Landmark Star of the South offshore wind farm gets first tick from Feds

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 March 2019

After months of delay by the federal Coalition, Australia’s first major offshore wind farm, the Star of the South Energy Project proposed off the South Gippsland coast, has received approval for an exploration licence.

Environment Group Friends of the Earth welcome news that Minister for Energy Angus Taylor has signed off on the initial exploration license for Star of the South after months of delaying a decision.

“The Star of the South offshore wind farm will be a game changer for action on climate change and Australia’s energy system,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

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Climate action gains traction with new wind farm proposed for Latrobe Valley



MEDIA RELEASE: 28 March 2019


Climate action gains traction with new wind farm proposed for Latrobe Valley

Environment group Friends of the Earth Melbourne are pleased to see an new wind farm proposed for the Latrobe Valley and say the project shows state efforts to tackle climate change are gaining momentum.

The group that led the community campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target says the Delburn Wind Farm is a sign the state’s energy sector is in transition.

“Victoria’s energy system is shifting from polluting fossil fuels towards clean renewable energy and it’s good news for efforts to tackle climate change,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s climate spokesperson.

According to proponent OSMI, the Delburn Wind Farm would generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, cut Victoria’s carbon emissions by 980,000 tonnes of carbon per annum, and operate for 25 years.

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Press Release: Victorians to dump recycling on parliament

recycling_to_parliament.jpgOn Tuesday 19 March at 8:30 am, hundreds of Victorians will gather at the steps of state parliament to say “if you send our recycling to landfill, we will bring it to you.” Community members will put their weekly recycling on the steps of parliament to highlight government inaction on the issue and demand change.

High-quality photos of the action for use are AVAILABLE HERE, credit Julian Meehan

In recent weeks, the cracks in the Australian recycling system have been exposed.  China ceased taking our recycling in July 2018, resulting in a major loss of market.  Without markets to sell to, recycling companies are stockpiling, leading to dangerous conditions and possible fire hazards.  Two major recycling locations were closed by the EPA on 21 February, and a third closed voluntarily shortly after, resulting in 27 councils around Melbourne sending recycling to landfill.  Short term solutions have been found for some of these councils, but several are still having to resort to binning our recycling.

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Victorian Greens, first party to support 100% renewables and a Climate Budget in new climate & energy plan

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 September 2018

Victorian Greens, first party to support 100% renewables and a Climate Budget in new climate & energy plan   

The Victorian Greens have become the first political party in the state to call for 100 percent renewable energy and support a Climate Budget with the release of their climate and energy policy ahead of the November election.

Friends of the Earth welcome the announcement saying fresh thinking about climate change policy is long overdue. 

"The Greens announcement sets the bar for action on climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt’s big renewables announcement lays the foundation for climate leadership as state election approaches

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 Sept 2018

Andrews govt’s big renewables announcement lays the foundation for climate leadership as state election approaches

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcome the Andrews government’s announcement today of six new wind and solar farms totalling 928 megawatts to meet the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and say it lays the foundation to act on climate change.

Friends of the Earth kicked off the grassroots campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target in early 2014 and say today's announcement is a key milestone for the state's renewable energy future as it heads toward 40 percent renewables by 2025.

"Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement represents the single biggest renewable energy auction in Australia’s history."

"Victoria’s newest wind and solar farms will put downward pressure on power prices and create 1,500 jobs while cutting polluting greenhouse gas emissions," said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.

"The successful reverse auction shows climate action is good for jobs, power prices, and our economy."

Friends of the Earth say the announcement lays the foundation for another round of renewable energy investment.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Matthew Guy comes to the party on renewable energy jobs, yet commitment to Vic Renewables Target is the real test

MEDIA RELEASE – 29 Aug 2018

Matthew Guy comes to the party on renewable energy jobs, yet commitment to Vic Renewables Target is the real test

Opposition leader Matthew Guy made a renewable energy policy announcement this morning at Keppel Prince in Portland where hundreds are employed manufacturing wind turbine towers.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy’s proposal would require renewable energy projects over $50 million to use 75 percent local content. The opposition would reject planning permits for projects that fail to meet this standard.

Friends of the Earth say there is currently no modelling on the feasibility of the opposition's proposal and will consult with unions and the renewable energy sector regarding the matter.

"75 percent of zero is still zero, and that means jobs are at risk," said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth renewable energy spokesperson.

Environment group Friends of the Earth says Matthew Guy’s announcement acknowledges the importance of renewable energy jobs, but says that without a commitment to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, thousands of wind and solar jobs are at risk.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Wonwondah wind farm gets the green light - Will local Nationals MP support jobs & investment?

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A new wind farm in Wonondah North in western Victoria has been given the green light by the Andrews government and will bring jobs and investment to the Wimmera region. 

Friends of the Earth say the local region can be proud of the project that will power 25,000 homes and help Victoria tackle climate change. 

"Victorian climate change solutions such as the Wonwonda wind farm bring jobs and investment to regional communities," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson. 

"The facility will contribute towards Victoria meeting its legislated target of zero net emissions by 2050--something the whole community can be proud of." 

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MEDIA RELEASE: Bulgana Green Power Hub demonstrates economic benefits of climate action - Will local Liberal MP support jobs & investment? 

Bulgana Green Power Hub demonstrates the economic benefits of climate action

The Bulgana Green Power Hub demonstrates the economic benefits of climate action: Will local Liberal MP support jobs & investment? 
 
Friends of the Earth welcome the commencement of construction of the Bulgana Green Energy Hub near Stawell and say the project demonstrates the economic benefits of climate change solutions. But will the local Liberal MP Louise Staley support local jobs and investment? 

"Victorian climate change solutions such as the Bulgana Green Power Hub bring jobs and investment to regional communities," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson. 

"The facility will contribute towards Victoria meeting its legislated target of zero net emissions by 2050--something the whole community can be proud of."
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Friends of the Earth's Victorian Budget Response

MEDIA RELEASE: 1 May 2018

Climate and environment: Big-ticket items the missing piece of the puzzle in Vic budget 2018

Environment group Friends of the Earth says big ticket items to tackle climate change and protect Victoria’s environment are the “missing piece of the puzzle” in budget 2018/19—a disappointing one for the environment. 

The Andrews government’s allocation towards climate change and environment is down from last year’s budget--from $798 million in budget 2017/18 to $266 million this budget cycle.

"With climate change impacts becoming more and more obvious, it’s disappointing to see the Andrews government’s 2018 budget fail to deliver big ticket items for climate change and environmental protection," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.

“The community is looking to the Labor government to have vision when it comes to our environment—such as by establishing the Great Forest National Park and championing the rollout of renewable energy.”

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Friends of the Earth "disappointed" with major delay to Victoria's climate targets

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 March 2018

Friends of the Earth "disappointed" with major delay to Victoria's climate targets

National environment group Friends of the Earth have expressed disappointment regarding a major delay to state climate change policy. 

The process for setting Victoria's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets has been delayed by almost a year.  

"The Andrews government promised to set the state's first Emissions Reduction Targets this year, but that process has been delayed by almost a year," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate change spokesperson. 

"With alarming melting of the polar icecaps and autumn bushfires, the Andrews government doesn't have time to waste on climate change."

"Victorians who are concerned about climate change will be disappointed by the delay and will look to Premier Daniel Andrews to ensure climate change is a feature of the May budget."

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