CCWA May Newsletter

By Clive Stubbington

Hi Clive,
welcome to the CCWA Monthly Newsletter for May! From the President It has been a big month for CCWA and our partners, we have had a significant media presence across a range of platforms and across a range of issues including the federal Future Gas Strategy, Woodside’s Browse Project, the climate change bill, health impacts from heat, and the failure of carbon capture and storage. The protracted dry spell and the “great browning” that we are all witnessing has heightened community concerns for our natural ecosystems and climate change impacts. For many of us it’s heart-wrenching to be a witness to a tragedy unfolding but important that we use this opportunity to raise the alarm and galvanise support for action to protect nature. Our new Executive Director, Jess Beckerling, has been a wonderful steadying influence for the teams and her clarity of thinking and collaborative approach has already made a big difference to the workplace. We are working at speed and across a range of fronts. We will shortly introduce a new Campaigns Director and by the end of the financial year hope to have developed a strategic plan for the next 12 months. There will be other positions that we will fill and announce over the course of the next month.  Thank you all for your ongoing support both financially and within our campaigns. It really does make a difference. Dr Richard Yin
Welcome to Makuru – Season of Fertility We are now entering the Noongar season of Makuru spanning June to July.  It’s time to bundle up, stay cozy, and grab your umbrella!  This is the coldest and wettest time of the year. During this season, the Noongar people moved inland, away from the cold winds and wet weather.  As they relocated, their diet shifted to what the land provided, including grazing animals like yongar (kangaroos), weitj (emus), quenda (bandicoots), and koomal (possums). The Noongar used every part of these animals, making cloaks from skins and repairing tools with bones, tendons, and sinews. They also used parts of the kangaroo to build shelters.  Makuru is also known as the season of fertility, as animals begin pairing for breeding. Keep an eye out for wardongs (ravens) flying in pairs or spot black mali (swans) gathering around lakes and rivers, getting ready to breed.  The land will burst with blues and purples as the Blueberry Lilly, Scarlet Banksia, and Purple Flags bloom. By late July, the weeping peppermint will start to blossom, transitioning the vibrant blues into the whites of Djilba.  Photo credit: ReWild Perth National Reconciliation Week – Now More Than Ever This week we also celebrate National Reconciliation Week – Now More Than Ever  27 May – 3 June  #NRW2024  This is a time to learn, reflect, and take action to build a more just and respectful Australia.  Together, we honour the unique histories, cultures, and contributions of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is a reminder to us all that the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will —and must —continue.  To learn more, stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and get involved in National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2024, visit the Reconciliation WA website

Introducing… CCWA’s Nature Program Protecting nature is CCWA’s core business. We now have our very own Nature Program, which provides an exciting opportunity to engage with our member groups and supporters on protecting nature and asking for strong nature laws. The CCWA Nature team has already been hard at work collaborating with other environmental conservation organisations on a campaign to defend WA’s nature with strong state and federal nature laws.

Photo credit: Nancy Miles-Tweedie

Photo credit: CCWA

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Program updates Fossil Fuels Ten years ago, the Broome community stopped a Woodside gas project at James Price Point, with national and international support. The Broome community showed up in a packed town hall to take on Woodside for a second time. On the 16th May, Lotteries House in Broome was abuzz with passionate individuals united for a single cause: protecting the pristine Scott Reef from Woodside’s new plans to drill 50 gas wells! Following the event, supporters carved “Save Scott Reef” into the sand on World Turtle Day, drawing attention to the urgency of preserving this pristine marine environment. Add your voice today to Save Scott Reef. The Broome community packed out the Save Scott Reef event to stop Woodside drilling up to 50 wells at Scott Reef, 17th May.

A message to Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek carved into the Broome sand for World Turtle Day, along with the endangered Green Sea Turtles that we need to protect. Photo credit: Greenpeace.

On the day the Federal Government announced the Future Gas Strategy, the WA climate community united in a powerful display of climate action outside Madeline King’s electorate office.

Binu (CCWA Community Organiser) speaking at a protest outside Federal Minister Madeline King’s office, after the announcement of the Future Gas Strategy, 9 May.
The local Go Beyond Gas Fremantle group, along with members of the Fremantle community, delivered a letter to Federal MP Josh Wilson who spoke up against the Future Gas Strategy, to back up MPs that speak out against gas, but also to demand action towards strong climate policies and a commitment to no new gas projects. A few weeks later, the biggest, most powerful fossil fuel lobby (APPEA) hosted a conference in Perth, and was met by the WA climate movement, with a colourful mix of banners, songs, music, chants and a clear message – leave gas in the ground!
Over 100 climate activists showed up to make some noise and tell the fossil fuel industry lobby (APPEA) to leave gas in the ground, 20th May. You can take action too by emailing your MP, asking them to speak up against the Future Gas Strategy. Email your MP now via this quick tool. Thank you to everyone who has supported actions and events! All our work wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our supporters, volunteers and the wider WA climate community.  Better Climate Better Climate has been doing a huge amount of work on building the case and approach for renewable energy. We are excited to be working across a wide range of civil society groups in WA and around the country developing strategies and contributing to research and policy. It’s never been more important that renewable energy is developed at scale, in the right places, and with good open consultation and collaboration with communities. We are looking forward to sharing the outcomes with you very soon. We are currently recruiting for a senior position in this program. Applications are welcome until the 7th of June.   Citizen Science You may have seen in the news that our little penguin population on Penguin Island has declined by 94% since 2007 with the colony reduced to only 114 birds.   Dr Erin Clitheroe who has worked with the penguins on the island for 15 years and runs our CCWA Citizen Science Little Penguin project has this to say about the latest colony count: “The recent population estimate reveals a distressing decline in the little penguin population on Penguin Island. While marine heatwave events have played a role, it’s crucial to understand that many factors have contributed to the current situation. We cannot attribute everything to climate change. The strategies outlined in CCWA’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Little Penguin highlight some of the actions that could give this colony a fighting chance. We are now at a point where intensive conservation management over several years, including strategies like rescue and rehabilitation, will be essential to ensure the colony’s future.” Sadly, also this month the team was informed of an incident that involved publicly available location information of Honey Possums resulting in their death. This highlights the risks associated with publicly disclosing location information of short-range species, including desirable plants such as orchids, and even disclosing in-situ sites, such as roosts, dens, nests, and burrows for targeted species. Our Citizen Science intern Opal explores these risks and shares how you can make more informed decisions when sharing information about your wildlife sightings in this article In other news this month we’ve been busy analysing data, writing reports, applying for grants, and delivering a few talks. This month we also say goodbye to our intern, Opal. Opal has been a great asset to the team over the past 3 months, helping to establish our bat box monitoring trials and creating lots of much-needed educational materials and resources. Thank you, Opal, for your hard work and enthusiasm.

Nature Program CCWA has launched a Nature Program!   Our team is collaborating with member groups, allies, and stakeholders to push for strong federal and state nature laws.  We kicked off with a CCWA member group briefing and have held two community events advocating for a strong EPBC Act.  Our joint event with the Wilderness Society and WA Forest Alliance outside Patrick Gorman’s office made the local news

Photo credit: Marina Peterson  At the Walk and Talk for Wildlife, we heard from local turtle guardians at Bibra Lake and held a vigil for over 100 turtles who died due to climate change and invasive predators. Following an expert panel discussion, it was inspiring to see so many supporters urging Josh Wilson MP to strengthen federal nature laws. 

Photo credit: Marina Peterson  Tomorrow night the team are co-hosting an interactive MP Workshop to empower you to advocate for strong nature laws. Register here!  National Volunteer Week Thanks to a grant from Volunteering WA and Lotterywest, we celebrated the invaluable contributions and dedication of CCWA volunteers during National Volunteer Week with a fantastic Volunteer Celebration Event at Bar Orient last Tuesday. We had a great turnout and honoured our volunteer community with food, drinks, and some awards.  As part of our celebrations, we also filmed interviews with key volunteers, highlighting the important work they do, the highlights of their experiences volunteering, why they volunteer, and why they think others should also volunteer with CCWA. These interviews were shared on our social media channels and website. Thank you to Lotterywest and Volunteering WA for supporting our volunteers and making these videos possible! This year’s theme, ‘Something for Everyone,’ perfectly reflects the diverse volunteer opportunities at CCWA, including staffing stalls, participating in events, recording bat cries for our Citizen Science program, attending rallies and workshops, and tree planting with our Member Groups.

Volunteer with Us Support CCWA today! Our beautiful planet is facing unprecedented challenges from the loss of precious wildlife habitats to the alarming impacts of climate change. CCWA is at the forefront of the battle to protect our environment, maintain a safe climate and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

As the voice for the environment in Western Australia and with your support, we can make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change and protect our natural environments.
Donate today to support conservation and climate action in Western Australia!

Donate Write your Will today!  Our supporters are passionate about protecting our state and the majority of our very generous funders want to ensure their support lives on and that WA’s iconic nature is safeguarded for future generations. In support of this, we have collaborated with Gathered Here and provided all our members and supporters with the ability to write their Will for free online. Leave CCWA a gift in your Will and create your legacy for conservation in WA today.

Write your Free Will Upcoming Events

MP Workshop: Defend WA’s Nature It’s time to let your Member of Parliament know: we need strong laws to defend WA’s nature! The nature we love is in serious trouble. Fossil fuel expansion, industrialisation, deforestation and pollution are exacerbating an already severely stressed environment, pushing wildlife closer towards extinction. Join us for a lively and interactive workshop that will empower you with the necessary skills to:  Have impactful conversations about protecting nature with strong laws  Schedule a face-to-face meeting with your MP  Develop ongoing contact with your MP on nature  Get the most out of your meeting, with clear asks and a follow-up plan  Plus, we’ll have an MP meeting role-play so you can practice your questions and feel prepared for the real thing!  WHEN: Thursday, May 30th, at 6:00 – 8:00PM WHERE: City West Lotteries House, West Perth

Climate Anxiety Open Mic Night The Go Beyond Gas Freo collective is hosting an open mic event to address eco-distress, offering a safe space for creative expression and reflection on climate-related emotions, featuring guest speaker Annolies Truman. Reserve your spot for this free event hereWHEN: Tuesday, June 4th, 7:00-10:00PM WHERE: The Local Hotel, 282 South Terrace, South Fremantle

RSVP   SAVE THE DATE – Climate Changers Screening Join CCWA, WA Landcare Network and Perth NRM for a screening and discussion of Tim Flannery’s documentary Climate Changers:  

Climate Changers will provide a vital opportunity for our community to discuss the leadership needed to address the climate crisis and inspire collective action. Following the screening, a panel discussion and Q&A (panelists to be confirmed) will delve into the issues raised in the documentary and explore how we can all become climate leaders within our spheres of influence.  WHEN: Tuesday, July 30th, 6:00 – 8:30PM WHERE: Luna Cinemas Leederville, 163 Oxford St, Leederville

Nature First – CCWA Annual Conference, Community Conservation Awards and AGM SAVE THE DATE! Don’t forget to add CCWA’s biggest event to your calendar – more information to follow shortly!At CCWA’s Nature First Conference 2024 we will address the critical environmental challenges faced by Western Australia, focusing on climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Nature First serves as a platform to increase awareness, facilitate the exchange of knowledge and provide practical solutions for preventing more habitat loss and restoring and regenerating nature in WA.   WHEN: Wednesday and Thursday, November 13th & 14th WHERE: The Wetlands Centre Cockburn, 184 Hope Road, Bibra Lake CCWA regulatory submissions for May CCWA lodges submissions to regulatory bodies on projects of public interest that involve activities that pose significant risks to the environment. Some of the submissions and consultations from May include: Appeal of the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) decision to not assess Energy Resources – Lockyer Conventional Gas Project Submission to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) – Strike Energy Walyering oil or gas production L9432 Submission to the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conservation (EPBC) Act: Winu Copper and Gold Mine (Winu Project) Rhodes Ridge Iron Ore Project Chalice Mining – Gonneville Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Element Mine Development Project Submission to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) – Proposed Offshore Wind Area: Indian Ocean off Bunbury, WA Submission to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) on:
Chevron Dino South-1 Exploration Drilling Chevron Wheatstone Deep-1 Exploration Drilling Meetings
EPA Stakeholder Reference Group meeting News & Media “Caving in to pressure”: WA environment peak body criticises government’s Future Gas Strategy amid immediate protest WA environment peak body highlights absence of WA Budget measures to protect nature amid planned fossil gas expansion “Demands more scrutiny”: Peak body calls for inquiry amid reports of record emissions and Chevron-Burrup Hub conflict Climate Activists Crash Fossil Fuel Lobbyist Party in Perth Statement on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s reported remarks to AEP conference in Perth New population report finds devastating collapse in penguin colony in Perth WA environment groups welcome change to Appeals Committee for the North West Shelf Project Extension CCWA respectfully acknowledges the Whadjuk People of the Noongar nation, along with the Traditional Owners of all Countries where it works. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. CCWA seeks to always walk alongside our Aboriginal partners, recognising their continued connection through land, sea, culture and community. Conservation Council of Western Australia · 1186 Hay Street , West Perth, WA 6005, Australia


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