Tag Archives: community action

Green Family Life Festival – Sun 9 September

The Green Family Life Festival is a community event that aims to inspire families to live more sustainably, follow the seasons, celebrate their garden and care for the planet.  

Come along and stroll the marketplace to find great products and ideas to encourage sustainability. Watch demonstrations for take-home ideas such as making your own balance bike, composting, creating an edible garden and keeping chickens in your backyard. Take a sustainable house tour to learn more about retro-fitting your home or sit back and enjoy organic food and wine and live music from charming folk band Anna Smyrk and the Appetites.

The day will also be jam-packed with fun and games for the kids including face painting, singing and dancing with Mini Maestros, sustainable story time, cargo bike rides and tree planting. Plus there will be competitions with great prizes including an art and craft competition using recycled materials, and for the handy man or woman at heart a ‘flat pack assembly competition’ sponsored by Ikea and compered by Deputy Leader of the Greens Adam Bandt!

A fun and informative, family-friendly event with loads to see, do, explore and take home. Entry is $5 per family but well worth it.   Join in the celebrations and add a splash of green to your family life. For the full program click here or call 9428 9901.

Richmond Community Learning Centre

92-94 Lord St, Richmond


$5 entry per family


YCAN joins rural and urban alliance against new coal and gas projects

Coal mine destroying agricultural land in NSW. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham MLC

Yarra Climate Action Now is a proud member of the rural and urban alliance, launched yesterday, calling for a ban across Victoria of all new coal and coal seam gas exploration and development. As of this morning, Forty-five community organisations had joined the alliance.

This call is also backed by the State and Federal Greens. The Victorian Labor Party is supporting a moratorium on coal seam gas development (but not coal).

Friends of the Earth, who put the alliance together, is running a petition. If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so here.

Below is further information about the alliance and the call for a moratorium on new coal and gas developments, taken from Friends of the Earth.


Rural and urban Alliance calls on State Government to ban new fossil fuel projects

Victorian government wants more coal – the community wants farmland and clean water

As Victoria faces a wave of exploration licences for coal seam gas (CSG), coal, and tight gas, there is growing opposition to this industry. “Community groups have formed across the ‘coal belt’ of southern Victoria, from the Otways to Wonthaggi to Toongabbie” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “Clearly local farmers and residents do not want to see their lands and water sacrificed for short term fossil fuel development.”

“In Queensland and New South Wales there is a massive community backlash against the CSG industry” said Merryn Redenbach, spokesperson for Quit Coal. “Elsewhere in Australia, governments and individual members of parliament are standing up against the growth of CSG exploration and new coal mining in rural and urban areas. Locally, the Bass Coast Council has called for a ban on mining and gas operations, and Liberal MP Ken Smith has supported this demand”.

Mr Walker said “the only response from the government of Ted Baillieu has been to increase opportunities for further coal development. Just this week it was reported that the Baillieu government is working on a strategy to try to head off community objections to its plans to develop Victoria’s brown coal reserves.”

An alliance of 45 groups has today called on the Victorian government to ban all new on-shore coal and un-conventional gas operations until there has been a thorough investigation into the likely impacts of this industry on:

  • water resources,
  • farmland and food security,
  • local communities and natural biodiversity, and
  • greenhouse emissions.

Sue Anderson, a dairy farmer from near Bunyip, said “the industry needs to provide guarantees for the integrity of aquifers and surface water before it is allowed to proceed.  Blind Freddy could see that mining is detrimental to the production of food.  In a competition between food and coal seam gas, food has to win.”

“In the specific case of our area in West Gippsland, any government that approves CSG operations where 15% of Melbourne’s food is produced must be both barking mad and broke”.

Community member from Toongabbie, Tracey Anton, said “rural communities, state wide, are forming powerful alliances with environmental organisations against new mining explorations and development. Why? Because in our time of need, they are the only ones there to answer our questions.  To prevent the social and economic erosion of our communities, will Government and Industry work with us or against us?”

“The government is pretending there is no problem with new fossil fuel developments in Victoria” said Mr Walker. “Recent revelations that it is considering new coal allocations shows that they are out of step with community sentiment across rural Victoria. It is time they made their position clear: will they support a call for a moratorium?”

For further comment:
Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth 0419 338 047

Groups which have supported this statement

To add your group please email cam.walker@foe.org.au

Coal seam gas extraction causes water pollution

Alternative Technology Association
Ararat Greenhouse Action Group Inc
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Benalla Sustainable Future Group
Beyond Zero Emissions
Brimbank Climate Action Network (BrimbankCAN)
Climate Action Moreland
Climate Action Network Australia (CANA)
Climate and Health Alliance
Community Over Mining (Gippsland)
C4 (Communities Combatting Climate Crisis), Healesville
Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Assoc Inc
Darebin Climate Action Now
Emerald for Sustainability (EmFSus)
Environment Victoria
Friends of Bass Valley Bush Inc
Friends of Gippsland Bush Inc. (FOGB)
Friends of the Earth
G CAN [Geelong Chemical Action Network Inc] Global Warming Action Party Australia, East Gippsland
Gippsland Environment Group Inc (Bairnsdale)
Gippsland Action Group
GreenLeap Institute
Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Groundswell Bass Coast
Grow Lightly South Gippsland
Healesville Environment Watch Inc.
Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group
Lighter Footprints
Locals Into Victoria’s Environment (LIVE)
Lock The Gate Alliance
MADGE Australia Inc
Melton Community Supported Agriculture
Moonee Valley Climate Action
Nillumbik Climate Action Now
Quit Coal
Riddells Creek Sustainability
Surf Coast Energy Group
The Wilderness Society
Western Regional Environment Centre
Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH)
WTree Progress & Promotion Association
Yarra Climate Action Now


Who supports this moratorium?

More than 1,200 individuals have signed the petition calling for a moratorium. http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-dangerous-coal-seam-gas-mining-in-v…

Adam Bandt, Federal MP for Melbourne
Richard Di Natale, Senator for Victoria

Colleen Hartland, State Upper House MP for Western Metropolitan
Greg Barber, State Upper House MP for Northern Metropolitan


What are people saying about a moratorium & fossil fuel impacts on rural Victoria?


The state opposition supports the call for a moratorium on new coal-seam gas exploration.

Opposition energy spokeswoman Lily D’Ambrosio said there were growing concerns about coal-seam gas projects. ”New evidence has emerged that raises questions about the safety, health and environmental impacts of coal seam gas exploration, and it’s important these concerns are fully investigated”.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/labor-call-to-ban-fracking-20120411-1w…

Alex Arbuthnot, from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation, says areas of high food production should be protected from CSG mining.

“Food security, following the adoption of a national food plan and perhaps a Victorian food plan next year … is going to become a major, major issue,” he told the Victorian inquiry.

“I have flagged to the mining industry here, there could be some no-go zones for food.”


The VFF issued a stronger statement after we launched our call for a moratorium:

“Farmers are calling on the Vic Coalition Government to extend wind farm veto laws to cover coal seam gas projects. The VFF’s Gerald Leach says landholders should have the right to veto mining on their property. He says farmers are concerned coal seam gas mining could cause long-term damage to aquifers and their land. Leach says the Vic Government has given landholders the right to veto in respect to wind towers”.

ABC Gippsland (Sale), 08:30 News – 13/04/2012
In March 2012, the Bass Coast shire voted to reject exploration for coal and gas within its jurisdiction.


Colac Otway shire mayor Brian Crook said in 2011 that a ban on exploration was essential until the government improved its “seriously flawed” consultation process and could assess the impact of mining.

“Until we have the process evaluated and there is a 100-per-cent guarantee there will be no impact on aquifers and the community is happy with it, coal-seam gas exploration must stop,” Cr Crook said.

He said the council called for the mining companies to abandon exploration and would push for the support of major political parties in the Colac district’s fight against coal-seam mining.


Federal Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman, who is a qualified geologist, supports a call to ban Coal seam gas mining.

“There’s absolute community outrage. Western Victorian has some very valuable environmental assets and highly productive agricultural land and this industry has been proven to do tremendous damage.”


State MP for Bass (Gippsland) and Liberal party member Ken Smith has supported the call for a ban on exploration for coal and gas within his electorate.
“We’ve got a farming community down here and the last thing that we need to have now is people exploring the countryside from the shoreline up into the hills looking to dig the place up,”

The Weekly Times editorial“The risks of mining CSG are real; the benefits temporary and the profits go to mining fat-cats”.

A polluted aquifer could end food production in an agricultural region indefinitely – a contaminated aquifer is impossible to decontaminate”.

“The Victorian government needs to show it will not be pushed around by mining giants.

It should declare prime food-producing land off-limits to mining”.


Green Earth Weekend

The Athol Gill Centre in Clifton Hill (100 Hodgkinson St) is hosting a fantastic weekend of community events on global warming, 22-24 October.


Friday 22 October 7pm – Meet the Candidates

Richard Wynne MP (Labor)
Kathleen Maltzahn (Greens)
Stephen Jolly (Socialist)
Liberal candidate invited
Come and hear state electoral candidates engage with issues concerning climate change and the environment. The evening will include Q+A and focus groups which will contribute to a report to be submitted to local council and all political parties.
This is a chance to have your input and for your voice to be heard.


Saturday Morning – Family Fun

Meet at 10am on Saturday 23 October. Click here for more information


Saturday Afternoon – Business and Community Interaction

2-5pm, 23 October.

An expo of business and communities groups who are each working towards creating a green earth.
Come and meet with with different people already doing it:
– learn about share car options in your area
– sign up for an organic food co-op
– find great ideas for Christmas presents that help others and the environment


Saturday Night – Climate Change Panel

7pm, 23 October

Pr. Peter Christoff, Dept of Resource Management and Geography, Melbourne Uni
Beyond Zero Emissions
Luke Chamberlain, Wilderness Society
Clancy Moore, Oxfam
Pablo Brait, Yarra Climate Action Now
Come and learn more from people in the know, evening hosted by Rod Quantock.


Sunday Morning – A Humane Response

10am, 24 October, Come and hear Deborah Storie address the impact of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable.
Deborah Storie is Deputy Chair of the TEAR Board, and a member of the Program Review Committee, which makes decisions about funding allocations to established TEAR partners. A former TEAR fieldworker in Afghanistan, Deb travels regularly to TEAR projects in a monitoring and advisory capacity.


Sunday Afternoon – Sustainable Lunch

12pm, 24 October.

To wrap-up the weekend festival there will be a community lunch which will feature foods and picnic equipment that are kinder on our environment. Come along for some great food and pick up some tips and recipes for your next picnic.
For further information click here.

Saving civilisation is not a spectator sport

By Lester R. Brown (written for US audience)

Given the enormous environmental and social challenges faced by our early twenty-first century global civilization, one of the questions I hear most frequently is, What can I do? People often expect me to talk about lifestyle changes, recycling newspapers, or changing light bulbs. These are essential, but they are not nearly enough. We now need to restructure the global economy, and quickly. It means becoming politically active, working for the needed changes. Saving civilization is not a spectator sport.

Inform yourself, read about the issues. If you want to know what happened to earlier civilizations that found themselves in environmental trouble, read Collapse by Jared Diamond or A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright or The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter. My latest book, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, can be downloaded free of charge from Earth Policy Institute’s (EPI’s) Web site, earthpolicy.org, along with complementary data sets and a slide show summary. If you find these materials useful in helping you think about what to do, share them with others.

Pick an issue that’s meaningful to you, such as tax restructuring, banning inefficient light bulbs, phasing out coal-fired power plants, or working for streets in your community that are pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, or join a group that is working to stabilize world population. What could be more exciting and rewarding than getting personally involved in trying to save civilization?

To continue reading, click here.

YCAN wins Yarra City Council sustainability award

Yarra Climate Action Now has won the Yarra City Council Sustainability Award for Community Action (environment group) 2010.

We are very pleased with this award and want to thank and say well done to everyone that has taken part in YCAN actions and activities in the past – you helped!

We are lucky in the City of Yarra to have so many fantastic community initiatives and we were in a tough field full of excellent groups. Thank you to the City of Yarra for recognising the importance of community action.