From the polls to the punters, the re-election of the Morrison Government came as a shock to all of us. As the Government gets down to business, who is there to look out for the rivers?
Ministerial Portfolios affecting water management and environment have changed. The water ministry is no longer positioned with agriculture; instead its paired with drought, natural disasters and emergency response.
Likewise the pairing with the environment ministry has changed. Prior to the 2019 election, the environment ministry was held with the energy portfolio. It now stands on its own.
MEDIA RELEASE: 6 June 2019
Andrews govt emissions cuts must limit warming to 1.5°C to protect Victorian communities from climate impacts
Friends of the Earth says emissions cuts to limit global warming to 1.5°C will be needed from the Andrews government in order to protect communities from dangerous climate impacts.
The group’s call comes as Independent Expert Panel advice on Victoria’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets is tabled in the Parliament.
The panel, led by former Federal climate minister Greg Combet, recommends the Andrews government reduce emissions by 32-39 percent below 2005 levels in 2025 and 45-60 below 2005 levels in 2030.
Friends of the Earth say greater ambition is needed from the state government when it comes to cutting emissions.
In a secretive and highly political move the Morrison Government approved the controversial Yeelirrie uranium project in WA’s Mid West despite an ongoing legal challenge by senior Tjiwarl Traditional Owners and conservationists. The approval was made despite the Federal Environment Minister last year committing to wait for the outcome of the legal proceedings in the Supreme Court, which are still ongoing.
Friends of the Earth's Victorian Budget Response
MEDIA RELEASE: 27 May 2019
Andrews govt budget delivers for solar homes, now to deliver for climate action across the economy
Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s funding for the $1.3 billion Solar Homes program and says the $545 million down payment creates a platform for a heavy lift on climate action.
“The Andrews government’s 2019/20 budget delivers for solar and creates a platform upon which it can deliver ambitious action on climate,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.
“With the re-election of the Federal Coalition government, now more than ever Victoria must show leadership on climate change and a just transition.”
The Andrews Labor government must set interim Emissions Reduction Targets by 31 March 2020, release a Climate Strategy the same year, and roll out adaptation plans from 2021.
“A big funding boost is needed to ensure Victoria's efforts to tackle the climate crisis get traction,” said Leigh Ewbank.
“When it comes to tackling climate change, the rubber hits the road at the state level.”
“The community is looking to the Labor government to have vision when it comes to reining in emissions and protecting communities from climate impacts.”
While the government’s investment in solar is a positive outcome for climate action, a shift is still needed in transport.
Budget 2019/20 includes new investment in public transport and active transport, however it is dwarfed by investment in he controversial North East Link toll road.
“New investment in public transport and active transport is welcome, yet it is dwarfed by $15.8 billion for the controversial North East Link toll road,” said Rachel Lynskey, FoE Sustainable Cities spokesperson.
“Roads will receive twice as much funding as public transport. A budget with a strong focus on climate action would correct this imbalance as quickly as possible.”
Friends of the Earth says investing in the construction of Melbourne Metro 2 is the best option for the Labor government to deliver a secure pipeline of jobs and improve public transport in the medium term. The group says it is the logical next step once Melbourne Metro 1 is completed.
Friends of the Earth will launch a campaign for the Andrews government to deliver Victoria’s first Climate Budget later in 2019.
The Darling River is in crisis after years of mismanagement.
With the re-election of the Morrison Government, our rivers are at more risk than ever.
The new Environment Minister said she wants to hear from you!
Send Environment Minister Sussan Ley a dead fish NOW
Friends of the Earth Australia's response to the 2019 federal election result
Like many of us, you were probably saddened by the outcome of the federal election on Saturday.
While it really was the #ClimateElection, with community concern about climate and energy policy being greatest since the federal election of 2007, Saturday has delivered a re-elected Coalition, which is run by climate deniers and blockers.
While these results may pose a huge setback for meaningful action on climate change and environmental protection, we have been inspired by all those who made climate action a major issue at the ballot box this election.
People across the continent rallied alongside school strikers and their clear demands for action and their calls to stop the Adani coal mine, for no new coal, oil and gas projects, and for 100% renewable energy by 2030.
We know this is what is needed. However, the Morrison Government has no meaningful policy on climate change. The blockers in Government and their allies in the Murdoch press feel emboldened (already QLD MP Matt Canavan is calling for the Adani mine to be built). The Coalition owes Clive Palmer big time. And he wants a big new coal mine in Queensland.
The next three years will be tough. There is the chance the Coalition will restart its campaign against green groups who have charity status, like Friends of the Earth, in an attempt to break our power. But we will not be broken.
Instead, across the Friends of the Earth network, we will continue to work with frontline communities impacted by climate change, ‘connecting the dots’ on climate science and speaking up for climate justice.
Healthy Rivers Need Water - It's been our catch cry for the last 12 months as we've watched the Darling dwindle from a trickle to a stand still.
But what policies do the major parties have to return water to the rivers, put a spotlight on corruption and transform the Basin Plan so that it can deliver on its key objective - to keep the rivers alive.
We need your help to build a massive submissions drive to push back on the controversial North East Link toll road!
MAKE A SUBMISSION TODAY USING OUR SUBMISSION TEMPLATE AND TIPS, then head online to submit.
This is our moment to have our say on concerns with the mega toll road. North East Link risks the future of Melbourne. We need to be Rethink the project before it is too late.
Last year the Andrews Government released five new oil and gas exploration blocks in the offshore Otway Basin in state waters, from Port Campbell to the South Australian border. They are part of the national 2018 Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release. The tender process for companies to apply closed on February 15, 2019. The department has said they had ‘good’ interest in the blocks, and will make a decision on successful bidders later in the year.
The companies who win the tender will then start to investigate what gas is there, partly using data from the Victorian government’s Gas Program. They will also look into how any gas might be extracted (one option is to drill gas wells onshore and then drill horizontally into offshore fields). Both desktop and field exploration would be undertaken (probably including seismic testing).