Getting ready for the next big one

Thunder_Over_The_Empire_Airfest_2012_120519-F-EI671-001.jpgAs Victoria shivers through a good, old fashioned winter, it might be a strange time to be thinking about fire. But next fire season will be with us soon enough, and there are some lessons for us from the horror summer currently being experienced in the northern hemisphere.

A 1.5 million hectare bushfire is raging in Siberia, and Alaska is burning. So are large parts of Turkey. The ‘heat dome’ that brought record breaking temperatures to the Pacific North West of North America has been followed by a fire season comparable with what we experienced over the terrible summer of 2019/20. California is experiencing a fire season that started in their winter. In January, Issac Sanchez, of Cal Fire Sacramento said “we’re not seeing ‘fire season’ any more. It’s just one big fire year, where we can be prepared for and expect a large destructive fire at any point.”

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Our forests are under attack – join us for an urgent webinar

unnamed-4.jpgThe Victorian environment minister’s office has refused to extend public consultation on alarming changes that would significantly deregulate logging in Victoria’s native forests and undermine community legal challenges to perceived illegal logging. 

Join us for an urgent webinar with local environment groups as we break down some of the more insidious parts of the code changes and outline the urgent threat to our precious threatened species and ecosystems.

Wednesday, July 28.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Latrobe Valley's first wind farm takes key step toward reality

The Latrobe Valley’s first wind project, the Delburn wind farm, has taken another step toward reality, with the public submissions period for the project now underway. 

Proposed in pine plantation in the Strzelecki Ranges south of Morwell, the 33 turbine project will overlook the former Hazelwood coal plant, and is expected to power 125,000 Victorian homes with clean renewable energy.

Environment group Friends of the Earth and local advocates welcome the announcement, saying this is a key moment for the community to shape the Latrobe Valley’s renewable energy future. 

“The Delburn Wind farm is another piece of the puzzle in the Latrobe Valley’s energy transition, offering a new source of jobs and a reliable source of energy generation for Victoria as the state acts on climate change” said Wendy Farmer, Yes2Renewables Gippsland Campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

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Alberton West State Forest Targeted by VicForests

Local residents near the Yarram region in South Gippsland have recently been dismayed that their beloved local forest, Alberton West State Forest, has been earmarked by VicForests for logging. Local residents have protested the impending destruction this week.

Alberton West State Forest in the Hedley Range is dominated by large stands of Bluegum and Yellow Stringybark.

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July 2021 Friends of the Earth Melb news

Welcome to Friends of the Earth Melbourne July enews our state-wide monthly update.  In this edition, join us at a Forest Collective meeting (RSVP spaces limited), and go online for a Koala info night with the SKAT collective.  Book a spot for the Good Grief online workshop, and register to attend or go online for the Lighter Footprints and the fight against fossil gas event.  Join us and our allies for a Global North-South in Climate Justice and Activism workshop, and a Cultural Responsiveness and Cultural Intelligences workshop in the lead up to Blockade IMARC 2021.  Listen to a 3CR Dirt Radio podcast about the onshore gas threat in Victoria, take the Drillwatch pledge and join us online for its launch, sign a petition to oppose proposed Corio Bay floating gas terminals, and email the PM to deliver on offshore wind.  Join Act on Climate’s info sessions to increase Australia’s climate targets in the lead up to the COP26 summit, sign a new petition, and see responses to the People’s Climate Strategy delivered across Victoria thanks to wonderful community support.  Find out which two corporate mugs won the inaugural Cane Toad Awards, and become a new volunteer with FoE Melbourne at an online info session.

Climate change no laughing matter

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MEDIA RELEASE: Draft environment guidelines for Star of the South welcome, national offshore wind regulations now urgent

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the release of draft guidelines for environmental assessments of the landmark Star of the South project, and say the case for a national regulatory framework for offshore wind is now urgent. 

The draft scoping guidelines set out what the Star of the South is required to study, assess and report on as part of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) at the federal level and an Environment Effects Statement (EES) at the state level.

As Australia’s first offshore wind farm, it’s essential that planning for the Star of the South is robust and transparent, with strong protections for sensitive ecosystems built in from the start.

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STATEMENT: Gas drilling moratorium is gone, but opposition remains

The temporary ban (moratorium) on onshore ‘conventional’ gas drilling, which has been in place across Victoria since 2014, expires today. This will leave significant areas across Gippsland and South West Victoria exposed to gas exploration.

The ban on unconventional gas drilling and fracking remains in place and is now enshrined in the state’s constitution.

"The decision by the Victorian government to reopen the state to gas companies is bad news for regional communities, for our farmers and for the climate," said Friends of the Earth Campaigns Co-ordinator Cam Walker.

"It is at odds with climate science, and the government’s own commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050. It will also do little to help consumers: the government’s own report found that the full development of known gas resources would not reduce wholesale gas prices."

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Ban on conventional onshore gas drilling lifting 1 July 2021

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What is happening?

The moratorium on onshore ‘conventional’ gas drilling has been in place across Victoria since 2014. It expires at the end of June 2021, meaning that new exploration and potentially drilling can start after that time. The ban on unconventional gas drilling and fracking remains in place and is now enshrined in the state’s constitution.

Where is the gas?

On July 1st, 2021 the temporary ban (moratorium) on conventional onshore drilling will be lifted.  This will leave areas in Gippsland and South West Victoria exposed to gas exploration.

DrillWatch community resource coming soon

While the Victorian government opening the state to gas companies is bad news for regional communities, for our farmers and for the climate, the good news is that a resource is being put together that will support communities to defend their land, health and future.

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Kimba nuclear dump: Premier Marshall must enforce SA legislation

Media Release ‒ 21 June 2021 ‒ Friends of the Earth Australia


Kimba nuclear dump: Premier Marshall must enforce SA legislation

 

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By accepting amendments to the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill, the federal government has today abandoned its year-long attempt to shield its plan for a national nuclear waste dump in SA from judicial review. A vote on the Bill is expected this afternoon or tomorrow and the Bill is expected to pass.

Dr. Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said: "The Morrison government's disgraceful efforts to override the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners to the proposed nuclear dump will be challenged in the courts and politically. Barngarla Traditional Owners are expected to launch a judicial challenge.

"Friends of the Earth welcomes SA Labor's policy that Traditional Owners should have a right of veto over nuclear projects given the sad and sorry history of nuclear projects in this state.

 

 

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Be part of the movement for a nuclear free future!

 

The ACE Nuclear-Free Collective at Friends of the Earth continues to fight the nuclear industry at every point in the cycle.

Over the past year, we have:

- Campaigned against the federal government's plan to impose a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba in SA despite the unanimous opposition of the Barngarla Traditional Owners and wider community opposition. This is a key moment in the battle for responsible nuclear waste management: the Morrison government is pushing legislation through the Senate to impose a nuclear dump on Barngarla Country, and it is likely that Barngarla Traditional Owners will launch a judicial challenge opposing the nomination.

- Challenged a push from ultra-conservative politicians for nuclear power through our work to influence parliamentary inquiries and through media work and community education. And we've actively debunked the endless misinformation about so-called 'small modular reactors'.

- Contributed to the Don't Nuke the Climate initiative to protect federal environment legislation from efforts to remove the ban against nuclear power and from efforts to weaken governance of uranium mining.Thank you for being a part of a nuclear-free future!

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