Monday 15 July
Today Friends of the Earth release a damning report of the track record of military uses of the environment and the risks US bases and exercises pose to our natural heritage. The report “US Bases in Australia: the social and environmental risks” lists the numerous locations that the US military will increasingly use on Australian soil.
One of the report authors, Kim Stewart, says, “The military recognise the environmental values of the areas in which they train. But this does not stop them conducting live firing in areas where endangered species live, or using munitions and equipment that destroy habitat and contaminate into the future.”
“Military exercises are not required to submit Environmental Impact Assessments. Defence instead produce a Public Environment Report with no legal standing – a green washing exercise.
“The increasing presence of US military in Australian locations, such as the Talisman Saber biennial joint exercises, and the stationing of US military personnel in Darwin and elsewhere, pose grave environmental and social threats.
“The US defence forces have an abysmal record of pollution and destruction of the environment world-wide. They have a raft of exemptions from their own country’s environmental protection legislation. They have not remediated the places they have contaminated in the past, and people around the world continue to live with the toxic legacy of the US military in their homelands.
Friends of the Earth are an international environmental and social justice advocacy group. We are the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 76 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, we campaign on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.
Read the report: US Bases in Australia: the social and environmental risks
Kim Stewart 0413 397839
Robin Taubenfeld on site at Peace Convergence in Rockhampton 0411 118737