Here we are at the end of 2022 and Sydney Knitting Nannas & Friends are thinking about what we have achieved this year. The Nannafesto calls for us to leave our children and grandchildren a clean and healthy environment – so how did we go?
CLIMATE ACTION & ENVIRONMENT
At last Australia has legislated an emissions reduction target – 43% by 2030. OK so in the climate emergency it’s not enough, but the new government says it’s a floor, not a ceiling. With strong climate advocates on the cross-bench and a growing climate movement we reckon there’s real change on the way.
Serious government support for expanding renewables – the Albanese Government has funded a plan that will unblock the transition to renewables, while reducing energy prices and hopefully the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industries. Key words: Rewiring the Nation and the Capacity Investment Scheme.
At last an Australian Prime Minister has challenged the almighty gas cartel. Legislation has passed to cap the domestic price of gas, along with measures that will urge and help households to quit gas and go electric.
Chefs, doctors and developers have formed a coalition to rid kitchens of gas.
Due to pushback from landholders, APA scrapped the Santos’ preferred Western Slopes Pipeline to take gas from the Narrabri Gas Project to the east coast. Unfortunately the fight to stop 850 coal seam gas wells being drilled is far from over, as the Native Title Tribunal and NSW and federal governments support the project. However, opposition is growing with Gomeroi people, the Traditional Owners of the Pilliga Forest, teaming up with unions, farmers, scientists and environmentalists to protest against the project and the Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline.
Kepco failed in its final legal bid to overturn the decision to reject their open-cut coalmine in the Bylong Valley NSW. The decision cited the unacceptable impact the mine would have on agricultural land and the environment – including greenhouse gas emissions – and the costs to future generations.
South32 announced it will not proceed with a plan to extend the life of its Dendrobium coal mine beneath Sydney’s drinking water catchment.
The Independent Planning Commission knocked back Glencore’s proposal for the expansion of an open-cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley, because of impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage values.
Minister Plibersek agreed to review the 18 coal and gas projects that don’t have final approval. Nannas were among the many people who made submissions encouraging her to rule them out on the basis of new information about the extreme climate risks of any new gas and coal projects.
Glencore withdrew from one of the 18 projects in December. They pulled out of the Valeria greenfields coal development because of “increased global uncertainty”.
Divestment from fossil fuels
The divestment movement had successes which saw pension and equity funds as well as smaller investors stop the money going to new coal projects.
Koalas and forestry
The Australian government declared koalas to be endangered. Koala protectors have known this for a few years but at least it should mean that koalas and their forests will receive greater legal protections.
The NSW Government moved to restart the koala wars with a forestry bill cutting red tape for private landowners to clear native forests but the pushback from the public and most of the parliament was so strong they quickly withdrew the bill.
The federal ALP government revoked the ridiculous Abbott era inclusion of wood burning as a source of renewable energy. This will end taxpayer funding for clearing native forests.
FEDERAL ENVIRONMENT LAWS
Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has acted upon the shelved 2020 Samuel Report on the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act. She has promised a new environmental protection agency to enforce conservation laws. The agency needs to stop habitat loss rather than pretend offsets will protect biodiversity – offset funds are not the answer to habitat destruction.
The mainstream media has now exposed the fossil fuel industry’s global campaign to rebrand gas as green.
This year Santos was dropped from the Australian Tennis Open after an outcry last year and recently they were dropped from a school science roadshow. Cricket Australia ended its deal with Alinta Energy.
Fossil fuel companies’ sponsorships of major sporting events is being challenged by athletes as well as sporting and arts organisations. They still have many sponsorships ($18 million per year) but fortunately that’s not a big percentage of the sponsorships that keep sport, the arts and education going.
Fossil fuel ad ban
Ten local government bodies have decided to ban fossil fuel advertising in their council areas. Five of them are in NSW.
A NSW government regulation in response to community campaigns has stopped projects in Matraville and Western Sydney, hopefully forever. Nannas continue to call for this toxic process to be banned everywhere – it’s not safe in Sydney and it’s not safe in regional communities.
The establishment of a National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) passed the parliament. It will operate independent of government and have the power to investigate allegations of serious or systemic corruption that occurred before or after its establishment. The legislation also provides protection for whistleblowers and exemptions for journalists to protect the identity of sources.
JOIN THE ACTION
New Nannas and Friends are welcome to join our disorganisation. We’ll be kicking off 2023 soon with an eye on getting the best possible parliament to protect the future in the NSW state election.