Category Archives: Petition

Demand Australia Remains a Democracy. Allow Environmental Groups to Challenge Developments!

BY: Georgina B.
TARGET: Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt

The Australian Government wants to restrict the rights of ‘green groups’, or conservationists, to challenge mining and other developments, according to a report in The Guardian.

George_Brandis_Attorney-General (image: Attorney General George Brandis)

Attorney General Brandis said the government would seek to repeal section 487 (2) of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act and “return to the common law”. The government says “vigilante” green groups have been “sabotaging” development, jobs and growth.

The decision to place restrictions comes after the federal court overturned approval for the controversial Carmichael mine in Queensland.

As a result, the government is seeking to remove the ability of most environmental organisations to challenge developments under federal laws unless they can show they are, “directly affected” by the development. Actually, we and future generations will be “directly affected” if our environment, natural resources, and integrity of our environment is compromised! We already have one of the highest species extinction rates of the world!

This is undemocratic! Government should not interfere in the legal system. Will you join us, and AWPC, in demanding the federal government does not move to legislate against environmental groups?

We need an Environment Minister who is FOR, not AGAINST, the Environment!

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Demand that two men gulty of the torture and killing of a koala are given a stronger sentence

In an act of savagery, two men bludgeoned a koala, before burning it to death on a campfire in country Victoria.  Camping on the Murray River near Cobram, one of them hit the koala with a machete to “separate it from a pet dog”.  The other man threw the injured, but alive animal, on to a campfire, before burying its remains.

The suffering of this koala would have been unimaginable; their actions inexcusable. Koalas are defenceless, gentle, slow-moving and protected wildlife, iconic native animals of our country.

The two criminals were sentenced to confinement in a Youth Justice Centre for aggravated animal cruelty, a $250 fine each for disposing of protected wildlife.  However, the sentence was softened, after an appeal! The two were thus sentenced to only 200 hours of community service!  This is a “slap on the wrist” sentence.

We petition the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions that the perpetrators of animal cruelty be sentenced much more harshly – to ensure justice, and to act as a strong deterrent.

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Demand that two men gulty of the torture and killing of a koala are given a stronger sentence

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Drought, land clearing in Queensland

(featured image: Queensland_State_Archives – land clearing Beerburrum_December 1916)

When we think about global deforestation, certain hotspots spring to mind. The Amazon. The Congo. Borneo and Sumatra. And… eastern Australia?

Yes, eastern Australia is one of 11 regions highlighted in a new chapter of the WWF Living Forests report, Saving forests at risk, which identifies the world’s greatest deforestation fronts – where forests are most at risk – between now and 2030.

The WWF Living Forests report, Saving forests at risk”, identifies the world’s greatest deforestation fronts – where forests are most at risk – between now and 2030. It estimates forest losses for eastern Australia range from 3 million to 6 million hectares, including over a million hectares of Queensland’s native vegetation. Report co-author Martin Taylor says a relaxation in land clearing regulations in NSW and Queensland could trigger a resurgence in large-scale forest clearing, mainly for livestock.

Australia is an internationally renowned biological treasure, one of 17 ‘megadiverse’ countries. Our national responsibility for maintaining the planet’s biological diversity is even greater by virtue of the uniqueness of many of our species.

Queensland needs to reinstate strong controls on broadscale land clearing, including regrowing native vegetation. The weakening of broadscale land clearing regulations has already allowed instances of substantial clearing, and this will increase in scale and frequency over time.

“Queensland has been the site of more than three quarters of Australia’s land clearing in recent decades. … From 1988 to 2009, an average of 410,000 ha was cleared per year in Queensland. Less than 2% of trees cut in this period were used for timber and 93% of the clearing was to establish pasture for livestock grazing. “Feedlots in the southern Queensland grain growing region are the greatest single consumer of feed, followed by Victorian dairy farms and NSW feedlots.” (BZE Zero Carbon Australia Land Use report p30)

Dryland salinity
has affected large areas cleared of native vegetation, and the salinity impacts of recent large-scale clearing in central Queensland have yet to be realised. Less than 10% of the original vegetation remains in some parts of southern Australia and south-east Queensland. The greatest conservation success in recent times has been the slowing of land clearing, particularly of broad-scale clearing in Queensland.

The drought in central west Queensland has left “skin and bone” kangaroos starving to death and too weak to move, residents say. The commercial kangaroo meat industry figures and Queensland senator Barry O’Sullivan both claim kangaroo numbers are out of control, despite population estimates that may suggest otherwise. The data suggests the kangaroo population in regional Queensland dropped from 26.3 million in 2013 to 22.5 million in 2014, a decrease of close to 15 per cent. There are new markets to China and Peru. No doubt this cruel industry won’t stop until they are threatened!

Despite the recent rains and coastal flooding, more than 80 per cent of Queensland remains officially drought declared. Queensland agricultural lobby groups have criticised the Labor Party over its plan to reinstate its former land clearing laws. Producers prefer to accept the inevitability of drought than to draw the dots between heavy land clearing and drought! Record numbers of Queensland cattle are going to slaughter as the drought continues to bite hard in the Sunshine State, so it’s growing- business as usual!

The Queensland Government is under pressure to stop the bulldozing of tens of thousands of hectares of bushland on Cape York, a move approved in the dying days of the previous Liberal National Party government.
(image: Recent increases in land clearing threaten Queensland’s biodiversity

The rate of large scale land clearing in Queensland is about to go off the scale unless the Palaszczuk government delivers on its pre-election promise to reinstate strong controls on large scale clearing. The warning from The Wilderness Society follows media reports in May 2015 revealing that clearing has just commenced on 32,000 hectares of World Heritage quality woodland at Olive Vale on Cape York Peninsula.

“The Olive Vale clearing is … the largest single permit that we’re aware of being granted for high value agriculture,” said Tim Seeling of the Wilderness Society. Conservationists argue that Olive Vale, which is on the Laura River 90 kilometres west of Cooktown, is home to 17 listed threatened species and a nationally important wetland, including the Gouldian Finch!

Land clearing is the main cause of biodiversity loss.
It also exacerbates erosion and salinity, reduces water quality, worsens the impacts of drought, and contributes significantly to carbon emissions. Indeed, vegetation protection laws enabled Australia to meet its Kyoto Protocol target for emissions reductions.

For yellow-bellied gliders and other species dependent on large tree hollows, it doesn’t matter how much money is spent if hollows continue to vanish from the landscape as a result of land clearing.

(image: yellow-bellied glider from web page

The most pronounced declines in koalas are in southeast Queensland, where urban development has destroyed and fragmented large areas of high quality Koala habitat, with resulting increases in mortality from vehicle collisions, dog attacks and disease. In the past 20 years, there have been substantial population declines in southwest Queensland and central Queensland due to drought, heatwaves, urbanization and land clearing.

It’s 25 years since prime minister Bob Hawke promised to plant a billion trees across Australia, the first of many ambitious schemes to reverse the destructive toll of broad-scale clearing by farmers. In 1995, Queensland premier Wayne Goss announced a plan to preserve 90 per cent of his state’s remnant native vegetation. Hawke’s billion trees were never planted and Keating and Goss were thrown out of office before they could fulfil their promises.

The re-acceleration of land clearing in Queensland puts the state on the world stage – and not in a good way. We are still in a Colonial mind-frame of desperate clearing of “messy” native vegetation, and environmental destruction, all for the economic model of production, profits and feeding an expanding number of mouths!

It’s time to stop the razing of our landscape for short-term profits, at the expense of the long-term impacts of destruction.


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Dugongs and Sea Turtles are still being slaughtered in Australia under Native Title

author: Colin Riddell

Many people don’t realize it, but The Native Title Act of 1993 section 211 still allows the hunting of endangered and vulnerable species within our country.

You can follow the campaign live on Colinwhocares Riddell on facebook.

Dugongs, turtles and over fifty other Australian animals are hunted and inhumanely slaughtered in large numbers, under the guise of traditional hunting practices.

This outdated act does not reflect the endangered status of these animals and we demand they be protected. No one is starving in Australia, one of the most affluent countries on the planet – and there is no need to hunt these animals for food.

The killing has to stop. Dugongs and turtles are endangered, and we are witnessing a rapid and unwarranted decline. We can no longer stand by and watch, witness to the impending extinction of this precious marine life.

We therefore call for an urgent change to the Native Title Act 1993, so that any endangered or vulnerable animal or marine life is excluded from hunting by any means, for any reason.

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End the cruel slaughter of kangaroos on public reserves: Petition

Letter to:
Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury
Chief Minister Andrew Barr
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Simon Corbell
by Frankie Seymour Queanbeyan, NSW


The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has announced yet another slaughter of eastern grey kangaroos (EGKs) on its own nature reserves in the winter of 2015.

The government claims, without any coherent supporting evidence, that kangaroo grazing is a threat to the very ecosystems of which kangaroos have been an integral part for around five million years. The government continues to slaughter these creatures, despite having done no work to monitor or evaluate the impact or effectiveness of the killing program.

As well as being an ecological disaster, the slaughter causes immeasurable suffering to the animals. Adults that do not die instantly from the first shot are stabbed and clubbed to death, or escape to die slowly of their wounds. Even the survivors often injure themselves in their panic, or die on the roads trying to escape, or live to suffer the emotional distress and disruption to the mob’s social structure. Pouch young and young at foot are bludgeoned to death or left to starve.

In his response to this petition in 2014, Minister Shane Rattenbury implies that eastern grey kangaroos are a threat to species such as Grassland Earless Dragons, the Striped Legless Lizard, Perunga Grasshoppers, Coorooboorama Raspy Crickets and Ginninderra Peppercress. At the Administrative Reviews of 2013 and 2014, this claim was shown to be completely untrue. In fact, in an adjoining reserve just across the NSW border, where kangaroos are never culled, several of these species are recovering far more quickly than on the ACT reserves where massive kangaroos culling is conducted every year. The government’s own ecologist admitted that the government’s assertions about kangaroos being a threat to vulnerable species were just “PR”.

Rattenbury asserts that “critical conservation areas are under threat from overgrazing by kangaroo populations, which leads to a deterioration in the quality of the grasslands. This in turn puts pressure on the species that rely on this habitat”. In fact, the ACT government has consistently failed to produce any evidence that kangaroos (other than in captive situations) ever have overgrazed any area. The evidence shows that these animals manage their own populations without human intervention. Overgrazing in Australia is the sole preserve of introduced animals, such as sheep and cattle, which damage the fragile, shallow soils with their heavy bodies, low grazing and hard hooves.

Rattenbury asserts that “conditions in the ACT region are very favourable for Eastern Grey Kangaroos, contributing to an extremely high kangaroo population. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are the most numerous species of macropod in Australia, and their conservation status is not threatened.” Many ecology experts who have actually studied the population dynamics of eastern grey kangaroos consider their numbers to be in steep decline and deep trouble, both in the ACT region and throughout their range.

Rattenbury asserts that “the numbers to be culled have been based on scientific kangaroo counts in each location. This has been compared to the sustainable carrying capacity for each area that ACT Government ecologists have established by taking into account the habitat requirements of grassland dependent animals and plants.” Independent ecology experts have disputed:
(1) the government’s models for determining the sustainable kangaroos carrying capacity of reserves,
(2) their methods for counting them, and
(3) their models for estimating actual numbers. The government is well aware of this expert criticism of their calculations.

Rattenbury notes that “the ACT Government has since undertaken a peer review of how cull numbers are determined, which supported the ACT Government’s continuation of kangaroo management activities this year.” This so-called peer review has itself been peer-reviewed, most unfavourably, by a retired CSIRO plant scientist with vast experience in evaluating peer reviews.

Rattenbury asserts that “The conservation cull will be conducted according to a strict Code of Practice that has the endorsement of all relevant authorities including the RSPCA.” In fact, Rattenbury has rejected the Code of Practice prepared and recommended by his own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in favour of the “national” code of practice which provides a lowest common denominator model intended as a baseline for states to their develop their own codes of practice.

In 2012, at least one of the culled kangaroos was found to have been shot, stabbed and bludgeoned before dying of suffocation and/or blood loss. In 2014, the government’s own expert witness admitted that, during each cull, an entire generation of young at foot are routinely left orphaned to starve or otherwise die without adult protection.

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(Featured image: Canberra kangaroos)

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End the deliberate carnage of our Victorian waterbirds- called a “sport”

810 birds, including 68 endangered freckled ducks, were shot and left to die on Victorian wetlands on the opening weekend of the duck shooting season. These dead birds were left outside Premier Daniel Andrew’s office.

Australia’s rarest waterfowl, the Freckled Duck breeds in swamps in inland Australia.  The Freckled Duck may be easily confused with the Pacific Black Duck, Anas superciliosa, and the Hardhead, Aythya australis.

Just what is the purpose of giving the label “endangered” when they can be confused, or deliberately eliminated, for this blood sport?

Duck shooters themselves often don’t even realise that the birds they are shooting are native. On top of this, a recent ecological survey found waterbird numbers are the lowest they have been in 34 years.  The same State government department, DELWP, is responsible for administering our Wildlife Act, by default to protect our native bird/animals, so it’s an gross conflict of interest that they also remove their protected status to declare a DUCK SHOOTING SEASON.


Duck shooters don’t discriminate on what birds they kill, and every single season swans, avocets and rare freckled ducks become victims, too. Time and time again, duck shooters have proven that they can’t be trusted.

Victoria’s wetlands are rich in 50,000 years of indigenous heritage. A thriving, nature-based wetlands tourism industry is the way of the future. It will not only revitalise country towns, but will protect the financial future of regional Victorians. Many duck-shooters call themselves “conservationists” yet they leave behind rubbish and pollution, and their carnage!

Duck numbers are still recovering after low water levels in recent years and protected species and other waterbirds often fall victim to duck hunters. In addition to this our native water birds will be under attack from thousands of shooters, who are often inexperienced and reckless. Many birds will be shot but not killed outright and will be left to die slow torturous deaths or will drown, unable to swim or fly any further due to painful injuries.

Duck shooting has been banned in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales and that according to a Morgan Poll, 2007; an overwhelming 87% of Victorians support a ban on duck shooting, including many who live locally to wetlands where duck shooting takes place; it seems undeniable that the Victorian Government’s policies on this issue are lagging behind the current values and beliefs of our society.

Our native water birds have the right to live unharmed and in peace in their natural home. Please help to end this barbarism, tell our Premier the killing must end now!
This petition will be delivered to:

Premier of Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews

Duck shooting is hideously cruel. But that’s not the only reason why we should ban the ‘sport’.


PETITION: Ban Duck Shooting


(featured image: Freckled duck- Wikipedia org)

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