Environmental organisations alerting Australians to the basic facts – that a safe climate and healthy environment are the foundations on which our life is founded – are under threat by the Abbott government. Friends of the Earth, Quit Coal’s mother ship, has been specifically targeted by the current government’s campaign to strip environmental organisations of their ability to receive tax deductible donations. Fortunately, dear #FriendofFoE, you can help, by telling the government by this Thursday 21 May that you think it’s an awful idea! Find Friends of the Earth’s nifty how to guide here.
Groups such as Friends of the Earth campaign to protect precious common natural assets for the enjoyment of all current and future generations, a task we think governments should do in the first place. Unfortunately both sides of politics receive hefty donations from Australia’s top polluters and the government owns some of Australia’s biggest polluting companies…sometimes we wonder whether the government’s thinking might have been polluted too!
It’s heartwarming to hear that one in five Australians donate money to environmental organisations, and astonishing to hear that our government is going to such extraordinary lengths to silence and intimidate community based environment groups that are working tirelessly to protect Australia’s greatest common asset from irreparable damage. This government has cut funding to Environment Defenders Office and several sustainability and heritage groups, and is now calling for a review into the status of groups who rely on the goodwill of donors to keep fighting the good fight.
Is it appropriate for the Abbott Federal government to have such close ties with polluting industries and the lobbyists, and front groups ,and think tanks that do their bidding? Are Australia’s democratically elected leaders knowingly ruining the environment of current and future Australians? Why does the government attempt to target groups presenting evidence that switching to renewable energy should both mitigate catastrophic global warming and boost local economies by generating new, sustainable ‘green collar’ jobs? These are the questions that this inquiry should be asking instead.