Ted Baillieu’s 2011 planning laws ban wind farms from large parts of Victoria, and just one objector can stop any wind turbine within 2km.
Wind farms create income for farmers and communities. They do not have pollution or health hazards like coal. They share benefits across large sections of the state. We could have new jobs in manufacturing, construction and maintenance here in Victoria if wind projects were allowed to go ahead.
Our research shows that these restrictive laws have already cost Victoria around $887 million in lost or stalled investment, 650 direct jobs lost or stalled in construction, 54 on-going jobs in management of wind farms, and 1408 indirectly associated (flow-on) jobs.
And in September 2012, the government slashed the feed in tariff which is paid to people with solar panels on their homes.
Meanwhile, coal and coal-seam gas exploration is allowed across our state and a coal mine can be built within 100 metres of a house.
While a community backlash in Gippsland has forced the government to adopt a moratorium on hydraulic fracking operations, exploration for coal, coal seam and tight gas can continue. Exploration permits cover a large percentage of our best food producing land.
Victoria currently produces around 25% of Australia’s food, even though we have less than 4% of the arable land (Source). There is strong resistance to the development of new fossil fuel projects in rural Victoria.
It is clear where the government of Ted Baillieu wants to steer Victoria, actively promoting coal production for local use and even supporting a new coal export industry, while placing impediments in the way of clean energy sources like wind.
Victorians must decide what type of energy future we want:
· more dirty, coal fired power and the threat of coal exports, or
· more renewables like wind, solar, wave energy and geothermal
Ted Baillieu has shown he stands with the coal industry.
You can help change that. Speak up for clean energy and local jobs.
Time to protect Gippsland from the coal and gas industry
Agriculture is a cornerstone of Victoria’s economy, producing goods valued at around $9 billion a year. Victorian farmers do this with only around 3 per cent of Australia’s arable land.
Gippsland is one of the main farming areas in the state, producing food worth more than $1.3 billion per annum. It is threatened by climate change and pressured by urban sprawl. There is now also a risk from many proposals for new coal and gas operations.
The state government has opposed proposals to hold an inquiry into the likely impacts of new coal and gas operations on the land, water, people and economy of Victoria.
But we all know: No farms, no food.
We cannot allow the risk of some of our best farmland being damaged by coal and gas operations.
We are calling for a permanent ban on any new coal and gas mining operations in key areas in Victoria.
This should include a ban on any exploration or production in:
· productive agricultural areas
· drinking water catchments, rivers, and ground water supplies
· urban areas, and areas marked for future development
· all public land including state forests, land leased to plantation companies and all conservation reserves
Local councils must have the ability to nominate additional areas for protection.
Please share this with your friends.
Declare your community coal or CSG free
On February 17, the Gippsland town of Poowong will formally declare itself CSG Free. A number of other communities are moving to make similar declarations. Details here.
Check here for ideas on declaring yourself coal or CSG free.
Has your local Council supported the moratorium as yet?
Bass, Colac/Otway, Moreland, Port Phillip, South Gippsland and Yarra have all supported versions of the moratorium.
If you would like to encourage your Council to take a strong position on coal and gas, please contact Cam: firstname.lastname@example.org for ideas and possible resolutions.
Has your organisation supported the moratorium as yet?
Almost 60 organisations have signed our call to the state government to ban all new on-shore coal and un-conventional gas operations until there has been a thorough investigation into the likely impacts of this industry on:
· water resources,
· farmland and food security,
· local communities and natural biodiversity, and
· greenhouse emissions.
Full details here.
If you are a member of a group that supports this call, please sign on by letting us know: email@example.com
Please donate some money so we can place our ‘energy future’ ads in local and regional newspapers.
We would like to be able to publish a range of ads in the weekly free newspapers in both metro and regional areas.
You can support our ads by donating here.
Please support our campaign
If you can financially support our direct campaign work that will make it easier for us to maintain our work in regional communities. Donations will cover costs like travel and communications.
Please check here to make a donation.
Make this an issue in Melbourne
Community concern about new fossil fuel proposals in Gippsland has forced the government’s hand on the issue – with the resulting moratorium on fracking and ban on use of BTEX chemicals.
We now need to make this an issue that resonates in Melbourne.
If you would like to help us letter box key metropolitan electorates with a pro-renewables, anti coal message, please get in touch.
Please email Leigh: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a member of a group, please consider signing the call for the moratorium.
Contact us if you would like a FoE or Quit Coal activist to visit your group and talk about the campaign.
Build the story
Please write to your local papers, outlining the fact that there is a threat posed to Victoria’s food production and climate by the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Say you support the call for a moratorium and expect your local MP to do the same.
Please write to the Weekly Times, the key regional paper in Victoria: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/forms/letter-to-the-editor.html
Please also write letters to the daily papers:
The Age: <email@example.com>
Herald Sun: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/letter
And please comment on articles that are posted on line on media websites.
Get active with Quit Coal
Quit Coal is a Melbourne-based collective of Friends of the Earth (FoE), which campaigns against the expansion of the coal industry in Victoria.
We believe this is vitally important because building new coal infrastructure means many more decades of dirty, old technology, when we should be moving towards clean, renewable energy.
We meet weekly on a Wednesday at FoE.
For further information, please check here.
Buy green energy
Brown coal is used for the generation of approximately 85% of Victoria's household, commercial and industrial electricity consumption. Please consider switching to a green energy provider for your household electricity use.
This is a practical way to support the further development of renewables.
Check here for details on the issues you need to consider in switching energy retailers.
While FoE doesn't endorse individual companies, we do note that Red Energy buys power from the Hepburn Wind community-owned wind farm in Central Victoria.
Support a renewable energy project
The Cherry Tree Wind Farm is in the early stages of development, with a forecast installed capacity of 16 turbines (50 MW) the equivalent to the energy used by 23,000 homes.
It is in the Trawool/Whiteheads Creek area, just south east of Seymour, about 85 km north of Melbourne.
For details on our campaign to support this project, check here.
Say Yes to Renewables
If you are happy to publically say 'yes' to renewables, please send a brief statement and picture of yourself for our 'wind supporters' project.
This profiles people who support renewable energy. While the anti-wind movement gets a lot of airplay in the media, polling consistently shows that the majority of Australians support the continued development of renewable energy.
If we don't want to see the renewables industry shut down by the 'anti' movement, the silent majority needs to get active.
Stay in touch
Please check our websites for other ideas on what you can do:
Check the Yes 2 Renewables website and our No CSG in Victoria facebook page.
If you would like to go on the list for a monthly newsletter, please send your email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We really need to build our capacity to respond to trolling by anti-wind groups on websites and in the mainstream media. We intend to build our rapid response ability to encourage people to add comments to articles in the media. If you are happy to get alerts about articles that require a response, please send your email address to email@example.com with 'rapid response' in the subject line.
Please consider donating to our campaign.
Our government is failing us. But that hasn’t stopped the community from embracing renewable energy. Here is some good news stories and inspiration.
FoE England’s gallery of photos celebrating renewable energy
Some good news stories on renewable energy, from our Yes 2 renewables website.
Introducing the WIMBYs: wind in my backyard
What’s not to love: a community owned wind park in Central Victoria.
Mt Alexander Community Wind. A vision for a community owned wind park in Central Victoria.
A community wind farm in the Macedon Ranges, a project of Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group.
Facebook page: Put a wind farm in my back yard
Geothermal technology at Mt Hotham
ski resorts go renewable
Please send us your stories and photos: firstname.lastname@example.org
resources and further info
Map of wind farm projects in Victoria
Map of Victoria showing where you can't build a wind farm