The Federal Government has announced that a vast area of ocean around Australia will be offered up for offshore oil and gas exploration. This includes 21 areas across six basins covering 80,000 sq km in Commonwealth waters.
We know that seismic testing and oil and gas production is bad for marine environments and the life that depends on them. We know it is bad for commercial and recreational fishers. We know that communities don’t want to be looking out at drilling rigs in an otherwise pristine environment.
Recently the International Energy Agency (IEA) declared that there is no room for new fossil fuel investment if we’re to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Take action - say no to new plans to drill in the Bass Strait.
This announcement is at odds with climate science and community opinion. It is also at odds with our commitments made under the Paris climate agreement.
It includes a large section of the western coastline of Victoria, from Port Campbell along the coastline that includes the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles. Coastline that represents important sea-country and stories for First Nations groups.
Welcome to Friends of the Earth Melbourne June enews our state-wide monthly update. In this edition click + collect your Food Co-op orders, support and donate to DrillWatch and help save our Strzelecki Koalas. Vote in the Cane Toad Awards and book a table for our trivia night, rejoice our historic court victory over Shell’s global emissions, then listen to a 3CR Dirt radio podcast to hear all about the win. Pressure the PM ahead of COP26, note the new delivery date for the People’s Climate strategy and chip-in and sign-up, then vote online for your favourite Act on Climate t-shirt design. Check out Sustainable Cities Stop North East Link alliance news, submit a piece for the next Chain Reaction magazine, and read all about the current government’s proposed legislation aimed at silencing civil society from advocating, again.
The coronavirus, with its global effects on health, human suffering is also, of course, affecting the economy, and most (though not all) businesses. The ''commercial'' nuclear industry is affected, but not the nuclear weapons industry. The nuclear-armed nations are revving up their weapons expenditure. The USA is the shiningly obscene example. Clearly the nuclear weapons industry has captured the American government, it hardly matters whether the administration is in Democratic or Republican hands.
Some bits of good news:
Chernobyl Guards Have Befriended Abandoned Dogs, Feeding Them and Bringing Medical Care
The ban on conventional gas drilling in Victoria will be no more from July.
It's clear the time for gas is approaching burnout. From the defeat of AGL's planned gas import terminal in Westernport to the thousands of students calling on the Federal Government to #FundOurFutureNotGas, communities across the country are calling for an end to fossil fuels.
But the removal of this temporary ban (moratorium) on gas drilling in Victoria from July 1, sends a signal to gas companies that Victoria is essentially open for business for a last ditch attempt to drill for drill for gas across Gippsland and South West Victoria.
This is bad news for regional communities, for our farmers and for the climate.
The good news is that a resource is being put together that will support communities to defend their land, health and future.
World Environment Day is a day to celebrate the wins, and recommit to fighting for the protection of the natural world.
Since the 1990’s, together with Friends of Gippsland Bush (FoGB) we campaigned for the protection of rainforest catchments in the Strzelecki Ranges in Agnes River, Franklin River, Dingo Creek, Albert River and College Creek which resulted in the creation of the Brataualung Forest Park in 2018. Now, the Brataualung Forest Park in Gippsland is home to some of the most important koala habitat in Australia.
These forests make up part of the habitat zones of the Strzelecki Koala, Victoria's only endemic koala population. With possibly only 1500 - 2000 Strzelecki Koalas remaining in the wild, every patch of forest matters.
And with no other native forest in Victoria being listed as Reserves over the past decade, places like Brataualung are of great importance.
Can you support us with a tax deductible donation this World Environment Day to ensure we can continue to advocate for this protection for Koalas and their habitat?
Friends of the Earth members would be well aware of koala problems in the south west of Victoria. In February 2020 Friends of the Earth alerted the world to a koala massacre 11 km west of the town. Hundreds of animals were killed, injured or had to be translocated when an ex blue gum plantation was cleared by new landowners.
VIC Lockdown Updates:For the next week, our campaigns office will be closed, and staff working from home. Below is an update from our Food Coop and Cafe on our reduced opening hours, take away service and covid-safe guidelines.
Takeaway only meals will be available daily: your fave organic lunch bowls/ pies / pizza from 12pm Mon-Sat, and organic pizza pies and sweets on Sundays!
The grocery and bulk food store will be open and as always we ask that all customers wash and sanitise their hands before shopping. We have a no touch method for refilling that keeps us reducing waste safety.
Please wear a mask, QR/sign in, practice physical distance and use hand sanitiser provided.
Keep safe and thank you for your ongoing support as we navigate these challenging times!
Friends of the Earth Melbourne is requesting your assistance in getting the Strzelecki koala listed under federal environmental legislation. We are urging people to send off out petition to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley. (Please sign here)
Strzelecki Koala: South east of Churchill Jan 2021
MEDIA RELEASE - Thursday 20 May
Friends of the Earth response to the Victorian Budget 2021-22
The Andrews government has delivered a budget that builds on last year’s record $1.6 billion spend on climate and energy. It includes noteworthy investment in Public Transport, Electric Vehicles, and bushfire preparedness.
Friends of the Earth says the 2021-22 budget continues the work of tackling the climate crisis and that further investment is needed to ensure the government delivers its commitment to halve the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and phase out native forest logging by 2030.
The budget makes significant allocations government will that will decarbonise the transport sector and improve Public Transport accessibility, including:
* $986 million to build 25 new X’Trapolis 2.0 trains for the metropolitan network.
* $368 million for Next Generation Trams, upgrading the Southbank Tram Depot, and new maintenance facility in the north-western suburbs.
* $25 million to tackle barriers that prevent people with disabilities from using Public Transport—including a strategy to deliver universal access for the tram network.
* $46 million to encourage the adoption of Electric Vehicles and procure 400 vehicles for the government’s fleet.
Over the past 6 months Friends of the Earth has been conducting Freedom of Information (FoI's) requests to a number of water authorities across Victoria. The goal of the FoI's is to better understand the levels of PFAS contamination in recycled water and biosolids. Our major concern is that PFAS is making its way onto land and crops where recycled water and biosolids are used. Results of most of the information is then uploaded onto the Australian PFAS map.
Image: Werribee South Irrigation District. Groundwater is contaminated with PFAS, with the source apparently being recycled water from Melbourne Water's Western Treatment Plant