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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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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