What's New?


COVID-19

Please bear with us over the coming months as the country deals with the COVID-19 crisis. We do not have access to our network of volunteers and like-minded people/organisations as many are either not working or do not have access to the Internet/computers. But we will bring you as much up-to-date information as we are able to.

"After the Virus" Podcast Series by HOPE Inc

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE Australia) welcomes you to a new podcast series: After the virus – talking about an innovative recovery from COVID-19 in South-East Queensland.

The series is produced by HOPE in the form of interviews of between 30 to 45-minute duration. Invited guests talk about a range of ways in which our region could become more sustainable as we move to control and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Link to Podcast Flyer


Flyer - HOPE Podcast series

HOPE-Podcast-Series-Flyer-PDF-10-20.pdf


10/11 2020

Footprint Calculator

Footprint_Calculator.pdf


Devolving Extinction? The risks of handing environmental responsibilities to states & territories

The Australian Government is poised to hand over their national environmental approval responsibilities to states and territories, so the Places You Love alliance commissioned the Environmental Defenders Office to analyse whether state and territory laws can do the job? The clear answer is no.

www.placesyoulove.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/201004-EDO-PYL-Devolving-Extinction-Report-FINAL.pdf


HOPE Public Fund bank account now active and taking donations

I’m pleased to announced that the HOPE Public Fund bank account has been activated and is now taking donations.

We invite members and supporters to consider making an annual financial contribution to help cover our operating costs of approximately $20,500 p.a.

Currently, our income is derived from project grants, fund-raising, corporate sponsorship and donations, but falls well short of our requirements.

Your financial support, by donation, will considerably help us to achieve better financial viability.

MAY 2020 — WE NOW HAVE DEDUCTIBLE GIFT RECIPIENT (DGR) STATUS, SO ALL DONATIONS OVER $2 ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

Please visit our website at www.hopeaustralia.org.<wbr></wbr>au/donations/ to make your financial donation to the financial well-being of our organsiation.


Our application to National Register of Environmental Organsiations has been approved!

Great news! Our application for listing on the National Register of Environmental Organisations has been approved! Yahoo!! (21/04/2020)

And, our Deductible Gift Recipient Status (DGR) was confirmed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in the week ending 10 May 2020.

(See environment.gov.au/about-us/business/tax/register-environmental-organisations/listed-organisations)

We are now in a position to:

  • mount major fund-raising campaigns;
  • access a greater range grants with DGR as a requirement; and
  • apply for corporate sponsorship.

As of 1 July 2020, HOPE members and supporters will be able to make ‘tax deductible’ donations via our website at www.hopeaustralia.org.au/donations/ - with receipts being issued on request.

The office will presently be:

  • searching the Internet for more grant funding opportunities; and
  • updating our Sponsorship Prospectus with the view of attracting funding to support our operational activities; and certain projects, campaigns, events and activities.

Yours sincerely,

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


Kitchen or Cafe Conversations

Dear friends of the environment,

HOPE invites you to host your own “Kitchen or Cafe Conversations” discussing environmental issues of concern to you.

A 2018 study released by HP (Hewlett Packard) Australia and Plant Ark, stated that 91% of Australian consumers are concerned about the environment and sustainability, although only half of consumers and businesses think they do enough in their daily lives to address sustainable solutions to climate change.

It is evident that the Australian public is motivated to adopt changes in order to lessen their impact on the environment. What we need to do now is identify opportunities on how they can do that.

Through “Kitchen or Cafe Conversations” the aim is to mobilise individual action on environmental preservation by discussing critical environmental concerns and recommending what the average person can do to address that issue.

For example, if you think replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources is a key issue that should be at the forefront of conversation, then talk about it. Discuss your ideas on how the individual can address this issue – from lifestyle changes like driving and flying less or changing what you eat and buy, to advocating for system-wide change by writing a letter to your local MP to increase government subsidies for renewable energy.

So, if after your conversations(s) you feel strongly about a particular environmental issue, please consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper; and/or going a step further and writing to your local government councillor and state and federal members of parliament.

At the very least, put a post on your social media platforms, to share issues and outcomes.

YOUR IDEA; YOUR GATHERING; YOUR ACTIONS!

For more information, contact:

Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135 | office@hopeaustralia.org.au


A call for a New Generation of Australian Environmental Laws

Australia’s beautiful and unique natural environment is in an unsustainable state of decline. This has been demonstrated by the Australia State of the Environment Report 2016, which had identified persistent environmental problems such as a biodiversity loss, land degradation, extensive development along coastlines and cities, and climate change impacts[1]. More recently, the Australia’s Environment Summary Report 2019[2] has also reported that the national Environmental Condition Score (ECS, based on Australia’s key environmental indicators) was 0,8 out of 10 in 2019; the lowest score since at least 2000. This report has also stated that, in 2019, Australia’s list of threatened species included a total of 1890 species, representing a 36% increase from 2000. Furthermore, a study published by leading Australian ecologists in 2019[3] has found that over 7.7 million hectares of potential habitats and communities were cleared between 2000 and 2017, contributing to the wildlife extinction crisis Australia is currently facing.

Since its enactment in 2000, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) has been subjected to two independent statutory reviews: the first review completed in 2009 by Dr Allan Hawke AC[4] and the second, currently being finalised by Professor Graeme Samuel AC[5]. Both statutory reviews concur that the EPBC Act is complex and that it should be redrafted comprehensively or replaced by a new Act (or set of related Acts). Both independent reviews also assent that the environmental impact assessment and approvals regime under the EPBC Act is inefficient and should be streamlined to reduce duplication and inconsistencies. Furthermore, the interim report of this year’s EPBC Act review indicates that the Act is ineffective, and it is not fit to address current or future environmental challenges. Fundamentally, this interim report proposes a reform package involving the development of a new set of legally enforceable National Environmental Standards, the creation of an independent compliance, monitoring, and enforcement regulator, the accreditation of State and Territory assessment and approval processes (‘devolution’), and the centralisation of information and data collection.

Despite that the second statutory review of the EPBC Act is still in progress and that the final report is not due until the end of October this year, the Federal Government has started to propose changes to the national environmental laws, arguing this would support Australia’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis without compromising the environment. Just recently, on August 27th, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020 (Cth) (EPBC Amendment Bill) was introduced to the Australian Parliament, with the purpose of facilitating devolution of approval powers to States and Territories (referred as ‘single touch’ environmental approvals) and improving the bilateral agreement process. However, as the EPBC Amendment Bill failed to include the creation of new National Environmental Standards and a strong independent compliance and enforcement regulator, environmental experts are concerned that it could instead weaken environmental protections. This EPBC Amendment Bill has been strongly criticised as it is almost identical to the ‘one-stop-shop’ legislation introduced by the Australian Government in 2014. Conservationist groups does not support this ‘devolution’ regime, arguing that State and Territory environmental laws and enforcement process do not meet federal standards; States and Territories may have conflict of interest in approving projects which are of financial benefit to them, and States and Territories would need additional funding to be able to take over this job. Some even claim that the ‘single touch’ regime may create a more complicated system rather than simplifying it[6].  

A similar approach has been taken by the Places You Love (PYL) Alliance, a network of leading environmental non-government organisations across Australia. In response to similar concerns about the complexity and ineffectiveness of the Australian environmental law system, PYL convened the Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law (APEEL), calling for a major overhaul of national environmental laws. As a result, APPEL released the blueprint for the next generation of Australian environmental law[7] in 2017, including 57 recommendations. With this reform proposal, APPEL was seeking to ensure a healthy and resilient environment for future generations.

Additionally, several Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performance audits have been conducted to examine the operation of the EPBC Act since it came into action in 2000. The latest ANAO performance audit report[8] released in June this year has indicated that the administration of referrals, assessments and approvals under the EPBC Act is neither effective nor efficient. Likewise, according to this report, previous ANAO performance audits conducted in 2003, 2007, 2014, 2016, and 2017 have also reported deficiencies in compliance monitoring and enforcement arrangements.

Australian environmental laws should enable protection, conservation, management, and restoration of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage in an effective and efficient manner. However, as clearly identified by the multiple audits and independent reviews conducted on the EPBC Act since its commencement in 2000, the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation is failing to deliver. A fundamental reform in the way the Australian environmental laws are written, applied, and enforced is necessary to stop this environmental crisis and work towards the protection and recovery of Australia’s precious environment without compromising its economy.

 

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

Written by Maria Hernandez, HOPE researcher WA

*****

[1] The Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law. Blueprint for the Next Generation of Australian Environmental Law. August 2017.

[2] Australian National University. Australia’s Environment Summary Report 2019.

[3] Ward MS, Simmonds JS, Reside AE, et al. Lots of loss with little scrutiny: The attrition of habitat critical for threatened species in Australia. Conservation Science and Practice. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.<wbr></wbr>117

[4] Dr Allan Hawke AC. Report of the Independent Review of the EPBC Act. Final Report. October 2009.

[5] Professor Graeme Samuel AC. Independent Review of the EPBC Act. Interim Report. June 2020.

[6] Environmental Defenders Office. EPBC Act reform: Are we about to fast track our way to weaker environmental standards and protections?. 7 Aug 2020.

[7] The Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law. Blueprint for the Next Generation of Australian Environmental Law. August 2017.

[8] Auditor-General Report No.47 2019–20. Referrals, Assessments and Approvals of Controlled Actions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. June 2020.

*****


World Habitat Day, 5 October, 2020

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our town and cities, as well as on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. This is the celebration towards a better urban future. WHD is also intended to remind the world that everyone has the power and the responsibility to shape the future of towns and cities World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 in NairobiKenya, and the theme chosen for that year was "Shelter is My Right".

World Habitats Day is celebrated in many countries around the world and various activities are organised to examine the problem of rapid urbanisation and its impact on the environment and human poverty.

Information on the previous World Habitat Day celebrations: https://urbanoctober.<wbr></wbr>unhabitat.org/past-events

Please visit United Nations’ official website https://www.un.org/en/events/<wbr></wbr>habitatday/ for more information about World Habitat Day 2020.


Million Jobs Plan Economic Analysis, September 2020

The Beyond Zero Emissions Team are excited to announce yesterday's release of an independent economic analysis of the Million Jobs Plan from one of Australia’s most eminent experts, Chris Murphy. 

We are energised by this progress and keen to continue to push for more success. In that vein, we are in the process of getting 1,000 copies of The Million Jobs Plan and are seeking $20,000 to cover that expense. $20,000 will ensure that a clean economic recovery is in the hands of every state and federal government minister before the October Budget is announced. 

Your support through either a single or regular donation will help us to deliver the Million Jobs Plan and a positive future for us all. You can donate to the Million Jobs Plan by following this link.

Mr Murphy has found that the economic impact from the Million Jobs Plan will ensure a stronger economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession.  

He says:
“My modelling of the national economic impacts of this Plan shows that it contributes to a stronger economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession.  It does this by adding an average of $25 billion to private investment over the next three years as Plan projects are developed.” 
The independent analysis has been met with widespread media attention including the front-page of The Australian.  

The economic analysis found that:

  • The Million Jobs Plan  will boost private investment by $25billion annually, or nearly 2% of GDP, and adding 1 to 2% to GDP.
  • It will increase real wages by 1% in 2022-2023 and 2% by 2035-2036 [currently wages are lower than those in 2011].
  • By the 2021 financial year,  there will be an estimated 124,000 more jobs with the Plan than without the Plan.
  • In the medium to long term, the additional investment in low-carbon technologies in areas such as housing, electricity generation and transmission and manufacturing contributes to higher productivity.  
  • This means that real after-tax wages are 1% higher in 2022-23 and 2% higher by 2035-36 than they would be without the Plan.  
  • The Million Jobs Plan will give a major boost to diverse business sectors and provide jobs throughout Australia – with over 70% of those in regional areas. The plan delivers results almost immediately and its benefits persist for many years.

You can find out more about the economic analysis and read the news articles in the Australian and the Australian Financial Review.


Sustainable Housing Day, September 20, 2020

This Sunday is the big day: Sustainable House Day 2020! This email has everything you need to know about this year's event. The virtual format means that joining in is easy. You'll be able to connect with homeowners all around Australia from the comfort of your couch.

At 10am on Sunday, we will be opening three virtual rooms, each of which will host sessions with homeowners and experts throughout the day. Links to each room will be available on our website. You won't need to log in to the Sustainable House Day site to join the rooms—simply click on the Zoom link for the room you want at the appropriate time and you'll be whisked into the correct session. Jumping from room to room is easy, so you can switch between them, depending on your area of interest: you just leave the room you're in and click on the link for the session you want to join.

There will be plenty of time for questions in these sessions, so we recommend checking out the participating houses before the day to think of anything you'd like to ask. Video tours are now live, and links to these houses can be found in the program.


From Boomerang Alliance, 10 September, 2020

South Australia bans single use plastic takeaway items – who’s next?

With South Australia, the first state to ban key single-use plastic items such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers - it’s now urgent other states also move on this plastic pollution, the Boomerang Alliance of 52 groups said today. 

‘We congratulate the South Australian Government on this ground-breaking legislation. Queensland and the ACT have legislation before their Parliaments, and we look forward to similar legislation in Western Australia and NSW later this year,’ said Jeff Angel, Director of the Boomerang Alliance.

‘These plastic items are amongst the most littered and represent a major threat to the environment and to wildlife. They all have available and better alternatives.’

The ban, which passed yesterday and will come into effect in 2021, also addresses the use of polystyrene plates, cups, bowls and containers, another Australian first.

There will be exemptions for people who require single-use plastic straws due to a disability or medical condition.

The Boomerang Alliance runs the successful Plastic Free SA program, which assists food retailers to switch away from single-use plastic takeaway items, including those items that fall under the ban. In 2020, despite COVID-19 restrictions, members of the program have removed nearly 400,000 single-use plastic items. Successful programs operate in several other states.

‘Our program shows that switching to better alternatives such as reusable and compostable items is very achievable, and many of our members do so while reducing costs and waste’.

For further info:  Jeff Angel 0418 273773; Toby Hutcheon 0422 990372


National Parks Association of Queensland: neck of the woods

NPAQ Update

This month, NPAQ has been involved in coordinating a joint briefing paper to the Environment Minister on Protected Areas and made two formal submissions:

  • Minister's briefing - seeking release of a fully funded Protected Area Strategy and provision of regional economic stimulus for Black Summer Bushfire (and extended drought) ecosystem recovery in Queensland's national parks.
  • Currawinya National Park Draft Management Plan - supported Values-Based management framework (VBMF), sought clarifications on roles and responsibilities and requested Visitor Management to align with Recreational and Ecocultural tourism
  • Wangetti - requested mountain biking be removed from the proposal as it will be detrimental to the national parks and World Heritage areas https://npaq.org.au/current-issues/wangetti-trail-proposal/

NPAQ has also been finalising our Ecotourism Policy based on member feedback.

NPAQ will be attending the Minister's Environmental Roundtable this week where we will meet the Environment Minister and senior representatives of the Environment Department and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services.

In the upcoming Qld election, NPAQ is seeking the following:

  • Premier and Treasury support of the State’s National Park Estate for their inherent biological importance, value to the community and fundamental importance to the tourist industry and regional employment.
  • Release and implement a fully funded Queensland Protected Area Strategy to provide a clear pathway to achieving strategic protection of 17% of the State (a long standing commitment); include sufficient management funding to ensure the integrity of the National Park Estate and to build threatened species and climate change resilience.
  • Prioritise a nature based regional economic stimulus for Black Summer Bushfire ecosystem and COVID-19 recovery in national parks.

NPAQ Annual General Meeting

NPAQ President Graeme Bartrim warmly invites all members to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Time: 7:00pm start

Venue: Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium – You may also attend this meeting online – please email admin@npaq.org.au to receive the meeting link.
The business of the meeting includes: confirming previous Annual General Meeting minutes, receiving and adopting the audited financial statements and audit report, receiving and adopting the annual report, election of councillors, and appointment of auditor.

Light refreshments will be served.

If you are a member and are unable to attend but would like to vote, please complete the Proxy Form and return by email to secretary@npaq.org.au or by mail to Honorary Secretary, PO Box 1040, Milton QLD 4064.

The annual report and audited financial statements will be posted on the NPAQ website prior to the Annual General Meeting. Hard copies of the annual report and audited financial statements can be requested by calling 07 3367 0878.

Graeme Bartrim, Deb Marwedel, Yvonne Parssons and Neil Williams are stepping down from Council and much effort is going into ensuring the Association’s Council remains strong and effective. A list of the councillors nominated will be posted on the NPAQ website by 16 September and emailed/mailed to members.

Please RSVP for the AGM by 9 September to admin@npaq.org.au, or call 07 3367 0878.

Interested in serving as an NPAQ Councillor?

Are you interested in driving the strategic direction on behalf of the membership of NPAQ, and contributing to good governance to ensure the Association is well run?
 
Do you enjoy a challenge? Become an NPAQ Councillor and contribute to achieving the long-term sustainability of the Association and the achievement of its worthwhile purpose.
 
Nomination forms should be submitted to the Honorary Secretary by close of business Wednesday, 9 September 2020.

•    Email to secretary@npaq.org.au, or
•    Mail to Honorary Secretary, PO Box 1040, Milton QLD 4064

Once your completed nomination form is received you will be sent a confirmation email. If you do not receive confirmation within 48 hours (or 5 working days if sent by post), please contact the NPAQ Office on 07 3367 0878.

Download the Councillor nomination form.

National Parks for Life

The Queensland Conservation Council's National Parks for Life campaign to better protect and manage our rich and diverse landscapes continues. Well managed national parks and other protected areas are one of the best ways to conserve nature and protect cultural values. They provide a legal safeguard for wildlife and connect us with rich, life-giving landscapes essential for our well being.

Share your memories from Queensland’s national parks on the National Parks for Life Map. Maybe it is a special place you go with your family every year, your traditional homelands, your favourite campsite spot, your favourite beach, an awe-inspiring wildlife encounter or maybe your favourite hiking adventure. We would love to hear your story, what did you see who often do you go?  

Protected Magazine

The Winter edition of NPAQ's Protected magazine has been published and is available.


Environmental Biosecurity

QWaLC Queensland Water and Land Carers

Webinars are on the last week of month and are being held in place of this year’s Roundtables. Each webinar will feature speakers and explore themes relating to environmental biosecurity.  + more

*Seminar dates are subject to change pending presenter availability.

  • 29 September - Flora, Fauna and Fire – Regenerating a scorched landscape
  • 27 October - Biosecurity risks in focus - Contaminants & commerce
  • 24 November - Biosecurity in our backyard.

Invitation to Partner with HOPE

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc. is keen to link up with more like-minded environmental NGOs and others.

“Our success to date has been built on the good will of our partners,” says Mr Frank Ondrus, HOPE Inc. President. The support HOPE Inc. has received, with access to expertise and resources, has been critical to undertaking an ever-broadening range of environmental pursuits.

“Our partners include several key environmental organisations in Australia and overseas. We are committed to supporting each other”, says Mr Ondrus. The Partnership/Alliance program has ‘full membership’ and ‘associate membership’ available for those that wish to partner with us.

“Our mission is simple, yet ambitious, and we have made great gains so far. But to keep this momentum going, we need to continue building our relationships with more like-minded organisations and others”. Mr Ondrus urges everyone to get in touch at the earliest convenience, with contact details for any organisations that may be interested in partnering with HOPE Inc.

For information about the Partnership/Alliance program, check our website out here: www.hopeaustralia.org.au/home/partnershipsalliances-ngos/




We are pleased to announce the June 15/June 16 webinar course, The role of the sacred in nurturing ecological law and governance, hosted by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. Registration is required -please do so at the link below.

T h e  R o l e  o f  t h e  S a c r e d  i n  N u r t u r i n g  E c o l o g i c a l  L a w  a n d G o v e r n a n c e

Monday, 15 June 2020

7:00pm-8:30pm EDT (New York)

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

9:00am-10:30am AEST (Australia)

Link:https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-role-of-the-sacred-in-nurturing-ecological-law-and-governance-tickets-107640401338

Contact: Michelle Maloney


ELGA-webinar-series.pdf


National Bushfire Summit

Hi there,

It’s up to us. 

Today, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action announced that, due to ongoing Federal inaction, we’re going it alone and hosting our own 
National Bushfire and Emergency Summit.

Earlier this year, we issued a joint statement warning the government to act urgently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and properly fund emergency services to combat worsening extreme weather. 

Now, the catastrophic fire conditions we’re experiencing are fuelling record numbers of emergency level fires, and putting communities and wildlife all over the country under siege from flames and smoke.

The fires we are battling today started earlier, burn more intensely, have destroyed more homes and covered more ground than anything we’ve seen before.

This is not normal. This is climate change, driven by mining and burning coal, oil and gas, and it is aggravating bushfires right across the country.  

As former senior fire and emergency service chiefs, we asked PM Scott Morrison to meet with us back in April, then in May, so that we could explain to him how climate change is supercharging extreme weather and natural disaster risks. But he declined.

I would like to take him to a fire front so that he can see what firefighters and communities are up against. 

Read my open letter to the Prime Minister, and then keep the pressure on him by sharing it with your networks.

Instead of acting swiftly and decisively to develop a coordinated response to combat worsening extreme weather, and bring down emissions, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been missing in action.

So, we’re stepping up to fill the leadership vacuum, and calling our own National Bushfire and Emergency Summit. It will unite all sectors to discuss the unprecedented conditions faced by our emergency services, funding and resourcing issues, and ways to address the fundamental driving factor: climate change.

Our National Bushfire and Emergency Summit will be held early next year. We will invite federal, state and local political leaders, the military, farmers, firefighters, as well as business, industry, health, science, community and Indigenous leaders. 

We’ll invite Scott Morrison again too, and this time I hope he comes - because these fires must be a wake-up call to us all.

Read my open letter to Prime Minister, and join me in asking Scott Morrison to step up and show some leadership, by sharing this article.

Every day we delay action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, lives, livelihoods and property are at greater risk. Fires are getting harder to fight, and our emergency services need better resources to cope. 

Just this week, NSW’s largest aerial water bomber was forced to fly to Western Australia to battle extreme fires there, at the same time fires were raging in the Blue Mountains. Our firefighting resources are stretched to the limit, and our firefighters are exhausted. On top of that, these bushfires have spewed an extra 250 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, a blowout of almost half our total annual emissions (1). 

We need national leadership and a coordinated response to cope with more intense and frequent extreme weather events. The Coalition Government must accept that climate change is fuelling the worsening bushfire conditions, develop a plan to urgently phase out fossil fuels and work with us to keep Australians safe.

The solutions are available, but we must all come together now to prepare for more dangerous conditions in the future.

The safety and well-being of communities, firefighters and wildlife is on the line.

I’ll keep you updated on our progress as we go. Until then, thank you for being in this with us.


Greg Mullins AO, AFSM
Climate Councillor
Former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW, former President of the Australasian Fire & Emergency Service Authorities’ Council.

P.S. Want to hear more from the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action? Click here to watch a live-stream of today’s press conference, and click here to view our interview on the Today show this morning.

References

  1. Australia's bushfires have emitted 250m tonnes of CO2, almost half of country's annual emissions, The Guardian, 13 December 2019