A NATIONAL “conservation crisis” has prompted a local environmental group to try and up-skill residents so they can become more active in controlling the political agenda.
The Fremantle Environmental Collective will be holding the Community Rights in Environmental Decision Making workshop at Sullivan Hall in White Gum Valley on April 30.
The campaign falls smack in the middle of the federal election campaign, and FEC member Marcel Teschendorff said while that was coincidental, it provided a good opportunity to launch the campaign.
Mr Teschendforf, who grew up playing in Freo’s bushland areas, says strengthening the voice of residents can help improve decisions that affect the city’s natural environment.
He points to the FEC’s campaign of holding Fremantle council accountable when it fell behind its Urban Forest Plan targets (see below).
Mr Teschendroff says he wants a “renewed focus on conservation of Australian animals”.
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 13 extra species were declared threatened in 2021 alone.
Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility climate and environment director Daniel Gocher said fossil fuel industries held too much influence over government departments.
While it was “not a good look for democracy” to leave communities out of the conversation “the one thing companies don’t have is the ability to vote”, Mr Gocher said.
Mr Teschendorff said nationally, the money directed toward fossil fuel industries significantly outweighs the money directed toward conservation efforts.
He particularly wants a “change of culture around the mindless release” of marine areas for fossil fuel exploration.