Newsletter mid-August 2014

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Campaigning in key electorates

Brunswick. Merri Creek Residents Group and the Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL) have organised a forum on Power to the People – reclaiming control of electricity in Victoria on Wednesday 3 September – see coming events. CAM and have collected hundreds of signatures on a petition calling on Moreland Council to divest from fossil fuels and this was recently presented to council. There will be a protest at the council meeting tonight about cuts to the climate action budget. Moreland Community against the East West Tunnel (MCAT) and Climate Action Moreland have been active in opposing the East-West Link.

Melbourne and Richmond. Yarra Climate Action Now are working with Public Transport not Traffic and the Public transport Users Association to oppose the East-West Link.

Northcote. Darebin Climate Action Now will soon be letter-boxing 30,000 houses with a postcard showing the graph from David Spratt’s presentation at the Breakthrough 2014 conference. Help appreciated. There will be a climate action election forum on 12 November.

Prahran. Lock the Gate Melbourne have been doorknocking and holding street stalls in Prahran and held a well attended film screening.Lock the Gate Melbourne

Frankston, eastern Melbourne, western Melbourne and bayside. The Environment Victoria Frankston Enviro-hub is abuzz with activity – door-knocking, street stalls, and film nights. The dates are below in the coming events listings. There will be an extra-big door-knocking event in Frankston on Saturday 30 August from 11am till 2pm when Public Transport not Traffic head bayside for a special one-day effort. Forest Hills fortnightly door knocking and stalls in western suburbs (Altona, Seddon, Point Cook) contact

Yes 2 Renewables and partners, the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, are conducting a survey on Macedon’s energy future.  Labor candidate Mary-Anne Thomas dropped by to say hello at the Woodend Farmers Market last weekend. Hoping that the Liberal and Greens candidates will stop by at the stall in Kyneton.

South Barwon, Geelong and western Victoria. Yes 2 Renewables and local groups have started a series of kitchen table conversations Napthine04about the Geelong region’s energy future.  Find out more And campaigning already seems to be having an effect with the Liberal member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson coming out in support of the Renewable Energy Target and acknowledging the importance of local renewable energy jobs – although she did not specify her support for a particular level of RET.
Around 700 attended a rally and march in Anglesea last Sunday as part of the Shut it Down campaign to close Anglesea coal-fired power station.
Napthine met with locals opposed to CSG at the office of a local MP and they presented several Lock the Gate gasfield-free communities declarations to him. He made a promise not to allow fracking if it threatened prime farmland but did not support the Victorian Farmers Federation demand that farmers have right of veto over mining on their land.


Campaigning inside the ALP

Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) have been working hard inside the ALP. They have had some recent wins, with NSW and Tasmanian ALP committing to a 19% emissions reduction target. They also held a very successful forum in Lalor with Mark Butler MP Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Andrew Giles MP, Victorian Member for Scullin and Lily D’Ambrosio MP Victorian Shadow Minister for Energy, Member for Mill Park. It was standing room only with a lot of support for renewable energy and jobs, some recognition that it is necessary to be clear on the problem as well as the solutions, and acceptance that the selling of the Clean Energy Future package wasn’t done well. Mark Butler acknowledged that the planet has a limited carbon budget and that the methane vents opening up in the Arctic indicate that two degrees may not be a safe target.


Victorian election candidates and commentary

Save the Planet is a political party formed specifically to raise awareness of and take action on the climate emergency. Save the Planet is seeking new members who are eligible Victorian voters to enable Save the Planet to register as a political party before the election. See
Save the Planet is commencing its leafleting and door knocking campaign in the state seats of Brunswick and Northcote. If you are interested in helping please email Adrian Whitehead,

Peter Gardner will be standing as a climate emergency independent in East Gippsland. He will announce his candidature early September. There may be a similar candidate in Gippsland South.

Labor/Greens marginals. Which are the most winnable Labor/Greens marginal seats?
Here is some analysis from Guy Rundle in Crikey.

With polling indicating a vote heading towards 17% and the prospect of taking the balance of power in the upper house, the Victorian Greens are full of confidence about the upcoming November 29 state election, with official statements about the rising volunteer effort ahead of the campaign season proper.

Within the party however, there has been major differences of opinion about the strategic choices that have been made by the party apparatus and endorsed by the state council — a strategy that prioritises an assault on the Liberal-held lower house seat of Prahran over a concentration of resources on an inner-northern seat such as Brunswick or Northcote…

The most likely lower house seat to fall to the Greens will be Melbourne, currently held by Labor’s Jennifer Kanis. The Greens topped the poll in a 2012 by-election for the seat (the Liberals did not field a candidate) but were defeated by the Labor preferencing of a slew of minor parties and independents.

Beyond that, there have been political and strategic differences about where a second seat can be won, with many suggesting that the most likely win is in Brunswick — where former Julia Gillard associate Cindy Dawes gained a 30% primary for the Greens against Labor’s Jane Garrett, on 36%. However, others believe Garrett is too strong and high-profile a member to make a win based on demographic shifts likely.

The strategic shift to target Prahran, held by Liberal Clem Newton-Brown, has been explored, in part due to a slowing of the rate of gain in votes in the inner-northern seats, with their mix of an old Labor working-class vote and a rising class of culture/knowledge professionals, who choose between the Greens and Labor. … Crucial also was the decision of the Liberal Party in 2010 to no longer preference the Greens. “If they were going to do that,” said Greg Barber, Greens leader in the Legislative Council, “then the only thing to do was to find the best prospect to knock off a Lib. Of course whether Labor will preference us is another question.”

Prahran is the only seat that really approaches a three-way contest in a preferential system, with Newton-Brown on 47%, Labor on 28% and the Greens on 20%. If new candidate Sam Hibbins can take a few votes from Labor, and 2-3% from the Liberals, the Greens can take second place and win with Labor preferences. Labor’s temptation to exclude the Greens would be tempered by the knowledge that many Labor voters simply would not obey the direction to preference Liberal.

However, experienced Greens operatives in the inner-north seats are sceptical of the claims made for Prahran, arguing that the branch and existing political infrastructure aren’t sufficient to run a full-bore campaign. Following his stunning re-election victory in 2013, federal member for Melbourne Adam Bandt announced that the Napthine government’s hated east-west link would provide a rallying point whereby one big campaign could be run across the four state divisions — while also buttressing Melbourne itself and the federal seat of Batman.

But as one Victorian Green strategist who disagreed with the Prahran push said, “Politics isn’t just numbers. You’ve got to work out what politics is, where there’s a campaign.”

Save the RET – and the reef – and the planet

Origin, AGL and Energy Australia have launched an attack on the Renewable Energy Target  GetUp! Has a campaign to stop them, using nemo at Greg Hunt's officeconsumer power to send a clear message. Let’s leave the Dirty Three behind and switch to better power today:

Solar Citizens are taking a petition on the RET to Canberra.
More than 20,000 Australians have already signed our petition to keep solar strong and protect the Renewable Energy Target – will you take a minute to join them by signing on too?

AYCC, Greenpeace, GetUp! and Nemo have been taking a message about the Carmichael and Maules Creek coal mines and the Great Barrier Reef to Greg Hunt, and to the big banks.

Please sign the UN letter ‘Message on Climate Change to World Leaders’
– Share on Facebook:
– and retweet:

Candidate transport forums

Want to have your say on public transport and the East-West Link? The Melbourne Public Transport Forum and Leader Newspapers have organised a series of town hall style forums about transport where you can meet candidates face-to-face and ask questions. Details are in the list of coming events.


Coming events – second half of August

Thursday 14 August from 6 pm. The Metropolitan Transport Forum Leader newspapers super transport forum is on at the Melbourne Town Hall – Mulder versus Hennessy. It’s not too late to RSVP, but hurry as the event is almost at capacity. The first question asked by the chair (Lord Mayor Robert Doyle) will be the highest rated question on the ‘suggest a question’ page. Check out the questions and rate them.

Thursday 14 August, 7 pm for 7.30 pm start. How to cut your power bills big time! How to modify your house to save money and reduce emissions. An Eastern Climate Action Melbourne event. Venue: Forest Hill Uniting Church, 333a Canterbury Road., Forest Hill.  RSVP Naomi – 98774657 or Pam –

Thursday 14 August, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Public lecture by Professor Dan Kahan (Yale University) Cultural Cognition, Climate Science Communication and the Measurement Problem. AtRMIT Kaleide Theatre, 360 Swanston St. Melb.

Friday 15 August, 7.30-9.30pm in Brunswick. Q & A event. What kind of Economy & Environment for Victoria? One of a series of Friday night Q&A public information sessions organised by the Uniting Church, featuring key-note speakers. With Tim Thornton (Research Associate in School of Social Sciences & communication at Swinburne University & economist) and Mark Wakeham (CEO Environment Victoria). At the Brunswick Uniting Church (Mel 29 G9)

Saturday 16 August Door knocking Mordiallioc. 11am  1.30pm. RSVP

Monday 18 August, 5:30-6:30pm. Can Direct Action Work? Presentation by Mr Dan Tehan, MHR for Wannon, followed by questions. Hosted by Warrnambool Climate Action Now. Venue: The Last Coach, corner Timor and Kepler St Warrnambool. Enquiries: Margaret 5599 2130  Christina 0400 055 304

Tuesday 19 August at 7.00pm at Selby in the Dandenongs near Belgrave. Two representatives of “Voices for Indi” will travel to Selby to share their experiences as to how they empowered their community and had their own independent candidate, Cathy McGowan, elected against all the odds.  No need to book.  Plenty of time for discussion. Light supper provided.  Gold coin donation. At Selby Community House, Minak Reserve, off Charles Street, Selby (Melways 75 K11).

Wednesday, 20 August at 10am. Webinar: Introduction to the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network. Register here.

Thursday 21 August – Henty, Western Victoria Unconventional Gas Information Night. For more information email

Friday 22 August, 7-10pm. Clayton Town Hall, 264 Clayton Rd, Clayton. Pacific Climate Warriors Benefit.
This year, a team of Pacific Climate Warriors are coming to Australia to put a spotlight on how Australia’s fossil fuel exports directly impact the Pacific. This event will raise funds for the tour. An exciting night of Pasifika food, dance and music.  Tickets: Full $20/Concession $15/Under 12s by donation. You can buy your tickets here or on the door.  For more information, visit the website here, join the Facebook event here.

Saturday 23 August, middle of the day. Possible Greenpeace event. Contact

Saturday 23 August (?) Date to be confirmed. Darebin Climate Action Now will be letterboxing a postcard with David Spratt’s BreakthroughBreakthrough graph Conference graph on the front. Contact

Saturday 23 August, 10am-12pm. Geelong’s Climate Action Brainstorm. At Belmont Library, 163 High Street, Belmont. Organised by Dan Cowdell, GetUp’s Geelong election organiser. Contact

24-31 August is #enviroweek

Sunday, 24 August 2014 3:00pm – 4:30pm in Portland. Renewable Energy and Jobs Forum. What plans do the major political parties have to secure renewable energy jobs and investment in Victoria? Organised by Yes 2 Renewables, Australian Wind Alliance and Portland community members.  Speakers: Dr John Hewson, former leader of the Australian Liberal party; Steve Garner, Keppel Prince general manager; Wayne Barrett, Portland businessman; Portland wind workers; Lily D’Ambrosio, Labor shadow energy minister; Greg Barber, Leader of the Victorian Greens. At Fawthrop Community Centre, 1 Hood St, Portland.  Please share the event on Facebook and RSVP.

Monday 25 August. Whitehorse Public Transport Forum  

Tuesday 26 August. StonningtonPublic Transport Forum

Tuesday 26 August at 7.30pm.  Film Night – “A FRACTURED COUNTRY” Bayside Climate Change Action Group presents this disturbing film about coal seam gas. Filmed in Australia and including interviews with farmers and an appearance by shock jock Alan Jones, this film exposes the risks to communities in our own “backyard” of Victoria. Everyone should see this film. Come along and bring your friends. Supper provided. See trailer here. The venue is the Sandringham Uniting Church Hall, 21 Trentham St, Sandringham.

Thursday 28 August. Film night .  FILM NIGHT – “A FRACTURED COUNTRY” Chelsea Heights. 7.30pm -9.30pm Venue TBC. RSVP

Thursday 28 August. Moonee Valley Public Transport Forum

Saturday 30 August from 11am till 2pm. Public Transport Not Traffic door-knocking in Frankston. As the government hangs on by a thread, there is nothing more important that face-to-face conversations with voters right now. Public Transport not Traffic will be asking voters what they’d rather spend $18 billion on – a toll road or how about better public transport, hospitals and schools? This is our opportunity to influence the future of the East-West toll road in the days leading up to Geoff Shaw’s return to Parliament. Please RSVP.

Sunday August 31. March in Australia (March in March) event.

Late August Saturday 9.30am -1.00pm at Victorian Trades Hall. Campaigning Skills Training.


Later in the year

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 from 6:30pm (drinks) to 9:00 pm in Brunswick. Power to the People – reclaiming control of electricity in Victoria. Merri Creek Residents Group and the Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL) forum with Prof. Ross Garnaut and other speakers. Register to attend here. At Brunswick Town Hall, Sydney Rd (cnr Glenlyon Road), Brunswick, Vic 3058

Sunday 7 September. Whittlesea Public Transport Forum

Monday 8 September. Yarra Public Transport Forum

Tuesday 9 September. Darebin Public Transport Forum

Wednesday 10 September. Glen Eira Public Transport Forum

Thursday 11 September. Frankston Public Transport Forum

Sunday 14 September. 10am – 1pm.  VCAN meeting. Including report back on Climate Movement Strategy Project meeting on August 17.Kitchen conversations NB. There is no meeting on 31 August or 21 September – just 14 September! At RMIT building 80, 445 Swanston St. Meeting room 2, level 7. This will be chaired by Morgana Russell and all agenda requests should be sent to her at

Sunday September 14. Frack-free Moriac and Fresh Water Creek declaration day event. Contact

September 19-21. Australian climate summit in Brisbane Submissions for the program just closed but it might not be too late if you hurry.

September 20-21. People’s Climate Mobilisation at the United Nations Global Climate Summit in New York and around the world.

September 21. People’s Climate March in Melbourne and the rest of the world.

September 21–20 October. Climate walk to Canberra with a petition to parliament asking for real action on climate change. There are 2 people committed to the whole walk. For the project to proceed, 8 people willing to walk for a week are needed. Each day will cover around 25 km. Since we will have 4 people we can have anything from 2 to 4 actually walking. The remainder can stay with the support vehicles. This means you can walk any distance from zero to 25 km. So you don’t have to be particularly fit, just committed.

October 17. Pascoe Vale Uniting Church (Mel 17 B6) Q & A “What kind of Infrastructure for Victoria?” with Tony Morton (Public Transport Users Association), Carolyn Whitzman (Professor in Urban Planning, University of Melbourne), Andrea Sharam (former Moreland City councillor and affordable housing advocate)

October 18. Divestment Day. Market Forces and are calling on thousands of customers of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac to publicly close their accounts if the banks fail to rule out further support for the dirty fossil fuel industry.

October 24-27. BEYOND COAL & GAS: Protecting our Heritage, Embracing the Future at Ivory’s Rock, near Ipswich Queensland. The IMG_6465website and registration are live for this year’s national movement gathering. Secure your place now! Discounted early bird registration is available until Friday August 22.

November 7. Seat of Pascoe Vale Candidate Forum – Coburg Uniting Church State Election Candidate Forums commencing at 7.30pm:

November 12. Northcote candidates forum, Northcote Town Hall.

November 14. Brunswick Candidate Forum, Brunswick Uniting Church, commencing at 7.30pm:

November 15-16. Brisbane. G20 summit.

November 29. Victorian election.

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