Did you know – National Parks are set to be developed, mined, logged, grazed and shot in – the works!
And did you know - for a politician:
• A personal phone call is worth 100 emails
• A personal face to face visit is worth 100 calls
So one face to face meeting means you represent 1000 emailers!
We need you urgently - to help fight off major land pillagers before 17th June. It’s painless to call and express how important this issue is – to insist the message is passed on or to even go and tell them in person.
Help stymie the thrust of the rapacious National Parks ravagers from turning our parks into playgrounds for shooters, and profit boosters for the big end of town. Parks are sacred!
A receptionist or staff will answer. Please leave a strong message (but polite) or better still ask to see them before the 17th. Take along a few friends or family members.
Keep it simple and honest. You don’t need to be an expert. You do need to be clear, genuine and passionate. It’s not important to have all the answers. It is important to ask the questions. Get personal and tell your Labor MP or Senator about how much you love our National Parks.
The ask is:
Government must amend our national environment law, the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) so that:
• National Parks are brought under the protection of the Act. In technical terms, this means inserting a "National Park trigger" so that any proposal for development or destructive activities in a national park "triggers" protection by the Federal Environment Minister.
• Approval powers under the Act will always remain with the Federal Government and can never be handed over to State Governments.
Without this second point, the first could be overturned by a future government.
Please don’t leave this one to someone else to act on. Get some practice in. Your MP is only there because of their voters. You have power!
Government burns outdo bushfires
The bushfires of 2012-13 in Victoria covered around 130,000 ha. The government has just proudly announced they have now burnt 250,000 ha of forest this Autumn (May 2013)! As well they have pumped about 18.3 million tonnes of C02 into the atmosphere.
So what does this mean?
Besides this being one massive unscientific experiment based on politicians trying to placate nervous electorates, rather than effective asset protection, it has also:
• Added around 18.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. About 20 tonnes a hectare of stored carbon is estimated to be lost during burns (x 3.67 = C02 created).*
• Taken out healthy functioning ground soils’ duff and compost layers which keeps the soil damp and cool – and fire resistant.
• Burnt the fungi that are so important for ‘digesting’ leaves, twigs and even logs.
• Wiped out ground habitat for micro-organisms that small birds, lizards and frogs feed on, the very basis of a forest’s food chain.
• Incinerated large areas of cover for the ground dwelling wildlife exposing them to predation, exposure and starvation.
• Ignorantly destroyed the habitat of many rare and threatened plants and animals as there are no surveys done before igniting large patches of forest.
• Burnt out and destroyed thousands of highly valuable hollow bearing trees, critical for so much rare wildlife.
• Exposed delicate soils to rain wash and erosion.
*This C02 figure is more than agriculture's but just under the transport sector’s annual figures (2007) and around what Victoria’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood pumps out every year!
We’re suing the government again!
We have commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court (21/5/13) to sue the Department of Environment and Primary Industries for years of failure to protect Victoria’s threatened wildlife.
We are alleging in Court that the State Government has violated the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act by not preparing protection plans called Action Statements for four threatened species: the Glossy Black Cockatoo, the Long-nosed Potoroo, the Eastern She-oak Skink and the Large Brown Tree Frog.
These four struggling heroes represent the other 370 listed species that also have no legal protection despite them being extremely rare.
There’s is a big difference between being listed as threatened and actually being protected.
We proved that the govt. logging agency had failed to survey for and protect endangered forest wildlife for decades, when we won the last Supreme Court case in 2010.
But we learnt that VicForests can survey and identify rare animals, but still destroy them, their homes and food. Although they’re in deep trouble, the govt has not written up plans to protect all listed wildlife.
We have amazing animals that exist nowhere else on earth, but laws to protect them are violated daily by the government.
The way the state government is applying the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act is instead guaranteeing their extinction.
Environment East Gippsland, is being represented by the Environment Defenders Office.
This case will cost us thousands of dollars and we are asking for any assistance you can offer. Tax deductible donations for 2012/13 can be made to EEG via GiveNow: http://www.givenow.com.au/environmenteastgippsland or hit the 'donate' button on the top left of this page.
UPDATE on the Law to gift our public forests to private profiteers
On Tuesday (7.5.13) there was a presence all afternoon from 1-5pm on the steps of Parliament House. But the appalling new logging law Bill went through the upper house without amendment. It will now be sent to the lower house possibly in the week of 28 May. It will likely pass without any difficulty – unless someone crosses the floor.
John Lenders (Labor) moved that it be referred to committee but the vote was split 18-18, so failed. He then tried to propose 3 amendments but each was defeated.
Greg Barber (Greens) spoke strongly against it and asked questions that the Lib/Nats couldn’t answer. Lenders spoke up too. Greg thanked all the forest supporters who attended. He says it's rare to get such public interest and he really appreciates it.
People who tried to get into the PUBLIC gallery were told only friends of Dr Napthine's could get in! The Greens sorted out security and about 40 supporters sat and heard the debate.
If passed the Bill will formalise a new ‘cut-out-and-get-out’ style of forest management in the short term as well as pay millions to the logging industry in the long term.
The proposed Amendments to this law governing native forest logging will hand full powers to VicForests (the profit-driven semi government entity in charge of logging public forests) and it will expose the state of Victoria to payouts to the industry players of hundreds of millions. This change to the law mirrors closely what the logging lobby group, AFPA’s submission demanded.
The changes would:
1. Promise unlimited logging contracts (currently licenses have 5 year reviews).
2. Remove government oversight of VicForests’ activities.
3. Effectively privatise the exploitation of the state’s most valuable public natural asset.
4. Promise to supply logs into the future that may not exist, due to fire, drought regeneration failure and so on.
5. Expose the tax-payer and government to paying hundreds of millions in compensation when/if the trees can’t be provided .
6. See forests managed by purely commercial interests with token to no concern for environmental, tourism, heritage, aesthetic or water values.
7. Make it impossible to alter the law if the wood/trees have been promised to a private company by VicForests. The government must provide the logs or pay massive compensation.
8. Allow VicForests Board of Directors to decide when, where and how much it will clearfell .
9. Override and ignore the Auditor General’s current audit of VicForests’ management and the recommendations that will come from it.
10. Remove environmental oversight of logging in native forests.
Environmental regulation of the native forest logging industry should be increased as VicForests has been found to be consistently over-logging, logging unlawfully, unaccountably and in the face of enormous and escalating community opposition.
This proposed change of the law is a desperate attempt to maintain a dying industry that is losing its traditional markets for sawn hardwood timber and export woodchips. It hopes to encourage even more destructive industries to use forests as a feedstock for biomass burning for electricity and processing into fuel. (Timber Industry Action Plan. Dec 2011). Hence this ‘overkill Bill’ to entice prospective investors and industries that want wood as a raw material.
Alexander Downer joins Gina Rinehart in jamming their big feet in Gippsland's door!
Is it just coincidence that as new mining projects are approved in Longford and Seaspray and the moratorium on fracking is about to be lifted, Gina buys big stakes in the local mining companies, our local politicians open the newly upgraded West Sale Airport, the highways in and out of Longford to Melbourne are upgraded and Seaspray gets a new 'compound like' accommodation site they're calling a holiday park?
Watch out Gippsland!!!
Native forest-based bioenergy projects a climate risk: report
There is significant risk in establishing native forest-based bioenergy projects to substitute for Australia’s ailing woodchip export trade, including adverse climate impacts, according to a new report by environment group Markets For Change.
The report, released to coincide with an industry conference in Melbourne called 'Residues to Revenues', questions the push to use forest wood to produce electricity and liquid fuels.
It says such a move would involve loss of carbon stores that would likely take decades or even centuries to recover.
The report authors also suggest biomass extraction for bioenergy will be the same as woodchipping, an enabler and driver of continued native forest logging, and just as contentious.
Woodchipping has underpinned the assault of industrial logging on Australia’s native forests, and it will be the same with plans to continue broad scale logging to feed the bulk of the felled trees into electricity or liquid biofuel production, said CEO of Markets For Change, Peg Putt.
Besides destroying wildlife habitat it would also exacerbate global warming.
This report scuttles the claim that native forest bioenergy projects would merely use waste, the research also revealing that they are risky developments dependent on public subsidies.
Set hope aside to become a better activist for the environment and social justice.
‘Hope’ is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.
When hope dies action begins.
Derrick Jensen is the author of 'Endgame', published in June 2006. He wrote this amazing piece on 'hope' and how we should ditch it.
Some quotes I especially like:
(BUT I think we can still ‘hope’ something happens AND take action).
"Because I’m in love. With salmon, with trees outside my window, with baby lampreys living in sandy stream bottoms, with slender salamanders crawling through the duff. And if you love, you act to defend your beloved. Of course results matter to you, but they don’t determine whether or not you make the effort. You don’t simply hope your beloved survives and thrives. You do what it takes. If my love doesn’t cause me to protect those I love, it’s not love".
"You come to realize that when hope died, the you who died with the hope was not you, but was the you who depended on those who exploit you, the you who believed that those who exploit you will somehow stop on their own, the you who believed in the mythologies propagated by those who exploit you in order to facilitate that exploitation. The socially constructed you died. The civilized you died. The manufactured, fabricated, stamped, molded you died. The victim died."
"And when you quit relying on hope, and instead begin to protect the people, things, and places you love, you become very dangerous indeed to those in power."
This short video explains how forests and our climate are so closely connected. Forests are our greatest land based carbon stores, shade the earth, moderate our climate and provide clouds and rainfall.