Wills Candidates sign Australian Conservation Foundation pledge

ACF-campaign-leaflets

Three of the ten candidates standing for the Wills Federal electorate have signed the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) pledge: Samantha Ratnam (The Greens), Camille Sydow (Animal Justice Party) and Zane Alcorn (Socialist Alliance). This pledge is an undertaking that if elected they will:

  • Support Clean Energy. Transitioning Australia to 100 percent clean energy.
  • Cut Pollution. Moving to zero net climate pollution before 2050 and closing dirty coal burning power stations.
  • Protect our reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife. Supporting a strong set of laws and institutions to improve biodiversity and regulate pollution.

Other candidates have taken away the pledge card to consider but have not yet committed. These include: Peter Khalil (Labor), Will Fulgenzi (Socialist Equality), Tristram Chellow (Sex Party).

This is an important pledge as it contains commitments to phase out polluting coal and increase renewable energy to 100 percent, to transition to a zero carbon economy before 2050, and to protect our forests, rivers and reefs. All these are essential if we are to meet out international climate commitments of the Paris Agreement.

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Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 Federal Election

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 at Fawkner Community House on Major Rd

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 at Fawkner Community House on Major Rd

The second meet the candidates forum for the inner northern Melbourne electorate of Wills was organised by the Fawkner community house. The main contest is between Labor and the Greens, but 10 candidates are standing. An apology was received from the Liberal candidate.

John Englart from Sustainable Fawkner asked the first question.
Question: It is World Environment Day today. How many of you have visited the Bababi Djininang grasslands at the end of Jukes Road in Fawkner? How many of you realise we have an endangered species in that grasslands area?

Response: Only Samantha Ratnam and Zane Alcorn had indicated they had visited or passed Bababi Djininang, and no one was aware we have endangered species right here in Fawkner.

The Matted Flax-lily (Dianella amoena) is a nationally endangered species found along the embankment of Merri Creek. Further up Merri Creek (outside of Wills) the endangered Golden Sun Moth and Growling grass frog can also be found.

Read an account here including questions and candidate responses:
https://storify.com/takvera/wills2016-candidates-meeting-fawkner-ausvotes

The ten Candidates in the order listed on the Wills ballot paper:

Kyung Moo (Kevin) HONG (Liberal Party of Australia) Facebook
Ashley BLACKWELL (Drug Law Reform Party) Facebook, Drug Law Reform website
Tristram CHELLEW (Australian Sex Party) Facebook
Samantha RATNAM (The Greens) website | Facebook
Dougal GILLMAN (Renewable Energy Party) Renewable Energy Party Facebook
William FULGENZI (Socialist Equality Party) SEP Facebook
Zane ALCORN (Socialist Alliance) Facebook
Camille SYDOW (Animal Justice Party) Facebook
Francesco TIMPANO (Independent) Facebook
Peter KHALIL (Australian Labor Party) website | Facebook

When you vote I urge you to take into account the environment and climate policies of the candidates, as well as their social and economic policies.

Scorecards:

See also the ABC Promise Tracker: How does the Coalition’s record stack up as the nation heads to a new election? and

Abbott/Turnbull Government record on environment and climate action

Don’t forget the Federal election sausage sizzle map:
not too late for schools to do some sizzling fund raising at polling booths.

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016: Zane Alcorn, Samantha Ratnam and Peter Khalil

Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016: Zane Alcorn, Samantha Ratnam and Peter Khalil

Plans for Upfield train line reopening to Craigieburn

Upfield train approaching Gowrie Station
It seems the Upfield service is in for an upgrade under the Andrews Labor Government, to service suburbs further north and join up with Craigieburn. This will make the line more efficient.

Some nice reporting by Adam Carey in the Age on June 5, 2016: Not the end of the line: How people power saved the Upfield rail line. At the end of the article news of reopening the extension to Craigieburn.

Buried in the detail of the 2016-17 state budget is $5 million towards reopening the line north of Upfield through industrial Somerton, to connect it to the Craigieburn line.

That stretch of the line was shut in 1956 but will be reopened within five to 10 years so V/Line’s Seymour trains, which currently run on the congested Craigieburn line, can use the Upfield line instead.
Reopening the line will pave the way for Seymour line commuters to get a train every 20 minutes in the peak. Public Transport Victoria’s rail plans are that eventually the Upfield line will be electrified all the way to Wallan, just beyond the city limits.

It’s a long-term plan that gives Mr Dow immense satisfaction to see.

The community campaign to save the Upfield line put four key proposals to government, one of which was to extend electric trains to Craigieburn via Upfield.

Now we just need the Number 19 tram extended along Sydney Road up to Campbellfield like we have argued for.

Electricity costs, the carbon tax and Turnbull’s ETS scare campaign

Emissions falling July 2012 to June2014 with carbon pricing

Emissions falling July 2012 to June2014 with carbon pricing

Australia’s carbon tax was in operation from July 2012 to June 2014. Two short years. It was effective in reducing Australia’s energy emissions, but it also added slightly to the residential supply cost of electricity, which people on low income were compensated for.

The residential supply cost in Melbourne for my energy retailer was 21.7c per kWh in 2011. It rose to a peak of 27.7c during the carbon tax before falling back to 25.7c at the end of 2015.

My electricity cost from the grid rose 35.76 per cent over the 5 year period from 2011 to 2015, despite a 12 per cent fall in my grid energy consumption. Most of the rise wasn’t due to the carbon tax. Details from my electricity account show that network charges rose 89.6 percent over the same period.
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Abbott/Turnbull Government record on environment and climate action

Environment Minister Greg Hunt achievements

Environment Minister Greg Hunt achievements

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that he will call a double dissolution election for Saturday July 2. Time to review the Abbott/Turnbull record on the environment.

Climate Action Moreland reports on a recent public opinion survey that 57 per cent of Australians think the Australian Government is not doing enough on climate change and want to see more climate action.

The Australian Conservation Foundation have prepared a list of the Good, The bad, and the inconclusive achievements of the Government with Environment Minister Greg Hunt. You be the judge:

The Abbott/Turnbull Government environmental record

We’ve examined the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s environmental record and found much more bad than good.

As the federal election draws nearer, it’s worth remembering the world we hand on to future generations is the result of decisions our elected representatives make today.
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May Food Swap, Shared Lunch and Working Bee

20140712-Sus-Fawkner-foodswap-community-gardening01
We have decided to extend the time for May Food Swap, so that we can include a working bee in the garden. There are always bushes to prune, weeds to pull, seedlings to plant. Please bring some food to share if you can. Also extra garden tools would be a great help.

When: Saturday 14 May 10.30am to 2.30pm
Where: Outside Fawkner Community House, Jukes Road site.

Food Swap and Working Bee 10.30am to 12.30pm
Shared lunch 12.30pm to 1.00pm
Working Bee continuing 1.00pm – 2.30pm

So come and join us for some, or all of this event…. for a chat, to swap some garden produce, share some lunch, and lend a hand if this works for you.

On Mother’s Day, help Mother Earth with Habitat Heros in Fawkner

Tree planting August 2014

Tree planting August 2014


Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek have another tree planting in Fawkner on Mother’s Day, Sunday 8 May, 2016

Everyone is invited to help out at this event:

On Mother’s Day, help Mother Earth by planting to add to the habitat along Merri Creek.

There’s also skin art for children and you can learn about local Aboriginal culture. Later, enjoy a free barbecue with vegetarian and Halal options.

When: Sunday, May 8 at 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: East end of Jukes Road, Fawkner (Melways Map 18 A2)

In the past these plantings of trees and native grasses have been enormously successful. Come along and meet your neighbours. Help restore the habitat and ensure wildlife diversity along the Merri Creek.

The importance of pollen pathways in Fawkner

Brian Bainbridge on Pollen Pathways at Fawkner Library

Brian Bainbridge on Pollen Pathways at Fawkner Library

Merri Creek Management Committee ecological planner Brian Bainbridge presented this talk at Fawkner Library using three plant species as examples of repairing pollen pathways to build plant and biodiversity resilience In Moreland’s urban parklands associated with Merri Creek.

“Did you know that endangered plants grow along the Merri Creek in Fawkner and Reservoir? That a rare Merri Creek lily’s sex life relies on a bee with a pitch perfect hum? Or that helping rare plants in a local parkland could help you grow better tomatoes? Learn about these fascinating facts and more in a presentation by Brian Bainbridge, Merri Creek Management Committee’s Ecological planner.” said the blurb on the Moreland Council website advertising the talk.
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Urban areas like Fawkner support endangered species

20160223-Lentini-study-endangered-species-MelbourneYes, we have endangered native species living among us in Fawkner. If you go for a walk along Merri Creek at Fawkner you might see the Matted-Flax Lilly (Dianella Amoena) which is an endangered species but reasonably common around the rocky escarpments along the Merri Creek.

New scientific research shows that 30 per cent of Australian endangered species are found within our capital city urban areas. Where we have settled and built our cities and houses has also been biodiversity hot spots. So many endangered species are still living in parkland and urban conservation areas in urban areas.
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Environmentality Febuary 5th 2016 – Interview with John Englart

Sustainable Fawkner member John Englart talks about attending the UN Climate Conference in Paris, the strengths and weaknesses of the Paris Agreement, and the inmportance of continued grassroots activity to pressure governments and businesses to step up action commensurate with the goals and framework set in Paris.

Environmentality on 98.9 North West FM

On the program today we spoke to Australian citizen journalist and climate activist John Englart about the Paris Climate Agreement!

On the show we analysed the Paris Agreement, discussed its strengths and weaknesses, spoke about Australia’s position on climate action, and John provided advice on where to go from here. Todays program is well worth a listen, if you missed the show you can listen to it here!

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John Englart recently attended the UN climate conference in Paris as an accredited NGO observer delegate for Climate Action Moreland, and as a climate advocate participating in, and observing civil society protests.

Read about John’s experience in Paris on his blog!: http://takvera.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/the-paris-moment-for-climate-justice.html..

This report that John wrote analysing the agreement for Climate Action Moreland is also very insightful and worth a read: http://climateactionmoreland.org/2016/02/03/the-paris-moment-and-beyond-john-englart-reports-back-to-climate-action-moreland/

The Agreement in Paris was undoubtably a historic moment, with 195 countries in attendance agreeing to reduce global…

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