Archive for November 5th, 2012

Update: Three great GetUp stories

Posted by
Kelsey

– Update: In the past weeks GetUp members have thwarted an attempt to scrap Australia’s renewable energy target, prevented factory farming of chickens being labeled “free-range”, helped get the Tassie forest negotiations back on track, and ramped up the pressure on Woolies to stop pushing pokies on problem gamblers.

It’s been one of those months where everything seems to be happening at once. All over Australia, GetUp members have been working hard – and their efforts have paid off in some important breakthroughs on long-running campaigns. Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on:

Animal Welfare
Turn on images to viewRemember back in August, when the big chicken producers lodged an outrageous fake free-range application to the ACCC? If approved, their proposal would have allowed farms to cram over 140,000 birds into one hectare and label it ‘free-range’. Over 17,000 GetUp members swung into action, writing submissions to the ACCC and sharing our campaign infographic on social media. And it worked: the ACCC informed us that the Australian Poultry Industries Association has withdrawn their application for the free-range trademark. For now, we have stopped a significant step backwards for animal rights.
 
Climate Change
Turn on images to viewGetUp members got in the way of another vested interests campaign – this time a concerted push by coal-fired power stations and their allies to weaken or scrap Australia’s renewable energy target of 20% by 2020. 7,813 GetUp members wrote passionate submissions to the official review instigated by the Climate Change Authority, standing up to support renewable energy. Their efforts paid off: a week ago we learnt that the Authority had refused to cave in to pressure to weaken or scrap the target. We also discovered that 90% of submissions to the review came from GetUp members!
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Forest Negotiations
Turn on images to viewLast weekend we heard that negotiations between industry, unions and environmentalists to protect Tasmania’s ancient forests had stalled at the very last moment. 29,703 GetUp members sprung into action. We called on two crucial players: hardware giant Bunnings and retailer Harvey Norman to declare their support for the agreement. Within days we heard from Bunnings that they did exactly that. Congratulations Bunnings, and to everyone who took action!
 
Pokies
Turn on images to viewOver the past few weeks thousands of brave GetUp members have downloaded letters to hand-deliver to their local Woolworths store protesting against the supermarket giant’s involvement in the pokies industry. Like Brett (pictured), Victorian GetUp member Barbara took part in the campaign and wrote to us describing her experience: “Handed it to check-out woman after paying for shopping: she was surprised (not used to old ladies handing her mail) and said she would see it got to [the] Manager… She was pleasant and polite, and I wasn’t anxious to cause a stir – timid old me! – and that was that. Really quite enjoyed it.” Pressure on Woolworths continues to mount in the weeks before their Extraordinary General Meeting on pokies reform, prompted by 257 plucky GetUp members who own shares in Woolies.

There’s still a long way to go before we’ve moved Australia to 100% renewable energy, overhauled animal welfare standards, and convinced Woolies to cease making profits from problem gambling. But the past fortnight has reminded us of our movement’s strength – and its diversity.

GetUp members from all walks of life do their bit week after week, in all sorts of ways. From visiting a local supermarket, sharing an image on Facebook, or writing to submissions to Government, together we truly are bigger than the sum of our parts. So thank you for all that you do, and keep up the great work. We’re in it for the long term.

Have a great weekend,
The GetUp team

PS – All of this is possible because of the kind contributions of GetUp members. Together, our small change adds up to social change on a national scale. If you’d like to be part of that, chip in here.

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5th November 2012