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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The campaign against new coal and gas in Victoria. The story so far.

Community_Win.pngA long campaign sees the frack ban enshrined in the constitution

This is a campaign diary of the community led campaign that saw onshore unconventional gas drilling and fracking banned in Victoria.

The campaign ran from 2011 - 2016. All onshore gas drilling in the state was stopped in 2014. In 2017 the ban was announced and in February 2021, legislation was tabled that would see the ban enshrined in the state constitution. It passed the Upper House in March 2021. Our reaction is here.

There remain threats from oil and gas:

  • the moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration will lift in mid 2021, and
  • the government has released a number of offshore blocks to potential gas drilling.

Please scroll down for a summary of this long campaign.

 

The moratorium is no more

On March 17, 2020, the premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews, announced that his government will introduce legislation to lift the moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling. If the legislation goes through, the moratorium will be lifted on July 1, 2021.

Our reaction is here.

Our online action is here.

Coverage in Renew Economy, which shows that the decision to lift the moratorium is based on 'inflated' job figures is available here.

And research by The Australia Institute shows the Victorian government underestimated the greenhouse impact of its decision to scrap the moratorium on onshore gas drilling by ‘up to’ 88%.

Legislation passes Upper House

The moratorium put a stop to all onshore gas exploration and drilling since May 2014.

However, on June 16, the Victorian Upper House voted on legislation that will lift the moratorium from June 30, 2021.

Sadly, only four parties opposed lifting the moratorium: Andy Meddick (Animal Justice Party), Clifford Hayes (Sustainable Australia Party), Catherine Cummings (Independent), and The Greens. In the Lower House, only The Greens and independent Ali Cupper voted against it.


The Nationals, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Liberal Democrats, Reason Party, Transport Matters and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers parties all voted with the Labor government to lift the moratorium.

Our full reaction is here.

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Victory! But the struggle goes on.

From 2011 until 2017, Friends of the Earth played a key role in the successful campaign to:

  • win a permanent ban on the process of fracking (a dangerous drilling method used to access unconventional forms of gas),
  • win a moratorium on all onshore conventional gas drilling and exploration, and
  • see off a number of plans for new coal mines in Victoria.

Now in 2020, we're working to see a halt to government plans to open up new sections of Victoria to gas drilling.

Stopping new fossil fuel projects.

No_New_Fossil_Fuels_Graphic_square.pngOffshore gas: While many people are aware of plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, they may not know about the gas fields being opened up offshore in Victoria. We are working to oppose these new operations. A simple thing would be to sign our petition to the premier calling on the government to cancel the development of this gas.

Onshore gas: From 2011 until 2017, the Victorian community, especially regional communities in the south of the state, campaigned hard to win the ban on fracking and the moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling.

While fracking (unconventional gas drilling) was banned permanently, a moratorium was placed on onshore conventional exploration and drilling. This has been in force since 2014, and will expire on June 30, 2020.

We have until winter 2020 to build a strong voice demanding that the state government acts to protect our state by extending the onshore gas moratorium for another five years.

Please sign the petition to the premier calling on him to extend the moratorium on drilling. You can sign it here.

Please add your voice to the call to extend the moratorium.

You can donate here. Thanks!

Below is a summary of the campaign so far.

 

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