Environment Victoria Type Charitable trust Founded 1969 Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Area served Victoria Focus Environmentalism Method Education, campaigning, lobbying, research Motto Mobilising 5 million people to safeguard our environment Website http://www.environmentvictoria.org.au
Environment Victoria is Victoria’s leading independent environment group. Established in 1969 as the Conservation Council of Victoria, Environment Victoria was set up by Victoria's community conservation groups to provide a single unified voice for Victoria's environment. Today, Environment Victoria's big vision is for every Victorian to take part in safeguarding our environment and future.
Environment Victoria mobilises people to take action to safeguard Victoria’s environment by helping them learn, empowering them to act and inviting them to share their actions. Environment Victoria develop solutions to the biggest environmental problems, mobilise people around these solutions and works with government and business leaders to make informed policy decisions to make these solutions a reality.
The group was originally formed in 1969 as the Conservation Council of Victoria as a result of a successful campaign to save the Little Desert National Park from subdivision. In 1994, the organisation changed name to Environment Victoria to reflect the broader range of issues it now deals with. From 1971 until 1997, two representatives of the Conservation Council of Victoria served on the Land Conservation Council which was responsible for systematically investigating and recommending balanced use of public land across the state. John Landy (later Governor of Victoria) and professor of botany John Turner were the first representatives. Joan Lindros, Bill Holsworth and Malcolm Calder were also long serving representative
Environment Victoria recognises that there are many pressing environmental concerns and issues. The organisation focuses the majority of their time and resources on the most urgent environmental issues facing Victoria and the world. The main focus for Environment Victoria over the next several years will be centred on :
Creating a safe climate
Campaigning for Victoria to lead the way in slashing greenhouse pollution and pioneering the shift to a clean energy and energy efficient economy.
Restoring our ecosystems to health
Campaigning for a future where healthy rivers and catchments sustain abundant life and prosperous communities and provide us with good food, clean water and places to love and enjoy.
Helping communities to live sustainably
Helping people overcome barriers to sustainable living and finding new ways to green up their personal life and tread more lightly on the earth. Reaching out to people and communities that are not traditionally part of the environmental movement.
Leading environmental ideas, opinion and action
Influencing environmental policies, ideas and opinion in Victoria and hold the state government and decision-makers to account for their decisions and actions.
Hazelwood Power Station located in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria is a 1,675 megawatt brown coal power station. It was listed by The Climate Group as being the second largest power station emitter of carbon pollution in Australia in 2009 both by total volume and emissions intensity. It’s also the single largest source of dioxin pollution in Australia and pumps out more than 16 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution and uses 27 billion litres of water annually.
Environment Victoria has been spearheading a major campaign regarding the closure of the power station. Campaigning calls on state and federal governments to replace Hazelwood with a combination of renewable energy and gas by the end of 2012. Here’s the proof on how it can be done. Further supporting the closure of the power station is Hazelwoods owner International Power. The company recently expressed interest in closing the power station with the right government financial incentives.
In July 2010, the Brumby Labor Government announced plans to pursue a gradual shut down Hazelwood however since coming into power, the Baillieu Liberal Government has ceased negotiations with International Power regarding a closure. Since then however, as a part of the federal government’s carbon price, the Federal Labor party plan on retiring 2000 MW of brown coal generation. The government has confirmed that it is targeting either the Hazelwood, Yallourn or Energy Brix power stations in Victoria or the Playford power station in South Australia. The plan would include the government paying to shut down the power stations over a number of years while introducing higher-cost-gas-fired operators to enter the energy market replacing the use of brown coal.
Save the Murray, Forever
There’s a national process called the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) Plan in action. The Plan will set new limits on how much water can be extracted from rivers in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. The current diversion of water from Victorian MDB catchments is excessive and has resulted in inadequate water remaining for fish, water birds and the ecological processes of rivers and wetlands in those catchments. Without enough water, rivers will die and communities that depend on them will suffer. Despite this, irrigator lobby groups are pushing for irrigation to continue at all costs, no matter what the weather. They’re even claiming the recent floods mean the Murray-Darling Basin Plan should be delayed, or put-off entirely.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority say that the Basin needs up to 7,600 billion litres of water returned to its rivers, for their long-term sustainability. Any less will put our rivers and the communities that depend on them in jeopardy. So Environment Victoria are campaigning for a strong Plan that will save the Murray, forever. One that will return 7,600 billion litres of water to our rivers to keep the Murray flowing. Here’s the why and how. If you’re one the 77 percent of Victorians who want to see the Murray River protected make sure your voice is heard today.Take action.
Price on pollution
Environment Victoria has welcomed the Carbon Price package introduced by Australia’s Prime Minister in July 2011 as an important first step in Australia’s action on climate change. The price on carbon creates an incentive for big commercial polluters to clean up their environmental foot print and additionally help Australians invest in clean renewable energy. Environment Victoria believe it will have a significant positive effect on the health of Australia’s environment. Read what they have to say about it here.
Following a campaign run by Environment Victoria, the government included in the carbon tax package a plan to close 2000MW of our dirtiest coal-fired power stations which may include Hazelwood Power Station. Environment Victoria is a part of the Say Yes Australia alliance calling for the government to implement a strong price on pollution. It also aims to educate the public on the benefits of a price on pollution and brings together Australians wanting a clean, green, healthy, sustainable future.
No New Coal Power for Victoria
A new coal-fired power station HRL for Morwell has recently been approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The plant will be the first coal-fired power station to be built in Victoria for 20 years and will increase carbon dioxide pollution by millions of tonnes every year. Last year, 4,000 Victorians took action and objected the EPA’s approval of the HRL power station, the most objections they have received on any issue, ever, but it still was approved. So Environment Victoria is taking action against the EPA’s approval of HRL to court and putting pressure on the federal and state governments to withdraw their funding of the project. The legal challenge against the EPA’s approval of HRL will begin in VCAT on Monday, 24 October 2011. Community climate groups LIVE and Doctor’s for the Environment Australia will also join Environment Victoria in the fight.
Furthermore, Australia’s federal and state governments have committed in funding the new HRL coal-fired power station with up to $150 million of tax payers money. So in conjunction with Greenpeace, Environment Victoria is aiming for 10,000 hard copy signatures by the end of the year to hopefully deter the government from investing money into the power station.
Environment Victoria’s GreenTown program works with culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) across Victoria to help them create changes in their homes, neighbourhoods and workplaces to help contribute to safeguarding the environment. The program builds on trust and relationships within communities to extend the sustainability message throughout the greater community. The program also trains community members in water and energy auditing and leadership and prepares them for possible future work in the auditing sector. This trained group then carry out free sustainability audits in homes and businesses of others in their communities.
GreenTown has worked with the Arabic‐speaking community in Moreland, the Turkish‐speaking community in Hume, Flemington’s East African community and the Indigenous community in Darebin, and is currently working with the Burmese community in Ringwood and the multicultural community in the Collingwood public housing estate. As at July 2011, GreenTown had engaged with an estimated 2,590 participants and reached 10,645 people
Multicultural Leaders in Sustainability
Multicultural Leaders in Sustainability program is run and designed by Environment Victoria and the Centre for Multicultural Youth. The program provides young migrants and refugees with leadership skills they need to help their communities live more sustainably. and knowledge about sustainable living through a four month long training program. After the training program the participants run their own sustainability projects to other migrant and refugee communities. Successful graduates gain a Certificate 1 in active Volunteering which helps them towards further study and employment opportunities.
The program has been running since 2007 and allows young people new to Victoria to learn more about their new home and current and future environmental challenges. In 2011 the Multicultural Leaders in Sustainability program is running in partnership with AMES at the St Albans AMES English language school.
Accomplishments both small and great have been achieved during the 42 years Environment Victoria has been protecting Victoria and Australia’s environment.
- Commitment from the Federal Government to close 2000 MW of coal in Australia through the price on pollution
- 5000 Victorians rally for election action on Hazelwood
- 250,000 people reached in key areas at the Walk Against Warming
- An energy efficiency lift for Victorian homes from an average of 2 stars to 5
- Victoria sets the pace nationally for pollution reduction
- Securing an independent manager for environmental water
- Helping Gippsland Go Green
- Changing behaviour on the government agenda
- Community climate change work wins the Eureka Award for their Sustainable Living program
- The state government commits to its phased closure of Hazelwood
- Mobilising more people to take Green Action
- Melbourne Metro Landfill Levy increased
- Training hundreds of people to help the elderly and people with disabilities
- A boost to landfill levies and recycling negotiated
- Helping Victorian households become environmentally friendly
- 40,000 people mobilised for the 2009 Walk Against Warming
- Forcing the state government to back-down on plans to export brown coal
- Supported the creation of Red Gum National Parks
- Television and computer manufacturers will now have to recycle their goods
- Got Pre-packaged lemons off the Coles shelves
- River Red Gums safe in new parks
- The protection of Cobboboonee National Park
- 50,000 turn out for the Walk Against Warming
- Massive Overhaul of Northern Irrigation Region
- Young migrant leaders take sustainable action
- Murray HardyHead lives on
- Victoria- energy efficiency leaders
- Renewable energy target increased for Victorian's
- 17 billion litres of water to the Yarra
- Launch of Victoria's first multicultural sustainability program
- Environment levy to repair Victoria’s rivers
- Boost for Thompson River Flows
- Point Nepean Protected
- Launch of first national climate change program
- No more old growth to woodchip for Kleenex
- Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands win Ramsar listing
- Commitment to help the Snowy River flow again
- No Dam on Mitchell River
- Smogbusters released with the Western Bulldogs
- Green Electricity for Victorians
- Stopped a four-star hotel from being built for Wilsons Prom
- Saved Crib Point – WesternPort still a sanctuary for birds
- Leaded petrol withdrawn
- Upfield railway line stays open
- Protected the Mountain Pygmy-possum
- Formation of the Alpine National Park
- Water Resources Bill protects flora and fauna
- Land Conservation Act passed
- ^ Hutton, Drew and Connors, Libby History of the Australian Environment Movement Dre (ISBN-13: 9780521450768 | ISBN-10: 0521450764) 1999 Cambridge University Press http://www.cambridge.org/aus/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521450768
- ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-18/plans-to-close-emissions-intensive-power-stations/2845858
- ^ http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Carbon-deal-to-close-two-coal-plants-report-pd20110630-JBQHW?OpenDocument&src=mp
- ^ http://www.environmentvictoria.org.au/green-town
- ^ Environment Victoria http://www.environmentvictoria.org.au/our-successes
- Environment Victoria Website; www.environmentvictoria.org.au; June 2010]]
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