With the climate wars finally over it's time to implement the solutions

Hi ,

The 2022 federal election was a resounding victory for people power. It delivered a clear message that citizens want collaborative and accountable government focused on the nation’s challenges and opportunities. After a decade of climate wars, people are shedding layers of eco-anxiety as hope for the planet returns. However we shouldn’t underestimate the enormity of the challenge nor the short timeline left for climate action!

We can lift our heads a bit higher on the world stage after the new Labor Government formally committed to the UN our revised target of 43% carbon reduction by 2030. While the current energy crisis is exposing serious past policy failures, it’s a relief to see wide support from the states for a ‘National Transition Plan’. We hope the Albanese government can meet the community’s considerable expectations. GS will be discussing with our local MPs how our region can benefit from Labor’s Powering Australia Plan.

GS was proud to win 3 COGG Community Green Achiever Awards last week: Two Climate Action awards for the Geelong Community Solar Program and the Barwon South West Community Power Hub; plus a Waste Reduction award for our Circular Living Show. Congratulations also to the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail, who took out the Biodiversity Protection Award.
Photo (L-R) shows: Cr Jim Mason, GS President Vicki Perrett, GS Exec Officer Dan Cowdell, Exec Asst. Emilie Flynn, Cr Sarah Mansfield & Cr Peter Murrihy.

GS congratulates Councillor Peter Murrihy on his recent appointment as Mayor of the City of Greater Geelong. We wish him well in this very important role.

We officially launched our new Energy Tips website last week. With winter well and truly here and an energy crisis upon us, Energy Tips provides an amazing resource for homeowners and renters looking to increase the comfort of their home and reduce their energy usage!  Many thanks to Tim Forcey, Maurice Beinat and Andrea Pape for their continued support. More info below.

As we come to the end of the financial year, many worthy organisations reach out to their subscribers for donations. While GS is not accustomed to seeking donations, we would welcome any help to boost our Community Energy Revolving Fund. The revolving fund supports community groups to install renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, helping them cut power bills and reduce carbon emissions. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible. 

Vicki Perrett, President

Launch of Energy Tips website

Our interactive Energy Tips website is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to increase their home’s thermal comfort and energy efficiency! With energy bills soaring and the temperature dropping, there couldn’t be a better time to investigate energy usage in your home. With up-to-date information from leading energy expert, Tim Forcey, and retrofitting guru, Maurice Beinat from ecoMaster, the website has practical information and loads of DIY videos so you can increase the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your power bill and help the planet! Visit energytips.org.au

Get involved ~ volunteer with us

Join our team of volunteers and help solve the climate crisis. No matter your skills or experience there are meaningful ways to contribute.
Next volunteer meetings:

  • Circular Economy Pillar - Thurs 23 June, 7pm
  • Sustainable Cities Pillar - Tues 28 June, 7pm
  • Renewable Energy Pillar - Thurs 7 July, 7pm
  • Climate Action Pillar - Wed 13 July, 7pm

Contact Emilie to RSVP emilie@geelongsustainability.org.au to one of the meetings.  If you can’t make the next meetings, you can still express your interest to participate in one of our volunteer teams here.

Community Battery Webinar

Community batteries: What are they? Are they the missing storage link? Will they work in our region?  Find out the answers when project researcher,  Mark Borroni presents his findings on our DELWP-funded feasibility study.
When: Tues 12 July, 7:00-8:00pm
Cost: Free ~ bookings essential

Electric Vehicles 101

Get all your questions answered by an independent industry expert and arrange a free test drive of our leased MG EV.
When: Sat 16 July, 11:00-12:15pm
Belmont Library, 163 High St, Belmont
Presenter: Bryce Gaton founder of EV Choice, contributor to The Driven
Cost: $5.00 ~ More info/book

Renewable Energy

Saul Griffiths - Electrify everything!

We've received lots of positive feedback about our recent webinar by Dr Saul Griffiths in which he shared his well-researched and costed solutions to our current energy crisis.  So we're delighted to release the edited webinar recording. Watch video  ~ Check out his plan for Rewiring Australia

Community battery survey

Have your say about community or neighbourhood batteries! We want to hear your thoughts, interest and concerns. Go into the draw to win one of three $100 EFTPOS vouchers. Survey closes Tuesday 12th July ~ Take the survey  

Community Power Hub petition

The Community Power Hubs have empowered local people to grow renewable energy, promote energy independence and build resilience. 
The program has been essential in Geelong and the Barwon South-West region in helping communities skill up, create their own solutions and be a part of the transition to renewable energy. But the 2022 state budget has left community energy groups out to dry, with no future baseline funding for the Community Power Hubs.
That's why we’re calling on the Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to champion Community Power Hubs and make sure that the state government commits to this essential program. Please stand with us to protect the Community Power Hubs - Sign on to the letter today!

Climate action

Zero Hero Leaders

GS greatly appreciates the hard work from this wonderful group of Zero Heroes who graduated last week in the Committee for Geelong #LeadersforGeelong program. They boldly accepted our challenging project to develop a 'Road Map to Net Zero for Geelong'.  Check out their impressive report.
Photo (L-R) shows: Nicole Carter, Justine White, Sophie Harris, Rohan Lovell & Matt Crawley Absent: Richard Lunz. 

Viva EES Inquiry

The Viva Energy Gas Terminal Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) received over 2000 submissions! The IAC has scheduled public hearings over 8 weeks starting on 20 June. Expert evidence has been lodged by Viva Energy (the Proponent) as well as GeelongPort and Geelong Grammar School. Geelong Renewables Not Gas is assisting submitters to decipher the process and prepare for the hearings. Engage Vic info ~ Submissions ~ GRNG EES Hub ~ Sign petition to Planning Minister

Gas disconnection hassles?

GS is being contacted by people who are having difficulty disconnecting gas at their residence. In some cases they are being charged exorbitant fees of $660-$950+! Others report still being charged a daily fee after all gas appliances have been removed and asking to close their accounts.  Knowing that electrification is the only way forward, we’re keen to research this matter further.  If you or someone you know is having difficulties, contact us at: info@geelongsustainability.org.au.

Methane emissions understated

In 2019 coal methane emissions had a greater global warming impact than all of Australia's cars! We know that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. So it’s alarming that European-based researcher Ember has found that methane emissions from Australian coal mines are twice as high as national estimates. Some mines are leaking up to 10 times more methane than officially reported.  More info

Climate Dominoes

This new text written by David Spratt & Ian Dunlop outlines the scientific evidence that critical climate tipping points face grave risks in Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland Ice Sheet, Amazon rainforest and for coral reefs. Download 

Circular Economy

Challenge Wrap & Celebration Event

The Geelong Circular Living Challenge aimed to engage, educate and inspire people about the circular economy. During the eight week Challenge, 270 participants took on some of the 50 challenges, engaged with local circular businesses, attended events and competed for prizes. GS is very grateful to our project partners: Circular Economy Victoria and Reducing Our Footprint and funding support from Sustainability Victoria.  We also want to give a big shout out to the 55 businesses and organisations that contributed their time, hosted events and donated prizes. 

Over 120 people attended our celebration wrap event at the Potato Shed in collaboration with Bellarine Landcare. Libby Coker MP presented prizes to the overall Circular Champion (Donna Malberg) and winning team members (Wendy East, Richard Hamilton, Rosemary Nugent, Derek Ryan & Margery Smith). Everyone was inspired by the Regenerating Australia movie and the exciting local projects: Farm My School and our Community Energy Revolving Fund as well as Labor’s plan to make this a decade of positive action on climate change. More info

Polystyrene no match for hungry superworms

Researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) have discovered a common species of worm could be the key to polystyrene recycling on a mass scale. These superworms can shred the polystyrene with their mouths and feed it to the gut bacteria. They’re studying how these breakdown products can then be used by other microbes to create high-value compounds such as bioplastics. More info

Deakin REACH, new Trailblazer project

Deakin University will spearhead the largest recycling and clean energy advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Australia.  REACH (Recycling and Renewable Energy Commercialisation Hub) has received $50 million in funding from the Federal Government’s inaugural Trailblazer Universities Program.  It’s expected to generate more than $1.4 billion in revenue and 2,500 jobs in Geelong, Western Victoria and beyond. More info ~ Watch video  

Greater Geelong - bold new branding

After much hard work, the City has launched its new branding ~ Greater Geelong, Greater Australian Stories ~ to better position our region as the Greater Australian place to live, work, invest, study and visit. The launch comes at an exciting time in Greater Geelong’s population growth story and as the region gets ready to play a major role in hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Follow Greater Geelong Stories ~ Watch the video

Women Leading Locally - Fellowship program

The Victorian Government has a target of having at least 50% women councillors and mayors in local government by 2025 (currently it's 43.8%). They’re funding the Institute of Company Directors to deliver a special 12-month community leadership program including masterclasses, mentoring and networking to give participants the inspiration, knowledge and skills to succeed in local leadership roles. Applications close 28 June. More info here or email at wilgvic@ecodev.vic.gov.au. Be sure to also let WILD know you’ve applied at wildgeelong@gmail.com

Geelong Nature Stewards Program

Presented by Outdoors Victoria, in conjunction with the City of Greater Geelong and the Geelong Field Naturalists Club, the program covers topics such as geology, climate, plants, water, animals and conservation land management. The 10-week course begins on Sat 23 July and runs until Sat 1 October, with 3-hour classes to be held at Leopold Community Hub. CoGG info ~ Outdoor Vic info

CoGG community grants open

The City offers a wide variety of grants to support the Greater Geelong community. Over $4 million in funding is available in 2022-23 to assist the community, arts, cultural, sporting, recreation, heritage and environment sectors.  More info ~ closing date for most is 25 July. 

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.