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Friends of the Earth Melb news Sept 2023

In this September edition, Transport Equity Week, a Better Buses Ball, action on the defence agenda in schools, Nuclear Waste Info night, native forests forum, mountain citizen science walks, government indifference to koalas, climate actions, Power On film, renewable energy jobs expo & more!

Transport Equity week

Transport Equity Week is rolling in Sun 17 - Sun 23 Sept details here.

Bus Ball Party!

FoE Melb Bus Ball Party

Are you ready to party on a bus? Come on board, dance, celebrate, and help make a difference in our community's transport choices! Join us for a fun and exciting event during Transport Equity Week as we celebrate buses and advocate for a more inclusive and sustainable future! We're hosting a Bus Ball, a unique and fun party on wheels to highlight how sexy and fun buses are, as well as the benefits of using public buses while dressing up and having a blast. Why pay for petrol when you can enjoy the comfort and convenience of a bus? - We don't spend our hard earned dollars on petrol and contribute to emissions, we just ride the bus! #carscringe! Let's reduce our carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment together. Dress to Impress! Get creative and stylish and hop on board to experience the VIP treatment buses offer! Let's have a blast while advocating for a more sustainable and equitable future.  Read more & RSVP.

Power On Film - Gippsland Community Screenings

Power On film poster

Power On tells the story of Gippsland's energy transformation from the centre of Victoria's coal industry to a renewable energy leader.  There are two Gippsland community screenings coming up in Morwell and the Bass Coast, which will be followed by presentation and panel discussions with key guest speakers.  RSVP to secure your seat to Power On!

Transform, a renewable energy jobs expo 13-14 Oct

TRANSFORM is a one of a kind Renewable Energy Jobs Expo taking place over two days in Gippsland Fri 13 & Sat 14 Oct 2023 at Gippsland Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon, free entry.  Read more.

What next for native forests? forum 26-27 Oct

Future of Vic native forests forum poster

On the 23rd of May this year, the state government announced that commercial logging of native forests would cease in the east of Victoria at the end of 2023 – six years ahead of the scheduled close. The native forest areas that will no longer be available for logging cover 1.8 million hectares.  This is a great win for forests. The government has announced a good transition package for affected workers. But the question remains: what next?  The government is expected to announce a process for deciding how the 1.8m hectares will be managed shortly.  In the meantime, FoE has joined up with the Victorian National Parks Association, the Alluvium Foundation and the Royal Society of Victoria to hold a symposium to consider ‘what next’ and suggest ways the forests should be managed into the future. 

This public symposium will explore options and issues for securing the future of these forests. We will convene scientists, land managers and First Nations expertise to explore and discuss issues across four key areas: biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, cultural landscapes, and recreational tourism. These scholars, policy makers and knowledge holders will address bushfire prevention, recovering threatened species, sustaining human health and wellbeing, and adapting to the regional impacts of climate change. We seek to understand how the end of logging operations will change the way native forests are managed, the challenges of future management, and the opportunities that this land-use change provides.  The Future of Forests forum will happen over 2 days in October (26 and 27) and you can find out more here

Get out in the mountains this spring

As we await the end of native forest logging in the east of the state, Friends of the Earth continues to offer free guided walks in the high country so people can see what’s going on in the mountains.  Upcoming events include a walk to the headwaters of the Little Dargo River – an incredible unlogged forest in the high country near Mt Hotham. The Little Dargo had been scheduled for extensive logging and we continue to keep an eye on the area in the last few months before logging ends. The walk is on November 5 over the Melbourne Cup weekend. Details here.  We are also hosting a citizen science field trip 6 November to Mt Tabletop (near Mt Hotham) to investigate the impacts of the 2019/20 Black Summer fires and how the snow gum forests are recovering. Details hereFor background on our work in the high country please check here.

Teachers say NO to defence in the curriculum

FoE Melb Teachers say no to defence curriculum

Teachers are organising in their unions to take a stand against the military agenda in the school curriculum with the Defence Department's Nuclear Propelled Submarine Challenge.  Mere weeks after the announcement of the Nuclear Propelled Submarine Challenge, a STEM project for year 7-12, Friends of the Earth has been contacted by concerned teachers who are rising up to oppose the military-grooming and nuclear-glorifying program. In primary schools, a program called Beacon is targeting year 4-6 students. This program is funded by BAE systems, the weapons company that is said to design and build the Australian nuclear submarines, with the intention to build "an extraordinary workforce".  Please take a minute to send an email to Education Ministers of Education and read more.

Nuclear Waste Info night

The Nuclear-Free Collective at Friends of the Earth continues to fight the nuclear industry at every point in the cycle. Every 3rd Wednesday of the month we have an action meeting in the Yami Lester Room from 6-8 pm (drop in). Read more & RSVP.

Government indifference to Strzelecki Koalas

Koala in gum tree

Several months ago, Friends of the Earth applied under Freedom of Information Legislation, for details pertaining to how the Victorian State Government dealt with FoE's 2022 application to the Federal Government regarding EPBC listing of the Strzelecki koala. FoE's nomination was sent off in March 2022, with the subsequent nomination refused in October 2022. The "silver lining" in regards to the nomination is that it now appears that the State Government has finally (ironic hand claps) started (as of July 2023) a project investigating the genetic significance of the Strzelecki koala and the extent of the population. The project could take 2 years to complete.  Read more.

Brataualung Forest hand back stalls

Where were you in October 2006? 17 years ago, John Howard was Prime Minister, Kim Beazley was opposition leader. Steve Bracks was Premier and Ted Baillieu had been state opposition leader for 5 months after the demise of Robert Doyle. Steve Irwin had died one month earlier from a sting ray barb and a few months earlier the world had been gripped by the Beaconsfield mine collapse in northern Tasmania.

In terms of FoE forest issues, a new Heads of Agreement was signed concerning the handback of 8,000ha of forest called the Cores and Links Reserve in the Strzelecki Ranges. Friends of the Earth, Friends of Gippsland Bush, Trust for Nature and others had been involved in 2 years of tense negotiations to get the Heads of Agreement signed between Hancock, Australian Paper and the State Government. The land was supposed to be gifted to Trust for Nature to manage. The deal was signed under duress. Read more.

Act on Climate has two special in-person strategy sessions coming up on the 12 and 19 September to bring collective members together to map out what our next chapter of work looks like and the direction of our new campaign. RSVP to both or either our Sept Strategy Session #1 or Sept Strategy Session #2. Our next hybrid online and in-person Organising Training Series workshop, held in collaboration with Sustainable Cities, is Organising Training Series: Climate Justice & Intersectionality Pt 1 on 26 September. It will look at climate Justice and intersectionality and how we build solidarity with climate impacted marginalised communities through an intersectional feminist lens.

Sign a Parliament of Vic petition to
Stop the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project here.  


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