Friends of the Earth has won the Environmental Justice category in this year's Victorian Premier's Sustainability Awards for conducting a campaign to build community resistance to the potential threat of fracking.
Negative impacts can be associated with the practice of hydraulic fracturing extraction of unconventional gas, colloquially known as ‘fracking’.
Friends of the Earth Melbourne initiated a community led campaign in regional Victoria to raise awareness and build community resilience to resist the dangerous extractive process. National organisation Lock the Gate supported the campaign.
The award was presented by the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Lily D’Ambrosio to Friends of the Earth's Coal and Gas Free Victoria campaigners.
Sustainability Victoria’s interim Chief Executive, Stephanie Ziersch, said “Each year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards continue to discover Victoria’s best and most inspiring Victorian individuals, organisations and businesses which are developing and implementing new sustainable practices."
“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Your contributions will have positive long-term effects on our society and our way of life.”
Friends of the Earth's Chloe Aldenhoven said on the night, "We need people to take up the challenge of being part of our democratic processes, to find common ground and work together on our shared values, to take back control of our political system from the fossil fuel industry and other environmental and social villains, and to transform our society to bring us back to the values of health, community and protecting what we have for future generations."
Special thanks to Cam Walker, stalwart of Friends of the Earth and the heart of this campaign, who kicked off this movement and to all the communities across Victoria and Australia who were mad and courageous enough to stand up, work together and win one of the most comprehensive bans on onshore gas anywhere.