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image: Rose Mulready

Welcome to What’s Up? Issue #11

On 10 August, the Port Phillip Council’s draft Climate Emergency Action Plan was presented to the councillors. We are still calling for more clarity, more accountability and more action. Here’s our detailed response to the release of the Plan.

A week later, the Council voted against reinstating a protected bike path in the Shrine to Sea project – despite its own policies to develop active transport, and despite the recommendations of its own officers. Twenty Kerford Rd locals were there opposing the bike lane, and thirteen in support of it. Councillors Robbie Nyaguy and Tim Baxter walked out of the vote as a protest against the lack of action and the reversal of Council’s own policies by its conservative members.

If we want more decisions to swing in favour of environmentally sustainable policies, we have to be more active in local politics. Get to the meetings, speak out in consultations (the Shrine to Sea one is open now), engage with MPs like Nina Taylor who ask their constituents for their views, vote for progressive councillors – or perhaps even run for Council yourself!


Finally, now that the important 14 October voting date has been announced, readers may be interested in Progressive Port Phillip’s position on the Voice referendum (see here for details) and perhaps participate or support it.

This isn’t about when. It’s about now. It’s not about who. It’s about us. And it isn’t about cost. It’s about an existential necessity

Patrick Odier

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

We always encourage readers to participate in the City of Port Phillip Have Your Say system which is used to collect community feedback on Council policies and proposals. Among others, they currently have consultations out for:

  • Integrated Transport Strategy
  • Traffic control changes for Cowderoy Street
  • Upgrades to the St Kilda Adventure Playground
  • Urban Forest Strategy

Speak for the trees

Australia is the only developed nation on the World Wildlife Fund’s list of global deforestation fronts. WWF Australia has prepared an Australian Trees Scorecard that rates the states on how well they’re doing at protecting and restoring trees. See where we stand, and sign a petition to demand we preserve our forests’ future.

While you’re at it, join the Australian Conversation Foundation in sending an email to our Federal Labor MPs and senators, asking them speak for the trees at our upcoming Labor National Conference. Time is running out: we must have an end to broad-scale land clearing and native forest logging in the current government’s term if we’re to halt diversity loss and limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Make your voice heard here


Turn up the whale song

Extinction Rebellion will be on the streets of Naarm from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Friday 15 September to protest seismic blasting in the Otway Basin, which deafens and disorients whales and has deadly effects for the marine food chain. Bring a whale placard and join XR as they bring the song of the whale to the city.

More info

image: Port Phillip EcoCentre

Don’t bin it – fix it

Got a garment that needs a stitch in time? A lamp that just needs a little love to shine? Bring them along to the St Kilda Repair Café at the Port Phillip Ecocentre, where friendly volunteers will help you give your not-quite-perfect possessions another chance at life.

More information

On a largely unrelated topic, the Port Phillip Ecocentre is also hosting a free (renter “friendly”) workshop for people to learn how to be energy smart and do their bit to tackle climate change 5:30-7:00pm, Thursday 14 September.


Learn more and sign-up here

image: Fairbrother Construction

Did you know …


… that buildings made with engineered wood are actually safer in fires than steel and concrete? The outer layer of the wood chars, delaying damage to the core structure. What’s more, unlike steel and concrete, which together account for more than ten per cent of global CO2 emissions, engineered timber is a renewable, carbon-negative material. Tasmania’s first engineered wood high-rise building is currently going up in Launceston, and it’s got everybody talking.


Find out more


And just for fun …


Trip the light fantastic in these net-zero-carbon shoes. The minimalist Moonshot sneaker has bioplastic soles, and uppers made from wool sourced from a regenerative farm in New Zealand, which uses sustainable land management practices and claims to capture more carbon than it emits.


Find out more