No oil or gas in Bass Strait

No_New_Oil___Gas.jpgDespite the dire state of the climate crisis, the federal government continues to pursue both a 'gas-led' recovery and the further production of fossil fuels. This includes opening up the pristine waters of the Bass Strait to polluting fossil fuels companies that are intent on drilling for oil and gas. Meanwhile, in Victoria, the Andrews government has opened up sections of state waters to fossil fuel exploration.

Bass Strait supports thriving tourism and commercial fishing industries. Southern rock lobster fishers have already expressed their fear that plans to use seismic testing could threaten crayfish populations, and hence their industry.

The best available science tells us that governments must rule out new fossil fuel developments if we are to avoid catastrophic climate impacts such as the horrific Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20. 

Allowing commercial drilling is just too risky for marine environments, local communities and businesses, and the climate.

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Everyone’s getting on board for MM2

What is MM2 and why is it important?

The Covid-19 pandemic has made clear the need for well connected and accessible public transport. We need a transport system that reduces crowding in order to become a robust, resilient and accessible city of the future. However the Victorian Government continues to prioritise mega toll roads over the sustainable public and active transportation that we need. The North and West are Melbourne’s fastest growing areas, and are severely under-serviced by public transport – with some commuters unable to board trains at peak hour due to overcrowding.

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Creating an extended Snobs Creek Wildlife Reserve for nature based tourism

unnamed-4.jpgThe Central Highlands, to the east and north east of Melbourne are an incredible biodiversity hotspot, with varied landscapes, beautiful rivers, and heavily treed mountains with forests of Mountain Ash and remnants of cool temperate rainforest. Sadly, it has been heavily logged for many decades and impacted by bushfires.

In response, local communities and environmental organisations have campaigned to see the region receive adequate protection. At present, the Snobs Creek valley, in the north end of the Central Highlands is a focus of local campaigning. Residents of the area are calling on the state government logging authority, VicForests, to protect an area with high conservation value forests that is due for logging.

The following information comes from Friends of the Snobs Creek Valley and the Rubicon (Snobs Creek Recreation Reserve).

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Community Garden Survey

Community gardens have the potential to provide a range of benefits, including climate change mitigation, increased social cohesion, and improved mental and physical health.

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Repurpose Altona for climate action: Solidarity with refinery workers

altona.jpgEnvironment group Friends of the Earth expresses solidarity with the 350 Altona oil refinery workers whose jobs are now at risk following news that global fossil fuels giant ExxonMobil is set to shut the facility.

The decision to convert the oil refinery into an import terminal is a missed opportunity to repurpose the Altona site for action on climate change.

"The refinery could be converted to produce renewable hydrogen, which would see the Altona workforce retain their jobs and incomes while using their skills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing, transport and energy sectors" said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's Yes2Renewables Coordinator.

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TAKE ACTION ON WORLD WETLAND DAY

50 years ago today, the international treaty for the protection of internationally significant wetlands came into effect. The RAMSAR convention was to support populations of migratory birds, endangered species, purify drinking water, and sink carbon. 

Take Action Today to support wetlands!

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No Lead Smelter in the Latrobe Valley

no_lead_pollution.jpgThe Latrobe Valley has undergone major changes in recent years. The closure of the Hazelwood power station and subsequent creation of the Latrobe Valley Authority has seen the beginning of a transformation of the Valley. It needs new jobs and investment. However, it should not be forced to accept any and all development. It needs the right to have a say over what gets approved. 

It would appear that a ‘Secondary Lead Smelter’ proposed for Hazelwood North in the Latrobe Valley has been fast tracked by the planning minister. This proposal is being strongly opposed by many in the local community, on public health grounds.

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Logging threatens recreation and tourism

Kinglake.jpgThe current VicForest Timber Release Plan shows logging of native forests in the Central Highlands is scheduled to occur in areas very close to recreational roads and tracks where people regularly enjoy hiking, horse riding, cycling and four-wheel driving.

These will impact on a large number of areas, including Kinglake, Narbethong, Warburton, The Acheron Way between Narbethong and Warburton, a section of The Bicentennial National Trail near Toolangi, Black Range Tourist Drive between Toolangi and Murrindindi, Snobs Creek Road in Rubicon, and Big Pats Creek.

The Central Highlands rely on nature based tourism for much of its economic activity and local employment. Visitors are not interested in walking or riding through a logging coupe.

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Opening hours over Christmas and New Year

coop.pngThanks to all our members and supporters for their wonderful support during a tough year.

It's been a huge year for our co-op and cafe and the campaigns team. There is a summary of some of our wins and plans for 2021 available here.

Our food co-op and café is trading normal hours until the evening of December 24.

We will be closing from Xmas Day and then reopening on Saturday 2nd January at normal hours (generally 10am – 5pm, and Sunday from 11am until 4.30pm).

Please keep an eye on the co-op facebook page for extra details.

We hope you have a wonderful summer break with friends, family and community. Here’s to more justice, sustainability and community in 2021.

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The plan for 2021

Kuark_forest2_Oct_2017.png2020 is not the year that any of us wanted, and for many, it's one we would prefer to forget. A dry winter and warm spring led to an awful fire season that devastated huge sections of East Gippsland, the mountains, and north east Victoria. The human and ecological costs of these fires will take years to heal.

Then we had the coronavirus, and the double lock down of Melbourne and the regions. Isolation, separation from loved ones, and economic impacts all put a heavy toll on many people.

In spite of all this, Friends of the Earth had a remarkably productive year, with some of our long running campaigns securing significant wins, some of which have been years in the making. 

Here is a summary of what we achieved in 2020, and what’s in store for 2021.





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