Friends of the Earth (FoE) Melbourne  is a non-for profit organisation working for a socially equitable and environmentally sustainable future. The international Friends of the Earth network is  active in 77 countries with over 2 million members. Read more.

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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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Victoria: A state that works for people, climate, environment, and economy

In November 2018, Victorians will head to the polls. With community concern about climate change on the rise, it's an issue that all political parties must address in detail.

Our state is undergoing profound change as the population grows, entire industries go to the wall, and climate change starts to really impact on our landscapes, economy and lifestyles. Yet Melbourne continues to sprawl, as low density development covers valuable farmland and remnant vegetation, supported by transport infrastructure that will perpetuate our current reliance on cars.

An election provides all parties with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership on the interconnected issues of climate, energy, social justice, and the economy.

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Victorian Govt’s daft ‘fuzzy map’ excuse could mean all logging illegal

The Victorian Government’s daft “fuzzy map” excuse for VicForests logging outside its allocated forest area could mean that all VicForests’ logging in the past five years may be unlawful.

The Andrews Labor Government told the ABC, which broke the story of the illegal logging,[i] that it’s not possible to tell whether its own logging agency, VicForests, is compliant with the law due to a fuzzy map.

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MEDIA RELEASE: North East Link locks out community consultation

MEDIA RELEASE: North East Link locks out community consultation

22 Nov 2018

Daniel Andrews continues to rush through the North East Link, today announcing the project will go out to tender moments after re-election.

As the biggest and most expensive road project proposed for Melbourne, the community needs to be involved in these significant decisions.

“The community will be devastated a potential Labor government will push through an unwanted road project, before assessing the environmental impacts of this project.” Rachel Lynskey, Friends of the Earth Sustainable Cities coordinator said today.

“We have not had the opportunity to understand the environmental impacts, nor investigate real alternatives to the congestion in this local area. The North East Link toll road locks in future gridlock.”

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Victoria’s natural environment in limbo but voters want action

MEDIA RELEASE 15 November 2018

Both major parties are missing in action when it comes to nature and conservation policy according to Victoria’s five leading environmental groups who have come together today to launch a joint agenda to protect our natural environment.

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Native forests stolen and illegally logged

Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) and Friends of the Earth are today calling on the next Victorian government to abolish state owned logging agency VicForests and formally protect Victoria’s forests from logging after a special investigation by ABC news has revealed hundreds of areas of native forest have been logged in areas that VicForests is not permitted to operate.

Tonight on 7:30 the ABC will detail widespread and systematic unlawful logging occurring across eastern Victoria under successive governments. 

Logging in one of the areas not allocated to VicForests

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Victorian State Election 2018: Transport Policy Scorecard

Victoria’s 2018 state election has seen congestion as a top issue. So how do the parties transport commitments stack up?

Melbourne is seeing huge population growth straining a city built for many less. The current Labor state government won in 2014 on the back of scrapping a megaroad and some sorely-needed public transport projects. Over the past 4 years, the government has set the ball rolling with important public transport initiatives. But we've also see them switch gears to kick off some of the biggest dirtiest mega roads in our states history.

What will happen for the next 4 years based on what we’ve heard so far?

 

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