Power to the people
April 2018

Dear ,

This month, I’m pleased to introduce one of our Movement For Life graduates, Freya. Last month, Freya joined a delegation of Wilderness Society volunteers in Canberra to meet with their local pollies about Australia’s need for strong environmental laws. Movement For Life is a community organising program that gives you the skills you need to protect nature (click here to join a training near you today!). This is Freya’s experience. — Lyndon Schneiders

Although I have always known in theory that our elected leaders are accountable to us—their constituents, their voters—this trip reminded me of just how contingent their power is. And when a message is spoken in the right way, by enough people, they ultimately have to listen!

My name is Freya, and recently I was part of a parliamentary delegation sent to Canberra by The Wilderness Society to meet with our political representatives, to ask them to introduce more robust national environmental laws and a better strategy for nature.

Australia’s national environment laws are desperately in need of reform, and unfortunately, we have seen very little progressive action from our elected leaders. After watching Australia’s unique environment being sidelined as a priority for too long, we decided it was time to take our message where it could not be ignored: to Parliament House, and to Canberra!

In the first meeting I attended, the MP I met with mentioned—with a sigh—that he read every submission that his constituents sent in. For some reason, this surprised me—as regularly being on the other side of letters and phone calls to MPs, I know that it sometimes feels like you’re up against an impenetrable and disheartening barrier. I could not help but think how all the letters we write, the MPs we call, all the local grassroots organising we engage in, bit-by-bit breaks through the barriers placed around politicians, and can eventually result in real and tangible change.

Personally, this trip reified that, at The Wilderness Society, we are on the right path; this particular campaign has the potential to have widespread impact on the state of environmental protection in Australia. The way in which The Wilderness Society is empowering leaders in communities to lead this change—to speak to power, to be part of a grassroots movement—is groundbreaking work! Most of us who went to Canberra had previously engaged in The Wilderness Society’s Movement For Life Training, and I can tell you that all the hard work that has been put into this is paying off. Click here to learn more about this community organising program.

We went into Parliament House with confidence. We shared our stories; we spoke up for nature, and you—the people who care about nature. We asked our political leaders to do something about the state of environmental protection in Australia, and we will keep asking them until we see better environmental laws.

Join Movement For LIfe

Thank you,

Movement For Life Graduate, The Wilderness Society


One step closer

In Queensland, the Government's new deforestation laws are a step closer to being passed, with the Parliamentary Committee recommending the law be passed. The law, while a step forward, needs to be strengthened to end the state’s deforestation crisis. Over 13,000 people wrote to the Committee asking them to make the strongest possible laws to protect nature and together we are keeping up the pressure through phone calls and visits to MPs and community forums.

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Victoria's alternate tree-ality

When it comes to Victoria’s forests, the Andrews Government is currently not satisfying anyone. Regional communities want to see their local forests protected. Sawmills are fighting over the little wood that is left. Victoria’s forests are not a Magic Pudding—the reality is that there is no longer enough wood to support the propped up timber industry. Read more

Become a member of The Wilderness Society

Protecting nature is a huge and complex task. Campaigning for the wild is embedded in The Wilderness Society’s DNA. For more than 40 years, we’ve campaigned to stop the dozers and the chainsaws from plundering our forests and woodlands. But we also need more fundamental change. Australia needs new national laws to protect nature that actually work.

Become a member of The Wilderness Society because together, we become strong. We can’t expect leadership from politicians and others, unless we become active and engaged ourselves. Our members are part of our long, proud history of Australians banding together to protect our precious environment for future generations. If you're not already a member—please consider signing up today.

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Photo of the month

IMAGE: Rainbow Bee-eaters feed on bees and other flying insects. Once caught they toss the bee in the air to make sure that they swallow it the right way to avoid the the sting. | Denise Denham

For a chance to see your own wilderness photo in the next issue of Wild News, email it to images@wilderness.org.au by 25 May with your name and short description. Good luck! Read the terms and conditions.

Watch this

This is what deforestation looks like. 45 million native animals dead. In one year. In one state. One. Every. Single. Second. Watch on Facebook.

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Stand tall in our Mountain Ash tees!

The world's tallest flowering plant grows in the Central Highlands of Victoria—site of the proposed Great Forest National Park. Pop one of these on to show your support for the Park that will protect the mighty Mountain Ash and critically endangered Fairy (Leadbeater's) Possum, but hurry—limited stock available!

Have you heard?

The Northern Territory lifts fracking ban

The ban will open up 700,000 square kilometres to gas exploration, with the first exploration fracking expected for next year. Read more

Scientific experts 'extremely concerned' by plan to stop extinctions

Australia is doing worse than developing nations like Rwanda and Myanmar when it comes to protecting its species from extinction. Read more

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