Geelong community rejects dangerous fossil fuel project

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“It’s time for the community to get political about the move to renewable energy.”
~ Simon Holmes á Court, Senior Advisor at Energy Transition Hub, Melbourne University.

No Gas Hub: Visit Parliament of Victoria
Wednesday 26 May 2021 from 11:00-13:00
Visit to Victorian Parliament steps with banners. Photo opportunity and talking to politicians about gas hub. We want to protect our bay and coastal areas from the proposed terminal, pipeline and gas ships. Catch the train up from South Geelong Station at 8:22am.
~ Thrive For Future

Facebook event page

Geelong Renewables Not Gas campaign update #2

Sal Fisher from Geelong Sustainability wrote:

Many of you attended our sold-out Geelong Energy Futures Forum in April, where the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Solar Homes, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio and many other independent energy experts addressed the crucial questions: Why should and how CAN Geelong transition to a clean energy future whilst generating low/no emissions jobs?

Imogen Jubb from Beyond Zero Emissions presented early analysis which indicates that the City of Greater Geelong alone could generate 16,000 to 20,000 jobs in the transition to a low carbon future.

We are excited by this and will be seeking greater detail so that our leaders understand the opportunities in moving to clean, affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency. Watch our highlights package created by Matt Kennedy, our volunteer film-maker (scroll down the page).

Meanwhile, we have been working with many community partners on a response to the draft scoping documents for the Environmental Effects Statement. (Its open til May 24, not May 17 for comment).  We have highlighted the shortfalls of the scoping documents and hope they will be addressed in the areas of safety, greenhouse gas emissions and how this proposal is NOT compatible with reducing emissions to achieve a safer climate.

There are several opportunities coming up which you may like to get involved to show you don’t want more fossil gas and connect with others who share your concerns:

1. School Strike for Climate: “Fund out Future – Not Gas” tomorrow Friday May 21, 11am at Johnstone Park. Lets support our young people in their fight for climate justice. 

2. Climate Action Drinks: Beav’s Bar, Little Malop St Next Wednesday May 26, from 5.30-7pm. We will discuss the proposal, and the Geelong Renewables Not Gas campaign, hear about action that has been taken so far/in planning and share some tips on how to have conversations about the gas terminal proposals and handle tricky questions. Be informed so you can counter the disinformation out there! Book here.

3. Please mark in your diaries the following Viva consultation sessions and ask questions! Its important that we show up and ask the hard questions of Viva so they get the message this isn’t a done deal.

a) Community Booth: Westfield Shopping Centre, Thursday June 17, 12-1.30pm

b) Gas Terminal Safety: Geelong West Town Hall, Monday, July 12, 5-6pm

4. Our petition continues to attract support from across Geelong and beyond. Over 300 have signed so far! Please sign and share our petition with your friends.

5. Please print and put up our Geelong Renewables Not Gas poster in your workplaces, community and local businesses to show the community’s concern about this proposal and its impacts.

6. We are seeking donations to support our campaign. These funds will be used to support our campaign volunteers with printed materials and marketing materials to raise community awareness of the gas terminals in Geelong. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. If you wish to make a direct deposit (which avoids PayPal fees) for donations over $100 please deposit to Bendigo Bank BSB 633 000 Geelong Sustainability Public Fund 168 412 252 and describe it as “Gas donation”.
Many thanks !

Best Regards,
Sal Fisher
Climate Action Coordinator – Climate Action

Geelong Sustainability Group

Download and print this poster

Enormous social and economic benefits in renewables, not gas

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio, who opened the sold-out forum, said “renewable energy is the bedrock of our move to decarbonise Victoria.”

The Victorian Government has already taken a major step in this direction with its program to replace old gas heaters with more efficient reverse cycle electric heaters.

Evidence of this is the growth in renewable energy output and jobs in the renewable energy sector she said. Last year 30 percent of all such jobs nationally were in Victoria. The Big Battery to be commissioned by year-end in the Moorabool Valley near Geelong will be the largest renewables battery in the Southern Hemisphere.

Painting a picture of the urgency with which we should move to renewables, independent energy consultant Ian Dunlop said that a 1.5 degree C global temperature rise will occur before 2030 and a Federal Government target of net zero emissions by 2050 is totally inadequate.

“We have the technology and solutions (to move to renewable energy) which now offer enormous social and economic benefits,” he said.

A two-step plan, which calls for the electrification of everything followed by the decarbonisation of the generation of electricity, was recommended by Simon Holmes a Court, Senior Advisor at Energy Transition Hub, Melbourne University. This plan would account for 80 percent of the country’s present emissions which, since 1990 have increased by 40 percent said Mr Holmes a Court.

Meanwhile between 16,000 and 20,000 jobs would be created in Geelong in the process of moving to renewable energy, according to Beyond Zero Emissions, an organisation which draws on data from 130 member organisations across Australia. Spokesperson Ms Imogen Jubb said 1.8 million jobs would be needed in the foreseeable future as the country proceeds down the renewables path. 

She said additionally households can save between 50 and 80 percent of their energy costs by retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency.

This represents annual saving of between $1,500 and $2,480 per household while also creating local jobs to undertake this work she said.

Dan Cowdell of Mondo Energy said that on the ground 19 percent of Geelong dwellings have solar and of these about 25 percent also have batteries.

“These domestic initiatives are complemented in the corporate world by Deakin University with its 7 megawatt solar farm and Barwon Water’s target of 100 percent renewables,” he added. 

Colin Long of the Victorian Trades Hall Council told the Forum that “employers should not to pretend to workers that there was a future in fossil fuels.

“They should engage with workers in the transition process to renewables,” he said.

There was consensus among the Forum speakers that there were many renewable energy initiatives underway but that they needed to be part of a larger plan.

Speaking for the panellists Simon Holmes a Court said “it’s time for the community to get political about the move to renewable energy.”

→ Watch the live-streamed video recording of the Geelong Energy Futures Forum