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Friends of the Earth Melb news Dec 2023

In December news, zoom into our AGM, fighting fire and cultural burning, a Ghost forest walk, koala updates and video, Food Co-op Cooking Calendar 2024, nuke free caps and postcards, and FoE gifts, more clean energy, community climate adaptation fund, better buses plus more!

FoE members remember to RSVP to zoom into our FoE 2023 AGM 6pm 19 Dec, with 50 years of FoE special guest panel.

FoE Food Coop Cooking Calendar 2024 order online

Hot out of the oven, Friends of the Earth 50th birthday Food Co-op Cooking Calendar 2024 is available to order online. 

Also, get your nuke-free retro Turn da tables summer caps, and wonderful nuke-free artwork post cards 8 pack from the art auction. Thanks to all the artists who generously gave us permission to use their work.

FoE nuke free artwork postcards 8 pack order online

There are also tees, hoodies, totes and gifts to support our campaign work, so head to the FoE shop online.

The future of firefighting in Victoria online forum 7pm 14 Dec

How can firefighting in Victoria be modernised to tackle the climate-fuelled bushfires of the 21st century?  With the Victorian government’s new Bushfire Management Strategy currently being finalised, the government has the opportunity to make some innovative firefighting ideas a reality that will protect people and places we love.  Join us to hear from a panel of speakers with intimate knowledge of firefighting and fire management share their ideas for strengthening our responses to bushfire.  Info & RSVP.

Cultural burning: a primer

As Australia experiences an early start to the 2023/24 fire season, much of the current media coverage understandably focuses on fighting fires. But there is a deeper, longer public conversation about how we manage the land. In this context, fuel reduction/ hazard reduction burning, ecological burning and Cultural burning are often considered as ways of reducing fire risk.  Read more.

Sign an open letter calling for a Vic Remote Area Firefighting Team

It is clear that to tackle the climate-fuelled bushfire seasons of the 21st century, Victoria needs to strengthen its firefighting capacity by unlocking new sources of volunteers within the state.  We call on the Victorian government to create a volunteer remote area firefighting team (RAFT) that Victorians living in urban areas could join.  Read more & sign Vic RAFT open letter.

Call for a permanent Community Climate Adaptation Fund

As our preparedness for the predicted severe climate impacts this Summer is debated, it is clear that the Victorian Labor government needs to act on climate adaptation. Victorian communities want and need funding to adapt to incoming climate impacts.  This is why we are calling on the Victorian Labor government to establish a permanent Victorian Community Climate Adaptation Fund (VCCAF).  Read more & add your name.

Join a walk in the Ghost forest of the Bogong High Plains March 2024

Ghost forests Bogong High Plains

The next trip will be in early March 2024, to see the recovering snow gum woodlands on the north western edge of the Bogong High Plains. These forests have been negatively impacted by repeat wildfires, leading to widespread distribution of ‘ghost forests’: areas of burnt and dead woodlands with dense thick and highly flammable regrowth, and localised ecological collapse.  This walk will be car camping, based at Pretty Valley on the Bogong High Plains (accessible by 2WD dirt road from Falls Creek). The Saturday is a big day of walking (roughly 7 hours round trip) to visit Mt Fainter and the ghost forests from Pretty Valley. You will need a good level of fitness to do this walk.  We will also offer an easier walk (almost 4 hours, but at a more leisurely pace) to visit snow gum forests in the Tawonga huts area. Walking for both trips are on defined paths, over undulating terrain.  Read more.

Dates: March 8, 9, and 10.  You will need to bring all your camping gear and food. The trip will require a 3 day weekend:

  • Drive up on Friday
  • Walk to the Fainters on Saturday
  • Head home on Sunday

Please RSVP for this free event, and we will send full details in early 2024.

SKAT updates

FoE Melb SKAT activists

Some updates from 'Koala land' regarding what SKAT has been up to over the past couple of months. It's certainly been hectic. A couple of big events are looming fast, the first being the Strzelecki Koala Festival this year to be held in Sale and the upcoming launch of a new koala documentary 'The Koala'. Read more.

Discover the significance of Mullungdung State Forest for the Strzelecki koala community, watch the video here.

Rapidly expanding government investment scheme for clean energy projects

In a major development, the federal government has announced it will underwrite the costs of building 9GW of storage and 23GW of renewable generation. Federal energy minister Chris Bowen has used the Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council meeting being held in Perth as an opportunity to announce an extension of the “Capacity Investment Scheme”, whereby the risk for new investments in renewables is shared between investors and taxpayers.  Friends of the Earth responded by saying “This is a huge step towards Australia moving away from it’s addiction to fossil fuels."  Read more.

Media release: Vic Infrastructure report but community needs better buses

Friends of the Earth’s Better Buses Campaign welcomed the findings of Infrastructure Victoria’s Fast, frequent, fair: how buses can better connect Melbourne report, showing the benefits of bus network reform and how the Allan Labor government should prioritise investment in better bus services.  The report details how an uplift in Melbourne’s bus infrastructure, including creating priority bus lanes, the implementation of a 10 minute frequency timetable and more direct routes, would significantly improve access to jobs and recreation for thousands of Melbournians. These reforms would especially serve those in the chronically underserved outer suburbs, and those in newly built estates who currently have minimal to no access to public transport.  Read more.

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