86% of Victorians concerned about onshore gas - majority support a ban

declaration_delivery_Aug_2016.jpgA week out from an expected state government announcement on the fate of the onshore gas industry, a state wide poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth has found a majority of Victorians support a permanent ban on onshore gas drilling.

The ReachTel poll found 86% of those surveyed expressed concern about the impacts of onshore gas and fracking on water systems and farming lands, with 55% supporting a permanent ban on the industry. Less than 10% opposed a permanent ban.

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July 2016 Update

Ban onshore gas drilling – we’re so close!

As we have been reporting in recent newsletters, the Cabinet reshuffle in May has led to a delay in the state government deciding whether to make the current moratorium on onshore gas permanent.

The new Resources Minister, Wade Noonan, will make a final decision before mid August, so we are in the very last stages of this very long running campaign.

We are doing our best to convince the new minister that the community will support a permanent ban on onshore gas drilling.

If you haven’t called or emailed the minister please do so now. There is a list of campaign ideas available here.

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Threatened Species Grant – Nyah-Vinifera Park

Nyah_Vinifera_July_2016.jpgFriends of the Earth’s River Country Campaign and local Friends of Nyah-Vinifera Forest group alongside Wadi Wadi Traditional Owners have collaborated and received a Threatened Species Grant from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning.

Volunteers have been out in the Nyah-Vinifera Regional Park getting skilled up and surveying the health of the forest flora. People were trained in plant and weed identification, quadratic surveying and cultural sensitivity in the Park. Being out in the forest, seeing it come back to life with water and learning from Traditional Owners about their land is a massive privilege.

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Advocates welcome Vic Parliament inquiry into community-owned renewable energy

884wind-turbine11.jpgEnvironment group Friends of the Earth and community renewables advocate Embark have welcomed the surprise announcement of a Victorian Parliament inquiry into community-owned renewable energy. 

"The Victorian Parliament's inquiry into community energy is very welcome and will allow all political parties to understand the benefits community-owned renewable energy," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.

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June 2016 Update

FoE's Yes 2 Renewables campaign secures Vic Renewable Energy Targets

IMG_7402.jpgWe're winning: After Friends of the Earth's community campaign lasting nearly two-and-a-half years, the Victorian government announced state Renewable Energy Targets of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025.
 
The Victorian Renewable Energy Targets will double wind energy capacity in the state by 2020 and triple renewable energy capacity by 2025–creating 10,000 jobs and unlocking a $2.5 billion investment opportunity in the process. 
 
Analysis from University of Melbourne Energy Institute finds that Australia now has an implicit national Renewable Energy Target of 30-35% by 2030 due to Victoria’s targets. Competitive pressure in the electricity market from new renewable energy capacity will see the closure of polluting coal power plants like Hazelwood. 
 
The Yes 2 Renewables team and our community and union allies are wrapped with the outcome. We put together this overview of the long road to VRET: https://yes2renewables.org/2016/06/22/the-long-road-to-vret-foes-campaign-for-a-vic-renewable-energy-target/.
 
FoE's renewable team are ready for the next big campaign, but need your help to stay in the game. Please make a donation today: https://friendsofearthmelbourne.nationbuilder.com/together_we_can_secure_the_vret.
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Renewable energy jobs boom on the horizon as Andrews govt announces Vic Renewable Energy Targets


vret_announcement.jpgARARAT, 15 JUNE 2016: A renewable energy boom is on the horizon for Victoria as the Andrews government today announces state Renewable Energy Targets (VRET). The long-awaited announcement comes after a two-and-a-half year community campaign to grow renewables.

"The Andrews government's announcement of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is a big win for communities who want a pathway to 100 percent," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.

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A warning on local climate impacts

Bells_Swamp.jpgIn the lead-up to the Bendigo in a Warming Future forum, which will be held in Bendigo on June 15, a fieldtrip hosted by local ecologists highlighted the impacts of climate change which are already being felt in northern Victoria.

Warning on local climate      

Climate change is already taking its toll locally. During a field trip to Bell Swamp and Mount Alexander on Friday, local ecologists pointed out examples of the impact on the region’s ecology.

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