Victorian Premier gives go-ahead to first cab off the rank of new generation of coal power stations.

The proposed HRL 400 MW coal fire power station received a push towards construction on July 1, 2008. Victorian government announced its approval of what is being positioned as the first cab off the rank of a new generation of so called 'clean coal' power stations in Australia. Far from being clean the HRL proposal will, if allowed to go ahead, be a disaster for climate change.

The HRL proposal has been beset by financial and siting issues including construction budget blow-out from $500 million to over $750 million dollars. HRL was originally to be located near the Latrobe Valley's Loy Yang 'A' coal facility. As part of the July 1 announcement of state government approval of the proposal, it was announced HRL will now be situated adjacent to the Loy Yang B coal station. Questions of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIS) and other regulatory issues related to changed locations for the project remain unclear. While the timeline for HRL has been continually changing with construction originally set to commence in 2007 and delaying until at least 2009, with an expected timeline for operations 2013 changed from earlier estimates of 2010-11.

The HRL proposal will burn 2.4 million tonnes of brown coal a year emitting 2.4 to  2.7 million tonnes of CO2 into our atmosphere annually. HRL has been promoted as one of the new generation of so-called 'clean coal' power stations as it will reduce emissions from burning brown coal by 30%, giving it the emissions standards of a black coal power station, and may be adaptable to carbon capture and storage (CCS) if this technology is ever proven safe and viable.

The Australian Climate Justice Program and Greenpeace took HRL to the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2007 as promoting HRL as 'clean coal' is misleading. Since that complaint to the ACCC HRL have refrained from calling this specific proposal 'clean coal' while supporters are still describing this project as so-called 'clean coal'.

With the Victorian state government giving approval to HRL, and $50 million dollars in taxpayer funded grants (federally HRL has received $100 million in government grants), the need for a strong campaign to stop this coal fire power station and establishing a moratorium on all new coal fire power stations is urgent!

Scientific evidence shows we are on the brink of an age of runaway climate change, fuelled by our reliance on dirty fossil fuels sources such as coal, and especially brown coal; upon which HRL will be reliant. To pull our planet back from the brink of runaway climate change we need to stand up and create real action on climate change; consisting of a moratorium on all new coal fire power stations and a just transition towards a future powered by renewable energy solutions.

Friends of the Earth are leading the campaign to halt the proposed HRL coal fire power station in the Latrobe Valley and bring about a moratorium on all new coal fire power stations. We need your
support to make this happen, as it is on of the most important steps we can make in turning around runaway climate change. By accessing our online campaign tools to stop HRL, becoming a financial supporter of the HRL campaign and joining our campaign for a moratorium on new coal fire power stations we can stop new coal fire power stations like HRL, get a moratorium on new coal fire power stations and take real action on climate change!

For more information on HRL and how you can get involved see the Climate Change pages on this site or go to


Real Food film nights


Farming and food production have strong connections to us all. Join us on a journey through three film nights as we explore some of the darker sides of our relationship with food. Issues ranging from industrial factory farming and genetically engineering of food to the loss of food sovereignty and threat to food security will be addressed. Weâ??ll have a short discussion of some of the problems raised and pose solutions and actions we can all take.

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Real Food Film Nights

Wednesday 25th June, 6.30pm

Tuesday 1st July, 6.30pm

Wednesday 9th July, 6.30pm

Loop Bar, 23 Meyers Place Melbourne

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Whatâ??s on the menu?

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Wednesday 25th June, 6.30pm

Entrée: Store Wars â?? Spoof animation comedy (5 min)

Main course: The World According to Monsanto â?? Documentary (100 min)


Tuesday 1st July, 6.30pm

Entrée: Food not Bombs - Short film documentary (6 min)

Main course: We Feed the World â?? Documentary (95 mni)

Desert: Meatrix - Spoof animation comedy (5 min)


Wednesday 9th July, 6.30pm

Main course: Lost in Palm Oil - Documentary (63 min)

Desert: Palm Oil & Orangutan Rescue â?? Slide show (5 min)


Ingredients list

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Wednesday 25th June, 6.30pm

As entrée you can enjoy the spoof Star Wars animation titled â??Store Warsâ?? (5 min) where Cuc Skywalker and Jedi Yoghurt take on Dark Tador in a battle for the Farm. Main course consists of a documentary titled â??The World According to Monsantoâ?? (100 min) which investigates the journey of Monsanto corporation from chemical manufactures to biotechnology giant in its global takeover of our food, farms, and agriculture heritage.


Tuesday 1st July, 6.30pm

The short documentary on Melbourneâ??s â??Food not Bombsâ?? (6 min) will be followed by a documentary titled â??We feed the worldâ?? (95 min - subtitles) which investigates food and globalisation, fishermen and farmers, drivers and high-powered corporate executives, the flow of goods and cash, a film about scarcity amid plenty. Desert consists of the spoof Matrix animation titled â??Meatrixâ?? (5 min) where Moothius and Leo discover the impacts of factory farming.


Wednesday 9th July, 6.30pm

The feature documentary â??Lost in Palm Oilâ?? (63 min) investigates the negative impacts that oil palm plantations have on forests, climate change, water pollution, biodiversity, with a focus on Indigenous communities in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. How does this relate to food? Palm oil shows us that food issues, forests, people, culture and animals are interconnected. Palm Oil is used in 1 in 10 supermarket products, yet there no requirement for it to be labelled. Guest speaker Jessica McKelson from the Melbourne Zoo Orangutan Sanctuary will present an uplifting slide show of her recent trip to Nyaru Menteng Gunung Leseur National Park in Indonesia where she saw the impacts of Palm Oil on the Orangutan population first hand. The wild organutan population is heading towards extinction, but the rescues and release work witnessed by Jess gives us hope that there is a future for them.


Free Entry.


Drinks and food available from the bar.


Seating is limited and RSVP is preferred.


For bookings and more information, email


Organised by: Friends of the Earth Melbourne Real Food group


Supported by: Loop Bar, 23 Meyers Place Melbourne


Pesticides in our drinking water?

Image: Wurdee Boluc aquaduct, vulnerable to pollution from 2 4D
and other agricultural chemicals

There is little monitoring of agrochemicals in surface waters in
Victoria. Water authorities have the best set of information in
Victoria about pesticides in drinking water, but in many cases even
this is most likely woefully inadequate.

Pesticides detected in Victorian domestic water supplies included
some such as 2,4-D, which is classified by the IARC (International
Agency for Research on Cancer) as a Class 2B carcinogen - possibly
carcinogenic to humans. 2,4-D is also known as an endocrine disruptor.

The report can be found at:


Climate Emergency Rally, July 5

John Brumby and Kevin Rudd say that climate change is the biggest challenge humanity faces and their top priority, but their actions tell a different story.

We are calling for Victorians to join the Climate Emergency Rally on July 5. We want to send a wake-up call to state and federal governments that they are heading in the wrong direction. New coal, new freeways and desalination plants increase our use of and reliance on fossil fuels dramatically at a time when we must be cutting our use even more dramatically. We are calling on
governments to implement sustainable alternatives to these irresponsible and expensive projects. Alternatives such as renewable energy and public transport.

We call on all community groups and individuals to join us to send this important message to the government. We are going to form a 140-metre-long human sign to spell the words "Climate Emergency". Please organise your group to send endorsement, tell everyone you know, and come on the day wearing something red to symbolise emergency.

We are facing a climate emergency, the time for real action is now!

Come for the rally, stay for the giant human sign.

Saturday 5 July 2008

Time 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Location City Square (cnr Swanston & Collins streets)

Endorsed by:

  • Bayside Climate Action Group
  • Climate Emergency Network
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Socialist Alliance
  • Yarra Climate Action Now
  • Your Water Your Say

For further information, see:


Speeding towards dangerous climate change

Hear what the world's leading climate scientists are discovering about the speed of climate change, the potential impacts on our way of life, and what we need to do to safeguard our future.

  • Sir Rod Eddington has recommended we spend $18 billion on transport infrastructure, but says this will have â??minimalâ?? impact on transport emission trends. Meanwhile transport emissions are forecast to grow by more than 60% over 1999 levels by 2020. Can we do better?
  • Government ministers claim freeways offer environmental benefits and getting more â??cleanâ?? cars on the road is the solution, but are they effective?

Guest speakers include:

David Spratt
David Spratt is a climate-policy analyst and co-founder of Carbon Equity. Together with Philip Sutton, David co-authored Climate Code Red which meticulously documents extensive scientific evidence that the global warming crisis is far worse than official reports and national governments have indicated â?? and that weâ??re almost at the point of no return.

Dr Patrick Moriarty
Paddy Moriarty is an Honorary Research Associate at Monash University undertaking research in areas such as urban land use and transport and alternative energy. Paddy is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT) at the University of Melbourne and has published extensively on alternative fuels, energy efficiency and transport systems.

Elliot Fishman
Elliot Fishman is a policy advisor with the Cycling Promotion Fund and Director of the Institute for Sensible Transport. Elliot has recently co-authored a report on the health benefits of cycling and what governments need to do to encourage more people to ride instead of drive.

When: Sunday 15 June 2008, 2.30pm - 5pm
Where: Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall, cnr Swanston & Collins Streets, Melbourne


The Barmah Collection: a month of music

Get excited about Thursdays in May... at the Edinburgh Castle in Brunswick you are in for treat with a seductive selection of musical delicacies ranging from ambient pop and acoustic folk to hip-hop
and gypsy punk.

All proceeds go directly to the Barmah-Millewa Campaign, to save
the worldâ??s largest river red gum forest from logging and
achieve land justice for the Yorta Yorta people.

Where: Edinburgh Castle, cnr Sydney Rd and Albion St
When: Thursdays in May. Doors open 8:30pm
How much: $6 / $10

Check out the line-up below. It will be updated weekly. Just click
on a band to sample their tunes...


Thursday 1st May 2008


Dirty Old Dogs

more tbc

Thursday 8th May 2008

"A night of luscious electro acoustics and ambient vision"

Doll Dancing


& Isnod

Visuals by Guy Harris & River

Thursday 15th May 2008


Joelistics (from TZU)

& B12Shot

Thursday 22nd May 2008


more TBC

29th May 2008

Jamie Hay (from Fear
Like Us


more tbc


So get down to the Edinburgh Castle on a Thursday, treat yourself
to a delicious feed from their menu, get a cold beer in one hand
and set back and enjoy a musical soirée. Support the campaign
for Victoriaâ??s first Aboriginal Owned National Park, whilst
enjoying great local music and cuisine!


Radioactive Exposure Tour 2008 May 9th - 18th

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is on again. Join Friends of the Earth for a journey to remote northern South Australia where we will visit the Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, the Beverley Uranium Project in the Gammon Ranges, the beautiful Lake Eyre and Mound Springs environments and meet with indigenous peoples and local communities campaigning against the nuclear industry. The tour offers a unique opportunity to go out on to country and witness the impacts of the nuclear industry on people and the environment. Indigenous people across the world suffer most directly from the impacts of the nuclear industry, this â??radioactive racism' is a major focus of the tour.

You won't see this on reality TV.....So get on the bus, get out under the desert stars and get ready to listen!

Cost: $600 per person or $450 concession.

Total cost of the tour will include travel, accommodation and organic vegetarian food plus paying the rent to aboriginal communities.
Sponsorship request letters are available should you wish to apply for donation from an organisation that you are involved with.

For more information and applications please contact: Jessie Boylan: 0408 448 493
Steve Holdsworth: 0430 354 887
Friends of the Earth: 03) 9419 8700


HRL - Burning Coal at Three Minutes to Midnight

With $150 million of state and federal government grants this new coal fire power station has benefited from a large injection of taxpayer money to continue Victoriaís reliance on coal based electricity. The proposed HRL coal fire power plant is one of the first of the so-called ëclean coalí power plants scheduled to be built, and if allowed to go ahead will expand Australiaís reliance on polluting fossil fuel sources of energy such as coal, to the detriment of the clean, green renewable energy solutions available to us. A key component of the FoEM climate campaign is to create ways in which people from all walks of life can become part of the rapidly growing campaign to halt climate change. With a strong focus on community engagement and movement building, as well as tackling Victoria's incredibly polluting brown coal based power sector. FoEM provides a strong climate campaign in Victoria that recognises we need urgent action to halt climate change; combining deep cuts in our greenhouse pollution, a shift to clean green renewable energy sources, energy and resource efficiency with the need for doing so in a just and equitable way.


Climate Code Red Report

The case for a sustainability emergency published by FoE, finds that serious climate-change impacts are already happening, more quickly and at lower global temperature rises than previously projected. Download this must-read report to learn more about the latest science on climate change and what we can do to halt dangerous climate change here

Managed Investment Schemes Enter Melbourne's Water Supply, Pesticide Risk Exposed

Strawberry crops near Woori Yallock. The person who took this photograph ended up in hospital due to pesticide exposure. For more information click here Woori Yallock.