Apollo Bay and Otway Ranges residents say "no" to offshore gas

Community members from Apollo Bay and the Otway Ranges held a paddle out on World Oceans day to object to the plans for offshore gas drilling in the waters of southwest Victoria and industrialisation of the Otway Basin.
 
OCEAN (Otway Climate Emergency Action Network), a newly formed community group, believes that expanding mining of our ocean is a backward step and a foolhardy plan when the science clearly identifies gas as a major contributor to the climate crisis:
 
"We have thriving tourist, fishing and farming industries that rely on the healthy, unspoiled environment of the southwest, said Lisa Deppeler of OCEAN. "What is our government thinking risking all of this?" 

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How to #StayInPaddleOut this World Oceans Day

The coastal waters of south western Victoria are under threat. Plans for rapid gas expansion of oil and gas drilling in the Otway Basin poses a direct threat to marine life and is bad for tourism. The burning of fossil fuels risks pushing us over an fast approaching tipping point of global emissions and irreversible climate change. 

Join us on World Oceans Day, Monday 8th June for our #StayInPaddleOut action to say #NoNewGas in the Otway Basin!

Help! I’m a city slicker stuck at home during COVID-19 but I still want to participate in the Virtual Paddle Out event this World Oceans Day on June 8th. Trouble is, I don’t have a kayak or a surfboard! What can I do to support this cause and say #NoNewGas while I #StayInPaddleOut?

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‘Virtual’ paddleout to show community opposition to offshore drilling

VIRTUAL_PADDLE_OUT_small.jpgThe waters of the Otway Basin from Port Campbell to the SA border are under threat from new offshore gas developments. Five parcels of ocean in state waters (within 5.5 kilometres of shore) were offered by the Andrews government in 2018. The Oil and Gas Acreage Release tender process would allow companies to explore for fossil fuels with a view to starting commercial operations. The process has gained ‘strong interest’ from industry, and an announcement on successful tenders is expected some time after June 30.

The extraction and burning of fossil fuels risks marine life and is bad for climate and tourism.

As a result of this threat of offshore fossil fuel production, a Virtual Paddleout will be held on World Oceans Day, Monday June 8.

 

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South West VIC Community Responds to Scrapped Gas Ban

Community members in South West Victoria have responded to the lifting of the moratorium on onshore gas drilling. 

Members of the Protect the West Alliance from the Otways to Portland have collected over 1000 signatures on a petition calling for an extension of a ban on onshore gas exploration.

Premier Dan Andrews made the announcement to scrap the temporary ban on onshore gas drilling in March, one day after declaring a state of emergency in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yesterday, the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill was moved in the Victorian parliament to formally lift the ban.  The Bill was met with criticism from The Victorian Greens, who noted that the Andrew’s government had significantly underestimated the environmental impact that an expansion of the gas industry would cause, and that the government was better off prioritising support towards growing the renewable energy sector (Renew Economy, 2 June 2020).

Community opposition to drilling remains strong across regional Victoria with over 70 communities declaring themselves 'gasfield free' as part of the campaign that also banned fracking.

 

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Fire policy for the 21st century

IMGP8792.JPGAustralia suffered through a terrible summer. The 2019–20 bushfires have been described as 'the worst bushfires in our history’. Australia wide, approximately 19.4 million hectares have burnt since 1 July 2019 and at least 33 people dead. It has been estimated that a billion animals died. More than 2,500 homes were destroyed, with more than 300 in Victoria.

In Victoria, more than 1.2 million hectares burnt—making it the largest bushfire since 1939.

The Victorian government is holding an independent investigation into the 2019–20 fire season. It is being led by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM), and is looking at Victoria's ‘preparedness for, and response to, the current fire season, as well as review Victoria's recovery effort’.

Submissions have now closed to this process. The IGEM’s 1st report, addressing preparedness for, and response to, the 2019–20 Victorian fire season will be provided to the Victorian Government on 31 July.

We continue to work to see ecologically based fire policy put in place in Victoria.

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45 YEARS OF ACTING UP! FRIENDS OF THE EARTH TRADE UNION SOLIDARITY

Friends of the Earth podcast history series made in collaboration with 3CR 855 AM community radio show Acting Up!  Monday 2.00pm.  Ratbags, peaceniks and agents of change, resistance radio that explores the movements that made us. 

45 Years of Acting Up! Friends of the Earth Trade Union Solidarity audio episode

Listen up mp3
Presenters: Megan Williams and Em Gayfer.
Guests: Dave Kerin (BLF & Earthworker Coop), Cam Walker (FOE), Dimity Hawkins (FOE)

Jack Mundey, 2020. Commemorative digital poster

Image: Chips Mackinolty, Jack Mundey, 2020. Commemorative digital poster

This episode looks at how Friends of the Earth built up alliances and solidarity with the trade union movement.  Guests discuss the Green Ban actions in the 1970s, forest and dock blockades, land rights and anti-nuclear campaigns.  Over the years Friends of the Earth formed solid alliances with workers, including the creation of the Earthworker Cooperative supporting sustainable jobs, community and the environment, always campaigning towards social and economic justice for all.  Core to trade union ethos, peace actions aligned with Friends of the Earth’s anti-militarism campaigns joining in protests against the Gulf War, and shutting down the AIDEX Arms Fare.  Workers and activists continue to resist exploitative corporate power campaigning to empower workers worldwide. Keep reading to find out how to get involved.

Join Friends of the Earth & Earthworker Cooperative
Disaster Cooperativism webinar
6.30pm Friday 5 June 2020

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#StayInPaddleOut! To Stop New Gas

Virtual Paddle Out
Did you know that polluters want to drill for gas and oil in the coastal waters of south western Victoria?
 
The coastline from Port Campbell to the South Australian border is home to a major tourist industry. Income comes from whale watching, surfing, and all manner of accommodation, hospitality and service industries which support tourism.
 
These communities are already being hit hard by COVID-19 travel restrictions. Imagine the devastating impacts of a major oil spill on this shoreline.
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May News

Friends of the Earth membership drive 8-12 June

Friends of the Earth is a grassroots network of activists working for social and environmental justice.  Our Melbourne HQ is located on Wurundjeri country at 312 Smith Street, Collingwood, home to our campaigns office and social enterprise Food Co-op and Cafe. Like many other grassroots groups we are experiencing the financial impacts of the pandemic lockdown, with significant loss of income.  A Friends of the Earth membership will help to keep our vibrant community space operating and cover additional covid-safe costs, building financial capacity to plan and campaign for a better future.  You don't have to wait until June to become a member - you can do it online now!
Become a member of Friends of the Earth here

All members receive discounts at the Food Co-op & Cafeaccess to the Cooperative Power energy network, a subscription to Chain Reaction magazine and our newsletter, and special offers from our sponsors.

Order from FoE’s Food Co-op click and collect online shopping here

  Become a member

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Media Release: END LIFELONG LOCKDOWN FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: TIME FOR A TRANSPORT SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE

Several images of people holding up signs saying #LifelongLockdown

Today dozens of community members have taken to Facebook and Twitter calling on Transport Minister Melissa Horne to prioritise accessible public transport for all with the hashtag #LifelongLockdown.   

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Digital Action: Accessible Transport for All!

Claudia lies on the ground with a wreath of flowers around them holding the sign #LifelongLockdown

Our digital action with the Disability Resources Centre is tomorrow Tues 19 May!

We are calling everyone – whether you find public transport inaccessible, or if you understand how important it is to have a transport system that works for everyone – to post a message or photo with the hashtag #LifelongLockdown on Facebook on Tuesday 19th May.


Here's how to get involved:

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