Report Launch, Gippsland: Uni of Melb modelling shows Vic govt can deliver science-based climate targets

Friends of the Earth have launched a new report on the job-creation potential of Victorian climate policies at the Gippsland office of Australia's first proposed offshore wind farm, the Star of the South.  

The new report contains University of Melbourne modelling that shows the Victorian government could help create over 50,000 jobs by setting science-based Emissions Reduction Targets.

The report, which outlines a strategy to achieve an emissions cut of 75 percent over the next decade, comes as the Andrews government makes its final decision on state Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30.

"Premier Dan Andrews will soon make a decision on Victoria's Emissions Reduction Targets. This decision is not just about climate. It's about jobs," said Leigh Ewbank of Friends of the Earth. 

Dr. Dylan McConnell of the University of Melbourne, lead researcher of the modelling, noted Victoria's improved emissions reduction performance:

"Victoria's emissions have fallen 35 percent since 2011 and with the right policy settings that trajectory can continue," said Dr. McConnell. 

"We weren't sure that Victoria could deliver reductions consistent with Paris Agreement commitments, but after this modelling exercise we're now confident the Andrews government can deliver science-based Emissions Reduction Targets." 
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Report Launch, Portland: Vic govt can lock in jobs with ambitious climate targets & strong local content measures

Friends of the Earth has launched a new report on the job-creation potential of Victorian climate policies at Australia's largest wind turbine tower maker, Keppel Prince in Portland.  

The new report contains University of Melbourne modelling that shows the Victorian government could help create over 50,000 jobs by setting science-based Emissions Reduction Targets.

The report, which outlines a strategy to achieve an emissions cut of 75 percent over the next decade, comes as the Andrews government makes its final decision on state Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30.

"Premier Dan Andrews will soon make a decision on Victoria's Emissions Reduction Targets. This decision is not just about climate. It's about jobs," said Leigh Ewbank of Friends of the Earth. 

Keppel Prince Executive Director, Steve Garner, noted Friends of the Earth's long-standing support for Portland's wind workers at a press conference this morning: 

"The relationship between Friends of the Earth and Keppel Prince has always been about climate and jobs," said Garner, "and we look forward to that relationship strengthening even further into the future."

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No oil or gas in Bass Strait

No_New_Oil___Gas.jpgDespite the dire state of the climate crisis, the federal government continues to pursue both a 'gas-led' recovery and the further production of fossil fuels. This includes opening up the pristine waters of the Bass Strait to polluting fossil fuels companies that are intent on drilling for oil and gas. Meanwhile, in Victoria, the Andrews government has opened up sections of state waters to fossil fuel exploration.

Bass Strait supports thriving tourism and commercial fishing industries. Southern rock lobster fishers have already expressed their fear that plans to use seismic testing could threaten crayfish populations, and hence their industry.

The best available science tells us that governments must rule out new fossil fuel developments if we are to avoid catastrophic climate impacts such as the horrific Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20. 

Allowing commercial drilling is just too risky for marine environments, local communities and businesses, and the climate.

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Everyone’s getting on board for MM2

What is MM2 and why is it important?

The Covid-19 pandemic has made clear the need for well connected and accessible public transport. We need a transport system that reduces crowding in order to become a robust, resilient and accessible city of the future. However the Victorian Government continues to prioritise mega toll roads over the sustainable public and active transportation that we need. The North and West are Melbourne’s fastest growing areas, and are severely under-serviced by public transport – with some commuters unable to board trains at peak hour due to overcrowding.

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Creating an extended Snobs Creek Wildlife Reserve for nature based tourism

unnamed-4.jpgThe Central Highlands, to the east and north east of Melbourne are an incredible biodiversity hotspot, with varied landscapes, beautiful rivers, and heavily treed mountains with forests of Mountain Ash and remnants of cool temperate rainforest. Sadly, it has been heavily logged for many decades and impacted by bushfires.

In response, local communities and environmental organisations have campaigned to see the region receive adequate protection. At present, the Snobs Creek valley, in the north end of the Central Highlands is a focus of local campaigning. Residents of the area are calling on the state government logging authority, VicForests, to protect an area with high conservation value forests that is due for logging.

The following information comes from Friends of the Snobs Creek Valley and the Rubicon (Snobs Creek Recreation Reserve).

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Community Garden Survey

Community gardens have the potential to provide a range of benefits, including climate change mitigation, increased social cohesion, and improved mental and physical health.

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Repurpose Altona for climate action: Solidarity with refinery workers

altona.jpgEnvironment group Friends of the Earth expresses solidarity with the 350 Altona oil refinery workers whose jobs are now at risk following news that global fossil fuels giant ExxonMobil is set to shut the facility.

The decision to convert the oil refinery into an import terminal is a missed opportunity to repurpose the Altona site for action on climate change.

"The refinery could be converted to produce renewable hydrogen, which would see the Altona workforce retain their jobs and incomes while using their skills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing, transport and energy sectors" said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's Yes2Renewables Coordinator.

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TAKE ACTION ON WORLD WETLAND DAY

50 years ago today, the international treaty for the protection of internationally significant wetlands came into effect. The RAMSAR convention was to support populations of migratory birds, endangered species, purify drinking water, and sink carbon. 

Take Action Today to support wetlands!

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No Lead Smelter in the Latrobe Valley

no_lead_pollution.jpgThe Latrobe Valley has undergone major changes in recent years. The closure of the Hazelwood power station and subsequent creation of the Latrobe Valley Authority has seen the beginning of a transformation of the Valley. It needs new jobs and investment. However, it should not be forced to accept any and all development. It needs the right to have a say over what gets approved. 

It would appear that a ‘Secondary Lead Smelter’ proposed for Hazelwood North in the Latrobe Valley has been fast tracked by the planning minister. This proposal is being strongly opposed by many in the local community, on public health grounds.

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