February 2018 Update

VIC_one_year_til_election_Nov_2017_(1).jpgNovember State Election – We’re Off and Running

In November 2018, Victorians will head to the polls. With community concern about climate change on the rise, it's an issue that all political parties must address in detail.

Our state is undergoing profound change as the population grows, entire industries go to the wall, and climate change starts to really impact on our landscapes, economy and lifestyles. Yet Melbourne continues to sprawl, as low density development covers valuable farmland and remnant vegetation, supported by transport infrastructure that will perpetuate our current reliance on cars.

An election provides all parties with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership on the interconnected issues of climate, energy, social justice, and the economy.

FoE has launched an ambitious election campaign, with policy in the realms of forests and biodiversity, transport and sustainability, and energy, climate and renewables.

We have huge plans for the year! We will be holding a major campaign launch on May 24. 

In the meantime, check our website for full details on our campaign and policy agenda.

You can take action and support our campaign by sending email to the political Party Leaders here.

If you can support our work with a donation, that would be fantastic.


UNDER_ATTACK.pngFriends of the Earth are Under Attack!

Imagine a world without FoE...

An update on the attacks on environment groups:

The extreme right in the federal Coalition and their mates in the fossil fuel industry and conservative media are continuing their relentless attack on charities and on your right to dissent to their destructive worldview.  

They are attempting to restrict our ability to run effective campaigns and to limit your democratic voice to oppose destructive projects that threaten their corporate mates.

The community backlash to this legislation is having an impact. Thanks to hundreds of you emailing Bill Shorten over the weekend, we have seen Labor make clear its position to remove charities from the bill. There is little doubt that the Coalition to attempt to stamp out environmental defenders and silence community voices. Stand by for more information and urgent action alerts. 

We need your financial support now, to create a fighting fund to resist these moves.

#DefendEnviroOrgs #HandsOffOurCharities

Banner_image_2.jpgAre you ready to #GetOnBoard?

In early February, community members gathered to #GetOnBoard the new Community Powered Transport Plan. People came from all across Melbourne, putting aside their political differences, they united to get the job done. 

We’ve got amazing academics and urban planners with bright ideas. The community is hungry for better public transport to reduce congestion on our roads. But successive governments have failed to put in place the smart transport policies to cope with a growing Melbourne. It’s up to us to #GetOnBoard! 

The community is coming together to demand a fairer, healthier, more connected Melbourne. If we don’t want mega roads, what do we need to do to get Melbourne moving? Read about our ideas at www.getonboard.org.au

Keen to get involved? Join us Monday's at 6pm at Friends of the Earth or contact Rachel.lynskey@foe.org.au

ON_FEB_23_201-3.pngAct on Climate: Victoria must step up on climate as Feds fail to act

The slow train wreck of climate change policy is still unfolding in Australia. National emissions are rising on Malcolm Turnbull’s watch, and Australia will fail to meet the meagre emissions cuts it pledged to the Paris Agreement.

Regressive political forces at the national level have seen states and territories step up and lead on climate change. But they’ll have to make the most of existing initiatives and ramp up public investment to maintain momentum.

A year ago today, the Andrews government strengthened the state’s climate change laws after winning the support of The Greens and cross benchers. The act requires the Victorian government to set interim Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030. 

Act on Climate are pushing for the Labor government to set ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets, but we need your help. 

JOIN US for a campaign info night on Tuesday 6 March to find out how you can get involved.

Lastly, there's been radio silence from Matthew Guy and the Coalition when it comes to climate change. In 2018, a major political must have a climate change policy. 

SIGN the petition calling on Matthew Guy and the Coalition to uphold the state's climate change laws.

Small_Serpentine_Creek_RSOS_867-502-0007(01)_copy.jpgFoE Forest Collective is stepping up electoral work as Victoria heads to the polls in November

We’re working in several electorates to grow support for the Great Forest National Park proposal.

Last week we kicked off in Treasurer Tim Pallas’ seat of Weribee, conducting street surveys, video projections and empowering people to contact their local MP. We’re getting organised to make forests a big election issue and we need your help!

In other forest news,  our affiliates Goongerah Environment Centre landed a massive story in The Sunday Age about the Victorian government’s unlawful logging of rainforest and ‘impotent’ regulation of the powerful logging industry. The Age gave the story a very prominent position with a photo of campaigners on page 2 and 3. Share the story on Facebook here.

To get involved with the collective contact Sarah Day – sarah.day@foe.org.au 

The next meeting is on March 8th, 6 pm at the FoE campaign HQ, 312 Smith St Collingwood.

CCS_April_2017.pngCoal Pipe Dreams

Sadly, the Victorian government has decided to start promoting new options for continuing our state’s use of coal. The government clearly ‘gets’ the imperative of climate change, and has committed our state to be carbon neutral by 2050.

So this recent boosting of new coal projects is especially disappointing.

Current initiatives include:

  • The carbon capture and storage project (CCS) being pursued at 90 Mile Beach in Gippsland (check here for a recent news story on our support for the campaign against this project)
  • The plan by Kawasaki Heavy Industries to develop a coal to hydrogen plant in the Latrobe Valley, which will require the development of port facilities in WesternPort Bay (background info here).

Friends of the Earth are monitoring this issue and stand in readiness to protect communities and the environment. 

China_Labor_Protest.jpgShow Solidarity with Apple workers

River pollution, toxic gas, acute poisoning, ten hours a day, six days a week, with no fire exit. Can you tell where you are? It's not Australian gold mine 100 years ago. Try the Catcher factory on an Apple production line in China today.

Apple is sacrificing people and planet for profit. They face strong resistance from workers on the ground. Let's make that resistance international. Ethical consumerism isn't going to solve this one, these problems are systemic in the IT industry. Together we have and can win. You can damage the brand, public institutions can buy better, and government should put sustainability before profit in their trade deals.

Damage the Brand and show solidarity NOW! Solidarity to workers & .@chinalaborwatch struggling against .@Apple factories where they are overworked in unsafe conditions that poison them and the environment.

Contact andrew.taylor@foe.org.au from the Economic Justice Collective to find out more and get involved in building a solidarity strategy for Victoria. 

forest.jpgHelp name the new Strzelecki Reserve!

FoE has been working towards protecting the Strzelecki Ranges for over 20 years. The Government naming process for the Reserve is almost completed. The final decision about the Reserve's name is down to two options: Brataualung and Grand Ridge.

We are urging FoE members and supporters to vote for Brataualung. 

The Reserve area is part of Bartaulung Country of the Gunaikurnai people. The Gunaikurnai people are the traditional owners of Glippsland and are made up of the Brataualung, Brayakaulung, Brabalung, Krauatungalung and Tatungalung family clans. The Gunaikurani Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) have been consulted and support the use of the name Brataualung. GLaWAC represents these Traditional Owners who were recognised in the Native Title Consent Determination made under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.

You have until the 21st of March to vote. Register online here and have your say today! 

feature-market-forces-logo.jpgDo you have shares in these companies?

Our friends at Market Forces are coordinating shareholder resolutions to be lodged at the upcoming AGMs of QBE, Woodside, Santos, Sydney Airport and Caltex. The resolutions call on those companies to disclose and address climate risk, including measuring methane emissions.

Market Forces needs 100 shareholders by the end of February for each company to hold them accountable. If you have shares in any of these companies, please sign on online by clicking on this link marketforces.org.au/get-involved/2018resolutions/.

Any questions can be sent to Rachel on rachel@marketforces.org.au

Jabiluka.jpgJabiluka Celebration

Mirarr Traditional Owners in the Northern Territory and their many supporters are this year celebrating the 20th anniversary of the mass movement that defeated Energy Resources of Australia's plan to mine the Jabiluka uranium deposit.

The first of a number of initiatives to mark the 20th anniversary is a 'Standing Strong' calendar featuring powerful and beautiful images to commemorate the historic victory. It includes pictures from Mirarr country as well as from Jabiluka actions and support rallies across Australia and around the world.

To order the calendar and to see an online (PDF) version click here.

Up Coming Events

ursula_1.jpg'Witnessing Climate Change' forum | March 6th | 7pm-8:30pm | Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins St Melbourne

For an evening at the Athenaeum Theatre in March, the Wheeler Centre will present people who are already seeing, and living, the impact. They’ll share their stories, visions and ideas for the future.

We’ll hear moving words and performances from Marshall Islands spoken-word artist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and activist Ursula Rakova from Papua New Guinea as well as New York Timesscience writer Jim Robbins and Melbourne-based author and environmentalist Tony Birch.

Tickets: $25 and $15 concession, plus 30c booking fee. Bookings wheelercentre.com
Use promotion code 'FOE2018' to access concession priced tickets.

Friends of the Earth members will meet before the event to discuss how we can act in solidarity with people on the frontline of climate change impacts. 

Please contact patrick.simons@foe.org.au if you'd like to get involved. 


Possum Palooza |March 7th | 5:30-8:00pm | City of Melbourne Bowls Club, Flagstaff Gardens, West Melbourne

The Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum group are challenging the legality of the RFAs in a landmark Federal Court case. They need support in this David vs Goliath battle as they take on VicForests and State and Federal governments.

On March 7th an event to raise funds for the case is being held at the Melbourne Bowls club.

Get down to “Possum Palooza” and support their efforts to protect our forest wildlife!

the_bentley_effect.jpgThe Bentley Effect | March 7th | 6:30pm | Bairnsdale Sun Cinema 

We are very excited to announce that "The Bentley Effect” movie is coming to Bairnsdale! Tickets can be purchased online at www.bentleyeffect.com/screenings.

This film is about CSG mining and what happened at Bentley in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales to stop fracking. It is about what people and communities can achieve when they stand together to fight for a common cause.  Watch the trailer here.

This movie night is a fundraising event for Mine-free Glenaladale so a short Q&A about proposed mineral sands mining in East Gippsland will follow after the film.  

To find out more contact Debbie Carruthers gasfieldfreebairnsdale@gmail.com

Get_up_and_Dance__4.jpgGet Up and Dance #4 | March 16th | 6:30am-9:00am | Friends of the Earth Melbourne, 312 Smith St, Collingwood

Come dance, drink coffee & support our new Energy Justice campaign!. 

All donations will go towards travel costs & organising forums on our Energy Justice Road Trip - connecting Melbourne folk with La Trobe Valley residents who's health is effected by coal & other rural areas that are affected by energy poverty. 

Entry by donation (recommended $5-$20). Breakfast & Coffee by donation. Music by Peekaboo & DJ Lady Soup!!

You can RSVP here

Y2R_Politics_in_Pub_Twitter.pngRenewable Energy Politics in the Pub with Yes 2 Renewables |8th March | 6:30PM | Friends of the Earth Melbourne, 312 Smith St, Collingwood

Do you love renewable energy, and think Australia should be at the forefront of creating jobs in wind, solar and energy storage? Want to be part of a community campaign for good sustainable jobs and action on climate change?

Join Yes 2 Renewables for a casual night of 'Renewable Energy Politics in the Pub' on Thursday 8th March, 6:30PM at FoE Melbourne to talk about the big changes underway in Australia's energy system and how to get involved.

With the Turnbull government continuing to attack states leading on renewables and pursuing a dirty energy target at the national level that would send investment in wind and solar off a cliff, it's time for the community to make a stand. But first we need to get organised!

No prior knowledge required, only passion and interest. All welcome! 
Light snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available per donation.

rad_tour.jpgRadioactive Exposure Tour 2018 | 30th March-8th April | South Australian Road Trip

Some spaces are still available on the Radioactive Exposure Tour!

Run by Friends of the Earth the Radioactive Exposure Tour is a journey through Australia's nuclear landscape.The Rad Tour has exposed thousands of people to the realities of 'radioactive racism' and the environmental and social impacts of uranium mining, radioactive waste and nuclear bomb testing.

For more information and to register, visit www.melbournefoe.org.au/radtour2018