Thanks for being part of this!

ECoCeQ is a small volunteer-run environmental group and EJA has a tiny comms team – so we couldn’t do this without you!

For more information about the legal intervention, advocacy opportunities, mobilising coordination or to discuss collaboration, please contact:

Jess Harwood, Sunrise Project
[email protected]

Tessa Fluence, EJA communications manager
0448 448 326
[email protected]

Elizabeth McKinnon and Nicola Rivers, EJA Co-CEOs
[email protected]

Public comment window

This legal intervention is a huge opportunity to focus public attention on the climate impact of new coal and gas projects, and to pressure the federal ALP to listen to climate science, and act.

Until 24 November, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is accepting public comments on all 18 projects. This three-week window is a campaign peak and we are so grateful to the many organisations and grassroots working together to make this huge.

Here are some of the ways your organisation can get involved: 

1. Make public comments – and mobilise your community

We encourage organisations, grassroots groups, experts and people across Australia to make as many public comments as possible.

We’ve pulled together simple step-by-step guides for all 18 projects at livingwonders.org.au/take-action.

Public comments should be submitted through the EPBC Portal. Jess Harwood from Sunrise is coordinating a spreadsheet to ensure all 18 projects receive substantial numbers of public comments.

If you have any questions about writing submissions etc, email us at [email protected]

2. Come to a public comment writing party

To help people and groups write public comments, we will host online public comment working bees several times each week until 24 November.  Sign up for a working bee (or come to all of them!) at livingwonders.org.au/writing-parties 

We can also share a simple writing party host kit if you would like to run your own party with your community. Email us at [email protected]

3. Help generate media coverage

This legal intervention is about 18 coal and gas projects and thousands of living wonders – and we need your help to get it in the media. We would appreciate help pitching stories from experts (like scientists and ecologists), local groups, friends of Living Wonders, bigger orgs etc.

We can also share a simple local media kit, or help you or your local organisation pitch stories to media. Contact Kate Lewis, EJA’s media advisor.

4. Help raise awareness

ECoCeQ and EJA are both small organisations. We would be incredibly grateful for any digital, content and social media assistance to raise awareness of this legal intervention and to mobilise people to write public comments.

5. Pressure Minister Plibersek

This is a key time to give Minister Plibersek the courage and support to face the climate science, and act.

Some organisations are planning visibility stunts outside Plibersek’s office. To get involved or coordinate if you’re running your own, contact Jess Harwood from Sunrise.

How to talk about the climate and living wonders legal intervention

Sample social media posts

I stand with @ECoCeQ and @EnviroJusticeAus and support their legal intervention requesting Tanya Plibersek listen to climate science – and act.

Our climate is breaking down. The evidence is stark. The science is overwhelming. It’s time to face this. And act. #LivingWonders @BeforeItsGone

#BeforeItsGone
#LivingWonders

Right now, there are dozens of new coal and gas proposals on our environment minister’s desk – like Narrabri coal mine and Woodside’s North West Shelf Extension.

The Environment Centre of Central Queensland and their lawyers, Environmental Justice Australia, are running a legal intervention to make Tanya Plibersek reconsider the catastrophic damage these proposals would have on our climate – and on all of Australia’s living wonders.

It’s time to face this – and act. #BeforeItsGone #LivingWonders 

 

Download unbranded social media tiles from this google folder.

   

   

   

Key messages

  • A game changing legal intervention from Environment Council of Central Queensland and their lawyers, Environmental Justice Australia, is making Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek reconsider the climate impact of almost all new coal and gas proposals currently in the pipeline for her department.
  • Minister Plibersek has accepted community group ECoCeQ’s game changing legal intervention as valid – and will reconsider 18 coal and gas projects currently awaiting federal approval.
  • Until Thursday 24 November, the Minister is accepting public comments about the environmental impact of these 18 fossil fuel projects. 
  • Can you write public comments about as many of these projects as humanly possible?
  • ECoCeQ has given the minister thousands of documents that show the catastrophic impact of more fossil fuels on matters of national environmental significance. ECoCeQ is asking her to face the science, and listen, and act.
  • The minister has a vital responsibility: protecting all nationally significant animals, places, plants and ecosystems.
  • This is about all of it. Koalas, turtles, the reef, the Tarkine, Kakadu. Cultural heritage sites of deep significance for First Nations people. All the natural wonders we want our children and their children to know and love.
  • Of every proposal, Australia’s environment ministers must ask, what natural wonder could this harm? Until now, they have completely ignored the biggest threat of them all: climate change.
  • It’s time to face this.
  • The science is stark. The evidence is overwhelming. Our climate is breaking down. More coal and gas would just be adding fuel to the fire we need to put out.
  • The future is not yet written. We are writing it now.
  • Tanya Plibersek has a huge responsibility. The fate of Australia’s living wonders are in her hands.
  • This could do what we seriously need for our future: to make sure environmental law in Australia accounts for the reality of climate change.

Explaining the legal action

In July, the Environment Council of Central Queensland submitted 18 reconsideration requests to federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, under a rarely used provision of the EPBC Act, section 78A.

On November 3 Minister Plibersek accepted all ECoCeQ’s requests as legally valid.

ECoCeQ requested the Minister reassess a first stage decision, known as the section 75 decision, which determines what “controlling provisions” are set for each proposal.

None of the coal and gas proposals have received federal approval.

The EPBC Act enforces a process where proposals, including coal mines or gas fields, that would significantly impact protected animals, plants and places are subjected to an environmental impact assessment. The legal term for these protected species and places is matters of national environmental significance. These include world heritage sites, threatened animals, plants and entire ecological communities, Ramsar wetlands and Commonwealth marine areas.

Each matter of national environmental significance has its own ‘controlling provision’ under the Act.

When a matter of national environmental significance is set as a ‘controlling provision’, that means harm to that place or species must be properly assessed before the project can be approved. In the past, this has been focused on localised impacts.

The evidence submitted by ECoCeQ demonstrates there are at least 2121 protected species and places at risk of climate impacts.

Some of the proposals had a section 75 decision made as recently as last year, while others date back to 2011. For all these proposals however, the environment minister did not identify climate harm to matters of national environmental significance arising from greenhouse gas emissions as a likely impact of the project.

ECoCeQ argue Australia’s environment minister Tanya Plibersek has a responsibility to consider the immense and indisputable risks of harm from climate damage, posed by new coal and gas proposals, on Australia’s living wonders.

What happens next?

The 18 proposals are open for public consultation until November 24. Anyone can make a submission about each individual project during this time.

After the public comment window, Minister Plibersek will consider, for each of the 18 projects, every submission and the huge volume of evidence ECoCeQ put before her that charts the impacts of climate change on 2121 protected animals, plants and places.

The Minister’s decision will impact only the first stage, section 75 decision. It will not determine whether or not the proposal is allowed to go ahead. However, it could change the way that final approval decision is made.

Coal and gas proposals being reconsidered

Queensland

  • Australia Pacific LNG, Gas Supply Security Project, Surat and Bowen basins
  • Bowen Basin Coal, Lake Vermont Meadowbrook Coal Mine
  • BM Alliance Coal, Saraji East Mining Lease Project
  • Caval Ridge Mine Horse Pit extension, Bowen Basin
  • Cuesta Coal, Moorlands open cut mine
  • Idemitsu Ensham Life of Mine extension
  • Macmines Austasia, China Stone Coal Mine Project
  • Mount Ramsay Coal Company, Baralaba South Coal Project and Transport Corridor, Bowen Basin
  • Stanmore Coal The Range Project
  • TEC Coal, Meandu Mine King 2 East Project
  • Valeria Coal, Valeria Project
  • Waratah Coal, Alpha North Coal Mine, Galilee Basin
  • Whitehaven, Winchester South Project Mine

New South Wales

  • Boggabri Coal Mine
  • MACH Energy Australia, Mount Pleasant Optimisation Project
  • Spur Hill Management, Spur Hill Underground Coking Coal
  • Whitehaven Narrabri Underground Mine extension

Western Australia

  • Woodside Energy North West Shelf Project extension, Carnarvon
    Basin

State breakdown of Matters of National Environment Significance at risk of climate change

For the full list, explore the living wonders evidence summaries or search the evidence at www.livingwonders.org.au/search-the-evidence/

Queensland

Threatened wildlife:

  • Green turtle
  • Loggerhead turtle
  • Southern Emu-wren
  • Koala, Dugongs
  • Freshwater Crocodile
  • Masked Owl (northern)

World Heritage Areas:

  • Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
  • Kgari (Fraser Island)
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Wet Tropics of Queensland

National Heritage areas:

  • Elizabeth Springs
  • Glass House Mountains National Landscape

Threatened plants:

  • Ormeau Bottle Tree (Brachychiton sp. Ormeau)
  • Mt Berryman Phebalium

Western Australia

Threatened wildlife:

  • Greater Bilby
  • Blue Whale
  • Fin Whale
  • Gilbert’s Potoroo
  • Northern Quoll
  • Numbat
  • Western Ringtail Possum
  • Killer Whale/Orca

World Heritage Areas:

  • Ningaloo Coast
  • Shark Bay
  • Purnululu National Park

National Heritage areas:

  • Stirling Range National Park
  • Lesueur National Park
  • Porongurup National Park

Threatened plants:

  • Maxwell’s Grevillea
  • Cactus Dryandra
  • Western Underground Orchid

Victoria

Threatened wildlife

  • Greater Glider
  • Leadbeater’s Possum
  • Hooded Plover
  • Orange-bellied Parrot
  • Baw Baw Frog

World Heritage Areas:

  • Budj Bim Cultural Landscape

National Heritage areas:

  • Grampians Greater Gariwerd National Park

Threatened plants:

  • Don’s Spider Orchid
  • Blue Top Sun-orchid
  • Metallic sun-orchid

Northern Territory

Animals:

  • Leatherback turtle
  • Freshwater Crocodile
  • Gouldian Finch
  • Loggerhead turtle

World Heritage Areas:

  • Kakadu National Park
  • Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park

Ramsar Wetlands:

  • Eighty-mile Beach
  • Cobourg Peninsula
  • Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve

Plants:

  • Elaeocarpus miegei
  • Atalaya brevialata

New South Wales

Threatened wildlife

  • Koala
  • Mountain Pygmy-possum
  • Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby
  • Greater Glider
  • Green and Golden Bell Frog
  • Golden Sun Moth 

World Heritage areas:

  • Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
  • Greater Blue Mountains
  • Lord Howe Island
  • Willandra Lakes Region

National Heritage areas:

  • Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves (Kosciuszko, Brindabella national parks)
  • Warrumbungle National Park
  • Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
  • Kurnell Peninsula Headland

Ramsar Wetlands:

  • Myall Lakes
  • Macquarie Marshes

Threatened plants:

  • Wollemi Pine
  • Sparse Heath
  • Slender Darling Pea

Tasmania

Animals:

  • Spotted-tailed quoll
  • Humpback Whale
  • Southern Emu-wren

World Heritage areas:

  • Tasmanian Wilderness
  • Macquarie Island

National Heritage areas:

  • Recherche Bay (NE Peninsula) Area

Ramsar Wetlands:

  • Apsley Marshes
  • Interlaken (Lake Crescent)

Plants:

  • King’s lomatia

South Australia

Animals:

  • Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby
  • Eyre Peninsula southern emu-wren
  • Greater Bilby
  • Numbat
  • Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-Cockatoo
  • Mallee Bird Community of the Murray Darling Depression Bioregion

World Heritage areas:

  • Fossil Mammal sites

National Heritage areas:

  • Witjira-Dalhousie Springs National Park

Ramsar Wetlands:

  • Blue Lake
  • Banrock Station Wetland Complex
  • Coongie Lakes

Plants:

  • Blue Top Sun-orchid
  • Mount Lofty Speedwell

Australian Capital Territory

Animals:

  • Koala
  • Gang-gang Cockatoo

National Heritage Areas:

  • Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves (Namadgi & Tidbinbilla)

Plants:

  • Brindabella Midge

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