Media release: Walk 2 #BuildMM2

A selfie of Mikaela is on her walk, wearing a pink mask and pink jacket.

Media Release 19th Oct 2020

Walk to Build #MM2: The Melbourne Metro 2 Rail line will be imperative to build back a more resilient Melbourne.

 

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Westgate Bridge Disaster 50 Years On: Workers Solidarity Bulletin #26

Westgate Bridge Disaster 50 Years On: Workers Solidarity Bulletin #26

50 years ago a section of the West Gate Bridge collapsed in Australia’s worst industrial incident. In this edition we pay tribute to the 35 workers killed in the collapse, the 18 who were seriously injured and all of the family members and workers who were deeply affected by this disaster. Remembering also means that we remember how this preventable catastrophe happened and the callous and inadequate response from the bosses and government.

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Pressure building for Offshore Wind. Can Angus Taylor deliver in 2020?

Pressure is building on the Morrison government to deliver on offshore wind, after Gippsland Nationals MP Darren Chester faced questions on QandA recently and regional climate groups raised the alarm on the climate crisis during the past fortnight.

It raises the question of the whether the Coalition government and Energy Minister Angus Taylor can deliver on offshore wind in 2020?

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Living with fire in the Pyrocene

more_it_burns_square.jpgFire has played a pivotal role in almost all landscapes across Australia for millions of years. The continent of Australia is a cultural and natural landscape: it has been shaped by First Nations peoples for many hundreds of generations. Colonisation disrupted this long management and now settler society is trying to understand how fire should be used in the landscape to manage it for biodiversity, asset protection, and human safety.

One key tool used to manage fire risk is fuel reduction (or hazard reduction) burning. While often presented as a panacea for fires, it requires a complex and nuanced application to be safe and effective. But many vocal proponents of fuel reduction burning see it as a blunt instrument that can - and should be - applied across all forested landscapes frequently. As we know, the natural world is a complex place. When using a tool with such large implications as fire, we need an equally complex approach rather than a blanket ‘we must burn the bush’ mantra.

These posts will explore some of the issues at play as we, as a society, grapple with how to respond to and manage fire in a time of climate change.

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Walk 2 #BuildMM2

People walking down a street cheering and jumping in the air

Join a decentralised, personalised, Covid-safe community walk 19-25 October in support of the Melbourne Metro 2 (MM2) rail line proposal to increase sustainable public transport as part of Melbourne’s clean recovery.

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East Gippsland food bowl at risk from mining

Screen_Shot_2020-10-12_at_10.31.18_am.pngKalbar Operations Pty Ltd, a company with no experience operating a mine, is proposing a massive open-cut mineral sands mine at the Fingerboards, 20km north west of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.

This proposal will come with a large environmental cost, huge impact on local farmland and the local economy, and is strongly opposed by the majority of locals.

The state government has opened up the opportunity to express your opposition to the mine. You can send a submission in response to the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the project. Submissions must be lodged by 5pm on 29 October 2020.  

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Planning for Safe and Inclusive Public Transport

Melbourne tram with passengers disembarking

This blog mentions violence and death.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that this article contains the name of a deceased person.
 

Public transport is contested; to reap the benefits of post-COVID infrastructure investment, we must acknowledge this.

With Victoria irrevocably changed due to COVID-19, it is fair to say that the events of 2020 have laid bare the deep-rooted socioeconomic inequities which underpin our society, and our struggles to overcome them.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt funding for community energy is welcome, but must be scaled up to match demand

Friends of the Earth welcomes $1 million worth of grants to support 13 community-energy projects across Victoria, but say the Andrews government must must scale up funding to match the demand. 

"Communities are way out in front of governments when it comes to tackling the climate crisis," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.

"The Andrews government's grants for community-energy projects acknowledge this leadership and will create jobs while cutting emissions."

Friends of the Earth say the Andrews government can build on the momentum and create thousands more jobs by establishing a dedicated $100 million Victorian Climate Change Action Fund.

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Infrastructure Vic's ticket reform misses the mark

As we grapple with what a post pandemic public transport system might look like, it is essential we find ways to increase physical space on our trams, trains and buses. We welcome the fact that the government, employees and unions have worked hard to make our PT Covid-19 safe.

Infrastructure Victoria’s (IV) ticket reform proposal Fair Move: Better Public Transport Fares for Melbourne attempts to evenly distribute commuters across our train, tram and bus network, but misses the mark when it comes to priorities of improving our transport network. 

Illustrative per trip prices from the fare reform scenario
(Source: Infrastructure Victoria)

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Vic Murray Floodplain Restoration Projects

Environmental approvals and public consultations are underway for the development of 9 Victorian Floodplain infrastructure projects.   

The Victorian Murray Floodplain Restoration Project (VMFRP) consists of 9 subsidiary projects,
proposed by the Victorian government, that have been included as supply measures under the SDL
Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) in the Basin Plan. They are infrastructure projects, involving
regulators, levee banks and pump stations, and are intended to water small areas of floodplain
forest and wetlands.

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