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Australian group to halt aviation industry environmental destruction formed

In a significant move to highlight the Australian Government's poor environmental performance, actions have taken place across Australia Sunday Evening Travel Agents selling dirt cheap holiday packages have been used as a target as representitives of the low-cost carriers bussines which is stimulating increasing demand on the environment with no consideration of the emissions produced by cheap, short-haul flights. Outside a number of Travel Agents accross Melbourne. Obstructions have been implemented and signs displayed to highlight aviations damage to the environment. Inspired by the very successful UK Climate Camp, the UK Group Plane Stupid are coming to Australia, citizens from Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle are planning to take action against the careless aviation industry in the run up to the first Australian Climate Camp in the New Year.

Dan Glass, part of the Australian Plane Stupid Network said: "In recognition of the International governmental Panel on Climate Change studies, Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change and a major threat to the earth and everything on it. A growing number of Australian citizens are concerned about Australia's growing short-haul flight use, airport expansion and its negative attitude, undermining the Kyoto Protocol. Through these autonomous actions, concerned citizens are calling for airport expansion plans scrapped, a special greenhouse tax on aviation fuel and an end to short haul flights.

"The irony is that many of Australia's most popular tourist destinations, such as the Great Barrier Reef and its beaches, are at a risk from warmer temperatures and the prospect of more frequent and more severe storms. The insurance industry is already reassessing the risk to tourism businesses from climate change. "

The aviation industry has grown substantially since the 1950s and is expected to continue to expand rapidly. In Australia, between 1996 and 2005, domestic passenger numbers increased by 46 per cent and international passenger numbers by 62 per cent. Domestic and international air passenger numbers are expected to grow at 4.6 and 5.1 per cent per annum respectively between 2005 and 2020, ensuring a doubling of passenger numbers in 15 years. The success of the Australian airline industry is based on buoyant economic conditions. Government policy at the federal and state level is to encourage further expansion of the industry.

Government enthusiasm for the airline industry is increasingly at odds with the objectives of climate change policy. The evidence suggests global greenhouse gas emissions will have to be cut by between 60 and 90 per cent on 2000 levels by 2030 to avoid dangerous climate change. Australia and other developed countries will need to reduce their emissions by more than 90 per cent over this period.

The Australian government and opposition have both opposed proposed taxes on short-haul flights to deter negative effects on the tourism industry which is valued at $31.3 billion (3.9% of GDP) and currently accounts for 465,000 jobs (4.7% of total employment). Alternatives already exist and should be promoted, such as promoting more localised tourism and Very Fast Rail option to replace intercapital flights.

Plane Stupid is a coalition of airport residents and environmentalists who use direct action to stop the destruction of the environment and communities caused by airport expansion and aviation.

More information:
Contact: Dan Glass Australia|AT| 0408 59 6629 (After 9:45PM fill in)