December 2015 Update

foe-circle-logo.jpgThe year is at a close again and the 'festive season' is in full swing. It can be a difficult time for some to resist the allure of rampant consumerism... but FoE always has alternatives!

Drop into the Food Co-op on Smith St and pick up amazing ethical present ideas and food to suit any feast!

Too hard to think of a pressie? Why not make a donation to FoE and put it in your loved one's name? You can make online donations here.

Thanks again for your ongoing support in 2015 and have a safe and happy festive season - See you all in 2016!

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Andrews govt's New Energy Jobs Fund shows it's preparing to set ambitious Vic Renewable Energy Targets

884wind-turbine11.jpgThe Andrews government opened the first tranch of its New Energy Jobs Fund in Blackburn today. 

The launch comes in the lead up to the release of its Renewable Energy Action Plan that will set Victorian Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025.

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Summer opening hours

opening_hours.jpgFriends of the Earth would like to thank all our members, supporters, donors and allies for a great year. The campaigns office will close on the evening of December 24 and re open on monday January 4.

The food co-op and cafe will be closed for public holidays – please see below for the full details on opening hours.

See you in 2016!

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Water Act changes bad news for Red Gums

Agriculture and Water Minister Barnaby Joyce introduced amendments to the Water Act in Parliament last week that could see the burden of funding environmental works shifted onto the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder. 

Previously, proceeds from selling environmental water that was not used in one region had to be used to buy environmental water in another region. As we know, environmental water allocations are precious and many Red Gum forests, floodplains and wetlands do not receive the volumes they require to stay healthy.

The amendments to the Water Act mean that income from selling environmental water can now be used for environmental works, such as infrastructure and fish ladders. This could effectively reduce the amount of water delivered to drying Red Gum floodplains in the future. 

 

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Final Report on Unconventional Gas Tabled in Parliament

outside_Parl_UCG_Inquiry_Dec_2015.jpgDecember 8, 2015

Today the committee tabled it's final report in parliament. This long awaited report will be used by the Labor Government to make a decision about the future of onshore and unconventional gas mining in Victoria. The report at no time recommends a lifting of the current moratorium and several additional minority reports recommend the Labor Government support a ban.

Over 70 gasfield free communities across Victoria are calling on the Andrews Government to focus on the recommendation made by Labor MPs Shaun Leane and Harriet Shing, Greens MP Samantha Dunn and Fishers & Shooters MP Daniel Young, who are calling for a permanent ban. In minority reports, they clearly stated that this industry, if allowed to go ahead threatened the agriculture industry, without any guarantees that water, the environment and communities will be protected.

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A ban on Fracking in Victoria? What a great idea

meet_at_Parliament.jpgOn tuesday December 8, the parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas (UCG) will release its final report. It is not an overstatement to say that this puts Victoria at a crossroads in terms of our future energy policy. This is the best chance our state will ever have to stop this invasive industry before it gets established.

As a fuel, UCG is the same as the natural gas that you might use to cook on or heat your home. The only difference is that previously, it was hard to get to because it was buried very deeply or trapped in coal seams or shale or sandstone beds. But improvements in technology and rising gas prices have opened up new gas fields around the world. Generally UCG needs to be 'fracked' to be released. Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) creates a mini earthquake which fractures the rock or coal seam containing the gas, and a mix of chemicals and water are blasted into the seam to release and withdraw the gas. The potential for groundwater contamination is well known and well documented. There are a whole range of environmental and public health concerns related to this industry.

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Digital Campaigning Skill Share

Group_shot.JPGEarlier this month Friends of the Earth Melbourne teamed up with ActionSkills and Reclamation Artists Warehouse to present 3 days of grassroots directed Digital Campaigning skills. The content covered campaign strategy, affecting effective digital pathways, social media implementation and digital story telling.

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