Edition #98 - November 2011

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia
Monthly electronic bulletin
Early November 2011, Edition [# 98]


Friday afternoon is probably not the best time to send a newsletter but things are so busy that its very hard to get around to sending these out. We have had some great outcomes over the past few months – especially against coal seam gas (CSG) here in Victoria.

Wishing you the best


  • Baillieu Government takes us Backwards on Environment (Melbourne, Nov 13)
  • Help head off a threat from coal and CSG operations in Gippsland
  • Anglesea coal mine lease extension
  • Basin Authority to double groundwater extraction for benefit of coal and gas mining
  • Roadshow brings leading anti-CSG campaigner to regional Victoria
  • BHP Billiton Melbourne AGM
  • South Melbourne Commons to open next month


Baillieu Government takes us Backwards on Environment

Join the Backwards March and call on the Premier to stop taking Victoria backwards!
WHEN: Sunday, 13 November from 1.00 - 2.30pm
WHERE: Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne
WHY: In just one year Premier Baillieu has taken Victoria decades backwards on the environment:
* Cattle trampling our national parks
* New wind farms blocked
* Co2 emissions target ignored
* Endangered species habitat logged
* New coal-fired power station approved
* Green Wedges threatened
* Westernport destruction fast-tracked

Premier Baillieu said he would 'fix the problems, and build the future', but when it comes to our environment his government has created new problems and is threatening out future!

FoE is working with the Victorian National Parks Association, Environment Victoria and the Wilderness Society to organise this rally highlighting the fact that Victoria is going backwards under the environmental policies of the Baillieu government.

Please come along if you can.

Full details here: http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=node/1024

Help head off a threat from coal and CSG operations in Gippsland

Commonwealth Mining Pty Ltd has lodged an application for a permit to explore for coal and coal seam gas (CSG, also know as coal bed methane, or CBM) for an area of Gippsland to the north east of Traralgon, covering the localities of Toongabbie and Cowwarr. It covers private land and road and road reserves.

Public notices were placed in newspapers on October 26 announcing this application, and the community has 21 day to lodge objections with the Department of Primary Industries.

A decision will then be made by the state government.

Please take action – and send this alert to your friends

Any person may object to a licence being granted according to Section 24, Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990.

You can find a suggested objection letter here:

Please send your objection by November 14.

We have also set up a facebook page so people can track whats happening with the CSG industry here in Victoria:

Anglesea coal mine lease extension

As expected, the state government made its announcement that it had signed the deal to give ALCOA another 50 years of coal mining at Anglesea on the Surf Coast.

We don't believe the issue is over.

We intend to keep focusing on local members of Parliament (in particular South Barwon and Polwarth) and the company itself. Our demand is that Alcoa find renewable energy sources to replace the coal it currently mines at the Anglesea site. This will be a great outcome in terms of regional jobs and investment, as well as providing many environmental benefits including lower greenhouse emissions, cleaner air for locals, and protection of the Anglesea heathland.

We have launched an online petition which goes to local MPs and the company, plus key people in government.

You can find it here:

We have launched a series of newspaper ads in regional papers (the first one was in the Geelong Advertiser last saturday).

We have lots of general info available here:

Please get in touch with Cam if you would like to join us on one of our letterboxing trips to the Surf Coast.
[email protected]

Basin Authority to double groundwater extraction for benefit of coal and gas mining

Friends of the Earth has questioned the independence of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority after it was revealed it is planning to allow a massive increase in groundwater extraction in the Murray-Darling Basin.

You can find our release here: http://www.foe.org.au/media-releases/2011-media-releases/basin-authority-to-double-groundwater-extraction-for-benefit-of-coal-and-gas-mining

Roadshow brings leading anti-CSG campaigner to regional Victoria

Friends of the Earth held a series of forums in western Victoria to highlight the threat posed by the expansion of Coal Seam Gas (CSG), coal, and shale gas in the region, featuring leading anti-CSG campaigner Drew Hutton.

We held forums in Warrnambool, Colac, Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne.

Many thanks to everone who attended our forums and to our partners along the way who hosted events.

There are some photos from the roadshow available here.

BHP Billiton Melbourne AGM

Thursday November 17th - 10am
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition centre

Please join us & support the 22 Indigenous & environmental campaigners entering the Annual general meeting, to put forward their concerns to the shareholders & BHP Billiton board.

Full details here: http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/media/news-items/2011/bhp-billiton-melbourne-agm

South Melbourne Commons to open next month

There will be an official opening for the Commons, including the new café and food cooperative in December.

Details on the opening are available here:

Further information on FoEA.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia is a federation of 12 independent local groups and 8 affiliate groups who are working towards an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable future.

Through a combination of research, community outreach, direct action, lobbying and offering positive alternatives, FoE seeks to work in alliances with other like-minded groups and individuals to achieve the necessary social change which will allow for environmental protection with full protection for the rights of all people.

Although the bulk of the work of FoE is carried out by the local groups, we also have a number of national campaigns and projects. In 2011, these include the nuclear & clean energy, and climate justice campaigns and the Indigenous land and rights, environment and population, nanotechnology, and water projects.

To financially support our work, please see:

You can find us on social media sites here:


http://twitter.com/sixde6rees - the coal campaign at FoE Brisbane 


There are a number of other email bulletins produced by FoE:

Local groups newsletters:
    For people living in Victoria, there is a fortnightly email bulletin: you can subscribe at: http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/ or by emailing Justin: [email protected]
    For people living in Queensland, there is a regular email bulletin: you can subscribe at: http://www.brisbane.foe.org.au/
    For people living in South Australia, there is a regular email bulletin: you can subscribe by emailing Shani: [email protected]

national campaigns & projects:
    There is a national nuclear campaign newsletter: to subscribe, email Jim Green [email protected]
    To subscribe to the nanotechnology project newsletter, contact Georgia Miller: [email protected]
    To subscribe to the climate justice monthly email newsletter, contact Cam, with SUBSCRIBE CLIMATE JUSTICE in the subject line. [email protected]

FoE Australia has a national liaison office:
Box 222, Fitzroy, 3065.
Ph 03 -9419 8700
Fax 03 - 9416 2081
Email: [email protected]

See: http://www.foe.org.au/about-us/starting-a-friends-of-the-earth-group
for details on starting a FoE group.

For any enquiries about this list, including change of address details, please contact Cam: [email protected]