NCAT Newsletter

AUGUST 2022

Rollout of the CAP Implementation Plan

The first year of the Climate Action Plan (Implementation Plan 2022-23) has now been endorsed by Council. In the words of one council officer, this is where the rubber hits the road, and we can look forward to some solid climate action emerging over the next year, including the development of a communications plan to let the community know what actions the council is taking, and a plan to make Edendale Farm a Climate Action Hub. The Plan covers five focus areas, and presents specific outcomes which the council hopes to achieve over the coming year, many of which have been introduced for the first time. We are at an exciting stage at this point in Nillumbik’s history, in seeing the realisation of the work that Council and the community have put in over several years to bring this plan to fruition.

But it’s not going to be easy. NCAT recently met with councillors and council officers to discuss how NCAT and Council can work together to achieve these outcomes, particularly in the area of achieving the target of net-zero community emissions by 2035. As a result of this discussion, we are planning to hold a community environment and climate group networking event to get the conversation started on how we, as community groups, can work with council to facilitate action on emissions reduction for our shire. This will take place in early October. If you are a member of a climate or environment group, look out for details in a future newsletter.

We are also planning to hold twice yearly climate forums on various topics of interest to Nillumbik residents. These will be open to all members of the community. 

State Election Climate Issues

At the state level, one of the big issues that is emerging is the growing concern among the voting population about continued logging of our native forests, and the impact this has on attempts to mitigate climate damage. There is mounting pressure on incumbent members as well as candidates for the upcoming state elections to take a stand on this important issue, and make immediate cessation of logging of native forests part of their campaign platform. The Andrews government has pledged to stop logging of native forests by 2030. But this is way too late. Currently, thousands of hectares of native forest are logged every year, with over 85% ending up wood-chipped for cardboard and packaging. At the current rate of logging, we will have no mature forests left by 2030, outside of national parks. 

We are in a climate and ecological crisis, with the imminent collapse of our iconic mountain ash forests. Climate change and land clearing, including logging, are the key drivers of species decline. The greater glider and the koala are now listed as endangered.

Victoria’s forests are some of the world’s most carbon dense forests. Through carbon sequestration and storage, they play a crucial role in mitigating the damaging impacts of climate change. Ending native forest logging in Australia would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 24%.

NCAT is planning to hold a candidates’ forum in early November, for the electorates of Eltham, Yan Yean and Eildon. We will be asking candidates what climate actions they are committing to, and whether they would be prepared to speak up for an immediate end to native forest logging. Details of this forum to come in a future newsletter.

Upcoming Events



Spring Outdoors launch and film screening
When: Friday 2 September 6:30pm to 9pm
Where: Edendale Community Environment Farm

To launch Spring Outdoor 2022 join Nillumbik Council for the screening of “Regenerating Australia” at Edendale Farm, the new short film by Damon Gameau who gave us 2040 in 2019.

Regenerating Australia is a short but powerful and inspiring film. The film takes us on a futuristic journey of “What Australia would look like in 2030 if we simply listened to the needs of its people”.

After the film a facilitated session will be run to explore the community’s thoughts and ideas on how Edendale Farm can also become a Climate Action Hub for the Nillumbik community. 

Light refreshments will be provided.

Book your tickets here.

Hurstbridge Wattle Festival

Yes, it’s back on again, after two years of COVID disruptions. Allwood House and surrounds, 28th August, 10am-4pm. As usual, there will be a climate and environment section, with stalls representing community groups, including NCAT. Come and say hello if you are visiting! For more information, visit the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival website.

The Cars of the Yarra Valley EV Bulk Buy

Clean Energy Nillumbik 
is partnering with The Good Car Company and Yarra Valley Community Power Hub to host an EV Show & Shine event at the Healesville Memo, 235 Maroondah Highway, Healesville, on Saturday 13 August from 1.00 to 4.00pm. This is a free event.

Find out the latest about EVs and transitioning our region and communities to electric transport! Test drives will be offered. RSVP here.

Expert Eco Chats

Also from Clean Energy Nillumbik and Yarra Valley Community Power Hub…  the ever-popular Expert Eco Chats. 

If you are you thinking about solar power, batteries or a hot water heat pump, looking for more comfort or lowering your energy bills? Perhaps renovating or building and looking for environmentally friendly options? Redesigning your garden, installing water tanks or purchasing an electric vehicle?

​Get free, one-on-one advice and tips from Melbourne’s leading sustainability experts at the Yarra Valley Community Power Hub Expert Eco Chats 2022.

Register here for a free, 20 minute private session on zoom with an expert of your choice. Maximum 2 bookings per household. Zoom link provided on booking.

Saturday 27 August, 2pm-4.30pm. 

Book your session here.

JULY 2022

Municipal Planning Strategy – Make your voice heard!

Further community feedback is now being invited for the next stage of this vital planning document for Nillumbik. This is our chance to lock in significant and lasting changes to the way our shire is managed for future generations. We need to build on the successes of earlier council plans such as the Council Plan and the Climate Action Plan in recognising the importance of the climate emergency and the need to protect and enhance our Green Wedge. And we know that our Council does take note of what the community feels strongly about. So please take this opportunity to add your voice to those who are fighting for a better future for our shire.

submission guide is attached to help you. You may choose to send in a written submission or answer the questions in the survey. All links are provided in the submission guide. As always, it is preferable to use your own words. You do not need to use all the information provided – if you are short of time, focus on those sections that you feel particularly strongly about. 

Remember to get your submission in by Sunday 17th July at 11.59pm.

Move to phase out gas

The state government has recently announced a step in the right direction to phasing out gas. New homes in Victoria will no longer be required to be connected to gas, as part of the state government’s long-term plan to halve emissions by 2030. 

A coalition of 31 councils – Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) – endorsed a letter to the state government in May calling for planning laws to be amended to allow them to ban gas on new developments. 

This shows that local government has considerable advocacy power to make changes at higher levels of government. Nillumbik council is currently not a member of CASBE, but NCAT has plans to pursue this further with our council to ensure that they are able to apply pressure in the most effective way to make policy changes for our climate future.

Upcoming Events
Vegan Ecovillage Update

Plans are afoot to create a vegan ecovillage in the leafy surrounds of Nillumbik, in Melbourne’s northeast. During July, some regular social gatherings will be organised to meet potential residents, investors, partners and supporters.

Curious? Interested? Intrigued?

If you want to come along, meet the organisers, and find out more, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/AkVTxseWPVJYfdTR9


Flying in a Climate Emergency
Here is an online event about a topic that is rarely mentioned, but which has considerable implications for Australia’s emissions. Australians are great travellers, which often means an international flight to a far-flung destination. Airline emissions are often excluded from a nation’s carbon footprint, and at present there is no viable green alternative to emissions from aviation. 

This webinar, hosted by YCAN, is featuring Mark Carter, founder of Flight Free Australia, as the guest speaker. In this webinar, Mark will share with the community his thoughts on flying in a climate emergency, and discuss the current campaign opposing the 3rd runway at Melbourne Airport. He will also share practical take-away actions for attendees.

Flight Free Australia’s goals are to:

  1. Raise awareness about the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions from aviation during the climate emergency
  2. Address aviation injustice by building public support at the grass roots and 
  3. Support international and national policies to rapidly transition away from air travel, making aviation emissions zero by 2030 or sooner.

For more information about Flight Free Australia see https://flightfree.net.au/
If you have any questions about this webinar, please contact YCAN via email – info@ycan.org.au
This event is part of the Climate Solutions Webinar Series presented by Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN), a non-partisan, community-based climate action group located in the City of Yarra (in Melbourne, Australia). For more information about YCAN and this series, please visit – http://ycan.org.au

RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/climate-solutions-webinar-series-flying-in-a-climate-emergency-tickets-375674080287?fbclid=IwAR2J6ircaGnjD8TjheGHejS4aIcstTcaGMH5bDkBEmSYHqQoTWLI_vTLjWg
Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/1164672030769714/?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%7D]%7D

JUNE 2022

The Climate Needs Forests!

critical piece of legislation is about to be debated in Victoria’s Parliament this coming week. The Victorian Labor government is proposing anti-protest legislation (the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022), which, if passed, will see forest protestors face up to a year in jail and up to $21,000 in fines. 

This legislation is extremely disturbing, and constitutes a grave threat to our democratic rights to protest. It’s claimed that this is to protect timber workers, but no evidence of workplace risks has been made public in the context of this Bill. First Nations people are also at risk of being prosecuted for protecting their traditional lands.

Every Australian citizen has the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights. This right is particularly crucial in a time of climate crisis, where rich, biodiverse native forests are precious bulwarks against the worst effects of damaging climate impacts by providing a source of carbon sequestration to draw down polluting CO2 emissions. These forests are already in danger of ecological collapse, and one of the only weapons we have to protect them, in the absence of decisive government action to rapidly phase out logging, is to peacefully protest about their destruction. These protests are critical when the state government has breached environmental laws, as they allow time for legal action to be taken.

VicForests has to date been found guilty of numerous breaches of conduct with regard to its logging operations, but instead of calling this organisation to account, the Andrews government is ramping up its attacks on protestors. We at NCAT consider that if the Victorian Government is serious about meeting its stated emissions reduction target of 45-50% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030, it needs to start by protecting our carbon-dense montane native forests instead of changing the laws to prosecute peaceful protestors.

Take Action!

1. Write to your local state MP

    Copy in:

    A template for your letter is included here.

2. Attend a snap rally on the steps of Parliament house this Tuesday 21 June at 9.30am. 

3. Sign the Environmental Justice Australia petition here.

4. Help distribute postcards protesting the proposed new bill in the marginal seat of Northcote over the next two weeks (contact Elizabeth at contactnceat@gmail.com if you are able to help with this).


Getting off Gas and Saving Money!
The following article is an extract from one originally published in the Bayside Climate Crisis Action Group May newsletter, and is reproduced here with kind permission from its author, Tim Forcey. It contains some great resources for reducing our gas bills this winter – saving money and reducing emissions at the same time.

The gas we burn in our homes is a damaging fossil fuel and health hazard.
But this winter, you can get comfy and save money – all while reducing your gas use.
How?
Even before gas became as expensive as it is now, our research at the University of Melbourne found the cheapest way to heat a home is by finding the “heat button” on your reverse-cycle air conditioner. Find your heat button and save!
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/heat-pump-tech-could-save-victorian-homes-up-to-658-a-year-on-gas-report-20150825-gj7gzt.html

For more suggestions, our 57,000+ members at My Efficient Electric Home can help!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MyEfficientElectricHome

Not on Facebook?
Then these four “explainers” may also help. (Thanks to Renew Economy for publishing!)

1). Heating your house this winter:
https://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-whats-the-cheapest-way-to-heat-my-house-if-i-get-off-gas/

2). Hot water:
https://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-why-hot-water-heat-pumps-are-great-for-homes-with-or-without-solar-pv/

3). Cooking with no gas:
https://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-how-electric-induction-cookers-work-and-why-they-clear-the-air/

4). Draught-proofing, insulation, and all the rest when it comes to improving your home’s “thermal envelope”.
https://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-how-to-cut-home-emissions-and-power-bills-by-fixing-leaks-and-insulation/

Have a warm and comfy winter!
Tim Forcey – Home Comfort and Energy Advisor, and BCCAG volunteer
Sandringham

Clean Energy Nillumbik is also a great local resource for practical ideas on how to electrify your home and make it energy efficient. For more information go to the Clean Energy Nillumbik website.

Draft Municipal Planning Strategy – Phase 3 Community Engagement

Phase 3 engagement for the draft Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) has now opened for community and stakeholder feedback and will close at 11:59PM on Sunday 17 July 2022

Some of you will have previously given feedback during Phase 2 of the community engagement (via survey or submission) for this crucial document. The draft MPS has been tweaked in the light of this earlier feedback, and community engagement is now being sought again for further refinement. 

Not all feedback was able to be incorporated into the MPS. Feedback was rejected if it did not fall within the mandate of land use and development, or was too specific for the MPS where it sets “‘higher order’ principles rather than detailed outcomes (e.g. more dog friendly spaces)”.

The Phase 2 Engagement – Collated Survey Responses & Written Submission Feedback document provides an extensive list of ‘key sentiments’ that were identified across the eleven themes. They are as follows: 

a. The importance of the urban tree canopy and the subsequent impacts of development;

b. The importance of protecting Nillumbik’s unique neighbourhood character;

c. Focus on connectivity including walkability, accessibility, active transport and improved accessibility to Major Activity Centres;

d. Protection of the current Urban Growth Boundary;

e. The importance of conserving and protecting biodiversity and the natural environment with a particular emphasis on the importance on recognising the significance of wildlife corridors;

f. Ongoing management of fire risk;

g. Living more sustainably and implementing Environmental Sustainable Design (ESD) outcomes into the built environment; and

h. Protecting Nillumbik’s heritage buildings, places and culture.

It is encouraging to see that more attention has been given to the importance of climate change mitigation than in the earlier draft, and that climate change considerations relating to sustainable housing (Environmental Sustainable Design) have been added to the section on Housing. Urban tree canopy clauses have been added to the section on Climate Change, and there is greater emphasis on the importance of retaining and enhancing biodiversity throughout.The link to the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) Participate Nillumbik page can be found at https://participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/mps

Upcoming Events
Clean Energy Nillumbik is hosting a FREE Community Energy Roadshow at Eltham Community and Reception Centre, 801 Main Rd, Eltham from 7.30pm-9.30pm Wednesday 29 June 2022.

Find out what’s happening with renewable energy initiatives in our local community and in the Greater Yarra Valley and Ranges. Hear how our local community is leading the transition to a brighter future by generating clean power from the sun. We’re reducing dirty pollution, cutting household and business  power bills, protecting our health and wellbeing and reducing our community’s carbon footprint.

RSVP now, and get inspired by powerful local stories of change and find out how you can take action for a brighter future! 

The event will feature keynote speaker and renewable energy expert Dr Moragh Mackay, along with a panel of local community leaders.

Registrations are essential. Supper provided. For more information go to the Clean Energy Nillumbik website.

MAY 2022

A Win for the Climate!
What an election! The 2022 federal elections will go down in history as a truly game-changing event in Australian politics – a day that ended the dominance of the two party system. A day that saw the rise of a powerful cohort of Greens and community-based Independent candidates challenge long-held assumptions about the way we do politics in this country. A massive voice for the climategender equality and integrity. And a chance at last for First Nations people to have their voice heard in Parliament. 

While the new Labor government has declared that it will not deviate from its existing climate policies and its target of 43% emissions reduction by 2030, there is considerable hope that the incoming large cross bench of Greens and Independents, who were swept to power on a clear platform of, among other things, strong climate action, will be able to wield significant negotiating power to push for more ambitious emissions targets. At the very least, Anthony Albanese has clearly indicated that a Labor government will come to Parliament with a much more open, nuanced and consultative approach than the departing Coalition.

So while there is considerable work still to be done to ensure that climate targets are brought more in line with IPCC recommendations for a healthy future for our planet, there is a real spark of hope that we may have turned a corner in the national consciousness around climate issues, and with luck, will be able to say goodbye to the climate wars that have plagued our nation for over a decade.

We at NCAT will continue climate conversations with our local federal MP, Kate Thwaites, who is to be congratulated for being re-elected to the seat of Jaga Jaga with a healthy majority. Congratulations also to Rob Mitchell, who retained his seat of McEwen. As this goes to print, the fate of Menzies has not yet been decided. All three Greens candidates, who presented the strongest stance on climate of any of the contenders, also polled well in the election. While the figures have not yet been finalised, it is looking as though Liz Chase in Jaga Jaga will obtain around 18% of the vote, Neil Barker in McEwen and Bill Pheasant in Menzies will both come in at around 15% of the vote. A fantastic effort from all!

Climate Scorecards in Nillumbik
Many of you will have seen our volunteers handing out our climate scorecards across Nillumbik over the past few weeks, and at the Greensborough pre-polling booth. Many lively conversations were had with engaged locals about climate issues, and it was heartwarming to hear how many people were concerned about our climate. We distributed around 1500 scorecards at markets, polling booths and various other places around the area, including local shops and cafes, and our scorecards were also shared online on various social media platforms.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of all those NCAT supporters who donated their time, energy and money to get our scorecards out there! We like to think it made a bit of a difference! We are incredibly grateful for your help – it is inspiring to see what a galvanised community effort can achieve!

We would like to extend a warm welcome to those newsletter readers who signed up during our recent climate scorecard distribution campaign. Great to have you on board!

And an especially big thank you to Meera from the Eltham Bookshop, who kindly offered us the space in front of her shop to set up a table from which to distribute our scorecards. Meera, you are a community legend!

Victoria’s 2035 Emissions Reduction Targets
Now to the State Government – we have a chance to influence the Victorian Government’s long term policy on climate change. Submissions and community feedback from organisations and individuals are currently being invited to help the Andrews Government decide what emissions reduction targets it will set for 2035. This is an important opportunity to provide input to an independent panel of advisors about the need to set an ambitious emissions reduction target, in line with IPCC recommendations, in order to avoid catastrophic climate impacts from warming over 1.5 degrees. For this to be effective, a science-based target of net-zero emissions by 2035 is strongly recommended.

Friends of the Earth has produced a briefing document that sets out the critical areas to focus on in a submission.  Individuals and groups can also complete a survey by going to the Engage Vic website here: https://engage.vic.gov.au/climate-action-target-2035survey  A survey guide from Friends of the Earth is available to help you complete the survey.
 

We strongly encourage you to send in a submission or complete the survey!
 Due to popular demand, the deadline for feedback has been extended to 11.59pm on 5 June 2022. So please, get your feedback in and help shape our climate future!

Upcoming Events

 

The Royal Society of Victorian and the Parliament of Victoria are hosting an online eventBiodiversity Conservation and Recovery in Victoria, on World Environment Day, 5 June 2020, where leaders from government, industry, the community and academia will provide their perspectives on protecting and recovering Victoria’s biodiversity.

We all know how critical biodiversity is to a climate resilient future, and to the health and safety of all living things. So put this one in your diary!

Nillumbik Climate Action Team

Nillumbik Climate Action Team

Senate Scorecards Ready to Roll…
For our second print run, we have now printed up the Senate Scorecards (prepared by Vote Climate and generously shared to climate groups) on the reverse side of the House of Representatives scorecards for each electorate. Thirteen parties have been listed, grouped in three boxes of FirstNext, and Finally. Major parties (Greens, ALP) are at the top of the First and Next boxes, the remaining parties are listed in ballot paper order, not in order of merit. You are required to number at least 6 boxes above the line, but it is more effective to number at least 13. A copy of the Senate Scorecard can be found here, and on our website.

As for the House of Reps candidates, the ranking evaluations are based on published policies, which can be viewed here, or on our website.

Change of Colour for Scorecard Rankings
We have also changed the colours of the rankings on the House of Representatives Scorecard for each electorate (on the reverse side of the Senate Scorecard) to align with the Senate colours. 

Donations Needed!
Our team has been busy handing out scorecards at Eltham Town Square, St Andrews Market, Eltham Farmers’ Market and outside Eltham Bookshop. To date, several hundred scorecards have been distributed, and we are hoping to distribute many more leading up to the election.  But we need more money to cover the printing costs. If you are able to chip in $10 or $20 to help with our printing costs, we would be most grateful. Please send your donation to the following account if you are able to help:
     BSB: 313-140
     Account No: 12281327
     Account Name: NCEAT
     Ref/Description: NCAT Scorecard Fund

Print your own Scorecards
If you wish to print your own scorecards and distribute them, click on these links for 3 scorecards to a page, printable PDF files for Jaga JagaMcEwen and Menzies. These can be printed out double-sided, with House of Representatives on one side, and Senate on the reverse.

And, as always, share the scorecards on socials to your friends, and get the word out about how to vote for the climate! So go to our Facebook page and share, share, share!

Scorecard Posters
Updated posters are also being prepared for all three electorates, featuring the scorecard and photos, where available, of the candidates. Click on this link for the Jaga Jaga poster, and here for the Menzies poster.  The McEwen poster will be available tomorrow on our website. They can be printed out on A4 or A3 paper, and distributed to your local community noticeboard or friendly cafe.


What’s in a Name?…
Now that our initial goal of persuading Nillumbik Council to Declare a Climate Emergency has been successful, NCEAT is entering into a new phase of wider climate advocacy and action…and so, we have decided to drop the ’emergency’ from our name and become NCAT – Nillumbik Climate Action Team. Shorter, but more broad-reaching. Our new tagline will be ‘We Want Action!’ We will continue to advocate strongly at the local government level for messaging and action to align with the intent of Nillumbik’s Declaration of Climate Emergency, but will also turn our sights to higher levels of government to fight for the best climate outcome for the people of Nilllumbik.

We are in the process of developing a new Statement of Purpose for NCAT, which will be available soon on our website.

New Climate Action Plan
The Climate Action Plan 2022-2032 has now passed its final stage and will be implemented following endorsement of the Year 1 Climate Action Plan Implementation Plan 2022-2023 at the June 2022 meeting. As a result of feedback from the community, a number of changes have been made to the plan. Highlights include: 

  • Implementation plans will be prepared annually rather than bi-annually
  • The scope of Objective 1.3 has been broadened to also include climate action advocacy with other local governments, as well as state and federal governments.
  • A new strategy has been added within Objective 3.1 to “Investigate measures to establish and enhance urban tree canopy and help reduce urban heat”.
  • The existing targets in the Plan have been retained, with reference to regularly reviewing targets based on science; reviewing progress towards targets; and adjusting where agreed by Council (my emphasis).

Click here to see all the changes (note that they don’t include the change from Acknowledge to Declare, as this change occurred at the Council meeting of 26 April, after the above document went to print).

Nillumbik Climate Action Team

APRIL 2022

Nillumbik Climate Action Team

Nillumbik Votes Climate! The Federal Election date has at last been called. Now is the chance for Nillumbik residents to show our federal candidates that it’s time for the Australian government to act decisively on climate. We have had years of our govNillumbik Votes Climate!
The Federal Election date has at last been called. Now is the chance for Nillumbik residents to show our federal candidates that it’s time for the Australian government to act decisively on climate. We have had years of our government abrogating responsibility on this issue, kicking the can down the road, and engaging in divisive political point scoring that has brought us to the brink of climate catastrophe. 

No more! We need leadership, vision and commitment on this most crucial issue of our times.

So, how to vote? With the help of Victorian Climate Action Network and Kooyong Climate Change Alliance, NCEAT has put together a climate scorecard to help our readers, and all the voters in the federal electorates of Nillumbik. As Nillumbik straddles three electorates, we have prepared House of Representatives scorecards for the electorates of Jaga Jaga, McEwen and Menzies (see Jaga Jaga below). The scorecards rate candidates’ policies in seven areas as Good, Fair or Poor. Five of the policy areas relate directly to climate, and two to government integrity. The last two have been added because of the clear link in failures in governance and failures in climate policy. 

Scorecards will be printed with the candidate ratings on one side, and a guide to preferential voting on the other side. We are hoping to distribute a Senate scorecard as well. More on that later.ernment abrogating responsibility on this issue, kicking the can down the road, and engaging in divisive political point scoring that has brought us to the brink of climate catastrophe. 

No more! We need leadership, vision and commitment on this most crucial issue of our times.

So, how to vote? With the help of Victorian Climate Action Network and Kooyong Climate Change Alliance, NCEAT has put together a climate scorecard to help our readers, and all the voters in the federal electorates of Nillumbik. As Nillumbik straddles three electorates, we have prepared House of Representatives scorecards for the electorates of Jaga Jaga, McEwen and Menzies (see Jaga Jaga below). The scorecards rate candidates’ policies in seven areas as Good, Fair or Poor. Five of the policy areas relate directly to climate, and two to government integrity. The last two have been added because of the clear link in failures in governance and failures in climate policy. 

Scorecards will be printed with the candidate ratings on one side, and a guide to preferential voting on the other side. We are hoping to distribute a Senate scorecard as well. More on that later.

Every effort has been made to be objective and fair in the scoring of the scorecards. Summaries of each party’s policies were prepared (or an individual candidate’s policies in the case of an Independent), and candidates were given the opportunity to review them before the scoring was finalised. Policies were scored using simple and clear criteria. Click on these links for the scoring rationale for the candidates’ scores for the electorates of Jaga JagaMcEwen and Menzies.

We also have the completed scorecardsscoring rationale for each candidate’s scores and detailed party/candidate policy summaries available for viewing on our website.

Help needed to distribute the scorecard
We are hoping to distribute the scorecards in as many letterboxes as possible throughout Nillumbik. We will also need people to hand out scorecards at polling booths on the day of the election, as well as at markets and other venues. If you are able to help us with any of these tasks, even just for a short time, please email Elizabeth at contactnceat@gmail.com to leave your details. All help will be gratefully appreciated!

Back to local events…finalising the Climate Action Plan!
A reminder to bring your placards and your enthusiasm to the general Council Meeting on 26 April, 2022 at 7pm, where councillors will be voting on two amendments to the draft Climate Action Plan. They will be voting on a motion to: 

  • change the recognition of Climate Emergency from Acknowledgment to Declaration
  • bring forward the community net zero emissions targets from 2035 to 2030.

We are strongly urging them to vote yes to the above two amendments, and aim to provide a polite, respectful presence at the meeting as a reminder that this is an issue that deeply concerns many Nillumbik residents.

Further Actions1. Contact your local councillor by phone or email, asking for a Declaration of Climate Emergency, and a target of net zero community emissions by 2030.

2. Submit two questions to the Council meeting on 26th April. Ask Council to 1. Declare a climate emergency, and 2. Set a target of net zero community emissions by 2030. Questions are required to be submitted by 5pm on the day prior to the meeting, using the appropriate form. They will be read out by the mayor at the meeting. Follow this link to submit a question.
https://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Council/Meetings-and-committees/Council-meetings/Ask-a-question-at-a-Council-meeting

This is possibly our last chance to make significant changes to this crucial plan, which will be valid for the next ten years. These years are critical for the planet – we need to have made substantial progress towards reducing our emissions by 2030, otherwise the future for our descendants will be grim indeed.

Nillumbik Climate Emergency Action Team

MARCH 2022

Nillumbik Climate Emergency Action Team Visits to Federal MPs
This has been a busy month, with NCEAT visits to Federal MPs in three Nillumbik electorates – Rob Mitchell in McEwan (Labor), Kate Thwaites in Jaga Jaga (Labor), and Keith Wolahan in Menzies (Liberal). We raised four points for discussion; 1. A more ambitious emissions reduction target 2. Rapid transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy 3. Legislation on building, vehicle and industry standards, to help businesses invest in renewable energy, and 4. Request for Australia to rejoin the international Green Climate Fund to help developing countries. All were asked if they would be willing to take our requests to the relevant ministers or the party room.

All three politicians gave responses along party lines, with Labor politicians more willing to acknowledge the urgency of the situation and the need for stronger action, but nevertheless constrained by party policy limitations from making significant changes to existing policies on climate change. Although no immediate commitments were forthcoming, we felt it was a useful exercise in establishing connections with our local MPs, and in letting them know that there is considerable concern about the climate emergency that may impact voters’ behaviour in the polling booth.
NCEAT members with Kate Thwaites, MP for Jaga Jaga

Amendments to Climate Action Plan
With the finalisation of the Climate Action Plan coming up soon, we took the opportunity to meet with councillors to make a case for strengthening the draft Climate Action Plan even further. We presented our two main requests; 1. Declare a climate emergency 2. Bring forward the net zero community emissions target to 2030, in line with Ironbark Sustainability science-derived target recommendations for Nillumbik Shire.

As a result of this meeting, both these issues will be raised as proposed amendments to the existing draft Climate Action Plan at the Council meeting in late April, and councillors will be voting on them.

Take Action!
We would love as many people as possible to make their presence felt at the Council meeting at 7pm on 26th April, and convince our councillors to vote ‘yes’ for these critical amendments. Please come with your placards and your banners asking for:Declaration of Climate Emergency!
Target of net zero community emissions by 2030!
Bring your family and friends, and let’s pack out the Council chambers with calls for strong climate action!
Further Actions1. Contact your local councillor by phone or email, asking for a Declaration of Climate Emergency, and a target of net zero community emissions by 2030.

2. Submit two questions to the Council meeting on 26th April. Ask Council to declare a climate emergency, and 2. set a target of net zero community emissions by 2030. Questions are required to be submitted by 5pm on the day prior to the meeting, using the appropriate form. They will be read out by the mayor at the meeting. Follow this link to submit a question.https://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Council/Meetings-and-committees/Council-meetings/Ask-a-question-at-a-Council-meetingThis is our last chance to get these important changes made, to determine climate policy in Nillumbik for the next ten years. The recent events in northern NSW have really brought home to Australians how vulnerable we are to the catastrophic impacts of rapidly accelerating temperatures, and these disasters are only destined to increase. We need to do everything we can now to minimise the damage, and protect ourselves and our beautiful natural environment.

Have your say on climate and the environment
Nominations are currently being sought to join Council’s Environment and Sustainability Committee (ESAC). 

ESAC focuses on matters related to climate action, biodiversity and land management, sustainable water management and waste management. 

If you want to help, and have relevant expertise or experience, a good understanding of related local issues, a desire to provide feedback to Council on these environment and sustainability matters, and a willingness to contribute collaboratively and constructively, you are encouraged to apply.

This is an opportunity to advise Council on climate and environmental policy in a very direct way. If you, or anyone you know, would like to make a difference on these important issues, please consider applying.

Nominations close at 11.59pm on Sunday 20 March 2022. Click on this link to apply: Environment and Sustainability Advisory Committee – Nillumbik Shire Council


Upcoming Events



Clean Energy Nillumbik is hosting a Clean Energy Expo on Sunday 3 April from 11am to 3pm. Heaps of events and information about how to electrify your home and make it energy efficient, learn about EVs, hear about the neighbourhood community battery initiative, enjoy live music, keep the kids happy with children’s events and much more! 

Click here to find out more, and register for this event.

Book: The Big Switch: Australia’s Electric Future by Saul GriffithSaul Griffith outlines his exciting vision for an electric future for Australia. He explains convincingly how we can fight climate change while creating millions of new jobs, with the result of a healthier economy and a healthier environment. He details exactly what it would take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid, and adapt our households. Read it and be inspired!

You can also hear Saul talk about his vision at the following online event: 
Per Capita Webinar: The Big Switch – with Saul Griffith
Wednesday, 23 March
⋅1:00 – 2:00pm
Click here to RSVP for this event.



Exciting New Project in the Works… Watch this space!
If the world’s population lived like Australia, we would need 5.2 earths!
We cannot continue on this path. There is no planet B. 
To respond to this climate emergency, there is a group of locals working together to create a vegan eco-village. If you’d like to get involved, please join the mailing list here: https://mailchi.mp/ff7034afffbc/nillumbikecovillage  

For further information contact Renée Hasseldine, 15 Green Place, Eltham VIC 3095, Australia
Email: renee.hasseldine@gmail.com Mobile: 0431 395 120
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land upon which I live, work and learn.

Nillumbik Climate Emergency Action Team