Community members in South West Victoria have responded to the lifting of the moratorium on onshore gas drilling.
Members of the Protect the West Alliance from the Otways to Portland have collected over 1000 signatures on a petition calling for an extension of a ban on onshore gas exploration.
Premier Dan Andrews made the announcement to scrap the temporary ban on onshore gas drilling in March, one day after declaring a state of emergency in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill was moved in the Victorian parliament to formally lift the ban. The Bill was met with criticism from The Victorian Greens, who noted that the Andrew’s government had significantly underestimated the environmental impact that an expansion of the gas industry would cause, and that the government was better off prioritising support towards growing the renewable energy sector (Renew Economy, 2 June 2020).
Community opposition to drilling remains strong across regional Victoria with over 70 communities declaring themselves 'gasfield free' as part of the campaign that also banned fracking.
Australia 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.
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)
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
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:
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 :)
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.