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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Big batteries in Ballarat, Kerang to help Vic meet climate & energy goals: Will the opposition back smart energy investments?

MEDIA RELEASE: 22 March 2018

Big batteries in Ballarat, Kerang to help Vic meet climate & energy goals: Will the opposition back smart energy investments? 

Victoria has entered the energy storage race with an announcement that the Andrews government will build large-scale batteries in Ballarat and Kerang. But will the Matthew Guy opposition back smart energy investments? 

Friends of the Earth welcomes the announcement and says big batteries in Ballarat and Kerang will help Victoria meet climate and energy targets. 

"The Turnbull government's do-nothing approach to climate change means we need to see more leadership from Victoria, and that's what we're seeing with this announcement from the Andrews Labor government" said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate change spokesperson.

"Building batteries in Ballarat and Kerang will strengthen Victoria's energy system while helping the state meet legislated targets of 40 percent renewable energy by 2025 and zero emissions by 2050."

Energy policy is a point of difference between the Daniel Andrews government and Matthew Guy opposition as Victoria heads to a state election in eight months time.

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Climate change madness in Victoria: Get prepared and stay safe!

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Have climate impacts ever been as obvious as they have been over the last few weeks?

This November, Victoria has seen record-late frosts, ocean temperature anomalies, as well as a record-breaking heatwave that delivered 15 days over 30°C.

The state now faces an unprecedented storm that is expected to dump a summers-worth of rain in a matter of days leaving the Bureau of Meteorology saying we're in "uncharted territory."

"Half the inhabitants of Melbourne have probably never seen something like this," Scott Williams, senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology told The Age. "This is a vast intense, high impact event for this state."

This is what climate change looks like.

No one can say any particular weather event is caused by climate change. And, of course, Victoria experiences weather patterns that can be extreme because of natural climate variability. But this extreme weather is consistent with what is forecast under climate change modelling.

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Friends of the Earth statement on marriage equality

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A person's gender and sexuality should not affect their access to marriage in Australia, nor should it impact their human rights in any other way.

Friends of the Earth stands in solidarity with the LGBTQI+ community in the face of this attack on your rights. We also recognise that there are many other significant struggles that LGBTQI+ identifying people face daily because of your gender or sexual identity.

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FoE welcome $4.7 million Andrews govt grant scheme for climate action: "Program will bring jobs, investment to regional Vic"

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MEDIA RELEASE: 24 July 2017

Friends of the Earth have welcomed an Andrews government announcement of a $4.7 million grant scheme to kick-start community projects that tackle climate change saying it will bring jobs and investment to regional Victoria.  

Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio announced the grant scheme at a sold out community event in Maryborough organised by Friends of the Earth with the support of the Goldfields Sustainability Group, Transition Creswick, and Maryborough Community House. 

"Community members in regional Victoria are on the frontline of climate change impacts and will tell you that climate change is changing the seasons," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate coordinator.

"For some communities this means increased water scarcity and drought, and others it means heightened risk of heatwave and bushfire." 

"What unites all regional communities is the urgent need for governments to invest in climate change action. The Andrews government's $4.7 million grant scheme will kickstart community-led solutions."  

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Coalition of the willing on renewables welcome, but “must deliver existing state/territory commitments”

MEDIA RELEASE: 13 July 2017

Friends of the Earth: Coalition of the willing on renewables welcome, but “must deliver existing state/territory commitments”  

Friends of the Earth, the environment group that coordinated the campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target, welcomes the idea of a joint state and territory effort to rollout renewables as long as it delivers existing commitments:  

“A coalition of willing states and territories to drive the rollout renewable energy is a good idea, as long as it delivers existing commitments such as the Andrews government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.

“Australians overwhelmingly support more renewable energy and would welcome a joint effort among states and territories that is a race to the top.”

Victorian Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio, the architect of the state Renewable Energy Target (VRET), has flagged the concept of state/territory collaboration on the eve of a Council of Australian Governments Energy Council meeting in Brisbane. 

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Andrews govt support for climate change solutions deliver jobs and investment to Stawell

MEDIA RELEASE - 27 JUNE: 

Friends of the Earth welcome the announcement of state government support for a $565 million expansion of the Nectar Farms hydroponic business near Stawell. The project will see the construction of the Bulgana wind farm and create 1,300 jobs. 

Friends of the Earth's say the announcement shows that state government support for climate change solutions creates jobs and brings investment to regional communities such as Stawell. 

"The Andrews government's support for the wind-powered hydroponics project will create 1,300 new jobs in the Stawell region and shows investment in climate change solutions bring jobs and investment to regional communities."

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Strengthened climate laws pass Vic parliament: Andrews govt can put a down-payment on climate action in budget

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MEDIA RELEASE: 23 Feb 2017

BREAKING--The Andrews government's push to strengthen Victoria's climate change laws has passed the upper house--winning the support of The Greens and crossbenchers Fiona Patten and James Purcell.

Friends of the Earth welcome the passage of amendments to the Victorian Climate Change Act. That enshrines a zero-net emissions target by 2050 into law. It also requires governments to set five-yearly interim emissions reduction targets and adaptation action plans.

"Community members who are seeing the impacts of climate change will welcome the strengthened climate change laws," said Leigh Ewbank, FoE climate spokesperson.

"We commend the Andrews government and all MPs who supported the bill which will help prevent climate change from worsening and prepare communities for the impacts that are now locked in."

The Climate Change Act was put in place in 2010 but was gutted by the Baillieu government a year later. Victoria lost almost five years in a decade when the world was running out of time to avoid climate catastrophe. 

"With the Act finally re-built to include greenhouse gas reductions, it is essential we get on with the task of rapidly transforming Victoria's economy away from its current reliance on coal. We do not have any more time to waste," said Ewbank.

Friends of the Earth says the Andrews government can make a downpayment in the upcoming state budget.

"The Andrews government can follow through on its commitment to climate change action with strategic budget allocations in May," said Mr Ewbank.

"Victorians overwhelmingly support action on climate change and want to see governments put money where their mouth is." 

Friends of the Earth say the passage of the strengthened climate laws is a positive indication for how legislation on Victoria's Renewable Energy Target will fare.

"Action on climate change means boosting jobs and investment in renewable energy," said Pat Simons, FoE renewable energy spokesperson.

"The Victorian Renewable Energy Target will create climate 10,000 jobs and is something crossbench MPs can support." 

The Matthew Guy opposition voted against moves to strengthen state climate policy, just one week after pledging to scrap the VRET if elected.

"Matthew Guy's decision to vote against climate policy and vow to scrap the renewables target could relegate the Coalition to the political wilderness," said Leigh Ewbank.

"Voters reward political parties that act on climate and grow renewables. It's a reservior of support that the opposition cannot tap with its current platform."

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