Activism: Australian Political Parties, Environmental Campaigns

"You know how I'm always trying to save the planet"*

On this page:

Northern Rivers Guardians Promoting and working for appropriate development in the Tweed Valley and the broader Northern Rivers of NSW.    Campaigns include No Rally in the Valley and Coal Seam Gas Exploration (CSGE).

The Doomsday Clock It's been as long as 17 minutes and now in 2020, has been advanced to just 100 seconds.  In 2012 the Doomsday Clock was reset to  include the impact of climate change.  This year, the primary threats to humanity's continued existence on planet earth, are nuclear war and climate crisis.  Tick Tock ....Updated  (see also Wikipedia)

Green Cross Australia "helps people adapt to our changing climate, in ways that embrace sustainability and community resilience. We are motivated by our understanding of a resource-constrained, warming planet and our belief that this challenge presents opportunities for a bright future.



Australian Political Parties

This is intended only as a quick guide to the policies (where they exist) of the major Australian federal political parties, as at 21/03/19.

  • Current Register of Political Parties  Updated 15 January 2020.   The Australian Electoral Commission "maintains a register of political parties. This register lists those parties which are eligible to have their party affiliation next to their endorsed candidates printed on ballot papers."  Updated
  • OpenAustralia.org is a non-partisan website run by a charity, the OpenAustralia Foundation and volunteers. It aims to make it easy for people to keep tabs on their representatives in Parliament.
  • Australia Greens Party: Policies Index  Pick an individual policy area, with quick facts, policy bullet points, longer descriptions, and links to policy PDF downloads. Comprehensive.  current
  • Australian Labor Party: Campaigns Looks like a bunch of focus group talking points, with every issue designed to get your email address.  Compared to the detail in the Greens policies statements, it will leave you thinking "is that all there is?"  So disappointing from the "alternative government".  Updated
  • Australian Liberal PartyPolicies indexOur Plan Their policies presentations are logical and readable, with a key summary, their "record", and then their "plan" in each area.  Effective stuff. Updated
  • Centre Alliance  Policies. "For us, policies are all about principles that guide our actions. These principles are set out to inform Australians of our legislative views."  Readable policies simply explained for complex issues. current
  • National Party of Australia: Policy Index  Basic summary of policies with links to major issues.  Not much change here. current
  • Pauline Hanson's One NationPolicies Web site updated to reflect federal issues.  Looking at policies, can see why it's so appealing to many people. current
  • Socialist Alliance: Policies Well designed and clean looking web site with history, policies, issues and principles clearly shown.  Some policies over a decade old, but that just shows their stability, and the ongoing lack of action in federal parliament, regarding some important issues. Like the Greens, Socialist Alliance sets out the issues, proposes an overarching goal or series of goals, and then sets out the steps needed to acheive them.  Updated
  • Big Volcano Government Services Links  Contact details and links to Local Goverment Area (LGA) Councils, state and federal representatives for the Northern Rivers NSW, Gold Coast and Hinterland QLD region of Australia.

Journalism New

“I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”*   Richard Nixon, 37th POTUS.

In the age of political decree and diplomacy by tweet, and rampant "fake news" on social media which is flashed around the world before any due diligence or research is done; a lack of governmental transparency, and ongoing public verbal, legal and physical attacks on journalists doing their jobs, as well as legislative curtailment of press freedoms and investigative reporting by authorities, now makes it more important than ever, to be sure that the "facts are straight", and to ensure that democratic principles are both upheld and held to account.

  • Al Jazeera Wikileaks News New Comprehenisve coverage of the maelstrom that is Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and all the "dirty little secrets".
  • The Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) New "is a think-tank, alternative university and an experimental laboratory set up to train a new generation of reporters in the tools of investigative, in-depth, and long-form journalism across all media. Registered as a charity, we robustly defend investigative journalists and those who work with them." See also Tradecraft for courses and resources.
  • Council of Europe: Media Freedoms New "This platform is a public space to facilitate the compilation, processing and dissemination of information on serious concerns about media freedom and safety of journalists in Council of Europe member States, as guaranteed by Art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It aims to improve the protection of journalists, better address threats and violence against media professionals and foster early warning mechanisms and response capacity within the Council of Europe. The platform enables the Council of Europe to be alerted on time, in a more systematic way and to take timely and coordinated action when necessary. It helps the Organisation identify trends and propose adequate policy responses in the field of media freedom."
  • Independent Australia New "...is a progressive journal focusing on politics, democracy, the environment, Australian history and Australian identity. It contains news and opinion from Australia and around the world.
  • Mongabay  New "News and inspiration from nature's frontline.  Mongabay is a non-profit provider of conservation and environmental science news.  A nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform that produces original reporting in English, Indonesian, and Spanish by leveraging over 450 correspondents in some 50 countries. We are dedicated to evidence-driven objective journalism.  Our main beats are forests, wildlife, oceans, and the conservation sector. We also undertake special reporting projects, which are deep dives on specific topics and geographies."  Brilliant reporting and coverage.  If the depressing news gets you down, check out their solutions topic stream for inspiration and hope.
  • The Ethical Journalism Network New "The EJN is a coalition of more than 70 groups of journalists, editors, press owners and media support groups from across the globe and we are growing. We are a registered UK charity and supervised by a Board and an international network of advisors. Our supporters represent many different cultures and media traditions, but they share the conviction that the principles of ethical journalism are universal and a precious resource that builds respect for democracy and human rights." Resources include online courses.
  • International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) New  "A U.S.-based nonprofit, we are both a small, resourceful newsroom with our own reporting team, as well as a global network of reporters and media organizations who work together to investigate the most important stories in the world.  Our network of trusted members encompasses 249 of the best investigative reporters from more than 90 countries and territories. We also partner with more than 100 media organizations, from the world’s most renowned outlets, including the BBC, the New York Times, the Guardian and the Asahi Shimbun, to small regional nonprofit investigative centers."
  • The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism New "...is dedicated to exploring the future of journalism worldwide through debate, engagement, and research. We believe in the value of independent journalism, the power of news, and the importance of an informed public. We are committed to the timeless journalistic aspiration of seeking truth and reporting it, as well as the ongoing work of remaking the profession and the organisations that enable it. Our focus is on journalism, the media industry, and the public that they serve."
  • 10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts New  "Where do we most often find real truth, real facts in a new era of Internet hoaxes, fake news stories and new political administrations that tout their own "alternative facts"?"  Ideal primer for Usians, Americanophiles, and followers of USA politics, who want to get "just the facts Ma'am".
  • SnopesNew Can't quite tell if what you just read, saw or heard, is the truth?  Then Snopes is your first stop before you're tempted to share or repost that outrageous political meme or salacious piece of celebrity gossip.  "We are the internet’s go-to source for discerning what is true and what is total nonsense."

*Also attributed to Robert McCloskey, a U.S. State Department spokesman, by Marvin Kalb, CBS reporter, in TV Guide, 31 March 1984, citing an unspecified press briefing during the Vietnam war.  It has also been used by Alan Greenspan, and in many communications training workshops.

Online Activism

These are sites where you can create a petition for your cause, or join an existing online movement for change.  Also check out the enviromental organisations and their campaigns, as they often host associated petitions directly.

  • 8 online petition tools: How to make a difference Some of the options might surprise you!  An article about - you guessed it, 8 online petition tools, from SocialBrite ("helping nonprofits, NGOs, foundations, social enterprises, universities, and cause organizations use Social Networks to advance your organization's mission."). 
  • Avaaz "meaning "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages - launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want."  Where worlds collide.  You'll find pro and con, for and against just about every cause, outrage, ill and woe there is.  Choose carefully ...
  • Causes "is built for change. We provide free and easy tools for passionate people to spread the word, find supporters, raise money, and build momentum."
  • Change.org "is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see." What!  You haven't already signed a change.org petition?
  • GetUp "does not back any particular party, but aims to build an accountable and progressive Australia - an Australia which values economic fairness, social justice and environmental sustainability at its core." The political right likes to rail against Getup as a political left/Labor front.  Well, didn't they read the Getup's "about us"?  Not a petition site as such, but they have campaigns, often with petitions that you can sign, which will be submitted to state and/or federal govt.
  • Australia Petitions: e-petitions and paper. New  "On this page you can find out how to submit either an e-petition or a paper petition. You can look for petitions to sign and sign them. You can see all the petitions that have been submitted during all stages of their progress including presentation to the House, referral to a Minister and read the response from the Minister. Please note: You must be an Australian citizen or resident of Australia to create or sign a petition."  Sign an E-petition  Wahoo!  Australian democracy joins the digital age.  Note: 2 factor verification in place to confirm your signing.
  • Canada E-Petitions  "Petitions are an easy way for you to participate in Canada's democracy.  The government responds within 45 calendar days to every petition presented in the House of Commons."  Canadians will have to create an account to create a petition, but signing is relatively easy.  Democracy eh?
  • New Zealand Start a petition. "Petitions are addressed to the House of Representatives and ask that the House do something about a policy or law, or put right a local or private concern. This page shows the petitions you can sign as well as petitions that are closed for signatures and have moved on to the next part of the process. You can also start a petition using the 'Create a Petition' button."  Sweet.
  • Petitions UK Government and Parliament "British citizens and UK residents can create a petition.  Create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets 10,000 signatures, then the government will respond.  Get at least 100,000 signatures, and it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons."  Gor Blimey!
  • We the People.  "The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. ... If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."  The petitions are coming!  The petitions are coming!  To pen!  To pen!  The petitions are coming!  (OK, not so much a pen as a keyboard/keypad.)

See also Democracy & Human Rights, Development and Environment and Humanitarian Aid, Non Government Agencies

Environmental Campaigns

International

  • UNEP United Nations Environment Program. "Our mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations."
  • The Doomsday Clock "To: Leaders and citizens of the world. Re: Closer than ever: It is 100 seconds to midnight. Date: January 23, 2020. Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society's ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode." Updated
  • BirdLife International  "...is a global partnership of conservation organisations (NGOs) that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. Together we are 121 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country or territory – and growing."
  • Extinction Rebellion "We Declare: International Non-Violent Rebellion Against the World's Governments for Criminal Inaction on the Ecological Crisis"
  • Friends of the Earth "...strives for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature."
  • Green Cross International   "The mission of Green Cross International is to respond to the combined challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation to ensure a sustainable and secure future. We seek solutions through dialogue, mediation and co-operation."
  • International Campaign to Ban Landmines *A network of more than 1,400 groups in over 90 countries, works locally, nationally and internationally to eradicate antipersonnel mines.   Members include human rights, humanitarian, children, peace, disability, veterans, medical, humanitarian, mine action, development, arms control, religious, environmental and women’s groups."
  • International Dark-Sky Association   "To preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting." ... Light pollution is not a matter of life and death. Yet it is important nonetheless, ... It produces only glare and clutter, costing more than $1 billion annually in wasted energy in the United States alone. Reducing light pollution is not difficult, but it does require that public officials and ordinary citizens be aware of the problem and act to counter it. ..."  What can YOU DO?  Lot's!  And there's plenty of practical material on this site to ... (ahem) show you the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, "helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges."
  • The Nature Conservancy "The planet is at a crossroads. The actions we take together right now are important to protecting the natural world we rely on today—and for setting us on the path to a more hopeful, sustainable future. The Nature Conservancy is taking on the planet's biggest, most important challenges by focusing on priorities that science shows are the most urgent and where our innovation and expertise can be game changers."
  • Mines and Communities is "We provide communities, NGOs, activists, the media - and the general public - with information about many aspects of global mining and its impacts.  New articles are added regularly [...] and browse through over 13 years-worth of news articles, analyses and opinion pieces."
  • Rainforest Rescue  "...is a nonprofit organization actively committed to preserving rainforests, protecting their inhabitants, and furthering social reforms. Since 1986, we have been interfering with the business interests of timber and cattle barons, oil and mining companies, Western banks and corrupt politicians. They all stand to make quick profits from the destruction of rainforests, while nomads, rubber tappers, indigenous tribes and small farmers are robbed of their livelihoods. Without international assistance, rainforest dwellers are often powerless. They frequently face discrimination as ethnic minorities and lack the financial resources to assert their rights."

Australia | Asia | Pacific

  • Australian Conservation Foundation "ACF is Australia's national environment organisation. We speak out for a world where forests, rivers, people and wildlife thrive. We are proudly independent and funded by donations from our community."
  • Australian Wildlife Conservancy"Australian Wildlife Conservancy is the largest private owner of land for conservation in Australia, protecting endangered wildlife across almost 6.5 million hectares in iconic regions such as the Kimberley, Cape York, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre and the Top End. Recognising that 'business as usual' for conservation in Australia will mean additional extinctions, AWC is developing and implementing a new model for conservation."
  • Big Volcano Directory of local Environmental Organisations Links where available and contact phone numbers for organisations in the Northern Rivers NSW, Gold Coast QLD region of Australia.
  • Bush Heritage "The Australian bush is a place of outback wonders and rugged beauty. Bush Heritage is an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and partners with Aboriginal people, so we can protect our irreplaceable landscapes and our magnificent native species forever."
  • Centre for Science and Environment, India "The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. CSE researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable."
  • Department of Environment and Energy   "The Department designs and implements Australian Government policy and programs to protect and conserve the environment, water and heritage, promote climate action, and provide adequate, reliable and affordable energy."
  • Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) "FIDO has a proud history of more than a quarter of a century of campaigning achievements to protect one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. FIDO's aim has always been "to ensure the wisest use of the natural resources of Fraser Island".  Updated as a Wordpress site, still going strong!
  • Green Cross Australia "...empowers a resilient Australia. We educate and empower people and businesses to become more resilient to our changing climate and environmental stresses. Together with our partners, we run innovative, digital projects, which help to grow more sustainable communities. We are helping our cities and coasts to prosper by advancing food security, property resilience, and urban landscapes."
  • Greenpeace Australia Pacific Australian campaigns and links to international offices.   Get involved, sign petitions, see what campaigns are happening. 
  • National Parks Association of New South Wales (NPA) "National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has been established as a conservation organisation for 60 years. We also run one of Australia's largest bushwalking clubs with a network of 16 branches, hundreds of active volunteers and over 40,000 supporters."
  • The Nature Conservation Council  "The Nature Conservation Council is a movement of passionate people who want nature in NSW to thrive. We represent more than 150 organisations and thousands of people who share this vision. Together, we are a powerful voice for nature."
  • Northern Rivers Guardians Promoting and working for appropriate development in the Tweed Valley and the broader Northern Rivers of NSW.
  • Pacific Peoples' Partnership   "For over forty years, Pacific Peoples' Partnership has supported the aspirations of South Pacific Islanders and Indigenous peoples for peace, environmental sustainability, social justice and community development."
  • Planet Ark "... we help people, governments and businesses reduce their impact on the environment. Planet Ark Environmental Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit organisation with a vision of a world where people live harmoniously with nature. Established in 1992, we are one of Australia's leading environmental behaviour change organisations with a focus on working collaboratively and positively."
  • Rainforest Rescue "...has been protecting and restoring rainforests in Australia and internationally since 1998. We do this by purchasing properties of high conservation value rainforest and protecting their biodiversity. We also restore rainforest through planting, maintenance and weed removal."
  • Walkabout Wildlife Park  "Previously known as the Calga Springs Sanctuary, the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park has been open since April 2001, but came into the Barnards' lives in September 2005. Situated a 50-minute drive north of Sydney, it's the only feral-free natural bushland in NSW that also has the fortune to contain ancient Aboriginal sites, including cave paintings and middens. While the whole site is roughly 170 acres, the area free of feral predators amounts to 80 acres. Surrounded by a state-of-the-art fox- and cat-proof fence, the exclusion zone is home to around 180 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. Many of these animals are species on the verge of extinction, but here, protected from introduced dangers, they are thriving." 

    Having visited the park and met the founder Barry Cohen and his family not long after the park opened, it is a delight, and the photos on social media don't do it justice.
  • World Wide Fund For Nature - Australia "WWF has a long and proud history. We've been a leading voice for nature for more than half a century, working in 100 countries on six continents with the help of over five million supporters. Passionate and dedicated people like you. WWF partners with governments, businesses, communities and individuals to address a range of pressing environmental issues. Our work is founded on science, our reach is international and our mission is exact – to create a world where people live and prosper in harmony with nature."

Africa/Europe

The Americas

  • Amazon Watch "... is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems."
  • The National Audubon Society  "...protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation."
  • National Parks Conservation Association "We're protecting and enhancing America's National Park System for present and future generations."
  • No Impact Man   "A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle Nazi, turns off his power, composts his poop and, while living in New York City, generally turns into a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons-loving wife along for the ride".  Colin's come a long way since that first step.  This original post is now an archive piece on a writing, speaking, consulting and activism web site, which a bit annoyingly, pops up a "newsletter subscribe" window every now and then.  (You ought to look at that Colin.  Seriously.  It annoyed me, and I'm used to that kind of stuff.)
  • Rainforest Action Network (RAN) ... preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.
  • Sierra Club  .".. is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.5+ million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world."

See also Sustainable Design & Management, Development and Environment, Ecologically Sustainable Development and Volunteer and Community Tourism

* ref. "... save the planet": Film - Independence Day, 1996, David Martin (Jeff Goldblum)

See Also:

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