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Articles on this Page
- 06/07/12--19:36: _Investors in Austra...
- 06/18/12--21:36: _Coal ports advance ...
- 06/24/12--15:55: _Business as usual a...
- 06/27/12--15:35: _ Live action: Green...
- 06/28/12--14:28: _UNESCO puts Burke o...
- 06/30/12--05:01: _Greenpeace welcomes...
- 07/03/12--16:36: _Police remove Green...
- 07/23/12--19:26: _Groups want action ...
- 07/26/12--15:48: _Thousands oppose GV...
- 07/26/12--20:30: _Greenpeace delight ...
- 07/29/12--22:11: _Up for Grabs - Grea...
- 07/30/12--20:26: _Groups’ launch nati...
- 08/06/12--14:45: _Super trawler threa...
- 08/12/12--16:34: _Greenpeace announce...
- 08/21/12--19:59: _Super trawler subsi...
- 08/22/12--20:25: _Mega mine approval ...
- 08/29/12--14:40: _LIVE ACTION: Greenp...
- 09/09/12--19:01: _Over 55,000 Austral...
- 09/10/12--16:47: _Australians win bac...
- 09/13/12--14:35: _This is a victory f...
- 06/07/12--19:36: Investors in Australian mega coal mine proposal warned of risks
- 06/18/12--21:36: Coal ports advance on Reef despite UNESCO concerns
- 06/24/12--15:55: Business as usual as Reef fears escalate
- 06/27/12--15:35: Live action: Greenpeace stops super trawler en route to Australia
- Request for an updated report by February next year on the state of conservation of the Reef, including outlining whether the Government has implemented the decisions adopted by the Committee in St Petersburg, Russia, and the recommendations made by the monitoring mission “with a view to consider, in the absence of substantial progress, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.”
- Requesting that the Australian Government “not permit any new port development or associated infrastructure outside of the existing and long-established major port areas within or adjoining the property, and to ensure that development is not permitted if it would impact individually or cumulatively on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.”
- An independent review of the management of Gladstone Harbour, where dredging for a major new LNG export facility first sparked UNESCO’s concern in 2011
- 07/03/12--16:36: Police remove Greenpeace blockage of super trawler
- 07/23/12--19:26: Groups want action not closed-door negotiations on Super Trawler
- 07/26/12--15:48: Thousands oppose GVK’s proposed Great Barrier Reef coal terminal
- 07/26/12--20:30: Greenpeace delight at cancelled coal funding
- PNG log exports grew by almost 20 per cent in 2011 due almost entirely to logging within SABLs.
- Since 2006, logging companies have exported over 1.5 million cubic metres of whole logs from SABLs, amassing over K290 million (USD 145 million) for the companies involved. Almost all these logs were exported to China.
- The largest 48 SABLs - 95 per cent of the total SABL area - include almost 14 per cent of the remaining 14.7 million hectares of Intact Forest Landscapes in PNG. These are the least developed forests in PNG. SABLs also include over 130,000 ha of PNG’s protected areas.
- These SABLs also contain 12 per cent of the almost 7 billion tonnes of above ground carbon stored in PNG’s forests. If these SABLs were logged and then deforested, almost 3 billion tonnes of CO2 would be released – this is equivalent to Australia’s total CO2 emissions for the next six years.
- 07/30/12--20:26: Groups’ launch national ‘Stop the Super Trawler’ campaign
- 08/06/12--14:45: Super trawler threatens coastal communities from Perth to Brisbane
- 08/12/12--16:34: Greenpeace announces new CEO David Ritter
- 08/21/12--19:59: Super trawler subsidies revealed
- 08/22/12--20:25: Mega mine approval an environmental catastrophe
- 09/09/12--19:01: Over 55,000 Australians call on Prime Minister to ban super trawlers
- 09/10/12--16:47: Australians win back their oceans
- 09/13/12--14:35: This is a victory for the community
This morning financial analysts across India woke up to find a huge full-page ad aimed squarely at them, warning "don't sink your profits on the Great Barrier Reef." The Asian Financial Times carried a full page investor alert advertisement on behalf of Greenpeace, GetUp! and BANKTRACK, warning analysts that investing in the Indian conglomerate GVK/Rinehart Alpha mega mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin could be a minefield of risks.
The ad asks: Have you considered investing in new coal export projects in Australia? Then warns: National and international NGOs are vowing to fight these coal projects every step of the way, and then highlights key investment risks. View the ad
“The risks of delays to the Alpha mega coal project were on show this week as a political fracas broke out over a botched environmental approval process by the State Government”, said Julien Vincent, Greenpeace campaigner. “This and community opposition to the project are just two of a number of serious issues about which investors should be concerned.”
“While industry analysts are beginning to cast doubt over the viability of coal export projects in Australia, the United Nations World Heritage body has also warned about the devastating impact that the coal expansion could have on the Great Barrier Reef. Anyone thinking of investing in GVK/Gina Rinehart’s Alpha coal project would want to think long and hard if they want to be associated with this potential environmental and economic disaster,” GetUp environmental campaign director Paul Oosting said.
For further comment contact
Greenpeace media officer; Julie Macken: 0400 925 217
GetUp Communications Director: Rohan Wenn 0419 026 222
Only three weeks after UNESCO issued an urgent warning on the threats to the Great Barrier Reef from industrial development, Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, is pushing ahead with the approval process for the controversial Hancock coal terminal at Abbot Point despite serious concerns over the environmental assessment.
‘Preliminary Documentation’ for the project was released late yesterday and the public now have only four weeks to comment on the environmental impacts of the proposal.
“It is absurd that this project doesn’t even need a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and it is being pushed forward before the Cumulative Impact Assessment for Abbot Point is even finished,” said Greenpeace campaigner John Hepburn.
“This massive coal terminal straddles the edge of an important wetland and near a turtle breeding ground in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. It needs the highest standard of assessment,” said Hepburn. “We’re concerned that this is yet another Hancock rush job."
“One the many disturbing aspects of the preliminary documentation is the fact that it still includes extensive references to the Multi Cargo Facility (MCF) - which was scrapped last month. It is very sloppy work and doesn't inspire confidence in the quality of the environmental assessment.”
“Tony Burke rightly insisted on a Cumulative Impact Assessment for development at Abbot Point, but now he is pushing forward with the approval process for one of the projects before the Cumulative Impact Assessment is even completed” Hepburn said. “Minister Burke either wants a careful cumulative impacts assessment or he doesn’t.”
The recent UNESCO report recommended that ‘… it is essential that no port, coastal or other development that could affect the property should be approved if it would pre-empt a positive outcome of the Strategic Assessment’  supporting Greenpeace’s call that port developments not be approved before an overall Strategic Assessment is completed and a management plan put in place.
“T3 should not even be considered until the Strategic Assessment and the Cumulative Impact Assessment for Abbot Point is finished.” Hepburn continued. “Otherwise what is the point of doing the studies if you are going to let the areas get destroyed in the meantime?”
The T3 coal terminal at Abbot Point is part of a vertically integrated plan to export coal from the controversial Gina Rinehart/GVK Alpha coal mine and rail project in the Galilee Basin.
For comment and more information:
John Hepburn, Senior Campaigner: 0407 231 172
Julie Macken, media officer: 0400 925 217
Images of Abbot Point and the Caley Valley wetland [user: photos password: green]
 http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2012/whc12-36com-7BAdd-en.pdf [page 25.]
Greenpeace today released a list of coal terminal projects that have been able to proceed through the environmental approval process despite United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) “extreme concern” for the state of the Great Barrier Reef expressed in 2011 and echoed in its damning report released earlier this month.
The new study comes as the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meets in St. Petersburg where final decisions about the conservation state of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the measures required to secure its long-term will be requested to the Australian Government.
Since UNESCO called upon the Australian Government to undertake a strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in 2011, seven coal terminal projects have been allowed to enter the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) approval process. If all these seven proposed terminals proceed they would increase the volume of coal exported from Queensland by almost 600 million tonnes per year, increasing coal shipping by an estimated 6437 ships per year. 
Although the Queensland and the Commonwealth government agreed to undertake a Strategic Assessment earlier this year, the terms of reference are yet to be finalised. “The State and Federal government’s decision to undertake a strategic assessment is ineffective if the developmental projects continue to be allowed through the approvals process” said Julien Vincent Greenpeace Campaigner.
A UNESCO mission inspected the Great Barrier Reef in March 2012. Their report, from 14 June, recommends “the highest level of precaution in decision-making regarding development proposals with potential to impact the property, and to Prevent any approval of major projects that may compromise the outcomes of the Strategic Assessment, until the Strategic Assessment is completed and its resulting plan for the long-term sustainable development for the property has been considered by the World Heritage Committee. During this period, the State Party is requested to ensure no developments are permitted which create individual, cumulative or combined impacts on the OUV [Outstanding Universal Value] of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area and its long-term conservation 
“The planned strategic assessment of the reef would be totally undermined if these projects are allowed to proceed before that assessment is completed”, said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Julien Vincent. He continued “Greenpeace is calling on Environment Minister Tony Burke to immediately implement a moratorium on all major new port developments in the Great Barrier Reef until a robust strategic assessment is concluded and a management plan put in place.”
Notes to the Editor
1. Greenpeace “List of projects” briefing paper The assessment did not account for coal terminal projects that were already in the planning system. If these additional projects were included in the assessment, coal tonnage and shipping volumes would be much greater.
2. UNESCO mission report available from http://whc.unesco.org/en/documents/117104
Thursday 28 June 2012: Early this morning Greenpeace climbers and divers stopped one of the world’s largest and most destructive super trawlers – the FV Margiris – from leaving its berth in the Dutch port of Ijmuiden, en route to Australia.
At 0300 AEST activists put a chain around the ship’s propeller and two climbers are currently hanging on the cables between the ship and the quay, to prevent the ship from beginning its journey to Tasmania. If approved it will begin fishing in Australian waters as early as August, under a partnership between Seafish Tasmania and massive Dutch fishing operation Parlevliet en Van der Plas.
“Where ever this ship has gone it has destroyed fish stocks and ruined fishermen’s livelihoods. Along with a broad cross-section of the community that has declared the Margiris unwelcome, we will be ramping up efforts to stop it doing the same in Australian waters” said Nathaniel Pelle, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner.
Greenpeace is standing with a rapidly growing coalition of Tasmanians, concerned Australians, recreational fishers and green groups strongly opposed to the super trawler entering Australian waters. In just nine days over 10,000 people have signed onto Environment Tasmania’s online petition to stop the super trawler.
Last week at The United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio +20 – Australia reaffirmed its commitment to reducing fishing subsidies and overcapacity as per the UN Responsible Fisheries Code of Conduct.
“If the Australian government allows the Margiris to come and fish in Australian waters, after plundering oceans elsewhere, it makes a mockery of that commitment” said Pelle. “The Margiris is bad news for Australia and globally irresponsible. The only reason this sort of super trawler is economical at all is because of EU taxpayer subsidies. With the EU failing to reduce its overblown fishing fleet, offering this vessel yet another fishing ground to plunder simply perpetuates an unsustainable fishing industry.”
The FV Margiris is linked to the European Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association (PFA), an EU taxpayer-subsidised fleet with a history of leaving overexploited fisheries and out-of-work fishermen in its wake.
“The only beneficiaries would be Seafish and the bloated PFA fleet that is too often allowed to move from one fishery to another leaving behind empty seas and jobless fishermen,” said Pelle.
A UN FAO report in 1998 concluded the global fishing fleet was 2.5 times larger than global fisheries could sustain and the fleet has swollen further since, meaning dramatic cuts are needed to ensure productive fisheries into the future.
Greenpeace took direct action against the FV Margiris earlier this year off the West African coast, where almost all the species targeted by foreign trawlers are now fully exploited or overexploited. Prior to that the vessel was fishing in occupied Western Sahara under a deal that EU legal advisors labelled “disgraceful” and a violation of international laws.
“The obscene irony of this arrangement is that Seafish will export its catch right back to Africa where their ability to catch fish for themselves has been taken away by ships like the Margiris.”
“Fishing capacity must be cut by more than half and boats like Margiris should be scrapped first. We need to draw a line in the sand and decide which vessels are allowed to ply our ocean for fish. If it robs ordinary fishermen of jobs it needs to go. If it’s propped up by unsustainable subsidies it goes. If it’s using destructive fishing methods that result in unacceptable by-catch it goes. And if it’s so big that no stretch of ocean can sustain its hunger for fish, it goes” said Pelle.
For media interviews contact:
Rosie Jones, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Advisor, 0407 284 916, email@example.com
Images and video available:
Sydney/St Petersburg, Friday 29 June 2012: The World Heritage Committee has put Australia on notice overnight, warning that it may list the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area as “in danger” unless Australia acts on a series of recommendations to avert clear threats to the Reef’s “outstanding universal values.”
The decision, announced last night at the 36th annual World Heritage Committee meeting in St Petersburg, leaves Environment Minister Tony Burke with big decisions to make - to protect Australia’s most treasured environmental icon or risk irreversible damage to it by allowing extensive new and expanded coal development.
“Australia has been put on notice by the international community. If Minister Burke doesn’t make the right decisions now the Reef could be listed as “in danger” when the Committee meets again in one year’s time,” said Greenpeace Senior Climate Campaigner, John Hepburn.
The recommendations from UNESCO’s June monitoring mission’s report were also accepted by the meeting. The report flagged serious concern about the scale and pace of coastal development along the Reef and called for Australia “to ensure no developments are permitted which create individual, cumulative or combined impacts on the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area and its long-term conservation”. (1)
“It is not surprising that the World Heritage Committee is deeply concerned about Australia’s lack of action to defend the Reef from the potential consequences of significant industrial development on the coast. Gladstone Harbour, which has been dramatically impacted by LNG developments, could set a precedent for what is ahead up and down the World Heritage Area if all the coal industry plans proceed.
“It’s time for Tony Burke to declare a moratorium on approvals for major industrial projects that would impact on the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Hepburn.
Key decisions from the Committee include:
Earlier this week Greenpeace released a briefing paper outlining the seven coal terminal projects allowed to proceed through the approvals process despite UNESCO’s warnings. These projects, if approved, would defy UNESCO’s recommendations and risk the Reef being placed on the “in danger” list. (2)
John Hepburn, Senior Climate Campaigner in Sydney 0407231172
Erland Howden, Climate Campaigner in St Petersburg +7 921 423 9331
Jessa Latona, Communications Officer 0488 208 465
1. Recommendation 8, UNESCO mission report available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/documents/117104
2. The seven new projects would increase the volume of coal exported from Queensland by almost 600 million tonnes per year and increase coal shipping by an estimated 6437 ships per year. Read the briefing here: http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/PageFiles/433616/Business_as_usual_for_reef_destruction.pdf
Images available: http://www.greenpeacemedia.org/main.php?g2_itemId=11943
Username: photos Password: green
Sunday 1 July 2012: Greenpeace Australia Pacific today welcomed the coming into force of the carbon price, but warned there is still more to do to ensure Australia moves to a low carbon future and contributes to international efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.
“A price on carbon is an important step in Australia's shift from a polluting economy to a clean energy future,” said Ben Pearson, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Program Director.
“By making polluters pay for their pollution, the carbon price will help drive investment in cleaner alternatives. It will also complement programmes such as the Renewable Energy Target, and energy efficiency measures will see safe and clean industries create wealth and jobs in Australia in the coming decades.”
However, much remains to be done to ensure that Australia plays its role internationally in keeping global warming below two degrees above pre-industrial levels. In particular, calling a halt to the massive and reckless coal boom centered on the Galilee Basin in Queensland. If current plans are realised, development in the Galilee Basin alone could more than double Australian coal exports, at a time when the use of coal has to be dramatically reduced to avoid dangerous climate change.
“The coal export boom is an internationally significant threat to efforts to keep warming below two degrees and will also have serious ramifications for the Great Barrier Reef”, said Pearson. “To avoid dangerous climate change we need to reduce coal use – not massively increase coal exports.”
Greenpeace is also calling on the Australian Government to withdraw the $100 million grant awarded by the Howard Government to the proposed new dirty coal-fired power station, HRL, in Victoria. The deadline for the project to meet a range of conditions was 30 June 2012.
“If the Gillard Government misses this opportunity to cancel HRL's grant, they face the embarrassing prospect of the "Clean Energy Future" kicking off with a new dirty brown coal power station,” concluded Pearson.
For media interviews contact:
James Lorenz, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Manager, 0400 376 021 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 4 July 2012: Last night at around 7pm EST, Dutch police ended the Greenpeace blockage of the Margiris, one of Europe’s largest fishing vessels. For five and a half days Greenpeace activists prevented the vessel from departing to Tasmania, Australia. Alongside Greenpeace, local fishermen and environment organisations in Australia have protested strongly against the vessel going to Australia saying it could spell disaster for local recreational fishing and sets a worrying precedent that would undermine our marine stewardship. (1)
"From recreational fishermen to environment groups, there is a growing community asking that the Australian Government see sense and reject the fishing license for this hugely destructive fishing vessel," said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.
"Where ever the Margiris has been, it has left collapsed fish stocks in its wake. Australia has an improving record of managing our own fish stocks and we have done so in part by keeping beasts like this out of our waters. The Margiris represents everything that is wrong with the global fishing industry. It has no place in Australia or anywhere else for that matter and we have a global responsibility to not provide another fishing ground for it to simply shift to."
At 142m long, the Margiris poses a direct threat to marine mammals such as seals and dolphins, and seabirds. Able to deploy enormous trawl nets that are up to 600m long with an opening of 100m by 200m across, it dwarfs Australian fishing vessels and is capable of hoovering up vast quantities of marine life.
Greenpeace campaigner Pavel Klinckhammers said: “It is simply an embarrassment how EU fisheries ministers have allowed the departure of this vessel. They urgently need to install specific and time bound measures to cut down the bloated EU fishing fleet, there are simply too many, too big vessels and too few fish, and it is time ministers stop ignoring that fact. Only if this ignorance ends the over sized EU fishing fleet will no longer plunder foreign waters and drive overfishing globally.”
For media interviews contact:
Rosie Jones, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Advisor, 0407 284 916, email@example.com
Environment groups have today rejected an offer from Federal Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig to enter into negotiations with Tasmanian company Seafish as the closed-door negotiations are an attempt to avoid rather than promote public debate on an issue of state and national importance.
The rejection of this process by conservation groups, including Environment Tasmania, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, WWF-Australia, Australian Marine Conservation Society, Greenpeace, Conservation Council of Western Australia, Ocean Planet Tasmania, Australian Conservation Foundation, Humane Society International and The Wilderness Society, came after they had repeatedly raised concerns with the Minister over the proposal to allow the world’s second largest super trawler to fish in Australian waters.
Spokesperson for Tasmanian Conservation Trust Jon Bryan said the Minister’s offer of closed door negotiations would not reduce community concerns about the introduction of this super trawler.
“Closed door negotiations are completely inappropriate. It is the job of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to do these things properly and they must do them transparently and openly. How can the meeting be expected to do the job of fisheries management and solve in few weeks problems that the Government has not been able to fix over years,” Mr Bryan said.
Environment Tasmania’s Marine Coordinator Rebecca Hubbard said there is deep and widespread opposition to the introduction of this super trawler, reflected by over 22,000 signatures on an online petition, and ongoing rallies and events around Tasmania.
“Instead of backroom negotiations, the Minister must act immediately to address the concerns of the Australian public and conservation groups,” Ms Hubbard said. "This new process does not have any credibility, and seems to replicate processes that have failed in the past."
“We lack the safeguards to ensure that Australia can sustain a vessel of this size in our waters. We do not want to suffer the same fate as other countries visited by this super trawler that were unprepared for the scale of its fishing operation.”
Notes to editors:
Ten environment organisations representing state, national and international concerns wrote to Minister Ludwig regarding the proposed introduction of the FV Margiris on 6 June and again on 4 July, followed by a meeting of representatives with the Minister in Sydney earlier this week.
The petition is hosted by the Australian organisation Community Run and can be viewed on this link:
For more information:
Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania: 0401 854 912
Jon Bryan, Tasmanian Conservation Trust: 0428 303 116
Tooni Mahto, Australian Marine Conservation Society: 0467 081 258
Elsa Evers, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Australia Pacific: 0438 204 041
Brisbane, 27th July 2012: Greenpeace has spent the morning personally delivering around 7,000 calling cards from members of the public to Hancock Coal, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate GVK, proponents of the proposed “T3” coal terminal at Abbot Point port in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The cards ask the company to accept 7,000 submissions emailed to them from the public concerning Hancock Coal’s proposed coal terminal.
Greenpeace Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner Georgina Woods said, “This is a reckless proposal to build a new 60 million tonne coal terminal in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and comes just weeks after the World Heritage Committee recommended that no new port development be approved that would impact on the outstanding universal values of the Reef”.
“This project could have a significant impact on the World Heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef, including on a Green turtle mating and nesting site and an extensive coastal wetland that is home to migratory birds and threatened species.”
In an out-dated move, the company had put the preliminary environmental assessment documentation for the project on public exhibition for six weeks, but had only sought comments via the post and was not willing to accept email submissions.
Georgina Woods continued, “Around 7,000 people took the time to express their views about this project, as is their right in an open democracy. Every company, whether they are Australian or transnational, must respect the right of the community to have their voices heard.
“We hope Environment Minister Tony Burke will heed the request of the World Heritage Committee not to permit development in the World Heritage Area that would impact on its outstanding universal values.”
Greenpeace Campaigner, Georgina Woods: 0437405932
Greenpeace Media Officer, Julie Macken: 0400 925 217
Photos available after 10am at: www.greenpeacemedia.org
username: photos password: green
Friday, 27 July 2012: Greenpeace has reacted with delight at the cancellation of $100 million in public funds to a proposed HRL dirty coal-fired power station and is calling on the owners of the project to withdraw their proposal altogether.
“This result is a great reward for the years of hard work by environment organisations, grassroots groups and the broader community to resist this dirty project,” said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Julien Vincent.
“This decision effectively pulls the rug from underneath HRL’s proposed dirty coal power station which would have added over 3 million tonnes of carbon pollution to our atmosphere. Greenpeace is calling for these Commonwealth funds to be immediately re-allocated to renewable energy programs.
“This effectively put an end to new coal-fired power stations in Australia. It is an important step towards the renewable energy revolution.
“In this era where we are finally pricing carbon, it makes no sense to at the same time be using public funds to build new dirty coal projects.
“If common sense and responsible decision-making are to continue, the Victorian Government will now cancel the remaining taxpayer funds to HRL,” said Mr Vincent.
Last year, Greenpeace activists placed a 200-metre long banner across the site of the proposed HRL power station, calling on the Prime Minister to live up to her word that “no more dirty coal-fired power stations would be built in Australia”.
Greenpeace also partnered with Environment Victoria, Quit Coal and other environment groups to build a petition of over 12,000 people calling for HRL’s Commonwealth funding to be withdrawn and given to renewable energy.
For further information, please contact:
Julien Vincent, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner – 0419 179 529
Images from Greenpeace's activity at the proposed HRL station are available at:
Sydney/PNG, Monday 30 July, 2012: A new report, released today by Greenpeace, details the failings of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government and the conflicts of interest that have allowed 5.1 million hectares of customary land in PNG to be given away to foreign-owned corporations and unrepresentative landowner companies for up to 99 years.
A recent leasing scheme - known as Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) - is devastating communities across PNG and facilitating the destruction of the country’s last remaining rainforests, the report reveals.
Using data and mapping analysis and drawing on yet to be tabled findings from a recent government inquiry, Greenpeace’s ‘Up for Grabs’ report also shows that 75 per cent of SABLs are controlled by foreign-owned companies - most of which are dominated by Malaysian and Australian interests.
Many of these companies paid government agency staff to undertake their statutory duties in investigating and approving these SABLs. In one case, the logging companies paid police to intimidate and brutalise landowner opposition to their land being stolen.
“The land grab in PNG is a national scandal,” said Greenpeace Forests Team Leader, Paul Winn. “People are losing their land and their livelihoods for up to three generations and their forests forever.”
“One of the first tasks of the new PNG Government must be to suspend logging under SABLs and review and amend legislation so that communities are protected from the rapacious appetite of foreign-owned logging and agriculture companies.”
“With signs that a government more concerned about this issue is set to take the reins in PNG, there is an opportunity for Australia to improve its relationships with the country by providing financial and technical assistance to develop a National Land Use Plan with the key objectives of protecting customary land rights and maintaining forest resources for future generations,” said Winn.
The ‘Up for Grabs’ report also reveals that:
Read the ‘Up for Grabs’ report: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/18b32963#/18b32963/1
Jessa Latona, Greenpeace Media Officer: 0488 208 465
Paul Winn, Greenpeace Forests Team Leader: 0409 993 438
 In October 2011, Malaysian logging giant, Rimbunan Hijau, financed a police crackdown against customary landholder opposition in the Pomio District in East New Britain Province. See http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3336676.htm
Fourteen state and national environment groups today announced the national launch of the ‘Stop the Super Trawler’ campaign. The campaign is calling on the Australian Government to respond to community concerns over a massive industrial trawler, the FV Margiris, which is currently steaming towards Tasmania.
The 142-metre long FV Margiris, due to arrive in August, is destined to become part of the Australian fishing fleet unless the government listens to community concerns and rejects the trawler’s application to operate.
“This campaign has been launched to stop the introduction of the Margiris and other super trawlers in Australian waters after thousands of people have raised concerns,” said Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania’s Marine Coordinator. “So far the Federal Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig’s response to these concerns has been deafening silence.”
Jon Bryan, spokesperson for the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, said that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has failed to address crucial ecological issues.
“This super trawler increases the threat of localized depletions of target fish stocks. AFMA has failed to offer any effective strategies to address this critical issue, so our organisations had no choice but to elevate our campaign,” Mr Bryan said. “Basic scientific information about the fish stocks is lacking, such as fish movements and how long it would take for populations to recover from overfishing. This super trawler could spell disaster for the fish they are targeting and others in the food chain.”
Waters where the super-trawler is permitted to fish are home to some of Australia’s unique and vulnerable marine wildlife.
“The Margiris poses an unacceptable threat to our marine wildlife, which are supposed to be protected under Australian law”, said Ms. Tooni Mahto, Marine Campaigns Officer with the Australian Marine Conservation Society. “Devices designed to protect Australian fur seals and dolphins getting trapped in these huge nets could be operating as dead animal disposal devices – simply ejecting the animals after they have been killed.”
The Margiris, part of the heavily subsidized European trawler fleet, is on its way to Australia after allegations of overfishing stocks in the South Pacific and off West Africa. Seafish Tasmania has proposed a joint venture with the Dutch owners of the vessel. They plan to catch 18,000 tonnes of small pelagic fish (also known as bait fish) for freezing into 20kg blocks and exporting to Nigeria for $1/kg for human consumption.
Greenpeace has confronted the Margiris twice this year in a campaign to stem the overfishing of African waters by foreign trawlers and to pressure the EU to cut its fleet overcapacity.
“At the recent Rio Summit the Australian Government committed to solving the global overfishing crisis that is being caused in part by massive ships like the Magiris catching too many fish" said Nathaniel Pelle, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner. “Yet now we are undermining these efforts by welcoming this monster ship with open arms. Make no mistake, allowing the Magiris into Australia would create a precedent that Australian waters are open to exploitation by super trawlers".
The campaign is working with recreational fishing groups on this issue.
Notes to editors:
The alliance of organisations includes Environment Tasmania, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, WWF-Australia, Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Greenpeace, Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA), Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC NSW), Conservation Council of South Australia (CCSA), Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), The Wilderness Society (TWS), Humane Society International (HSI), Ocean Planet Tasmania, Surfrider Foundation Australia and the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA).
For more details on the campaign, visit the dedicated website:
A petition calling on the Australian Government to reject allowing the FV Margiris to fish in Australian waters, hosted by the Australian organisation Community Run, has been signed by nearly 23,000 people, and can be viewed here:
For more information:
National: Tooni Mahto, Marine Campaigns Officer, Australian Marine Conservation Society - 0467 081 258
Elsa Evers, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Australia Pacific - 0438 204 041
TAS: Rebecca Hubbard, Marine Coordinator, Environment Tasmania - 0401 854 912
Jon Bryan, Tasmanian Conservation Trust - 0428 303 116
WA: John McCarten, Communications Manager, Conservation Council of Western Australia - 0403 900 193
SA: Tim Kelly, Chief Executive, Conservation Council of South Australia - 0417 879 439
VIC: Simon Branigan, Marine and Coastal Project Officer, Victorian National Parks Association - 0409 087 278
NSW: Jilea Carney, Media and Communications Officer, Nature conservation Council of New South Wales - 0478 244 020
Call for super trawlers to be banned across Australia
SYDNEY, 6 August 2012: As the Magiris super trawler steams toward Australian waters, Greenpeace has today escalated the issue, calling on the Gillard Government to ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.
“This is an opportunity for the Gillard Government to say, once and for all, we don’t want this kind of fishing in our waters”, said Greenpeace campaigner Nathanielle Pelle
“The Margiris is not a fishing boat, it’s a massive floating factory equipped with an industrial ocean hoover.”
“It has already plundered fisheries in Europe, the Pacific and West Africa and now it is headed for Australia.”
Greenpeace is campaigning against super trawlers worldwide and has documented the devastation left in their wake.
“Allowing the Margiris in our waters is an open invitation to the entire global fleet of oversized, industrial ships,” said Nathanielle Pelle. “Australia should learn the lessons from the devastation super trawlers have wrought on marine life and fishing communities around the world and say no to the Margiris.”
The Dutch-owned Margiris is twice the size of any vessel to have ever legally fished in Australian waters. If the trip goes ahead, waters anywhere from Perth along the Great Australian Bight and up to South-east Queensland could be under threat from the Margiris.
“The Margiris can catch and process the equivalent weight of twenty school buses in fish per day,” said Mr Pelle. 
“The Margiris could wipe out local fish stocks and devastate coastal communities”.
“If the little fish go, so do the big fish. So do the dolphins and seals and seabirds. And so do the fishermen,” said Pelle.
Greenpeace is part of the ‘Stop the Super Trawler’ coalition of concerned fishing and environmental groups.
Online petition calling on the Gillard Government to ban all super trawlers: www.greenpeace.org/australia/no-supertrawlers
For more information, contact: Elsa Evers 0438 204 041
 The Margiris is part of the grossly over-subsidised European super trawler fleet well-known around the world for destroying fisheries. The European super trawler fleet first fished out European waters. It then fished the South Pacific jack mackerel fishery to collapse. Super trawlers then moved to West Africa and plundered local fish stocks, leaving local fishermen without jobs. 52,000 Senegalese fishermen threatened direct action against the super trawlers and the president of Senegal expelled all foreign trawlers in May 2012.
 Greenpeace activists blocked the Margiris for six days from leaving port for Australia in June.
 Greenpeace documented the devastation of West African fisheries by super trawlers in its report ‘How Africa is Feeding Europe’. Greenpeace took action on the Margiris and other trawlers in West Africa in March.
 A map of the Pelagic Fishery is available on the AFMA website at: http://www.afma.gov.au/2012/06/super-trawler-faqs/
 The Margiris can catch and process up to 250 tonnes of fish per day. The average school bus weighs between 11 and 12 tonnes.
 The Margiris will target Redbait, blue mackerel and red mackerel, which are important species in the food chain. They are food for a wide range of animals including the bottlenose dolphin, fur seals and larger fish such as southern bluefin tuna and sharks.
Sydney, Monday 13 August 2012: Greenpeace is pleased to welcome its new CEO, David Ritter. As a Visiting Fellow at the University of Western Australia and renowned land rights lawyer, David brings a wealth of experience to the challenge of leading the Australia Pacific arm of one of the world’s leading environment groups.
The son of a war-service coal miner, David grew up in Western Australia where he became one the country’s foremost Aboriginal land rights lawyers.
After ten years in law, David took up an academic post at the University of Western Australia, teaching law, history and anthropology. In 2007, the lawyer turned activist when David moved to the UK and led Greenpeace’s biodiversity campaign to protect the world’s oceans, rainforests and the climate.
Returning to settle in Sydney with his wife - who is also a lawyer and academic - and their three year old daughter, David is upbeat and enthusiastic about his new role, Greenpeace and the future of the environment at this crucial juncture in Australian history.
“From the incredible Papuan rainforests to the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, our region is blessed with precious natural heritage. Right now, these remarkable places which are part of our home are under threat and it’s up to us as a community to defend them. While many people might not see themselves as ‘greenies,’ we all care about our home. We all want bays full of fish, wild forests, seasons that change as they should, clean skies and waters now and for our children, and that is at the heart of what Greenpeace is about,” said Ritter.
“Sadly, every Australian can tell a story of environmental decline. From Rockhampton to Margaret River, communities and families have seen places they loved now lost. As CEO at Greenpeace, I want to lead an organisation which draws on the experiences of Australians and the people of the Pacific - the whispering in our hearts that things are going wrong. When Australians put our minds to it, we know how to stand up to bullies; to stand up to the forces which think they can get away with trashing our beautiful country for short-term gain.
“I’m proud to lead an organisation that does not mind getting in the way of super trawlers, or sailing into nuclear test sites, or embarrassing big corporations for burning rainforests or trashing the oceans. That’s what Greenpeace does.”
David is already a well-known voice in political and social commentary and has written for the Griffith Review, the Australian Financial Review and the Australian. David is also a columnist for Global Policy based at the London School of Economics, and is the author of The Native Title Market (UWA Press) and Contesting Native Title (Allen & Unwin), and editor of Making Australian History: perspectives on the past since 1788 (Thomson Learning).
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Jessa Latona, Greenpeace Communications Officer: 0488 208 465
Photos available at:
Sydney, Wednesday 22 August 2012: Greenpeace has revealed that the company behind the super trawler Margiris is being heavily subsidised by EU taxpayers.
The revelations come amidst a heated political debate and fast growing opposition across the country to the imminent arrival of the world’s second largest super trawler.
“The Margiris - and the Dutch company that owns it - is heavily subsidised by European taxpayers. It has already used these funds to plunder fish stocks in Europe, West Africa and the Pacific and now it intends to use them to take all it can from Australian waters,” said Pavel Klinckhamers, a Greenpeace marine biologist who has tracked super trawlers around the world and has arrived in Australia to warn against the Margiris.
Greenpeace research reveals that Dutch company Parlevliet & Van der Plas, owners of the Margiris, has received direct subsidies of €39m since 1994 and in recent years (2006-2011) has also received indirect subsidies within the range of €16m and €28m. A large proportion of these subsidies are used to pay for fuel with the Margiris alone receiving up to €4.2m every year for the past 6 years.
“Without subsidies from the EU, Parlevliet & Van der Plas’ profits would be significantly reduced and it could have even lost money in recent years. Super trawlers like the Margiris are highly efficient at destroying fisheries but are not efficient at making profits without subsidies,” said Klinckhamers.
Research also reveals that without indirect and direct subsidies, aggregated profit for the Pelagic Freezer-trawler Association (PFA), an industry lobby group that represents the interests of several European trawler companies including Parlevliet & Van der Plas, would have been reduced from €54.7m to at least €7m and perhaps they would have run a loss of up to €50.3m. (1)
“I’ve seen first-hand how these subsidised super trawlers have devastated fisheries and coastal communities in West Africa. After a vessel like the Margiris has been to visit there’s nothing left but empty oceans, destroyed livelihoods and ruined ecosystems.”
“I’m here to warn Australia. Giving this foreign fish factory access to its rich marine assets would be a colossal mistake,” said Klinckhamers.
Pavel Klinckhamers helped to co-ordinate the protest earlier this year, which delayed the Margiris’ departure from Holland to Australia for seven days.
Greenpeace is asking the Federal Government to ban all super trawlers in Australian waters.
Pavel Klinckhamers is available for interview.
For more information, contact:
James Lorenz, Greenpeace Communications Manager: 0400 376 021
Images available at:
(1). Profundo report: http://www.profundo.nl/files/download/Greenpeace1112.pdf, page 27
23 August 2012: Greenpeace today slammed the approval by Minister Tony Burke of Gina Rinehart’s controversial Alpha Coal Project. If built, it would be as big as any coal mine operating in Australia, and would be the first of the proposed mega mines in Queensland’s untapped Galilee Basin.
“This project is an environmental disaster”, said Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Georgina Woods. “The approval of this project flies in the face of Minister Burke’s commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and it would have a devastating impact on the global climate”.
“Over half a million people have already signed a petition opposing banks financing this destructive project and we are going to fight it every step of the way,” Ms Woods continued.
The mine and its associated 500km rail line have been given the go ahead despite warnings from the Minister’s own Department in May that the assessment undertaken by the Queensland Government was ‘shambolic’.
“The assessment of this project was shambolic three months ago and it is shambolic now – proper environmental assessments have still not been done”, Woods continued.
In June, The World Heritage Committee passed a strongly worded decision requesting Australia not to permit any development that could impact on the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Minister has rejected the warning from The World Heritage Committee. This decision means business as usual for destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and the global climate. The impacts of this project on marine areas have not been properly assessed.”
“The Reef is suffering death by a thousand cuts: as each mine, rail line and coal port is approved, so the coal industry expands creating a two-fold threat for the Reef. Not only does it make more likely the development of massive new terminals and increased shipping in the iconic World Heritage Area, but the coal from the mines also creates carbon pollution, which drives climate change and ocean acidification, and may well be its final cut.”
She concluded, “This project may have the Government’s approval, but it doesn’t have approval from the community. We’re calling on every Australian who believes the Reef is worth more than the profits of mining companies to join the battle to save our Great Barrier Reef.”
Images and footage available
For further information contact
Georgina Woods, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner: 0437 405 932
James Lorenz, Greenpeace Communications Manager: 0400 376 021
Thursday 30 August, 2012: At 8.45am CST (time in Adelaide) Greenpeace activists on an inflatable boat intercepted the world’s second largest factory fishing trawler, the FV Margiris, and are blocking the monster ship’s attempt to sneak into Port Lincoln in South Australia.
Greenpeace is calling on the Gillard Government to refuse to grant a fishing license to the FV Margiris and introduce a policy to ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.
“These ships literally vacuum up entire schools of fish. You could fly a Jumbo Jet through the opening of its net with room to spare,” said Greenpeace oceans campaigner Nathaniel Pelle from a Greenpeace inflatable alongside the Margiris.” Wherever these super trawlers go, they leave devastated fisheries in their wake.”
“They have overfished European waters, collapsed fisheries in the South Pacific, and devastated fishing communities in West Africa. We simply can’t let the same thing happen in Australia.”
The Gillard Government has the power to stop the Margiris before the plunder begins. Tens of thousands of Australians have already told the government to stop the super trawler, and public outrage from a broad range of communities - from environmental groups to recreational fishermen - continues to grow at the government’s failure to act.
“Australian marine life does not stand a chance against this kind of vessel – and neither do Australian fishermen. Even research cited by the owners shows that despite new technology, many animals, including fur seals, will routinely be killed in its nets. Both the Environment and Fisheries Ministers are rightly expressing serious concerns, but now, with this ship already in our waters, time is running out for them to display some common sense and refuse to grant a license to the Margiris ,” said Greenpeace CEO David Ritter. “Allowing it to fish in Australian waters is not just against the national interest, it is simply absurd.”
The Greenpeace ‘No Super Trawler’ petition is available at: www.greenpeace.org/australia/no-supertrawlers
For more information, contact: Julie Macken in Port Lincoln, 0400 925 217. James Lorenz, Sydney, 0400 376 021
For images and video, contact:
Download images and video from www.greenpeacemedia.org
Canberra, Monday 10th September 2012: As Melissa Parke, MP, prepared to take her Private Member’s Bill to Labor Caucus today, Greenpeace Head of Program, Ben Pearson, presented her with the signatures of over 55,000 Australians calling on the Prime Minister to ban all super trawlers like the Margiris from fishing Australian waters.
“More than one person has signed the petition to ban super trawlers every minute since it launched on August 7,” said Greenpeace Head of Program Ben Pearson. “That’s additional to the 90,000 Australians urging the Government to ‘Stop the Super Trawler’.”
“Time is running out to stop this weapon of mass destruction– it is currently listed as leaving Port Lincoln today and it could begin fishing unless the Government stops it,” said Ben Pearson. “From coast to coast and across political parties, the Prime Minister is being asked to take action to protect our national interest.”
“Wherever super trawlers have gone, fish stocks have taken a hammering. Fishing communities across West Africa and the South Pacific are still paying the price for allowing these monster ships to fish their waters.
“The only people to benefit from this industrial scale operation are the European owners of the super trawler and the New Zealand owners of Seafish,” continued Pearson. “Senator Ludwig has refused to use his power to stop it and Minister Burke, in trying to tighten the criteria has only managed to give the OK to the killing of 10 seals per day. The Prime Minister must intervene.”
“Greenpeace is enormously grateful to Melissa Parke and the State and Federal MPs across the country who have spoken out in defence of our great marine life, fishing industry and coastal communities that have so much to lose from allowing this super trawler to fish.”
Photos available at 12pm: www.greenpeacemedia.org Username: photos Password: green
Link to the ‘No super trawlers petition”: www.greenpeace.org/australia/no-supertrawlers
Media Advisor in Canberra: Julie Macken, 0400 925 217
Head of Program, Greenpeace: Ben Pearson, 0424 575 111
Tuesday, September 11, Sydney: Greenpeace congratulated the Gillard government today for showing the courage to prevent the Abel Tasman super trawler fishing in our waters. Greenpeace hailed it as a victory for the Australian community which has united to reject this monster ship. The decision also sends a message to the global super-sized fishing fleets that world community opposition is growing to their unsustainable business model.
“This is what happens when we all stand together,” said Greenpeace Head of Campaigns Ben Pearson. “Thousands of people across the country turned out to rallies, sent letters to editors, and pressured their local MPs. More than one person signed the Greenpeace ‘No super trawlers’ every minute.”
“The two-year ban is welcome and we always support more scientific investigations into how we manage our oceans more sustainably,” said Pearson.
Greenpeace will continue its global campaign against over-fishing and super trawlers like the Abel Tasman.
“The decision today by the Gillard government will give heart to communities and campaigners across the globe who continue to oppose super trawlers like the Abel Tasman and the devastating business model it represents.”
“The global overfishing problem has not gone away”, said Ben Pearson. “There is 2.5 times more fishing capacity in the world than there are fish. This decision will put pressure on the European Union to withdraw its subsidies from the super trawler fleet and is a step towards more sustainable fishing.” said Pearson.
For more information, contact:
Elsa Evers, Greenpeace Media Advisor, 0438 204 041
Ben Pearson, Greenpeace Head of Campaigns, 0424 575 111
Sydney 13th September, 2012: Greenpeace today welcomed the passage through the House of Representatives of the Bill that will stop the super trawler, Abel Tasman, from plundering our waters.
Greenpeace acknowledged the Government, the Greens, the Independents - Rob Oakeshot, Andrew Wilkie, Bob Katter and Craig Thompson - and in particular, Melissa Parke MP, who championed this issue in the Labor caucus.
Greenpeace will continue to work internationally to prevent over-fishing and target over-sized, over-subsidised fishing vessels.
For comment, please call:
Greenpeace Head of Program, Ben Pearson: 0424 575 111