Fire policy for the 21st century

IMGP8792.JPGAustralia suffered through a terrible summer. The 2019–20 bushfires have been described as 'the worst bushfires in our history’. Australia wide, approximately 19.4 million hectares have burnt since 1 July 2019 and at least 33 people dead. It has been estimated that a billion animals died. More than 2,500 homes were destroyed, with more than 300 in Victoria.

In Victoria, more than 1.2 million hectares burnt—making it the largest bushfire since 1939.

The Victorian government is holding an independent investigation into the 2019–20 fire season. It is being led by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM), and is looking at Victoria's ‘preparedness for, and response to, the current fire season, as well as review Victoria's recovery effort’.

Submissions have now closed to this process. The IGEM’s 1st report, addressing preparedness for, and response to, the 2019–20 Victorian fire season will be provided to the Victorian Government on 31 July.

We continue to work to see ecologically based fire policy put in place in Victoria.

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Friends of the Earth podcast history series made in collaboration with 3CR 855 AM community radio show Acting Up!  Monday 2.00pm.  Ratbags, peaceniks and agents of change, resistance radio that explores the movements that made us. 

45 Years of Acting Up! Friends of the Earth Trade Union Solidarity audio episode

Listen up mp3
Presenters: Megan Williams and Em Gayfer.
Guests: Dave Kerin (BLF & Earthworker Coop), Cam Walker (FOE), Dimity Hawkins (FOE)

Jack Mundey, 2020. Commemorative digital poster

Image: Chips Mackinolty, Jack Mundey, 2020. Commemorative digital poster

This episode looks at how Friends of the Earth built up alliances and solidarity with the trade union movement.  Guests discuss the Green Ban actions in the 1970s, forest and dock blockades, land rights and anti-nuclear campaigns.  Over the years Friends of the Earth formed solid alliances with workers, including the creation of the Earthworker Cooperative supporting sustainable jobs, community and the environment, always campaigning towards social and economic justice for all.  Core to trade union ethos, peace actions aligned with Friends of the Earth’s anti-militarism campaigns joining in protests against the Gulf War, and shutting down the AIDEX Arms Fare.  Workers and activists continue to resist exploitative corporate power campaigning to empower workers worldwide. Keep reading to find out how to get involved.

Join Friends of the Earth & Earthworker Cooperative
Disaster Cooperativism webinar
6.30pm Friday 5 June 2020

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#StayInPaddleOut! To Stop New Gas

Virtual Paddle Out
Did you know that polluters want to drill for gas and oil in the coastal waters of south western Victoria?
The coastline from Port Campbell to the South Australian border is home to a major tourist industry. Income comes from whale watching, surfing, and all manner of accommodation, hospitality and service industries which support tourism.
These communities are already being hit hard by COVID-19 travel restrictions. Imagine the devastating impacts of a major oil spill on this shoreline.
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May News

Friends of the Earth membership drive 8-12 June

Friends of the Earth is a grassroots network of activists working for social and environmental justice.  Our Melbourne HQ is located on Wurundjeri country at 312 Smith Street, Collingwood, home to our campaigns office and social enterprise Food Co-op and Cafe. Like many other grassroots groups we are experiencing the financial impacts of the pandemic lockdown, with significant loss of income.  A Friends of the Earth membership will help to keep our vibrant community space operating and cover additional covid-safe costs, building financial capacity to plan and campaign for a better future.  You don't have to wait until June to become a member - you can do it online now!
Become a member of Friends of the Earth here

All members receive discounts at the Food Co-op & Cafeaccess to the Cooperative Power energy network, a subscription to Chain Reaction magazine and our newsletter, and special offers from our sponsors.

Order from FoE’s Food Co-op click and collect online shopping here

  Become a member

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Several images of people holding up signs saying #LifelongLockdown

Today dozens of community members have taken to Facebook and Twitter calling on Transport Minister Melissa Horne to prioritise accessible public transport for all with the hashtag #LifelongLockdown.   

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Digital Action: Accessible Transport for All!

Claudia lies on the ground with a wreath of flowers around them holding the sign #LifelongLockdown

Our digital action with the Disability Resources Centre is tomorrow Tues 19 May!

We are calling everyone – whether you find public transport inaccessible, or if you understand how important it is to have a transport system that works for everyone – to post a message or photo with the hashtag #LifelongLockdown on Facebook on Tuesday 19th May.

Here's how to get involved:

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Accessible Transport for All- Digital Action!

Several people on a zoom call smiling at the camera

Join us for a digital action calling for accessible transport for all Victorians on Tuesday May 19! 

Sustainable Cities is partnering with the Disability Resources Centre to fight for equal access to public transport. 

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May Food Coop Update

Thank you to everyone who has adapted to the changes in-store, so we can continue to Support local farmers, buy ethically and reduce waste  together during these difficult times of COVID-19.

With new restrictions coming into to place, we wanted to take the time to remind you of how we have adapted to physical distancing. 

We are open for bulk food shopping! 

  • We’re taking extra care and providing extra hygiene measures to keep us all safe.

  • We have hand washing facilities, hand sanitiser and washing all utensils once they are used.

  • We have moved lots of things to the front so we can all practice physical distancing while collecting our bulk items.

Karri and Esala outside the FoE Food Coop - doing a great job of physical distancing :)   

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Koala mapping success in Gippsland!

Mirboo North Koala Mapping

January 2020: Old growth Mountain Grey Gum at Mirboo North. A newly mapped koala hotspot

For many years, Friends of the Earth has been concerned about the only endemic koala population remaining in Victoria and South Australia. This population inhabits the Strzelecki Ranges/South Gippsland region of Victoria. 

Results of our work, in conjunction with other groups was published in 2016. This work found that the preferred trees for Strzelecki Koalas were Mountain Grey Gum, Blue Gum and Strzelecki Gum. The work also determined a koala population of 0.09 animals per hectare of bushland.

We have continued this work in 2020 to further our understanding of the animal by conducting surveys in the Strzelecki Ranges and South Gippsland. 

As of just before the COVID-19 lockdown, FoE has conducted a further 92 koala site surveys, after visiting 420 locations. The surveys have helped better understand the range of the animal by concentrating the surveying on preferred koala feed trees. Of most interest has been the addition of a number of new koala populations to the Strzelecki koala map database, managed by FoE.



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Friends of the Earth podcast history series made in collaboration with 3CR 855 AM community radio show Acting Up!    Monday 2.00pm.  Ratbags, peaceniks and agents of change, resistance radio that explores the movements that made us. 

45 Years of Acting Up! Transform Waste audio episode

Listen up mp3
Presenter: Megan Williams.
Guests: Fran McDonald (WAGA), Genevieve Fry (FoE Food Coop), Anine Cummins (FoE Transform Waste), Edgie Gifford (FoE Zero Waste), and Jim Green (FoE ACE Nuclear Free).

Great Pacific garbage patch

Great Pacific garbage patch (photo: Scott Snowden)

Back in the day, Friends of the Earth’s Transform Waste campaigns lobbied for container deposit legislation achieving active schemes in operation across Australia today.  Over the years campaigning shifted to electronic waste, packaging and food waste.  In the past four decades, single-use plastics became a focus, and campaigners called for bans to offshore dumping of hazardous industrial tailings in cahoots with trade unions.  Into the 21st century, FOE continues to advocate for resource recovery, to repair, reuse and recycle, calling for transformation of the waste management cycle, and resistance to nuclear waste dumps.  Keep reading to find out how to be part of the solution to eliminate waste and pollution, to stop valuable materials ending up in land fill, and to help heal our environment.  

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