Well, that was fast.
Hot on the heels of our historic victory over the Carmichael coal mega mine, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is trying to change the law so he and his fossil fuel industry cronies can push through more environmentally destructive projects.
The catastrophic Carmichael coal mine, poised on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, is almost dead thanks to a successful Federal Court challenge.
Abbott, however, doesn't appear to be a big fan of the democratic process. So he's proposed making it harder for affected people to challenge governmental decisions — to make sure wins against Big Coal don't happen again.
We can't overstate how serious this is. The Australian Conservation Society has said Abbott's plan is 'nothing short of an attempt to strip communities of their right to a healthy environment'.
Right now, Big Coal has the backing of industry, government and the banks. If Tony Abbott gets his way, it will have the courts too.
The only 'vigilante' here is you, Tony Abbott. Don't change our environmental legal protections because you couldn't get your mega mine approved.
Attorney General George Brandis has branded the case against Carmichael 'vigilante litigation'. So the government is proposing to water down community groups' right to challenge these projects under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBCA).
But who is the real vigilante here? The scientists, activists, and concerned people trying to protect their communities and the biodiversity in the Great Barrier Reef? Or the massive mining corporations that run roughshod over environmental regulations and, in the rare cases when they actually lose, simply change the laws to fit their interests?
This law is already on shaky ground: the Coalition doesn't have the support of the Queensland Government, and if just one more Senator says they won't vote for the law, then Abbott won't be able to pass it.
If hundreds of thousands of us speak up now, we'll be able to get the attention of Senators, and send a clear message that their constituents are deeply opposed to the proposed law change.
The Mackay Conservation Council mounted a brilliant legal case against getting the Carmichael mine approved. This victory created the momentum for many other victories that followed: CommBank ended its financial advisory relationship with Adani, the mining giant behind the Carmichael mine. And without tens of thousands of SumOfUs members, UK bank Standard Chartered would still be trying to organise finance so that Adani's plans could go ahead.
Our latest win is making Big Coal really and Tony Abbott angry. Let's not let corporate profits rule our democracy -- speak out against this proposed law change now.
You lost, Tony. Don't change the law because you don't like the result.
Abbott government to change environment laws in crackdown on 'vigilante' green groups, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 2015
Environment Minister Bungles Big Coal Approval, So Attorney General Tries To Change The Law, New Matilda, 18 August 2015
Tony Abbott's Adani amendment will struggle to pass Senate, Australian Financial Review, 19 August 2015