PECAN eNewsletter Banner

Welcome to What’s Up? Issue #12

For thousands of years, the First Nations peoples of this country have been nurturing the land and waters. We at PECAN honour this relationship with Country and seek to learn from it. We know that we cannot hope to heal and protect our environment without the help of First Nations peoples.

While we respect the views and motives of Progressive No voters, we hope that voting Yes in the referendum on 14 October will show our solidarity with Australia’s Traditional Owners and be a first step towards Reconciliation and Treaty.

Right now, Gunditjmara Traditional Owners are fighting to stop seismic blasting in the Otway Basin. Add your voice to theirs. And, unbelievably, Rio Tinto have again been allowed to damage a precious First Nations cultural site – this time a 50,000-year-old rock shelter on Muntulgura Guruma country in Western Australia. Join GetUp’s First Nations Justice Team as they call for Labor to put proper protections in place and end these outrages.

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.


Our work with Council: Get involved

PECAN continues to advocate for strengthening the City of Port Phillip’s draft Climate Emergency Action Plan, which is expected to come back to Council for approval in October. Our Co-ordinating Group recently met with progressive councillors who support the Climate Emergency Declaration and the development of the Action Plan. While we hope that they will join together to secure additional actions to strengthen the current draft, we will have to wait for the revised Plan to be made public before we know if our advocacy has been successful. It may still be necessary to call PECAN supporters to a Town Hall rally when the Final Plan is to be discussed and approved. Look out for an update late October.

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

  • St Kilda Triangle live music venue (until 19 October)

  • St Kilda Adventure Playground (asking for resident stories about it)

  • St Vincents Gardens Playground Upgrade, Albert Park (until 15 October)

  • Expansion of the 43 Pakington Street Reserve (consultation beginning in October)

As always, we recommend that you Have your Say


The Council Meeting on 4 October will consider the length of the lease to be offered for the renewed Port Phillip EcoCentre and whether a public consultation is needed. The EcoCentre does great work and is a major municipality asset and fully deserves a long lease. Please try to get to the Council Meeting to support them.


And finally, the City of Port Phillip Sustainability and Climate Change Team is hosting a free induction cooking demonstration on Friday 27 October at the Food Hall Courtyard at South Melbourne Market. They will also have experts on hand to answer questions on environmentally sustainable living. We would like to see more initiatives encouraging all electric living in the City of Port Phillip. Click to learn more

Draft Urban Forest Strategy 2023

In considering the most effective steps to address our warming planet, PECAN has paid particular attention to actions to strengthen the draft City of Port Phillip Climate Emergency Plan and has identified two key areas relating to issues raised in the Draft Urban Forest Strategy:

  • Creating resilient and liveable open spaces

  • Planning for sustainable buildings and places

Consultants’ reports associated with the development of the updated Urban Forest Strategy identify matters of immediate concern:

  • Early indications are that progress is limited and geographically patchy with only certain areas demonstrating improvements but all of the city suffering from insufficient attention to appropriately located, well selected and well maintained trees and other vegetation.


  • The consultants main reports are: the Tree Ledger which measures canopy cover, the St Jack & Co benchmarking report provides an overview of how well based or otherwise Council’s actions to date have been in achieving outcomes and the Hansen Partnership discussion paper proposes ways in which private land should be contributing to the greening of the city. These reports are comprehensive and if their recommendations were adopted in full-there could be a measurable change in outcomes for the city.

The first urban forest strategy commenced in 2010, was partially updated in 2017 and was due for total review in 2020 – the strategy will now be finalized by April 2024. The City of Port Phillip is hosting three Urban Forest Strategy Workshops on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 October. Find out more and RSVP here. PECAN has made an extensive submission to Council about this strategy; a summary of this submission will be circulated ahead of the Workshops as a guide to understanding the issues facing the City.


Calling Time on sports/arts sponsorships by fossil fuel companies

The Climate Council is running a campaign to email key Australian arts and sports organizations, asking them to call time on sponsorship from fossil fuels companies. It is about time that these important social institutions get on the right side of history and stop greenwashing for fossil fuels businesses, which are definitely on the wrong side of history. To learn more and send your email messages


Unfortunately, we seem to be too late for the Fremantle Dockers, given that Woodside has recently extended their sponsorship of the team, which many people seem to be unhappy about. Details here

image: Port Phillip EcoCentre

Want to get involved in citizen science?

The Port Phillip EcoCentre is starting a new citizen science project to audit what is found in litter traps and waterways across Melbourne. Their new Microplastics Research Team is looking for 10 keen volunteers willing to devote 4 x 6-hour volunteer days across 2023 and 2024 to collect and sort litter from drains. The first sessions will be on 19/20 October and 13/14 December.  You can learn more and register here


Volunteers will also be mapping tree hollows in the Fitzroy Gardens during the day on Friday and Sunday, 6 and 8 October. Tree hollows are important supports for biodiversity, and we do not know much about their distribution around Melbourne. To learn more and register


It is time to learn more about our climate

Melbourne University is hosting a free all-day Climate Futures Summit on 10 October at their Melbourne Connect building. It has a very interesting mix of speakers and topics, so it may be worth attending if you have the time and interest.  To Learn More and Register


And if you want more, the Electrify Boroondara organization is hosting a Electrify Boroondara Expo on Sunday 8 October in the Hawthorn Arts Centre. It sounds like a very interesting day, and something we could consider emulating in the City of Port Phillip. To learn more and register


Did you know…

The Greek island of Tilos has become the first certified Zero Waste city. They scored 4/5 according the the ZeroWaste Cities certification scheme and have now closed the local landfill waste disposal facility!  Learn how they did it here


And just for fun …

The Standing ¼ Mile land speed record is now held by an electric vehicle. Watch and weep, all you petrol-heads!  Watch the Video


Continuing our car theme, police forces are starting to transition to electric vehicles because their operating costs, and overall lifecycle ownership costs are so much lower. For example, the Somerset, Wisconsin police force estimates that each of their new Model Y Teslas will  save them US$80,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over its 10 year working life, much more than the price premium to buy them. Their police officers are even starting to pick the Teslas first for daily driving – they have a 300 mile range and officers only drive 30-60 miles/shift, so there is no “range anxiety”.  Learn more about electric police cars here