January Dispatch

Welcome to the first DCAN Dispatch of 2023! Let's hope for – and work for – a peaceful and productive year with real progress on addressing the climate emergency. Read on for ways to get involved and some great climate book recommendations.

Reasons to be cheerful and work to be done 

There were many signs of progress last year, such as those listed here. But emissions are still rising and we need much greater transformations in our economies and lifestyles to avoid climate catastrophe.

So there is plenty of work for DCAN to do this year! Locally, DCAN will be working to ensure that our Council’s new Climate Emergency Plan is ambitious, inspiring, and effective. And we will continue to encourage residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. 

At the State level, we will continue to oppose the new draconian laws against forest protestors and proposals for new gas developments.

And at the national level, we will argue for higher emissions reduction targets, support strengthening the laws that protect biodiversity and seek increased investment in infrastructure to speed the transition to zero carbon.

We hope you will help us shape this year’s action plans and support us in these initiatives. Email us to let us know your ideas and how you would like to be involved.

Calling on the Dirty Dozen to lift their game

Just before Christmas, DCAN joined with Lighter Footprints, Higgins CAN and Friends of the Earth to deliver a letter to three members of the Dirty Dozen – Shell, ExxonMobil and BHP, calling on them to pull their weight on climate. The Dirty Dozen are big coal, oil, and gas companies responsible for nearly half of the emissions covered by Australia’s Climate Safeguard Mechanism. This is the mechanism that the Federal Government uses to put a cap on industry emissions and to drive them down over time.

The letter was also published in the Age and Financial Review on behalf of the 48 organisations who have signed up to the national campaign to draw attention to the Dirty Dozen’s terrible track record on emissions. The campaign also aims to provide strong support for the Government in strengthening the Climate Safeguard Mechanism.

Planning is underway to develop community actions to turn up the heat on the Dirty Dozen ahead of a Government review of the Safeguards. Let us know if you would like to be involved.

Getting off gas - your experience?

Getting off fossil gas is an important part of decreasing carbon emissions.
DCAN is very interested to find out your experience. Have you tried? What were the challenges? How much did it cost? This could be in a domestic, industrial or commercial setting.

Please email Linda Bradburn and describe your experience or any attempts or road blocks you have faced. What would have made the process easier? All replies appreciated no matter how brief or what the outcome was.

 

[email protected] Library

Darebin Libraries has helped us curate a collection of a few of our climate action artefacts for their LibArt space. We chose several photos of some of our outreach activities, our 'What is Climate Change?' poster, fence signs and our big banner and put them with two doll’s houses filled with soft toy elephants. We hoped this playful point-maker might attract and entertain some of the younger Library visitors. We hope that you too might like to visit, and thank the library for their help.

As part of the project we collected a few book recommendations from the planning group. All these favourites are available to borrow or reserve on the Darebin Libraries Catalogue.

The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson is set in a not-too-distant, storm-damaged Melbourne. 

The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson is reviewed as “a masterpiece of the imagination, the story of how climate change will affect us all over the decades to come. . . . one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.”

Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet by George Monbiot is a very interesting read from a brilliant researcher and writer.

Letters to the Earth is a 2019 collation of the writing of nurses, poets, nine-year olds and grandparents. 

The Treeline: the Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth by Ben Rawlence. Rawlence traveled to Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland to discover what the trees and the people who live and work with them have to tell us about the future of our planet. 

Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Save Australia, by Victor Steffensen, tells of Victor's experiences and stories learning about landscape's alarming state of disrepair and devastation, and teaching the Indigenous fire practices which could bring ecological health to our country.

Humanity’s Moment by Joëlle Gergis is a climate scientist's personal guide to rekindling hope, and a call to action to restore our relationship with ourselves, each other and our planet. Joëlle’s 2018 book Sunburnt Country: the History and Future of Climate Change in Australia is also fascinating. 

On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein was huge in 2019 and is still relevant.

Relevant to the recent controversy about using art to attract attention to the climate movement, and Extinction Rebellion UK’s announcement that they were suspending their tactic of disruption is How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire by Andras Malm. Malm moves from the forests of Germany and the streets of London to the deserts of Iraq. He offers us an incisive discussion of the politics and ethics of pacifism and violence, democracy and social change, strategy and tactics. 

And, for the littlies:
The Little Gardener, by Emily Hughes, is about a little gardener who worked very hard, but feared he was just too little to fix his overwhelming garden, and how he made a BIG difference.

Thanks for reading!


December Dispatch Out Now!

Welcome to the last DCAN Dispatch of 2022, with updates on the Victorian election, supporting climate activists, our annual report, and more! Settle in with a cup of tea to reflect on our bumper year of climate action.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers who helped make climate and forests central issues in the Victorian election

We ran a well-attended climate forum, letter-boxed 20,000 climate scorecards, handed out scorecards at railway stations, distributed hundreds of climate emergency and forests house signs and were an active presence during some of the days of early voting. Our climate voting guides included important information on the mysterious preferencing deals that dictate the end result for Victorian voters who opt to vote one above the line in the upper house.

The outcome has been a positive in many ways: Labor has been returned with a large and comfortable majority and will have little to fear from a weakened and directionless opposition. They have a strong mandate to implement their climate and energy commitments including the re-establishment of the State Electricity Commission to develop publicly owned renewable energy facilities. The Greens have held onto their three lower house seats and added Richmond. However, they narrowly missed out in Northcote and the three ‘teal’ independents who were seen as having the best chance, also lost in close contests.

The upper house results will not be available till next week, but it looks as though Labor may need to negotiate with the Greens to pass legislation and that would be a very good thing for speeding the transition away from fossil fuels and hastening the end of native forest logging.

Climate activist receives long jail sentence

Climate activist, Violet Coco has been given a 15 month jail sentence with a minimum of 8 months for a number of charges including blocking a lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for 25 minutes with Fireproof Australia. She is the first climate activist to receive a long sentence under the draconian anti-protest laws recently introduced in New South Wales. Harsh penalties for forest protests are coming in Victoria and Tasmania soon too, so let’s give Violet as much support as we can by:


DCAN Annual Report for 2022 is out now!

2022 was another very busy year for DCAN, packed with creative actions and events including working on two election campaigns. You can read all about our work in DCAN’s Annual Report which was tabled at the Annual General Meeting last week.

A standout highlight for the year was the Cultural Awareness training day with Uncle Bill Nicholson from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. The training was a positive step along our path to working alongside First Nations People towards a safe climate future.

Speaking to the report, Convenor Ann Sanson gave special thanks to members of the Planning Group who led and participated in the local council, outreach, and election campaign working groups. Ann also referred to the very positive outcomes from our work with the Metro Community Power Hub, the Good Car Company and the Darebin Climate Alliance.

Ann concluded by thanking all the volunteers who participated in the election campaigns by letterboxing, handing out the climate scorecards, and distributing fence signs. She also expressed deep thanks to our many supporters who dipped into their pockets to help cover the cost of election scorecards and fence signs.

Electric Vehicle bulk buy project extended due to high community demand! 

The success of the Darebin/Northern Melbourne EV community bulk buy project has led to an extension in the program to the 16th of December!  So if you are interested in what's on offer it's not too late! Check out the details of the Bulk Buy opportunity here. 

To date, more than 600 people have registered to participate in the program with 200 people turning out for the information-packed Show and Shine event in Bundoora.  65 people have taken test drives and 20 cars are currently in the process of being purchased - removing 50 tonnes of carbon emissions from local roads. If you missed the Show and Shine event you can watch it here.

The Good Car Company’s efforts to bring more affordable electric vehicles to Australia received a very welcome boost in October when Boundless Earth, a philanthropic venture, announced it was going to invest in the Company. With this investment, the Good Car Company is able to increase the number of EVs they import from around 200 per year to 2,000! This has already led to a greater variety of cars on offer which you can view on the Good Car Company website. 

DCAN would like to whole-heartedly thank Kay Wennagel who worked tirelessly on behalf of DCAN to help coordinate and promote the EV program locally. We would also like to thank Darebin Council for the Community Grant which enabled us to partner with the Good Car Company in this exciting program.

We are also grateful to Yarra and Merri-bek Councils for their support.

Who are the Dirty Dozen and what can we do about them?

The Dirty Dozen polluters are the usual suspects of big coal, oil, and gas companies. Together, these fossil fuel companies are responsible for nearly half of the emissions covered by Australia’s Climate Safeguard Mechanism – the mechanism whereby the Federal Government puts a cap on industry emissions and drives these down over time. While the Mechanism did not make polluters cut emissions under the previous Coalition government, Labor has been elected with a mandate to strengthen the mechanism and plans to have updated regulations up and running by July 2023.

The big polluters have wasted no time in mounting a campaign to derail the Government’s intentions and dodge their responsibilities. They have put forward loopholes big enough to drive a coal truck through. It’s time for the Dirty Dozen polluters to pull their weight when it comes to tackling the climate crisis.

DCAN has signed on to the national campaign to draw attention to the Dirty Dozen’s terrible track record on emissions and to provide strong support for the Government in strengthening the mechanism to protect the climate. If you are interested in helping out with this campaign by writing emails to politicians and/or using social media please let us know.

Coming events targeting the banks financing new coal and gas projects

Are you available to attend the Westpac AGM on Wednesday 14 December from 10am at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre? Our friends at Move Beyond Coal will be in attendance and we all know crowds make these events more effective.
Or there’s an online rally targeting the NAB on Thursday December 15th, 1pm- 2pm. But it’s not a meeting! It’s a rally!

'Tis the season...

Some DCAN members also attended the Extinction Rebellion protest to End Fast Fashion, held in the Bourke Street Mall on Black Friday, just in time for some Christmas not-shopping!

Thanks for reading and for supporting DCAN in 2022. We look forward to another year of action after a restful break. 


November Dispatch

Welcome to the November Dispatch, with updates on our recent events and news about upcoming community actions. The countdown to the State Election is on - vote climate!

Help us make climate a central issue in this election!

With only 2 weeks to the Victorian election, it’s a time when all DCAN supporters can try to get voters thinking about climate policies and using their vote wisely.

As usual, we are producing scorecards for both the Legislative Assembly (lower house) and Legislative Council (upper house) which rate all candidates/parties on their climate policies. Because nominations of candidates do not close until 11 November, the scorecards won’t be available till late next week. So then the rush will be on!

Can you help distribute scorecards – either by letter-boxing or handing them out at train stations or other places where people gather? If so, please let us know.

Fence/window signs still available

Now is also the critical time to get out our house/fence signs. If you would like one, please contact Katherine, who can arrange pick up or delivery to your address. Email Katherine or phone 0402 451 236

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standing room only for Northcote Election Forum

It was a full house for the candidates’ climate forum held at Span Community House on 3rd November! Five candidates vying for the seat of Northcote spoke with passion about their personal and political commitments to take action on climate. There were some excellent questions from the audience including questions about banning new gas exploration and logging native forests.

The five candidates were the current sitting Member for Northcote, Kat Theophanous from the Australian Labor Party, Kath Larkin from the Victorian Socialists, Tim Oseckas from the Animal Justice Party, Campbell Gome from the Greens, and Adrian Whitehead standing as an independent. 

The forum was moderated by Emeritus Professor Judith Brett, local resident, and political historian, and was organised by DCAN with the Darebin Climate Alliance. Missed the forum? Don’t worry - you can watch it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sun shone and so did the electric vehicles on show

The Darebin/Northern Melbourne Show and Shine event at Bundoora last Sunday was a huge success. About 200 people attended to inspect the electric cars and vans and go for test drives. The Good Car Company provided an excellent presentation, answered lots of questions, and had many conversations throughout the day with people keen to find out how their bulk buy works and the savings to be made on purchases via the scheme. We also had lots of great conversations at the DCAN table. The campaign continues this month with test drives and info sessions on Zoom.

It’s not too late to be part of the special bulk buy offer which is open until the 6th December. Register for updates here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help clear the air of wood smoke pollution this state election 

Communities for Clean Air Network is a network of people from a diverse range of backgrounds concerned about air pollution and climate change. The network aims to raise awareness about the health and environmental impacts of air pollution, in particular wood smoke pollution.  

Please support the campaign by going to this link.

Did you see our Dotspace display?

We used Halloween as an opportunity to get our giant skeleton into the Clarke Street Dotspace gallery. Lots of our flyers there were taken, so hopefully a little more climate action is taking place.

We already have plans for our next installation! If you have a public facing space we can use, please get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Join us on Fridays, 5pm - 6pm

The Northcote Fridays for Future gang, a few DCANers and rebels from Extinction Rebellion Northside, all gather at the intersection of St George’s Rd and Merri Pde. We are now on the spring and summer timeslot of 5pm to 6pm on, naturally, Fridays.

It is working really well, with lots of friendly chats to pedestrians, bike riders, and even the occasional driver - the light sequence involves long waits! We also give out our Actions/Groups flyers. We communicate with each other through a Signal chat and would be happy to add you. Let us know if you’d like to be included. Or just turn up and check us out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chop the slots on Tuesday 15 November @ Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Join Flight Free Australia as they meet at the opening of the global fossil fuelled aviation industry's  151st International Air Transport Association (IATA) Slot Conference. This gathering to allocate airport landing & departure gates to airlines represents IATA continuing aviation emissions growth, and coincides with the second week of COP27.

For more information, go to the Facebook event page here.


 

 

 

 

 

For more information on events across Victoria, visit the Victorian Climate Action Network events page here.


October Dispatch

Welcome to the October edition of the DCAN Dispatch, packed full of practical ways for you to support climate change action and get inspired!

KEY EVENTS & NEWS

Northcote Election Climate Forum: Thursday 3 November, 7pm–8:30pm at Span Community House Thornbury

Show the candidates that we want emergency climate action in this term of government! RSVP here.

The election forum is a great opportunity to put questions directly to the candidates. All candidates with climate policies will be invited. The forum will be moderated by Emeritus Professor Judith Brett - well known political historian, author, and resident of Northcote. 

Brought to you by the Darebin Climate Alliance (DCA). All people attending the event are encouraged to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from each other.

Darebin/Northern Melbourne Community EV Show & Shine: Sunday 6 November, 10am–2pm at Bundoora Secondary College


Are you keen to find out more about electric cars AND find one that you can afford? DCAN, in partnership with the Good Car Company, is very excited to invite you to register for our free upcoming program of information on the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) and how you can find one that is more affordable.

The Good Car Company is a social enterprise dedicated to decarbonising transport and has been working with community groups and local councils across Australia to accelerate the take-up of affordable electric cars through community bulk buys.

Register now to join us for a free, no-obligation program of information, online Q&A, and the Show & Shine event on Sunday 6 November at Bundoora Secondary College. The Show & Shine event will feature the cars on offer, information sessions, test rides, a coffee cart, sausage sizzle, and live music!

You will be able to buy an EV at a much more affordable price through the program - but there is absolutely no obligation to buy. If you don’t end up buying you will still be armed with the information you need to make a decision in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions. Proudly supported by Darebin City Council’s Community Grants program.

DCAN visits Moondog Brewery

A few of the DCAN Planning Group members were invited for a tour of Moon Dog World in Preston last month. DCAN is keen to be in touch with local Darebin businesses as the Snapshot report shows industrial and commercial electricity make up 41% of Darebin’s carbon emissions.

We had a fascinating tour of the brewing area by Karl van Buuren, one of the founders. A repurposed Toyota factory, Moondog has put on 100kw of solar PV and has a retractable roof area. Gas is used in the brewing process and Karl described how this was hard to replace with current technology.

Moondog is currently working with consultants to achieve carbon-neutral certification which is due to happen soon. Significant work has been done with packaging to reduce it and ensure the sources of products are environmentally friendly. At the end of the tour, we were treated to some Seltzer. Many thanks to Karl and the team for such an excellent presentation.

Induction Cooktops - Portable Possibilities

Here's a tip from Eileen (pictured) and Keith for using less gas, for both homeowners and renters. Keith and Eileen bought a cheap portable induction cooktop. For two people in the dwelling, it has worked very well. They cooked with it almost exclusively for two years.

A portable single induction cooktop costs well under $100 online and is sometimes on special at Aldi. Keith and Eileen used a magnet to make sure their saucepans were compatible. 

For Keith and Eileen, transitioning off gas was vital, and this was a short term step. Now they are going the whole hog and replacing the gas stove with an all-electric induction stove. A portable induction cooktop can still be a good solution over the long term. And renters can take it with them!

We wonder about the feasibility of a borrowing scheme so people can trial induction cooking. We see a real need to combat the 'gas cooking is easy' messages of the gas industry. Have you successfully transitioned to induction cooking? Email us your story!

Fence signs targeting the upcoming Victorian election

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please help us get these fence signs out! We have two versions available and would be very happy to hear from anyone who would like to put these up on their fence or gate.

If you live near a railway station or on a prominent road, these are always effective places for these signs.

If you would like a fence sign please get in touch with Katherine, who can arrange for you to pick up a sign or will deliver it to your address.

E: [email protected]
M: 0402 451 236

OTHER EVENTS

Leafletting help needed for the Victorian Forest Alliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might have noticed some leaflets and signage in Northcote for the Victorian Forest Alliance - but they still need some help with this, especially around Richmond, Prahran, and Albert Park. 

Click here for more information about their upcoming events and to help out.

Oakhill Food Justice Farm Gardening Day: Sunday 23 October 10am–1.30pm in Preston

Oakhill Farm is a community urban farm and food forest in the heart of Preston, on the corner of Plenty Road and Tyler Street.

100% of the produce grown onsite is distributed amongst Oakhill farmers and through food relief initiatives such as DIVRS. By offering training in urban agriculture and peer-to-peer networking opportunities, Oakhill Food Justice Farm not only builds food systems literacy but empowers community members with new skills and stronger social connections.

The ACF Community is planning an exciting morning on Sunday 23 October where there will be seed sowing, planting, maintenance, and learning new skills, followed by a BBQ. This is a great opportunity to learn about how to pursue a backyard food farm through learning new skills, listening, and observing what is involved. 

RSVP here but hurry as places are limited!

Active Hope Workshop: Saturday 22 October, 9am - 6:30pm at Gembrook

Gembrook Retreat is hosting a workshop called 'Active Hope in Times of Change and Crisis' that may interest some of our members. For more information and to sign up, click here.


September Dispatch

Welcome to this month's edition of the DCAN Dispatch, featuring ways you can get involved in shaping climate strategy or protecting forests, good news, events, and more!

Have your say on Darebin's new climate emergency strategy

Darebin Council is developing a new climate emergency plan for our community and they want to hear from you! Please fill in the survey and keep an eye out for workshops and other events where you can put forward your ideas. Don't miss out! Community input will form a key part of the new plan through to the year 2030. To complete the survey and find out more, click here.

Forests – how you can help

Every day the damage continues in the carbon-dense forests that are home to so much endangered wildlife. Want to help stop the destruction of the precious ecosystems on which we depend?

  • Help make forests and climate an issue in the November state by hosting a ‘Logging is criminal in a climate emergency’ house sign. Email DCAN to order one.
  • Letter-boxers are needed in coming weeks to distribute anti-logging flyers in Northcote and Richmond for our friends at the Victorian Forests Alliance. Please let us know if you have an hour or two to assist with these flyers, or with our Vote Climate scorecards at election time.
  • Most weeks there are banner drops with Extinction Rebellion Darebin and actions that halt logging in coupes near Melbourne. This year, Extinction Rebellion’s Spring Rebellion will be focused on stopping logging and will run from 9 - 22 October. If you are interested in forest protests – before or during Spring Rebellion - sign up here for updates.

DCAN receives a Darebin Community Grant for an Electric Vehicle (EV) Project

DCAN is delighted to have been awarded a Community Development Grant from Darebin Council. This will allow us to partner with the Good Car Company which works to help build a cleaner, safer and healthier Australia through bulk-buys of EVs which they then sell at discounted rates.

The project aims to educate our community about the benefits of EVs and provide an opportunity for people to buy one. Darebin Council, along with Yarra and Moreland Councils, is also engaged with this project, which will end with a “Show and Shine” in early November. People who attend this event will be able to test-drive an EV and discuss the ‘ins and outs’ of owning one with experts. More details in the October Dispatch, but contact Kay Wennagel if you are interested in being involved.

Big climate win!

In a great (and well overdue) move, state and federal energy ministers have agreed to put an emissions goal into the National Electricity Objective as the first action under the new National Energy Transformation Partnership. This means regulators will have to consider emissions when they make decisions about how to run our electricity system. This is very important as more than 30% of our emissions come from electricity. The new goal will see more clean, low-cost renewable energy - like wind and solar - in our electricity network, and that means cheaper power bills for all of us. It's wonderful to see state and federal governments working together on this critical issue. 

Geo-engineering whale poo

Some more good news! Sir David King, former climate advisor to the UK government, and the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University are looking into safe ways of replacing the vital function of fertilising the oceans, previously carried out by whales (before we killed nearly all of them). There is a chance that such processes could make a large contribution to drawing down the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by restoring damaged ocean ecosystems. Watch this fascinating video here. It summarises the latest science on tipping points and the proposal for marine biomass regeneration.

Our DCAN T-shirts went to Adelaide!

A team from Darebin Council participated in the 2022 Australasian Local Government Management Challenge in Adelaide last week, having won the Victorian Division in May. As part of their team introduction, they talked about supporting community advocacy and throughout the three-day event, they wore T-shirts and badges to back these causes. This included the fabulous DCAN elephant-in-the-room T-shirt! If you’d like one of these conversation starters, please get in touch.

Thursday chalk, clean, and coffee

Our regular moveable action on the St George’s Rd bike path is still happening at 10am on Thursdays. Each week we chalk messages and tidy a different part while also giving our Groups/Actions/Events flyer to interested passers-by. Often we go for a well-deserved coffee after. If you’d like to join us please email Lesley.

Dotspace Exhibition

Our flyers are also available as part of a new installation at Dotspace in Charles Street, Westgarth. The shopfront where the indomitable Dot once sold newspapers is currently hosting “giant newspaper” props from Extinction Rebellion Northside.

#TellTheTruth will grow week by week, as more papers are added. Eventually, they will then be removed, one by one.

EVENTS

Extinction Rebellion Northside are hoping to organise a screening of Conscientious Protectors for Thursday September 29th at the Westgarth Cinema. If you have been missing the cinema experience but unexcited about the general offerings, you might like to check out the story of how in April 2019 Extinction Rebellion rallied the largest civil disobedience of a generation, holding London to ransom for 10 days and forcing the government to meet and discuss their three demands to avert the climate crisis. Contact Lesley if you'd like to attend. 


The DCAN Dispatch for August

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!

EVENTS

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 @ 2pm

Click 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.


The DCAN Dispatch for July

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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The DCAN Dispatch for June

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.

EVENTS

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.)

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Cooper climate voting guide - 2022 federal election

 


Cooking up a storm on an induction cooktop

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.  


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