CounterAct provides training, capacity building and resources to environmental and social justice campaigners across Australia.

lock the gate


6 things that won the #VicGasBan

Posted on August 30th, by Counteractive in Case study, Events, News. 2 comments

Today it was finally announced by the Andrews Labor government that a permanent ban on unconventional gas is to be legislated in Victoria.

It is a huge and significant announcement that will hopefully set an exciting precedent across the country. It was an amazing grassroots campaign that led to this victory. We were only involved in a small part of this campaign, and want to ensure that the big congratulations is sent to the Quit Coal collective and their Coal and Gasfield Free campaign with Friends of the Earth Australia, who worked collaboratively with Lock the Gate to pull off this extraordinary win, on the smell of an oily rag.

Our involvement was during the phase of the campaign when it seemed like drilling for gas by Lakes Oil was imminent. We had the pleasure of heading out to the regions for a series of workshops … Read More »



Harvesting resistance

Posted on November 8th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

On the first weekend of November 2015 a significant event took place on a farm near the small town of Breeza, NSW. More than 500 people gathered for the Liverpool Plains Harvest Festival– travelling from as far away as Melbourne and Airlie Beach – to learn more, and build resistance to the proposed Shenhua coal mine.

The project has been highly controversial and the resistance diverse. The support for the local farmers and inspiring female leaders of the Liverpool Plains Youth crosses party political divides – the event was attended by Greens MPs, ex member Tony Windsor, and Jacque Lambe.

With the black soil of the Liverpool plains being among the most fertile in the country, a growing chorus of people from across Australia have raised urgent concerns with our food bowl being trashed for a foreign owned company to dig up … Read More »



Civil disobedience in the public interest

Posted on July 27th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, News, Resources, Uncategorized. No Comments

It’s a challenging process to write a submission for a parliamentary inquiry that seems so likely have a forgone conclusion.

The committee that is examining the tax deductible status and regulations of environment groups telegraphed their desired outcomes long before receiving any evidence. Luckily for us, the mining companies were a bit slow on the uptake so they were allowed late submissions, and then we were – which is exciting – as we thought we’d missed the chance with a full plate, and only slightly less resources than the mining industry.

Over 99% of the more than 9000 submissions supported the environment movement, and the incredible history and gains that have been made for everyone in this country – through a range of protest, lobbying, advocacy, markets and divestment campaigning and yes, tree planting.

Apparently the last one is the only one that … Read More »



it is alive

Posted on May 14th, by Counteractive in Events, Legal, News, Resources. No Comments

Whew! After nearly 18 months since we first discussed it, we are so thrilled to say that our Legals Handbook is alive! And has been released into the wild. Much painstaking work in conjunction with Environmental Justice Australia and our fabulous interns, Jen and Orietta, many hours of edits, and fine tuning, and a lot of discussion, sourcing photos and graphics with our wonderful designer… and it is here. Thanks also to Victoria Law Foundation for covering most of the printing.

This was a deliberate collaboration where we hoped to strike a chord between accurate legal information, and a real sense of how interactions with police can sometimes play out – whilst giving a realistic perspective of the overstated, but often relatively minor consequences for participating in peaceful civil disobedience protest. It was designed to be approachable for new activists, trying … Read More »



Honouring the rebel

Posted on May 11th, by Counteractive in Events, News, Surveillance. No Comments

There is this strange feeling in my gut. It’s like a mix of old pain from long ago, and too much caffeine, and an uneasy churn. And it tastes brittle and metallic in my mouth.

It is a quiet unease rising that I don’t have the tools to deal with.

It seems to be how I feel about the state of progressive politics in Australia right now.

I’m in a room with 1000 people who are supposed to be our best and brightest and I am shit scared.

Whilst I am fully aware of the unsustainability of working in panic mode, I FEEL LIKE THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE.

More panic? Probably not.

More something? Hell yes.

Our world is being shot down in flames by inequity and arrogance so breathtaking that…it’s literally breath taking.

And it feels like we are overwhelmingly unprepared and out gunned. Despite the … Read More »



Spring into action

Posted on September 12th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

Haven’t written for a while – between a well earned break and launching back into a hectic time, we’ve been a bit remiss.

There is some great movement around the country – from a huge sold out nonviolent direct action weekend in Perth, to farmers preparing for action, to the impending Pacific Warrior tour – climate action in particular is taking off all over the country.

You can still make the training we have this weekend if you register TODAY (12th September) and get ready for a huge action to support the pacific climate warriors.

They are readying their canoes to block the worlds biggest coal port. Like the people mobilising in Gippsland and the Pilliga I am consistently impressed by peoples bravery – I wonder if we, as a broad movement, aren’t giving people enough credit for being ready to take action. … Read More »



Don’t frack with them: Seaspray 1, Rinehart 0

Posted on July 5th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study. No Comments

The little room was overflowing so we moved. Packed up chairs and shuffled them into the basketball auditorium.

It was a pretty good turnout for a tiny town like Seaspray, Victoria – population 300.

As we sat there – the basketball court festooned with Australian flags – I wondered how many of these kinds of meetings have happened across the country. Small country townspeople with little involvement previously in politics having to meet. Dealing with the idea of being arrested for defending their farms.

The group seemed intrigued and partly in shock as I started talking about direct action. I told them what it involved and about how quickly we would need to be ready to move if Lakes Oil moved in. It was way out of their comfort zone, but they were ready to step up.

It was January 2014. We discussed what logistics and planning would need to … Read More »



Building alliances against big coal

Posted on March 5th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. No Comments

From a farming community and a small base camp, the campaign to save Maules Creek and the Leard state forest in New South Wales, from being turned into a massive new coal mine, has grown into an issue of national importance and is one of the strongest emerging frontlines for the climate movement in resisting new coal expansion.

The success of the growing campaign and the consistent direct action which has been running for over 500 days and more recently consistently with a series of running actions for last two months, can be measured in part by the increasing attacks from the mining industry in the media and efforts to shut down camp.

With headlines in the Australian like Whitehaven under pressure as Maules brawl steps up and a public campaign seeking to marginalise the protestors, as well as pressure being put … Read More »



Nana’s lock down parliament

Posted on June 24th, by Counteractive in Campaigns. No Comments

We were really happy to support a great action at Parliament House in Canberra on the 21st June.  We headed from Melbourne with a contingent of folks from Quit Coal to support a large civil disobedience action in support of rights to clean air, land and water.  Over 120 people blocked access to the main doors of parliament calling for a right to veto intrusions on their land by coal and gas companies.  There are some great pictures from Lock the Gate, and a good video from Prime News here.  

Highlights were people from all walks of life sharing their stories – landowners, tourism operators, farmers – and then we had the gas girls, and knitting nana’s who were merrily rampaging around assaulting people with knitted beanies – it was hard to make a call whether Bob Katter, Larrisa … Read More »