October was another busy month for us with lots going on - and even more coming up!
In November we will be holding our Annual General Meeting. All of our members are welcome to come along and be part of this important decision making meeting. There will be snacks and drinks provided and the evening is a good chance to get to know who is who in the FoE office and campaigns. If you are not already a member you can join here and then RSVP for the AGM here. We hope to see you there!
Take action to support the Transition
It is expected that the majority owners of the Hazelwood power station will make an announcement about the future of the plant in coming weeks. Reports in the media have suggested it could be closed as soon as April next year.
Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is the biggest carbon emitter in the national electricity market (NEM) and produces a quarter of Victoria’s electricity. It has long been scheduled for closure.
It has 550 direct employees and 300 contractors.
There is plenty of electricity supply in the NEM and Hazelwood’s closure will help create space for new renewable energy.
The key issue will be what happens to the workers at Hazelwood, and the businesses that rely on them.
We are working closely with local group Voices of the Valley to ensure state and federal governments and energy companies fund a meaningful transition away from coal in the Latrobe Valley.
FoE has joined with the Victorian National Parks Association, Wilderness Society and Environment Victoria to jointly host a series of six community briefings about the state of the environment after two years of the Andrews government.
What will happen to Hazelwood, the world's dirtiest power station? Will the Great Forest National Park finally be created? These and other questions still need answers.
If you want to hear about the steps the Andrews government has taken on the environment and climate so far, and find out what they need to do within the next two years, please come along.
We’re now half way through the program. There are still sessions planned for South Melbourne, Frankston and Woodend.
You can find out more information here.
The Victorian Parliament’s community energy inquiry is continuing, with the first round of public hearings taking place on Monday October 24. Friends of the Earth’s Em Gayfer and Pat Simons gave the organisation’s testimony, calling on the committee to endorse a number of key policies that will grow community energy in Victoria. The hearings come a month after the public submissions phase for the inquiry closed. During the submissions phase, Yes2Renewables ran a pubic submissions drive to engage supporters with the inquiry. This led to over 150 submissions from Yes2Renewables supporters alone endorsing the key policy recommendations. Y2R and supporters called on the committee to:
- Set a transparent target for community energy projects
- Create a fit-for-purpose financial policy mechanism to support CORE, such as a portion of the VRET auctions
- Re-establish Sustainability Victoria as the community energy support agency in collaboration with developing Community Powerhouses
As the public hearings continue and the inquiry further investigates community energy, there is a real opportunity to endorse policies that will see community energy boom across Victoria. Placing communities at the front and centre of the renewable energy transition will ensure communities can lead the way with innovative projects that create local benefits. As Cam Walker says “The best kind of energy is renewable. And the best kind of renewables are community owned”.
Defend Renewables: Secure the VRET
Earlier this week, members of FoE Australia's Economic Justice Collective and Emerging Technologies project went to Canberra to speak with Senators about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and genetic modification (GM).
Following these conversations, the Australian Senate yesterday passed a motion calling on the Government to ban ISDS from all trade agreements. The motion was moved by Senator Jacqui Lambie, and supported by The Australian Greens, the Australian Labor Party and the Nick Xenophon Team.
FoE Trade Spokesperson Kat Moore stated “that this motion passed unchallenged is a tribute to the broad-based opposition to ISDS, and indicates an ever increasing appreciation of the associated risks by all sides of politics.”
Koala surveying: The results are in
The results show that of the 10,500ha surveyed there is an estimated koala population of 945 koalas.
The favoured tree for Koalas throughout the region are Mountain Grey Gums, Southern Blue Gums and the Strzelecki Gums. Almost all of the Strzelecki Gums were surveyed by Friends of the Earth and this is the first time that this species has been listed anywhere in Australia as a preferred koala tree. With approximately 40,000ha of native vegetation in the region, a population of 2-3000 koalas throughout the region likely. FoE hopes to continue with surveys later in the year.
Photo: Caption. Strzelecki Gum (E.strzeleckii) now identified as a preferred Koala tree species for the first time.
After 5 years of campaigning to stop unconventional gas across Victoria, it has finally happened and so we need to party!
Come along for yummy canapes, drinks and dancing. The night will start with story telling from the campaign, so please bring stories that will make us laugh, cry and everything in between. Then the party will begin and we will finally be able to let our hair down!
We can't wait to see your beautiful faces, tickets are now available!
Entry is free but spaces are limited to 150 people. So jump in quick!
If you would like to contribute to the cost of the party, we suggest $10 support or $30 solidarity.
Art for eARTh's sake ‒ art auction | 25 November | viewing from 5:30 pm, auction 7 pm | Arena Project-Space, 2 Kerr St, Fitzroy
Friends of the Earth's Anti-nuclear & Clean Energy (ACE) collective is holding an art auction fundraiser on November 25 ‒ please put it in your diary, and it's not too late to donate quality art work to support our quality campaigning work!
For over 40 years we've been an important part of a passionate national and international movement working at all stages of the nuclear chain to protect country and community from this toxic industry. Currently much of our work involves supporting Aboriginal communities in the firing line for a national nuclear waste dump in SA's Flinders Ranges, and plans for an international nuclear waste dump in SA for 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste. Yikes.
Please come along to our art auction fundraiser ‒ and please spread the word!
If you have art work to donate, please phone Anica 0487 294 910 or email [email protected]
We acknowledge that we meet and work on the land of the Wurundjeri people and that sovereignty of the land of the Kulin Nation were never ceded. We pay respect to their Elders, past and present, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.