Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has invited the public to comment on 18 dangerous new coal and gas proposals in Australia. Their emissions would harm all the natural wonders we want our children and their children to know and love – koalas, turtles, the reef, the Tarkine, Kakadu.
But the future is not yet written, we can write it together. Here's how you can encourage our Environment Minister to face the facts, and act.
Follow this step-by-step guide to writing a short, persuasive comment on any (or many) of the proposals – and let ACF know so we can track how many comments we send to the Minister. We each have until Thursday 24 November, 5pm to comment. Here is a summary of the steps:
If you follow the instructions in step 3, the comment you write can be legally persuasive and submitted for all 18 proposals!
When you’re ready to write your comment, head on over to the relevant government portal.
Choose any (or many) proposals to comment on:
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For more information on each proposal, visit the Living Wonders website.
By ticking YES, you agree that there is substantial new information about the climate harm from this project.
This is where you write your unique comment. It can be one or two sentences or up to 500 words.
It’s the most important section, so please take some time to ensure your comment notes these two things.
It’s because of ECoCeQ’s legal intervention that the Minister has opened all 18 proposals for public comment. Together we need to help back in their argument.
The material submitted includes the 2021 and 2022 IPCC reports and the 2021 State of the Environment Report – which together make a compelling case that the coal and gas proposals will cause harm.
You may like to:
If you follow the instructions, your comment can then be re-submitted to any of the proposals – which we encourage you to do to help us reach a critical mass of comments!
The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) is not relying on this argument as part of their legal case to have the 18 proposals reconsidered, so you can tick NO.
Again, ECoCeQ is not relying on this argument as part of their legal case to have the 18 proposals reconsidered, so you can write N/A.
In this section, you could share your views on whether the Minister should make a new decision about the coal mine.
You could write a few lines detailing why you are concerned about the impact of this proposal on Australia’s living wonders – such as the Great Barrier Reef, Commonwealth Marine Areas, threatened animals, plants and ecosystems, marine and migratory species and marine environments and World and National Heritage places. You might like to write about the impacts to the koala, the dugong, Kakadu or Shark Bay or other protected species or places that are important to you.
You could write about how the ‘substantial new information’ submitted by EcoCeQ demonstrates the proposal is having, will have or is likely to have a ‘significant impact’ on our living world.
But you don’t have to be an expert – you can also just ask the Minister to look at the 3000 scientific documents provided by ECoCeQ and accept that the only conclusion the evidence leads to is that she should vary the original decision to recognise the likely climate harms of this new coal proposal.
This evidence demonstrates the vast and irreversible consequences new coal mines and gas plants would have on our living world.
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Once you’re happy with your comment, submit it via the government portal.
And that’s it! Thank you for raising your voice to protect nature and our climate.
Once you have made a comment, we encourage you to make a comment on another proposal. In fact, you can re-use the same comment on each of the 18 proposals.
As long as you have followed the instructions in step 3, your comment will be legally significant for all proposals. So please consider making another comment and help us reach a critical mass across all the new polluting proposals.
Visit the Living Wonders website for the full list of proposals and step-by-step guides on how to make a comment on each.
For more support in writing an effective comment, you may like to attend one of Environmental Justice Australia’s (EJA) upcoming comment-writing parties.
Image credit: Jordi Prat Puig