Welcome spring! Time to get active in the house & garden

Hi Mik,

What a roller coaster we’ve been on this year! It’s lovely to welcome spring, which brings hope and new life. Increasing vaccination rates are offering light at the end of the isolation tunnel. In the meantime, I hope you’ve found effective self-care activities.

My hubbie, John it’s fussing over his sprouting seedlings while for me it’s a morning bike ride along the beautiful Bellarine foreshore. With school holidays starting the RACV has some ideas for keeping kids active too.

As the weather warms, it’s time to get active around the house and plan a bit of DIY.  To get you inspired, Geelong Sustainability is hosting its thirteenth Sustainable House Day (SHD) program with support from the City of Greater Geelong and local sponsors. As cities account for 70% of our carbon emissions, there’s lots we can do to reduce our footprint whilst also reducing our household bills and making our homes healthier and more pleasant to live in.

Read on to find out about the many interesting upcoming events. In particular, a special Member Briefing by Barwon Water this Wednesday, 22nd September and our #SHD2021 Launch on Wednesday the 29th. I hope to see you in our Zoom room. 

Vicki Perrett, President

Member Briefing: Barwon Water projects

When: Wed 22 Sep, 5:30-6:30pm
Where: online via Zoom - free  - More info / book
In this information session, Barwon Water staff will discuss key projects including:

  • the Bellarine Basin rehabilitation project
  • the Porronggitj Karrong and Aqueduct project
  • the Renewable Organics Network projects
  • Integrated water management, and
  • the North West Growth Corridor. 

SHD2021 Launch

When: Wed 29 Sep, 5:30-6:30pm
Where: online via Zoom - free
Don't miss the Launch of our 2021 Sustainable House Day program, where we’ll preview the open houses, introduce the homeowners and demonstrate the extensive online resources. Charge your glass and log into the GS Zoom room so you’re be able to maximise your enjoyment of #SHD2021.  More info / book

MP Engagement Group

When: Wed 20 Oct at 3pm and 7pm
Where: online via Zoom
RSVP: Email Karen kjlamb99@gmail.com for the link or more info. This friendly online group will soon have you writing impactful letters! 

Beach-nesting Bird Webinars

BirdLife Australia is hosting a series of free webinars  that will have you grabbing your binoculars and heading to the beach.
* Mon 20 Sep, 1:00pm - Hooded Plover Monitoring - book
* Thurs 23 Sep, 1:30pm - Southern Australian Terns - book
* Tues 28 Sep, 3:00pm - Beach-nesting Bird Monitoring - book!

Renew’s National SHD

When: Tues 21 Sep to Sun 17 Oct
Renew has expanded its #SHD2021 event into a month-long program with themed weeks of online sessions with experts and homeowners.  More info

Geelong Nature Forum

When: 25 Sep - 3 Oct
An expo at the National Wool Museum will celebrate our waterways and nature volunteer groups from 25 Sep to 28 Nov.  There's also free outdoor nature activities.  More info 

Sustainable Future for Geelong seminar

When: Tues 28 Sep, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: online via Zoom - free
A presentation by Beyond Zero Emissions about Renewable Energy Industry Precincts and the future of Geelong.  More info / book

Big Deal: Is our democracy for sale?

When: Thurs 30 Sep, 7:00pm
ACF is hosting a special Big Deal screening and online Q&A session with Craig Reucassel about his latest documentary. More info / book

Sustainable Cities & Communities

​Get your FREE home energy monitor

This nifty little device attaches to your smart meter and gives you real-time energy consumption data via a phone app ~ enabling you to quickly identify any power guzzling appliances. The device and its installation are free in Victoria through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. Register for one today!

EV bulk buy update: Cars hit town!

The first electric cars imported for the Geelong bulk buy have been delivered to their delighted new owners. GS member, Scott has shared his family’s initial reactions to zero emissions transport in this story. GS and the Good Car Co were stoked by the outcomes of Geelong’s first ever EV myth-busting program. We engaged over 425 people and arranged over 120 test drives. Sales resulted in a 41% increase in the number of EVs in Geelong! 
Newsflash: If you want to benefit from the Geelong EV bulk buy pricing see info here to enquire about a special order process.

Renewable Energy

Geelong+ Community Solar Program update

To date, the program has added over 1.3MW of renewable energy through 130 solar &/or battery systems installations across the G21 region. Anyone thinking about getting a battery should know there are only 400 Solar Vic rebates left at $4174 ~ thereafter the rebate falls to $3500.  Note: Our residential offer is closing on September 30 but it's not too late to register your interest.

Barwon Region Renewable Energy Project

GS congratulates Barwon Water, Barwon Health and GeelongPort for establishing the Barwon Region Renewable Energy Project (BRREP).  Using their collective buying power, this power purchase agreement (PPA) will source 68GWh of renewable wind power. More info

Climate Action

Mass Mailout: Plea for Climate Action

Write a real letter & post via snail mail by 30 Sept

Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, we need to send our federal MPs a very clear message.  Please support this initiative by A Different Approach Community (ADAC) in collaboration with Zali Steggall. The letters will be displayed on the lawns of Parliament House during the October sitting session. Post your letter or drawing or simple message to: Plea for Climate Action, Locked Bag 8450, Canberra, ACT 2600. Please write your postcode and email address on the back.  More info

Environment Victoria’s Get off Gas Petition

GS agrees with EV, it’s time to get off gas. We need to switch to all-electric homes and make a plan to phase out gas entirely. Councils tell us it’s currently not possible to stop reticulated gas being installed in new housing estates. Which is why state government regulations need urgent revision so authorities can discourage the installation of gas networks and appliances.  SIGN Petition

Cities Action Database

Ironbark Sustainability has joined forces with Cities Power Partnership to launch an Australian-first pilot program designed to help councils make evidence-based decisions. Already the database contains over 13,000 climate activities by cities in Australia and overseas. GS hopes that CoGG and other G21 councils will sign up. More info

Circular Economy

Campaign Update: Proposed Incinerator at Lara

The community is still waiting for answers to their questions from the company wanting to construct a 400,000 tonne per annum incinerator close to hundreds of homes in Corio and Lara. Our Legislative Council E-Petition has over 200 signatures ~ but we’d like YOURS too!
Sign our petition ~ Engage Vic info ~ GS campaign info

A selection of important reports and stories over the last month.

International news

World Economic Forum, This company has delivered the world's first fossil-free steel - link
As steel production accounts for around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the news that Swedish green steel venture Hybrit is now producing steel without using coal is huge and could revolutionize the industry.

Robyn McKie, The Guardian ~ The millionaire rewilding the countryside, one farm at a time - link
The rewilding project aims to provide new habitats for dormice and other species.

National news

Laura Schuijers, The Conversation ~ Bushfire survivors just won a crucial case against the NSW environmental watchdog, putting other states on notice - link
A group of bushfire survivors has succeeded in a court action forcing the EPA to do more to combat emissions. This is the first time an Australian court has ordered a government organisation to take more meaningful climate action.

Melissa Brown, ABC ~ Endangered eastern barred bandicoot rescued from the brink of extinction - link
 A 30-year captive breeding program has brought the endangered marsupial, considered extinct in the wild, back from the brink. It's the first Australian species to have its conservation status changed for the better! What a fantastic story of resilience and determination!

Climate Council ~ Climate Change Undermining Regional Security: New Report - link
This report, ‘Rising To The Challenge: Addressing Climate and Security in Our Region’ finds that Australia has fallen well behind the US, UK, Japan and New Zealand in its analysis of climate and security risks. 

Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy ~ Solar exceeds coal for first time, as renewables set new records on Australia’s main grid - link
Australia broke renewable energy records in August, when solar panels produced 41% of our electricity needs. [Ed note: Be warned NEM watching is compelling - more info]

Graham Readfearn, The Guardian ~ Melbourne student and climate activist runs for board seat at energy giant AGL - link
Ashjayeen Sharif wants Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter to be 100% renewable by 2030

Bridie Schmidt, The Driven ~ AusMV strikes deal to bring 19,000 all-electric utes with 800km range to Australia - link
AusMV remanufactures vehicles like the Ford F-150 for the Australian market. They have a number of electric utes in their sights ~ so Aussie weekend adventures will be safe?!

Ben Zachariah, Drive ~ Jolt to build 5000 free electric car chargers in Australia with $100M boost - link
Electric car owners across Australia will soon have access to thousands of free charging points, following an investment from the world's largest asset management business.

Geelong Sustainability

PO Box 258, Geelong, VIC 3220     Website

Geelong Sustainability acknowledges the Wadawurrung people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community.

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