2015 is off to a cracking start! Over the past month, GetUp members won a Supreme Court injunction, got in the ears of MPs and Senators Australia-wide, joined forces with some big names, and made a bunch of headlines!
And just think, it's only February...
Qld votes for the Reef
On 31 January, Queensland created one of the biggest swings in Australian political history against a Government that refused to protect the Reef. 600 GetUp volunteers got up early to hand out our 'how-to-vote for the Reef' cards and quickly made an impact. So much so, that Newman's LNP Government lodged a desperate Supreme Court injunction to try to silence us.
But as you've done so many times before, you fought back. At the 11th hour, GetUp members across Australia chipped in to fund the urgent legal fight, which meant we beat the Supreme Court injunction and our volunteers were able to continue handing out cards on election day. And what a difference it made. The result is still not locked in, but Campbell Newman has lost his seat and it looks like we'll see the end of one of the most destructive governments in Australian history.
Thank you to everyone who funded the urgent court action. Thank you to everyone who volunteered on the day. Thank you to the 4,000 people who donated to run strategic, hard-hitting ads. To people who ran events, sent emails and made phone calls. To everyone who made it happen: thank you.
Rinehart leaves Fairfax!
Yesterday mining billionaire Gina Rinehart finally abandoned her bid for Board and financial influence at Fairfax Media, the company that owns newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Southern Cross Broadcasting.
When Ms Rinehart first announced her intentions to buy majority shares in Fairfax in 2012, GetUp members stepped up to protect the media company's independence. Together we bought homepage ads across the entire Fairfax online network, and polled Fairfax readers to reveal 81% would trust Fairfax mastheads less if Rinehart succeeded. GetUp members also wrote to the Board of Fairfax asking them to preserve their independence from vested interests.
GetUp members' efforts helped arm Fairfax with financial arguments and a customer mandate to resist Rinehart. Thanks for being part of it!
Ditch university deregulation!
When Parliament recommences next week, Christopher Pyne's controversial higher education package is slated for debate in the Senate. With the government in internal turmoil and more desperate for a win than ever before, the Federal LNP are putting what few eggs they have left in the university deregulation basket.
So before the Senate sits, GetUp members are putting in hundreds of calls to their Coalition MPs and Senators, explaining that these bills will come at a political price the Government simply cannot afford to pay.
Minister Pyne has been pushing his deregulation plans for long enough, splashing $15m on a desperate TV ad campaign and relentlessly harassing the Senate crossbench. But it's clear Australians are fed up with this Government's ideology of privatising and deregulating everything in sight, from our public assets, to our health and education.
Will you join the campaign to send Mr Pyne the clear message: don't deregulate our universities! https://www.getup.org.au/higher-ed
News broke that a notorious American "anti-vaxxer" was planning on touring Australia to encourage parents to not vaccinate their children. Sherri Tenpenny was set to make a significant profit from passing off dangerous misinformation as medical science, so GetUp member Yury decided to take action.
Yury started his own campaign on CommunityRun – the platform GetUp provides for anyone to start their own campaign – urging the venues hosting Sherri Tenpenny's events to consider cancelling her events.
One by one, the venues hosting the anti-vaccination events cancelled Sherri Tenpenny's booking until only two remained. Armed with his 8000-signature-strong CommunityRun petition, Yury explained the enormous public risk and community opposition to the spread of misinformation to the two remaining venues.
And it worked: after every single venue cancelled the anti-immunisation events, Sherri Tenpenny then cancelled her trip to Australia, leaving our kids safely in the hands of science and common sense.
Don't commercialise SBS!
Proving that GetUp's CommunityRun platform is for one and all, national icons Margaret Pomeranz and Quentin Dempster also started their own campaign this year, ramping up the fight to protect our SBS!
Currently the government is proposing major changes to SBS' advertising arrangement – which, if passed, would see primetime broadcasting interrupted with more ads, more frequently than ever seen in Australia's public broadcasting history. Both Margaret and Quentin believe SBS' reason for being is more relevant than ever at the moment. As we risk community segregation and polarisation, our SBS can break down xenophobia, racism and bigotry through intelligent, informed and entertaining programming.
If you'd like to join Quentin and Margaret and the Save Our SBS our campaign to fight for a non-commercial future for Australia's great multi-cultural broadcaster, click here: https://www.getup.org.au/saveoursbs
Media access: denied!
Journalists are currently being referred to Federal Police for "unauthorised disclosure of information" relating to immigration policies. The media has also been forbidden access to Government-run facilities, as part of a deliberate attempt by the Immigration Minister to suppress any information about the government's notorious offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
This month, GetUp members called on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to immediately grant the media access to Manus Island and Nauru, and not seek to persecute journalists for disclosing unfavourable information. Click here to join the campaign calling on the Immigration Minister to uphold press freedom and grant media access to Australia's detention centres.
It's the lack of government transparency surrounding asylum seekers that last year prompted more than 4700 GetUp members to crowdfund investigative journalism through GetUp's Shipping News project. And, stories are already being published. This week, the latest edition of The Monthly (in newsagents now) includes an in depth investigation from Walkley winning journalist Jo Chandler's extraordinary journey to Manus Island – an independent investigation funded by GetUp members. Jo visited the island with Port Moresby photojournalist Vlad Sokhin to see first hand the impact the detention camps were having on Manus Island.
This is just the latest of six pieces published so far, it's a great start in telling the untold stories of asylum seekers and Australia's policy of detention, and it's all thanks to you! Click here to find out more about the Shipping News project and get involved.
GetUp in the news!
All across the country GetUp members have been making headlines. During the Queensland election, the Courier Mail and countless newspapers and radio stations ran stories on the LNP's failed Supreme Court injunction against our how-to-vote cards. Meanwhile, polling funded by GetUp members was covered by The Guardian and a myriad of other outlets when the poll results showed that, thanks to your tireless campaigning, changes to Medicare and higher education are extremely unpopular with swinging voters in marginal electorates.
The fight for the Great Barrier Reef continued to make waves too, with stories getting airtime on Seven News and ABC Brisbane and in local media up and down the Reef coast. GetUp members made sure the dirtiest deal many had never heard of, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, made international headlines when GetUp's video drew the attention of the USA's most read news site, the Huffington Post. Click here to check out the full list of the recent media coverage GetUp members have gained.
If this is what our movement is capable of in our first month of the year, imagine what the rest of 2015 holds!
Thank you for being part of it. We'll be in touch again soon about how you can make change for the issues you care about.
Sam, for the GetUp team.
PS - In order to keep the government, corporations, media empires and powerful individuals in check, GetUp is powered by ordinary Australians, like you, chipping in what they can. If you can afford it, I'd like to invite you to become a Core Member of GetUp by chipping in $8 a week to resource the independent fight for a more progressive Australia: https://www.getup.org.au/donate
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here.
Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.
Authorised by Sam Mclean, Level 2, 104 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.