Wilderness Society in the Media

Wilderness Society in the Media

Media highlights

Check out some of the Wilderness Society's most impactful media mentions.

The Guardian - How badly do Tasmanians want to protect nature? The state election may provide answers

Alice Hardinge, Wilderness Society Tasmania Campaigns Manager

19 March 2024 - Alice Hardinge, state campaign manager for the Wilderness Society Tasmania, says it is increasingly clear that some politicians are prepared to ignore people who cared about nature, but Tasmanians ultimately expected the state’s “precious places” to be protected.

“What is at stake is worth far more than cheap politics.”

Newcastle Weekly - NSW praised as first state to ban offshore oil and gas in its coastal waters

NSW Campaign Manager Victoria Jack

18 March 2024 - The NSW government passed a bill that will ban offshore oil and gas in its coastal waters, making it the first Australian state to do so.

Victoria Jack, Campaigns Manager for the Wilderness Society NSW, said, "It’s not so long ago that a legislated ban on offshore oil and gas mining would have seemed unimaginable.

“The fact that we are here now shows that a better future is possible when governments are accountable to the community instead of the fossil fuel lobby."

The Saturday Paper - Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ low bow to fossil fuels

Fossil Fuel Industry Campaigner, Fern Cadman

16 March 2024 - Fern Cadman, Fossil Fuel Industry campaigner for Wilderness Society, says the government must regulate petroleum producers and not just rubber stamp their activities.

“The current rules for community consultation are exactly what the offshore fossil fuel industry called for and were given by the former Coalition government,” Cadman says.

“But now that First Nations people and communities are exercising their right to a fair say about oil and gas projects that will impact them, those very same companies want the current government to rewrite the rules.”

The Age - ‘Not a great legacy’: Troubled state-owned VicForests to close within months

Victoria Campaign Manager Matt Landolfo.

13 March 2024 - Court proceedings revealed that state-owned logging agency VicForests would wind up on 30 June 2024.

Matt Landolfo, Campaigns Manager for Wilderness Society Victoria, said, "The end of VicForests is a welcome and necessary step towards the protection and restoration of Victoria’s globally-significant native forests. But, the restoration task left in VicForests’ wake is huge."

Yahoo - Camper's shock discovery after photographing rare swift parrots in remote forest

Swift parrot Image: Chris Tzaros.

10 March 2024 - During the summer of 2022/23 Billy Rowe eagerly watched and photographed a flock of critically endangered swift parrots congregating in a remote Tasmanian forest slated for logging. Now, one year on, the forest has been destroyed by the state owned logging agency Forestry Tasmania, despite the threatened status of the birds.

"It is no secret that habitat destruction is the biggest threat to the swift parrot right now. If we do not protect forests like this now, this iconic parrot will swiftly become extinct,” said Alice Hardinge, Campaigns Manager for Wilderness Society Tasmania.

The Guardian - Land clearing: two million hectares of Queensland forest destroyed in five years, new analysis shows

Hannah Schuch, Queensland Campaign Manager

6 March 2024 - New analysis shows more than 2m hectares of bushland in Queensland that included large swathes of possible koala habitat has been cleared over a five-year period.

Wilderness Society Queensland campaign manager, Hannah Schuch, said deforestation in Queensland was driving biodiversity loss.

“It’s having an impact on iconic native species like the koala, the greater glider, the red goshawk, it’s tearing down their homes and pushing them towards extinction."

AAP - Conservationists round on premier over logging bid

Alice Hardinge, Wilderness Society Tasmania Campaigns Manager

29 February 2024 - Wilderness Society campaigner Alice Hardinge says Tasmania's Liberal government's promising to expand native forest logging is not good enough, especially in the middle of an election campaign.

She says all 356,000ha have been independently assessed and found to have extremely high conservation values. Voters deserve to know which of the more than 250 parcels that make up the area will be targeted.

Carbon Pulse - Australian environmental groups call for land-clearing trigger in EPBC reforms

Sam Szoke-Burke, Biodiversity Policy and Campaign Manager.

22 February 2024 - Proposed reforms to Australia’s national environment law still include loopholes that must be closed if the reforms are to actually protect nature from mass deforestation.

"The draft laws, as currently written, are simply not strong enough to protect nature from needless destruction. Science demands, and the community expects, nature laws that work— including by stopping deforestation. And delivering these laws is well within Labor’s grasp," said Sam Szoke-Burke, Biodiversity and Campaign Policy Manager for the Wilderness Society,

The Guardian - New Australian environment laws would not stop widespread deforestation, organisations say

22 February 2024 - The Wilderness Society, Environmental Justice Australia, and Environment Centre Northern Territory say that the draft national environment laws do not go far enough to stop large-scale deforestation for agriculture and mining developments, or explicitly reference the need to halt the decline in threatened species, which has accelerated.

Newcastle Weekly - NSW Government moves to end PEP-11 once and for all

NSW Campaign Manager Victoria Jack
11 February 2024 -
The NSW government has announced that it will move to legislate a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration and infrastructure.

"This legislation is a real opportunity to secure the gas-free coastline that NSW wants and deserves. After years of overwhelming opposition to PEP-11, we are hopeful that parliament will support the bill and we can finally say goodbye to the threat of fossil fuels off the NSW coast," Wilderness Society NSW Campaigns Manager Victoria Jack said.

Australian Financial Review - Teals back Plibersek, urge Vic to find alternative to Port of Hastings

Red-necked stints migrate from Western Port to the Arctic to breed during winter.

10 January 2024 - Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has blocked a proposal to build a wind turbine assembly plant at the Port of Hastings in Victoria due to unacceptable environmental impacts on the Western Port Ramsar wetland. The Wilderness Society welcomes this decision from Minister Plibersek, who said in her rejection that the plant would cause “irreversible damage to the habitat of waterbirds and migratory birds and marine invertebrates and fish”.

The Land - Qlds's Channel Country a no-go for future gas exploration

Hannah Schuch, Queensland Campaign Manager

22 December 2023 - Ending the year with a significant victory, the Queensland government announced that the Lake Eyre Basin will be protected from future oil and gas exploration following eight years of commitments from the Labor government. Hannah Schuch, Wilderness Society Queensland Campaigns Manager said the Premier "should be proud of the milestone, given he was Environment Minister in 2015 when the initial commitment was made."

Carbon Pulse - Opinion: Westpac says no to deforestation – others will soon have to

Adele Chasson, Corporate Campaigner
14 December 2023 - More and more banks across the globe are committing to rein in financing deforestation - and now Westpac has joined them, becoming the first bank in Australia to announce a zero-deforestation target. Under the pressure of legislation and voluntary initiatives, it’s only a matter of time before other Australian banks and investors will need to confront their deforestation impacts, writes Adele Chasson, Corporate Campaigner for the Wilderness Society.

Canberra Times - Opinion: Bad oil and gas tenants leaving us to pay clean-up costs

Fossil Fuel Industry Campaigner, Fern Cadman
13 December 2023 - Over the coming decades in Australia, more than $60 billion in oil and gas cleanup will need to happen.

"If gas and oil companies aren't made to pay right now, it's you and I (and our children) who will," said Wilderness Society Fossil Fuel Industry Campaigner, Fern Cadman.

AAP - Environment reforms to lift 'handbrake on investment'

Tim Clifford, WA Campaign Manager
12 December 2023 - The WA government has announced changes to state environment laws that would fast track approvals.

"Removing appeal rights offered to the public under the Environment Protection Act is a serious concern for access to justice for communities, and for nature," campaign manager Tim Clifford said.

Carbon Pulse - Amended Nature Repair Market legislation welcomed, but overarching concerns remain, groups say

National Campaigns Director, Amelia Young.
6 December 2023 - The federal government has passed the Nature Repair Market Bill. Although it now excludes offsetting provisions, it cannot be relied upon alone to stop biodiversity decline and extinctions.

National Campaigns Director for the Wilderness Society, Amelia Young, said "Properly enforcing the current EPBC Act is the action we expect the Government to be taking right now, while also reforming Australia’s nature laws."

AAP - Protesters take stand against fracking in outback

Hannah Schuch, Queensland Campaign Manager
29 November 2023 - Protesters gathered outside QLD Parliament House in November to urge the government to protect the globally unique Channel Country from new oil and gas.

Wilderness Society QLD Campaign Manager, Hannah Schuch, said communities did not want to see natural and ecologically significant systems unnecessarily tarnished by exploration and fracking. “We want to see these protections enacted now, we can’t wait any longer."

The Guardian - Conservation groups challenge Labor over ‘lack of urgency’ on environment laws

24 November 2023 - In a 6 September letter to the environment minister, Australia’s major conservation organisations, including the Wilderness Society, expressed concern about some of the reforms under consideration and a lack of urgency around the reform.

Newcastle Herald - Environment groups blast government's use of 'hypotheticals' in gas ban debate

NSW Campaign Manager Victoria Jack
22 November 2023 -
A NSW parliamentary committee has released its report on their inquiry into the Offshore Drilling and Associated Infrastructure Prohibition Bill 2023 which, if passed, would make NSW the first state to legislate a ban on offshore oil and gas mining. However, the committee recommended that the Bill should not be passed.

"We are disappointed by the findings of the committee. Coastal communities have been campaigning together for years to protect the NSW coastline from the PEP11 project, which would have significant impacts on our climate and marine life if it proceeds, and these communities deserve a gas-free coastline," Wilderness Society NSW Campaigns Manager Victoria Jack said.

The Australian - Sacred lands at risk in government drive for development

Senior Campaigner Jenita Enevoldsen
18 November 2023 -
In the NT, pastoral land clearing takes place with little environmental or cultural-heritage regulation.

Permits are reviewed by the Pastoral Land Board, but as Jenita Enevoldsen, Senior Campaigner for the Wilderness Society says, “There is a distinct lack of First Nations representation and environmental-science expertise on the Pastoral Land Board, which is concerning as they hold the power to decide on the approval of clearing permits across thousands of hectares of intact cultural landscapes.”

Yahoo - Domino's deletes trace of controversial word from pizza website

Victoria Campaign Manager Matt Landolfo.
15 November 2023 -
In November, Domino's began advertising it's range pizzas with meats slow-roasted over “Aussie Mountain ash woodchips”. Mountain ash ecosystems in Victoria’s central highlands are now listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered on its Red List.

"Companies like Domino's have a responsibility to ensure they are not contributing to deforestation, and to be transparent about their supply chains," said Victorian Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society, Matt Landolfo.

Carbon Pulse - Australian NGOs call for whole-of-government funding for biodiversity conservation

19 October 2023 - A statement, signed by the Wilderness Society, was delivered to federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, calling for better conservation funding to protect and restore nature, as well as improved transparency around the current environmental law reform process.

The Guardian - Delayed environment laws spark calls for urgent government action on water and fracking

Sam Szoke-Burke, Biodiversity Policy and Campaign Manager.
17 October 2023 -
The federal government announced that draft environment reform would be rolled out for comment, but without public consultation.

Sam Szoke-Burke, Biodiversity Policy and Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society said “No public consultations means that vested interests will be able to do their bidding behind closed doors with no oversight.”

ABC - Coalition of environmentalists calls on Premier Jacinta Allan to abolish VicForests

Victoria Campaign Manager Matt Landolfo
5 October 2023 -
Sixty Victorian NGOs wrote to the Victorian Premier and Treasurer, urging them to wind up the state-owned logging company, VicForests, due to its systematic failures and breach of public trust.

Wilderness Society Victoria Campaign Manager Matt Landolfo said it's time to "rebuild public trust, generate employment in the regions and work in partnership with traditional owners who have cared for country for millennia."

The Herald Sun - New recovery plan for critically endangered swift parrot a ‘death warrant’ for species: Conservationists

Swift PArrot. Image: Billy Rowe.
8 September 2023 - A recovery plan for swift parrot's was released on Threatened Species Day which does not require an end to the destruction of swift parrot habitat, despite identifying logging as a significant threat. Wilderness Society Tasmania Campaign Manager Tom Allen said the “weakness and meekness of the [recovery] plan’s protection measures show how damaging Regional Forest Agreements are for nature”.

FS Sustainability - Finance "misunderstanding" risk of nature loss

24 August 2023 - A new report, commissioned by the Wilderness Society and prepared by EY, launched at this year's Investor Group on Climate Change Summit has shed light on the growing implications of deforestation and forest degradation risk for both Australian and European investors.

The Guardian - Environmentalists condemn Australia’s ‘woeful record’ after 48 plants and animals added to threatened species list

Tim Beshara, Manager of Policy and Strategy for the Wilderness Society
7 September 2023 -
This Threatened Species Day, the federal government announced 48 more plant and animal species had been listed federally as threatened.

“This many species being added to the list in one go is a sign of widespread ecological collapse,” said Tim Beshara, Manager of Policy and Strategy for the Wilderness Society.

Vice - Forestry Tasmania Says It Doesn't Log Giant Trees': Protest Over Felled Centuries-Old Tree

16 August 2023 -
Footage of a centuries old tree, cut down and loaded onto the back of a truck, sparked outrage across the world.

Alice Hardinge, Campaigner for the Wilderness Society Tasmania, said “Forestry Tasmania says that it doesn't log giant trees. Yet every other week, Tasmanians see giant single-log loads on the back of trucks, and concerned citizens find giant stumps in public state forests.”

WA Today - Six months investigating Alcoa: Water supply at risk, toxic pipeline and a glimmer of transparency

Jarrah Forest. Image: Lewis Burnett.
14 August 2023 -
Earlier this year it was revealed that Alcoa's mining activities could render water from Perth's dams undrinkable. Documents obtained by the Wilderness Society via FOI were able to confirm that Water Corporation WA was of the view that Alcoa’s mining was a “very significant intergenerational risk to water quality and security of supply in drinking water catchments.”

ABC - Land clearing figures show 50pc reduction in three years in Queensland, but conservationists warn it is not enough

Hannah Schuch, Queensland Campaign Manager
1 August 2023 -
In August, the Queensland government released it's report into land clearing, showing a 49 per cent reduction in 2020-21 from the previous year. However, more than 340,000 hectares of land were still cleared. 82 % of the cleared land was category X — land that has previously been cleared, and the only unregulated category.

Hannah Schuch, Queensland Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society said category X should also be covered by the legislation and that it is it is key habitat for koalas.

The Canberra Times - Opinion: Australia is experiencing a biodiversity crisis

Biodiversity Policy & Campaign Manager Sam Szoke-Burke
12 July 2023 -
We are in a biodiversity crisis on par with the climate crisis. Yet, the federal government continues to trip itself up on environmental law reform.

Instead of trade-offs and market solutions, the Albanese government must focus on doing the work to protect nature and enabling the community and First Nations peoples to have a fair say in decisions that affect them, says the Wilderness Society's Biodiversity Policy & Campaign Manager Sam Szoke-Burke.

Mamamia - 9 of the best books to connect kids to Country this NAIDOC week.

6 July 2023 -
The Karajia Award celebrates and recognises the important message of First Nations authors and illustrators, who share stories exploring land, community, culture and language. Mamamia explores nine of their favourite shortlisted Karajia Award books!

AAP - Greenwash claim as miner pledges to stay away from town

Tim Clifford, WA Campaign Manager
20 June 2023 -
In June, mining company Alcoa yesterday announced a large exclusion zone around Dwellingup, WA that would see the region’s ancient jarrah forests and wildlife protected from future mining interests—however the region was not earmarked for mining to begin with and unfortunately the announcement is simply another case of corporate greenwashing.

Campaign manager for Wilderness Society WA, Tim Clifford, said "Repackaging inaction as environmental conservation is simply not enough."

Katherine Times - Opinion: NT land clearing shows why we need new national nature laws

Senior Campaigner Jenita Enevoldsen
13 June 2023 -
On the same day that the state of Victoria announced native forest logging would end within a year, the Northern Territory government officially rolled out the red carpet to large-scale cotton irrigators and beef producers, to expand land clearing and deforestation across 100,000 hectares.

Wilderness Society senior campaigner Jenita Enevoldsen explores why new national environment laws are so critical for NT's tropical savanna.

Sydney Morning Herald - Minister told that beef producers aren’t a deforestation risk

Tim Beshara, Manager of Policy and Strategy for the Wilderness Society
10 June 2023 -
Documents obtained via FOI have revealed the Federal Government significantly downplayed the impact of Australia’s deforestation activities at a crucial global agriculture minister’s conference in Berlin earlier this year.

Wilderness Society federal policy director Tim Beshara said “The only way to fix it is to fix it. That is to turn around the decline in nature. Not to try it on with definitional games and spin.”

The Examiner - Decision looms in battle over Tasmania's wild heart

Lake Malbena
10 June 2023 -
The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is the world’s highest-rated World Heritage wilderness, but it is threatened by unwelcome tourism developments.

ABC - Tasmanian timber industry wants greater access to native forests. Conservationists are resisting that push

27 May 2023 - Although Victoria has declared an end to native forest logging, the same cannot yet be said for Tasmania. Tom Allen, campaign manager for Wilderness Society Tasmania, says "The rest of the country is transitioning forwards.

The industry in Tasmania is basically asking the taxpayer to fund it transitioning backwards and we can't afford to go backwards."

The Guardian - End of native logging in Victoria ‘a monumental win for forests’, say conservationists

National Campaigns Director, Amelia Young.
23 May 2023 -
In May, the Victorian government announced an end to native forest logging in 2024.

National Campaigns Director for the Wilderness Society, Amelia Young, says “living, breathing, intact forests” are our best safeguard against the climate crisis.