May 2023 Dispatch

Federal Budget - some great initiatives but much more needed

It was great to see some very solid investments announced in the Budget for the clean energy revolution - investments for building transmission infrastructure, helping workers through the energy transition, Australia's first National Climate Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation Plan. Other important initiatives include the establishment of a Net Zero Authority, reducing transport emissions and investment in hydrogen. The investment in home energy efficiency upgrades was also very welcome. Overall, however, the budget measures do not meet the scale of the climate emergency we are facing. The continued subsidies to the fossil fuel industry of more than $9 billion per year is diverting much needed capital away from much needed investment in renewables. DCAN will continue to fight these unfair subsidies to the fossil fuel industry as well as supporting the positive initiatives that speed up our race to reduce emissions. Read more about the budget and how it affects climate and biodiversity here.

Talking about gas & climate with our local pollies

Regular meetings with our State & Federal pollies are a high priority for us at DCAN. In April we were pleased to meet with newly elected Nathan Lambert, MP for Preston and Kat Theophanous, MP for Northcote to talk about state policies on gas. It was a good level of discussion where we presented the Community Gas Retirement Road Map - how and why to get off gas in Victoria prepared by Friends of the Earth after extensive community consultation. The Road Map is packed with information about gas production and use, along with tips for the state Government and householders to switch off gas by 2035. We also attended a meeting with Ged Kearney MP for Cooper along with other community representatives where we heard reports on the climate and environment protection actions already taken by Ministers Bowen and Plibersek. We look forward to continuing our dialogue and exploring opportunities to strengthen polices at all levels of government.

Let’s go electric in Darebin!

Darebin Council has launched a campaign to support households to switch to all-electric homes.
As energy prices continue to rise, all-electric homes are not only cleaner and safer, but are cheaper to run. Council wants to support all Darebin residents to make the switch - whether you’re a homeowner or renter; nearing retirement or have a young family; replacing a dead appliance or doing a full-blown renovation!
Step one is making a plan so that when your appliances and vehicles need replacing, you’re ready to go. To find out more, make your plan, and sign up for in-person and online events throughout May. Visit the Council’s Go Electric website.

Upskilling plumbers for a renewable future

Solar Victoria are supporting free training for plumbers to design and install energy efficient heat pumps and solar hot water systems.

This is such a great initiative as many plumbers simply replace old gas hot water systems with new ones, without considering these alternatives, which reduce both emissions and energy bills.

Find out more at

Play the Adaptation Game at CERES June 18 based on Merri-bek LGA

A community climate drill for your local area

The Adaptation Game (TAG) is an engagement tool for local governments to inspire community climate resilient action.
TAG uses gameful simulation adapted to specific local areas, so players can experience what climate adaptation and mitigation means for them. It is designed for people who accept climate change, but may feel uncertain about what they can meaningfully do about it.
In the game, players craft their own stories about how they can best prepare and respond to the climate-related crises in their homes and neighbourhoods.

Local resilience resources, information, initiatives and organisations are embedded in the game. This enables players to access tangible pathways to action, without imposing top-down solutions.


Wonderful Worms competition for school students

Did you know that each year Soil Week Australia runs a competition for primary and secondary students on healthy soil? The aim of the competition is to create awareness about the importance of healthy soil for us and the environment. By entering the competition students learn about the role of nature in carbon cycling, storage, and in healthy soil and thus food. 

Last year 60 schools from all over Australia, both rural and urban, entered the competition. Over $7000 was given out in prizes! The topic for 2023 is "Wonderful Worms." Find out more here.

Chalking Collective

Come out for a social action on St George’s Road bike path.

We meet 10am-11am each Thursday at a designated tram stop on St George’s Road bike path to chalk signs about the climate emergency, pick up litter (which is logged on the FOE website), do a bit of weeding and talk to passers-by.

There is always plenty of friendly chatter. At 11am we go to a local café for a drink and more chatter.

You can join us for any part of this - just come for a drink if you are free.

If you want to be on the mailing list for this please contact Linda Bradburn [email protected]

Sport and Climate Emergency

There has been a Net Zero Sport Summit (April 27 in Melbourne) part of the Climate Action in Sport community. One of the organisers wrote, “We all know that athletes are amongst the most influential people in the world - that’s one of the reasons the UN have identified sport as a critical sector to target for climate action (alongside fashion). Sport is going to be hugely impacted by climate change - heat, drought, flooding, air pollution from bush fires all reducing playing days as well as loss and damage to infrastructure.” Two groups involved are Let Me Be Frank and Green Planet Sport which are trying to build a community of practice around Climate Action in sport.

For more information see


Climate Carnival a huge success!

The weekend of the May 6th and 7th saw the inaugural Climate Carnival, a joint effort of dozens of climate and environment groups, including DCAN.
There were stimulating talks, yoga, tango, comedy, music and information stalls. It was a fabulous event and our sincere thanks go to the too-numerous-to-mention individuals and groups who made it happen, including Mycelium Studios and the wonderful catering teams at Nohadra’s Kitchen and La Guerilla coffee vans.


Speakers included many well known local climate activists talking about the climate emergency such as Jane Morton, Bryony Edwards and Adrian Whitehead. Other fascinating speakers included Sonia Randhawa from the Coalition of Everyone as well as the Tomorrow Movement and Friends of the Earth. Julian O’Shea, an “influencer” with more than 200,000 followers ran a very useful workshop giving us lots of tips. DCAN’s convenor, Ann Sanson, spoke on how to talk with children about global heating and introduced us to young activists who will make the world a better place. Sue McKinnon from Kinglake Friends of the Forest spoke on why it's so vital to protect our forests. The presentation from Dr Elizabeth (Liz) G. Boulton on Climate and Environmental Change: time to reframe threat? was confronting but essential listening. One of her suggestions was that we use the term 'hyperthreat', rather than the benign 'global warming', or even 'global heating'. Fortunately the audience included Tony Gleeson, part of the team behind The Sustainable Hour podcast and Liz has agreed to be a speaker on the show.

Jeff Sparrow & Robyn Davidson at the carnival

Walkley Award winning writer Jeff Sparrow in conversation with Dr Catherine Strong attracted a large audience. We invited Jeff to be a guest speaker because of his conviction for the critical role of grassroots activism and because, “We don’t need to end the climate wars, we need to win them.” His latest book, Crimes Against Nature, is a must read. Also see this Guardian article by Jeff.

Robyn Davidson, well known author of Tracks, provided the opportunity to hear more about how global warming is part of the destruction of the nomadic way of life. We were inspired by her determination to live a life of significance in spite of some trepidation. Hopefully we will have a recording available soon but, in the meantime, you might enjoy this short article.

Upcoming actions

Saturday 13 May. Mothers Circle for Climate Justice (part of a global day of action)

Saturday 20 May. Mass wildlife surveys in several locations to challenge the draconian new forest protest penalties that come into effect on this day

Thursday 25 - Sunday 28 May. Occupy for Climate

Friday 26 May. Critical Mass - climate edition bike ride

Saturday 27 May. Slow march for Climate

  • Robert Dawlings
    published this page in News 2023-05-13 10:40:33 +1000

Donate Volunteer Find an Event


get updates