Stop ocean dumping


Donated by Diana Pittock

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

Prior to the 1970s it was legal to dump dredged material, industrial waste, sewage sludge, radioactive waste and other refuse into the world’s oceans. However, a growing awareness of the detrimental effects on marine environments and the human impacts of ocean dumping led to the practise becoming regulated. The London Convention 1972 was one of the first global conventions to protect marine environments from human activities.

In Australia the dumping of waste at sea is regulated under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981. The Act aims to minimise pollution threats to marine environments by prohibiting the dumping of harmful materials and regulating permitted waste disposal. The Act applies to all vessels, aircraft and platforms within Australian waters and to Australian craft in any part of the sea.

The donor of this badge, Diana Pittock, writes of her experiences with environmental campaigns:

There were and are many rallies and campaigns on protecting the environment e.g. forests in Victoria and the Franklin River in Tasmania. In 1980 in Melbourne four of us established a Non-Violence Training Collective (NTC) prompted by the Tasmanian Wilderness Society’s campaign [for] the Franklin River. That campaign insisted on non-violence training for participants in the [river] blockade. Thus the NTC grew quickly as people heard about the campaign and wanted the training in preparation to going to the blockade. Many people came to Melbourne for training and some of our group trained interstate …

Rallies occurred throughout 1980–83 in all states. By then many environmental campaigns for forests, anti-whaling and ocean health also wanted a non-violence approach to their campaigns.