Hi friend --
We're getting office renovations, so the ECNT office will be closed to the public from 16 August until mid to end September. We will update you in September when we re-open.
A big thank you to all our supporters who took action over the past week to call on our Government to protect our precious NT environment and water.
Message from our Co-Directors
We’ve had an epic month, with some significant wins following strong action by our supporters. We’ll tell you about two of the things we’re most excited about.
Last week, we launched court action in the Federal Court challenging Minister Keith Pitt’s decision to grant $21million of taxpayer money to Imperial Oil and Gas. We will argue that the Minister was required to make reasonable inquiries into a range of matters before giving Imperial a large amount of taxpayer money, including how exploitation of the Beetaloo sub-basin would impact climate change and Australia’s ability to meet its Paris Agreement obligations. The International Energy Agency has made it clear: the world can’t open up ANY new gas fields if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. We are taking this action to stand up for the Territory, which is already suffering startling impacts from climate change: from failed wet seasons, to extreme heat, to more erratic rainfall. We would love your support to run this case, so if you can, please donate for ECNT’s fighting fund for this litigation.
This week, we had a major win, with the Gunner Government announcing that it will not proceed with its two proposed Environmental Laws Omnibus Bills (Omnibus Bills) this year following sustained pressure by Territorians, environmental groups and the Central Land Council. This was in response to strong action by YOU, our supporters, and is a win for every Territorian who has stood up for our water. However, ECNT is concerned that the Gunner Government is still trying to push through its ill-advised Statute Law Amendment (Territory Economic Reconstruction) Bill 2021 without genuine public consultation or proper scrutiny. This move will weaken the Territory’s already shoddy water laws. Not only that, ECNT believes that the laws have been designed to benefit a particular developer which owns vast tracts of land across the Territory – the NT Land Corporation. You can read more here, and take action by calling your local MLA before 10 August 2021 (there’s not much time!) and telling them you don’t support the changes.
Thank you again for your support of the Environment Centre NT – we simply couldn’t do what we do without your support and care for the Territory’s incredible natural environment.
Shar and Kirsty
Lou farewells COOLmob & ECNT
After working for ECNT and COOLmob for three years now I'll be finishing up early Sept. I’ve absolutely loved working in this space, and thank you all for making my time so special and for giving me the opportunity to work with you.
I’ve decided to give Sister Buffalo (my little second-hand clothing store and workshop space in Darwin) a red hot go and will be working on growing that full time instead which I’m very excited about.
Lottie returns to NZ
We're very sad this month to see Lottie return to New Zealand slightly earlier than expected due to the travel bubble closing. Lottie has been working with ECNT on a research project focussing on climate justice work in the Northern Territory since the beginning of the year, supported by a Yale-ANU Fox International Fellowship. Lottie has been absolutely invaluable in her contributions to campaigns, policy submissions, research. Lottie is planning to continue her research as part of a PHD, so we're sure this won't be the end of her presence in the NT.
We're hiring, two new fantastic roles
In exciting news we're expanding our team and are currently advertising for two new exciting roles, based in Darwin.
We’re looking for an experienced, creative and energetic communications and engagement officer who can work closely with the Co-Directors to develop ECNT’s external profile and network of influence as the peak environmental body of the Northern Territory.
We’re looking for an experienced, creative and energetic campaigner who can build a campaign to stop any further gas development in the Northern Territory, focussing particularly on plans for an industrial gas and petrochemical precinct in pristine Darwin Harbour, as well as new, highly carbon intensive, offshore gas developments off the Northern Territory’s coast.
A message from Jodie...
I'm just back from a break and have lots of fresh energy ready to pour into the Climate Conversations program. Amidst the blanket media coverage of Covid-19 I keep hearing snippets of Climate Change news that equally terrifies and inspires me. Like the heat dome events in Canada a few weeks ago and the landmark decision in the class action brought on behalf of all Australian children and teenagers, against Environment Minister Sussan Ley. The global response to Covid-19 has clearly shown that we ARE capable of making extraordinary decisions and taking unprecedented action against a perceived threat. Now to harness some of that energy and capable response, to the climate threat that looms before us.
We know that most Australians are concerned about climate change but are confused and overwhelmed-they don't know how to respond or what they can do personally. Social research also shows that we make sense of confusing information and decide what to do about it through conversations with people we know and trust. If you have participated in a Climate Conversation, you'll know it can be a great first step, in helping shift your concern about Climate Change into action. Climate Conversations are also a fantastic community mobilising tool.
Onwards to a safe climate future. I look forward to hearing from you.
Developing the North Conference Actions
Banner Painting Picnic - 3.30PM, 15 August 2021
Join Protect Country Alliance for a picnic in the delightful Darwin Botanic Gardens to do some painting and preparation for the Developing the North Conference – Day of Action.
Developing the North Conference – Protect Country Alliance – Day of Action – 16 August 2021
Join Protect Country Alliance for a day of action! The NT and Commonwealth governments are hosting a major 3 day conference in Darwin on 16-18 August.
The agenda for the conference is heavily weighted towards large scale destructive development including gas and cotton. Ministers from both governments and industry reps will be speaking.
We will be standing up for the Territory and warning Government that investing in gas and cotton development will end in disaster.
There will be three key opportunities to take action:
- The Opening – Waterfront Convention Centre – 12.20pm-2.30pm
- The Future of Northern Australia Agenda – 2.30pm – 5.00pm
- NT Government Welcome Drinks – Environmental Vigil
Territory Rivers update
Our rivers are under threat from big business who want to take huge amounts of water, and clear large areas of land. The cotton industry backed by players straight from the Murray Darling is gearing up to massively expand operations in the Territory – and the first step in their plan is to build a huge cotton gin at Tarwoo Station just outside of Katherine. Write to the NT Government today.
Climate Change Adaptation Workshop series
NTCOSS, Jesuit Social Services and the Arid Lands Environment Centre are partnering to host a series of workshops focused on building climate resilience in our communities. The aim of these workshops is to seek solutions, provide direction and promote the enabling environment for the urgent adaptation work that is required across the Territory.
The first workshop will be held online on Tuesday 17 August (10.00-11.30am ACST) and will bring together diverse actors across the Territory who can play a role in doing and influencing adaptation work for our communities. The workshop will frame the challenges, drawing on examples from the Victorian experience to consider what is possible in the NT and how we can work together to scale-up capacity and action.
For further information, please contact Nicola Flook at Jesuit Social Services.
Behind the scenes
Lots of what we do to achieve our vision happens behind the scenes, and we've had some requests to share what we've been working on. Below are the submissions and media we've written over the past month:
- Unsatisfactory public consultation for new Adelaide River dam plans
- Stop them scorching our savanna - send a message to the Pastoral Land Board submission
- Gunner Government, stop weakening our water laws!
- Media Release: Federal Court challenge to Government’s $21m Beetaloo drilling grant
- Stop these WILD water ways
- MEDIA RELEASE: Hands off our Water Act! Passing laws to favour specific developers still won’t fly with Territorians
- Jacana Energy have funded COOLmob to deliver 30 energy efficiency audits to customers experiencing hardship and high energy bills
- Banner Painting Picnic - 3.30PM, 15 August 2021
- Developing the North Conference – Protect Country Alliance – Day of Action – 16 August 2021
- Friends of the Darwin Botanic Gardens Quiz night, Thurs 19 August Darwin Trailer Boat Club, 7pm. Book your spot online.
- ECNT's next Climate Conversation in person or via Zoom, Tuesday 10th August, 6pm-9pm@ the Environment Centre NT, 3-98 Woods St Darwin
- Webinar: Gamba Grass – changing the Top End Forever? 2021 update, 14 Sept, via zoom, 3pm - 4.20pm
- Green Drinks, Thurs 26 Aug, 6pm, Lucky Bat
Talk to you soon,
Shar, Kirsty & the team @ The Environment Centre NT