You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Federal Election 2016

You put our air, water and wildlife on the agenda

Story by ACF July 6th, 2016


On Saturday 2nd July, the people voted to decide our next government. We still don’t know the result but one thing we do know, is that YOU ARE AMAZING.

In just 8 weeks, the ACF community achieved incredible things. And we want to thank you.

Here are some incredible numbers to blow your mind!



56,860 of you signed the pledge to vote for a candidate who will cut pollution, support clean energy and protect our reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife. We delivered your pledges to candidates before the election so they know that representing you means standing up for our environment.

Kooyong community member pledging to vote for a candidate who will cut pollution, support clean energy, and protect the places we love.
Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 12.10.49 pm.png

YOU MADE 3000 Origami FISH

You hand made 3000 origami fish that we delivered to election candidates with your pledges to tell them to put the reef before coal this election. We even received fish from Japan, Sweden and Singapore!

Origami from Mr. Malones's class at Cowes Primary School in Cowes, Vic.
Origami fish from Year 4 students at Alice Springs Steiner School in Alice Springs, NT.
ACF Clean Energy Campaigner, Hannah Aulby holding origami fish.
Origami from all over Australia – #reefnotcoal.
A little fish with a big message.
Origami and letters were sent to candidates telling them how many people around Australia pledged to vote for the reef, not coal.


On World Environment Day and in the lead up to the election, you came together with your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to put the environment on the agenda in your local communities.

You stuck placards on your fences, posters in shops and stickers on bikes, declaring your love for the reef, clean energy and your grandchildren. You held stalls and community meetings and asked people to sign the pledge. You folded origami fish and baked cupcakes. You made human signs and held candidate forums. You met with your local candidates and asked them to sign ACF’s candidate pledge. You rocked it!

Cairns locals and Independent MP, Rob Pyne, at a meet-up in Cairns, Qld.
Hobart locals at a World Environment Day meet-up excited to make the environment visible during the election in their community.
Canberra locals in the ACT invited Senate candidate for the Greens, Christina Hobbs, to their meet-up
ACF supporters at a meet-up event in Bunbury, WA sending a clear message to their candidates to "ACT NOW" to protect the environment.
ACF volunteers at a farmers market asking people to sign our voter pledge in Milton, Qld.
ACF volunteers setting up for an under the sea themed house party to talk to friends about protecting the reef during the election.


You made over 4400 phone calls and knocked on more than 4200 doors in 5 key electorates. You had thousands of meaningful conversations on the phone, at people’s doorsteps, at market stalls and on the street. You collected pledges and made sure those communities knew exactly where their candidates stand on protecting our air, water and wildlife.

Abdul, Sophie and Rosy volunteering to call communities in key electorates
ACF's candidate report cards made a splash in the Kooyoong electorate
ACF volunteers doorknocking in Kew, Victoria
Volunteers from ACF, The Wilderness Society and AYCC joined forces for a big doorknock in the Kooyong electorate


Your generous donations made this whole campaign possible. And with your help we reached over 1.9 million people with our scorecard and candidate report cards through newspaper ads in The Adelaide Advertiser, the Progress Leader in Kooyong and City North News in Brisbane, with mobile billboards in key electorates and through digital and social media advertising.

Scoreard R3 cassowary 1200x628px_ (1).png


You put our candidate report cards on mobile billboards to show local communities which of their candidates took the ACF pledge. We drove them around 4 key electorates – Kooyong, Brisbane, Ryan and Deakin – in the lead up to the election.

ACF's candidate report card for Kooyong on a mobile billboard


You emailed, called and met with your local candidates and had 35 candidates across 9 parties and independents sign the candidate pledge.

“If elected I will represent people by acting to: cut pollution, support clean energy and protect nature.”
Canberra and Fenner candidates Christina Hobbs, Carly Saeedi and Patricia Cahill holding their signed candidate pledges with ACF supporter.
Deakin Labor candidate Tony Clark holding signed candidate pledge with group of ACF and Environment Victoria supporters.
Deakin Greens candidate Joshua Briers signing a candidate pledge with local ACF supporters who organised to meet with Briers.
Robertson candidates Anne Charlton (Labor) and Hillary Morris (Greens) signing candidate pledges at a candidate forum.
Independent member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, holding signed candidate pledge with ACF Councillors.
Signed candidate pledge of Rebekha Sharkie, Xenophon candidate running in the electorate of Mayo.


On election day, 86 of you handed out candidate report cards in 6 key electorates so those communities knew which of their local candidates will stand for our air, water and wildlife.

And, we found Dory at a polling booth in Hawthorn!

ACF Climate Campaigner, Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, joined forces with Get-Up! and AYCC to hand out election materials at polling booths.
Dory outside a polling both in the Melbourne suburb, Hawthorn.


Candidates know that representing you means standing for cutting pollution, supporting clean energy and protecting the places we love like the reef because they received 56,860 voter pledges and 3000 origami fish pledges from you.

Our scorecard rating major parties on their environmental policies was covered by major news outlets nationally including the SMH, the Guardian and The Australian.

Polling showed support for strong action on climate change was at its highest level since 2008, with the strongest support from undecided voters.

The Greens and the ALP released strong environmental policies early in the game. Minor parties like the Nick Xenophon Team and Glenn Lazarus Team improved their policies in the lead up to the election.

And in the time between our first and last scorecard, the parties we rated announced 60 new policy commitments for the environment that improved their scores. This doesn’t happen by chance. It happens because you push the parties to do better.

Because you emailed, called and met with your local candidates – 35 candidates across 9 parties and independents signed ACF’s candidate pledge. This includes Senators and Members of Parliament that could have a great deal of influence on our new government, like newly elected Nick Xenophon Team MP, Rebekha Sharkie.

And while the Coalition rated well below a pass on our election scorecard for their environmental policies – there is no doubt they know where the community stands.

But most important of all – together, we grew community power all over the country, especially in places with a lot of influence on our politicians.

None of this would have happened without people like you standing up, speaking up and acting for a world where forests, rivers, people and wildlife thrive.

So, thank you.

© James Thomas Photo


This election isn’t an end point. We’re building people power that can go the distance. Our community is growing stronger every day and what our new government does next is up to us.

What’s the collective noun for legends? A movement. Thank you for all that you do.

You can share your amazing story with your friends, family and community using the share icons below.