Big batteries in Ballarat, Kerang to help Vic meet climate & energy goals: Will the opposition back smart energy investments?

MEDIA RELEASE: 22 March 2018

Big batteries in Ballarat, Kerang to help Vic meet climate & energy goals: Will the opposition back smart energy investments? 

Victoria has entered the energy storage race with an announcement that the Andrews government will build large-scale batteries in Ballarat and Kerang. But will the Matthew Guy opposition back smart energy investments? 

Friends of the Earth welcomes the announcement and says big batteries in Ballarat and Kerang will help Victoria meet climate and energy targets. 

"The Turnbull government's do-nothing approach to climate change means we need to see more leadership from Victoria, and that's what we're seeing with this announcement from the Andrews Labor government" said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate change spokesperson.

"Building batteries in Ballarat and Kerang will strengthen Victoria's energy system while helping the state meet legislated targets of 40 percent renewable energy by 2025 and zero emissions by 2050."

Energy policy is a point of difference between the Daniel Andrews government and Matthew Guy opposition as Victoria heads to a state election in eight months time.

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Logging the heart of regional Victoria

The community charter of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) states that DELWP will work with regional communities to support liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities and thriving natural environments and that the charter is only as good as its implementation on the ground.

Talk to regional communities experiencing the implementation of logging on the ground from Victoria's Central Highlands to far East Gippsland and you will hear the same story over and over again . . .

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Logging - a dead loss for Victoria

As Victorian’s head to the polls this November, the issue of native forest logging is looking increasingly likely to feature as a major environmental issue in the state election campaign.

The overwhelming majority of Victorian voters support protection of native forests, in fact over 90% of Victorian’s want public forests protected for wildlife, tourism, recreation and a safe climate, and only 7% believe public forests should be logged for wood and paper products![1]

Friends of the Earth’s forest campaigners have been hitting the streets in several suburban electorates recently and in our conversations with voters we’re finding people are concerned with economic issues relating to logging and the industry's reliance on public money.

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Pesticides in Food Forum Featuring Professor Alfred Poulos

Friends of the Earth is proudly hosting Professor Poulos to speak about Pesticides in Food.  Emphasis during the presentation will include:  Different susceptibilities to pesticides (based on genetics, age and development in the womb) and acute and chronic health impacts.

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February 2018 Update

VIC_one_year_til_election_Nov_2017_(1).jpgNovember State Election – We’re Off and Running

In November 2018, Victorians will head to the polls. With community concern about climate change on the rise, it's an issue that all political parties must address in detail.

Our state is undergoing profound change as the population grows, entire industries go to the wall, and climate change starts to really impact on our landscapes, economy and lifestyles. Yet Melbourne continues to sprawl, as low density development covers valuable farmland and remnant vegetation, supported by transport infrastructure that will perpetuate our current reliance on cars.

An election provides all parties with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership on the interconnected issues of climate, energy, social justice, and the economy.

FoE has launched an ambitious election campaign, with policy in the realms of forests and biodiversity, transport and sustainability, and energy, climate and renewables.

We have huge plans for the year! We will be holding a major campaign launch on May 24. 

In the meantime, check our website for full details on our campaign and policy agenda.

You can take action and support our campaign by sending email to the political Party Leaders here.

If you can support our work with a donation, that would be fantastic.

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Keeping our ‘livable city’ tag - a world class park system for Melbourne

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IMAGE: Mt Torbreck - part of the proposed Great Forest National Park. Photo: Justin Cally

Melbourne will soon pass Sydney as Australia’s most populous city. The urban sprawl that is happening to accommodate this growth is putting enormous pressure on transport, public services, and other infrastructure, and making congestion worse.We need big ideas to solve a big - and growing - problem. Here are 3 ideas.

AN ACCESSIBLE CITY

A big part of ensuring our city continues to be livable in coming decades will be the need to build a world class public transport system that is adequate to the needs of a city larger than 5 million people. Infrastructure Victoria has recently warned that, without government intervention, Melbourne will have an extra five hours of peak traffic by 2030.

Check our Get on Board transport plan, available here for our top order priorities for fixing our transport infrastructure.

A COMPACT CITY

Urban sprawl needs to be reined in. We need to ensure there is increased population density around transport corridors, but in a way that meets community needs and expectations, not just the profit imperative of developers.

WORLD CLASS PARKS

This sprawl poses a major threat to remaining open space around the fringes of Melbourne. We are running out of time to protect these landscapes.

In an election year, we need political parties to commit to a world class park system that will protect our city against future sprawl and provide breathing space for the community and protection for key habitats.  

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Green building council - still not so green

Last year we exposed the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) dodgy ‘Green star’ ratings. The GBCA award green star ratings for buildings made with timber sourced from unsustainable logging operations in Victoria’s native forests.

Wood certified under the so called 'Responsible Wood' certification scheme (formally Australian Forestry Standard) is being used in so called ‘Green’ buildings that te council has awarded their green tick to. This includes wood from old growth forests, endangered species habitat and critically endangered Mountain Ash forests within the proposed Great Forest National Park

Hens_BT_stump_EEG.jpgOld growth forest logged in East Gippsland, 2015

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#GetOnBoard Community Powered Transport Plan

Our transport system is a mess.

Roads don’t relieve congestion, they create it.  But state government after state government keep building roads. They keep putting the road lobby and private interests before smart transport solutions.

This is why we need to build enough momentum to stop ANY mega toll road project that they put on the table.

And that’s where our #GetOnBoard plan comes in.

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Logging of old growth forest imminent as Granite Mountain blockade is broken

As conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) entered their tenth consecutive day of successfully preventing logging of old growth forest at Granite Mountain in remote East Gippsland, twenty government officials have today arrived on site to break the blockade.

Around fifteen people are at the blockade, established on Monday 22 January. One person is suspended from a tripod structure blocking the logging road.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Work on Westgate announced as community members gear up to launch their own transport plan

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Work on Westgate announced as community members gear up to launch their own transport plan

The announcement that work has commenced on the controversial Westgate tollroad comes amid strong community concerns over the project--from increased pollution affecting public health to disruption for communities in the western suburbs.
Community member from the inner-west, Chloe Aldenhoven, expressed concern over the works: 
"The Westgate tollroad is a dud project that will bring pain to local residents, congestion for generations, and result in billions of profit for Transurban. This doesn't sound like Labor values to me."

The announcement comes as community members from across Melbourne prepare to launch their own vision for the city's transport with an event planned for the first sitting day of Parliament for 2018--a hotly-contested election year. 

Friends of the Earth Melbourne will be joined by community members on Tuesday 6th February to launch Mobilise Melbourne: A Community Plan for Transport.

"Previous governments have failed to listen to the community when it comes a vision for planning and transport in Melbourne," said Rachel Lynskey, Sustainable Cities spokesperson for Friends of the Earth.

"This is why Friends of the Earth are kicking off an initiative to capture the community's bright ideas for transport infrastructure and services."

"We'll be presenting these community-sourced ideas to all state political parties, calling on them to ramp up investment in sustainable transport initiatives."
 
The Mobilise Melbourne: A Community Plan for Transport plan brings together groups campaigning against mega tollroads in the western and north-eastern suburbs, previous locals who stopped the East-West Link, and many more concerned citizens.

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