Newsletter early-October 2014

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People’s Climate Mobilisation

Around the world hundreds of thousands marched on 21 September, including 388,000 people filling 80 blocks in New York. Watch this short and inspiring video.

In Melbourne there were around 30,000 people, 900 in Geelong and smaller numbers in towns including Metung.


Eastern Climate Action Melbourne and the Baby Boomers did a great job of getting the Vote Climate message out. Have a look at the screen-printed placards featuring prominently in this picture below – the main photo in The Age’s coverage.


tony-dare_200However, Tony Abbott failed to join over 120 world leaders this week at the UN Climate Summit – despite’s dare. Julie Bishop tried to put a positive spin on the Liberal’s Emissions Reduction Fund.
» See the 5-minute video.

However, Australia’s stance was savagely condemned.

Australia and Canada have been described as an ‘Axis of Carbon’ and were rated last and second last on climate action amongst developed nations on the 2014 Climate Change Performance Index. According to Inside Climate News, it appears Australia may be seeking to derail the 2015 talks in Paris.


Breakthrough – The New Era of Climate Activism

breakthrough-flyer200Explore a new era of climate activism that is changing everything about the way we campaign on climate change. Here’s your chance to hear David Spratt presenting his important paper, Dangerous climate change: Myths & reality, together with Paul Gilding talking about the role of the market, activism and policy in making an emergency speed transition away from fossil fuels. This event is presented by Environment Victoria and the Sustainable Living Festival and Mark Wakeham will be the third speaker, exploring ways for environmental NGOs to respond to the extent of the climate crisis and the rapid economic transition required to restore a safe climate.
Monday 20 October at 6:30pm. RMIT University Building 80, Level 1, 80/445 Swanston St, Melbourne.
» Register at


Campaigning for renewables

campaigning-for-renewables2There were Rally for Renewables protestsat the offices of several prominent federal politicians including around 200 people at the office of Andrew Robb. Great coverage in the Herald Sun including this picture!

One of Friends of the Earth’s main ‘asks’ this election is a call for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET). The Greens have come out in support on several occasions. At an electoral forum organized by a number of large environmental NGOs, Victorian Greens party leader Greg Barber and Greens candidate for the seat of Melbourne, Ellen Sandell, supported a VRET and made a number of commitments regarding climate action, renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels.
» Read about the Greens forum.

At a similar election forum with the ALP, Lily D’Ambrosio, shadow minister for energy, and Lisa Neville, shadow minister for the environment, would not commit to a VRET when prompted. But now it seems that the ALP is getting close to supporting the policy. This week, Labor candidate for Ripon, Daniel McGlone, told The Maryborough Advertiser, “Daniel Andrews has made a commitment that should the RET be scrapped at a federal level Labor will re visit the VRET and re-instate it,” he said. “I’m obviously going to be deeply in favour of that.” A super majority of Victorians support state government policies to encourage more renewable energy.
» Please send a message to Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Opposition

Will the Liberals take up the offer of a Liberal Party forum on the environment, organised by the same large NGOs as the ALP and Greens forums?

Stay tuned. But don’t hold your breath!


Fossil fuel industry reports

qld-treasury200Billions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on fossil fuels. But exactly how much it all adds up to has been the subject of a heated public debate between The Australia Institute and the Minerals Council. In June 2014, The Australia Institute released research which estimated state governments spent $17.6 billion on the minerals and fossil fuel industries over the last six years. In mid-September, the various minerals councils released their own report arguing that most of the money is investment that gets paid back, so shouldn’t be considered as industry assistance. Australia Institute have fought back with some facts and figures based on what the mining states say when they go cap-in-hand to the Commonwealth asking for money (or trying to hand over less royalties) and arguing about the cost of the subsidies.

» Watch Richard Dennis debate the NSW Minerals Council on the 7.30 Report. Read more from Michael West in the SMH. More information from the Australia Institute coming soon or

Another report well worth reading is Fossil Fuels, Global Warming and Democracy: A Report from a Scene of the Collision by Dr Kevin Taft from the Whitlam Institute, University of Western Sydney. Taft argues that democracy is caught in a collision between two forces: the need to respond to global warming by cutting carbon emissions, and the demands of the fossil fuel industry to increase carbon use and production. He says that the struggle to respond effectively to global warming is also the struggle to preserve democracy. “Neither democracy nor a healthy environment will prevail without a tough, smart, and prolonged effort. In both Canada and Australia that effort will need to be driven not by elites, but by the mass of citizens who demand a better future than the bleak and smouldering one that science currently says is on offer.”
» Download the report (PDF, 20 pages)

State election – in less than two months now

Find a first time voter and encourage them to go to Election Question 2014. The top three questions pitched by first time voters in each and every electorate across the State will be put to candidates for a direct response.

tunnel_200Public Transport not Traffic have continued their powerful campaign against the East-West Link. For coming campaigning opportunities, check their website. Watch this great new video clip made to combat the state government’s propaganda ads.

The Transport Forums have been well attended. Only one more to go now – in Monash. Videos of the presentations by politicians for each forum are available. The Darebin forum (in the marginal ALP/Greens state seat of Northcote) saw some tense moments as Fiona Richardson, sitting ALP member took on Cr Trent McCarthy, Greens candidate for Northcote, and Gladys Liu, Liberal candidate for Northern Metro. A Darebin Climate Action Now member was able to ask a question on the East-West Link and whether the ALP would use their temporary majority on this issue (with support from Geoff Shaw) to pass a motion opposing the signing of the contracts. The Moreland Transport Forum (in the marginal ALP/Greens state seat of Brunswick) was held just a few hours after Premier Denis Napthine signed the East West Link contracts. Climate Action Moreland members attended handing out their leaflet, East West Tunnel equals Climate Madness, and the VCAN climate science postcard. The most highly rated question for the night came from CAM and drew attention to deaths from heat waves, the effects of heat waves on public transport and the need to reduce fossil fuel use in transport.
» Read more here.

election-collage200The Vote Climate campaign in inner city marginal Labor/Greens seats is gathering momentum. Next step is the distribution of hundreds of Vote Climate house signs.
» If your group would like some, please email Darebin at

Environment Victoria, GetUp! And local climate groups are continuing to campaign hard in Prahran, Forest Hill, and three sandbelt electorates. There are lots of door-knocking and street stalls planned. See coming events for a list of Environment Victoria events. EV are also holding weekly phone banking sessions between 5:00pm and 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 60 Leicester St, Carlton. » Contact

And there is an EV house sign – that’s it in the picture.

At the People’s Climate March, 400 GetUp members pledged to Vote Clean at this year’s Victorian state election on 29 November. Talking to voters directly is how GetUp intends to create the people power needed to shift all the major parties to do better by our environment. Thousands of GetUp members will be getting together to knock on neighbours’ doors, make phone calls to undecided voters, and hold stalls and community events that get our local politicians’ attention. In the last three weeks alone, Victorian GetUp members have already had more than 1,125 conversations with voters. This is a new style of grassroots campaigning for GetUp.
» For GetUp!’s coming events click here for Melbourne events, here for Frankston events, and here for Geelong events. » Pledge at

The push for coal and gasfield free communities is gathering momentum in regional Victoria. The editor of the Weekly Times told ABC Melbourne that the number two issue for regional voters is onshore gas mining – second only to the usual concern, infrastructure, roads and public transport. He said communities are up in arms about gas, and every time they publish an article about it they get more letters about it than anything else. It would be very important for the parties to respond to it and that Victoria isn’t treating it like any other state has, he said.

The city of Greater Geelong appear to be close to making a statement opposing unconventional gas mining. Liberal Party councillor and former mayor Stretch Kontelj made a speech at the climate rally in Geelong. A great campaign by the Moriac, Freshwater Creek, Geelong, Grovedale and Torquay groups. Council’s call for submissions on unconventional gas closed on Friday with over 400 submissions from Geelong citizens and organisations. A number of them are posted here.

Shut It Down – the campaign to close the Anglesea Power Station have been approaching companies to rule out purchasing this brown coal dinosaur. So far nine companies have ruled themselves out. Read more.

In Gippsland East, climate activist and independent climate emergency candidate, Peter Gardner addressed a crowd of 200 at Metung.
» Read more.


October events

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, and Nun of the Tongue. Plus DJ Emma Peel (PBS) & DJ Knave Knixx (Shack Shakers). Gasometer, 484 Smith St, Collingwood.

Sunday 5 October, 1.00pm-4.00pm. EV door knock Vermont South. »

Sunday 5 October from 12md. Meerlieu & Districts Declaration Day & Ute Sign! Including Goon Nure, Bengworden, Meerlieu & Perry Bridge. At Meerlieu Hall, Lindenow-Meerlieu Rd. Ute sign & speeches from 2pm. Cakes, sausage sizzle, kanga cricket, jumping castle, face painting and more. » Email

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

Sunday 5 October 12:00pm.Gasfield Free West Alliance Meeting in Portland RSL, Percy St.
» Contact Chloe Aldenhoven 0432 328 107

Tuesday 7 October at 2:00–4:00pm. Symposium with Nicole Foss at 680 High Street, Thornbury. Nicole is an international speaker on the economy and environment. She was one of the keynote speakers at the National Climate Summit in Brisbane and was featured on Big Ideas last month. Organised by Women’s Health in the North.

Tuesday 7 October 7:00pm. Gasfield Free Torquay action meeting.
Patagonia, Sufcoast Hwy.
» Contact Elizabeth Packett 0414 891 766.

Thursday 9 October at 7:30–9:00pm. State Election Forum in St Anne’s Hall, corner Windella Ave and Beresford St, with the Kew candidates standing in the upcoming election attending. Organised by Kew East Residents Association.

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 – an international day of action initiated by Food & Water Watch to ban fracking. The event aims to unite concerned residents everywhere for a day of action to send a message to elected officials across the globe that we want a future powered by clean, renewable energy – not dirty, polluting fossil fuels.Watch for local events: including Warrnambool Global Frackdown: Venue and time TBC » Contact Nadia Collis 0426 261 344

Saturday 11 October, 10.30am -12.30pm. Shut It Down Action Meeting at the Anglesea Community Hall. The campaign to shut down the Anglesea coal-fired power station is at a critical juncture with the sale of the power station imminent and the state election approaching. »

Saturday 11 October, 9.00am-12.00md. EV street stall at Vermont South.
» Contact

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

Sunday 12 October. EV Persuasive Conversations Training, 60 Leicester St, Carlton, 1:00–4:00pm.

Sunday 12 October. Run with Doctors for the Environment Australia in the Melbourne Marathon Festival.Support for action to address the ill health resulting from damage from fossil fuels.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 work together on projects, support and inspire. » If you have not attended before please RSVP to:

Monday 13 Octpber at 6:00–7:30pm. ‘Climate Change: Are we up for the challenge?’ Miegunyah Lecture by Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, hosted by the School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, the EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, the Melbourne Energy Institute and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.
» For more information, click here.

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). Gold coin donation at the door. » RSVP: Eventbrite (free ticket). Contact: Tim Forcey – 0419 019 864.

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).

Friday 17 October 7:00pm. Dartmoor, Drumborg and Lyons Declaration and Film Night. Dartmoor Hall – Dinner for farmers and VFF members preceding at Dartmoor Pub. » Contact Michael Greenham 0488 553 803

Saturday 18 October 10am onwards. EV and GetUp! Day of Action in all three sandbelt electorates.
» Contact

Saturday 18 October. EV door-knocking Forest Hill. » Contact

Saturday 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. » 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 at 11:00–4:00pm. Whitehorse Spring Festival in Nunawading. Environment Victoria market stall, with Concentrated Solar Thermal model on display along with a stack of yard signs for people to take.

Sunday 19 October. Nelson Information Night. Nelson Hall. » Contact Leila Huebner (08) 8738 4037

Monday 20 October 2014 at 6:30pm. Breakthrough – the new era of climate activism. Organised by Environment Victoria and the Sustainable Living Foundation. Explore a new era of climate activism that is changing everything about the way we campaign on climate change. RMIT Building 80, Level 1, 80/445 Swanston St. » Register here.

Wednesday 22 October, 7.00pm Macedon Candidates Forumat the Riddells Creek pub.The Forum will be open to all topics – transport, employment, infrastructure or environmental concerns. » Register here.

Wednesday 22 October from 6:30 PM. Pacific Warriors talk atRMIT Cinema (Level 1, Room 002, 445 Swanston St). The event will be part story-telling, part performance and a call to action.
» Registration page.

Friday October 24 to Monday 27 October. Beyond Coal and Gas Conference: 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. » Website and registration.

Sunday 26 October. State election candidates get chance to reveal CSG stance. Coal and CSG Free Mirboo North is holding a forum for candidates at the state election to explain their policies on unconventional gases. All parties contesting the seat of Gippsland South will take part, including the sitting MP and Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan.

Tuesday 28 October, 7.00pm. Gasfield Free Bairnsdale meeting. Neighbourhood House, 27 Dalmahoy Street.
» Contact: or call Debbie 0448 809 798.

Wednesday 29 October, 5:30pm-8:30pm. EV’s AGM and Environment Celebration night. Come and celebrate Victoria’s magnificent environment in style, as we recognise the incredible environmental leadership across the community and enjoy the hilarious musical stylings of special guest host Bob Downe. » Book here:

Friday 31 October, 6.30pm. Hamilton candidates Forum. Hamilton Performing Arts Centre.
» Contact Helen Henry 0428 742 287.


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.

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

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

Friday 14 November to Saturday 16 November in Brisbane. G20 summit.



Victorian election
Saturday 29 November. Will Victorians see climate as one of the decisive issues?

VCAN post-election celebratory lunch
Sunday 7 December 11.00am–2.00pm in Melbourne, venue TBC.



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