Victorian government rules out extension of energy subsidy to Alcoa smelter

Portland_smelter.jpgNational environment group Friends of the Earth (FoE) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Treasurer that the government will not extend the electricity subsidy to the Alcoa smelter in Portland.

FoE campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker said “the subsidy has cost the state up to $4.5 billion, close to $140,000 per employee per year. The time has come to stop subsidising energy from coal-fired power stations”.

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Hunt turns Red Gum Parks into firewood

The River Country Campaign was alarmed last week to discover that Greg Hunt, Australia’s ‘Minister for the Environment’, had approved a controversial logging trial in a NSW Red Gum National Park and Ramsar-listed wetland.  

In 2010 new Red Gum National Parks were declared and just six years later, Australia’s Minister for the Environment wants to bring back logging machinery into a Park, which is only just starting to recover from century long logging practices.

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Review of Climate Change Act an opportunity for Victoria to lead on climate action

Port_Fairy.jpgEnvironmental organisation Friends of the Earth has welcomed the release of the Independent Review of the Victorian Climate Change Act 2010.

Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator Cam Walker says the review has uncovered big gaps in the existing Act.

“The independent review shows the Climate Act lacks the powers to drive emissions reductions in Victoria. And there’s no mechanism requiring ministers to consider the impacts of climate change on their portfolios,” said Cam Walker of Friends of the Earth.

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Ban gas Grow renewables rally - February 9

RSVP_Page_Banner.jpgBig energy companies have sought to "open up" Victoria to onshore gas drilling and fracking--putting prime farmland and water resources at risk. Regional communities around the state have said "no" to risky unconventional gas extraction. 

On the other side of the coin, the Federal government has sabotaged our renewable energy sector by cutting the national Renewable Energy Target by 20%. The federal government's attack on renewables has resulted in a 90% decrease in investment and 2,500 people losing their jobs.
In the first half of 2016, the Victorian government will need to decide whether to lift the current ban on onshore gas drilling. They will set the state Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025 (the VRETs).

The community has waited too long for the Parliament to resolve these issues.

Join us on the steps of the Victorian Parliament on the first sitting day of 2016 to put the ban on onshore gas and call for ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Targets on top of the political agenda.

 

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EPA to investigate Origin's Victorian onshore gas plants

Origin_gas_plant.jpgAs the Victorian government ponders whether to open up the state to both conventional and unconventional gas drilling operations, new evidence has come to light about the failure of the gas industry to act responsibly and safely.

The Australian newspaper has published two articles regarding Origin Energy's conventional gas operations. An internal Origin audit (the Origin Energy Conventional Operations Environmental Review, Aug 2015) found that Origin management put “inadequate” resources into compliance at the “upstream” division, with not all regulatory breaches properly logged on the company’s internal system. Origin has admitted for the first time that it's gas processing plant at Lang Lang, in Victoria, has been emitting much higher volumes of toxic chemicals than allowed under its licence.

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Bushfires and climate change

134042-1.jpgIn Victoria, the frequency of large fires (greater than 100,000 hectares) has grown significantly over the past century.

  • 19th century – 2 mega fires
  • first half of 20th Century – 4 mega fires
  • 2nd half of 20th century – 7 mega fires
  • In the first 15 years of the 21st century – 6 mega fires

This is in spite of the huge advances we have made in fire fighting technology over the past 50 years.

You 'do the math'. Is there a link between climate change and fire frequency and intensity?

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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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