to draw on their work in your submissions, strategy development and policy engagement.

The release of the Blueprint marks the culmination of secretariat support by the Places You Love alliance for APEEL. It’s likely that the Panel will continue in some form and a conference and book publication are under discussion.

Congratulations and thankyou to all of the environmental law experts involved in the APEEL project who have all contributed their time and expertise voluntarily. The great work that APEEL has performed in mapping out the intellectual foundations for substantial reform of environmental law in Australia has already provided much of the intellectual underpinning for proposals to be taken to the next federal election, and I’m sure their work will continue to inspire demands for reform across the environment movement.


Brendan Sydes & Samantha Vine on behalf of the Places You Love Management Committee

16/09 2017

Visit amazing green homes - Sustainable House Day

Sustainable House Day is this Sunday, September 17.

We at the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) hope that you can visit a few of the 202 sustainable homes across Australia that will be opening their doors to the public from 10am to 4pm.

nterest in Sustainable House Day has been very strong ahead of the event. Read some of the articles that have appeared so far: The Daily Telegraph, ABC News, Domain, The Weekly Times, 774 ABC Melbourne and the Hobart Mercury.

If you haven't already, please visit sustainablehouseday.com to register and see the addresses of open homes to start planning your day. If you registered last year, you simply need to login using your email address and password - no need to re-register.

You can spread the word by liking the Sustainable House Day page, sharing our event post and creating your own posts about houses you intend to visit to encourage your networks to attend.

This is partly because snow has a high albedo, which means it reflects a high proportion of the sunlight back into the atmosphere, says Philip Kraaijenbrink, a PhD student at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and lead author of the new study published in Nature. He tells Carbon Brief:

Twitter users, please tag us using #SHD2017 and encourage followers to register.

If you have any questions please contact us via shd@ata.org.au or call Katy or Jodi on 03 9631 5405.

The ATA is the proud organiser of Sustainable House Day.

11/09 2017

Invitation to the 3rd Large Scale Solar + Storage Conference

RenewEconomy and Informa Australia are delighted to announce the recently finalised agenda for the 3rd Large Scale Solar + Storage Conference.

The 25 speaker strong program features presentations from major players in both the solar and storage fields, and will cover the leading projects both planned and underway in Australia.

Being held on the 27-28 November 2017 at The Grace Hotel Sydney, the two day event is the perfectly timed with so much investment announced in the industry recently. With such a strong following within the series and the apt networking opportunities available, this is not one to miss.

Speaking companies include:

  • Advisian
  • AEMO
  • Genex Power
  • Conergy
  • AES Energy Storage
  • Downer Utilities
  • SERA
  • First Solar
  • Menlo Energy Economics (USA)
  • Origin Energy
  • Impact investment Group
  • Transgrid
  • Power Electronics (Spain)
  • Electranet
  • Energy Queensland
  • Windlab
  • ITP Thermal Pty Ltd
  • The Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association
  • Clean Energy Regulator
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  • RES Australia
  • ITP Thermal Pty Ltd
  • Lyon Group
  • 5B
View Agenda »


Supporting Sponsor

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities

If you would like to find out about how to sponsor or exhibit at the 2017 Large Scale Solar + Storage Conference, please contact Megan Rogulski on +61 2 9080 4030 or Megan.Rogulski@informa.com.au.


  • Early Bird Rate $2,695 Expires 30 September 2017
  • Standard Registration Rate $3,195 from 1 October 2017
Book Now »


27 - 28 Nov 2017

The Grace Sydney
77 York Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Tel: +612 9272 6888 | Fax: +612 9299 8189
E: grace@gracehotel.com.au
www: http://gracehotel.com.au

11/09 2017

#StopAdani Summit says “No $1B loan”

Launch of Qld Big Day of Action on 7 Oct, with human signs in Brisbane and beyond

Brisbane, Australia, 10 September. Participants at a sold out Brisbane Summit of over 180 local volunteers, campaigning to stop the Adani coal mine, have called on the Federal and Queensland governments to say no a $1 billion loan of public money to the miner, and launched a National Day of Action on 7 October.

Sea Shepherd joins #StopAdani Alliance

Sea Shepherd is one of 29 organisations to have joined the Stop Adani Alliance since its launch in March 2017, with the Alliance now representing well over 2 million Australians. In just five months, more than 160 Stop Adani groups have sprung into action around the country, organising 662 local actions at MP’s offices, bank branches and community events.

Larissa Baldwin, National Co-director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network said: Our mob will not stand by and let the Queensland government or Adani determine our future.

We will be fighting hard to protect country from being devastated by Adani’s mine.

Young Indigenous people know that climate change is an enormous threat to our people and land. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and reject any proposal for new coal mines.

Amy Butler from Sea Shepherd Australia said: With Adani declaring that work may begin as soon as October, the stakes of this campaign have never been clearer. Sea Shepherd Australia is proud to join the Stop Adani Alliance.

The movement that is coming together to challenge Adani’s plans is growing by the week - here in Queensland, and right across the country.

Sea Shepherd was motivated to join this fight because of the terrifying havoc global warming is wreaking on our oceans and marine life. We need look no further than the devastation of the bleaching of our Great Barrier Reef. To protect the oceans, we must act on global warming - that means we must stop Adani

We are now gearing up for a big day of community action on October 7. We are going to spell it out to politicians - by forming massive Stop Adani human signs - right here in Brisbane, and from Bondi Beach to the Whitsundays: 'Stop Adani'.

Laura Harland, a volunteer on the campaign and local student from QUT, attending the Summit, said: As a young person, I’m here to make sure we act now to ensure the Great Barrier Reef has a healthy future. A business as usual approach - including building new coal mines - - just isn’t good enough if we’re serious about protecting the Reef.

It’s outrageous that state and federal governments are looking to bankroll this project with our money, via a $1 billion NAIF loan and special royalty deals.

The latest polling shows three quarters of Australians do not want the $1 billion public loan to go ahead, and instead believe that Adani should fund their own infrastructure

We are now gearing up for a big day of community action on October 7. We are going to spell it out to politicians - by forming massive Stop Adani human signs - right here in Brisbane, and from Bondi Beach to the Whitsundays: 'Stop Adani'.


The Stop Adani movement is now a powerful social movement. 160 local Stop Adani groups have formed, organising over 662 community actions including more than 300 screenings of the documentary ‘Guarding the Galilee’. 29 organisations have joined the Stop Adani Alliance since March, representing more than 2 million Australians.

Despite Adani pushing hard and winning unprecedented political support for their project, the Stop Adani movement has so far managed to hold them back. The mine is not yet built and Adani still do not have the consent of the Traditional Owners of the proposed mine site.

Adani is yet to secure the finance they need. 24 financial institutions across the world have ruled out funding the mine. The movement already has two major wins under its belt: both Westpac and CommBank have ruled out funding Adani due to community pressure, meaning that all big four banks have now said no to the mine.

Now the campaign is setting its sights on the Federal and Queensland governments - both back a very unpopular $1B loan from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility.

08/09 2017

World Scientists Warning to Humanity update

Message from Union of Concerned Scientists

Twenty five years ago, in 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1500 scientists published the famous declaration entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”. They called on humanity to curb environmental destruction, warning “all humanity that a great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.”

Now, on the 25th anniversary of their famous call, we looked back at their warning and evaluated the human response over the last quarter century. This 25-year update will soon be published by BioScience. To see the in press article “World scientists’ warning to humanity: a second notice”and add your name as a co-signatory, click: http://scientistswarnin g.forestry.oregonstate.edu/

This short article is only 1,000 words long and can be read in 6 minutes. If you are a scientist, we invite you to endorse this article by adding your name to the co-signatory list. In doing so, when the article is published by BioScience, you will be included in the full list of co-signatories in the article’s online supplemental material. We invite all types of scientists to sign (e.g. ecologists, economists, social scientists, medicine, etc.) including graduate students in the sciences.

Please forward this email to any other scientists in your contact list that may also be interested in signing. For example, you could simply forward this email to your working group. If you use Twitter, consider inviting your colleagues to add their signatures by including #ScientistsWarningToHumanity in a tweet.

As of, September 1, 2017, the article has been signed by nearly 7,000 scientists from 135 countries. The deadline for signing is September 19, 2017.

William J. Ripple
Distinguished Professor of Ecology
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
Oregon State University

07/09 2017

Threatened Species Day

Today is national Threatened Species Day...but no cause for celebration in Queensland

In Queensland, land clearing is the largest single threat to biodiversity, and many threatened species are impacted by clearing.

Alert from alliance of conservation groups and wildlife carers » QCC 10 point plan for action » Queensland Conservation Facebook »

07/09 2017

International Coastal Cleanup Day!

#breakfreefromplastic gears up for International Coastal Cleanup Day!

International Coastal Cleanup Day is right around the corner on September 16th! #breakfreefromplastic movement members are gearing up to create a huge splash around the globe, with our core cleanup event taking place on Freedom Island off of Manila Bay in the Philippines. The goal of the event is to conduct a physical beach clean-up where there’s a critical habitat for migratory birds, and to highlight the role of corporations responsible for single-use plastics ending up in our ocean, roads and waterways. Greenpeace Philippines has released a promotional video in Filipino for this 10-day activity starting on the 11th, check this out!

Take a sneak peek at the other Cleanup initiatives being planned all over the world throughout the month of September:

  1. The 5 Gyres Institute, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Surfrider Foundation, three #breakfreefromplastic movement organizations, will collaborate to raise awareness about the problem of beach pollution from polystyrene and expanded polystyrene foam on Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California. Tweet this!
  2. Speaking of polystyrene, did you know McDonald’s continues to use this highly polluting form of plastic? YOU can help us track down where McDonald’s is selling it. Here’s how: Help spread the word by sharing our Facebook post and/or tweet. They are: Facebook | Twitter
  3. European groups in France, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia and more are organizing cleanup events! These actions will be feeding into the Our Ocean conference taking place in Malta, Italy on October 5th and 6th. Find a cleanup near you and join #breakfreefromplastic movement members in contributing to plastic pollution research and helping to influence legislation!
  4. #breakfreefromplastic makes its debut in the Russian Arctic! A clean up event organized by the Slava Foundation is taking place on September 27th in the Murmansk Sea. “We intend to demonstrate to people that even the most remote and pristine parts of the world are not immune to human activity and pollution,” indicates Sergey Rybakov, CEO of the Slava Foundation.

06/09 2017

NAPQ | Future of the Reef

The Great Barrier Reef needs a 'no regrets' management strategy

The Great Barrier Reef needs protection on several fronts – controlling greenhouse gas emissions, improving water quality and managing threats such as the crown-of-thorns starfish.

NPAQ welcomes the federal funding for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for operation of the three crown-of-thorns starfish control vessels until 2020. With the Reef experiencing its fourth recorded outbreak, it’s a much-needed boost.

Read about the Federal funding here »

However, three vessels can only patrol three very small areas of the Reef and human activities that degrade the Reef are still permitted.

A paper from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies states it is possible that general degradation of Reef ecosystems and corresponding declines in biodiversity and productivity may cause increased outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish. For example, commercial fishing may reduce the abundance and/or diversity of crown-of-thorns starfish predatory species. So is this akin to putting a Band-Aid on a patient with broken bones who needs support and rest to heal?

The ARC calls for a “no regrets” management strategy, but cutbacks to the Marine Park area is far from that.

Read the ARC Coral Reef Studies paper »

In the upcoming August-September edition of Protected, the “Battle of the Coral Sea” article discusses the recent Federal Government draft management plans for Australia’s network of 44 marine sanctuaries. The draft plan proposes that sanctuary protections for a large area of Queensland’s Coral Sea, as well as other regions, are abandoned to allow for an expansion of fishing, including long-line fishing and seafloor trawling. Rather than increasing protection for oceans and marine life, a drastic decrease is proposed.

Submissions on the draft management plan close on September 20, 2017.

The draft management plan for park can be found here » Provide your feedback here » Read an article from The Conservation » Read much, much more in Neck of the Woods »

05/09 2017

ATA News

Sustainable House Day on September 17

Come along on Sunday, September 17, learn and be inspired. Australia’s most innovative green homes will be open to the public, giving a rare view into exceptional homes designed, built or renovated with sustainability in mind and allowing you to speak to and learn from homeowners.

Make sure you register to attend to see sutainable homes near you.

The latest Sanctuary Magazine, the Sustainable House Day special, profiles some of the outstanding homes opening their doors on the day.

Lighting up Quelicai

One hundred and eight ATA solar-powered lighting systems were installed in homes between July 31 and August 7 at Quelicai in the district of Baucau, East Timor, by our partners CNEFP and Natiles. Find out more.

More stories from ATA August e-News » Alternative Technology Association (ATA) »

04/09 2017

Rockhampton Forum

Agriculture and Human Health Solutions 2017

Organised by: Healthy Soils Inc

Rockhampton 11th & 12th September

CQIRP Building, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton

$40.00 per person / day (meals incl)


  • Professor Don Huber - One of the worlds top plant pathologists and researchers with nearly 50 years experience solving cereal, horticultural and other crop diseases and biological solutions.
  • Dr Dana Stanley (CQU researcher) - Molecular microbiologist Stanley's research on intestinal microbiota in health and disease focuses on the role of microbiota in poultry and other agricultural animals, as well as rodent models of human disease.
  • Graeme Sait (Nutri-tech Solutions) - is a specialist in sustainable agriculture
  • Other Speakers: Dr Judy Carman, Kim Kruse, Anita Rossiter, Dr Sandrine Makiela.

Who should attend? - Farmers, gardeners, agronomists, families.

Bookings essential - please RSVP by 4/9/17 to Mick 0438 395 255 or Noela 07 4938 3919

More details »

05/09 2017

Innovation for food | Prof Andy Lowe

Innovation for food

Over the last few years, food production and processing have been embarking on the biggest change since the industrial revolution. Novel approaches that exploit robotics, machine learning, computer vision, epi-genetics and gene editing technologies are being used to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of food production.

A more co-ordinated approach will ensure that innovative research, linked with industry partners and supported by government, will help realise the benefits for all of us.

At the same time the global gap between demand and supply of food and resources, the impact of food production on the environment, the demand for higher quality and traceability of food in the global marketplace, and the relationship between food and human health and dietary disease, are all emerging megatrends of the 21st Century.

I've been fortunate enough to be appointed as Director of Food Innovation at the University of Adelaide to help grow the research and teaching across the food sector. The University has extraordinary breadth and depth of research and teaching capability, with over 250 academic staff working on food-related areas. Its been a real pleasure working with this group.

Food research isn't a new area for the University – the Waite campus has been undertaking leading research in plant science and breeding, landscape and soil science, wine and viticulture for decades, and more recently in food applications. And the Roseworthy campus is renowned for its research in dryland agriculture, natural resource management and animal health and production. We also have economists, engineers, health scientists and researchers in arts and social sciences working in food-related areas.

The new Food Innovation theme aims to help boost South Australia’s food production and profitability, support new jobs, and lift market value for Australia’s food products generally. There are also considerable potential benefits to community health with research being undertaken on healthier food options. A more co-ordinated approach will ensure that innovative research, linked with industry partners and supported by government, will help realise the benefits for all of us.

Read on andylowe.org »

01/09 2017

The Critical Atmosphere | CASANZ 2017

The Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand is hosting the 23rd Biennial International Clean Air and Environment Conference on the 15 - 18 October 2017 at Pullman Brisbane, King George Square. On Sunday, 15 October 2017 there will be specialist workshops followed by the main conference, 16 – 18 October 2017.

CASANZ 2017 will embrace the theme of The Critical Atmosphere. The widely accepted concern over the effects of climate change on human health and wellbeing demands that we understand more about the physical and chemical processes underlying air quality, their effects on human health and welfare, and our capacity to effectively control and regulate air pollution.

We hope to stimulate new ideas and tools that can be applied across the air quality and climate change fields by bringing together over 300 highly influential group of global industry experts, policy and decision makers and key equipment suppliers of the environmental sector, from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.


View the biographies of the following keynote speakers:

  • Professor Michael Brauer , Canada
  • Dr Lisa Emberson, United Kingdom
  • Professor Jiming Hao, China
  • Dr Dorota Jarosinska, Germany
  • Dr Melita Keywood, Australia
  • Professor Guy Marks, Australia
  • Professor Xavier Querol, Spain
  • Professor Zissis Samaras, Greece

View the latest program to start planning your conference experience today!

Register Now!


The Innovation Awards are back for CASANZ 2017. Present your innovative concepts, products and services in front of over 300 global industry experts, policy and decision makers and key equipment suppliers of the air quality and environmental sector, from Australia, New Zealand and around the world. But you must be quick, hurry and register by 12PM Monday, 4 September 2017.

Register by clicking through to the link below:

CASANZ Innovation Award 2017 »


The 23rd Biennial International Clean Air and Environment Conference will host their first Industry Day on Tuesday, 17 October 2017. We would like to invite the air quality community and kindred associations, organisations and individuals to see new products, technology and services, build and maintain professional contacts, meet with consulting organisations, suppliers and others and research solutions to their current business challenges.

Register by clicking through to the link below:

Industry Day »

01/09 2017

Food waste

Food waste is a big global issue: Australian households perform worse than the global average, 40% of food lost or wasted

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated that a third of all food produced globally is wasted, that’s 1.3B tonnes.

To put that in context, the Great Pyramid at Giza weighs about 5 million tonnes. If that were food waste it would weigh about 1.4 million tonnes (because food is less dense than stone), so the amount of food waste produced globally is equivalent to just less than 1000 Great Pyramids of Giza.

That’s a lot of food.

Most of this food waste currently goes into land fill or is ploughed back into the ground where it emits huge amounts of green house gases, mostly methane. If food waste was a country it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the US and China.:

…if we just reduced the amount of food loss, and food wasted, this would increase global food security in a much faster and more direct way…

We hear a lot about the need to improve agricultural methods to increase the amount of food we produce and to breed new varieties to cope with changing environmental conditions. But if we just reduced the amount of food loss, and food wasted, this would increase global food security in a much faster and more direct way, not to mention cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

It is for these reasons that one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (12.3, part of Responsible Consumption and Production) is to halve per capita global food waste by 2030.

30/08 2017

Wonders of the Wallum Spring Wildflower

28/08 2017

AMCS: Save Our Marine Sanctuaries

Australia’s precious dolphins are in the firing line, if government plans to butcher our marine sanctuaries go ahead. We have just three weeks left.

Send a Message: Save Our Sanctuaries.

More than 14 protected dolphin species call Australia their home. We all cherish our moments with these playful and intelligent creatures. Watching them riding on waves, or cruising in the wake of a boat.

The government would have to be particularly heartless to let these beautiful, protected creatures be treated as if they’re disposable. Unfortunately, by proposing to carve up our marine sanctuaries for oil, gas and lethal fishing practices, that’s what they will be doing.

The Turnbull Government’s proposal to revoke 40 million hectares of sanctuary zones would be devastating, opening them up for some of Australia’s most lethal fishing practices like gillnetting. 34 protected dolphins were killed by gillnets in 2016, and that’s just those which were reported. Many more will die if we allow our government to carve up their sanctuary homes for these lethal practices. We can stop this, if we act now.

Gillnet fishing is bad news for dolphins. Huge nets, like fences, are anchored to our ocean floor. Gillnets are designed to entangle marine life, and they work far too well - catching more than just fish. Last year 220 protected animals were killed by gillnet fishing in Commonwealth waters alone.¹

Marine sanctuaries should be safe havens, where marine life can thrive and humans can enjoy a pristine natural environment. Our network of marine sanctuaries provide dolphins with habitat critical to their survival - safe places to feed, breed, rest and socialise. We must protect them.

Add your name now »

Thanks for standing up for our dolphins.

Australian Marine Conservation Society (ACMS)


1. AFMA: Protected Species Interaction Reports

28/08 2017

Wildlife Matters: In a Climate of Change

Wildlife Queensland has the pleasure of inviting you to

Wildlife Matters: In a Climate of Change

as we bring together leading environmental activists and climate change experts for an afternoon symposium and our annual dinner event! Join us for the symposium, the dinner, or both, as Wildlife Queensland presents a cutting-edge program focussed on the future of the plants and animals faced with unprecedented change.

Saturday, September 9
Riverside Receptions, 50 Oxlade Street, New Farm
Book Now »

The Symposium

1:00 - 6:00pm

Wildlife experts and activists speak on how the climate of change we currently face impacts our iconic plants, animals and ecosystems.

More info »

The Dinner

6:30pm start

Enjoy drinks and canapes with fellow wildlife advocates followed by Wildlife Queensland’s annual dinner featuring special guest speaker!

More info » Book Now »

28/08 2017

'Winds of Climate Change: Preparing for a Cyclone'

Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) Policy Director, Scott Slotterback will be delivering a keynote address entitled 'Winds of Climate Change: Preparing for a Cyclone' at the ACHSM/ACHS Asia-Pacific health leadership Congress in Sydney in September.

This Congress, delivered by the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), is the peak Australasian gathering of health leaders.

Keynote details

The WHO identified climate change as one of the major health issues of our time. In 2016, the Lancet Commission noted that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. Hospitals and health systems around the world are preparing for the impacts of climate change, mitigating their contribution of greenhouse gas emissions and using their influence to promote climate change policy to protect the health of their communities.

As the health sector pursues significant cost reductions, many are realizing that health care costs can be significantly reduced by promoting a healthy population and addressing the environmental conditions that affect health. GGHH is mobilizing its global network of health care leaders representing over 27,800 hospitals and health centers, around the world, to address climate change and a wide range of environmental sustainability issues.

Mr Slotterback will explain, using examples from Australian hospitals, and hospitals around the world; how the health sector is embracing the challenges of climate change, modeling solutions for their communities and saving money as well.

About the 2017 Congress

The 3-day congress includes plenary sessions, workshops, panel discussions, and site visits. See the current program here.

TScott joins an impressive line-up of health and media leaders from Australia, UK, and US as Congress speakers. See the list of speakers here.

27-29 September 2017, Wednesday-Friday
Hilton Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

About Scott Slotterback

Policy Director GGHH, Health Care Without Harm

Scott Slotterback assures the smooth functioning of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network while helping lead its ongoing development.

He also plays a central role in building the technical capacity of the Network. Mr Slotterback comes to this role after working for over 30 years on complex building and land use planning projects, including a decade at Kaiser Permanente, where he led teams focused on improving the design and sustainability of over 60 major healthcare buildings.

He authored numerous sustainability focused case studies, design standards, white papers, and articles. He also presented climate change resiliency and environmental sustainability at numerous national and international conferences and served on the Steering Committee that wrote the Green Guide for Healthcare, which became the basis for LEED for Healthcare.

Visit event webpage »

23/08 2017

Help protect Lindeman Island National Park

Friends of National Parks

A proposal is currently before the Queensland Government regarding the redevelopment of the Lindeman Island derelict resort. The proposal includes revocation of part of the national park on Lindeman Island.

Chinese developers White Horse Australia Lindeman Pty Ltd propose the revocation of 36.9 ha of national park land as part of a multi luxury resort complex on Lindeman Island. The proposal also includes 9.473 ha of national park for private commercial use as a glamping facility. This development would significantly increase the land use intensity on the island within the Great Barrier Reef.

Within the complexity of tenure arrangements and questions over the conservation value of the land involved, it is clear the national park would be reduced by 31 ha.

Key aspects of the proposed revocation are:

  • 36.931 ha proposed to be revoked from national park and added to perpetual lease, with 5.919ha of this land to be subject to a Nature Refuge Agreement.
  • 9.406ha of national park currently subject to a term lease to be surrendered to national park – this lease expires soon and the conservation values are debateable.
  • 5.299ha of existing perpetual lease to be dedicated as national park, at a later date and following construction works.

The land proposed for revocation is currently nearing the end of its 30-year tourism lease on national park. The lease was granted by the Joh Bjelke-Petersen Government for the development of a golf course, following the failure of the State Government’s bid in 1986 to sell off 605 ha of national park to developers.

If this proposal goes ahead, it sets a precedent that national park land is up for sale; and that past poor decisions, can result in eventual removal from the national park estate. National parks do not exist to provide a land bank to other land uses and private profit.

Regardless of the expiring tourist lease over this section of national park, revoking national park land for private development and commercial gain is unacceptable!

Find out more here.

Selling pieces of national parks to investors for development, undermines the very essence of our national parks – the conservation of nature. National parks are too precious to lose!

Please take a few minutes to lend your support. You can help us: Sign the e-petition, Write or phone the Minister, Send a submission to the Coordinator-General (details below), or make a donation to NPAQ.

NPAQ has been the voice of national parks since 1930. Donate to NPAQ today to protect Queensland’s national parks for tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,

Michelle Prior
National Parks Association of Queensland

Help protect Lindeman Island – the fast and easy way:

Sign the e-petition to the Queensland Parliament, if you are Queensland resident.
Privatisation of Lindeman Island National Park (Petition No. 2788-17)
Petition closes 4th September 2017.

Help protect Lindeman Island – take 10 minutes to:

Write, or phone the Minister regarding the proposed revocation of national park for the Lindeman Great Barrier Reef Resort Project.

The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection; and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
Post: GPO Box 2454, Brisbane QLD 4001
Email: environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au
Phone: (07) 3719 7330

Help protect Lindeman Island – write a submission:

Send a submission to the Coordinator-General.
The Lindeman Great Barrier Reef Resort Project draft EIS can be found here.

c/‐ EIS project manager
Lindeman Great Barrier Reef Resort Project
PO Box 15517, City East  QLD  4002
Be sure to follow the guidelines. Submissions must:

  • be in writing;
  • be received on or before the last day of the submission period;
  • be signed by each person who made the submission;
  • state the name and address of each person who made the submission;
  • state the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied on to support those grounds.
Submissions close 5pm, 4th September 2017.

23/08 2017

HOPE Volunteering Opportunities

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

New skills + More networks = Volunteering

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) needs active volunteers – both local and remote (i.e. online) – to help us maintain our high levels of activity. It’s a win-win situation. Volunteering enhances your wellbeing and HOPE gains from your expertise.

You can assist with

  • administration tasks
  • internet research
  • article writing
  • media and marketing activities

We are also seeking expert comment from academics and informed people to assist in critiquing government and industry reports.

On-ground helpers are also required to assist with staffing information displays, and helping out at events.

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

Much of the 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.

15/08 2017

HOPE Fund-raising Raffle

Take the opportunity to support HOPE and enjoy the chance to win outstanding prizes. This multi-draw raffle is our major fundraising activity for the year. It is being held in conjunction with the HOPE information stall at the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival, at Queen's Park on Sunday 20 August.

Purchase your tickets by contacting the HOPE office on 4639 2135 or by email office@hopeaustralia.org.au

15/08 2017

Community Forum - Saturday 19th August 2017

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Our Regional Natural Resource Management Body - Condamine Alliance

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. would like to invite you to this month’s Community Forum featuring Condamine Alliance - our regional NRM (Natural Resource Management) Body.

The forum is being held at on Saturday 19 August, from 1pm to 4pm at the Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr of Herries and Victoria Streets). Entry is by gold coin donation.

Condamine Alliance was founded in 2002 as a not-for-profit organisation, who work alongside communities, councils, government and organisations like HOPE, to support over 29,000 square kilometres of land. Condamine Alliance work to protect and conserve water, land and wildlife for future generations.

Thumbnail of speaker - Jayne Thorpe
Jayne Thorpe

HOPE would like to invite anyone with an interest in conservation or environmental protection to attend the upcoming forum, in the hope that Condamine Alliance can shed some light on their organisation and hopefully engage some like-minded community members.

Ms Jayne Thorpe (pictured), General Manager - Growth from Condamine Alliance, will provide a more detailed overview of the organisation’s main objectives, current and proposed projects and events, and showcase some achievements awarded to Condamine Alliance for their outstanding work and accomplishments. Jayne will also be discussing the wide range of ways community members can get involved with implementing the new Natural Resource Management Plan, and providing input on how the job should be done.

From 2015-2016, Condamine Alliance managed to engage with 1,100 landholders and 50 different contractors, delivered and participated in more than 29 community events, and have partnered with 11 different landcare, community and Indigenous groups. Condamine Alliance are very focused on how to prioritise and measure their activities to ensure the funds entrusted to them provide the greatest benefit to the community.

HOPE and Condamine Alliance share similar ideologies and believe that a healthy environment translates into healthy communities, and encourage locals and people of the Condamine River Catchment Area to play an active role in managing their natural resources, now and for the future.

Condamine Alliance’s revised Natural Resource Management Plan encourages all stakeholders and community members across the catchment to work together to achieve a more sustainable future and to set a precedent for future generations to do the same.

The upcoming forum hosted by HOPE gives community members a chance to learn more about Condamine Alliance and how they can get involved.

Bookings are essential, contact HOPE via telephone on 4639 2135 or via email office@hopeaustralia.org.au to reserve your seat. The forum is being held at on Saturday 19 August, from 1pm to 4pm at the Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr of Herries and Victoria Streets). Entry is by gold coin donation.

Supported by:

Condamine Alliance logo

11/08 2017

International Riversymposium 2017

Help us create the Brisbane Declaration v2.0

A decade ago, the influential Brisbane Declaration and Global Action Agenda (2007) on environmental flows was developed as a product of the 10th International Riversymposium and Environmental Flows Conference.

A major focus of the 20th International Riversymposium and Environmental Flows Conference 2017 will be to revisit and update both the declaration and its accompanying action agenda.

You are invited to contribute to these updates by joining our LinkedIn group, commenting on our LinkedIn posts and becoming part of the discusson. The draft of the updated Brisbane Declaration will be discussed and endorsed at the 20th International Riversymposium, while the Action Agenda will be developed over the following months.

The closing date for comments is 31 August 2017.

Join the conversation » Register for the Symposium »

29/07 2017


INVITE to 5th August FORUM, USQ Toowoomba Campus

On Saturday 5th August from 9am to 2 pm, a forum on Deforestation and Land Use in Queensland will be held at Artworx, University of Southern Queensland. To book a seat, ring the Box Office on 4631 1111 (General Admission and Refreshments $10) or mob: 0432 339 040.

A variety of guest speakers, will be presenting and sharing in conversation with the audience, scientific analysis of deforestation practices and sustainable food production choices, aboriginal care for land, case studies of community based conservation farming and education projects along with an investigation of legislative and community dynamics.

Guest presenter, Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop worked as a Principal Scientist with Queensland Government Natural Resources, monitoring broadscale deforestation. He co-authored the Beyond Zero Emissions’ Land Use Plan, a plan to take Australia’s land use and agriculture emissions beyond zero, and works with NGO World Preservation Foundation, focussing on deforestation, land degradation and biodiversity loss. Since 2015 he has been working with the land use team on the Zero Emissions Byron project and the forthcoming Zero Emissions Tweed project.

Joshua Waters, YCLC Community Engagement Officer talks about care for land with Judi from Land Trust and Wildlife Rescue and Janine from the Wilderness Society. Louise Noble, founder of the multicultural peri-urban share-farming The Mulberry Project, along with Colin from Organic Growers, reports on the practice of small-scale regional community food production. Cam Mackenzie, Principal of Amaroo Environmental Education centre, in conversation with Social Researcher, Andy Nicholson, discusses developments in learnings and attitudes. Paul King, chair of Darling Downs Environment Council, PROTECT and OCAA, in conversation with Joshua Waters, discusses legislation and community resilience.

A wide variety of the community is encouraged to contribute to the forum in the Q&A and workshop on positive outcomes.


Mob: 0432 339 040

12/07 2017

SpurTopia - Our Sustainable Living Story

SpurTopia - Our Sustainable Living Story

Dear friends.

Just a quick note about a presenter at this year’s Making Cities Liveable conference. Roman Spur captivated the audience with his energy, passion and sheer commitment to backyard gardening (vegetables, herbs, fruit) and the keeping of chooks and bees – as well as his inventiveness with solar cookers, etc.

Frank Ondrus, President - HOPE Inc.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc.

SpurTopia blog » Facebook » YouTube »

12/07 2017

Help wanted! Threatened Bird Network

Volunteer needed for Birds in Backyards Program

Birds in Backyards (BIBY) is seeking a volunteer to help complete two small projects on their newly migrated citizen science surveys in BirdLife Australia’s data portal, Birdata:

  1. Creating step-by-step instructions for submitting surveys and viewing data for BIBY participants in Birdata. Estimated time: 2-3 days
  2. Writing a short report/summary on a survey of existing BIBY survey participants, and updating BIBY FAQs on their citizen science and general program with the BIBY manager using survey feedback. Estimated time: 4-5 days

Start date:



work can be carried out from home

Anticipated hours:

approx. 6-8 days total, see breakdown above

Questions and expression of interest can be directed to Monica Awasthy, BIBY Program Manager.

About the Birds in Backyard Program

Birds in Backyards is a research, education and conservation program that is designed to address the loss of wild bird species, particularly small native birds, that live where people live. The program has three main objectives:


To find out what influences bird diversity in gardens and yards, urban bush lands, parks and public areas.


To develop and increase community understanding and involvement with the current status of birds; to encourage a 'hands on' culture of planting for birds and of monitoring their presence and absence; to help people to learn how to love, and live with, birds.


The culmination of research and education: by putting into practice the information learnt from research, open spaces, in places where people live, the urban environment will also become suitable for birds to inhabit. BIBY feed information from their research to land managers (including the general public) to create on the ground conservation. This will contribute to a greater diversity of birds living in these places.

For more information on the Threatened Bird Network click here, also see the Facebook page.

04/07 2017

Ecological change - have your say

CSIRO survey looks into ecological change

The CSIRO has extended an invitation to take part in a national survey for the Recent Ecological Change in Australia Project. Here’s the link.

The survey will help the CSIRO understand how Australia’s biodiversity has been changing in recent years, and whether the 1°C increase in surface temperature experienced over the past century may have contributed to these changes. It will collect first hand observations, insights and stories about changes across the landscape and provide a unique and important historical record for Australia. It will take about 30 minutes. If this has sparked your interest, additional information about the full project can be found here.

05/07 2017

Beyond Plastic Pollution | Pathways to Cleaner Oceans

Dear Boomerang Allies,

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Jayne Paramor and I recently joined the Boomerang Alliance (BA) team, to lead the planning and delivery of BA’s Marine Plastic Pollution (MPP) conference later this year; as well as other duties to help make Boomerang a more sustainable organisation to achieve our common objectives. I am writing to update you on how the conference plans are coming together. One of the major objectives outlined in the Boomerang Alliance 2017 Action Plan following our Marine Plastic Pollution Threat Abatement Plan was the delivery of the Solutions Conference.

Knowledge, Inspiration and Action were identified as core themes for the conference. With these themes in mind, we want to…

  • equip people with the knowledge to make informed decisions and influence others
  • inspire and mobilise people to take action, across all levels of society
  • bring law makers and legislators up to date on international policy best practice for reducing MPP
  • showcase innovative solutions designed to reduce plastic consumption – particularly single-use – and to clean up our marine environments

In line with the recommendations of the Our Ocean Our Future: Call for Action, sanctioned by some 193 countries at the UN Ocean Conference in June, we are taking the ‘integrated, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach’ promoting the ‘enhanced cooperation, coordination and policy coherence’ required ‘at all levels’.

So, after months of planning, we are pleased to announce the launch of: Beyond Plastic Pollution | Pathways to Cleaner Oceans

Taking place between Monday, October 30th and Wednesday November 1st, at beautiful Darling Harbour in Sydney, the conference will bring together Government, Business, Academia, Scientific and Community organisations, to consider an end-to-end approach to addressing MPP. We are pleased to have some impressive national and international speakers (see www.beyondplasticpollutionconference.org.au) and there’ll be plenty of time for networking.

Some of you may already be aware of a soft launch that we did a couple of weeks ago, to test some preliminary messaging. This will continue to evolve in coming months, as we approach the event and confirm the finer details of the programme, but we are keen to get the message out as widely as possible, to encourage a large and diverse attendance at the conference.

And we hope that we can count on your support in achieving this objective…

To that end, we have crafted a set of draft emails that can be used to form the basis for promoting the conference to your own networks. The messaging varies slightly for the four key groups that we have identified – Community, Government, Academic/Scientific & Corporate - and we would encourage you to use the most suitable of these as the basis for communications to prospective attendees. Please click on the relevant link below, to access the appropriate communications template.

Community / Advocacy / Campaigning:Click Here
Local / State / Federal Government:Click Here
Corporate / Local Business:Click Here
Academic / Science:Click Here

We also have some resources for your use:

Beyond Plastic Pollution Email / Letterhead Banner:Click Here
Beyond Plastic Pollution Conference Logo:Click Here

We ask that you share the message with your stakeholder audience and encourage them to join us for this important and timely dialogue.

We will be continuing our marketing in coming weeks and will be utilising social media to keep awareness ticking over. We will be posting about speakers, sharing stories relevant to the conference and keeping people abreast of updates as we get closer to October 31st, so I would encourage you to keep an eye on Twitter (@BoomAlliance) and LinkedIn (Boomerang Alliance) and help us reach as many potential delegates as possible.

Kind regards,

25/06 2017

ATA Toowoomba | Weds 12th July

02/07 2017

Micah Climate Petition

The world's poorest and most vulnerable communities – particularly in our region – are suffering the harmful impacts of climate change.

Yet Australia – one of the wealthiest nations – is not doing anywhere near enough to reduce our emissions. We are delaying the urgent action needed to shift our energy and transport systems to 100% renewable sources.

We are not providing enough support to help our vulnerable neighbours prepare for and adapt to increasingly severe climate change impacts.

It's clear what Australia needs to do. Our Federal and State Governments should help Australians manage the risks of a changing climate, seize the opportunities of the global energy revolution, and support our neighbours as they adapt to the harmful effects of climate change.

Raising a powerful voice

To call on Australia to act more urgently for climate justice, we are launching a Community Climate Petition which we aim to make the largest coordinated multi-electorate petitionin Australia's history.

In 2017 we will work with churches, schools, campus & community groups to raise 150 community climate petitions (one in every electorate across the country) and present them to politicians and in Parliament.

It will be presented at a time when the Government is reviewing its own climate change policies and also considering adopting stronger targets to take to the United Nations international climate conference in 2018.

But to do this, we need your help. Generating this powerful voice for change, will require the involvement and action of everyday advocates in churches, schools, community groups, workplaces and, well, everywhere to gather signatures and organise handover meetings so that our politicians hear our voices.

How do I get involved?

  1. Download the Community Climate Petition Guide & a sample petition (we'll send a version of the petition customised for your electorate after you register)
  2. Register to gather signatures in your electorate
  3. Got questions? Check out our FAQs
  4. Join our training webinars (every three weeks from Monday 27 March 8:30–9:30pm in the East). Register here.

04/07 2017

ALERT | Biodiversity In Queensland

Biodiversity In Queensland Is Being Bulldozed to Oblivion

Queensland has once again become a global land-clearing hotspot, after its vegetation laws were torn up by the previous state government.

Since then, the rate of forest, woodland, and regrowth destruction has more than doubled.

Land clearing in Queensland is the biggest driver of decline for many species -- including at least 95 species of threatened animals and 12 species of threatened plants.  These include koalas, black-throated finches, cassowaries, and many reptile species.

And this escalating loss of habitat is aggravating other threats such as invasive species and climate change.

No Permit Needed

Some of the vegetation clearing is being done with so-called "self-assessable codes".  This means that landholders can clear habitat without a permit from the state government.

This also results in little oversight by the federal government -- because nationally threatened species are losing their habitats but neither the federal nor state government is tracking it.

Large-scale clearing, such as for 'high-value agriculture’, is also racing ahead, though at least this requires a permit.

For example, on the remote Cape York Peninsula, one of Australia’s biggest land-clearing applications -- 58,000 hectares, an area larger than 100,000 football fields -- was approved for Strathmore Cattle Station.

Even with this massive clearing permit in hand, the land-owner was still found to have conducted illegal clearing, which damaged wetlands and threatened key habitat.

Bizarre Policies

Environmentally speaking, it's getting really strange Down Under. Australia is spending billions of dollars trying to achieve the carbon-storage benefits already provided by native vegetation, via programs such as the Emissions Reduction Fund, the 20 Million Trees program, and Reef Rescue.

Yet Queensland is undermining these expensive programs by allowing land clearing -- and the huge carbon emissions it generates -- to escalate.

Politically, economically, and ecologically, this defies all logic.

Queensland needs to cap the clearing of critical habitats for imperiled wildlife -- and it needs to do so now.

In Queensland, the government is letting big landowners run rampant. Just ask the koalas, birds, and other wildlife whose homes are being bulldozed to oblivion.

13/06 2017

National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being

The report on our final consultation with health stakeholders regarding our proposed National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-Being is now available.

This report details the outcomes from a consultation led by CAHA with professional health and hospital groups, senior health leaders, academics, scientists, parliamentarians and policymakers as well as doctors, nurses, midwives, public health practitioners and psychologists throughout 2016. Consultation revealed deep concerns about the effects of climate change within the health community and the desire for urgent federal leadership and action. As the world watches climate disruption unfolding, health protective climate policies are now crucial.

This report bring together the following key elements of the consultation process:

Responses demonstrate the firm view among health groups that without a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being, Australia will fail to meet its obligations to the health of its citizens under the global climate covenant, the Paris Agreement. The consultation reveals a strong commitment from health groups to work together with governments and political parties across the political spectrum to make the strategy happen.

Access the Final Consultation Report » View/download Media Release accompanying the release »

12/06 2017


Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Community Forum: Going Solar – On/Off Grid with Battery Storage - Saturday, 17 June 2017

Solar power; battery storage; on/off grid … how does it all work?

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. invites anyone who wants to learn more about the benefits of owning a solar PV system and about battery storage options, to attend a community forum on Saturday 17th June from 1-4pm at the Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Streets). Entry to forum is by gold coin donation.

President of HOPE, Mr Ondrus says it’s an opportunity for residents to learn more about renewable energy in the current ecological and economic environment.

Solar systems are not just for domestic premises - business owners, school representatives and community groups are encouraged to come along to learn about how solar might benefit their organisations.

Some advantages of solar include savings on electricity bills. Once a system is installed it costs virtually nothing to operate, saving you money on your power bills. Solar also benefits the environment by providing clean energy - for every 1kw of solar installed a tonne of C02 is saved every year.

ACDC Energy will outline the benefits of ‘going solar’, and of the options available for the purchase and installation of solar PV and battery storage systems. ACDC Energy will provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. They will also offer expert advice for those looking for basic energy management through to people considering going completely off the grid.

Bookings are essential for this Going Solar forum on Saturday 17 June. To reserve your seat, contact HOPE by phone on 4639 2135 or email at office@hopeaustralia.org.au. Entry by gold coin donation.

10/06 2017

Volunteers needed!

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Help HOPE help the environment

More active volunteers – both local and remote (i.e. online) – are required to help us maintain our high levels of activity.

Volunteers are needed to help with projects, events and display activities, as well as general admin duties and media/publications work.

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

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.

Frank Ondrus, President - HOPE Inc.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 2135

11/06 2017

ATA's leadership on climate change acknowledged

ATA winner of two climate action awards

Yay! We won!

This week the Alternative Technology Association took out two awards for Climate Change Leadership and Climate Education and Engagement at the United Nations Association of Australia's Climate Action Awards in Melbourne.

Award judges lauded the ATA's record of informing and encouraging change on sustainability over 37 years and commended us for the success of Sustainable House Day across Australia.

Climate Change Leadership Award judges commended the ATA’s use of a wide range of channels and activities (from magazines to advisory services and public events) to deliver tangible support and value to households, community and business.

It's great to have our work acknowledged in this way. Many thanks to all our members, partners and supporters, without whom we would not have achieved what we have.

Particular plaudits to our founding members for their foresight on taking practical action to create healthier, more sustainable homes and communities.

The ATA can't solve climate change - no organisation can on its own. But we can continue to empower people like you to take responsible and effective action to reduce Australia’s (and the world’s) carbon footprint.

With the End of Financial Year approaching, we ask you to make a tax-deductible donation to the ATA.

Your generous support will enable as to continue to support households and communities with independent advice on sustainable living and to make our voices heard by policymakers and governments through our advocacy work.

07/06 2017

ABC War on Waste podcast

The ABC has produced a War on Waste podcast. The podcast is hosted by Craig Reucassel and Wendy Harmer, and will continue to cover many of the issues raised by the TV show.

The team are very keen for people to share their stories and tips. This can be done by writing to WarOnWaste@abc.net.au. The hashtag we’re using for the podcast is the same as the TV show- #WarOnWasteAu.

Podcast iTunes » Stream TV episodes on iview »

05/06 2017


The 2017 edition of the GM-Free Shopping List is now availabe and includes many brands not listed in earlier editions.

The GM-Free Australia Alliance (GMFAA) has further reported increasing interest from food producers this year to the demand for groceries free of genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs). 

GMFAA spokesperson Jessica Harrison stated that the Shopping List acknowledges and promotes a growing list of brands whose GM-free status caters to consumers' right to choose non-GM foods. Australians passionate about the right to choose have been voting with their wallets. Growing consumer awareness about genetic manipulation is increasing demand for both conventional and organic foods, supporting their producers and adding to market pressure on food producers to choose non-GMO suppliers.

More than 50,000 Australians, New Zealanders, and Pacific Islanders have joined local and national consumer groups that explicitly seek products free of GMOs, Ms Harrison said, and these groups represent a small fraction of the market demand for GM-free products.  The GM-Free Shopping List helps consumers make that informed choice.

GMFAA, a not-for-profit organisation, distributes the GM-Free Shopping List free of charge, both on line and at local, regional, and national events.

View/download the GM-Free Shopping List »

02/06 2017

HOPE Community Forum | Going Solar

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Community Forum: Saturday, 17 June 2017
Going Solar – On/Off Grid with Battery Storage

The theme of this month’s community forum hosted by Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is 'Going Solar – On/Off the Grid with Battery Storage'. The forum will be held on Saturday 17th June from 1-4pm at the Toowoomba City library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Streets).

HOPE invites anyone who wants to learn more about the benefits of owning a solar PV system and about battery storage options. Mr Ondrus, President of HOPE Inc. said it's an opportunity for residents to learn more about renewable energy in the current ecological and economic environment.

Solar systems are not just for domestic premises - business owners, school representatives and community groups are encouraged to come along to learn about how solar might benefit their organisations.

Some advantages of solar include savings on electricity bills. Once a system is installed it costs virtually nothing to operate, saving you money on your power bills. Solar also benefits the environment by providing clean energy - for every 1kw of solar installed a tonne of C02 is saved every year.

ACDC Energy will outline the benefits of ‘going solar’, and of the options available for the purchase and installation of solar PV and battery storage systems. ACDC Energy will provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. They will also offer expert advice for those looking for basic energy management through to people considering going completely off the grid.

Bookings are essential. To reserve your seat, please contact HOPE to reserve your seat. Call the HOPE office on 4639 2135 or email at office@hopeaustralia.org.au. Entry by gold coin donation.

30/05 2017

A few hours left to make a difference!

Tell Annastacia Palaszczuk to act.

The Queensland Youth Environment Council invites you to help support our call for the Queensland Government to amend currentlitter and illegal dumping legislation to specifically ban the release of helium balloons and to investigate options to outlaw the mass-distribution of helium balloons at events, such as the Queensland Royal Show (EKKA).

We only have a few hours left before the ePetition closes.

Please add your support: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2691

What goes up, must come down!

A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) spokesperson has confirmed that “the use of helium balloons was dealt with in Queensland under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011.” and that “The deliberate release of balloons into the wider environment can constitute littering under that Act.”

So, we call on the Queensland Government to amend legislation, to specifically ban the release of helium balloons.

Without clear legislation to deter the action, we find it difficult to educate the community to do the right thing.

Keep Queensland Beautiful volunteers across the State are reporting an increase in balloon fragments being found in our parks, creeks and beaches. If consumed, these fragments are deadly to our marine and wildlife.

Please take 15 seconds to sign the Queensland Government ePetition: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2691

23/05 2017

Logan Eco Action Festival (LEAF)

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Householder’s Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc., along with many other groups, will be attending the Logan Eco Action Festival (LEAF) at the Griffith University - Logan Campus on 28th May. LEAF is a fun, interactive and educational event that is designed to generate awareness about environmental issues, and through education, empower people to make a positive change. Further information about LEAF can be found here http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/environment-water-and-waste/environmental-programs/logan-eco-action-festival-leaf.

22/05 2017

World Environment Day, 5th June 2017

Picture all the places that matter | World Environment Day

Householder’s Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. (Australia) would like to invite everyone to join with them to celebrate World Environment Day on 5th June 2017. World Environment Day is the largest annual event promoting positive environmental action.

This year’s theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’ – encourages us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and importance, and to protect the planet that we all share.

In our fast-paced, highly-connected society many of us have become increasingly disengaged with nature, forgetting that we depend on it for our very existence. Biodiversity provides us with the air that we breathe, water that we drink and the food that we eat. Despite this, our actions are pushing biodiversity and ecosystems to the edge. Current levels of consumption, combined with a predicted increase in global population to 9.7 billion by 2050 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs), means we will be making ever increasing demands on our planet’s finite resources.

World Environment Day is about individual actions, combined into the collective power of billions of people, taking positive actions to help protect our planet. By being more thoughtful in our choices, doing more with less, minimising pollution and using renewable products, small changes can make a huge difference.

World Environment Day is an opportunity to connect with groups like HOPE Inc. to learn more about living in a more sustainable way. For more information check out HOPE Inc.’s webpage at (http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au).

World Environment Day is an initiative of the United Nations Environmental Program. Visit World Environment Day (http://worldenvironmentday.global/) for more information.

09/05 2017

Special Event

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Talk on Native Bees; followed by Picnic Social

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Talk on Native Bees by Nev Hunt, Southern Beekeepers’ Association
140 Carroll Road, Hodgson Vale (turn left off New England Hwy into Mally Rd, then right into Carroll Rd)
Picnic social at Lions Park (Hodgsonvale Rest Area)
BYO food & drink (and chair)

RSVP by Friday, 19 May 2017 to HOPE office by phoning 4639 2135 or email to office@hopeaustralia.org.au

View/download invitation »

03/05 2017

GlobeScan / SustainAbility | Webinar

Evaluating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Highlights from the GlobeScan / SustainAbility Survey

SustainAbility & GlobeScan are delighted to invite you to a webinar to discuss the results of the GlobeScan / SustainAbility assessment of experts’ views on progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For this survey, we asked over 500 experienced corporate sustainability professionals in 74 countries to evaluate the progress that has been made on each SDG, to rank their relative urgency and also to share insights into the priorities within their own organizations. Corporate experts were also asked how their own companies are responding to the SDGs and where they see opportunities for the greatest impact.

Join us for a lively and insightful discussion on the findings of the survey, to share insights and discuss questions such as:

  • How much progress has the international community made on each SDG? Which goals are seen as being the most important and have received the most attention by organizations?
  • How has the private sector contributed toward the SDGs? Where are the opportunities for companies to have the greatest impact and how can they better communicate?

We hope you can join us!

For your convenience, we are offering this webinar in two different time zones with different speakers catering to each region.

  • Our North America and Europe session will be hosted by Mark Lee (Executive Director, SustainAbility), Chris Coulter (CEO, GlobeScan), with special guest panelists Gail Klintworth (Director of Business Transformation, Business and Sustainable Development Commission / Partner, SYSTEMIQ), Matthias Stausberg (Group Advocacy Director, Virgin Management) and Dominic Vergine (Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, ARM).
  • Our Asia Pacific session will be hosted by Mark Lee (Executive Director, SustainAbility), Chris Coulter (CEO, GlobeScan), with special guest panelists Gail Klintworth (Director of Business Transformation, Business and Sustainable Development Commission / Partner, SYSTEMIQ), Matthias Stausberg (Group Advocacy Director, Virgin Management) and Dominic Vergine (Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, ARM).

Please register your place today via the links below:

Europe / North America » Asia Pacific »
HOSTED BY SustainAbility & GlobeScan
WHEN Europe / Americas 9 May 2017
8am San Francisco
11am New York
4pm London
Asia 10 May 2017
7:30am Mumbai
10am Hong Kong
12 noon Sydney
MORE INFO Download the report:
Evaluating Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals

26/04 2017

Toowoomba Open House 2017 & Festival of Rail

Image of WW1 honour roll at Toowoomba Railway station

Toowoomba Festival of Rail

Toowoomba Open House, National Trust of Australia Queensland, Royal Bull's Head Inn, Queensland Rail, Downs Steam and others invite you to help celebrate 150 years of rail in Toowoomba on Saturday 29 April with a day of steam, markets, tours, tours and more... and a chance for a sneak peak inside the Toowoomba Railway Air Raid Shelter.

Image of presentation being given at Toowoomba Railway station

Talks & Tours April 29

Meet at the central marquee for one of five tours available on the day covering a range of interests relating to rail.

  • 11.45 The triumphs and tragedy of steam
  • 1.15 Toowoomba during WWII
  • 2.00 Range railway works 1865-67
  • 2.45 The Railway Track that saved Queensland


Empire Theatre interior

Start planning for Sunday 28 May

Come along to the Festival of Rail on April 29 and pick up your copy of the Toowoomba Open House 2017 map and start planning your day. Old favourites the Empire Theatre, City Hall and St Luke's return with new places Augusta's Cottage in the Mort estate, and the Toowoomba Flexi School in Chalk Drive open for the first time.

Image of volunteer

SignUp to help

Volunteers are needed on the day to help the owners meet and greet visitors to each of the Toowoomba Open House venues open on May 28. This year we are using Signup.com to organise the roster for helpers both on the day, at the walking tours and in other preparations for the big day. SignUp.com »

Signup at the Royal Bull's Head Inn Sunday 7 May 2.00-3.30pm. and get free entry to the Inn... details here »



25/04 2017


Community Field Day in Drayton | Saturday 13 May 2017

The Toowoomba Landcare Group (TLG) would like to invite you to an information day on native plants identification and riparian land management

Join Darren Fielder, Principal at Redleaf Environmental to find out more about the native plant species in your area.

Event Program:

  • 8.30am: Introduction from guest speaker: Darren Fielder, Principal at Redleaf Environmental
  • 9am: Presentation and Guided walk in a Drayton Watershed
  • 10am: Morning tea
  • 10.30am: Group activities and Q&A
  • 2pm: Optional guided walk of the Toowoomba Retention Basins
Saturday 13 May 2017
8.15am (for a 8.30am start) to 12pm
(Optional bio-retention basin visit: 12pm to 1pm)
60 Postle St, Darling Heights
Morning tea will be provided
(Bring a hat, chair and walking boots, camera and USB stick)
By Wednesday 10 May 2017
Vanessa Durand, mob: 0409 923 627, email: va.durand@gmail.com
View/download flyer »

24/04 2017

Toowoomba’s Festival of Rail

Celebrate 150 years of rail in Toowoomba with this family friendly day featuring visiting steam trains, tours, including of the air raid shelters, displays and markets to suit all tastes.

Tours and Talks

All tours meet in the presentation area in the railway forecourt

The triumphs and tragedies of the steam engine
Downs Steam Tourist Railway & Museum

From James Watt to Mallard breaking the world speed record for a steam train, Robert Ketton from DownsSteam will take you on an enlightening tour of the triumphs and tragedies of the steam engine. Learn about the fascinating history of steam as the eloquent Mr Ketton takes you on journey through time.

History of the WW1 Honour Roll
Toowoomba Historical Society

From 1914-19 a magnificent wooden honour board at the North end of the station, pays tribute to those Downs railway workers who served in World War 1. Over 500 names are to be found on this fascinating display, crafted at the North Ipswich railway workshops. The boards tell a fascinating story in themselves. Join with Maurice French from the Toowoomba Historical Society on an exploration of the significance of the board and the names it lists.

Toowoomba and the railway precinct during WW2 including tour of the air raid shelters.
National Trust of Australia Queensland

Toowoomba during World War 2 was a hive of activity, much of it centered on the Railway. A vital transport corridor, Toowoomba was at the forefront of the so-called Brisbane line. To ready for a possible attack, two large Air Raid shelters were constructed at the station. Come and explore the significance of Toowoomba’s war history with the National Trust’s Paul Herbert.

A Very Up and Down Place: Life, death, and work and the railway construction (Navvie) camps on the Main Range railway works in 1865-7
Queensland Rail

Join Queensland Rail historian Greg Hallam as he outlines the hardships, the perils and eventually the triumph of the human spirit associated with the rail crossing of the range.

The construction of the Main Range railway, Section Five of the contract awarded to Peto, Brassey and Betts in 1864, to build a railway between Ipswich and Toowoomba was one of the major engineering works in colonial Queensland in the mid-19th century and also in the Australian colonies. Those who built the railway came from Britain and Europe, and the life of these people shed light on the importance of the railway in Queensland.

The Railway the track that saved Queensland
National Trust of Australia Queensland

The most important piece of transport infrastructure ever built in Queensland. Join the National Trust's Paul Herbert as he develops an argument to support this grand claim. Learn why Toowoomba was the destination for Queensland’s first railway and why it started at Ipswich? Learn why an almost broke colonial government, riven by disunity, united to construct the line.

20/04 2017

Gecko Free Event | Wednesday 26 April

Re-greening our gardens with native plants and the GroNATIVE App

6:30pm for a 7pm Start
Wednesday 26th April
Currumbin RSL, 'The Cove' Room. 165 Duringan st, Currumbin
Gecko – Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council

15/04 2017

HOPE Community Forum | Saturday, 22 April 2017

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

The importance of our Heritage

Maintaining Regional Heritage Values is the theme of this month’s community forum hosted by Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. The forum is being held on Saturday 22 April, 1pm – 4pm at the Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Sts, Toowoomba).

The program features 4 speakers, with each presentation followed by a Q&A session. The speakers are:

  • Eleanor Cullen, a member of the National Trust of Australia (Qld) and a founding member of Toowoomba Regional Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee. Eleanor will give an overview of the National Trust and the role of the Heritage Advisory Committee.*
  • Peter Cullen will explain the use of tombstone tours, radio talks and research in identifying and promoting heritage values.*
  • Hugh Krenske, President of Friends of the Escarpment Parks (FEP) Toowoomba Inc. , will talk about efforts to preserve the 'Eagle’s Nest Swagmen’s Camp' (which was set-up during the Great Depression in the 1930’s).
  • Paul Herbert, Chairman of the Toowoomba Festival of Rail, explores the value of the railway and its precinct (all heritage listed) to the Darling Downs and Queensland.
  • *Eleanor and Peter will also speak on their involvement in the Toowoomba Open House project.

Bookings for the community forum are essential. To reserve your seat, please RSVP by Friday 21 April to the HOPE office. To make a booking or find out more, please phone 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

07/04 2017

ATA Toowoomba Branch - Public presentation

Community Owned Renewable Energy

Alternative Technology Association (ATA) logo

There has been much controversy in recent months about energy security and the role of renewables. While politicians have bickered, communities are taking their energy needs into their own hands.

There are many options for community owned renewable energy.

The Toowoomba Branch of the Alternative Technology Association is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday 10 May at the Toowoomba City Library to look at some of the successful community energy models that are already operating across the country.

One model in regional NSW has a local cooperative installing solar panels on businesses and letting them use the energy generated for a cheaper price. The money comes back to the cooperative to pay for the investment and provide a dividend which might then be used for community energy efficiency education. See Repower Shoalhaven.

Another in the Northern Rivers has local investors establishing an energy retailer in competition with other established retailers such as AGL and Origin, providing less expensive energy and returning funds to the community. See Enova Energy.

One Melbourne Council has a program for assisting low income households, such as pensioners, put in rooftop solar panels with the repayments made with the rates. See Darebin Council Solar Saver Program.

Not only are there financial benefits of these programs, the communities in which they take place are empowered and energised by their involvement.

At the ATA meeting on 10 May, the community has an opportunity to hear in more detail about these exciting developments. This is also a chance for Toowoomba and the Darling Downs to be part of a national community energy initiative.

RSVP 8 May 2017: toowoomba@ata.org.au

For further information contact:

  • Mark Tranter
  • ATA Toowoomba Branch Convenor | 0419 736 219
View/download flyer »

03/04 2017

Heads-up: AELA events in Brisbane this year

  • 1-3 September 2017,”Building a new economy for Australia” - Community Summit – (Southbank, Brisbane) a 3 day grass-roots, economics fiesta that will see the launch of Australia’s first community created ‘new economy coalition’. Everyone’s welcome to participate. All the information is here: www.neweconomy.org.au
  • 23-24 November 2017, “Inspiring Earth Ethics- linking values and action”, 2 day Conference (Griffith University Nathan Campus, Brisbane) – will bring together people from many different fields of work and life – indigenous knowledge, environmental education, environmental psychology, philosophy, ethics, religion, law and business – to ask the key question: how do we build Earth centred ethics in Australian society? All the information is here: www.earthlaws.org.au/our-programs/earth-ethics/inspiring-earth-ethics-linking-values-and-action

Dr Michelle Maloney
National Convenor, Australian Earth Laws Alliance
Email: convenor@earthlaws.org.au | Website: www.earthlaws.org.au
Phone: 617 419 497 596 | Skype: myshmal
Advocates for Earth centred law, governance and ethics

03/04 2017

Time to declare a climate emergency

Petition calls for politicians to declare a climate emergency

On 27 February 2017, while media focused on penalty rates, an event of much greater significance to the well-being of all Australians quietly unfolded in the Parliament House forecourt.

Politicians of various political persuasions assembled for the interim handover of the Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation petition, along with several engineers, a former coal executive, a kayak adventurer, and various climate campaigners. The petition asks the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency and implement climate solutions at the scale and speed necessary to protect all people, species and ecosystems.

Former Liberal leader John Hewson was there, although not representing the Liberal party. Pat Conroy MP represented Bill Shorten, and Adam Bandt MP along with Senators Rhiannon and Janet Rice represented the Australian Greens.

Who is mad here?

Handing over the Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation petition was Steve Posselt, a Fellow of Engineers Australia. He had just completed a gruelling eight-week kayak trip from Ballina in northern NSW to Canberra, collecting petition signatures along the way.

Penalty rates were the big story that week, but climate impacts are already killing people and destroying ecosystems. Every time our government approves a new coal, oil, or gas project they are putting all Australians in greater peril. Every day they fail to begin a very rapid but orderly transition to a fossil-fuel free society, they are failing to act in the interests of we, the Australian people

Perhaps Steve Posselt was a little mad to kayak 1,200 kilometres in support of a petition. Or perhaps it is all of us – the 24 million Australians – who are mad for allowing our government to get away with blatantly putting us all in peril?

Emergency measures

We know most of what we need to do to reverse the climate emergency. We already have the solutions and the technology. We have known for decades how rapidly we need to not just lower carbon emissions but reduce atmospheric carbon to a safe level.

An Emergency Declaration is not just words. When an emergency is declared, measures that otherwise might be politically impossible suddenly become possible for the duration of the emergency. In times of war, nations throw out business-as-usual assumptions and direct as much as possible of public and private resources at tackling the threat to the well-being of their citizens. Our governments could, and should, do that again right now in response to the even greater threat that is the climate emergency.

Australians are great at rising to the challenge when faced with an emergency. As Adam Bandt commented at the petition handover event, when the global financial crisis struck, the world found trillions of dollars in a very short time to bail out the banks. Massive and very rapid responses are indeed possible when we recognise we are in a crisis.

Public support necessary

Five federal Greens elected representatives have signed the petition or a statement of support, as have five federal Labor MPs, but a huge show of public support is necessary before they can propose an emergency declaration and mobilisation bill in Parliament. The petition target is 100,000 signatures, and so far, over 18,000 Australians have already signed. As Posselt said as he handed the box of petition sheets to Adam Bandt, This is just the start.

Our elected leaders only get away with ignoring what climate change has to do with 100-year flood havoc, heat waves and bush fires, because we are allowing this with our silence.

We must demand that our government act at sufficient scale and speed to protect us all from the harmful impacts of extreme weather events and the many other consequences of political procrastination.

It’s time to stop the madness.

Those who have signed this petition are people from all walks of life. Please encourage members of your local groups, family, friends, and people in your networks to sign the petition as well.

03/04 2017

Climate Change Facts video

The facts on climate change -- and what to do about it.

In advance of Earth Day on April 22, National Geographic Magazine released its latest edition this week featuring the guide, Seven Things You Need to Know about Climate Change. It includes facts from scientists about the causes of climate change and how humans can help mitigate its consequences. For more, the magazine’s editor in chief Susan Goldberg joins Hari Sreenivasan.

Video & transcript on PBS site »

03/04 2017

Invite to Repertory Theatre outing, 25 April 2017

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!
Email HOPE » Repertory Theatre »; Online Bookings »;

03/04 2017

You are invited to an Open Day at Redwood Park

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Open Day at Redwood Park, Toowoomba - Saturday 8 April 2017

As part of National Youth Week 2017, Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. and Friends of the Escarpment Parks (FEP) Toowoomba are holding an Open Day at Redwood Park, Toowoomba on Saturday, 8 April 2017.

Included in the open day activities, are 2 workshops on Nature Journaling, being led by Dr Paula Peeters, an ecologist, artist and writer based in Brisbane.

What is Nature Journaling?It is the process of drawing, writing, or creating a poem or song in response to nature. You get a chance to slow down, take in your beautiful surroundings and create your very own creative nature journal and art piece.

Places are available for 15-20 secondary students at each of the workshops.

This event is part of 2017 National Youth Week activities; and this project is supported by Condamine Alliance, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

For enquiries and registration for either of the Nature Journaling workshops, please contact the HOPE office by phoning 4639 2135 or emailing office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

30/03 2017

BirdLife Australia: What exactly are nature hotspots?

Image: Daintree Rainforest canopy, courtesy of Shutterstock

Friends of the environment

Last week we introduced you to the concept of 'Key Biodiversity Areas', but what exactly are these ‘nature hotspots’? And how did we determine which are ‘the most important places left for life on Earth’?

Back in 2009, BirdLife Australia’s then ‘Important Bird & Biodiversity Area’ (IBA) Program identified 315 places that were critical for the survival of threatened Australian birds based on globally standardised scientific criteria.

IBAs became a crucial conservation and advocacy framework for the protection and management of the most important sites for birds across Australia, and around the world.

However, like IBAs, other conservation approaches also emerged. These generally focused on one species or a specific ecological community, often resulting in confusion among decision-makers and, crucially, duplication of conservation efforts.

Recognising the power of working under one unified conservation approach, BirdLife worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and partners to develop overarching framework to identify sites that contribute significantly to global biodiversity. This was a monumental change in the global conservation landscape.

That framework came into effect last September and is known as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). Almost all of the places we identified as IBAs in Australia (sites of importance for birds) immediately met criteria to be recognised as KBAs.

In practice, KBAs mean that no threatened species or ecological communities are left out.

At BirdLife Australia, we are genuinely excited by the opportunity this presents for collaboration with governments, private landholders and other partners to work towards better protection and management for these sites, based on shared values.

You can learn more about the KBA Partnership here. Over the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing with you BirdLife Australia’s plans to play our part in conserving our most important natural places.

Best wishes,
Paul Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer
Birdlife Australia

30/03 2017

Young Reporters for the Environment initiative

Keep Australia Beautiful Welcomes Young Reporters for the Environment Australia

In 2017, Keep Australia Beautiful is extremely happy to launch a second Foundation for Environmental Education program, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE)!

What is YRE?

We’re glad you asked! Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) aims to empower young people (11-21y.o.) to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video. We want to prove to young people that they can make a difference in the world and hopefully give them the motivation to continue to do so as adults.

YRE originated in France in 1990 before spreading through Europe and became international in 2007. Now there are 77,000 young reporters in 29 countries.

How does it work?

YRE uses a proven 4-step methodology:

Investigate a local issue following set criteria
Research solutions
Report a production: article, photograph or short film
Disseminate to educate

What’s happening with YRE in Australia?

We’re launching YRE in Australia with the Litter Less Campaign thanks to the Wrigley Company Foundation. The Litter Less Campaign aims to engage and educate young people on the issue of litter and encourage them to make positive choices. To start them off we are offering 10 NSW schools support to implement YRE and a $500 grant to run a Community Action Day to raise awareness of the impacts of litter in their neighbourhood. You can find out more about the grant in the opportunities section below.

Our school is not in NSW. Can we still be involved?

Yes! We welcome submissions from anywhere in Australia. All valid entries will be entered in the Australian competition and have a chance to be submitted to the international competition.

Find out more about the YRE Australia program on the KAB website http://kab.org.au/yre/ where you’ll find program resources including student and teacher resources and classroom activity sheets.

29/03 2017


Climate change will throw Australia into a true endless summer

Imagine a city where 265 days a year, the temperature rises above 95 degrees F (35 C).

The residents of Darwin in 2090 will not have to imagine it, because for them, it may well be their reality.

As Australians endure the summer of the seemingly never-ending heatwave, a new report from the Climate Council essentially has one message. Get used to it.

If the country’s greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, it’s going to get much worse.

The independent research body predicts a rapid rise in extreme heat in Australia in the next 73 years, with heatwaves in all Australian capital cities predicted to start earlier and last longer as the effects of greenhouse gas emissions bite in the next decade.

According to the Climate Council’s Cranking up the Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events report, by 2030, the number of extremely hot days — classified as maximum temperatures of more than 35C — are tipped to climb in all capital cities.

But it is the Australia inhabited by this generation’s grandchildren, 2090, where the heat will really be on, if greenhouse gas emissions worldwide fail to meet current reduction targets.

By that year the report predicts Darwin will have a staggering 265 days each year above 35C. The current average is 11.

Read the article » View/download the report »

28/03 2017

Open Day at Redwood Park, Toowoomba

26/03 2017

CAHA - Draft Policy Framework - Open for review

Draft Framework for the National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia


Following extensive consultation with health stakeholders and experts in 2016 regarding the need for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, the Climate and Health Alliance has been working with collaborating partners to develop a draft Framework for this Strategy.

We are very pleased to announce that the Draft Framework for the National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being is now available and being made public for consultation until 7th April 2017.

To view the draft document, please click here.

Our intention in developing this Strategy is to support Australia in meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement (global climate agreement) in relation to ensuring its citizens' 'right to health' in the context of national climate policy.

This Framework has been developed through collaboration with experts, reviewing relevant research and using the key inputs of the Discussion Paper: Towards a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, Survey of Health Stakeholders, Health Leaders Roundtable, Online Discussion Forum and the World Federation of Public Health Associations Global Climate and Health Policy Survey Report.

During this review period, we will be continuing to consult with experts, policymakers and parliamentarians to seek their advice, support and to build commitment for the implementation of a finalised Framework.

We welcome feedback on the approach outlined and ideas for further development.

Please send your responses to Nick Horsburgh at nick.horsburgh@caha.org.au by Friday 7th April 2017.

The website for the Campaign for a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia is now live - visit: www.ourclimate-ourhealth.org.au

Supporting Organisations

20/03 2017


13/03 2017

Registrations now open for Nature Journaling workshops

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135; Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Want to learn more about our natural environment?

If your answer is yes and you are a secondary school aged youth, then why not register for one of two free Nature Journaling workshops being held on Saturday 8 April 2017.

What is Nature Journaling? It is the process of drawing, writing, or creating a poem or song in response to nature. You get a chance to slow down, take in your beautiful surroundings and create your very own creative nature journal and art piece.

Dr Paula Peters (PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) will be coming to Redwood Park and running two workshops on Saturday April 8.

The workshops are being hosted by Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. as part of the larger “Open Day at Redwood Park” event being hosted by Friends of the Escarpment Parks (FEP) Toowoomba.

This event is part of 2017 National Youth Week activities; and “this project is supported by Condamine Alliance, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.”

Spaces are available for 15-20 secondary students at each of the workshops.

To be one of the lucky attendees simply answer in 25 words or less, why you love nature, and send through your response along with your contact details to HOPE Inc. via email at office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

For enquiries and registration for either of the Nature Journaling workshops, please contact the HOPE office by phoning 4639 2135 or emailing office@hopeaustralia.org.au.


Dr Paula Peeters

Paula Peeters is an ecologist, artist and writer based in Brisbane. After completing her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Monash University, Paula worked in Wildlife Conservation for 13 years, mostly for State Government environmental agencies in South Australia and Queensland. In recent years, Paula has become interested in combining art and science to celebrate nature, and promoting Nature Journaling as a way of improving the connection between people and nature. Paula’s illustrations have appeared in the colouring books Bimblebox Wonderland and Riverina Grassland Ramblings, and Ruth magazine, and have been commissioned by the University of Otago, Pollinator Link, the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, Murray Local Land Services, Land for Wildlife South East Queensland and the Ecological Society of Australia. Her writing has appeared in Australian Birdlife, Zoomorphic, Tasmanian Geographic and her blog Paperbark Writer. In 2016 Paula wrote, illustrated and self-published Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling, and led nature journaling workshops for the Bulimba Creek Catchment Committee, Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, the Gympie Regional Gallery and the Woodford Folk Festival. Paula is currently working on a range of projects including a children’s picture book, and a work of fantasy fiction for young adults, with an ecological bent. You can see more of her work at www.paperbarkwriter.com.

Introduction to Nature Journaling - 2 hour workshop with Dr Paula Peeters

Nature journaling is the practice of drawing or writing in response to nature. This fun, relaxing practice helps you to connect more closely with nature, and results in the creation of your own unique nature journal. Both the practice and the end product are important.

The practice improves your recognition of different animal and plant species, and your understanding of where and how they live. Nature journaling calms your mind, and increases your attention to detail and appreciation of beauty. With time, it also improves your ability to observe, to draw and to write.

A journal allows you to capture the moment (a sunset, a view, a critter, a flower, a fungus…), and recall observations which would otherwise be forgotten. Nature journaling can be used to compile species sightings and other scientific observations that are of great value to citizen science projects. Your journal can also give you inspiration for other creative projects, such as writing, painting, textiles, music, other crafts… the opportunities are endless.

Nature-based learning is known to have great benefits for learning outcomes and personal wellbeing. Nature journaling has immediate relevance for subjects such as Biology, Geography, Art and English, but can also be used as a springboard to explore many other subjects. Lessons learnt in context, and in the outdoors, tend to be understood more thoroughly by the learners, and this understanding stays with the pupil long after the lesson.

I’m an ecologist, artist and writer who enjoys combining art and science to explore Australian nature. In this workshop, I’ll introduce the practice of nature journaling, and teach you some simple exercises to get you drawing and writing. I’ll introduce you to the ecology of the area, and talk about some of the plants and animals we’re likely to encounter. At the end of the session you will have started your very own nature journal, and have plenty of ideas to keep you inspired.

Each participant receives a print copy of my book Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling. Electronic copies of this book are also available as a free download from my website - http://www.paperbarkwriter.com/want-to-get-started-with-nature-journaling-this-little-guidebook-will-show-you-how/.

08/03 2017

Volunteers needed

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135;
Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

More active volunteers – both local and remote (i.e. online) – are required to help us maintain our high levels 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 Secretary, Treasurer, Media Officers and Publication Team members.

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

16/03 2017

Eco-Business - News & Views | 15 March

Editor's Choice

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Water is a human right, but who will deliver it?

Linggiu Reservoir, Johor in June 2016. The reservoir provides Singapore with about half of its water supply, but dry weather and increased usage in Malaysia have seen drastic drops in water levels. Image: Eco-BusinessWater is key to the private sector's survival, but will businesses step up as stewards of this life-giving resource? Yes, says Asit Biswas, co-founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management.
Read now …

West Papua gives indigenous communities control over forests

Sira village leader Amos Sremere (right) receives permit for Social Forestry from the government during the handover ceremony in Teminabuan, West Papua. Two villages, Mangroholo and Sira, officially received a permit to manage social forestry in their area. Image: © Jurnasyanto Sukarno / GreenpeaceSome rare good news for Indonesia's forests: For the first time, West Papua has given control of some forests to indigenous communities, who plan to keep big agribusiness out.
Read now …


All News

UK emissions should be ‘net-zero’ by 2070 at the latest, study says

Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland is one hell of a sight at night. Image: Malcolm Craig , CC BY-NC-ND 2.0A new study concludes the UK should aim to be carbon neutral by 2070 at the latest, if it is to play its part in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Read now …


All Opinion

Heading off a climate migration crisis in Asia

Families affected by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 live in temporary tents. Climate change is set to drive more people from their homes in the future, but the world is ill prepared to deal with climate migrants, say experts. Image: ADB, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Only proactive policies can minimize the human displacement caused by climate change, says Asian Development climate change and sustainable development expert Bart Edes.
Read now …

The climate finance architecture the world needs

Floods are one consequence of climate change that will impact the lives of local communities. Streamlining the global climate finance system will enable aid to be delivered in a more organised manner to where it will do the most good. Image: Global Environment Facility, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0To enable sustainable development and protect communities against the worst impacts of climate change, we need to fix the climate finance architecture to ensure finance gets to where it is needed, writes WRI researchers.
Read now …

Eco-Business … Newsletter …

08/03 2017

Red fire ant national emergency tour

In May 2017, agriculture ministers will meet to decide whether federal, state and territory governments back a ten-year funding plan to eradicate red fire ants from between Brisbane and the NSW border. If they don't fund eradication the ants will spread to all parts of Australia and cause major environmental and other damage.

The Invasive Species Council is staging a national tour with US fire ant expert, A/Prof. Robert Puckett from Texas A&M University, from 20 to 24 March and building support for eradication. Dr Puckett is an expert on fire ants having spent over a decade battling them in the US.

You can find a fire ant fact sheet here: https://invasives.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/fs-fire-ants-2016.pdf

You can register for the event in Brisbane on the 20th through this link: bit.ly/fire-ant-tour

Tour dates:

Already Barnaby Joyce has publicly supported fire any eradication. Queensland is a supporter, but we urgently need pressure placed on other state and territory governments who are not yet totally on board.

We also need help advertising the tour, can you share our posts on Facebook and Twitter, and put up our poster in your workplace or anywhere else you think it might get attention?

Invasive Species Council logo

Reece Pianta, Outreach Officer
MOB: 0422 935 665 EMAIL:  reecepianta@invasives.org.au
TWITTER: twitter.com/ISCAustralia
FACEBOOK:  facebook.com/invasivespeciescouncil
WEB: www.inasives.org.au

08/03 2017

National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being

A National Strategy for Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia is underway!

The Climate and Health Alliance is leading an effort to develop a policy framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia on behalf of a group of health stakeholders (see logos below).

This will be put forward to parliamentarians and policymakers to guide policy development later this year. The Draft Framework will be available for comment from 20th March 2017 – if you would like to be involved in this review, please email nick.horsburgh@caha.org.au.

The website for the Campaign for a National Strategy is now live - visit: www.ourclimate-ourhealth.org.au

27/02 2017

Threatened Wildlife Photographic Competition

Australian Wildlife Society Threatened Wildlife Photographic Competition

The Australian Wildlife Society Threatened Wildlife Photographic Competition is a national competition that awards and promotes endangered Australian wildlife through the medium of photography.

The Australian Wildlife Society invites photographers to raise the plight of endangered wildlife in Australia.  Our Society aims to encourage the production of photographs taken in Australia, by Australians, which reflects the diversity and uniqueness of endangered Australian wildlife.

An annual judge’s prize of $1,000 will be awarded.

An annual people’s choice prize of $500 will be awarded.

Rules of entry:

  1. The subject of each entry must be a threatened Australian species – fauna or flora
  2. The entry must be the work of the entrant
  3. The photograph must have been taken within the twelve months prior to the date of entry
  4. The name of the threatened species, photographer and date taken must be in the ‘file name’ of each photograph submitted
  5. Entrants retain the copyright to their entries but accord the Australian Wildlife Society (AWS) the right to use them in any of its publications or any reprint arising therefrom
  6. Entries to be submitted by electronic means to – photo@aws.net.au
  7. All entries must be accompanied by a short paragraph (maximum 150 words) describing the status of the endangered species, the location of the photograph and the reasons and circumstances for choosing to photograph it
  8. Directors of AWS or their families are ineligible to submit entries
  9. There shall be no charge for entry and entrants may submit more than one entry
  10. The final result is at the discretion of the Directors and will be announced in August each year.




27/02 2017

Climate Council report: State of solar 2016

'State of solar 2016: globally and in Australia' report cover

State of solar 2016: globally and in Australia


  1. Globally, solar photovoltaic (PV) power is surging on the back of scaled-up production and continually falling costs.
    • 70GW (projected) of new solar power capacity was added globally in 2016, breaking last years’ (2015) record of 50GW capacity added.
    • China (34.2GW), the United States (13GW) and Japan (10.5GW) continued to lead with the most solar PV capacity added.
    • The solar sector employs 2.8 million people globally, outnumbering coal jobs. In the United States, solar now provides twice as many jobs as coal.
  2. Solar costs are now so low that large, industrial-scale solar plants are providing cheaper power than new fossil and nuclear power.
    • Solar costs have dropped 58% in five years and are expected to continue to fall by a further 40-70% by 2040.
    • Electricity prices from new coal power stations could rise to A$160 per megawatt hour, while solar parks are around $110 per megawatt hour and are expected to come down significantly in price over time.
  3. Australia remains a world leader in household solar.
    • The cost of solar power is now well below the retail power prices in Australian capital cities, and continues to fall. The exception is the ACT which has the lowest retail prices in Australia.
    • Australia adds more solar power every year than the combined capacity of South Australia’s (recently closed) Northern and Playford coal-fired power stations.
    • Over 8000 Australians are now employed in solar and solar has the potential to create thousands more jobs as it grows.
  4. 2017 will be a huge year for large-scale solar in Australia.
    • Larger solar PV installations are already taking off in Australia – on airports, mines, healthcare facilities and businesses.
    • In 2017 over 20 new large-scale solar projects will come online. A further 3,700 MW of large-scale solar is in the development pipeline (roughly equivalent to three coal fire power stations).
    • Australia is expected to reach over 20GW of solar PV in the next 20 years, equivalent to about a third of Australia’s current total power generation capacity.
  5. A range of energy storage technologies will complement the growth of solar power providing secure, flexible power.
    • Solar and battery storage for households and businesses is already gaining traction in Australia – with more than 6,500 households installing the technology. Uptake is expected to triple in 2017.
    • Large-scale developments such the Lakeland solar and battery storage project and the Kidston solar and pumped hydro project (both in North Queensland) are demonstrating the potential of combining large-scale solar and energy storage technologies.
    • The Victorian Government is seeking expressions of interest to build a large scale battery storage facility in western Victoria to improve grid stability.

Read summary/Download report » Climate Council »

22/02 2017

Quick survey on Qld Government's proposed ban on plastic bags

We did it!

Plastic bags banned in QLD from next year! But the Government wants to know - how far should they go? Answer the quick survey.

Did you hear the great news last year? The Queensland Government have announced they will ban single use plastic bags from 2018, with support from the opposition. This is a huge win for our oceans. But the job isn’t done yet. To really help reduce the plastics threatening our sea turtles, marine birds and whales, we need to make sure the ban works, and that we don’t stop here.

The Queensland Government have called for public comment on what should be included in the ban, and what other measures should be considered to further reduce plastic pollution.

We have until Monday 27 February to let them know what we think. Answer the quick survey to have your say on how we can really make a difference to plastic pollution in Queensland.

Banning plastic bags is just the start. To really help reduce the plastics threatening our sea turtles, marine birds and whales, we need to make sure the ban works, and that we don’t stop here.

Tips for answering the survey questions

The Queensland Government’s survey asks four questions about how the proposed plastic bags ban and future action on reducing plastic. Here are some good ideas for you to consider when writing your answers.

Q1. What are the appropriate timeframes and transitional arrangements to implement a plastic bag ban in Queensland?
  • We want a ban to be implemented as soon as practical - certainly by 2018.
  • For it to work, there should be an education program for both consumers AND retailers. Everyone needs to understand why a ban is being put in place and what alternative practices they should follow.
  • It is important that these education programs are properly funded.
  • It is important that the ban applies to all retailers and is introduced at an appropriate time - not at a busy time like Easter or Christmas time.
Q2. Do you agree that biodegradable bags should be included in a ban?
  • YES! Degradable bags are designed to break into smaller pieces and resemble food for wildlife as a result.
  • Recent data released by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service found that over 70% of loggerhead turtles found dead in Queensland waters have ingested plastic. Once in their stomach, the space for normal food is reduced, feeding behaviour is altered and energy levels drop often resulting in starvation.
  • Biodegradable bags contain agents to slow down their decomposition when in contact with liquid - so that they can be useful as a carrier bag. This means that they decompose slowly in the marine environment, up to two years. By that time they have already done the damage.
  • They tend to be littered more, because people think that they are okay to discard, because they are biodegradable!
Q3. Do you support the Queensland Government working with other states and territories to encourage industry to reduce the number of heavier weight plastic department store bags?
  • Yes. Plastic lasts for thousands of years, collecting in the ocean in massive floating garbage dumps, and causing massive harm to our marine life. We need to reduce and eliminate all so called disposable plastic items.
  • Thicker plastic bags end up in landfill, where they become wind-borne and eventually make it to the sea. Alternatives to thicker bags, such as consumers just using their own bags, must be encouraged.
  • The best way to do this is ban thicker bags or put a price on them.
Q4. What else can be done by the Queensland Government to address plastic pollution?
  • Ban the release of helium balloons in Queensland. Once released, they end up in the sea and become a serious threat to marine wildlife through ingestion and entanglement.
  • Discarded fishing tackle and bait bags are also a significant litter problem.
  • Microplastics (fibres, film, pellets and beads) also need to be managed - either through bans, take back schemes, filtration systems or simply using alternative, non-disposable, or organic items.
  • Cigarette butts are plastic fibres and usually contaminated with chemicals.
Do the survey …

Thanks for doing your part to end plastic pollution in Queensland. With your help, we’re making a real difference.

James Cordwell email signature

20/02 2017

Climate Council Factsheet: There's No Such Thing As Clean Coal

In response to current discussions regarding clean coal, The Climate Council of Australia has published a factsheet on 'Clean Coal'.


The bottom line is: There's no such thing as clean coal.

Clean coal factsheet cover

If we build new fossil fuel power plants now, it will lock-in negative impacts on our emissions, electricity costs and poor health outcomes for the next 30-40 years. We’ll blow the budget in so many ways.

We hope this is a useful resource - please help us share it with your networks.


Amanda McKenzie
CEO, Climate Council
E amanda@climatecouncil.org.au W climatecouncil.org.au P 0409 535 437 

16/02 2017

HOPE Community Forum

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135;
Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Community Forum: “Gardening – the natural, organic way”, Saturday, 18 February 2017

Want to learn how to grow healthy, nutritious food?

If your answer is yes, then you are welcome to come along to “Gardening – the natural, organic way” community forum being held on Saturday 18 February, 1pm – 4pm at the Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Sts, Toowoomba).

The forum hosted by Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. features Mike Wells and Peter Macqueen from TAFE QLD South West (Horticulture) and Colin Johnson from Earthlife Pty Ltd.

The program for the afternoon features 3 speakers, each followed by a Q & A session

The speakers and their topics are:

  • Mike Wells - “An Introduction to Organic Gardening”
  • Peter Macqueen - “Organic Pest Control - Non-toxic preparations for insect & disease control”
  • Colin Johnson - “Healthy soils, healthy plants ... it’s that simple!” & an overview of Earthlife ’s products

    Bookings for the community forum are essential. To reserve your seat, please RSVP by 16 February to HOPE office by phone 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

  • Event: Community Forum: “Gardening – the natural, organic way”
  • Date: Saturday 18 February, 1pm – 4pm
  • Venue: Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Sts, Toowoomba
  • Cost: Entry by gold coin donation

The Invasive Species Council | Fire Ants Down Under

17/02 2017

The Fire Ants Down Under National Emergency Tour

The Invasive Species Council has just received confirmation that US fire ant expert Dr Robert Puckett will join our Fire Ants Down Under tour next month, visiting five capital Australian cities in just one week.

The key task of our whirlwind tour is to warn as many Australians as possible of the dangers to our nation if we fail to eradicate Queensland’s current fire ant infestations - they need to know we can’t afford to let this genie out of the bottle.

Now we need your help. Can you come to one of our national fire ant forums, and bring your friends and family?

We're holding forums in Brisbane on March 20, Canberra on March 21, Sydney on March 22, Melbourne on March 23 and finishing in Perth on March 24.

Book your free tickets online »

We also need help advertising the tour, can you share our posts on Facebook and Twitter, and put up our poster in your workplace or anywhere else you think it might get attention?

You can also support the campaign to eradicate fire ants by signing our petition and donating to support the national emergency tour.

Why is this tour so important?

In less than four months Australia’s agriculture ministers will decide what to do about fire ants. To eradicate fire ants, they must commit to a 10 year, $380 million program this year.

Failure to eradicate fire ants means Australians will be forced to confront a terrifying future, one where no capital or regional city will be free from the threat of fire ant invasion. A future where a family picnic can turn into a life-or-death situation if someone stumbles into a hidden fire ant nest.

Fire ants are a super pest – if we fail to eradicate them now in the future they will exact a devastating toll on our environment, farming communities, lifestyle, health system and infrastructure. They will cause human deaths, hospitalisations and animal extinctions.

The projections sound extreme, but more than 85 deaths have been recorded in the US alone from fire ant attacks.

Home truths

If anyone can bring home the dangers of living in a country where fire ants are out of control it's Assistant Professor Robert Puckett.

Robert lives in Texas, a fire ant hotspot, and has been part of the United States' decades long fight against fire ants.

As well as speaking at our national forums Robert will meet key state and federal government politicians

We look forward to seeing you at one of our forums and remember, you can also support the campaign to eradicate fire ants by signing our petition and donating to support the national emergency tour.


Anderw Cox signature

Andrew Cox
Chief Executive Officer

The Invasive Species Council logo

Your action needed: red fire ants

Fire ants are an aggressive invasive species originally from South America. They are one of the world's worst invasive species.

If unchecked they will spread to almost all parts of Australia and cause major damage to the environment, agriculture and forever change our outdoor way of life.

Help us campaign for a properly funded eradication program to ensure the 400,000ha infestation of fire ants between Brisbane and the NSW border is eradicated.

Donate now »

Adani guilty of fraud & devastating the marine environment

16/02 2017

Adani’s history of environmental devastation, fraud and criminal action has been exposed. If we act now, we can ensure the Government knows about the danger to the Great Barrier Reef before it’s too late. Will you send them the report now?

Friends of the Environment,

An explosive new report has just been released, revealing a horrific record of environmental devastation and criminal corporate behaviour by the Adani mining company and its subsidiaries. These startling revelations raise one serious question:

How can we trust Adani with our Great Barrier Reef?

Coal spill devastation.

In 2011 an unseaworthy coal ship chartered by Adani Enterprises Ltd sunk off the coast of Mumbai, spilling over 60,000 tonnes of coal and a massive amount of oil into the ocean. Adani did nothing to clean up the mess for five long years. Meanwhile, the spill destroyed mangroves, polluted beaches, and seriously damaged Mumbai’s marine life and tourism industry.

Illegal dredging and clearing.

In the coastal town of Mundra in India, a subsidiary company of Adani ports has left devastation in the wake of its coal-fired power station - ignoring environmental regulation and development permits to illegally clear 75 hectares of protected mangroves, dredge the ocean, and block waterways. As a result fish stocks were decimated, and the groundwater turned saline.

Villagers reported the company using bribery and intimidation to silence anyone who tried to challenge them.

Water pollution disaster.

In 2010, working for another company, Adani’s Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj was responsible for the operations of the Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia. The mines discharged acidic, metal-laden water from copper mining into the Kafue River - poisoning water used for cooking, cleaning and bathing. The company later pleaded guilty to criminal charges for pollution and failure to report the incident.

Now Adani Mining wants to build a mine that risks our Great Artesian Basin - the water source for a quarter of Australia.

Bribery and corruption.

In 2011, an Indian state Ombudsman found that parent company Adani Enterprises had bribed police, politicians, customs officials and others to facilitate and hide illegal exports of 7.7 million tonnes of iron ore. The Indian government is currently investigating numerous Adani Group entities for billion dollar fraud to inflate prices and evade taxes.

With so much evidence of corruption and environmental devastation, how can our Government trust Adani with something as precious as our water, our money, and our Great Barrier Reef?

Send a copy of the Adani Brief to your MP

We are still cleaning up the damage left when the Shen Neng 1 coal ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef in 2010. The 225-metre carrier carved a 2.2-kilometre-long, 400,000 square metre scar in and around Douglas Shoal, and left a 4 kilometre trail of heavy fuel oil in the Reef’s waters. The marine habitats and organisms, especially the corals, will take many years to recover

The full cost to taxpayers has been estimated to be $141 million. After 6 years, the Commonwealth has only managed to get $40 million from the company at fault.

We know how this could end. We know Adani has been careless with the marine environment and with the law many times before. How can we possibly trust them with our most precious marine ecosystem?

It’s these times when our local MPs can stand up and do something. But they won’t do it unless they know the local people in their area care about what happens next.

3 things you can do

  1. Send a copy of the Adani Brief to your local MP.
  2. Share on Facebook - or - Share on Twitter
  3. Chip in to our fighting fund to protect the Reef.

Please stand with us in asking the Government - how they can defend entrusting this company with our Great Barrier Reef?

Thank you for standing up for our Reef.

Imogen Zethovan email signature

13/02 2017

Professor Will Steffen | The Anthropocene equation

Humans causing climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans over the past 45 years have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees celsius per century. Photograph: ISS/NASA

Researchers behind ‘Anthropocene equation’ say impact of people’s intense activity on Earth far exceeds that of natural events spread across millennia

For the first time, researchers have developed a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the earth, finding people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

The equation was developed in conjunction with Professor Will Steffen, a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University, and was published in the journal The Anthropocene Review.

The authors of the paper wrote that for the past 4.5bn years astronomical and geophysical factors have been the dominating influences on the Earth system. The Earth system is defined by the researchers as the biosphere, including interactions and feedbacks with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and upper lithosphere.

But over the past six decades human forces have driven exceptionally rapid rates of change in the Earth system, the authors wrote, giving rise to a period known as the Anthropocene.

Human activities now rival the great forces of nature in driving changes to the Earth system, the paper said.

Steffen and his co-researcher, Owen Gaffney, from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, came up with an Anthropocene Equation” to determine the impact of this period of intense human activity on the earth.

Explaining the equation in New Scientist, Gaffney said they developed it by homing in on the rate of change of Earth’s life support system: the atmosphere, oceans, forests and wetlands, waterways and ice sheets and fabulous diversity of life.

For four billion years the rate of change of the Earth system has been a complex function of astronomical and geophysical forces plus internal dynamics: Earth’s orbit around the sun, gravitational interactions with other planets, the sun’s heat output, colliding continents, volcanoes and evolution, among others, he wrote.

“In the equation, astronomical and geophysical forces tend to zero because of their slow nature or rarity, as do internal dynamics, for now. All these forces still exert pressure, but currently on orders of magnitude less than human impact.

According to Steffen these forces have driven a rate of change of 0.01 degrees Celsius per century.

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans over the past 45 years, on the other hand, have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate, he said.

This represented a change to the climate that was 170 times faster than natural forces.

“We are not saying the astronomical forces of our solar system or geological processes have disappeared, but in terms of their impact in such a short period of time they are now negligible compared with our own influence,” Steffen said.

Crystallising this evidence in the form of a simple equation gives the current situation a clarity that the wealth of data often dilutes.

“What we do is give a very specific number to show how humans are affecting the earth over a short timeframe. It shows that while other forces operate over millions of years, we as humans are having an impact at the same strength as the many of these other forces, but in the timeframe of just a couple of centuries.

The human magnitude of climate change looks more like a meteorite strike than a gradual change.

Gaffney and Steffen wrote that while the Earth system had proven resilient, achieving millions of years of relative stability due to the complex interactions between the Earth’s core and the biosphere, human societies would be unlikely to fare so well.

Failure to reduce anthropological climate change could “trigger societal collapse, their research concluded.

Read the original article on the Guardian …

13/02 2017

Invitation to Campaigns Night | The Wilderness Society

We'd like to extend a warm welcome to you and your supporters to join us this Wednesday night for The Wilderness Society's launch of the next wave of the campaign to stop broadscale landclearing in Queensland, and the beginnings of our networks of regional teams as part of our ambitious community organising program: Movement for Life! Please feel free to forward this invitation on to any colleagues or supporters who may be interested.

The Wilderness Society Campaigns Night

Please join us for one of our biggest nights of the year!

Many of you will have heard about the tripling of tree clearing rates in Queensland in recent years with an area the size of the MCG now cleared every 3 minutes. After the government failed to get the Vegetation Management Bill passed last year, we've been busy plotting out the next wave of the campaign - keeping in mind it's an election year but also the need for a stable long-term solution and factoring in the possibility of less favourable governments. This evening will be about getting your input and involvement in winning not just this campaign, but in being part of the movement of people across QLD and Australia, which will help us ensure that we can collectively hold our decision-makers accountable for the decisions they make on our behalf. Whether you are concerned about escalating landclearing, new investment in fossil fuel projects, species decline, climate change etc, it is evident that we need change, and this evening marks the beginnings of this change.

On the night you will hear from several speakers including:

  • Lyndon Schneiders - The Wilderness Society National Director, who can speak to the long history of this campaign.
  • Damian Ogden - National Community Organising Manager - will talk about our community organising program and how this is at the heart of our strategy.
  • Gemma Plesman - Queensland Campaign Manager - will introduce the strategy for the next wave of the campaign, and how you can play a part. We will also have a Q&A and invite your input into the campaign strategy.
  • We will also have a couple of special guests who will speak about their involvement with tackling local urban clearing, as well as a couple of Wilderness Society volunteers who can speak about their involvement, including our free 2-day community organising training.
  • Most importantly, we will provide you with a chance to meet people from your community who share your values, and give you the chance to get involved. 
  • Time: 6pm-8.30pm, Wednesday 15 February
  • Where: The Fox Hotel, 71-73 Melbourne St, South Brisbane
Please RSVP here … The Wilderness Society …

This is a free event, and some food will be provided, and drinks available for purchase at the bar.  Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions - brisbane@wilderness.org.au or 07 3846 1420.

13/02 2017

Energetic Communities Update | February 2017

Rooftop by rooftop, communities across Queensland are nudging our sunshine state towards a sun-powered future. In fact, Queenslanders are world leaders at harvesting sunshine!

But too many people don’t have access to clean energy. They are being left behind with dirty old energy that’s damaging our climate and harming our communities.

We know we need to cut pollution and shift to clean energy, fast. To make this happen – and enable everyone, everywhere, to power their lives with clean energy – our government must step up and lead.

Right now, the Palaszczuk government is developing a plan to see 50% of Queensland’s power needs met by clean energy sources – like wind and solar power – by 2030.

So we’re asking individuals, companies and organisations to sign pledge to make sure this plan is a stepping stone to 100% renewables and achieves real climate action by retiring Queensland’s dirty power plants – there’s no other way! Other policy asks are here – SPQ Policy Asks.

Sign the Pledge …

With the end of fossil fuels upon us, and the gradual closure of coal plants around the country, it is critical that the Queensland Government gives communities and workers sufficient notice to transition to other industries, whilst keeping fossil fuels safely in the ground.

The dirty fuel era is over. It’s time to shift to clean energy and help people transition to jobs that are good for their health, their families and communities, and the world we live in.

Join the Sun-Powered Queensland campaign which is calling on the Queensland Government to:

  • Make our renewable energy target law
  • Phase out coal and gas-fired power
  • Help people who work in affected industries and their communities prepare for jobs for the future
  • Champion large-scale clean energy projects across our state.

The sun-powered Queensland campaign is supported by 350.org, Australian Conservation Foundation, Environmental Defenders Office, Energetic Communities, GetUp, Queensland Conservation Council and Solar Citizens.

We are so looking forward to the Coalition for Community Energy's (C4CE) Community Energy Congress, this time in Melbourne in a few weeks. There are many amazing sessions and side events:

  • Working with renewable energy developers
  • Community Energy Financing, Legals and Risk
  • Community energy and fossil-fuel affected communities
  • New technologies and models of community energy
  • How to: Models of community solar
  • Renewable energy in Aboriginal communities
  • Hepburn Wind Tour
  • Council Master Class
  • Finance Toolkit Training
  • Business Model Development Training

Check out some confirmed speakers here, including:

  • Søren Hermann who spearheaded his community’s efforts to become 100 percent energy independent; and
  • Candace Vahlsing the Senior Policy Advisor for Energy and Climate Change at the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Bimblebox: art-science-nature | 10 February 2017

06/02 2017

NPAQ |Lecture, 15 March 2017 | Brisbane

06/02 2017

Romeo Lahey Lecture | Making Conservation Relevant in a Crowded World

The National Parks of Queensland (NPAQ) is hosting an evening lecture to inform on current issues in conservation, where guest speaker Peter Cochrane will address the topic: Making Conservation Relevant in a Crowded World


Peter Cochrane represents Oceania on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) governing council. He was Parks Australia CEO and Australian Government Director of National Parks from 1999-2013, and has a passion for creating and sustaining partnerships across government agencies, NGOs and community groups.

Details for the evening:

View/Download flyer Facebook …

Kind regards,

Marika Strand | Business Development Officer | National Parks Association of Queensland
Phone: (07) 3367 0878 | PO Box 1040 Milton QLD 4064 | business.devt@npaq.org.au

www.npaq.org.au | www.facebook.com/NPAQld

01/02 2017

International River Foundation News

From our CEO, Ian Atkinson

Welcome to 2017! I hope it proves to be an exciting and fulfilling year for you all

For us here at IRF, this year is going to be a time of consolidation and cautious optimism. We have had some difficult periods over the last couple of years but 2016 saw us complete our plans to address long-standing financial commitments, and set a modest but sustainable agenda for the future. Crucial to this has been the generous financial support of the recently established ‘Bert and Vera Thiess Foundation' and other key donors. The success of our first International Riversymposium outside Australia - In New Delhi, India - also helped IRF significantly, and we look forward to more truly international events in the coming years.

This year, the International Riversymposium will be held back in our original home, the wonderful river city of Brisbane. Planning for the event includes a celebration of the 10th anniversary of “The Brisbane Declaration on Environmental Flows". This declaration presented summary findings and a global action agenda that sought to address the urgent need to protect rivers globally. It was proclaimed at the 10th International Riversymposium and International Environmental Flows Conference, held in Brisbane, Australia, on 3-6 September 2007. The anniversary is a great opportunity to review what has been done, and what remains to be done, to sustain healthy people and ecosystems well into the future.

As a small NGO working in an area of great urgency, there is always more we can do. If you feel there are opportunities IRF should be looking at and which are consistent with our goals and vision, please contact me to discuss them. As always, we would particularly like to hear about ways to attract greater financial support for our programs.

Ian Atkinson
CEO, International RiverFoundation

Ken Thiess Scholarship Recipients Announced

Two talented, emerging water professionals have been awarded our Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship—giving access to one of the world’s leading post-graduate qualifications in integrated water management.

Mr Reg Winlove from the Philippines and Ms Camaria Holder from Antigua and Barbuda were selected from a pool of worthy applicants to travel to Brisbane in 2017 and commence the International WaterCentre’s Master of Integrated Water Management.

Mr Winlove, an Ecosystem Management Specialist, and Ms Holder, a Project Engineer, have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership, an understanding of the benefits of cross-disciplinary approaches and a clear passion for making change in the water sector.

The Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually, providing future water leaders from developing countries with the skills and knowledge to advance their careers and work to improve sustainable water management in their home countries and globally.

More on our Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship …

2017 Riversymposium - Save the dates!

A decade on from the hugely successful 10th International Riversymposium and Environmental Flows Conference, we are inviting water experts to Brisbane to reignite this conversation, with a focus on exploring the progress made, and challenges faced, since the release of the 2007 Brisbane Declaration and Global Action Agenda. The 20th International Riversymposium is an opportunity for those involved in all aspects of sustainable river basin management globally to share their knowledge, learn from others and collaborate – all while enjoying Australia’s stunning river city. Abstract submission opens early 2017.

Riversymposium website …

Coming Up: World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day is held each year on 2 February, celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971. The theme this year is "Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction", putting a spotlight on the many ways that healthy wetlands help us cope with extreme weather events. Share your event with the world by tweeting #WorldWetlandsDay, #WetlandsForDRR & #WetlandsForOurFuture.

More on World Wetands Day … More stories from IRF …

01/02 2017

KQB: What goes up, must come down!

The Queensland Youth Environment Council (for which KQB is the secretariat) invites you to help support their call for the Queensland Government to amend current litter and illegal dumping legislation to specifically ban the release of helium balloons and to investigate options to outlaw the mass-distribution of helium balloons at events, such as the EKKA.

What goes up, must come down!Keep Queensland Beautiful clean-up (Adopt-a-Spot) volunteers across the State are reporting an increase in balloon fragments being found in our parks, creeks and beaches. If consumed, these fragments are deadly to our marine and wildlife.

I know you are busy, but if we don’t act now – when will we? Please take 30 seconds to sign the Queensland Government ePetition: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2691

Our marine and wildlife deserve better.

Please help our campaign by sharing the link on your social media accounts, or join the conversation: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QLDYEC

CORENA Funding

Solar installations and energy efficiency for non-profit organisations

CORENA logoSolar PV installations are a great way of reducing carbon emissions, something that benefits us all, but they also reduce electricity bills. Solar panels usually 'pay for themselves' in around 5 years. Subsequent savings over the lifetime of the panels probably mean the panels ultimately save something like 5 times their up-front cost. If energy efficiency measures, like installing LED lighting, are also taken, potential savings are even greater.

It's a no-brainer, but only if you can spare the up-front capital to pay for a solar or energy efficiency project.

Unfortunately, many of the non-profit organisations that provide valuable services to the community are already trying to do too much with too little, so installing solar seems out of the question for them, even though it would eventually lower their carbon emissions and their operating costs

That's where a CORENA Quick Win project can help. We offer 'free capital' in the form of interest-free loans to pay for solar PV and/or energy efficiency projects at the premises of non-profit organisations, with the loan repayments set at less than the expected resultant savings on power bills. The NFP will never be out of pocket, but nor will they save very much over the repayment period (average 5 years). However, after that the savings on their power bills will mean they have much lower operating costs than previously, meaning more funds available for the services they offer to the community. They will also have greatly reduced their carbon emissions at no cost to themselves.

All our funds are donated, and as Quick Win projects literally 'pay for themselves' and the loans are repaid, the donations are used over and over again in subsequent projects - the money is never 'used up'. Donations made to our first two projects a few years ago, have already paid for more than double the initial value of those donations.

CORENA itself is a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. Our minimal admin costs are covered by membership fees, meaning that 100% of the donated money in the revolving fund is always used to fund our projects. Our operations are completely financially transparent, as you will see if you look the Quick Win project pages on our website.

Often another hurdle for NFP organisations is access to solar and energy efficiency expertise. We have experts on our committee who give free technical advice to help NFPs plan the best projects for their organisation, including the most cost-effective solar installation size, the most reliable panels, and the most effective energy efficiency measures.

images of CORENA progectsNow that we have completed 14 Quick Win projects and have a regular stream of quarterly loan repayments coming back into our revolving fund, we are always looking for more Quick Projects to fund. If you are involved in a non-profit community organisation, please take a look at our project applications page and consider submitting an application for an interest-free loan for a Quick Win project to reduce the carbon footprint of your operations.

For more details, please contact admin@corenafund.org.au.

24/01 2017

HOPE’s Annual Fund-raising Appeal

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135;
Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Dear Friend of the Environment,

Householders Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Australia invites you to support its annual fund-raising appeal by making a regular annual pledge or one-off donation to help defray our operating expenses; and to enable us to more effectively promote new projects, events and activities.

Appeal support can be made at http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/annual-pledgedonation/

Established in 1988, HOPE is a national community-based, not-for-profit organisation encouraging citizens to embrace sustainable living practices at home, in the workplace, at school and on recreation. We also look at broader environmental issues that impact adversely on communities locally, state-wide and nationally.

HOPE, in partnership or association with other organisations, seeks to deliver on its charter of environmental stewardship through:

  • awareness raising campaigns via our website, newsletter and Facebook; as well as through  traditional media
  • developing educational resources such as information sheets and Helpful Hints guides
  • hosting community forums, workshops and other events.

Currently, HOPE has membership with 5 Queensland organisations; and partnerships with 6 national and 3 international NGOs. Full details of our alliances/partnerships may be found at http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/about-us/partnershipsalliances-ngos/ .

HOPE’s major achievements over the years include the production of various publications such as Low Carbon Living starts at home  and Helpful Hints Guide (http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/resources/sundry-hope/) and the staging of significant events/campaigns such as environmental expos, community forums, rallies, petitions and the Darling Downs Solar Neighbourhood Project.

So, if you would like to support our efforts of encouraging residents in your community to embrace sustainable living practices, please consider donating today.

Visit our website at http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/annual-pledgedonation/ to lodge your donation; or consider our crowd funding campaign at https://ozcrowd.com/campaign/3303 .

Further information on HOPE and its activities is available by contacting the office on phone 07 4639 2135 or by email office@hopeaustralia.org.au

Information about corporate sponsorship is available at http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/about-us/sponsors/ .

Yours faithfully,

Frank Ondrus, President - HOPE Inc.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 2135

PS. We also welcome in-kind contributions of office stationery – especially photocopying paper and postage stamps.

Toowoomba area | FEP - Walk to Eagle Nest Camp

Walk to Eagle Nest Depression Camp | Thursday 9 February

Hello all


On Thursday 9th February, you are invited to join members of FEP on a walk to the Eaglenest depression camp site starting from the Edwin Bernays Picnic Ground in the lower part of Redwood Park at 7.30 am.  Hopefully it will be a cooler day.

Redwood Park site map  

Recently, due to the high temperatures,  we have been starting the morning off at 6 am and working till 9 am.  I expect that some of the regular FEP Thursday Redwood Group members may start work at 6 am, but most of us will join the walk to Eagle Nest Camp.

Joining us on the morning will be Daniel Tay Chean, the newly appointed Trails and Outdoor Recreation Project Officer.  What we hope to accomplish is a better understanding of where the camp actually was and the location of the garden area using some historic photos.  I hope that we can restore the area in due course and equip it with a decent track, picnic tables and interpretive signage.  Most of the weeds are privet and lantana.  There are a number of hoop pines and brown pines (or kauri pines) that I believe were planted by the residents of the camp or by the organizers of the camp.

I would prefer that we develop a separate volunteer group to do the vegetation work.  It may be appropriate to get one or more schools involved in the project.

Anyway, see if you can make it.  You will need to be reasonably physically fit and wear appropriate clothing shoes and hat.  Please bring water and morning tea.



25/01 2017

Rainforests of Subtropical Australia Symposium March 2017

On the 23rd and 24th of March,  Healthy Waterways & Catchments (HWC) will host the Rainforests of Subtropical Australia Symposium on the Gold Coast.

The booking page for this event is now live:  www.rosa2017.eventbrite.com

Should you have any queries regarding the event, feel free to give me a call or send me an email.

Kind regards

Paul Donatiu
GPO Box 557
Coastal Catchments Southern Area Manager
Healthy Waterways & Catchments

M 0437 910 685 | F   07 3177 9190 | E: pdonatiu@seqcatchments.com.au


24/01 2017

 QCC Communique | QLD taking the lead 🌞

Queensland should be a leader in clean energy.

As one of the sunniest states in Australia, we have the most to benefit by leading the transition away from old polluting energy like coal towards clean energy like wind and sun. But to do this we need the Queensland Government to step up.


We have just launched the Sun-Powered Pledge to call on the Queensland Government to lead the way, by committing to legislate an ambitious renewable energy target, to phase out coal-fired power and invest in large-scale clean energy projects across our state. But to have real impact, we need to be able to show that thousands of Queenslanders want a sun-powered future.

Will you stand with us and sign the pledge?

If we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change such as more severe storms, worse droughts, and rising sea levels, we need to cut carbon pollution and switch to clean energy fast. The stakes couldn't be higher.

Over the coming months, we will be meeting with politicians, talking with people in the community, building our base of allies, and mobilising public support for our vision for a sun-powered Queensland.

A number of organisations, businesses, and community groups have already jumped on board to help make this campaign happen, but we are looking for more. If you know of a group or business that would be interested in supporting the campaign, please get in touch by email. With your help, we can show that there is strong, diverse public support for a planned transition.

Find out more about the campaign on our website.

Together, let’s move Queensland out of the dirty energy past and into the clean energy future.

For a sun-powered future,

Jackson Turner,
Community Organiser
Queensland Conservation Council · Australia

24/01 2017

WELA - Applications open

Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA)

Applications for WELA 2017 close on Friday 10 February - information and application forms

Are 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 Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) program will bring together 20 women with a mix of ages and diverse backgrounds for a challenging and inspiring program. Participantw will be working on a variety of environmental issues and campaigns around the country, some with environment groups, some independently, and in both paid and unpaid roles.

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.

Here's what 2016 participants had to say about this life-changing program:

  • The best thing you can do for your health is to get a girl gang. WELA introduced me to women who are inspirational, wise, generous and experienced in a wide range of environmental and social justice work.
  • WELA is an amazing gift. It is a rare chance to stop, listen deeply, learn from other passionate environmentalists and reflect.
  • WELA has been the best leadership program I have been involved with.

For further details contact: welaprogram@gmail.com

WELA Program information and application form: welaprogram.org.au

To speak to someone from the WELA 2017 team, write to welaprogram@gmail.com with your phone number and a good time to call. One of us will ring you back, Sue, Holly, Margaret

Green Institute
GPO Box 557
Canberra, ACT 2601

 www.greeninstitute.org.au | office@greeninstitute.org.au |  +61 419 877 325

22/01 2017

Sustainable Living Festival - Program Launch 2017

This summer there’s something big happening. Some of the world’s leading names are coming together to make a big impact for big change at the National Sustainable Living Festival. Join the three week program, with over 200 events, and find out how you can make a big impact. There’s something for everyone in this year’s Festival.


Festival Big Weekend 10th-12th Feb - Federation Square, Melbourne

Sustainable Living Festival … View/Download Program …

20/01 2017

Boomerang Alliance Communique

About Plastic Bags

In 2005, all Australian Governments agreed to phase out plastic bags by 2008. To date only South Australia, Tasmania, ACT and NT have. Those jurisdictions that have banned the bag report less litter, consumers who have changed their behaviour and bring their BYO bags and surveys that show significant support for the bans.

In November 2016, the QLD Government announced a ban on single use, lightweight plastic bags from 2018. A Discussion Paper has been released to ask the community how and when this should happen.

While so- called ‘degradable or biodegradable’ bags may offer some environmental benefits they fail to address the primary problem of bags – entering the marine environment, where they are potentially even greater problem than the traditional bag. Degradable bags break into small bits quickly and look even more like food to marine species. Biodegradable plastic takes too long to decompose, as they contain agents to prevent break down in water, that also include the potential to increase toxic contamination of our oceans.

Bait bags and dog waste bags are amongst the most common types of litter found in Queensland.

Releasing helium balloons is littering and causes harm to wildlife. Evidence suggests they take between 3 months to 1 year to break down. Water slows down the process. Seabird autopsies have revealed balloons are a major contributor to seabird mortalities.

Over 30 countries around the world have banned or levied plastic bags. In the US over 168 counties and cities have bans or levies. California has banned the bag. The UK has a levy on all supermarket bags. Bangladesh banned the bag to reduce flooding caused by waterways blocked by plastic.

Environment groups and major retailers agree that a State ban is the most acceptable measure to restrict plastic bags. Many retailers have already stopped supplying single use bags to customers.

Facts and Figures

  • A single use plastic bag has an average useful lifespan of 12 minutes
  • Every plastic bag ever produced remains in our environment and could take up to 1000 years to fully decompose. Plastic bags are persistent and toxic in the environment. They endanger wildlife.
  • They break ‘up’ not down into smaller bits, posing an event greater opportunity for wildlife to ingest
  • Plastic in the ocean kills over 1 million birds and 100,000 sea mammals every year
  • 30% of sea turtle deaths in Moreton Bay are attributable to plastic ingestion. 70% of loggerheads found in QLD have ingested plastics
  • Australians use over 7 billion bags every year. In QLD the estimate is 1 billion. The average family collects over 60 per week.
  • Supermarkets account for over 50% of plastic bag use with about 3% recycled
  • In NSW, it costs local government $162 million in litter clean-up costs. Given its greater size, it is likely to cost QLD even more. Thousands of active citizens take part of the annual Clean Up Australia day and report plastic as a major problem.
  • Plastic bags are made from non-renewable fossil fuels

Further information is available at Boomerang Alliance, http://www.boomerangalliance.org.au/ .

18/01 2017

Free seminars on Qld planning instruments & SEQ Regional Plan!

Environmental Defenders Office

Have Your Say On Planning - Free Seminars!

Care about the environment, community, responsible development and quality planning?

Right now, important opportunities exist for you to have your say on how planning happens in your region and across the state.

To make sure you have the information and analysis you need to take up these opportunities, leading independent community legal centre Environmental Defenders Office Qld is partnering with the Qld Department of Planning to put on a number of free seminars.

Queensland Planning Instruments Seminars

Updated versions of the Planning Regulation, State Planning Policy and State Development Assessment Provisions have been released and are open for public comment until 10 February 2017 (read more here).

SEQ Regional Plan Seminar

The draft South East Queensland (SEQ) Regional Plan has been released and is open for comment until 3 March 2017 (read more here).

Each seminar will end with a dedicated slot for the speakers to take questions from the audience.

And if you have a burning question or an issue you would like to see covered in any of these seminars, let us know at adminqld@edoqld.org.au so we can make the presentations as useful as possible.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland · www.edoqld.org.au,

18/01 2017

Community Energy Congress to kick off the 2017

Community groups will unite with legal and energy experts, business and government to supercharge Australia’s renewable energy future at next year’s Community Energy Congress.

Two internationally-acclaimed community energy experts will headline the February event. Denmark’s Søren Hermansen – who led the way in creating the world’s first renewable energy island – will be joined by Candace Vahlsing, who works at the White House advising on US President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda.

An increasing number of Australians are discovering the many benefits of community energy. There are more than 50 operating projects around the country, and another 80 in the works.

By owning and operating clean energy projects, such as wind farms and solar breweries, communities can save money, cut pollution, create local jobs and attract new investment.

Up to 800 people are expected to attend the Congress where successful projects will be showcased and attendees will discuss what action is required to ensure that all Australians can take advantage of the clean energy transition including low-income households, renters and indigenous communities.

All are welcome to the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne on 27-28 February 2017. Find out more and register at c4ce.net.au/congress 

12/01 2017

EDO Qld - Swim for the Reef

10 days to Swim for the Reef, will you help?

Dear friends,

Have you heard about Swim for the Reef, when we get together to swim laps and raise funds for vital legal cases to protect the Great Barrier Reef? The swim is just 10 days away on 21 January. So please join us, and tell your friends, and family members, and urge them to be part of this wonderful, creative event!

Maybe you have a partner, friend, child or workmate who might like to participate? Now is your chance to use loads of fishy puns until they take the bait and join. The challenge can be customised depending on where and how participants prefer to swim – at your local pool, or the beach; in a small team or large. It’s all about having fun and personally contributing to the Reef’s protection.

This year is gearing up to be huge! The Krabby Patties, our first Yeronga Pool team ever, have raised an amazing amount before they’ve even touched the water! The Wobbegongs are an impressive second at the moment, followed by last year’s fundraising winners Turtley Awesome and Avid Reader. Over 100 swimmers are registered already, but can you help us double or even triple that figure?

Whether you swim 4 laps or 40 laps, your valuable participation will attract donations and help us undertake crucial legal work to protect the Reef. Our overall tally of laps in 2017 will be added to last year’s 5,700 laps as we aim to swim the equivalent distance of the Great Barrier Reef (-a massive 2,300km!).

The swim is just 10 days away, will you help? Please register now or forward this link (http://www.swimforthereef.org.au/)to your friends and family.

Email us at swimforthereef@edoqld.org.au if you need help with registering.

If you don't have a team, register anyway and we will find one for you.

Sunny regards,

Jo-Anne Bragg
CEO/Solicitor – and swimathon participant-in-training!
Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld)

PS. As well as Musgrave Park Pool (home base) other additional pools have now also registered to host Swim for the Reef events-

  • Ithaca Pool, Caxton Street, Paddington/li>
  • Yeronga Park Pool, School Road, Yeronga
  • Bellbowrie Pool, 47 Birkin Road, Bellbowrie
  • Petria Thomas Swimming Pool, Jubilee Avenue, Mullumbimby 
  • Stanthorpe Swimming Pool, Talc Street, Stanthorpe 

11/01 2017

“IN BRIEF” Notice - Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wanted: Used Postage Stamps

Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment Inc.
PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba QLD 4350
(22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350)
Ph: 07 4639 2135;
Email: office@hopeaustralia.org.au
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) invites residents and businesses to collect stamps from their incoming mail for reuse by local community groups.

Community groups take these stamps and re-sell them to raise funds for local and overseas missions work.

Mr Frank Ondrus, President of HOPE said we also welcome unwanted stamp album collections.

You can post a pack of used stamps to the HOPE (Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment) office, PO Box 6118 - Clifford Gardens, Toowoomba, QLD 4350; or drop them off at 22 Vacy St, Toowoomba.

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 2135; email office@hopeaustralia.org.au

02/01 2017

Make 2017 Sustainable

New Year’s Green Resolutions

A new year is beginning and a lot of us like to have “resolutions” to give us a focus or an aim, for the year ahead.

Frank Ondrus, President of Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc., is suggesting that 2017 resolutions include actions to help improve environmental concerns. HOPE’s motto is Think Globally, Act Locally, said Mr Ondrus. In our everyday actions, each of us can contribute to the betterment of the environment.

For example:

  • Be vigilant with electricity use – turn off unnecessary items including lights and electronic equipment when no one is using them
  •   Make a deliberate choice to walk, ride a bike or take public transport instead of driving your car every day
  • Establish routines in your household for the preferred disposal of recyclables, green-waste and rubbish.

These simple actions can become good habits and the collective benefit to the environment will be appreciable said Mr Ondrus.

These suggestions are grounded in HOPE’s Charter. Read more about HOPE and its Charter on the website at www.hopeaustralia.org.au .