New Forest Reserve in Victoria's Strzelecki Ranges

Strez_announcement_July_2018.JPGOn July 14th 2018, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio, and Gunai Traditional Owner Aunty Doris Paton formally announced the creation of the Brataualung Forest Park in the Strzelecki Ranges.

The name Brataualung refers to one of five clans of the Gunai tribe and was the nominated name for the Reserve by the GunaiKurnai Elders Council after a Government naming process.

The new Reserve covers 2,400 ha of land, including key cool temperate rainforest catchments in the Agnes River, Franklin River, Dingo Creek, Albert River and College Creek.

The new reserve is the result of more than 20 years campaigning in the region by many individuals and local groups, particularly Friends of Gippsland Bush, and Friends of the Earth.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Twin renewable energy announcements for the Grampians and Ballarat welcome, next steps needed on Victorian Climate Change Action Fund

Next steps needed for a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund

National environment Group Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government's twin announcements of the Grampians New Energy Taskforce and funding for the Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Centre at Federation Uni in Ballarat, saying they can take the next step by establishing a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund.

“By making investments like these the Andrews government is acknowledging the importance of acting on climate change” said Act on Climate Vic coordinator Leigh Ewbank.

“To make sure Victorians are getting the most bang for buck the Andrews government can take the next step and establish a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund to address this critical issue.”

“A designated grant scheme can ensure that the needs of communities, small businesses and local government are being met by the state when it comes to acting on climate change” added Ewbank.

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Rally to oppose AGL gas import and Kawasaki projects in Western Port Bay

rally_for_westernport.jpgTwo project proposals – the Crib Point AGL gas import project and the Kawasaki Hydrogen Energy Supply pilot – have raised community concerns over the environmental, social and economic risks to the values of Western Port Bay.

Save Westernport and Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council are hosting a rally supported by Environment Victoria, the Victorian National Parks Association, Friends of the Earth and Blue Wedges Coalition.

Sunday July 1, at the Hastings Foreshore.

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Roads attack planned for Melbourne

Victorian Opposition leader Matthew Guy has released his roads package today, marking the move back to the 1960's roads mania.

With Melbourne's population growth we need 21st planning and investment in efficient transport solutions.

"The community will be appalled to see this plan presented as a solution to the congestion in Melbourne,” Rachel Lynskey, Friends of the Earth Sustainable Cities coordinator said today. “These projects will lock us into car transport for decades to come, and over time increasing congestion again."

These mega road projects will not get Melbourne moving. Building roads now only gives drivers short relief before the roads fill again. We then require more infrastructure to tackle the continued congestion.

The last state budget saw over $2 invested in roads for every $1 spent on public transport. Despite growing demand, the short changing of our public transport means we won't be ready to keep Melbourne moving in the future. Mr Guy’s plan will shift funding even more strongly in favour of mega roads at the expense of public transport.

Melbourne's continued investment in roads is at the expense of public transport and a world-class rail network. The community are asking instead that our politicians commit to increasing freight on rail, major rail upgrades, and ongoing expansion of our bus and tram networks.

The community are also asking for investment instead to be made in the “Melbourne Metro 2” project.

“To tackle congestion and commuter traffic we urge the commencement of planning and construction of Melbourne Metro 2. This connection of western Melbourne suburbs and the new Fisherman’s Bend redevelopment with the CBD would create thousands of local jobs, and keep Melbourne moving for the future” said Ms Lynskey.


For more comment contact:  Rachel Lynskey, 0481 288 21

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Thomson River Diversion Tunnel and Horseshoe Bend

horseshoebemd.jpgFriends of the Earth Objects to Heavy Earth Works Planned for Thomson River.

Friends of the Earth have grave concerns regarding the planned construction of an eight metre wide "fishway" near the Thomson River Diversion Tunnel, located 4km south west of  Walhalla in Gippsland.

Heritage Victoria have recently approved the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s application to construct the fishway.

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Labor coal announcement will undermine govt’s climate credentials

Yallourn.jpgMEDIA RELEASE: 1 June 2018

Today’s announcement by the Andrews government that it will extend the licenses of the Latrobe Valley’s major power plants undermines its credentials on climate change and raises the potential that Victoria’s transition to a low carbon future will stall.

“In the 21st century, with what we know about climate science and the imperative to transition as rapidly as possible to 100% renewables, any announcement to keep coal fired power stations open can only be bad news for the climate” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Wonwondah wind farm gets the green light - Will local Nationals MP support jobs & investment?

12.01-Codrington-1-web-1024x548.jpg

A new wind farm in Wonondah North in western Victoria has been given the green light by the Andrews government and will bring jobs and investment to the Wimmera region. 

Friends of the Earth say the local region can be proud of the project that will power 25,000 homes and help Victoria tackle climate change. 

"Victorian climate change solutions such as the Wonwonda wind farm bring jobs and investment to regional communities," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson. 

"The facility will contribute towards Victoria meeting its legislated target of zero net emissions by 2050--something the whole community can be proud of." 

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May 2018 Update

Friends! Tax time is upon us and now is the time to dig deep and help us as we gear up for the November State Election. We have 5 key asks this election:

  • Victoria's first climate focused budget, delivering investment in climate change solutions and protects communities from climate impacts.

  • Powering Melbourne’s train network with solar and wind power to ensure
    Victoria’s transport system is clean, modern and non-polluting while creating
    sustainable jobs in regional Victoria and metropolitan areas.
     
  • The creation of the Great Forest National Park (GFNP) and East Gippsland Emerald Link Reserve, delivering a transition plan for workers in the forestry industry.

  • Commitment to a community focused transport plan for the future of Melbourne and shift funding from roads to critical public transport infrastructure, such as Melbourne Metro 2.

  • The creation of a publicly-owned retailer, backed by 100% renewable energy, to ensure Victorians have access to clean, fair and affordable electricity.

Can you help us make this a reality? Please make a tax deductible donation here - together we can do this!

 

 

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Victorian opposition paper plan will destroy forests, wildlife and long term jobs

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Victorian opposition to support sustainable wood and fibre production by committing to only use recycled paper, not paper made from Victoria’s forests. 

Yesterday, leader of the Victorian opposition Matthew Guy and Nationals leader Peter Walsh announced that Coalition government offices would only use Australian-made paper sourced from logging operations in Victoria’s native forests.

Clearfell logging in Toolangi state forest - Chris Taylor 

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Good News - First 1600ha of High Conservation Value Forest Reserved in Strzelecki Ranges

Friends of the Earth received the good news that the first 1600ha of land, in the long running Strzelecki Ranges Rainforest Cores and Links saga, was Gazetted by the Victorian State Government on the 10th of May 2018. 

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