This is the biggest petition in the 55-year history of the Australian Conservation Foundation – 375,282 people calling for strong new environment laws to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places and wildlife we love.

When the team added up the number of signatures from the past couple of years, we were astounded. In the office we like to bang a gong when things like this happen, but we’re all working at home, so we just messaged each other a flurry of emojis.

Join 375,282 people speaking out for nature: sign the petition.

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The Spectacular Palm Cockatoo, Northern Queensland

I wanted to update you because this campaign is at a critical juncture. Australia’s national environment laws are under independent review. An interim report and recommendations are due to land on our elected representatives’ desks any day now.

That’s why we’re preparing to hand over this massive petition and show just how many people care. I want to acknowledge the many thousands people who are part of this groundswell.

Here’s the story of how this campaign grew and grew and grew…

  • When we revealed that Adani’s proposed giant coal mine would likely drive the beautiful Black-throated Finch to extinction, more than 60,000 of you called on the environment minister to reject the mine and create strong new laws to protect our wildlife.
  • When our investigations team exposed illegal destruction of threatened Greater Gliders habitat, capturing live footage of the animals in the dead of night, thousands of you called for stronger laws.
  • When a billionaire developer proposed to build 3,600 waterside apartments on an internationally protected wetland, home to critically endangered migratory shorebirds like the Eastern Curlew, you signed on in huge flocks.
  • When we campaigned to close loopholes in our laws to protect our big old trees, the ancient ones, many, many of you added your names. You know these trees are homes to so many creatures. They filter the rain that falls on the Great Dividing Range and flows into our city water supplies. They breathe out the air we breathe in.
  • When we revealed the shocking drop in Australia’s Koala numbers over the last few decades, tens of thousands of you signed on. You could not accept that the Koala could go extinct in Queensland.
  • When we took the Federal Government to court to challenge the approval of Adani’s giant coal mine, we argued that the Minister did not properly consider the impact of climate pollution from burning the mine’s coal on our beautiful Great Barrier Reef.
  • When our laws proved too weak to stop the mine, hundreds of thousands of Australians joined the ACF community to stop Adani by calling for stronger laws.
  • And thousands of you sent missing creature alerts to your local Members of Parliament – for the beautiful Numbat, the spectacular Palm Cockatoo, the striped legless lizard, the giant southern Blue Whale, the Largetooth Sawfish, the gorgeous Swift Parrot and the tiny southern Corroboree Frog.

You know that we cannot protect trees, watersheds and wildlife by leaving local communities to fight one spot fire at a time. It’s time for stronger overarching national laws to protect nature all over the country.

Next, we’re handing over this mammoth petition...

ACF volunteers from the ACF Albury-Wodonga group have requested a meeting with Environment Minister Sussan Ley. They will hand over the petition, representing 375,282 people who have added their names, demonstrating the overwhelming public support for protecting nature.

ACF petitions are always one part of bigger campaigns that include many strategies – legal, media, science, advocacy, alliances, community organising and mobilisation. We will need all of these as we get ready to ramp up the next phase of this campaign.

With your signature, you endorse all of this effort and create power through numbers.

Add your name for stronger laws that protect nature: sign the petition.

Birdsong. Crystal clear water in ancient aquifers. Oceans teeming with fish and corals. We hold these things in trust for future generations of children and wildlife.

The coming weeks are critical. Your name and your voice are crucial to protect what we love. This urgent campaign work – and in fact, our whole movement – can only exist with the financial support of our donors.

Donate today – and be part of history.

Kathryn McCallum

Communications and Mobilisation Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Hiker, story-teller, loves mountains, rivers and beaches. Believes in people power and civic action.