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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MEDIA RELEASE: Largest energy efficiency package in Victoria’s history a step up on Climate Justice

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 November 2020
 
Largest energy efficiency package in Victoria’s history a step up on Climate Justice

Victoria’s Andrews government has today announced the largest energy efficiency package in the state’s history, a $797 million plan that will deliver home energy upgrades to over 250,0000 households, offer immediate bill relief to people facing hardship during the pandemic, set new home energy standards while accelerating the rollout of rooftop solar around the state.

“This is an unprecedented investment in energy efficiency that will ease the cost of living for people on low-incomes, create thousands of jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Cam Walker, campaigns coordinator at Friends of the Earth. 

“It’s a win-win for climate action that delivers for the people that need it most as we all grapple with the economic impacts of COVID-19,” added Walker. 

The landmark package demonstrates that the Andrews government takes action on climate change seriously and is investing in solutions that will deliver for the community and jobs. 

Together these announcements will make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating thousands of jobs, while improving living standards by delivering cheaper power bills.

The announcement comes a day after the state government announced $2.2 billion to begin stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop, and leading up to an important decision on Emissions Reduction Targets for the state. 

“The Andrews government announcement builds momentum towards the imminent decision on the state's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.

In a joint statement coordinated by the Climate Council in November, Friends of the Earth joined community service organisations, peak bodies and climate groups in calling on the Andrews government to urgently invest in energy efficiency measures. 

Today’s announcement is a win for everyone who has been advocating for energy efficiency for many years.

Friends of the Earth and community members will be calling on the Andrews government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets during a Day of Action on Sunday 29 November. 

Organisers believe this will be the last chance to influence the government on this important decision. 

For further comment please contact: 

Cam Walker, FoE Campaigns Coordinator: cam.walker@foe.org.au, 0419 338 047

Leigh Ewbank, FoE Act on Climate Coordinator: leigh.ewbank@foe.org.au, 0406 316 176
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MEDIA RELEASE - Friends of the Earth Welcomes $2.2B Suburban Rail Loop investment

Win for transport: $2.2B to get rolling on the Suburban Rail Loop

MEDIA RELEASE - 16 November 2020

Friends of the Earth welcomes Andrews govt investment to get rolling on the Suburban Rail Loop

Friends of the Earth Melbourne welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews government that it will invest $2.2 billion to begin Stage One of the Suburban Rail Loop.

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Transport to tackle our climate challenge: online forum

Join us for an online forum to hear from Bendigo locals about transport issues and solutions in the face of climate change and COVID-normal.

Transport is the second-largest and fastest-growing contributor to emissions in Victoria, and Bendigo is already experiencing the consequences of climate change such as bushfires, heatwaves, and droughts.
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MEDIA RELEASE 5 Nov 2020: Andrews govt’s big battery announcement builds momentum for renewables rollout & emissions reductions

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcome the Andrews government’s announcement that Victoria will build Australia’s biggest battery, saying it’s a sign the state government can deliver a clean recovery to COVID-19 while acting on the climate crisis.

The 300 megawatt grid-scale battery project to be built near Geelong will create 85 jobs, accelerate the rollout of renewable energy, and help the Victorian government meet legislated commitments to cut emissions.

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Media release: Walk 2 #BuildMM2

A selfie of Mikaela is on her walk, wearing a pink mask and pink jacket.

Media Release 19th Oct 2020

Walk to Build #MM2: The Melbourne Metro 2 Rail line will be imperative to build back a more resilient Melbourne.

 

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Westgate Bridge Disaster 50 Years On: Workers Solidarity Bulletin #26

Westgate Bridge Disaster 50 Years On: Workers Solidarity Bulletin #26

50 years ago a section of the West Gate Bridge collapsed in Australia’s worst industrial incident. In this edition we pay tribute to the 35 workers killed in the collapse, the 18 who were seriously injured and all of the family members and workers who were deeply affected by this disaster. Remembering also means that we remember how this preventable catastrophe happened and the callous and inadequate response from the bosses and government.

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Pressure building for Offshore Wind. Can Angus Taylor deliver in 2020?

Pressure is building on the Morrison government to deliver on offshore wind, after Gippsland Nationals MP Darren Chester faced questions on QandA recently and regional climate groups raised the alarm on the climate crisis during the past fortnight.

It raises the question of the whether the Coalition government and Energy Minister Angus Taylor can deliver on offshore wind in 2020?

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Living with fire in the Pyrocene

more_it_burns_square.jpgFire has played a pivotal role in almost all landscapes across Australia for millions of years. The continent of Australia is a cultural and natural landscape: it has been shaped by First Nations peoples for many hundreds of generations. Colonisation disrupted this long management and now settler society is trying to understand how fire should be used in the landscape to manage it for biodiversity, asset protection, and human safety.

One key tool used to manage fire risk is fuel reduction (or hazard reduction) burning. While often presented as a panacea for fires, it requires a complex and nuanced application to be safe and effective. But many vocal proponents of fuel reduction burning see it as a blunt instrument that can - and should be - applied across all forested landscapes frequently. As we know, the natural world is a complex place. When using a tool with such large implications as fire, we need an equally complex approach rather than a blanket ‘we must burn the bush’ mantra.

These posts will explore some of the issues at play as we, as a society, grapple with how to respond to and manage fire in a time of climate change.

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