Welcome to this month's edition of the DCAN Dispatch, featuring information about how you can get involved in the forest protectors campaign, updates on the Gas Substitution Roadmap and new Climate Bill, and upcoming local events.
Logging is criminal in a climate emergency
Labor and the Coalition recently joined forces to push draconian new penalties for forest protectors through the Victorian Upper House. If we protest peacefully in a logging coupe, we now face fines of up to $21,000 or 12 months in jail. Citizen scientists and whistleblowers monitoring logging and searching for endangered wildlife like the Greater Glider and Leadbeater’s Possum could also face these harsh penalties.
Over 4,000 people signed an online petition or emailed the Premier calling for the Bill to be scrapped, and 67 human rights, legal, environment, and climate organisations joined calls for the harsh amendments to be withdrawn. The Maritime Union of Australia, Australian Services Union, and the United Workers Union also delivered a joint letter to Premier Andrews criticising the new laws.
Climate groups and forest groups will be working together to make the protection of our precious native forests an election issue. There are postcard campaigns already underway in Northcote and Richmond and campaigns in other marginal seats are ramping up. Courageous activists will be staging large-scale peaceful walk-ins to logging coupes to test the new laws.
Contact us at [email protected] if you would like to help out with this campaign, or come to a forests evening at Black Spark, 126A Gladstone Ave, Northcote, the first Tuesday of each month from 6.30pm.
There are also a few Signal chat groups you can join to stay in the loop:
- For Northcote electorate forest organising including a postcard campaign, join here.
- For citizen science and updates around upcoming Greater Glider surveys, join here.
- For forest non-violent direct action trainings and other announcements from the New Forest Crew, join here.
You will need to download the Signal app first, but that only takes a few minutes and gives you access to a free, encrypted chat platform.
DCAN meets with State Energy Minister to discuss the Gas Substitution Roadmap
DCAN recently met with Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Lily D’Ambrosio, to discuss the Government’s new Gas Substitution Roadmap. The Roadmap is an important document as it sets out the Government’s plan on how we will transition to net zero emissions.
While DCAN welcomed some of the very positive announcements in the Roadmap, we expressed our concern at the lack of specific targets and timeframes needed to rapidly cut carbon emissions. We also spoke of our alarm at the inclusion of expanded and new gas projects in the Roadmap.
In response to our concerns, the Minister noted that the Victorian Government is decarbonising at a faster rate than any other jurisdiction. The Minister also reassured us that the Roadmap will be reviewed next year, with stronger targets. The Minister emphasised the Government’s commitment to ensuring that no part of the community is left behind in the transition to renewables. DCAN is grateful to local MP for Northcote, Ms Kat Theophanous, for setting up the meeting.
You can read about the outcomes of the meeting and see the briefing notes we have provided to the Minister for the August Energy Ministers’ meeting here. A review of the Roadmap by Friends of the Earth and guidance for email action can be found here.
Federal Climate Bill is a big first step
DCAN welcomes the passing of the new Climate Bill through the lower house of our national Parliament.
It is a monumental and important first step by the Albanese government. Let’s take a moment to celebrate this historic occasion which will send strong signals to the community and renewable energy investors. We must continue, however, to push the Government for stronger targets, an end to taxpayer-funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and the ruling out of new coal and gas projects.
Communities around Australia and the world are facing increasing and widespread devastation from the climate emergency. We are going to need a truckload of stronger actions for a safer climate future. If you would like to be involved in this work please contact us at [email protected].
Read an explainer about the new Climate Bill here.
DCAN supporters call for urgent action on climate
It was wonderful to see so many DCAN supporters join in the United Climate Rally calling for urgent climate action at the Melbourne State Library recently. DCANers were spotted singing in the fabulous Melbourne Climate Choir welcoming people to the rally while others were seen tuning into the great speeches and mingling with forest protectors, XR rebels, and even human-size owls! The Riff Raff Radical Marching Band serenaded us on the march up to Parliament House and we were also treated to some great reggae climate songs.
The distressing sight of towering Blinky the Burning Koala reminded us all of what is at stake for our precious planet and the need for each of us to step up and demand urgent action on climate before it is too late.
Share your attitudes on renewables to win!
Individuals and communities are key to the energy transition. UTS and the Community Power Agency have launched a survey to find out what actions people are thinking about taking in the next year or two related to household and community renewables.
Fill out the survey here for a chance to win one of six $50 gift cards!
Here are some upcoming events for the Community Climate Action Series run by Neighbours United for Climate Action (NUCA), hosted by NECCHI, and funded by Moreland City Council.
Small Things with Great Love - Action Afternoon on Saturday 3rd September @ 2pmClick here for the full event description and to register.
Soup and Film Night on Friday 16th September @ 5.30pm
Click here for the full event description and to register.
Welcome to this month's edition of the DCAN Dispatch, featuring a tribute to a local climate leader, upcoming rallies, film night, and more.
Vale Philip Sutton
DCAN is deeply saddened by the loss of Philip Sutton, local Darebin resident, friend, mentor and guiding light to so many in the climate movement.
We will be forever grateful to Philip for his deep thinking and extensive work on the Climate Emergency which helped instigate the declaration of a climate emergency by Darebin Council, followed by 2118 other jurisdictions worldwide. Philip was co-author with David Spratt of the ground-breaking book Climate Code Red: the Case for Emergency Action which provided a stark warning of the need for more urgent and immediate action on global heating.
Our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to Philip's family and friends. Read about Philip's extensive contributions to climate and environmental protection in a moving tribute by Luke Taylor here and on the Vote Planet blog here.
Urgent Action: United Climate Rally - Saturday 30 July at 1pm, Vic State Library
The Morrison government's gone but the new Albanese government still plans to go ahead with 'carbon bombs' like the Scarborough-Pluto gas project, which by itself will produce three times Australia's current annual emissions in its lifetime. Join us and a coalition of climate groups on the streets for a united climate rally to demand real zero emissions by 2035, no new coal, gas or oil, and the protection of our ecosystems and biodiversity. Everyone welcome. RSVP here.
A DCAN contingent will gather under our banner ("To change everything we need everyone") and beside the architectural fragment sculpture in the north-west corner of the forecourt if you would like to join us.
Rally at Parliament House to oppose draconian protest laws
On Tuesday 28 June more than a hundred people, including many DCAN members and the fabulous Climate Choir, gathered on the steps of Parliament House to oppose draconian new protest laws targeting native forest protestors and citizen scientists. These laws have passed the lower House of Parliament but must still pass the Upper House.
You can take action by emailing your local member and asking for the Sustainable Forests Bill (2022) to be withdrawn - and for forests to be protected from logging.
If you would like to use one or a few of the postcards the Victorian Forest Alliance has prepared for our Northcote MP Kat Theophanous, you can find them at Rathdowne Records, 230 High Street Northcote, Black Spark Cultural Centre or on Ann Sanson’s verandah at 17 Hartington Street, opposite the Northcote train station.
Get a $250 Power Saving Bonus
Suffering from bill shock or dreading your next power bill? Visit the Victorian Energy Compare website and be rewarded with a new $250 bonus made available by the Victorian State Government from 1st July 2022. The Bonus is open to all Victorian households who visit the Victorian Energy Compare website or engage with an energy affordability service through one of the participating community outreach partners. Why not check out the Green Electricity Guide at the same time?
Join Extinction Rebellion for a film and discussion night - 21 July
Just like DCAN, XR is ramping up to keep the pressure on the new federal government and demand stronger climate action in the lead-up to the Victorian election.
XR Darebin, XR Moreland (soon to be Merri-bek!) and XR Yarra invite anyone interested in how they work to come to a film-and-discussion night on Thursday 21 July at 6.30pm at Northcote Library.
The evening will include three short films, the opportunity to meet and chat with current rebels and finally get involved in planning an exciting local action for August.
You can get more information or register here.
Job opportunity - Psychology for a Safe Climate
Psychology for a Safe Climate is advertising for an Office and Administration Manager (part-time, 3 days equivalent), preferably based in Melbourne. Applications close Friday 12 August at 5pm.
Details are available here on Ethical Jobs.
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Welcome to this month's edition of the DCAN Dispatch, featuring election reflection, South Australia's climate emergency declaration, and other important news!
A new national Government brings renewed hope
A huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard during the election campaign to bring about the election of candidates with strong commitments on tackling the climate crisis. Many DCAN volunteers worked tirelessly distributing our scorecards at the pre-polling booths and at polling booths on election day, as well as train stations and elsewhere. Many also chose to support Teal and Greens candidates in other electorates. You all deserve to take some credit for the fantastic election result!
The election results were an outstanding testament to the strength of grassroots community action across the nation. Here in Cooper, sitting MP Ged Kearney was returned but with a reduced margin. Ms Kearney has been an outstanding champion for climate action within the Labor Party. However, the swing against her of over 5%, along with the election of additional Greens candidates in both the lower and upper houses and the election of a raft of Teal independents, sends a strong signal that much more ambitious climate policies are needed from the new Labor Government.
We hope you share our feelings of relief and renewed hope for the future. Our work now is to ensure that the new Albanese Government understands that it is indeed a race – a race to bring down carbon emissions as quickly as possible and make the switch to renewable energy. Given how dangerous the climate is now, action to restore a safe climate needs to be taken with emergency speed and intensity.
We are looking forward to working with you to press the new Government to declare a climate emergency and put in place an emergency transition plan to protect our community.
And now it’s only five and half months to the Victorian state election! If you'd like to get involved, please let us know here.
South Australia has declared a climate emergency!
The South Australian Government has declared a climate emergency – the first state government to do so, and following in the footsteps of Darebin Council – the very first jurisdiction in the world to do so in 2016. 2,104 jurisdictions in Australia and across the world have now declared a climate emergency, covering 1 billion people.
Both houses of Parliament supported the SA motion. SA Climate Minister Susan Close introduced the declaration, saying: “What we need to do is acknowledge the truth that this constitutes an emergency, and then we need to act on that.” Well done to the SA climate activists who have worked tirelessly to bring this about! We hope our state and federal MPs are taking note.
No more new coal and gas
We were so excited to see our new Minister for Climate, Chris Bowen, giving a press conference beside the emergency leaders Scott Morrison had refused to meet with. But we were alarmed to see new Resources Minister, Madeleine King spruiking coal and gas. According to the Murdoch press, Minister King will not put a limit on how much coal it will export, saying it is possible Australia could be sending the resource to Asian trading partners past 2050. DCAN will be continuing our campaign against all new coal and gas projects.
Native forest protectors face steep fines or jail under proposed state laws
As we turn our attention to the state government in the lead-up to the state election, we have been shocked by the first reading of a bill introducing draconian penalties (12 months’ jail or more than $21,000 in fines) for protesters attempting to protect our beautiful carbon-dense forests from logging.
We view the proposed legislation (the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022) as unnecessary, undemocratic and totally at odds with a progressive Labor Government. We do not believe that there is sufficient evidence that existing protections for worker safety need to be supplemented by these harsh amendments.
In the face of the climate emergency and species extinction, we need to protect what few natural ecosystems we have left, not punish those who are trying to prevent further destruction. Please join us by voicing your concerns to local MPs Kat Theophanous and Robin Scott or click here to sign the petition.
Fundraising and Communications Fellowship - applications open
Climate for Change is now recruiting for its 2022 Fundraising and Communications Fellowship. Build your capacity to act for a better world through their training program of weekly online sessions, covering peer-to-peer fundraising, communication, climate action and other not-for-profit skills. Applications close 11pm Sunday 19th June. For more details and to apply, click here.
Minister D’Ambrosio launches Community Battery in North Fitzroy
On Sunday 5th June, Lily D’Ambrosio, the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change, launched a new Community Battery in North Fitzroy, the first for an inner-city area in Australia. With a capacity of 250kWh and featuring a cheerful mural by artist Hayden Dewar, it is connected to a local subnetwork of nearly 200 premises around its site at CitiPower’s substation at 193-205 McKean St. It will absorb excess solar energy from surrounding homes during the day and release it during the evening peak period, and help to stabilise the grid.
The launch marks a key milestone for the Yarra Energy Foundation’s (YEF) Community Battery Trial, which is supported by an $800,000 grant from the State government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, as well as by the City of Yarra. Other battery projects are also underway, including the Village Power project here in Darebin.
Community Power Hub program comes to an end
DCAN is sad to learn that the Victorian Government’s budget for next year does not include funding to continue the program which funded the Metropolitan Community Power Hub (MCPH), along with a number of other Hubs across Victoria, for the last year. DCAN is one of 10 local climate groups that are Roundtable Partners in MCPH, along with 11 local councils.
Led by the Yarra Energy Foundation, the MCPH has helped many households to install solar panels and learn how to reduce their energy bills and their carbon footprints through things like installing heat pumps, insulation and induction cooktops. As part of the MCPH, we distributed thousands of fliers across Darebin, held information zoom meetings, received initial training in helping people understand their power bills, and held a demonstration of induction cooking. We were also looking forward to progressing a project to help make local neighbourhood houses more climate resilient.
Funding for the MCPH comes to an end on 30 June. While we are trying to encourage the state government to reconsider its funding decision, the MCPH has been a valuable way for DCAN to build relationships with other climate groups and to spread the word about how to reduce emissions at a local level.
10am Thursdays on the St. George’s Rd bike path
Occasional showers and predictable cold have not really interfered too much with our regular outreach action. We have even had one of the good folk we accosted to talk about climate action insist on joining us in tidying the bike path by weeding and collecting litter. So we’ve added Colleen to our little email list. Let us know if you want to join us too!
Outreach, without the cleaning
Before the election some DCAN members used sandwich boards with climate messages to good effect in Kooyong and the city. Now, looking for new ways to keep the focus on this critical issue, we are looking at handing out our “Groups to join/Things to do” flyer in High Street Northcote, or anywhere really. We have already had one successful hour or so outside Terra Madre in Westgarth.
No local photos were taken but this one from one of the earlier outings gives the idea. Again, if you’re up for a bit of a chat with the general public, possibly in a sandwich board, please get in touch. (It looks daunting but the flyers make it simple. And you will be among friends.)
MasterChef Emma Dean showed us how to cook delicious meals on an induction cooktop at a recent DCAN event. Emma cooked Vegan Pho, Crispy Chickpea and Harissa Burgers. A recording of the induction demo can be found here and the mouthwatering recipes here.
Emma showed how easy it was to regulate the temperature of the cooktop with the touch of a finger. She also explained how much quicker and safer it is to use an induction cooktop which are very energy efficient - using only half as much power as a gas or electric stovetop. Lachlan Hensey from the Metro Community Power Hub (MCPH) was also on hand to answer questions on the technical aspects of installing induction cooktops and about his work in helping communities switch to cleaner energy. Visit the Hub to find out more about the range of solar and all-electric home programs on offer.
Candidates vying for the Federal seat of Cooper spoke to a full house at the Cooper Climate Election Forum organised by DCAN and the Darebin Climate Alliance. It was a great night with each of the five candidates talking passionately about why they are seeking to represent the seat of Cooper and what actions they will take on the climate emergency if elected.
Emma will show us how an induction cooktop, using electromagnetism, outshines gas - giving superior temperature control and faster cooking times while using half as much energy! Lachlan Hensey, Community Energy Project Officer at the Metro Community Power Hub (MCPH) will also be on hand to answer questions about induction cooking and talk about his work in helping communities switch to cleaner energy.
Find out more and register for this online event here.
Register for the Cooper Climate Election Forum – Show the candidates that Cooper voters want emergency climate action in this term of government
Wednesday 27th April 7pm at Span Community House, 64 Clyde Street, Thornbury
Our election forum is a chance to put questions directly to the candidates. Sitting member, Ged Kearney from the Labor Party, Celeste Liddle from The Greens, Adrian Whitehead, from the newly formed Fusion party, and Kath Larkin from the Victorian Socialists will be attending. Other candidates will be invited as they become known.
The forum will be moderated by Emeritus Professor Judy Brett, resident of the Cooper electorate, political historian and author of From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage. Please register here. The forum is brought to you by the Darebin Climate Alliance (DCA) which gratefully acknowledges DCA member Span Community House for hosting the event. Please note that all people attending the event will need to bring proof of vaccination.
With the imminent election we would like to get as many house signs up as possible. If you live near a polling booth, train station or tram stop and would be happy to put a sign up we are particularly keen to hear from you, so please get in touch. The signs are a great way to reach out to neighbours and shape the election narrative. Email Katherine on to get a sign.
In January, the Resolve Political Monitor asked a nationally representative sample of voters about the four main policy options for emissions reductions being put to the upcoming federal election.
- 24% of all voters backed the Greens policy of Net Zero by 2035, with a 75% emissions reduction target for 2030;
- 18% supported Labor's policy of Net Zero by 2050, with a 43% emissions reduction target for 2030;
- 16% supported the Coalition policy of Net Zero by 2050, with a 26-28% emissions reduction target for 2030 (with 35% forecast)
- 10% supported One Nation's policy of withdrawing from international climate agreements and not setting any binding targets
- 10% did not support any of these options
- 21% were unsure or felt all options were acceptable
While noting the high proportion of voters who were unsure or felt all options were acceptable, DCAN are encouraged by these results. We are committed to our goals for 2022 to:
- Build understanding of the interconnections between the Climate Emergency and other crises
- Grow community support for Climate Emergency action
- Grow number of Climate Emergency leaders/champions
- Influence Darebin Council, State & Federal Governments to act on the Climate Emergency
- Campaign effectively in the Federal and State elections
- Build an active & diverse DCAN membership as part of an integrated, active Darebin Climate Emergency movement