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A SPECIAL CALL to speak out on climate (in)action by Council

The final draft of the City of Port Phillip’s proposed Climate Emergency Action Plan should be released on Friday 27 October (attached to the Council Agenda here), for discussion and adoption at the Council Meeting on Wednesday 1 November, starting at 6:30pm.


PECAN made a detailed submission about how the proposed plan should be improved but it is looking like many of our recommendations will not be incorporated. Therefore we ask that you come along to the Council Meeting and show your support for stronger climate action. You can request to speak at a Council Meeting online before 4pm on the day, or arrive before the meeting and register in person. Even if you do not want to speak, please come anyway, so that we can fill the Council Chamber with community members who want our Council to take stronger action on the climate

Welcome to Issue #13 

We congratulate the City of Port Phillip for their proactivity in completing an extensive sustainability survey to learn the views of our community on the ongoing climate crisis. It makes for interesting reading, and highlights local environmental concern, especially for the future. It also shows strong levels of community support for the Council to more actively address the causes of climate change and to mitigate its local impacts.


Young people in Australia are trying to legally establish that the Environment Minister owes them a Duty of Care and must prevent adverse climate change effects. The Full Federal Court says that this should be established through an Act of Parliament. Please sign this petition if you stand with young people and believe that they deserve to inherit a planet that is fit for life as we know it.


The Australian Marine Conservation Society is also running a petition to get the Australian government to introduce a National Plastic Reduction Target to force companies to to minimise single-use plastic packaging – voluntary reductions are not working. Learn more and sign the petition here.


The Port Phillip EcoCentre and the Baykeeper have written an excellent Position Paper on this topic. The ACCC has also found extensive evidence of greenwashing by Australian businesses suggesting that they cannot be trusted with voluntary guidelines.


The Murray-Darling Basin has been a basket case for years, and politicians will vote on its future before the end of 2023. To make sure that they give the Basin a chance for a reasonable future, Environment Victoria is asking everybody to add their voice to calls for federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek to commit to delivering the Basin Plan in full and on time.


We hope that everybody knows that Victoria’s new container deposit scheme begins operating in November. This is a good initiative that has been a long time coming. At least one ten-year-old Victorian sees this as a great opportunity, and plans to collect 10,000+ containers/year – see here for details. We hope that some people who return their bottles and cans for recycling will take up the option to donate their earnings to charity.

Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do.

Paul Hawken

We are living and working on the unceded lands of the Yalukit Willam people. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land and their ongoing connection to land, waters, sky and culture.


Have Your Say with Council

This month, the City of Port Phillip has community consultations open on the:

  • Proposed lease for the new Port Phillip EcoCentre (until 6 November)
  • Improving road safety on Inkerman Street (until 23 November)

  • Sharing stories and ideas about the St Kilda Adventure Playground (until end December)

PECAN supports a 21 year lease for the new Port Phillip EcoCentre – they need adequate security of tenure to continue with their great work in our Port Phillip community.


PECAN also supports “Option A” for kerbside protected bike lanes to greatly improve road safety on Inkerman Street. We note that many of the houses that would lose on-street parking with this option actually have private off-street parking.


As always, we recommend that you Have Your Say


Council is also running a second induction cooking demonstration at South Melbourne Market on Friday 24 November, and you can register here.


Join the December Rebellion 

Extinction Rebellion (XR) are gearing up for a big December – because climate change won’t wait for our politicians to take the lead. Take XR’s non-violent direct-action training, sign up for December Rebellion, share the event and support their fundraiser. All the Rebellion info


If you want to get involved sooner, then as part of the School Strike 4 Climate on 17 November, XR is marching from Flagstaff Gardens to Labor’s Office to send a clear message to the Labor Party, Albanese and Plibersek to Shift The Power from Fossil Fuels!


We need to electrify everything

An informal PECAN delegation visited the Electrify Boroondara Expo on Sunday 8 October, where all aspects of electrifying homes and transportation were explained by about 50 stall holders and around seven expert discussion panels. The event was opened by elected representatives from the local, state and federal levels. A fascinating day that highlighted the critical importance of getting off fossil fuels.


The City of Boroondara is clearly pushing hard to get its residents on board with improving the sustainability of their homes and transportation, and transitioning to using only renewable energy. Bayside Council is also starting to move in the same direction (see their Electrify Everything initiative) as is Glen Eira. We look forward to seeing Port Phillip follow suit soon.


Do you really need to own your own car?
The total cost of ownership for cars with internal combustion engines keeps on getting higher and higher, but converting to electric cars will not stop our roads from getting ever more crowded. Sharing cars can be a great alternative for more lightly used vehicles. For example, renting a van is cost-effective if you only need to use it a few days per month. Let the RACV explain the benefits of car sharing to you.


The Climate Council also want to get people to ‘mode-shift’ for the more than 40% of car trips that are less than 2kms and walk, cycle or use an eScooter or eBike. They are asking for people to tell their travel mode-shift stories and join Mode-Shift Mondays. They’ve also written a report on The Path to Cleaner Transport, with a good short video.


Notwithstanding all of the above, if you are considering buying an electric car, the RACV also has a good rundown of the Best of 2023 here.

image: Rocky Maintain Institute

We must work better with nature

Many communities greatly under-estimate the value of urban nature – street trees, city forests, parks, green stormwater infrastructure, bodies of water, and so on. These green public assets have countless environmental, health, social and economic benefits.


 And if you want to learn more about what our federal government must do to ensure that our unique plants, animals and places are protected – and how we community members can push our elected representatives to speak up for nature, you might want to join the ACF’s Community Forum: Nature’s Voice in Action at the Hawthorn Arts Centre on 6 November, starting at 6:45pm (registration is essential).


And just for fun …

Mill, a start-up company in the USA, wants to sell you a specialised bin that will automagically shred and dehydrate your organic food waste so you can mail it to them! Now that is a different way to handle waste