February News

Support FoE's RADICAL RENOVATION Fundraiser

Friends of Earth Melbourne urgently needs to raise $10,000 to complete much-needed upgrades to our community meeting space in Collingwood.

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There are great gifts on offer when you support the 'RADICAL RENO' crowdfunder. We've got merch from some of FoE's favourite artists, Sam Wallman, UBToipa and Catherine Hearse, amazing gift packs from the FoE food Coop and Cafe, holiday house weekends, wine, and more!!

With $5000 we can finish stage one of the project: the floors, the walls, a new kitchen, and accessibility rails on the stairs.

With $10,000 we can finish all that *and* start stage 2: transforming the room with tech and functional upgrades, so that we can maximise the space for banner painting, prop making, fundraisers, campaign events and meetings for FoE collectives and the broader activist community.

Help keep the heart of Melbourne activism beating, and ensure we can continue to provide a free, community meeting space for many years to come!

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Friends of the Earth urges State Government to Test Vegetables for PFAS Chemicals

pfasimage.jpgEnvironmental organisation Friends of the Earth (FoE), today raised concerns about PFAS (Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) contaminants which may be present on food grown with recycled water in the Werribee South area of Victoria.

A recent study “Investigating recycled water use as a diffuse source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to groundwater in Melbourne, Australia” published in Science of the Total Environment 644 (2018) 1409–1417 has revealed that recycled and groundwater from the Werribee South Irrigation District are contaminated with PFAS chemicals.

The PFAS laden water is applied to vegetables grown in the area. The likely source of the contaminated water is sewerage treated at the Western Treatment Plant, however FoE also believes that groundwater contamination may have been caused by the nearby RAAF Base Williams, Point Cook (Victoria), where PFAS fire fighting foam was used for many years.

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Menindee to lose the last of their fish

murraycod2.jpegThe latest announcement by NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair on the lower Darling has been dubbed a political stunt by Menindee locals.

This morning, NSW DPI began relocating the remaining fish that have survived the blue green algal blooms and fish kills the Wentworth weir pool and Narrandera Fisheries hatchery. 

This announcement comes over a week after the third mass fish kill in the area with locals expecting another in the coming days as temperatures are expected to drop once again. On Tuesday, Murray Cod and thousands of bony bream were seen congregating at weir 32, unable to enter the fish ladder and stuck gasping for air.

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Electric Vehicles no silver bullet

Switching our cars and trucks to electric vehicles fails to address the broader social and environmental implications of car-centric cities.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not the silver bullet transformation for our transport industry. The momentum for change in transport is building, and EVs might be part of the change. But simply championing a technical switch to EVs we will miss the greater opportunity of this problem. Focusing too strongly on EVs will lock in existing problems around congestion, health and the liveability of our cities.

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2018 River Country Campaign Diary

The Story So Far...

River_Country.JPGRiver Country has long campaigned for river red gums along the Murray.

Our Story in 2018 is one of connecting with grassroots in Victoria and further a field, building momentum and bringing creative flare to the water debate.

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NZ has banned new offshore oil exploration permits. VIC should do the same.

Keep_the_Otway_Coast_Clean.pngMedia release. December 28, 2018. Friends of the Earth.

Community mobilises against oil and gas exploration in western VIC

The Andrews government has released five oil and gas exploration blocks in the offshore Otway Basin in state waters (up to 3 nautical miles off the coast) extending from Port Campbell to the South Australian border.

They are currently open for tender (proposals close on February 15).

More than 1,300 square kilometres of coastal waters and coastline in western Victoria has been opened up to gas exploration, and may include the potential for drilling from onshore to access offshore fields, “subject to regulatory approvals".

National environmental organisation Friends of the Earth opposes any new onshore or offshore oil or gas production.

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Castella forest threatened by logging

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Logging has begun in the Castella forest, just west of the Toolangi township, in the Central Highlands, where these two greater gliders, along with at least 14 other threatened gliders were filmed and photographed.

Roading operations have begun and will continue to destroy this magnificent landscape if nothing is done by our government immediately.

 

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Unfinished business: A 100 day plan for the Andrews government

100_Days_Plan_Protect_Native_Forests.pngThe Andrews Labor government has delivered and promised an impressive and comprehensive list of environmental policies both in its first four years in power and during the state election campaign. These include:

• Creating the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) and setting targets for 2020, 2025, and 2030

• Creating the first ever Australian permanent ban on the process of fracking, and promising to enshrine it in the state’s constitution

• Maintaining the moratorium on any onshore conventional gas drilling

• Strengthening the Victorian Climate Change Act and enshrining a target of zero emissions by 2050 in legislation

• Committing $1.3B to a visionary Solar Homes program, which aims to provide half price solar panels at no up-front cost to 650,000 homes

• Starting work on the Metro Tunnel

• Committing to a 90 km suburban rail loop

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Friends of the Earth Response to the Andrews Government’s New Ministry

parliament_house.jpgMEDIA RELEASE - 29 November 2018

Friends of the Earth have welcomed the reappointment of Lily D’Ambrosio as Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, saying a steady hand will guide policy in Victoria while policy chaos continues at the Federal level.

“The reappointment of Lily D’Ambrosio as the minister for climate change and energy is good news for efforts to tackle climate change,” said Leigh Ewbank, FoE climate change spokesperson.

“With climate and energy policy chaos continuing at the Federal level under the Coalition, a steady hand is needed in Victoria to rein in emissions and help Australia meet its international commitments.”

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VIC election 2018 – the good, the bad, and the unfinished business

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The election is over, and while we are yet to see the final makeup of the parliament, especially the Upper House, it’s worth reflecting on how and where the environment mattered in the outcome.

This was a different campaign to the one where the Andrews government came to power. In the 2014 state election, the key environmental battleground was in regional Victoria, where communities were organising against gas drilling and the Coalition had closed off the development of renewable energy. In inner Melbourne, communities organised against the East West Link, resulting in a pledge from the ALP that they would refuse to build the tunnel.

In 2018, the campaign was fought on many fronts, with a huge on-the-ground campaign in inner and suburban areas, and climate, renewables (and the associated cost of living debate) and forests playing key roles in the mainstream election campaign:

 

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