Support Sustainable Cities this tax time

Image shows dozens of people taking selfies with the hashtag #LifelongLockdown

Your continuing support has enabled the Sustainable Cities collective to keep working towards a more liveable and connected Victoria.  

Today, we're launching our initial view of what an economic rescue package should include for the transport sector so as to strengthen the transport sector while protecting people whose livelihoods are being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst the Andrews government continues to frame our economic recovery on the Big Build, we must ensure that these major transport infrastructure projects are ones that will benefit our communities, not destroy them. 

Sustainable Cities is working with locals to hold the North East Link Project accountable and calling on the Victorian Government to stop all early works. 

Projects like the $16 billion North East Link toll road will lock Melbourne into a future of car dependency and decimate precious parkland.

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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 the early years audio episode

Listen up mp3
Presenters: Megan Williams and Em Gayfer.
Guests: Richard Nankin, Neil Barrett, Pat Jessen, and Bro Sheffield-Brotherton.

Friends of the Earth members 70s

It’s back to the 1970s we go to where it all began to revisit the early years of Friends of the Earth in Australia.  Founded by radical activists concerned with ecological and social justice, Friends of the Earth and allied groups mobilised around the issues of Aboriginal land rights, anti-nuclear and uranium mining, whaling, protecting the Antarctic and leaded petrol.  In this episode we’re joined by guests involved in the first national Friends of the Earth meeting held on French Island, the Ride Against Uranium, our first petition and database, and lobbying and protesting.  Keep reading to discover the wild history of our coordinated campaign wins, and find out how to join Friends of the Earth today.

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Help us complete 300 Strzelecki Koala Surveys for 2020

Friends of the Earths work to survey the habitat of the Strzelecki Koala is ongoing. We anticipate that 200 koala surveys will be completed by the end of July. We still have a long way to go though, to get a better understanding of the range and population size of the Strzelecki/South Gippsland Koala. That is why we want to increase the surveys from 200 to 300 by the end of 2020.

The Strzelecki/South Gippsland koala populations are unique. They are genetically significant, as they are the only koalas in Victoria and South Australia that are not from translocated populations. They consist of animals from the original diverse gene pool. More information can be found here.

Donate here to help us get to 300 surveys of this critical habitat

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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

The 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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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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