It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to taking action for the environment. We know that changing personal behaviour is important, but what happens when you want to have an impact on policy or perhaps get involved in lobbying politicians to do better when it comes to climate change or conservation?
As it’s World Environment Day, we thought this list of Gold Coast conservation action groups would be a useful starting point. They’d all love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved.
Gecko Environment Council
Connecting Gold Coast’s vibrant community of activist groups is Gecko Environment Council. Since 1989, Gecko has fought countless campaigns to protect the natural environment including long running battles to protect Springbrook National Park and The Spit. Its aim is to actively promote, conserve and restore the natural environment and improve the built environment of the Gold Coast region in partnership with member groups. In addition to campaigning, Gecko has helped educate thousands of school kids on environmental issues and runs annual Environment Awards as well as Clean Up Australia Day events. It’s Currumbin hall is also a popular meeting place for community groups.
Stop Adani Gold Coast
Stop Adani Gold Coast has brought together a diverse group of people who are passionate about addressing climate change. In just over a year, it has organised several actions, has engaged with thousands of people and has plugged into the national Stop Adani campaign. Almost 400 attended the human sign action in October 2017 as part of the Stop Adani national day of action. The group has organised several film screenings, its members have spoken at public events and met Moncrieff MP Steven Ciobo. Currently, Stop Adani Gold Coast is undertaking a campaign urging Mr Ciobo, the Minister for Trade, to stop the use of public funds to prop up Adani’s Carmichael coal mine through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, otherwise known as EFIC.
Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast Tweed
Surfrider Foundation Australia had its origins on the Gold Coast. Brad Farmer, who founded the national body, grew up on what is now Sovereign Island. Following his involvement with the campaign against a sewage outlet on South Stradbroke Island, Brad took up the fight to improve Sydney’s effluent problem and established the national group. Today, Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast Tweed continues to be active on coastal management issues at the grassroots level. You might see Surfrider GCT members on one of their regular beach cleanup operations, or advocating for the protection of our coastal environment.
Save Our Spit
In an ongoing saga that has continued for almost 15 years, Save Our Spit has battled to protect the natural beauty and public spaces of the Spit and Broadwater from the construction of high rise towers and a cruise ship terminal. The volunteer group has worked in opposition to the continuously morphing cruise ship terminal plans by raising awareness and holding large protest actions while attempting to hold decision makers to account. It established a petition against the terminal that garnered 38,000 signatures, reportedly the most in Queensland history. Last year, the State Government rejected one casino and terminal proposal and put a priority on creating a low-rise Spit Masterplan.
Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Inc.
Following a successful campaign to Save Kirra, Andrew ‘Andy Mac’ McKinnon turned his attention to having the coast between Snapper Rocks and Burleigh Heads listed as a World Surfing Reserve. The passionate beach and surf environment advocate coordinated a long list of key stakeholders to achieve a successful bid in 2016. While the GoldCoast World Surfing Reserveis a ‘ceremonial’ designation, it provides a powerful symbolic message around the value of the Gold Coast beach environment and gives people working to preserve and protect it a strong platform for advocacy.
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
AYCC is growing like wildfire. In just five months it has attracted a committed group of volunteers who have participated in state strategy meetings and have taken action advocate for climate justice. AYCC Gold Coast has developed a partnership with Marymount College through the Repower Our Schools campaign that gives students the tools and support to turn their school into 100% powered by renewable energy and hopes to generate more similar relationships. The work fits with the group’s overall mission to empower young people with the knowledge, skills, networks, opportunity and hope to take meaningful and fulfilling action on climate change.
Feature image: Luke Sorensen