Newsletter mid-September 2014

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People’s Climate Mobilisation

01marchnowAlready more than 1,300,000 people worldwide have signed up via Avaaz. » Watch the movie ‘Disruption’ to be inspired by the vast scale of the preparations in New York:

Join millions of people in a global day of climate action. Over 1,500 (and counting) climate marches, rallies and events around the planet. 97 events have been registered in Australia, 17 in Victoria. In New York, almost 950 NGOs are collaborating about what is expected to become the largest climate action rally in history.

In Melbourne, the rally starts at 11am. More details and links in September calendar below.

Progress on wind farm laws and VRET

02vret-windFriends of the Earth are getting some traction around the need to re-write the anti wind laws (called VC82), with the state government recently agreeing to the first amendment of the current law. This was followed by a statement from state Coalition government representative, Simon Ramsay, MP, at the Portland Renewable Energy Forum, that the government would ‘consider’ exempting community owned wind projects from the current No Go Zones in key wind regions across the state. FOE/Yes2Renewables are working to get support for exemptions as the next tangible outcome in this campaign.

One of FOE’s key election asks is for a Victorian renewable energy target (VRET). The Greens have supported this, and the ALP are getting closer. With Abbott moving to gut the national RET, the need for a state target – and state leadership on climate change – is more important than ever.
› FOE’s election asks can be found here:

Environment Victoria (EV) have also sent their 10 policy asks to the major parties and have heard back from the Greens, but not from either ALP or Coalition

ALP comes out against East-West Link

03east-west-linkThe Public Transport Not Traffic team have been busy out street stalling and door knocking across Melbourne, and particularly Frankston, where – with a little encourage from this campaign – the local member Geoff Shaw has come out opposed to the East West Link!

There has been intense pressure on the ALP to take a stronger stand on opposing the East West Link, including a series of forums organised by the Public Transport Users Association, and finally they have moved from saying they would honour any contracts that are signed before the election, to saying they will side with the two local councils in their court challenge against the project, thus making it unlikely that a legally binding contract will be signed.

30,000 climate science postcards

04postcardsDarebin Climate Action Now, Climate Action Moreland, Yarra Climate Action Now, Lighter Footprints and a number of other climate groups have together distributed nearly all of an initial print run of 30,000 climate science postcards. Initial reaction has been very positive, with volunteers keen to use the cards for door-knocking and street stalls as well as letter-boxing nearly the whole of Northcote electorate. There are only 250 left.
» If your group would like some, please email Darebin:

Environment Victoria, GetUp! and local groups

05EV-getup-local1GetUp’s four new organisers are working across three electorate clusters – Albert Park/Prahran, Sandbelt and Geelong – and they have a fourth organiser based in universities. EV and GetUp! are working closely together in the sandbelt, and more broadly collaborating across election campaign – they both chipped in for two billboards and some newspaper advertising around the ‘Four out of five Victorians’ theme and both are using similar pledge cards. Community contact is going well. EV are halfway to their community conversations goal in both Frankston and Carrum, a bit further behind in Forest Hill and Mordialloc. The process is going well, “a real mix between engaging brand new people who would never have cared about the environment before, and a few people who still don’t care!”.

06EV-getup-local2The Enviro Hub in Frankston continues to be a hive of activity.   Paul Edbrooke, Labor Candidate for Frankston (pictured) stopped by to talk about why he cares about the environment and Geoff Shaw MP dropped in to talk about what the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target means for Frankston. Still waiting for a visit from Sean Armistead – Liberal for Frankston!

GetUp! in Prahran officially launched their campaign last week and GetUp! organiser, Anthony was joined by 17 local volunteers last weekend for a big door-knocking effort.

Geelong is buzzing in election build-up

07E-bike-in-GeelongLots happening in and around Geelong with many groups cooperating and collaborating with each other – such as Sustainability Geelong, Frack Free Geelong, Gasfield Free Torquay, Transition East Geelong, Transition South Barwon, Surf Coast Energy Group, Surf Coast Air Action, Centre for Climate Safety, Yes2Renewables/Friends of the Earth, Lock the Gate and GetUp. Focus is on the marginal electorates of South Barwon (Coalition), Ballerine (Labor) and the not so marginal Geelong (Labor).

Full time GetUp organiser Dan Cowdell is doing wonders together with about 30 volunteers in Geelong and 20 in Torquay so far, and about the same in Barwon Heads. Concerted strategic campaign in lead up to the election: letter writing, visiting pollies, establishing relationships with local media, vote clean pledges, well over 100 so far. Kitchen table conversations, door knocking, letter boxing and two public information evenings about fracking on the same night – one in Geelong and one in Torquay. Four communities around Moriac declared themselves gasfield free on Sunday. Giddyup! Dates in the calendar below.


A song, a video and a book

09climate-songSing for the Climate is a great song. It was sung in large crowds in Belgium. Very uplifting!

In case you missed it, this is an amusing video illustrating what real balance on the climate science would look like on a tv talk show:

Change or be changed. But make no mistake … This Changes Everything. A new book by Naomi Klein out soon.

Coal and gasfield free communities

10lockthegate-fundraiserThere are now 25 Coal or Gasfield Free communities in Victoria, with another 40 working towards joining them, and that’s not counting the towns like Torquay and Apollo Bay which have declared without a formal survey process. This fastgrowing and powerful campaign is driven by a group of tireless volunteers and just two incredibly committed part-time employees Quit Coal and Friends of the Earth have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support this amazing effort. Watch and share the crowdfunding video and donate.

11moriacOn 14 September the communities of Moriac, Mount Moriac, Paraparap and Freshwater Creek – just to the west of Geelong – declared themselves gasfield free. The local community was joined by state and federal politicians from all the major parties for taking this important stand. Check out the intensive coverage on

Hazelwood fire review and Morwell independent

12morwellThe ongoing enquiries into the Hazelwood fire continue to make this coal-fired dinosaur an election issue.
There is a Voices for the Valley independent running against Victorian Minister for Energy, Russell Northe, in Morwell.

The Climate and Health Alliance and the Climate Council have released a Joint Statement on Health Effects of Coal in Australia in response to the Inquiry Report from the Hazelwood coal mine fire in Victoria. The fire inquiry report is available here: A briefing paper from the Climate Council on the Health Effects of Coal is available here: Please share using the hashtags #coal and #health on Twitter and tagging CAHA’s Twitter handle @healthy_climate

Save the Renewable Energy Target

13RET-solarThe future of the multi-billion dollar rooftop solar industry in Australia is looking more secure after Labor leader Bill Shorten pledged support for the small-scale component of the renewable energy target to stay as is. Shorten’s pledge on the rooftop solar scheme comes as he prepares to join the Save Solar campaign, which moves this week to the marginal Sydney seat of Barton this week, and reflects the growing traction that solar is having as an emerging political issue. The Australian Solar Council is to move its campaign to the Melbourne seat of Deakin in October and will also target the state elections in Victoria, Queensland, and NSW.

» Read

The Australian Conservation Foundation are conducting a letters and email campaign. Let your local Member of Parliament know you support the RET. And support the GetUp! campaign to dump the ‘Big Three’ energy suppliers who are working to destroy the renewable energy industry.
» Read more:

Solar Citizens recently published (and sent to all MPs and Senators) their third set of Solar Revolution Briefers which highlight solar uptake around the country – with figures tailored to each federal electorate and state. You can download from it from Useful for politician visits about the RET.

Divestment pressure creates change

14divestment_melbFor the first time outside the USA, one of the world’s largest banks will be pressured to disclose the risks to its lending and investment portfolios from climate change. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has tabled a resolution at its forthcoming AGM filed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and a group of CBA shareholders supported by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) and Australia. The resolution will be the first to focus on climate change and disclosure since a similar resolution to Woodside Petroleum in 2011. The AGM is to be held on the 12November 2014.

The local divestment campaign was featured in a two page spread in the Age and The Sydney Morning Herald:

In August, Moreland Council told the Commonwealth Bank that unless they stop investing in fossil fuels they will take their business elsewhere. This is an encouraging move and sets a bit of a precedent for other councils to do likewise.


September events

Wednesday 17 September. 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope.This day-long event will highlight the growing momentum for solutions to global warming, and kick off 12 months of concerted climate action. » Find out

Wednesday 17 September at 7:30pm. Korumburra Gasfield Free organising meeting at Korumburra Library Community Meeting Room. » For more info email:

Wednesday 17 September, 7:00–10:00pm. Fundraising dinner for Australian Religious Response to Climate Change in South Melbourne at Shakahari restaurant.

Wednesday 17 September at 7.30pm. Korumburra Gasfield Free organising meeting at Korumburra Library Community Meeting Room. For more info email:

Thursday 18 September,5:00–6:30pm in Melbourne CBD. Help build momentum for the People’s Climate Mobilisation by being part of a flash mob and leafletting event.
» Contact:

Thursday 18 September, 7:00pm in Torquay. Unconventional Gas Information Night at Surf World, Surf City Plaza, Beach Road, Torquay. » Contact Liz Packett 0414 891766.

15publicmeeting-gasrushThursday 18 September, 7:00–9:00pm in Geelong. Gas rush information night – a public meeting about onshore gas extraction in City of Greater Geelong. Free admission. At Manifold Heights Baptist Church. Corner Shannon Ave and Volum St. Manifold Heights. Come and ask questions to a panel of independent authorities about onshore gas. Panel members are Dr Merryn Redenbach, Dr Rye Senjen and Ben Courtice. Includes a short film which focuses on why communities in Gippsland are opposing gas.
» Find out more:

Friday 19 September, 6:30pm dinner, 7:00pm Gasfield Free Seaspray meeting at Seaspray Hall.
» Contact:

Friday 19 September to Sunday 21 September. Australian climate summit in Brisbane.Check out the full program here, and download the pdf here. In addition to the fabulous speakers, there are hands-on workshops for skilling-up, graded for all levels of experience, and there’s plenty of food for more than just thought. The Summit’s activities are divided into four key areas, including:

  • Brain Food: Get Your Facts Fix – climate and science updates, major national campaigns and plans from the big NGOs and grassroots networks.
  • Let’s do it! Get your hands-on training in media management, non-violent direct action, ‘democracy school’, transition training, divestment from fossil fuels, Gas Free Communities, and much more.
  • Can We Talk? Learn how to have those difficult but meaningful conversations across the political divides, within the family, at work, at play/sport, and in business. With real insights and practical tips.
  • Heart & Soul: Repair from despair! Do something for your inner activist with a range of fabulous workshops, films, and music. Includes the “Cut the Crap” stand up climate comedy competition, with local and well-known comedians.

» Read more about the Summit here in SHIFT magazine, and sign up to attend here.


Saturday 20 September. Doorknocking in Frankston and east. For Frankston, contact For eastern suburbs

Saturday 20 September. Doorknocking in Frankston and Vermont South, 10:00am–1:00pm. For bayside events contact For eastern suburbs

16climate-march-posterMelbSunday 21 September. People’s Climate March in Melbourne. And lots of other locations around Australia and around the world. These marches are in support the People’s Climate Mobilisation at the United Nations Global Climate Summit in New York. The aim is to be the world’s largest climate march.


Sunday 21 September to 20 October. Climate walk to Canberra with a petition to parliament asking for real action on climate change. » See more on

Monday 22 September, 7.30pm. ALP panel discussion: energy transition to a low carbon economy. Kew Library. Lighter Footprints state election meeting in Kew. A chance to listen to and question an ALP politician and an expert on climate change issues.

17vic-laborTuesday 23 September, 6.00pm to 7.30pm. Election environment forum – Labor.
At the RMIT University – Swanston Academic Building, 445 Swanston St, #80. Environment Victoria, in partnership with GetUp!, VNPA, Friends of the Earth and The Wilderness Society have invited each major party to outline their policies for the climate and our environment. This forum is with the ALP’s Lily D’Ambrosio, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources and Lisa Neville, Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change. Get tickets (free):

Wednesday 24 September, 7.00 pm for 7.30pm start. Lighter Footprints meeting. Doing Climate Politics: Insights into Political Processes. Guest speaker, Ken Coghill, will lead a discussion of how politicians and political parties relate to the community on climate change.

Wednesday 24 September, 5.30pm- 7.00pm. Geelong Sustainability Drinks. Making our money matter! Dr Mel Thomson from Deakin University, world expert in crowd-funding, Julien Vincent, from Market Forces, and Mik Aidt on “Energize Geelong” – a new, simple how-to guide with a blueprint for local solar crowdfunding. Beav’s Bar, 77 Lt Malop St. Gold coin entry. » Register.

Wednesday 24 September at 7:00pm. Gasfield Free Bairnsdale meeting at Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House, 27 Dalmahoy Street. » Contact:

Thursday 25 September, 6.00pm-7:30 pm. Consumerism, Society and our Ecological Future, a free public lecture with Professor Tim Kasser. At Theatre 1, 207 Bouverie St, Carlton, University of Melbourne. Tim Kasser will review two decades of psychological theory and research on values to show how contemporary culture’s focus on materialism and consumerism must be confronted if humans are to create a sustainable future.

Saturday 27 September. Door knocking in Frankston and EV Street Stall outside Kmart Main Entrance, in Burwood East, 9:00am–12:00pm.
»For bayside event contact Jane Stabb:
» For the eastern suburbs contact EV’s Claire:

Sunday 28 September. NEW DATE for Whittlesea Transport Forum.

Monday 29 September. Moreland Transport Forum.

18the-greensTuesday 30 September. Eastern Climate Action Melbourne State Election Environment Forum, Waratah Room, Whitehorse Centre, 397 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading, 7:00–9:00pm. Moderator: Rob Gell. Candidates: Neil Angus MP, Liberal Party, Pauline Richards, Australian Labor Party, Brewis Atkinson, Australian Greens
» RSVP and questions: See

Tuesday 30 September from 6.00pm to 7.30pm. Election environment forum – Greens.
At the RMIT Building 12, Level 5, Room 002, 394 Swanston St. Environment Victoria, in partnership with GetUp!, VNPA, Friends of the Earth and The Wilderness Society have invited each major party to explain their philosophies and outline their policies for the climate and our environment. This forum is with Greg Barber, Victorian Leader of the Greens. Get tickets (free):


October events

Wednesday 1 October. Western suburbs Transport Forum.

Thursday 2 October. Melbourne Transport Forum.

Thursday 2 October at 7:30pm. Gormandale Coal & Gas Information Night at Gormandale Football Clubrooms, Main Rd, Gormandale. Expert Speaker: Mark Ogge from The Australia Institute.

Saturday 4 October. EV Campaign skills training (field campaigning) held in conjunction with the VTHC, Victorian Trades Hall Building, 54 Victoria St, Carlton, 9:30am–1:00pm. » Contact

Saturday 4 October at 7:00pm, Deans Marsh. Dance for Lock the Gate. Concert and Fundraiser with Mountain Grey & Rondo. At Deans Marsh Memorial Hall, Pennyroyal Valley Rd, Deans Marsh. Contact Seona Gunn (03) 5236 3384.

Sunday 5 October. Rock 4 Renewables Fundraiser with Empat Lima, Alysia Manceau, Danny Walsh Banned, Nun of the Tongue and others. Plus DJ Emma Peel (PBS) & DJ Knave Knixx (Shack Shakers). Gasometer, 484 Smith St, Collingwood.

Sunday 5 October Meerlieu & Districts Declaration Day & Ute Sign! Including Goon Nure, Bengworden, Meerlieu & Perry Bridge. At Meerlieu Hall, Lindenow-Meerlieu Rd. Activities start at 12noon, Ute Sign & Speeches from 2pm. Cakes, Tea/Coffee, Sausage Sizzle, Kanga Cricket, Jumping Castle, Face painting, Raffle, Displays and more! » Email

Sunday 5 October. Nelson Unconventional Gas Information Night. » Contact Leila:

Friday 10 October. TEDx Melbourne Conference Off the Grid. Find out more about speakers: Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Plenary 1).

Saturday 11 October. Global Frackdown Day. Watch for local events:

Saturday 11 October and Sunday 12 October 10:00am–4:00pm. Lock the Gate Victoria Stall @ Garden Expo, Lardner Park (10 mins from Warragul). » Email:

Sunday 12 October. EV Campaigns Communication and Personal Narrative Training, 60 Leicester St, Carlton, 1:00–4:00pm. » Contact

Sunday 12 October. Run with Doctors for the Environment Australia in the Melbourne Marathon Festival. Everybody from new runners to seasoned experts welcome.
» Find more information and register here.

Sunday 12 October at 10:30am. Gippsland Alliance meeting. At Lavalla College, Traralgon, Classroom at the back. Representatives from all over Gippsland get together every six weeks to hear about what we have all been doing, work together on projects, support and inspire.
» If you have not attended before please RSVP to:

Wednesday 15 October at 7:30pm. Yarram Gasfield Information Night. At Regent Theatre, Main Street. Expert Speaker: Mark Ogge from The Australia Institute. » For more info contact Julie 0429 464486.

Wednesday 15 October at 7:30–9:00pm. Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities. Bayside Climate Change Action Group and Brighton Secondary College to present an evening of presentations and Q&A at Brighton Secondary College, 120 Marriage Road, Brighton East. Speakers: Rob Gell, David Karoly, Kirsty Albion, and Jennifer Lauber Patterson (chair).» RSVP: Eventbrite (free ticket). Gold coin donation at the door. Contact: Tim Forcey – 0419 019 864. » Facebook:

Friday 17 October. 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).

19divestment_oct2014Saturday 18 October. Divestment Day. Market Forces and are calling on thousands of customers of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac to turn out and publicly close their accounts if the banks fail to rule out further support for the dirty fossil fuel industry.
» Sign up at

Saturday 18 October. The Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group pro-wind mountain bike ride – a Ride for Renewables from Black Forest Timbers, 988 Black Forest Drive, Woodend. The ride offers options for the semi-serious mountain-biker as well as those that are interested in a leisurely 13km ride through the pine forest. Starting at 10.00am (staggered start), riding to the site of the proposed community owned wind turbine and through surrounding forest.
» You can go to and book your tickets, or email
» Facebook event page:

Sunday 19 October at 1:00pm. South Gippsland Election Forum at the Football Clubrooms (Walter J Tuck Reserve) Strzelecki Hwy, Mirboo North. Confirmed candidates attending so far are Labor, Greens, Independent and Country Alliance. Contact:

Sunday 19 October – Whitehorse Spring Festival – EV Market Stall, Nunawading, 11:00–4:00pm

20Lockthegate_coal-and-gasFriday October 24 to Monday 27 October. BEYOND COAL & GAS: Protecting our Heritage, Embracing the Future at Ivory’s Rock, near Ipswich Queensland. It has been a huge year for the campaign to move Australia beyond coal and gas, with the movement growing from strength to strength across the country. The national gathering is a chance to bring people together from all over Australia, to reflect, to share stories and experiences, to learn from one another and to plan how to take the movement to the next level. Speakers include US based solar entrepreneur Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sungevity, and Dr Anne Poelina, a Nyikina Traditional Owner from the Mardoowarra, Lower Fitzroy River.The website and registration here.


November/December events

Friday 7 November. Seat of Pascoe Vale Candidate Forum – Coburg Uniting Church commencing at 7:30pm.

Saturday 8 November. Due date for Monster Climate Petition.

Sunday 9 November. EV Building and Maintaining Effective Teams Training, 60 Leicester St, Carlton, 1:00–4:00pm.

Wednesday 12 November 7:00–9:30pm. Lighter Footprints candidates’ forum. Q&A panel and breakout groups for candidates from Kew Hawthorn Burwood and Box Hill. At Hawthorn Arts Centre (formerly Town Hall), Burwood Rd Hawthorn.

Wednesday 12 November at 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start. Darebin Climate Action Now Northcote Candidate Forum, Northcote Town Hall.

Friday 14 November, Brunswick Candidate Forum, Brunswick Uniting Church commencing at 7:30pm.

Friday 15 November to Saturday 16 November in Brisbane. G20 summit.

Sunday 23 November. Fun Run/Walk Fundraiser Mirboo North, Grand Ridge Rail Trail, Mirboo North.
» Email: for more details.




Victorian election

Saturday 29 November.

Will Victorians see climate as one of the decisive issues?

VCAN post-election review and celebratory lunch.

Sunday 7 December 11.00am-2.00pm in Melbourne, venue TBC.


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