Landmark Star of the South offshore wind farm gets first tick from Feds

After months of delay by the federal Coalition, Australia’s first major offshore wind farm, the Star of the South Energy Project proposed off the South Gippsland coast, has received approval for an exploration licence. Energy Minister Angus Taylor has bowed … Continue reading Landmark Star of the South offshore wind farm gets first tick from Feds

Vic govt on naptime as mine fire poisons Morwell

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By Ben Courtice — an updated version (March 2) of an article originally published at Green Left Weekly

Vic govt on naptime as mine fire poisons Morwell

Premier Denis Napthine is living up to his new nickname “Naptime” as the Hazelwood coalmine fire continues its terrible impact on the town of Morwell, in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

The edge of the town is only a few hundred metres from where the fire has been burning since February 9. The plume of toxic smoke and ash from the fire is blanketing the town much of the time.

A protest rally in Morwell on March 2 drew around a thousand angry locals. A panel of speakers, and many people who stood up on the floor to vent their rage, confirmed that it is a widespread view that the government has left the town in the lurch and given them false information about the health risks from the fire.

Morwell rallies for action
Morwell rallies for action

The unfolding disaster demands an immediate escalation of action, and Greens MLC Greg Barber is right to demand that the government declare a state of emergency, even while health minister David Davis denies it is needed. Continue reading “Vic govt on naptime as mine fire poisons Morwell”

Wallies against wind turbines

Late last year, Senator John Madigan dispatched staffers to South Gippsland to stir up the community about the Bald Hills wind farm. Yes 2 Renewables responded to the visit, pointing out that claims of ‘excessive wind farm noise’ are speculative given … Continue reading Wallies against wind turbines

Gippsland locks the gate on CSG, opens it to renewables

MaffraGippsland is the frontline of the battle against unconventional gas in Victoria. Mining and resources companies have their sights on the region as the next frontier for expanding the onshore gas industry. Unconventional gas extraction has taken root in Queensland and New South Wales, and industry players want Victoria to follow suit.

The Lock the Gate Alliance invited Yes 2 Renewables to Maffra to speak with the community about the broader context of energy and the potential of renewables.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 5.15.56 PMYes 2 Renewables was pleased to join Merryn Redenbach from Doctors for the Environment Australia and Felicity Milner from the Environmental Defenders Office to present to 50 people at the Maffra Football Club last week.

Those opposed to wind energy like to say regional communities are divided on wind farms, so I was unsure how my presentation on community-owned renewable energy would be received. Continue reading “Gippsland locks the gate on CSG, opens it to renewables”

No to fracking, yes to renewables!

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One thousand strong: An anti-fracking rally in Melbourne.

At the weekend, hundreds of Gippsland farmers and community members joined Melbournians to send Premier Napthine a message about Victoria’s energy future.  The 1000-strong rally marched through the heart of Melbourne, gathering at the State Library to present Greens leader, Greg Barber MLC, with petition signed by 11,000  calling for a ban on new coal and unconventional gas mining in Victoria.

Unlike unconventional gas extraction, wind energy can provide Victorians with a reliable source of electricity while increasing farm productivity. Wind farms generate a drought-proof income stream for turbine hosts, neighbours (see Coonooer Bridge wind farm), and communities.

Unfortunately for Victoria, laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu unfairly target the wind energy sector and stand in the way of efforts to address climate change.   Continue reading “No to fracking, yes to renewables!”