What you helped to achieve in 2018
Thank you to the thousands of Save Our Marine Life supporters who helped to successfully defend our right to speak out for our marine life as part of the Hands Off Our Charities alliance.
When the Coalition Government introduced a flawed Bill which proposed sweeping new constraints and regulations on civil society advocacy, Australian charities united together – across the health, education, Indigenous and environment sectors – to ensure that we can continue to speak up for millions of concerned Australians and deliver essential support.
The outpouring of opposition meant the Government had to rewrite them completely. The reforms that passed last month address the majority of the charity sector’s concerns – including removing the largest threats to our work.
This is how democracy should work – civil society speaking up, and parliament listening to our concerns. There is more work to be done to make our democracy fairer and more transparent, but this is a fantastic achievement. Thank you to everyone involved!
Following the release of leaked documents last month which showed an oil spill in our Great Australian Bight could reach as far as Bondi, thousands of Save Our Marine Life supporters have spoken out.
Support is building in the Federal Parliament for protection of the globally significant Great Australian Bight from the risks that come with oil and gas – with the Greens, Independent Senator Tim Storer and the Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie MP all pushing for strong new measures.
Drilling for oil is just too risky in the deep, wild waters of the Great Australian Bight – with the potential to devastate our marine life, local communities, fishing and tourism businesses. Together we will continue to encourage all political parties to support a ban on oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight.
Following the Coalition Government’s deep cuts to our National Network of Marine Sanctuaries – equivalent to removing every second national park on land! – it is crucial as we head towards the next federal election to ensure all parties commit to putting in place the remaining sanctuaries that our marine life so desperately needs.
Community support to restore our sanctuaries is stronger than ever before. Hundreds of thousands of Australians have taken action to save our sanctuaries, including most recently a whopping 80,000 submissions (including from a record 16,000 recreational fishers) who have rejected the devastating cuts.
Just this week, ocean legend Valerie Taylor has joined the thousands of South Australians calling on the Marshall Government to keep our state sanctuaries in place. These sanctuaries – including one named after Ron and Val Taylor – are bringing great benefits to the people and marine life of South Australia. But any day now the SA Marshall Government could release its plans to cut back these sanctuaries, and the community are ready to stand up for them.
Earlier this year we discovered that behind the scenes the Coalition Government is looking at allowing massive overseas fishing vessels into our waters by reflagging them as Australian boats. At the same time the Government has now cut back protection in the large offshore deepwater sanctuaries where these vessels might operate – areas which are not currently fished by local fleets as they are too costly and too far from port.
A huge thanks to the tens of thousands of you who have contacted your MP and the Coalition Government. The message from the Australian public is loud and clear! But this remains a grave threat and we will need to continue to work together to make sure these massive fishing vessels from afar are not allowed to strip our waters.
This makes banning Supertrawlers even more important, following overwhelming concern about the impacts on Australia’s marine life and local fishing communities. (The Coalition Government’s ‘sham ban’ on Supertrawlers longer than 140 metres in reality only stops the 3 largest Supertrawlers on the planet – a drop in the ocean!)
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We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.