I deeply appreciate you being part of ACF in 2014. Thank you.
As a big believer in celebrating the wins, standing strong after the losses and keeping a sense of humour at all times, we’ve pulled together the highs, the lows and the hilarities of 2014. Enjoy!
Tasmanian World Heritage forests safe – When the federal government asked the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to tear up the listing for 74,000 ha of Tasmanian wilderness – you signed, called, faxed, delivered trees, rallied and donated. It took just seven minutes for the committee to throw out the government’s proposal. It made me dance among the trees!
Radioactive waste dump dumped –
For seven years, the Muckaty mob fought a radioactive waste dump on their land. In June, the federal government formally withdrew its plan. They were the sixth remote community targeted and pressured by federal governments to be a dumping ground. They’re the sixth to say no.
Environment laws protected
– Pushing the big business agenda – to mine, dredge, and frack with no one watching – the government tried to water down the laws that protect the places we love. Against the odds, you and community leaders from all over Australia
held them at bay, persuading crossbench Senators we need strong protections. There’s a long road ahead. Your support
can help the push for a new generation of environment laws.
Stolen country returned
– “There’s a time to cry, there’s a time to laugh – now is the time to dance.” Olkola elder, Mike Ross, did exactly that last week when, after a century locked out, his people’s country on Cape York was returned to them. It’s an incredible story.
The road ahead –
I’m so excited to forge ACF’s new path with you and our President Geoff Cousins. If you missed our AGM, you can watch Geoff reveal
how far he is prepared to go to make change. In my speech
I talk about two of my favourite things: trees and people power.
Sparking community change –
ACF and the YMCA have doubled Spark’s
reach. Kinder teachers, fitness instructors and chefs at YMCA centres saving energy and going solar. As part of the Climate Reality Project
, we trained 415 new leaders. And we know many of you are taking action at home and in your
communities. Your efforts matter.
Where do I start?
Clean energy assaulted –
In another inexplicable move, the government attacked the Renewable Energy Target with a hand-picked panel of climate denialists and former oil and gas executives, but you fought back with letters,
phone calls, rallies, posters
and by pressuring the ‘dirty three’ power companies
. The RET is still alive.
Nature not nurtured – The Tasmanian government scrapped the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, the historic ‘peace deal’ between conservationists and the timber industry.
The federal government approved the biggest coal mine in the world, dredging the reef, and opening a giant coal port.
All this when we know nature is in trouble. A landmark survey of Australia’s environment
by the Places You Love Alliance shows that we need to restore our rivers, climate, forests, soils, oceans and reefs, not make them worse — or we could lose them forever.
Money madness – The federal government is handing out $47 billion in fossil fuel subsidies that promote pollution and only $1 billion to the Direct Action Plan to reduce pollution.
Good for humanity? –
The Prime Minister, taking his cues from big coal
, declared that “coal is good for humanity”. (Well it would be be funny if it weren’t so sad).
It reminded me of the hilarious failed attempt the coal industry made to run a social media campaign called #Australiansforcoal
. Hmmm, turns out Aussies prefer clean energy.
The Emperor’s new clothes – Saffron, from our Canberra office, fielded some tricky questions from her six year old this year about her work in Parliament House. My favourites:
- If people who don’t want to destroy the world become leaders one day, will you have to get a different job?
- Is government just for boys?
- Why don’t you have shoes that are pretty AND comfy?
Thank you so much for your continued financial support, interest and environmental action. With you on our team, 2015 could be the biggest year in ACFs history (and it’s our 50th!).
Enjoy the great outdoors and the holiday season,
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Conservation Foundation