Nature Laws That Work

Photo: Adrian Guerin

We live in a truly special country. Most of us can take a short trip from home and find ourselves standing in a spectacular forest or arrive at a wild beach or secluded waterhole. If we’re lucky, we’ll spot a koala, a wombat, a brightly coloured bird or another of our uniquely Australian animals along the way.

But sadly, Australia remains a top-ten deforestation hotspot alongside places like the Amazon and Indonesia. We are the worst country on Earth for mammal extinctions and the second-worst for overall loss of wildlife and plant diversity.

This is why we need strong new federal environment laws, and an independent Environmental Protection Agency, at arm’s length from politicians, with the ability to both declare places off-limits to developers and to apply more rigorous standards to Big Business. Australia also needs a National Environment Commission to independently set national plans and policy that all governments have to stick to. Together, we can make this happen. Your voice matters, and people power works.


What’s brewing in the Bight

Photo: Eliza Muirhead

With the backing of tens of thousands of Australians like you, we’re facing off against the last remaining global oil company looking to drill the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight: Norwegian oil giant Equinor.

Fourteen councils across southern Australia, representing well over half a million people, have now passed formal motions raising serious concern with oil drilling in the Bight. And recently leaked company documents revealed that Equinor’s own modelling confirms the findings of the independent oil spill modelling you helped us released three years ago: that an oil spill catastrophe in the Bight could put beaches as far away as Bondi at risk.

It’s time the government protects this spectacular marine wilderness, its endangered whales and sea lions, and our coastal communities from fossil fuel companies—for good.


Forests for the future

Photo: Martin Stringer

Victoria

In Victoria, the consensus is clear: Victorians want our native forests protected. But right now, the logging that’s going on in these precious ecosystems doesn’t even have to comply with national environment law. With your help, we have a plan to complete the industry’s transition out of native forests, so the newly elected Victorian Labor Government can create the Great Forest National Park and the Emerald Link.

In another positive step, we provided evidence that resulted in state government loggers VicForests failing Forest Stewardship Council certification for the third time in a decade. Major retailers Bunnings and Officeworks are aiming to stop selling products made from VicForests’ wood if the loggers are still without this certification by 2020.

Tasmania

Unsustainable tourism doesn’t belong in wild areas. Recently, we took action in court to challenge the Federal Government’s decision to approve the Lake Malbena chopper-accessed luxury development in the spectacular Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania. We’re also lobbying the World Heritage community for proper protections for wilderness.

With your help, we continue to support local communities to protect their precious places, such as saving Dover from a new, export woodchip port.

Save trees, save koalas

Koalas are disappearing before our eyes. And new deforestation laws introduced to NSW could lead to a further 2.2 million hectares of koala habitat being destroyed. We know you’d much rather future generations live in a world where koalas are thriving; that’s why, in October, we kicked off a campaign specifically to protect koalas and their forest homes. Together, we can save NSW’s forests and koalas.


Meet our Campaigners: Jess Panegyres

Photo: Adrian Guerin

As National Nature Campaigner, I lead our national deforestation campaign. Our goal is to reach zero deforestation across Australia and to secure policies and funds to start restoring the Australian landscape.

The most rewarding part of my job is when we achieve change for the better. For example, watching the Queensland Parliament pass the strongest deforestation laws in the state’s history earlier this year was a very proud moment.

It’s scary that we’re the only developed country still bulldozing and logging our incredible forests and bushland at globally significant rates. But what gives me hope for the future are the monumental improvements that have occured in society when people come together to demand change.

Q: Tell us your favourite...

...Aussie animal?

A: Wombat. No competition.

...place in Australia?

A: The South West forests of WA.

...outdoor activity?

A: Tie between long-distance hikes and swimming.


Your say

Before Christmas, we asked you to tell us your favourite spot in nature and why this place is so special to you. And it’s clear you love trees!

Q: What’s your favourite place in nature?

– Under a tree—anywhere.

– Sitting in a rainforest anywhere in the world.

– In amongst giant gum trees.

– Any forest, with BIG trees.

– The Daintree Rainforest, QLD.

– Mountain Ash forests.

– Wattle Flat in the Royal National Park, NSW.

– Tullawallal in Lamington National Park, QLD.

Thank you to those of you who shared your favourite places!


Every donation counts

You can help put laws in place that provide life support to our wildlife, and the precious ecosystems they depend on. Donate now to support laws that support life