Submission on Tax deductible status of environmental organisations

The Australia Institute commissioned polling (Sep 2016) on tax deductible status on environmental campaigning and advocacy

The charitable status of Environmental organisations is again under threat by a Treasury discussion paper. We think this is another attack to undermine the funding of climate campaigns, orchestrated in particular by the mining lobby and Minerals Council of Australia.

Organisations such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Victoria and Friends of the Earth, and even the Climate Council, have tax deductible status which enables them to more easily fundraise for their environmental, climate and social justice campaigns. These campaigns involve important research, education and community advocacy.

You may have noticed that these, and other environmental NGOs have had a particular recent focus on climate change. We think these changes are being suggested at the behest of the Minerals Council of Australia as part of an ideological agenda to undermine the fund raising basis and to sanction environmental NGOs due to the campaign for climate justice and push for rapid emissions reduction, end to fossil fuel subsidies, call for no new coal mines and phaseout of fossil fuel exploitation.

Although we are not directly affected as we are an unincorporated association, we sometimes rely on interactions with 350 Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Victoria and Friends of the Earth to help in our advocacy and grassroots and community education work. The tax deductible status of these organisations ensures they can fundraise, and indirectly supports our local community campaigning. Read more on this campaign by Friends of the Earth, or read the Climate Council submission.
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August 4, 2017 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

Submission for improving Moreland Council Local Laws on community action and engagement


Moreland Council is updating their General Local laws, with a review and community consultation. Some of the proposed local laws we take issue with as hindering community action, free expression and engagement of Moreland residents, if enforced.

We think this is an opportunity to bring the General Local Law (2007) into line with current community standards and sentiments. As one of the active community groups in Moreland, we appreciate this chance to improve the local laws and how they are applied with justice and fairness.
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July 29, 2017 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Building bridges with LEAN on climate and Adani coal

While in Wills our Federal Labor MP Peter Khalil has publicly opposed the Adani mine, we are interested in moving the ALP to a stronger position with regard to the Adani Carmichael mine. We have written to the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) to see if we can assist in this regard.

Firstly, we would like to find out LEAN’s position on the issue of Adani’s Carmichael mine. Does LEAN oppose the mine? If not, why not? If so, what is LEAN doing about it and how is LEAN proposing to use Labor Party processes to get Labor to adopt the only environmentally responsible position on the project – i.e. that the mine is so dangerous to humanity that it must never be built?

We welcome the valuable policy and lobbying work being done by LEAN members inside the ALP on climate policy. We have requested a meeting with a LEAN delegation based in Melbourne to discuss strategy, and to find areas of potential overlap and support.

Read our full letter here (PDF).
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July 29, 2017 at 7:37 pm Leave a comment

Opposing the rule to charge solar owners a fee to feed-in to electricity grid

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is considering allowing a charge on solar owners for feeding their electricity back to the grid. We think this is grossly inequitable and very problematic for reducing emissions and continuing to encourage take up of solar renewable energy by households and businesses.

The following submission was made on the rule change:
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July 3, 2017 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

The Finkel Review: Not Just a CET – It’s Actually About Keeping the Lights on

finkel-review-6

On June 8, the much anticipated Finkel Review (Blueprint for the Future: Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market) was released. Much has already been written about the merits of the proposed emission reduction mechanism (a “Clean Energy Target”) and whether this would satisfy the Coalition, why it didn’t advocate a stronger emission reduction target, nor a swift end to coal.

But this was not the aim of the Finkel Review. It was about fixing up the National Electricity Market (NEM). The alternative to fixing the NEM may well be a return to public ownership and control. Although this could be a good thing, it is not on the governments’ agenda right now. Agreement on an emission reduction mechanism was regarded as an important step in getting new private sector investment, mainly in gas-fired power stations, so the market would operate as intended.

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June 14, 2017 at 11:58 am 1 comment

Under Trump US goes rogue in leaving Paris Agreement

President Trump has announced the United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, but says he is also open to a renegotiation. Germany, France, Italy and other nations say that the Paris Agreement is a framework agreement and is structured in such a way that it is not open to renegotiation.

The announcement brought condemnation from world leaders, negotiators and civil society. British journalist George Monbiot described it as a crime against humanity.
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June 2, 2017 at 11:48 pm 1 comment

Municipal Association of Victoria recognises need for urgent climate action

Victorian local councils, including Moreland, understand the threat of climate change to their citizens.

In early May the Municipal Association of Victoria, at their annual conference passed a climate emergency motion by 77 percent in favour and 23 per cent against.
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May 22, 2017 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

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