What's New?


15/06 2018

Moreton Bay under threat...again

Update - Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage KBA

Hey Friend of the Environment,

Is it Groundhog Day?

This time last year BirdLife asked you to join us in taking a stand against the Toondah Harbour development within the Moreton Bay Ramsar wetlands.

Since then, the group in charge of the Toondah Harbour development have come up with a new plan that isn't much better than the last.

If approved, the development will encroach into Ramsar-listed wetlands, destroying native habitat and endangering important feeding and roosting sites of Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew and other migratory shorebirds.

This will be an unprecedented event in Australia that could open the floodgates to development in Australia's 64 other Ramsar sites.

Sadly, the fight is ongoing and we must take a stand again to protect our most important wetlands.

In the summer, Moreton Bay is a magnet for migratory shorebirds, including the Eastern Curlew. The area is so spectacular for its birdlife that it is internationally recognised as a Key Biodiversity Area and is protected under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty to conserve significant wetlands.

Despite its international significance, the future of this Ramsar site is still under threat.

The Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, has had multiple opportunities to stop this development but has failed to act.

Let's make it loud and clear to the Minister that Ramsar-listed wetlands should never be developed.

Will you stand with us again?.

Thanks for your continued support,

Andrew Hunter
Conservation Campaigner
Birdlife Australia


31/05 2018

Good news from Queensland

Update - Queensland Land Clearing Laws

Hey Friend of the Environment,

Did you hear the great news earlier this month?

I’m delighted to share some positive news for our birds and wildlife in Queensland.

After several years in which 50% of Australia's land clearing was taking place in Queensland, the State Government passed new vegetation management laws that will help reduce the rate of land clearing, strengthen habitat and environmental protection, and improve monitoring and compliance.

BirdLife Australia is thrilled that the QLD Government has heeded the advice of scientists and reinstated vegetation management controls.

Queensland is home to over 600 bird species, with many, like the Regent Honeyeater, directly threatened by land clearing. The new laws will now increase the protections afforded to remnant and regrowth vegetation that provide critical habitat to so many of our birds.

Scaling back land clearing will lessen greenhouse gas emissions, reduce soil erosion and protect vital Great Barrier Reef catchments – all great news for us and our birds.

We reckon this decision deserves big congratulations and thanks!

Let’s back this decision by thanking the Queensland Government for protecting our native vegetation that so many of our amazing birds rely on.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter and let's thank the Queensland Government today!

Thanks for your support,

Paul Sullivan
Birdlife Australia CEO

P.S. This is a huge step for Queensland but land clearing continues to be a national issue. Join BirdLife Australia’s Act for Birds Campaign calling on a new generation of environmental laws that will genuinely protect all of Australia’s amazing birds.


31/05 2018

Honest Government Ad | thejuicemedia via RenewEconomy

Video of the day: Superb take-down of Coalition’s energy policy

Juice Media has been getting a bit of traction with its series of “honest government” ads, a take-off of the increasing amounts of federal government advertising promoting what a good job it thinks it’s doing.

This video above focuses on the Coalition government’s climate and energy policy, and it hits the mark, just as Clarke and Dawe did last year. RenewEconomy even gets a few mentions.

Enjoy.

RenewEconomy article » thejuicemedia YouTube »

31/05 2018

Australia’s largest companies - paying no tax

Proposed company tax cuts in the recent national budget have been criticised as seeing benefits flow almost exclusively to foreign owners. Presently some of Australia’s largest companies, while having the highest incomes, pay little or no tax. Glencore, Australia's largest coal miner, had an income of $27.9 billion (2014-16), a taxable income (after huge deductions) of $108 million on which tax payable was 'zero'. See more at Michael West's Top 40 Tax dodgers. Sign The Australia Institute petition.

Think of what could be achieved for the environment if the Federal Government had more tax revenue!!


31/05 2018

Local Resources for National Reconciliation Week

Don't Keep History a Mystery

Dear Friends,

Firstly apologies to those living outside of Toowoomba and Dalby. Time didn’t permit us to cast the net further – but we will work on that for future projects!

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2018 is “Don’t Keep History a Mystery”. This year we have put together a few PowerPoint slides that can be used to acknowledge some of our local shared history on part of the Darling Downs. Of course we are skating over the top – but it is a start. I have attached a PowerPoint show with text only and a link to a PowerPoint show with a voice over.. You may wish to play this at a function this week, school assembly, morning tea etc.

I’d like to thank Michael Birmingham (St Thomas More’s Parish) and Jim Tiernan (Bunker’s Hill State School) for their assistance in creating the PowerPoint slides. I take responsibility for any errors in information shared. All of the slides have been researched with major sources being the work of local historians and The encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture / David Horton. If you click on the link below you will have access to the PowerPoint files. You can download them and then play. Please feel free to share!

drive.google.com/open?id=13gT7lRgE0VcHpBQ-XIYPTDes7WCxNJj_

Happy National Reconciliation Week!

youtube.com/watch?v=zDByG_Ao4MI

Regards,
Mark

Dr Mark Copland
Executive Officer
Social Justice Commission
Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba


30/05 2018

BirdLife Australia petition ... please add your voice

Friends of birds and nature,

If you've already taken the time to act for birds, thank you. If you haven't had a chance yet, there's still time to add your voice.

There are countless examples of Australia’s nature laws failing to protect our unique birdlife and their habitats, and with one of the highest extinction rates in the world, the time for real change is now.

Now is the time to send a loud and clear message to politicians that we need strong nature laws and independent institutions, not only to protect our native birdlife, but all of nature.

Strong nature laws will restore the health of Australian landscapes and the species they support.

Strong nature laws will strengthen our democracy, hold our politicians to account and positively encourage community involvement.

Strong nature laws will be our gift to future generations.

Join us in calling on all major parties to commit to a new generation of national environment laws to protect the places and birds we love.

Sign our petition to demand stronger nature laws that genuinely work to protect our environment.

Act for Birds. Act for Nature.

Thanks for your support,

Andrew Hunter
Conservation Campaigner, Birdlife Australia


30/05 2018

Sharing is caring!

Making better use of our Facebook activity

Friends,

The HOPE office is keen to make better use of its Facebook account www.facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment -- and so, we are seeking your support in a number of ways.

Firstly, of course, we would like you to ‘Like’ us; and to share with Facebook link with your networks.

Secondly, we welcome posts from you. We would like to hear of your environmental interests and/or concerns.

Thirdly, we’re always keen to learn of other like-minded groups “doing good for the environment”. Please send us a link to any group you think we should be aware of.

Lastly, as HOPE’s main focus is on promoting sustainability, we welcome any and all information on practical measures to live more sustainably at home, in the workplace, etc.

Regards,

Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 2135

PS


13/05 2018

Choose to Refuse!

Plastic Free July challenge

Did you know Australians use around 100 kilograms of plastic packaging per household each year? Choose to refuse single use plastic this July by signing up for the Plastic Free July challenge at www.plasticfreejuly.org. You will receive tips and support through a weekly e-newsletter during the month and you won't be alone. You’ll be joining 100,000+ West Australians (and a million+ people world-wide) in making a difference.

It is so simple to be part of Plastic Free July. Firstly, remember your reusables! Being plastic free means you always need your trusty reusable water bottles, reusable coffee cups and reusable bags handy.

Secondly, spread the word – grab your friends or co-workers and spread the plastic free love. The more people that choose to refuse, the greater impact we can make in reducing landfill and saving our oceans! We encourage you to help people share the challenge in your workplace, community, school and other groups. From hosting a plastic free morning tea to giving your local cafe posters to encourage reusable coffee cups there are lots materials to share and are all free to use and available at www.plasticfreejuly.org.


13/05 2018

Countdown to LEAF 2018

Come to LEAF 2018

‘Rethink the future’ with Australia’s favourite gardener Costa Georgiadis and sustainable farmer and chef Paul West as we explore how we can all reduce, reuse and recycle and create a healthier world and future.

Take a photography MasterClass with Steve Parish, or learn how to create a wildlife garden, turn your backyard into heaven for chickens, or make your own sugar-free jams, cheese and kimchi

With everything from workshops in kokedama, up-cycling and sustainable gardening to delicious organic food and coffee and free rides and activities for the kids, the whole family will have a great time at LEAF 2018.

Sunday 27 May 2018 | 10am-3pm
Griffith University
Logan Campus, Meadowbrook

Join Facebook Event

#LEAF2018


20/05 2018

Reminder: HOPE -- Community Forum on Improving Soil Health

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

Community Forum: “Improving Soil Health”, 22 May 2018


Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is hosting a community forum on good soil management practices on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm at the Toowoomba City Library (155 Herries St, Toowoomba City QLD 4350).

Mr Colin Johnson from Earthlife Pty Ltd (earthlife.com.au) will address topics such as the relevance of soil mineral depletion; the adverse effect of survival plant growth on the environment; inefficient fertilisers; and the re-creation of healthy and fertile soils.

Bookings are essential. Please RSVP by 18 May to the HOPE office on 07 4639 2135 or by email to office@hopeaustralia.org.au. Entry by gold coin donation.



20/05 2018

Brisbane City Council (BCC) bans plastic bag use


15/05 2018

Community forum just around the corner

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

Community Forum: “Restoring soil health – from backyards to farm-yards - can help the environment”, 22 May 2018

Colin Johnson - presenter“How restoring your soil’s health - from backyards to farm-yards - can help the environment” is the theme of HOPE’s second community forum for the month of May.

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is hosting a community forum on good soil management practices on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm at the Toowoomba City Library (155 Herries St, Toowoomba City QLD 4350).

Mr Colin Johnson from Earthlife Pty Ltd (earthlife.com.au) will address topics such as the relevance of soil mineral depletion; the adverse effect of survival plant growth on the environment; inefficient fertilisers; and the re-creation of healthy and fertile soils.

Bookings are essential. Please RSVP by 18 May to the HOPE office on 07 4639 2135 or by email to office@hopeaustralia.org.au. Entry by gold coin donation.

Event:

Community Forum: “How restoring the soil can help restore the environment”

Date:

Tuesday, 22 May, 7pm – 9pm

Venue:

Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Sts, Toowoomba).

Cost:

Entry by gold coin donation


14/05 2018

QCC Citizen Science Webinar, 17 May 2018

Hi there,

A reminder that QCC is hosting a citizen science webinar this week on Thursday 17th May 10am-11am.

Citizen Science has been used as an effective tool in various ways in conservation advocacy, to call industry and government to account and to protect nature. For example, recently in Victoria endangered species spotted during Citizen Science excursions and Citizen Science Camps have been instrumental in saving parts of the Kuark Forest and more recently in the Vic Alpine Forests too.

Here in QLD some of QCC's member groups are also leading the way in utilising citizen science as a way to engage the community, collect and record data and Reef Check Australia who actively engage volunteers in reef protection.

Jenn Loder from Reef Check Australia will be giving us a run down on Citizen Science as well as the Australian Citizen Science Association and Reef Citizen Science Alliance.

Please RSVP here looking forward to seeing some of you there.


14/05 2018

Take the Challenge!

Colgate Community Garden Challenge

Right now, Australian kids and students have the chance to win a recycled community garden set by diverting tens of thousands of oral care products from landfill, thanks to a recycling competition run by Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle.

Between 23 March and 31 October 2018, the Colgate Community Garden Challenge invites pre-, primary and secondary schools nationwide to collect all brands of oral care waste and send it to TerraCycle, who will give the waste a second life by creating new products.

Five recycled community garden sets will be awarded to five schools, with each set including three garden beds, two custom-made benches, one rubbish bin and one sign, plus a $500 gardening voucher to buy seeds and plants. Besides showing how recycled materials can be used as a sustainable alternative to virgin plastic, the sets will help promote gardening and healthy eating among schools.

Visit www.terracycle.com.au/colgategarden to join the competition, access resources and watch your competition ranking on a digital leaderboard! And remember to get your community to vote online for you every day at www.terracycle.com/colgategardenvoting.

Liz Keen - Public Relations Manager
TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand
AU: 02 8667 9262 | www.terracycle.com.au
NZ: 0800 474 016 | www.terracycle.co.nz


13/05 2018

Date Claimer -- LEAF 2018

Come to LEAF 2018

‘Rethink the future’ with Australia’s favourite gardener Costa Georgiadis and sustainable farmer and chef Paul West as we explore how we can all reduce, reuse and recycle and create a healthier world and future.

Take a photography MasterClass with Steve Parish, or learn how to create a wildlife garden, turn your backyard into heaven for chickens, or make your own sugar-free jams, cheese and kimchi

With everything from workshops in kokedama, up-cycling and sustainable gardening to delicious organic food and coffee and free rides and activities for the kids, the whole family will have a great time at LEAF 2018.

Sunday 27 May 2018 | 10am-3pm
Griffith University
Logan Campus, Meadowbrook

Join Facebook Event

#LEAF2018


12/05 2018

What is World Migratory Bird Day?

World Migratory Bird Day is an Annual Global Celebration

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It has a global outreach and is an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

Every year people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD. All these activities can also be undertaken at any time on the year because that countries or regions observing the peak of migrations at different times, but the main days for the international celebrations on the Second Saturday in May and in October.

Connecting Events with a Global Campaign and Theme

World Migratory Bird Day activities take place in many different countries and places across the globe - united by a common campaign and theme. If you are interested in organizing an event to mark WMBD, register your planned activity. In this way, individual events can be shared with others around the world and help inspire them to take action too. Find out how you can participate.

Global Event Map »

05/05 2018

Queensland will you Act for Birds?

Dear Friends of the Environment,

Did you know World Migratory Bird Day is on May 12th?

However, many of our migratory shorebirds, including the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew, are facing extinction. Along the coasts of Queensland these amazing birds are under threat from the impacts of coastal development. From Toondah Harbour in the south to the mangroves of the north, migratory shorebirds are coming off second best to poor planning and lack of enforcement.

Join us in Brisbane May 9th and Cairns May 10th for BirdLife's Act for Birds Community Forum and be part of the solution!

Another national treaure, the Swift Parrot, has less than 1,000 pairs left in the wild.

This Critically Endangered species is on an unnecessary and completely avoidable path to extinction. Swifties breed in Tasmania but their range stretches across six jurisdictions including Queensland. Habitat loss is one of the greatest threats to their survival and recovery efforts in one state may be undermined by destructive practices in anothe.

Register for our Community Forum in Toowoomba on May 8th to learn how you can Act for Birds like the Swift Parrot.

The plights of the Eastern Curlew and Swift Parrot are tragically becoming the new normal as the list of threatened species continues to grow. The common thread is a systemic failure of the laws and institutions in place to protect threatened species.

Together we can continue to pressure our elected decision makers to prioritise the future of birds like Eastern Curlews and Swift Parrots. BirdLife has a plan to change the game for our birds, but we need your support to see it through.

Come along to hear all about our game-changing campaign to protect and recover threatened species for good.

We'll provide you with practical ways to take action and discuss how, together, we can secure stronger nature laws for all of our birds.

With your help, we can protect and restore our birds and the places they call home.

Thanks for continuing to speak up for our birds,

Andrew Hunter
Conservation Campaigner, Birdlife Australia


07/05 2018

Date Claimer: NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub

Brisbane Roadshow and Workshop - NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub | Thurs 31 May

Dear All,

We’re delighted to let you know that the program for our Brisbane Roadshow of the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub has now been announced. Details are below, and the program is attached. Updates will be provided on the Eventbrite site. Please feel free to distribute to any colleagues who may wish to join us.

We hope this event will be an exciting opportunity to connect with our Hub’s researchers and leaders, and discuss our most up-to-date findings of relevance to Queensland and the Northern NSW region. It includes presentations, discussions and workshops on our research projects to make the most of your time and strengthen the ways that our Hub’s research is linked to the needs of decision-makers, managers, environmental organisations and the wider community. We hope you can join us.

Thu, May 31, 2018, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM AEST
River Room, Customs House
399 Queen Street, Brisbane, Qld
Free
Please register at: tsrbrisbane2018.eventbrite.com.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Best regards,
Rachel

Dr Rachel Morgain
Knowledge Broker

Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU College of Science
Room 3.06 Frank Fenner Building
141 Linnaeus Way, Australian National University, Acton ACT 2601, Australia
P: +612 6125 6775 | M +61 419 710 770| E rachel.morgain@anu.edu.au

The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme.
www.nespthreatenedspecies.edu.au | @TSR_Hub



04/05 2018

A communique from BirdLife Australia

Take a moment to act for birds

Dear Friends of the Environment,

There are countless examples of Australia’s nature laws failing to protect our unique birdlife and their habitats, and with one of the highest extinction rates in the world, the time for real change is now.

Now is the time to send a loud and clear message to politicians that we need strong nature laws and independent institutions, not only to protect our native birdlife, but all of nature.

Strong nature laws will restore the health of Australian landscapes and the species they support.

Strong nature laws will strengthen our democracy, hold our politicians to account and positively encourage community involvement.

Strong nature laws will be our gift to future generations.

Join us in calling on all major parties to commit to a new generation of national environment laws to protect the places and birds we love.

Sign our petition to demand stronger nature laws that genuinely work to protect our environment.

Act for Birds. Act for Nature.

Thanks for your support,

Margaret Quixley
Conservation Manager, Birdlife Australia


02/05 2018

Date Claimer --- Plastic Free July


01/05 2018

Act for Birds, Act for Nature

Community forum:
A Conversation about Nature Laws, Tue 8 May 2018, Toowoomba

Birdlife Australia »
Places You Love »
Act for Birds »
RSVP HERE »

01/05 2018

A time to reflect

National Sorry Day, 26th May 2018

The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998, which was declared by several community organisations to remember the tens of thousands of children who were forcibly removed from their Aboriginal families from the early 1900s to the 1970s. So, this year marks the 20th anniversary of this event.

However, there was a formal apology, in 2008; the famous Apology Speech to Stolen Generations, by the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The Stolen Generations are a part of a vast plan and various policies enacted by the different Australian Governments up until the 1970s, which took the collective name of White Australia Policy.

The Aboriginal community was highly affected by these policies which had the aim to erase the Aboriginal culture as well as its traditions.

The National Sorry Day can be seen as one of the results of the 1997’s Bringing Them Home Report. The inquiry was established by the federal Attorney-General, Michael Lavarch, on 11 May 1995, after years of constant pressure by Aboriginal organisations to see a formal recognition of their struggle. The Bringing Them Home Report was a thorough investigation into the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families to extricate them from their traditions and culture.

The publication of the report in 1997 raised the public awareness of what the Aboriginal community suffered in the past years, and how a large number of stakeholders, among them religious associations and governmental agencies, where involved at different levels in this awful process.

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) invites its members, families and colleagues to learn more about this infamous occurrence known as Stolen Generations. Knowledge is power, and knowledge of the past helps us not to forget and not to repeat the same atrocities in the future: especially in periods like the current one, in which waves of racism seem to be increasing in Australia. There are simple and symbolic things to do to remember this event, for example visit the Queensland Museum to learn more about this aspect of Australia’s history.

To know more about the National Sorry Day: time.com/3890518/national-sorry-day.
To read the 1997’s Bringing Them Home Report: www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/bringing-them-home-report-1997
To view the aplogy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiLnsFyAVqE


30/04 2018

Hot off the presses!

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)

Website: http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

May 2018 HOPE E-news Bulletin | Bits & pieces

Editorial

Good morning folks,

This month’s newsletter focuses on environment NGOs advocating for a “new generation of environmental laws to ensure a healthy, functioning and resilient environment for generations to come.”

HOPE is a member group of the Places You Love Alliance (www.placesyoulove.org) which is one of these NGOs and BirdLife Australia (www.birdlife.org.au).

HOPE is hosting the Toowoomba leg of BirdLife Australia’s National “Act for Birds, Act for Nature” Roadshow on Tuesday 8 May 2018

Regards,
Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph 07 4639 2135


Date Claimer

Community Forum:
BirdLife Australia’s National Roadshow --- Act for Birds, Act for Nature “Advocating for a New Generation of Environmental Laws to Protect our Environment”

Tuesday 8th May 2018 | 7pm to 9pm | Laurel Bank Park Hall, 50 Hill St, Toowoomba

Birdlife Australia

Join BirdLife in Toowoomba this May to hear about how nature laws are failing our birds and what we can do to help our feathered friends.

BirdLife Australia is calling for stronger nature laws that genuinely protect our wonderful birds and their precious habitats. Our Act for Birds campaign is live, our report just launched, and across the environmental movement as a whole we're starting to see the extinction crisis getting the national media attention it deserves.

But our real power to secure stronger nature laws – and better outcomes for birds - lies in the stories and voices of local bird-lovers from around the country. So, BirdLife will be hosting 8 public community forums across the country!

This series of community forums will bring together people who care about birds and nature to share knowledge and take action. Attendees will get the chance to improve their understanding of this national issue, why it’s important and how it relates to you. We'll talk through exactly how the current system of nature laws is fundamentally broken and offer practical ways to take action about the local issues that matter to you.

This will be a great opportunity for passionate nature lovers (like you!) to connect with one another, come up with ideas of your own, and take action together for the places and birds you love!

Lucky Door Prize – A “family pass – 2 adults & 2 children” to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (currumbinsanctuary.com.au)

Bookings essential. Refreshments provided.

RSVP via www.actforbirds.org/community-forum-toowoomba


Feature Article

Presenter
An overview of Places You Love

The Places You Love (PYL) is an alliance composed of 40 groups totalling more than a million and a half members and supporters. The Alliance’s aim is to promote nature protection laws on a national scale, and also to unite the nature-loving Australian community to take direct action to protect the environment and improve the actual situation in regard to this matter.

The organisations that are part of the Places You Love are a movement of people who take a stand for the environment through political and social power. The Alliance remarks on the strong connection between Australians and nature; and how Australia’s natural sites represent their national identity. Australia has natural places that are unique and which are part of every Australian’s life. The key aspect of their struggle is the enactment of a new generation of environmental laws. Places You Love has been fighting for decades advocating for environmental preservation, also by demanding that governments and companies preserve Australia’s nature.

Now, like never before, protection of nature is paramount due to the threat posed in the current political climate, and the exploitation of the natural resources in recent years has reached its peak. Places You Love's mission is to inspire Australians to protect nature. Places You Love members include WWF-Australia, The Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Foundation, Birdlife Australia, Humane Society International and many conservation councils and local groups around the country.

The Alliance highlights the fact that a healthy natural environment is paramount for a healthy society, as well as a shared vision of Australia starting from the local communities, government and businesses. This vision is based on collective action and a joint approach to solving problems, and also on the identification and implementation of activities to pool its member organisations’ strengths - because in union there is strength.

According to Places You Love, a new national environmental framework must be built on five key principles:

  • National leadership;
  • A central role for communities in decision making;
  • Trusted and independent institutions
  • Delivering strong environmental outcomes; and
  • Ensuring resilience in the face of climate change.

Places You Love conducted a survey of Australia’s nature, and discovered several important things. For example, the great majority of Australia’s rivers have been modified by man through the construction of dams and irrigations systems. Also, their survey highlights the ongoing impacts of development on fresh water resources, and how the projected impact of climate change will cause a further decline of these resources.

Another, significative finding is the projected increase of emissions worldwide by 2050. According to Places You Love, ‘Two degrees of climate warming will likely mean the loss of most coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef, 80 per cent of freshwater wetlands from Kakadu National Park, and Queensland’s tropical forests’.

Moreover, in Australia there has been an increase of air-pollution-related illness, with health costs amounting to some $11.1 to $24.3 billion a year.

Nature is under threat in Australia, as is exemplified by the constant increase of rubbish, energy consumption (with only a small percentage coming from renewable sources) and chemicals for agricultural application. Also, half of Australia’s wetlands have been drained, filled or destroyed.

All these findings should sensitise each and every Australian to do what is possible to limit, and possibly stop, this ongoing and multiform exploitation of nature.

Places You Love also works closely with The Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law (APEEL) - apeel.org.au, which is working toward a more environmental-centred legislation.

HOPE, as part of the Places You Love alliance, invites its members to take part in Places You Love campaigns and events. Places You Love’s website www.placesyoulove.org provides a list of all the organisations that comprise its alliance, which can be useful to understand the broad range of associations and groups involved in its project.

View/download lots more news and great articles »

26/04 2018

WILD KOALA DAY, 5 MAY 2018

Fellow Koala Supporters

A joint event will be undertaken by KAI (Koala Action Inc.) and MBKR (Moreton Bay Koala Recue Inc.) at the Caboolture Regional Environmental Education Centre (CREEC) at 150 Rowley Road, Burpengary. This event is going to be both informative and interesting so hopefully we will get a good response. So I look forward to seeing you on the day. If you would like to donate cakes, biscuits, tarts or savouries for lunch please let me know and bring them on the day. Your support will be much appreciated.

Wild Koala Day - koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/research/wild-koala-day
(Saturday 5th May 2018, 10am start)

Vanda Grabowski, President, Koala Action Inc. (KAI) will provide a general koala education and awareness presentation which will be followed by a presentation given by Lindsay Wickson from Endeavour Veterinary Ecology on the koalas at the Amcor Petrie Mill Redevelopment site.

To conclude the day, Anika Lehmann, President, Moreton Bay Koala Rescue Inc. (MBKR) will provide an overview about what is involved in becoming a rescuer or transporter of sick, injured and orphaned koalas.

This will be followed by Dr. Tania Bishop, Veterinarian, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital will provide an overview on the types of injuries and illnesses coming into the wildlife hospital and the rehabilitation process.

Dave Norman, Mango Hill, North Lakes Environment Group will be singing some of his wildlife related songs during the breaks between the speakers. Presentations will take an hour each including question time with a 30 min refreshment break between each speaker.

Morning, afternoon tea and lunch will be supplied.

Bookings are essential as space is limited. Please email Vanda on info@koalaactioninc.org or mykoalas@bigpond.net.au to confirm your booking or ring her on 0407 101 837.

With thanks Vanda (aka Wanda) Grabowski
President/Secretary, Koala Action Inc.
Representative, Moreton Bay Koala Rescue Inc.


26/04 2018

Date Claimer: Climate event

EVENT ALERT—3 May 2018

Hypothetical: Climate risk and home ownership in Qld

What does climate change mean for home ownership in Queensland?
Will it lead to unaffordable prices, insurance problems, safety issues and long-term occupancy problems?

Come along to a unique hypotheticals event on 3 May at QUT’s Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane and find out.

Using the scenario of a large unit development, a panel of experts will take on various roles – including planner, developer and home buyer – to explore some of the most challenging long-term issues facing Queensland home owners and the broader property sector.

The event is open to the public and follows on from the Built Environment and Infrastructure Sector Adaptation Plan launched as part of the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy last year.

Panellists include experts from the Queensland Government, the Local Government Association of Queensland, QUT, Griffith University, Climate Risk, and Suncorp.

The event is facilitated by Green Cross Australia’s Business Adaptation Network and proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

Event details

Date:
Thursday 3 May
Time:
9:00am–12:00pm AEST
(Morning tea and lunch provided)
Location:
QUT Gardens Point Campus
George Street, Brisbane

Register now

Register now to secure your attendance.


23/04 2018

Invite to Toowoomba BirdLife Aust. Community Forum

BirdLife Australia’s National Roadshow --- Act for Birds, Act for Nature

Advocating for a New Generation of Environmental Laws to Protect our Environment

Community Forum, Toowoomba

Date:
Tuesday 8th May 2018
Time:
7pm to 9pm
Venue:
Laurel Bank Park Hall, 50 Hill St, Toowoomba

Join BirdLife in Toowoomba this May to hear about how nature laws are failing our birds and what we can do to help our feathered friends.

BirdLife Australia is calling for stronger nature laws that genuinely protect our wonderful birds and their precious habitats. Our Act for Birds campaign is live, our report just launched, and across the environmental movement as a whole we're starting to see the extinction crisis getting the national media attention it deserves.

But our real power to secure stronger nature laws – and better outcomes for birds - lies in the stories and voices of local bird-lovers from around the country. So, BirdLife will be hosting 8 public community forums across the country!

This series of community forums will bring together people who care about birds and nature to share knowledge and take action. Attendees will get the chance to improve their understanding of this national issue, why it’s important and how it relates to you. We'll talk through exactly how the current system of nature laws is fundamentally broken and offer practical ways to take action about the local issues that matter to you.

This will be a great opportunity for passionate nature lovers (like you!) to connect with one another, come up with ideas of your own, and take action together for the places and birds you love!

Bookings essential. Refreshments provided.

RSVP via www.actforbirds.org/community-forum-toowoomba.

Resources


18/04 2018

Why is Tony Abbott still deciding our energy policy?

It's crunch time!

Malcolm Turnbull is pushing a pathetic national energy plan that will keep ageing coal plants on life support and deliver less renewables than doing nothing at all.1 Next week State Premiers and Energy Ministers will come together to decide the fate of Turnbull's National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

What GetUp members do right now could impact energy policy for years to come. Will the states fight back against Turnbull's anti-renewables agenda? Or will they accept it, and let him drive renewables investment into the ground?

For the sake of a safe climate, we need to convince State Energy Ministers to reject Turnbull's anti-renewables plan until he starts negotiating with them, rather than the coal-huggers on his own backbench.

Over 19,000 GetUp members have already signed an open letter calling on State Premiers and Energy Ministers to reject any national energy plan that doesn't grow renewables. We're hustling to get the open letter published as a full page ad in The Age on the day the Energy Ministers meet. This is our last chance to get even more signatures and show state governments how many Australians reject Turnbull's anti-renewable agenda.

Can you add your voice to the open letter right now to make sure State Energy Ministers oppose any national energy plan that doesn't grow renewables?

Thanks to GetUp members, the states are already feeling the pressure from everyday Australians who want a clean energy future.

But we have to keep pushing hard for the states to champion renewable energy. Because the last couple of weeks have shown how dangerous energy policy can be when it's written by the coal lobby.

Federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg is bullying AGL to keep their clapped-out Liddell coal plant open past its expiry date. And he's openly admitted the National Energy Guarantee will extend the life of other pollution-spewing coal clunkers.3 Meanwhile, prominent coal cheerleaders such as Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, George Christensen and Craig Kelly have formed their own Coal Club -- the "Monash Forum" -- entirely dedicated to building new coal-burning power plants.4

These dinosaurs are trying to keep Australia choking on polluting 19th-century energy. The good news is that State Premiers and Energy Ministers have the power to stop their dangerous pro-coal agenda. But we've only got a week to make sure they stand up for what the people want -- not what Tony Abbott wants.

Can you sign the open letter to show State Energy Ministers how many Australians want a clean energy future?

When politicians make policy for a handful of mining billionaires, it's ordinary Australians who suffer. Every time they prop up outdated coal, they hurt the rural communities at increased risk of bushfires, the tourism operators watching the Reef die before their eyes, and the families breathing in toxic pollution from coal-burning power plants.

Malcolm Turnbull has a plan to please Tony Abbott's Coal Club. We've got a plan to make them irrelevant. But we've only got one week to make it count.

Sign the open letter to make sure State Energy Ministers back a plan for more renewable energy, not more coal: www.getup.org.au/neg

Thanks for being a renewable energy champion,
Miriam and Adam, for the GetUp team


16/04 2018

BirdLife is hitting the road!

Dear Friends of the Environment,

Starting Thursday 12 April, we're hitting the road, stopping in communities across the country to bring together people (like you!) who care about our birds and want to help.

We will be holding a series of town hall events bringing the Act for Birds campaign to as many people as we can. The time to Act for Birds is now - come along to a town hall event near you!

Melbourne Perth Adelaide Hobart Toowoomba Brisbane Cairns Sydney

You'll hear from local guest speakers about how our current nature laws are affecting your community and local bird life, and we will offer you practical ways to take immediate action and make your voice heard. For some, this issue may be a bit daunting, and that’s why we want to provide you with the information and confidence you need to speak up for birds.

Too many of our birds are threatened with extinction because Australia’s nature laws are weak, under resourced or poorly implemented.

Together we can create a system where science is respected and the community is heard. We have the plan to make this a reality, but it will take all of us coming together and speaking up to make the change we need.

Margaret Quixley
Conservation Manager

Act for Birds
Act for Nature campaign …
birdlife Australia …

16/04 2018

The Climate Photo Challenge

On the hunt for the photo that could change our future

Dear Friend of the Environment,

This photo above was taken as I perched on the edge of a Zodiac boat while on an expedition to Antarctica last month. While I tried to absorb the scale and beauty of these icebergs, it was also a visible reminder of how the Earth's last pristine continent is warming more rapidly than anywhere else on earth.

This is why Eco-Business's Changing Course campaign aims to tell stories about the impacts of climate change, to inspire meaningful change in our society.

I'm excited to announce that as part of this campaign, we are launching a global climate photo challenge and would like to invite you to get involved.

Remember the photo ‘Napalm Girl’ and how it changed the Vietnam war? The image was unprecedented at the time and it is thought to be one of the most memorable photographs of the 20th century.

We want to find that equally powerful image for climate change for the 21st century.

Separately, we are also hosting an Instagram competition for youth aged below 25. All you have to do is to like Eco-Business on Instagram and post your photo publicly on your Instagram account with the hashtag #changingcourse.

Winning photos will be exhibited at the Changing Course exhibition at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracting millions of visitors a year, from 1st June to 12th July 2018.

Please help us spread the word on this Challenge and send it to anyone who might be interested. We look forward to finding that photo that could change our future!

Jessica Cheam
Managing Editor
Eco-Business

Read about how to enter the Climate Photo Challenge here!

06/04 2018

World Heritage Day, 18th of April 2018

Gondwana rainforests © Tourism Queensland

Heritage for Generations

The 18th April 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of World Heritage Day. In April 1982, the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) conceived the World Heritage Day idea, and it was approved in 1983 by the 22nd United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference. The theme for 2018 is ‘Heritage for Generations’. This event reminds us of the importance of the preservation of cultural and natural sites all over the world, both for current and future generations.

As of July 2017, there are 1,073 sites in the world in 167 countries, of which 832 sites are cultural, 206 natural, and 35 mixed properties. Italy has the largest number of sites with 53, followed by China (52), Spain (46), France (43), Germany (42), India (36), Mexico (34) and United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories (31).

Australia has nineteen heritage sites, mainly natural sites, of which five are in Queensland:

  • Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (1986, 1994)
  • Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh / Naracoorte) (1994)
  • Fraser Island (1992)
  • Great Barrier Reef (1981)
  • Wet Tropics of Queensland (1988)

Householder’s Option to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. (Australia) would like to emphasise the importance of preserving World Heritage sites and to understand their importance especially from the environmental perspective. The preservation of our natural and cultural treasures is paramount to preserve the unique ecosystem that Australia has.

World Heritage Day represents an occasion to think about nature and its connection with culture. It also can be the occasion to visit Queensland’s heritage sites to admire and learn more about them in person.

You can join the growing movement that genuinely cares about the environment!


24/03 2018

You're invited to participate in a national survey!

Telling the Health Story About Net Zero Emissions

How do you communicate about health and climate change?

The evidence on climate change communication shows that talking about the health benefits of strategies to cut emissions can build motivation and support for action.

This survey has been developed by ClimateWorks Australia and the Climate and Health Alliance to evaluate the needs of health stakeholders when it comes to communicating solutions to tackle climate change.

ClimateWorks and Climate and Health Alliance are working together to find out from health stakeholders about how they communicate with peers, networks, constituents, and decision-makers about health and climate change.

We are seeking to use this information to support and activate the voices of influential organisations and leaders within the health sector to strengthen the narrative and traction on climate change solutions.

This survey aims to gather insights from people and organisations in the health sector on the opportunities and barriers around increasing communications and engagement on climate solutions (toward net zero emissions) in Australia.

We would be delighted if you would complete this survey, available via the link below, to help kickstart this conversation.

Please complete this short survey »

This survey will remain open until Friday 30th March 2018.

Many thanks in advance for your participation.

Michelle Isles and Claire Connell (ClimateWorks)
Fiona Armstrong (Climate and Health Alliance)


21/03 2018

Join the Sustainability Program

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: www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo

Sustainable living with HOPE!

How do you care for the environment? Do you make a conscious effort to live sustainably? Do you recycle, reuse and repurpose?

If you are one of the growing number of Australians wanting to create a more sustainable future, we invite you to join our national organisation, Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment Inc. (HOPE) to learn more about how you can adopt simple, sustainable living practices.

Joining HOPE is free-of-charge and open to individuals, families, businesses and community organisations

So, what does HOPE do?

HOPE offers practical solutions and simple steps on how you can live more gently on Earth. We empower people to be more thoughtful about their environmental footprint and to make progressive changes at home and in their community. We provide:

  • Access to information about current environmental issues;
  • Support for education, including suggestions on how to tackle these issues; and
  • Practical examples of how easily it can be done.

How can you make a difference?

  • Take notice of the environmental issues at home and in the wider community;
  • Use the resources available around you, including technology and community networks; and
  • Lead by example by reducing your consumption and adopting other sustainable practices.

HOPE offers a range of resources, including ‘helpful hints’ brochures and runs a variety of practical workshops and meetings throughout the year. Through education, HOPE work’s to inspire people to ‘think globally, act locally’.

As the need to live sustainably continues to become more crucial, HOPE is looking to strengthen their network and grow their membership and supporter base.

You can join the growing movement that genuinely cares about the environment!

For more information or to become a member, contact HOPE on (07) 4639 2135 or office@hopeaustralia.org.au. Follow HOPE on Facebook and Twitter, and head to the website, www.hopeaustralia.org.au to subscribe to their newsletter.


24/03 2018

cedamia

Climate Emergency Declaration

The 3-level of government Climate Emergency Declaration petition and campaign targets all levels of government since individual states or territories could declare a climate emergency earlier than the federal government might. (See the local council level of the campaign here.) See state/territory politicians who aleady support a Climate Emergency Declaration here.

No More Bad Investments (NMBI)

One major role of state/territory governments is setting the legislation and regulations that control the types of projects that are approved within their own jurisdiction. Accordingly, by far the easiest and most obvious component of climate emergency action at the state/territory level is for governments to ban new projects that would make climate change worse. Therefore we are running No More Bad Investments (NMBI) campaigns in various states and territories in parallel with the Climate Emergency Declaration ask.


ALERT | Deforestation Catastrophe

Australia Tries to Slow 'Deforestation Catastrophe'

Martin Taylor, a leading authority on land-use change with WWF-Australia and the University of Queensland, tells us about efforts to staunch a deadly tide of deforestation in Australia.

Beginning in 2012, rapid forest loss in the vast state of Queensland pushed Australia back onto the global list of deforestation fronts -- placing Australia among the worst forest-destroying nations on Earth.

This occurred after a newly-elected conservative government in Queensland reduced controls over bulldozing of native forests and woodlands -- a move later followed by other Australian states.

Bulldozing of forests and woodlands, mostly for livestock pastures, quickly ballooned after the controls were weakened. Scientists and conservationists, both in Australia and internationally, were appalled.

The results have been a catastrophe for Australian wildlife. At least 45 million mammals, birds, and reptiles are estimated to die every year as a result of habitat bulldozing, including over 1,000 koalas.

But a more progressive government in Queensland has just proposed new legislation to protect mature vegetation and high-conservation-value regrowth.

The new legislation is part of an election promise to drive down excessive land-clearing rates. and climate change.

Big Loopholes

A new report by WWF identifies two major loopholes that account for most of the land clearing -- and that must be closed to meet the election promise.

First, landowners can clear forests under "self-assessment provisions" -- effectively allowing clearing without a permit. This accounts for up to a quarter of all clearing.

The new legislation will crack down on the worst type of self-assessed clearing -- so-called "tree thinning" -- but it doesn't close the loophole entirely.

So-called “thinning” of mature ironbark forest -- which is legal under current Queensland legislation. The top half shows intact forest, and the lower half “thinned” forest.

Second, vast land areas are mapped as "exempt", with no restrictions on clearing. This accounts for nearly two-thirds of all clearing, according to the WWF report.

And while many exempt areas are shrubby regrowth, at least a quarter of these are advanced secondary forest that should not be exempt.

Unfortunately, landholders can 'lock-in' exemptions just by requesting a certified property map.

The new legislation will remove exemptions from 1 million hectares of advanced regrowth, a major step forward, but still leaves large areas exempt.

Have Your Say to Parliament

In a state that has seen catastrophic land-clearing, the proposed legislative changes for Queensland are welcome. But they still leave big gaps.

These gaps might might be partially filled by a promised “Land Restoration Fund,” which seems designed to buy back protection for existing exempt areas, on a voluntary basis.

But will the new legislation and fund be enough to drive down rapid clearing rates and slow the alarming loss of our biodiversity?

You can have your say by making a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry before 22 March 2018.

Tell them that Australia should not be one of the world's worst forest-destroying nations, and that it's essential that we dramatically curtail land clearing in Queensland.

The world will be keenly watching Australia to see what happens.


17/03 2018

China's global road-building plans

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to alert you to a very timely Correspondence piece that just came out in Nature, by our collaborators Alex Lechner and colleagues, highlighting critical priorities around China’s massive Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI projects—involving hundreds of new roads, ports, energy, and other infrastructure projects—will span much of Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, and Europe, and are going to change the world environmentally, economically, socially and politically.

As the BRI is unprecedented, I’m also attaching two of our relevant pieces that came out recently, and hyperlinks below to two recent popular articles:

Publications:

Collectively, this would make a good set of readings for students or others interested in the BRI—one of the biggest global-change issues of our lifetime.

All best,
Bill

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)


17/03 2018

Invasive Species Council (ISC) | Guide for Policy Makers

Environmental Biosecurity Best Practice Guide

New types of foreign pests and weeds are getting into Australia every year. More than 50 invaders never seen before in Australia and harmful to the environment have been detected since 2000.

Each new infestation that reaches our shores increases the cost of looking after the country’s bushlands, seas and wildlife.

Every failure to eradicate an infestation risks environmental problems of epidemic proportions.

That is why we have produced a best-practice environmental guide for Australian policy makers. It shows how we can create a biosecurity system that’s properly aimed at delivering real environmental protection on behalf of all Australia

View/download guide »

17/03 2018

PYL gathering, 27-28 March 2018, Canberra

Date Claimer -- Invitation and update - Places You Love gathering, 27-28 March 2018, Canberra

Hi all,

It’s less than two weeks now until the Places You Love alliance is coming together in Canberra for two days of big ideas and big strategy on March 27 and 28.

As a Places You Love alliance organisation, you’re warmly invited to attend both days. While the first day – of big ideas – is open for anyone to attend, PYL alliance organisations are able to register for free. The second day – of big strategy – is open only to alliance organisations. You’ll need a password to register for the strategy day on the 28th. To book as an alliance organisation, contact HOPE on 07 4639 2135; or office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

Over the last month, our campaign has been front and centre of the Guardian environment series, and we’ve been hard at work updating the PYL policy before we hit the house on the hill to turn APEEL’s great ideas into strong laws. Check the draft policy which is in the process of being updated. We would greatly appreciate your views on the policy document.

Places You Love, along with APEEL, the Australian Committee for IUCN and the National Environmental Law Association are convening a national symposium on a new generation of environment laws in Canberra on the 27th March 2018.

To sign up go to the Eventbrite: betterlawsbetterplanet.eventbrite.com.au
For PYL alliance organisations select add ‘promotional code’ and type: complimentaryticket

Following the symposium Places You Love will be convening a national meeting of the alliance to be held on the 28th March in Canberra. This meeting will be a critical moment for galvanising our movement, sharing ideas and getting alignment on the best way to protect nature in Australia.

We will discuss key challenges, campaign options and strategies to win the fight for a new generation of environmental laws that effectively protect people and nature.

To sign up go to the pylnationalmeeting.eventbrite.com.au

For more information contact HOPE on 07 4639 2135; or office@hopeaustralia.org.au.


12/03 2018

Toowoomba Landcare Group | Community Field Day

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Vanessa on 0409 923 627 or email toowoombalandcare@gmail.com by Wednesday 14 March.


13/03 2018

Third Industrial Revolution, by Jeremy Rifkin

In 2011, Mr. Rifkin published the New York Times best seller, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World.

Jeremy Rifkin, an economist and political adviser, presents a highly ambitious text that describes some fundamental transformations underway in the world economy, provides a road map to future change and explains why such massive shifts are necessary. Many of the topics Rifkin discusses will be familiar to you, such as the threat of climate change or the potential of new collaborative business models. What Rifkin offers, and what makes his book both exciting and a bit daunting, is an overarching narrative that places technological, social and economic currents in historical and modern contexts. The result is both educational and engaging. getAbstract finds that his analysis will intrigue futurists, those interested in the intersection of technology and society, and anyone concerned about life on Earth.

Trailer: Economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a roadmap for the future to grow our economy and save the environment.

The film (a Vice production) is based around the theories Rifkin presented in his book of the same name, and two other of his books, The Empathic Civilization (2009) and Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014). The film explores the challenges of climate change and globalization, the opportunities created by the rise of the internet and automation, and how governments and corporations should be preparing for–and working to build–a society and economy driven by sustainable innovation, and powered by renewable and distributed energy. “I think the green shoots are coming up everywhere; we’re seeing telltale signs of what’s in the film,” Rifkin tells Fast Company. “My hope is if people see the film it will make sense to them because it’s already on the tip of their tongue. They know all the sentences, they just hadn’t put the chapters together. Then it just makes sense. And once that happens, they never go back. I think a lot of people are right there.”

Third Industrial Revolution on SBS On Demand

09/03 2018

Important research from ACF

New research reveals Australia’s critical habitat laws are broken

Australia’s national environment laws are failing to protect critical habitat that is crucial to saving our endangered species, a new report from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has found.

The new research reveals that Australia is lagging countries like the United States in preserving habitat vital for the protection of rare animals, plants, reptiles, fish and birds.

The research reveals:

  • Just five places are protected as critical habitat in Australia, the last in 2005.
  • There are over 100 threatened species whose critical habitat has been identified as essential to their survival, but has not been protected.
  • There is no legal penalty for wilfully damaging critical habitat on non-Commonwealth land.

ACF Healthy Eco-systems Campaigner, Jess Abrahams, said to avert Australia’s extinction crisis, and ensure species persist into the future, strong action is needed to protect the best areas of habitat that remain.

Our research shows how Australia’s existing laws are failing on many fronts Mr Abrahams said.

Despite having over 1900 nationally listed threatened species and ecological communities, Australia’s national critical habitat register protects only 5 places as critical habitat.

Given the immediacy of the threats to endangered wildlife, it is ridiculous that no critical habitat has been listed for any species since 2005. The experience in the United States, where critical habitat is routinely protected, is that threatened species begin recovering when their homes are properly protected.

Our current law provides patently inadequate protection to prevent the destruction of critical habitat. It is subject to the political whims of ministers who are afforded broad discretion and may be subject to the pull of vested interests.

Australia has the privilege of being one of the few mega-diverse nations in the world. Without proper protections, beloved species like the Leadbeater’s Possum could well be extinct within a few years. If we’re going to protect our native species we must fix these laws and we must do it now

The full report can be found here .


09/03 2018

Date Claimer: QTIC Workshop | Brisbane | 15 March

Dear friends,

For anyone in Brisbane on March 15th, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council is hosting a workshop from 12 - 3.00 PM at Southbank TAFE for members of the public to help in identifying what is needed for developing a Tourism Sector (climate change) Adaptation Plan.

The event page states this will help to protect the natural environment we rely on so heavily as an industry and to create benefits such as reduced costs and a competitive edge for businesses.

It would be great if representatives from across the environment conservation sector (not represented on their committee) can make it and provide input to this Plan.

Link to register: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/brisbane-workshop-changing-climate-changing-business-tickets-43155157237

Best regards,
Lisa

--

Lisa Cliff | Climate Change Policy Officer
Queensland Conservation Council


07/03 2018

Important article from The Guardian

'Global deforestation hotspot': 3m hectares of Australian forest to be lost in 15 years

A koala mother and joey on a bulldozed log pile in Queensland. Photograph: WWF

Threatened species, pressure on Great Barrier Reef and climate change all worsened by full-blown land-clearing crisis

Australia is in the midst of a full-blown land-clearing crisis. Projections suggest that in the two decades to 2030, 3m hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

The crisis is driven primarily by a booming livestock industry but is ushered in by governments that fail to introduce restrictions and refuse to apply existing restrictions.

And more than just trees are at stake.

Australia has a rich biodiversity, with nearly 8% of all Earth’s plant and animal species finding a home on the continent. About 85% of the country’s plants, 84% of its mammals and 45% of its birds are found nowhere else.

But land clearing is putting that at risk. About three-quarters of Australia’s 1,640 plants and animals listed by the government as threatened have habitat loss listed as one of their main threats.

Much of the land clearing in Queensland – which accounts for the majority in Australia – drives pollution into rivers that drain on to the Great Barrier Reef, adding to the pressures on it.

And of course land clearing is exacerbating climate change. In 1990, before short-lived land-clearing controls came into place, a quarter of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions were caused by deforestation. Emissions from land clearing dropped after 2010 but are rising sharply again.

It has gotten so bad that WWF International put it on the list of global deforestation fronts, the only one in the developed world on that list, says Martin Taylor, the protected areas and conservation science manager at WWF Australia.

In Queensland, where there is both the most clearing and the best data on clearing, trees are being bulldozed at a phenomenal rate.

About 395,000 hectares of native vegetation were cleared there in 2015-16, 33% more compared with the previous year. And despite the re-elected Labor government promising changes to rein it in, notifications of planned land clearing in Queensland have jumped a further 30%, suggesting woodlands could be bulldozed even faster in coming years.

To visualise what clearing of that magnitude looks like, Guardian Australia has created a tool that will lay an area that size over any location you choose. Mapped over Sydney, for example, 395,000 hectares covers an area stretching from the central coast in the north, to Campbeltown in the south, and the Blue Mountains in the west.

That equates to more than 1,500 football fields worth of native woodland and scrub being cleared each and every day in Queensland.

Read & see much more in original article »

07/03 2018

Climate for Change is coming to Brisbane


07/03 2018

Prof Andy Lowe article

When weed is good

Have we been demonising them unnecessarily?

Weeds are the bane of life for gardeners, farmers and conservationists.

Whether it be onion weed taking over gardens, Paterson's curse spreading across paddocks and poisoning cattle or Japanese knotweed chocking waterways - Its easy to see where the inspiration behind John Wyndom's The Day of the Triffids, or HG Wells' red weed in War of the Worlds comes from. Transported from one side of the planet to another, and without natural predators or biological control agents, these 'alien' plants run amok in new territories smothering landscapes and killing wildlife.

What’s needed is a transition to a new paradigm […] in which human perceptions about weeds should not be negative by default.

“Negative by default” is how humans perceive weeds. They’re a threat to biodiversity, so we spend millions of dollars on their eradication. But is this paradigm true for all ecosystems and all weeds? And, do we really understand the exact interactions between weeds and native species in our managed and natural ecosystems?

According to an international team of researchers, the answer is ‘no, not necessarily’. These researchers have been working to fill this knowledge gap by examining weed-biodiversity interactions in detail. And what they’re finding is unexpected, potentially controversial and may challenge prevailing notions of best practice weed management among conservation practitioners.

emnant grassland in Mokota Conservation Park in the Mid-North region of South Australia, one of the sites included in the analysis (image courtesy of Greg Guerin)

Weeds can have positive effects on biodiversity

The research, lead by Dr Irene Martín-Forés of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, found that, contrary to most people’s notions, weeds have a positive or neutral association with biodiversity in Australian grassland ecosystems. That is, the more weeds found at sites often the higher the level of native species diversity. In fact, they found no apparent competition between weeds and natives or other negative effects on overall native diversity.

Irene and her colleagues from The University of Adelaide, came to these conclusions after analysing data on species richness, cover and diversity collected from hundreds of grassland monitoring sites of varying levels of disturbance throughout the greater Mount Lofty Ranges region of South Australia.

At the most disturbed grasslands sites with land-uses such as cropping and modified pastures, rather counterintuitively, the positive association between weed and natives was highest, and is most likely due to the complementary roles of exotic and native species, and the opportunity for rapidly establishing weeds to aid the occupation of space and use of resources by all species. They work together, facilitating each other to colonise degraded sites, instead of competing.

A new way of managing weeds

As highlighted by research team member, Dr Greg Guerin, these results indicate that although a minority of weed species are having strong negative impacts on native biodiversity, these interactions can’t be generalised across all weeds and ecosystems. This challenges the notion that all weeds need to be removed from remnant Mediterranean-climate grasslands, regardless of identity, or that weed cover or diversity per se is a valid condition measure.

Habitat management that focusses on general weed eradication rather than targeting particularly problematic species in grasslands may well turn out to be ineffectual.

What’s needed is a transition to a new paradigm. A model in which human perceptions about weeds should not be negative by default. Instead, a more nuanced understanding of conservation is required, one that involves assessing exotic species in native systems on a case-by-case basis needs to be considered.

Multiple sources of open data were utilised in this research, including from TERN and its cognate National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) projects:

Read more about this research in the recently published paper in the journal PlosOne..

Read original »

05/03 2018

12th Australasian Plant Conservation Conference (APCC12)

'Moving house - a new age for plant translocation and restoration'.

12th Australasian Plant Conservation Conference (APCC12)

12 to 16 November 2018, CSIRO Discovery Centre, Canberra

Session Themes have been announced! Call for Abstracts opens 2 May.

  • Moving house - lessons from the past – who’s done what where and what do we now know?
  • Moving house – what’s new?
  • Policy and politics of moving plants.
  • Crossing over – what can we learn from moving organisms other than plants?
  • Effective partnerships – who, why and how? What works and what doesn’t?
  • Do you need a safe deposit box? The importance of ex-situ conservation in translocation.

Bird registrations open 21 May. ANPC members and students will receive discounts on the conference registration fees!
Click here for more information.


04/03 2018

WWF Australia News | Earth Hour

Dear Friends,

What a huge month! March is all about Earth Hour and how we can switch off to #Connect2Earth. We’ve also got some amazing photos and stories to share from the field, so check it out...

SIGN UP FOR EARTH HOUR & WIN !

Switch off to #Connect2Earth on 24 March at 8:30 pm and you could win a turtle tagging trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

SIGN UP NOW

6 WAYS TO #CONNECT2EARTH

How we can all make a better future for our planet this Earth Hour.

GET CONNECTED

BE A WHALE FOR A WHILE

In a world-first, scientists in the Antarctic have attached a camera to a minke whale.

WATCH THE VIDEO

LAST CHANCE TO PRESERVE OUR RESERVES

We’ve sent almost 10,000 postcards to politicians asking them to save our Coral Sea.

HAVE YOU SENT YOURS YET?

IN PHOTOS: LITTLE ISLAND, BIG BIRDS

Lights, camera, birds! See what it's like to be a wildlife photographer on a mission.

VIEW THE GALLERY

Days on the Conservation Calendar for March 2018:

  • 3 March - World Wildlife Day
  • 8 March - International Women's Day
  • 12-16 March - Sustainable Seafood Week
  • 16 March - Panda Day
  • 20 March - World Frog Day
  • 21 March - International Day of Forests
  • 21 March - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Disrimination
  • 24 March - Earth Hour
  • 28 March - Manatee Appreciation Day

28/02 2018

Date Claimer : 2018 Beyond Coal and Gas Jamboree!

Join the Jamboree!

The 2018 Beyond Coal and Gas Jamboree is not to be missed (early bird registration is open now!).

Beyond Coal and Gas is where you’ll hear from Aboriginal activists fighting for country, and inspiring Australian and international grassroot activists. You’ll learn new skills, share your experiences and together, we’ll build strategies to power Australia beyond coal and gas.

Relationships are what make our movement powerful; nothing beats spending focussed time together to forge new connections across campaigns.

We’ve taken some giant strides in the task of transitioning Australia beyond fossil fuels since the 2016 conference. People everywhere are rising up to fight: taking on billionaire coal companies; closing coal plants and firing up clean energy projects; and halting gas fracking to protect land and water.

And yet, Australia still exports more coal and gas than any country on Earth: we have so much work yet to do in order to build our movement to the scale we need to win..

Will you join us from May - 3 June 2018 on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast for the Beyond Coal Gas Jamboree?

WHEN:
Evening of Thursday, 31 May, through to afternoon of Sunday, 3 June 2018
WHERE:
Alexandra Park Conference Centre Sunshine Coast, Queensland (just 15 minutes from Sunshine Coast airport)
WHAT:
Three days of exciting national and international speakers, workshops and plenaries. Opportunities to develop skills. Open spaces so you can define the workshops you want to see. Evening entertainment to celebrate our collective efforts to change the world.

Early bird registration now open! Grab your tickets here

Find out more: www.beyondcoalandgas.org

There will be plenty of opportunities for input to the program - take this survey to give us an early indication of what you’d like to see and be a part of!

Can't wait to see you all there!.

BCAG Team


22/02 2018

Come see #StopAdani: A Mighty Force!

Friends of the Environment,

Today isl the People’s Premiere of #StopAdani: A Mighty Force!

Community screenings of A Mighty Force are popping up across the nation. In fact, there’s even a screening in India! Find a screening near you.

The film shows a young Aboriginal woman standing up for country in Central Queensland. A Melbourne Rabbi putting the pressure on his local MP. Sydney volunteers calling voters during a crucial state election. A Queensland farmer leading a massive protest. And tens of thousands of us spelling out #StopAdani in giant human signs from Bondi and Newcastle to Brisbane and Canberra.

But that’s enough spoilers - grab your friends and head to your nearest community screening to watch this incredible film.

#StopAdani: A Mighty Force is the next big #StopAdani documentary. The first one – Guarding the Galilee – had over 400 community screenings last year alone.

Adani is not about to walk away. The company has millions of dollars sunk into its plans for a dirty coal mine in the Galilee Basin. So if Adani won’t walk away, we’ll have to make them.

As Juru Traditional Elder Carol Prior says in the film, 'Adani are dealing with a mighty force, and the more it grows, the harder we’ll be to beat.'

RSVP to a screening near you now.

See you there,
Glen, for the entire 350 Australia team

PS. With your support, we are a mighty force. We can and we will #StopAdani.


20/02 2018

Date Claimer: Earth Hour, Saturday 24 March 2018, 8.30pm

This Earth Hour, it’s time to switch off and #Connect2Earth.

Earth Hour is the world’s largest grassroots movement for climate change action. Millions of people in over 180 countries take part in Earth Hour by switching off their lights as a symbolic gesture to show that our planet needs stronger action on climate change.

On Saturday, 24th March 2018, switch off for Earth Hour. Switch off for the future of our planet.

View/download Earth Hour 2018 factsheet » View/download Earth Hour 2018 poster »

20/02 2018

UNAA NSW Event | Sydney | 27 February 2018

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: From Words to Actions

This highly interactive briefing will consider the overall significance and relevance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals plus your individual role in moving from vision to reality – Come along to be informed, engaged and inspired.

Keynote Speaker

Rev. Hon. Dr. Lynn Arnold AO is a former South Australian Premier and was CEO of World Vision Australia until 2003. Lynn is a pre-eminent expert on the Sustainable Development Goals and is passionate about educating and engaging Australians on the crucial work underway to achieve SDG targets as UNAA Goodwill Ambassador.

Event Organiser:

United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA)

Date/Time:

Tuesday 27 February 2018 at 6:00pm

Venue:

MLC Centre - Level 57
19-21 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000

Tickets:

$25 for members and students, $35 for non-members (light refreshments will be served).

View/download Event flyer » Bookings »

18/02 2018

Honey Flora of Southeast Queensland

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: facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!
Householders' Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc logo

Community Forum: “Important Honey Flora”, Thursday, 1 March 2018

We know that bees produce honey, right?

Do you know what bees need in order to make the honey?

You can learn more about this at a community forum on “Important Honey Flora” being held on Thursday, 1st March, 7pm – 9pm at the Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Sts, Toowoomba).

(Ironbark flowers)

The forum, hosted by Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc., features Mr. Glen Tucker, President of Southern Beekeepers Association.

The Southern Beekeepers Association services the Toowoomba Region and surrounds for those interested in keeping bees.

Mr Tucker will be giving a presentation on “Honey Flora of southeast Queensland”. Information included in this presentation will be on the basic requirements of bees for honey production, as well as some detail on the most important trees and other flora for honey production, including information about botanical identification of these species.

Glen is an Agricultural Scientist by training, and he has interest and expertise in both bees and the flora from which they harvest nectar to produce honey.

The formal presentation will go for about 40 minutes and there will be time for questions after the presentation.

Bookings for the community forum are essential. To reserve your seat, RSVP by 26 February to HOPE office by phone 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au.

Event:

Community Forum: “Important Honey Flora”

Date:

Thursday, 1st March, 7pm – 9pm.

Venue:

Toowoomba City Library (Level 3, Cnr Herries and Victoria Sts, Toowoomba).

Cost:

Entry by gold coin donation


19/02 2018

Interesting UK links on sustainable living

The Eco-Friendly Guide to Cleaning Your Home

This guide offers comprehensive information about eco-friendly and sustainable ways of cleaning your home.
Visit epcleaners.co.uk/resources/eco-friendly-cleaning

Other useful information may be found at salisburytransitioncity.org/useful-links


01/02 2018

HSI Australia | Petition to TRC

Petition: To prohibit circuses featuring wild animals to trade in TRC jurisdiction

Humane Society International (HSI), aided by Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE), are circulating a petition “asking Toowoomba Regional Council to prohibit all future circuses using animals in the Toowoomba Regional Council area.” We ask this based upon the inhumane conditions that the animals are kept in, the conditions under which the animals are transported, and the inappropriate messages conveyed to children by forcing wild animals to perform circus tricks.

Humane Society International spokesperson Ms Virginia Breen said HSI has therefore decided to petition your Council and try to change their policy of allowing such circuses on council land, as part of an Australia-wide campaign. We have found the majority of Councils when approached on this issue do ban these circuses, as most were previously unaware of the exploitation and cruelty involved.

Working in conjunction with other concerned groups and individuals, we have had many successes - thanks to the hard work and support of our members, said Ms Breen.

Persons interested in supporting this petition and collecting signatures are asked to contact the HOPE office by email office@hopeaustralia.org.au to request a petition form.

The completed petition sheets should then be returned to Humane Society International, PO Box 439, Avalon NSW 2107 so that they may be collated and lodged with Toowoomba Regional Council.

View/download docx
HSI Circus Animals Fact Sheet

30/01 2018

WWF Australia | The fight to save the Coral Sea needs you!

OUR CORAL SEA IS IN GRAVE DANGER!

The Coral Sea needs your help!

Situated off the Queensland coast, the vast Coral Sea supports millions of sea creatures, such as turtles, rays and sharks, schools of fish like tuna, the beautiful clown fish, plus whales and vibrant coral.

Yet, an area of the Coral Sea bigger than Victoria, is still at risk from being opened up and exposed to commercial fishing..

Taking a huge slice out of our Coral Sea puts iconic wildlife like turtles at risk of becoming bycatch, and means schools of fish are open to overfishing. We have to keep the protections we already have in place, and save this fragile ecosystem.

Taking a huge slice out of our Coral Sea puts iconic wildlife like turtles at risk of becoming bycatch, and means schools of fish are open to overfishing. We have to keep the protections we already have in place, and save this fragile ecosystem.

Let our federal politicians know what’s at stake - send them a personalised postcard from the Coral Sea.

Join us, and raise your voice for our oceans.

Send your postcard today!

SEND A POSTCARD

Thank you,

Richard Leck
Head of Oceans,
WWF-Australia

P.S. If these proposals go ahead, Australia will hold the record for the biggest downgrading of marine protected area ever seen anywhere else in the world. Send your postcard to stop this today.


26/02 2017

Please lend a hand to help Clean Up Australia

It took just one man to inspire millions of people to pick up rubbish. Every year since 1989 Ian Kiernan has demonstrated that individuals around the world can make their own contribution to cleaning up the planet.

The Clean Up Australia movement, begun by the Sydney builder and yachtsman with a clean-up of Sydney Harbour by 40,000 Sydneysiders, is an annual event around Australia and, since 1993 and the foundation of Clean Up the World, the driving force that brings out 30 million people in 80 countries to clean up their own little bit of the planet.

In the Toowoomba region, HOPE is once again calling for volunteers to play their part in keeping their neighbourhood free of litter and possible contamination.

HOPE's president Frank Ondrus is keen to have individuals, groups, businesses, schools and church congregations sign up for one of the three days planned for this year's clean-up:

Business Clean Up Day – 27 February 2018
Put yourself into the picture for 2018 by registering your Business Clean Up site - registrations for 2018 Business Clean Up Day are now open. Business Clean Up sites can vary greatly; some businesses use the day to Clean Up a local area, park, beach or creek whereas others use it to Clean Up their own office space or kick start environmental programs.
Schools Clean Up Day– 2 March 2018
Since 1992, school communities across Australia have demonstrated their support for caring for the environment through participating in Schools Clean Up Day. Registrations for 2018 are now open.
Clean Up Australia Day– 4 March 2018
Clean Up Australia Day is a simple way you can take action to clean up, fix up and conserve the prized Australian environment. The latest CUAD report estimated that 562,697 volunteers (contributing 1,125,394 hours) across 6,795 registered sites, removed some 15,312.28 tonnes of rubbish.
Surely, we can do better in 2018! Get involved by registering your own Clean Up Site or by volunteering at a site near you.

24/01 2018

Communique from Lock the Gate Alliance

Let’s keep the momentum going!

Hi Friend of the Environment,

From everyone across the Lock the Gate network, thank you for being part of this movement to protect Australian communities from unsafe mining and gas.

We’ve put together a video to recap and celebrate some of the incredible highlights from the last 12 months.

Grab a cuppa and take a moment to enjoy and celebrate with us - it’s pretty inspiring what we’ve managed to achieve together!

Lock the Gate coordinators are working hand in hand with hundreds of local groups across the length and breadth of Australia. It is people like you that make this possible.

Please consider taking an extra step this year and sign up to become a Gate Keeper., making a monthly donation to keep gates locked to coal mining and invasive gasfields across the country.

We’re looking forward to a huge 2018 where we can do even more to fight back. Let’s keep up the momentum for the protection of our water, our food growing areas and our precious communities.

Best wishes for the year ahead,

Naomi, and the whole team at Lock the Gate


24/01 2018

Future Directions Institure (FDI) | From The CEO

FDI Outlook and Future Analysis for 2018

2018 in the Indo-Pacific Region

The year ahead has all the hallmarks of continuing geopolitical uncertainly and the likelihood of increasing concern over a number of non-traditional challenges that include changes in demographic trends, the impact of climate change, the ability to meet food and water demands, rising inequality and the impact on employment of increased automation.

China is likely to become more centrally controlled with, at least initially, a faster growth in economic activity although there are persistent concerns over its considerable debt and possible trade disputes with the US and Europe. President Xi Jinping is also committed to safety, environmental improvement and equality, characterised by an “unbalanced and inadequate development of the people’s ever-growing need for a better life.” Through that process, Xi will attempt to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, revitalise the rural sector, address the challenges of an ageing population, improve education, defuse social tensions and eliminate corruption.

In global affairs, China will continue to move from being a “quiet achiever” to an “assertive player.” In doing so, the Chinese Communist Party will consolidate what it considers to be its key national interests. The Belt and Road Initiative will promote “shared” development, security and co-operation.

Of course, that is only part of the list of outcomes. Considerable policy, research, resources and time will be needed. Prolonged uncertainty will be characterised by losses but also opportunities.

There will be a critical question: Is China’s rise America’s decline? Both are substantial powers; both have strengths and weaknesses. Competition between the two is both real and psychological. It is also subject to internal and indirect forces that seek to exploit national and international outcomes, focussing on negative issues and perceived injustices.

Uncertainties over North Korea will continue. Sanctions and international isolation, the prospect of more missile launches and a nuclear test, as well as war games by both sides, will continue against a background of rhetoric from the Trump Administration and the North Korean leadership. Regional actors – China, Russia, Japan and South Korea – will all have roles to play. It is likely, therefore, that in North-East Asia, 2018 will look not too different to 2017.

In South-East Asia, democratic regression may well be strengthened with strongmen getting their way in Cambodia and Malaysia following a similar outcome in the Philippines. The future ability of the Mekong River to provide the food and water outcomes needed to support local populations will also be challenged and China will seek to extend its influence in the region.

In Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Rohingya issue will continue to fester and have an impact on the wider region.

In South Asia, the relationship between India and China will continue to attract attention. Deteriorating US-Pakistani relations, uncertainties regarding the situation in Afghanistan, the concept of the US-India-Australia-Japan “Quadrilateral” and the strategic significance of the Indo-Pacific will attract increasing analysis.

Among island states, Sri Lanka may be caught up in a Sino-Indian power play, and the Maldives could witness a rise in violence from citizens returning to their birthplace following the collapse of the Islamic State caliphate while, on the political front, the rise of authoritarianism is possible.

In terms of the Middle East, 2018 is likely to be another turbulent year with an inflamed rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Conflict will continue in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. ISIL and Al-Qaeda affiliates will continue their attacks throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with prospects for further violence in Europe and North America. The prospect of a weapon of mass destruction as well as the use of the internet and cyber technology will bear consideration. The concept of Jerusalem as a capital will continue to stir unrest.

July elections in Pakistan and the start of the electoral process in India, Indonesia and South Africa will add to uncertainty in 2018.

In summary, the region that FDI concentrates on will be one of uncertainty with assessments of likely outcomes difficult to predict.

FDI Research in 2018

FDI’s research will continue to focus on three areas:

  • To determine whether there will be a global food and water crisis between now and 2050, how that might evolve, what will cause it, what the implications might be for Australia and how Australia might respond.
  • To consider the geo-strategic developments, including opportunities and challenges for Australia, in the Indian Ocean region over the next 20 years. Six countries in particular will be considered: Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
  • To identify developments over the next 20 years in northern Australia, focussing initially on regenerating the landscape in Australia generally and particularly in tropical Australia.

Details for individual programmes are below:

Indian Ocean Research Programme

The continuing primary theme for 2018 will be the identification and analysis of the major challenges that are likely to confront the six key Indian Ocean states identified by FDI (Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Africa) over the next ten years, including the implications of such challenges for Australia.

Such analysis will address each country’s overall national characteristics, assess the objectives of Australian foreign policy towards that country and vice-versa and analyse the country’s national plan and strategic objectives for the future, including its ability to implement such a plan and achieve the objectives.

At this time, India and Indonesia are the priority countries for consideration.

The Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme

The continuing primary question is to determine whether there is an impending global food and water crisis by 2050 and, if so, what will be its cause, how will it develop, what is likely to be the impact on Australia and what should we, as a nation, do about it.

In 2018, analysis will concentrate on China and consider the following:

  • The State of Chinese Soils
  • Water Conveyance Infrastructure and Water Security
  • The Impact of Climate Change
  • Overseas Investment and Domestic Food Security
  • The Development of Western China
  • Chinese Agricultural Research

Two other areas will also be considered:

  • Food and Water Security in Africa
  • A Global Overview of Food and Water Security
The Northern Australia and Land Care Research Programme

The primary theme for this Programme will continue to be research that considers the reason, impact and means of dealing with the regeneration of Australia’s landscape and its soil.

The Land Care component of the programme links with the appointment by the Prime Minister of FDI Chairman Major-General Hon. Michael Jeffery as the National Advocate for Soil Health. FDI will be closely associated with Soils for Life, a Canberra-based not-for-profit research institute, chaired by General Jeffery, which will oversee the 100 case study farms that will highlight progressive farming and science-based developments.

In addition to Strategic Analysis Papers, FDI will interview many researchers, farmers and pastoralists and policymakers. FDI Associates who have an interest in this topic may also be asked to provide papers.

The impact that soils, through the process of plant photosynthesis, can play in climate mitigation will also be considered and reported.

With regard to Northern Australia, noting that the Land Care component of this Programme’s research is equally significant to Northern Australia as it is elsewhere, research will concentrate on issues that determine future opportunities for the region as well as the challenges for achieving such opportunities. The social and economic development of Northern Australia over the next 30 years, the impact of climate change and the significance of growing relationships with China, South Asia and Indonesia will be considered.

The Basis of FDI’s Research

FDI attempts to make judgements about the future. This is a form of intelligence analysis, noting that much of the future is grey and that often there are different options that need to be further tested with new information before a final judgement can be made. This requires analysts to be flexible and to be prepared to admit that earlier judgements may be wrong.

FDI will continue to identify those who should receive its product, noting that such people have the authority, responsibility and interest to use the research that FDI produces. This includes a wide range of people in government, the public service, private institutions, business entities, academia and the media. Over 5,000 associates receive the product directly and some 35,000 people use FDI’s product every month with almost two million pages viewed.

FDI’s work is essentially journalistic in style. That is done to attract as many readers as possible and to avoid the complex style of academic and scientific papers. FDI papers are short and start with a list of key judgements so that a busy reader can quickly decide if the paper should be read or not.

FDI uses a wide range of researchers who continue to develop an intelligence analysis style while capitalising on their detailed knowledge and understanding of the subject. Some researchers include FDI staff, who not only write papers but also identify authors, do scoping studies and edit the final product. Other authors include academics, university interns, subject matter specialists and members of Australian and overseas research institutes.

In 2018, FDI will continue to produce informed, balanced research to enhance the quality of strategic decision-making at senior levels of the public and private sectors in Australia.


Kind regards,

Major General John Hartley AO, (Retd)
Institute Director and CEO


24/01 2018

Communique from Youth Food Movement (Australia)

Calling all awesome people, we're on the look-out for co-leaders!

Alas, our brilliant Brisbane co-leader Anna is moving on to new horizons and the time has come to pass the YFM co-leader baton.

Becoming a volunteer co-leader is an opportunity to help grow, shape and create outside-the-box food projects in Brisbane, as well as to contribute to the national direction of YFM. You'll get experience, learn about yourself, and contribute to some downright awesome stuff.

But don't just take our word for it:

This is honestly such a wonderful, insightful, and rewarding role… From our local chapter to the national team, YFM is a very supportive environment to grow your leadership skills (and love for all things food).

B, Melbourne Co-leader

YFM felt like a space where I finally surrounded myself completely with people who were willing to live out their personal ethics, interests and seek out the curious. YFM is a community of truly active changemakers, people willing to look further than themselves to put their energy, enthusiasm and practical action into their projects and passions.

Cressi, Sydney Co-leader

YFM’s approach to repairing the food system is realistic to me, educating through inclusion, fun and realness. It excites me and actually makes me feel like I am doing something, and that’s kinda cool.

Eliza, Sydney Co-leader

Get the deets here »

23/01 2018

Invitation to 'Empowering the Community'

Dear Friend,

For too long corporations have run roughshod over our communities; it’s time to take the power back.

I would like to invite you to join me on the 3rd of February at the Toowoomba Library for a community forum – Empowering the Community.

As some background, I previously served as a Senator for Queensland from 1997 - 2008 and re-entered the Senate late last year as the Queensland Greens’ new representative in this role. I am keen to meet with and hear from people at local level about issues you are working on or are concerned about. There will also be some local Greens community members and advocates with me on the day who are also wanting to learn more about the work you or your organisation are doing, and how we can better support the interests and concerns of you and those you work with. I am also happy to share some insights on what the Greens are currently doing in the Senate and at community level.

During the thirty years I have been directly involved in politics, I have seen our democracy gradually becoming less and less functional, operating more and more in the interests of corporations and the political establishment and their big donors at the expense of the community. Wages are stagnant, social services and job security are continuing to decline, cost of living and underemployment are climbing - all while corporate profits are soaring.

Donors to political parties are holding increased powers over government agenda, developers have control over the shape of our cities and towns, all while important infrastructure and social services funding is slashed, leaving many Queenslanders vulnerable. Community groups struggle to have their voice heard or to get a foothold to fight back.

I would love to hear from you how we can help turn this around on the issues you are passionate about.

Please find event details below. Light refreshments will be provided with halal and vegetarian options available.

Empowering the Community

Saturday 3 February, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Toowoomba City Library Building
Level 3 Multipurpose Room, 155 Herries Street
RSVP: Please make sure to register by Wednesday 31 January via this link or by reply email to senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au as the venue has a limited capacity

Following the meeting, some of us will head over to the Beer Garden at The Norville for a few hours for a more casual chat. You’re also most welcome to join us there - please feel free to ask along anyone who might interested in popping, even if it’s to say g’day.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

Andrew Bartlett

Greens Senator for Queensland
senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au
(07) 3367 0566 | Level 2, 251 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064

Facebook:
Instagram:
Twitter:

17/01 2018

What do you think of Queensland’s climate change policy?

Dear HOPE supporters,

Last year Queensland saw its warmest year on record - reminding us we must stop our greenhouse gas emissions now to avoid dangerous levels of warming.

With no meaningful action from our Federal Government, our states and territories need to take the lead in tackling climate change.

QCC believes environment conservation groups have an important role to play in feeding into and improving the Queensland Government's plan to transition our state to zero-net emissions by 2050.

Through our analysis of Queensland's Climate Transition Strategy, QCC has prepared a number of short briefing notes intended to get us all thinking and talking about climate change and what our state's pathway to a zero-net emissions 2050 should look like. To see the briefing papers, visit our website or download copies here.

To feed environment conservation considerations into the Government's Climate Transition Strategy 2.0 (set for 2019), QCC is compiling a report - to highlight any issues raised through your feedback - to submit to the Department of Environment and Science in July 2018.

To make sure your voice is included, leave a comment on our webpage, or get in touch via lisa.cliff@qldconservation.org.au, 0429 998315.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Lisa Cliff
Queensland Conservation Council


18/01 2018

Eco News - Issue #1550


14/01 2018

Invitation | Webinar: Insight 2018

Insight 2018: The SustainAbility Annual Trends Review

We are delighted to present our annual webinar to discuss the global sustainability trends that will shape the economic, political, and social landscape and business agenda in 2018.

The questions that we will discuss during the webinar include the following:

  • What key issues shaping the sustainability agenda should leaders have on their radar this year?
  • What will be the major opportunities for corporate leadership on sustainability in 2018? How should companies act on them?

Join us for a presentation of SustainAbility’s current thinking and a lively discussion between SustainAbility’s Executive Director Mark Lee and panelists: Libby Bernick (Global Head of Corporate Business, Trucost), Mark Gough (Executive Director, Natural Capital Coalition) and Pat Dwyer (Founder and Director, The Purpose Business).

HOSTED BY
SustainAbility
WHEN
Tuesday January 30, 2018
4pm GMT | 11am EST | 8am PST

Space is limited. Please register today!

Register » Add to calendar »

14/01 2018

Chopping the Amazon in Half!!

Dear colleagues,

It is very likely that the Amazon — the world’s greatest rainforest — will soon be chopped in half.

Brazil is currently working to complete a dramatic upgrade to the BR-319 Highway, an 870 kilometer-long road segment running between Manaus in central Amazonia to Porto Velho in southern Amazonia.

Once completed, this road will link directly to the BR-174 Highway, which runs from Manaus to the northern border of Brazil.

Together, the two highways will slice the Amazon in half along a north-south axis. Some protected or indigenous areas are in place but they are not nearly enough to staunch the impacts that will arise from opening up the Amazon so profoundly to human activities.

If you have 60 seconds, please see this brief video we made (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eybwjVFseS4) that illustrates what this highway network could mean for the Amazon.

Please read and share with others who may be interested. (And insert your email address here to receive occasional environmental news on globally important issues).

All best,

Bill

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)


12/01 2018

Food Connect

Bananas, watermelon, mangoes and more.....

Here is this week's harvest for you! Make your own box of fruit, veggies and groceries or click here to see what's in our nine different pre-packed boxes.

Fruit

Mangoes are in abundance right now!! Woohoo! We have loads of Kensington Prides from our farmer, Ian Burow from Mount Cotton. We have smattering of peaches and nectarines, plus plenty of cherry plums.

We’ve also got three types of bananas: Cavendish, Ladyfinger and Ducasse - all from our farmers in the Northern Rivers

Watermelons this week are from James Branson - the seeded are a mix of Micky Lee and Warpaints (our personal fav) while the Seedless are Talca. Plus much more!

Order your fruit here »

Veggies

In this hot weather, all the vine crops are doing really well which means we have plenty of beans, snow peas, and zucchinis.

We also have loads of chillies - Cayennes and Bishop’s Hat, potatoes, onions, cucumbers and salad greens. Plus much more.

And for all the juicing freaks out there, don’t forget we have great juicing packs full of great organic fruit and veggies for you.

Order your veggies here »

Groceries

We’ve got your pantry and fridge covered with milks, cheeses, eggs, yoghurt and breads. Make sure you check out the great ferments from Gusty (the best kraut!) and top up your jam supplies with Jaboticaba Jam from Ugly Duck.

Order your groceries here »

Emma-Kate & the Food Connect Team

P.S. This week, your farm fresh boxes have travelled an average of 190kms. Sweet!


10/01 2018

New Year’s Green Resolutions

Traditionally, the New Year brings plenty of resolutions to do things differently; however, many of these good intentions don't survive the summer.

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) has some good ideas easily turned into sustainable resolutions which make you feel good as well.

These tips are simple to implement yet can have lasting benefits for individuals, families and the community.

HOPE suggests adding the following actions to your resolution “to do” list:-

  1. Aim for a chemical-free household, using natural cleaning products and recipes (www.theshoppe.com.au)
  2. Commit to organic gardening (www.greenharvest.com.au)
  3. Conscientiously recycle paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, plastic containers and hazardous items (recyclingnearyou.com.au)
  4. Use green waste from your garden in mulching, composting or worm-farming.
  5. Think about installing solar power.
  6. Install a rainwater tank.
  7. Walk or ride a bike once a week on a journey you would normally drive.
  8. Support events such as Clean Up Australia Day, Earth Hour, Landcare Week and National Recycling Week (www.environment.gov.au/about-us/media-centre/events)
  9. Take part in Friends of the Escarpment Parks working bees to clean the Toowoomba escarpment of weeds and invasive plants (website under maintenance)
  10. Join a local conservation or environment group, Landcare or animal welfare group e.g. contact the Darling Downs Environment Council (DDEC) – (www.ddec.org.au)

09/01 2018

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
Website: www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Wanted: Used Postage Stamps and/or Unwanted Stamp Albums

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; and collections of stamps from Esperanto club members.

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.

Activities like these are in the direct interest of the HOPE organisation, as not only do the funds raised provide aid to those in need, but it also encourages home recycling and re-using.

If any HOPE or other community members are involved in or have ideas of any other projects or activities of the same sort, HOPE would love to know about it and help kick-start or aid similar projects.

Frank Ondrus, President - HOPE Inc.

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


10/01 2018

Wanted – Old Corflute Signs

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: www.hopeaustralia.org.au
Facebook: facebook.com/Householders.Options.to.Protect.the.Environment
ABN 48 036 173 161
Think Globally. Act Locally!

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is seeking the community’s support through the provision of old corflute signs that can be reused for their 2018 programs of events, projects and other activities.

So, if you have old promotional, advertising, event or election signs that you no longer need, please consider donating them to HOPE.

Please drop off the unwanted corflute signs to the HOPE office situated at 22 Vacy St, Newtown, Toowoomba.

Frank Ondrus, President - HOPE Inc.

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


03/01 2018

ANUHD Survey and Update January 2018

Australian Network for Universal Housing DesignHappy New Year!

Dear ANUHD supporter,

Thank you for your ongoing support towards more accessible and inclusive housing.

Boy in wheelchair and carersPlease take 5 minutes to complete this survey.

We have had a tremendous response already, but we need more!

Could you please forward this survey through your networks? Thank you.

COAG's 2010-2020 National Disability Strategy committed to support the National Dialogue for Universal Housing Design's goal that all new homes will be of an agreed livable design standard by 2020

At the direction of the Building Ministers Forum, the Australian Building Codes Board is assessing the need to regulate for livability in all new housing in the National Construction Code.

This survey will help to identify:

  • the difficulties in finding livable housing
  • the cost and benefit to Australian Society in providing livable features in all new housing; and
  • the features that should be in a livable standard for all new housing.

New Design guide for accessible and inclusive housing

We are very pleased to share with you the launch of Summer Housing's first publication, Designing for Inclusion and Independence – An Explanatory Guide to support the Briefing and Design of Accessible Housing.

The guide aims to support particularly new stakeholders in the briefing, design and specification of high quality accessible housing. It will particularly support development of Class 2 (apartment type) accessible dwellings. It is designed to be a practical resource.

The guide is available for free download on our website, via this link. You can also register your interest to order and purchase a hard copy of the guide on this webpage.

You can join Summer Housing mailing list for future correspondence here


06/01 2018

SA GM-free labels a goer

With GM-free SA now assured until 2025, food businesses are beginning to deliver GM-free labelled foods for shoppers. Ingredients derived from GM soy, corn, canola, cotton and sugarbeet are also in the international food trade. They can arrive here as vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, soy protein isolate and a variety of other ingredients, in soft drinks, processed foods and restaurant meals etc., unlabelled. So GM-free labeled foods make a valid claim, which many Australian shoppers now use as part of their buying decisions.

Australia's GM-free Shopping List is here » GM–Free Australia Alliance »

01/01 2018

Early Date Claimer - World Cleanup Day, 15 Sept 2018

Be Part of History!

Our aim is to help mobilise Australians of all ages to take part in the LARGEST POSITIVE CIVIC ACTION IN WORLD HISTORY

World Cleanup Day 2018 is an opportunity to unite people from across the globe in a single cause - making our planet a cleaner place.

Let's Show the Rest of the World How It Is Done!

We already enjoy a much cleaner environment than many other countries, thanks to the efforts of individuals, groups and agencies involved i n initiatives such as Clean Up Australia Day.

However World Cleanup Day 2018 (which is co-ordinated from Estonia) takes the game to an exciting new level. And we have the opportunity on Saturday 15th September 2018 to set the world's largest ever mobilisation of people rolling on its journey around the planet. And all for one of the planet's most important causes - saving our environment!

What You Can Do To Help

We have just over a year to make it happen. Other countries are well ahead of us in making their preparations. But that shouldn't deter the Aussie spirit to 'punch above our weight'. At this early stage all we need is for environmentally-minded Groups, Agencies, Clubs, Corporations and individuals to indicate their initial support (by completeing a simple 'Letter of Intent').

Please keep in mind that World Cleanup Day 2018 is not about money - it is about participation! And ultimately it is about inspiring the public, our children and our grandchildren to better look after the planet.

Contact/Information

website:
www.wcd2018teamaustralia.com
email:
admin@wcd2018teamaustralia.com
phone:
0418 755 615
WCD 2018 Letter of Intent:
View/Download
WCD Business Case:
View/Download
WCD 2018 December 2017 Newsletter:
View/Download