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ecology action sydney

1 Henry St Turrella, telephone 02-9599 8499, mobile 0410 558838

email: work3days@hotmail.com, ABN: 506 347 944 95

 

January 2003

Dear Environmentalist

 

Why membership of Ecology Action Sydney?

 

Ecology Action Sydney is a new green group of  130 members and growing. Our office and permaculture garden is at the Turrella Centre we jointly established in 2001-2. Please see our website here for more details.

 

Arent there enough groups? I strongly believe after 11 years of activism and various roles - successful forest blockader, political candidate, Waverley councillor, green ngo organiser, legal adviser (non practising, permission of Jabiru court) at Jabiluka, Nature Conservation Council executive (2x)  - there are three good reasons to support EAS:

 

1. Financial help to poor campaigners in Chile: We have an affluent country - albeit on the environmental credit card. We should give financial support for poor campaigners saving the Earths amazing natural heritage in other countries. We have two excellent campaigners Mitzi Urtubia and Marisol Frugone working to protect Patagonia, supervised by national green groups CODEFF (FoE Chile) and Aysen Alliance. They maintain fragile democracy and oppose Chiles version of the Franklin Dam - called Alumysa - only 3 times bigger at US $2.75 billion being pushed by Noranda of Canada. Its fair trade - our money for South Americas rivers and great Gondwana forests that once linked our continents.

 

2.  Broad agenda to protect native forests: Locally despite massive problems of salinity, woodchipping, clearing, river degradation etc no local green group or political party seems bold enough to openly advocate a total ban on native forest logging or vegetation clearing. Yet in 1993-4 this was the open position of two national green groups The Wilderness Society (Australia) and Australian Conservation Foundation, and environmentalist Milo Dunphy, director of Total Environment Centre. To be sure there are campaigns for national parks and old growth but Im convinced that a more radical goal of industry reform out of native forests is an ecologically appropriate goal for the next 20-50 years. Otherwise the unpaid credit card in the Murray Darling Basin and nationally will blow our budget and our nations prospects.

 

The time to start is now: There is latent support: Australians poll 80% opposition to all native forest logging and woodchipping, and prefer ethical tree farms. When I suggested no more logging/clearing at a population summit at the Australian Museum in 2000 there was spontaneous applause. The government and industry (fossils?) hate this idea but the public like it.

 

3. Financial independence, independent media: The government/industry revolving door control most media channels. Since the 90s these vested interests have known how to subvert ecological campaigns with expensive media monitoring, PR, grants and closed meetings. Good journalists are crushed by the advertising industry they serve which sells stuff we mostly dont need. Yet for the last 10 years or more green groups have met their wages bill by relying on commercial media and the vulnerable ABC to package their issues for fundraising profile. This has led to weak govt/industry/green platforms, unscientific compromises and unseemly jostling. We can do better.

 

In the 1970s the public were impressed by a financially independent grassroots green movement and we are convinced this remains the most powerful way forward for significant environmental reform. EAS has alliances with two independent media Sydney City Hub and Third Opinion (thirdopinion@green.net.au) and is indeed lean.  Third Opinion always has X number of good news stories to boost the morale. We also use www.sydney.indymedia.org.au to get information out. 

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In summary please see our website here and consider. Please pass on our details.  If you have any queries or time to offer please contact us at the above address.

 

Yours for the Planet,

 

 Tom McLoughlin,, founder Ecology Action Sydney

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