Logging threatens recreation and tourism

Kinglake.jpgThe current VicForest Timber Release Plan shows logging of native forests in the Central Highlands is scheduled to occur in areas very close to recreational roads and tracks where people regularly enjoy hiking, horse riding, cycling and four-wheel driving.

These will impact on a large number of areas, including Kinglake, Narbethong, Warburton, The Acheron Way between Narbethong and Warburton, a section of The Bicentennial National Trail near Toolangi, Black Range Tourist Drive between Toolangi and Murrindindi, Snobs Creek Road in Rubicon, and Big Pats Creek.

The Central Highlands rely on nature based tourism for much of its economic activity and local employment. Visitors are not interested in walking or riding through a logging coupe.

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Opening hours over Christmas and New Year

coop.pngThanks to all our members and supporters for their wonderful support during a tough year.

It's been a huge year for our co-op and cafe and the campaigns team. There is a summary of some of our wins and plans for 2021 available here.

Our food co-op and café is trading normal hours until the evening of December 24.

We will be closing from Xmas Day and then reopening on Saturday 2nd January at normal hours (generally 10am – 5pm, and Sunday from 11am until 4.30pm).

Please keep an eye on the co-op facebook page for extra details.

We hope you have a wonderful summer break with friends, family and community. Here’s to more justice, sustainability and community in 2021.


The plan for 2021

Kuark_forest2_Oct_2017.png2020 is not the year that any of us wanted, and for many, it's one we would prefer to forget. A dry winter and warm spring led to an awful fire season that devastated huge sections of East Gippsland, the mountains, and north east Victoria. The human and ecological costs of these fires will take years to heal.

Then we had the coronavirus, and the double lock down of Melbourne and the regions. Isolation, separation from loved ones, and economic impacts all put a heavy toll on many people.

In spite of all this, Friends of the Earth had a remarkably productive year, with some of our long running campaigns securing significant wins, some of which have been years in the making. 

Here is a summary of what we achieved in 2020, and what’s in store for 2021.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Momentum building for ambitious climate targets after Andrews govt delivers a record cut in electricity emissions

MEDIA RELEASE: 10 December 2020

Momentum builds for ambitious climate targets after Andrews govt delivers a record cut in electricity emissions

Victoria’s latest greenhouse gas performance data, released today, shows the Andrews government has delivered a record cut in emissions from the electricity sector.

Friends of the Earth say the nationally-significant achievement builds momentum for the state government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30. A decision on the targets is imminent after it was deferred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Andrews government’s renewable energy leadership has delivered a record cut in electricity sector emissions while creating thousands of jobs," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.

"The accelerating pace of emissions cuts in Victoria shows that Premier Dan Andrews can afford to set bold and ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets."

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Job opportunity: Great Ocean Resistance Coordinator

An exciting short term contract to work with Friends of the Earth to build the resistance to coastal gas developments in South West VIC has come up. Applications close 5th January.

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Top 5 Clean Energy Projects for a Renewables-led Recovery

After a year like no other where Victorians faced catastrophic bushfires over summer and then stared down the outbreak of Covid-19, how can we build back better as the post-Covid economic recovery gets underway? 

The Victorian government's most recent budget marks a significant shift for renewable energy and climate action in the state, after the Andrews government announced a massive $1.6 billion in funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, as well as increased for funding public transport projects.  Thge budget will see billions of dollars spent delivering home energy efficiency upgrades, accelerating rooftop solar and batteries, beginning construction on stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop and building new, energy efficient public housing stock. These are all very welcome announcements that will have a positive impact on people’s living standards, and create jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These are exactly the kinds of announcements we need to see more of if we’re going to have a chance of acting on the climate crisis.

As momentum builds towards more climate change solutions, Friends of the Earth Melbourne's Yes 2 Renewables collective is putting the spotlight on five of the top clean energy projects for a renewables-led recovery in Victoria.


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Submission guide for consultation on Floodplain Harvesting for the NSW Border Rivers WSP

NSW Border Rivers is the first valley in NSW where floodplain harvesting will be licensed. Follow our table of questions and answers to get your submission in.

Make a submission by midnight, Monday November 30!

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MEDIA RELEASE 29.11.2020: Vic Energy Innovation Fund will kickstart offshore wind & renewable hydrogen for climate

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s announcement of an Energy Innovation Fund today, and say establishing Victoria as a national leader in offshore wind and renewable hydrogen means it can aim high on climate change. 

“This is an important step towards making Victoria the national leader in offshore wind and getting ready to create a long pipeline of thousands of good climate jobs” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables Coordinator.

Friends of the Earth have been calling on the government to establish an offshore wind industry plan to ensure the state maximises the benefits of kickstarting the sector, in the leadup to an imminent decision on Emissions Reduction Targets for the state. 

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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt’s record-breaking budget builds momentum for ambitious climate targets

The Andrews government’s 2020-21 budget delivers a clean recovery for Victoria with a record $1.6 billion to accelerate the renewable energy transition and over $5 billion for Public Transport. 

Friends of the Earth say the record investment in climate, energy, and transport initiatives build momentum for the government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets—a decision on which is expected by the end of the year:

“The Andrews government budget will deliver a clean recovery for Victoria that will create thousands of jobs while cutting emissions,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Largest energy efficiency package in Victoria’s history a step up on Climate Justice

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 November 2020
Largest energy efficiency package in Victoria’s history a step up on Climate Justice

Victoria’s Andrews government has today announced the largest energy efficiency package in the state’s history, a $797 million plan that will deliver home energy upgrades to over 250,0000 households, offer immediate bill relief to people facing hardship during the pandemic, set new home energy standards while accelerating the rollout of rooftop solar around the state.

“This is an unprecedented investment in energy efficiency that will ease the cost of living for people on low-incomes, create thousands of jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Cam Walker, campaigns coordinator at Friends of the Earth. 

“It’s a win-win for climate action that delivers for the people that need it most as we all grapple with the economic impacts of COVID-19,” added Walker. 

The landmark package demonstrates that the Andrews government takes action on climate change seriously and is investing in solutions that will deliver for the community and jobs. 

Together these announcements will make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating thousands of jobs, while improving living standards by delivering cheaper power bills.

The announcement comes a day after the state government announced $2.2 billion to begin stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop, and leading up to an important decision on Emissions Reduction Targets for the state. 

“The Andrews government announcement builds momentum towards the imminent decision on the state's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.

In a joint statement coordinated by the Climate Council in November, Friends of the Earth joined community service organisations, peak bodies and climate groups in calling on the Andrews government to urgently invest in energy efficiency measures. 

Today’s announcement is a win for everyone who has been advocating for energy efficiency for many years.

Friends of the Earth and community members will be calling on the Andrews government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets during a Day of Action on Sunday 29 November. 

Organisers believe this will be the last chance to influence the government on this important decision. 

For further comment please contact: 

Cam Walker, FoE Campaigns Coordinator: [email protected], 0419 338 047

Leigh Ewbank, FoE Act on Climate Coordinator: [email protected], 0406 316 176