Archive for the ‘Policies’ Category
Policies refers to action that addresses issues at a government level. This could be policy recommendations or comments on current policy about urban sustainability issues and could refer to local, state or federal government level. If you work in government or are contributing to creating sustainable policies, you are welcome to post your thoughts on Sustainable Melbourne. To do so visit the “How to use this site” page and follow the prompts.
Learning from leading international post carbon economy researchers and policy makers
1. The probability and risks of global warming of four degrees or more are rapidly increasing. This is, however, an argument for visionary leadership and decisive action – not political paralysis and buck-passing.
2. The technological and economic roadmaps showing the actions we need to take to avoid catastrophic global warming are now widely understood. From Germany to California and from the United Kingdom to China the global momentum for implementation of large scale de-carbonisation strategies is rapidly accelerating.
3. The biggest roadblocks preventing implementation of large-scale de-carbonisation strategies at the speed required to prevent runaway climate change are primarily political not technological. The key roadblocks are:
- Climate science denial
- The power of the fossil fuel industry and its allies
- Political paralysis
- Unsustainable consumption of energy and resources
- Path dependencies and outdated infrastructure
- Financial and governance constraints
4. The key actions needed to overcome these political roadblocks are:
- Clear understanding of the necessity and possibility of an emergency speed transition to a just and resilient post-carbon future
- Broad recognition of the potentially enormous social and economic benefits of switching investment from fossil fuels to energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon sequestration
- Game changing social and technological innovation
- Decisive leadership and skilful implementation by communities, business and government at every level of society
>> Go to the PostCarbon Pathways site to read more, download the Report, or download the Interview Transcripts
Paper production is the main driver of native forest logging in Australia. Native forest logging destroys crucial habitat for our native wildlife, degrades water catchments and releases vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
The main domestic purchaser of native forest pulp logs in Victoria is Australian Paper. Australian Paper produces Reflex brand office papers. Companies and individuals that have taken the Ethical Paper Pledge are making a commitment not to purchase Reflex papers until Australian Paper commits to moving out of irreplaceable native forests and into plantation resources. This will send a strong message to Australian Paper that it is time to move towards a sustainable future.
To sign the Ethical Paper Pledge or to find out more, please visit www.ethicalpaper.com.au or send an email to mail
At a meeting this week the Federal Government will further its plan to hand over its environmental oversight and protection responsibilities to the States. The Business Council of Australia, who came up with the idea, want a blank permission slip to mine, log, or develop wherever they like. It beggars belief that the Prime Minister would want to hand over power to the States at a time like this. Former NSW government ministers are being investigated for multi-million dollar corruption in relation to Hunter Valley mining licenses. Queensland’s Campbell Newman is trying to allow giant coal ports inside the Great Barrier Reef. While in Tasmania miners want to dig up the ancient rainforests of the Tarkine.
If it weren’t for the protection of the Federal government, we would have lost places like the Great Barrier Reef, the Franklin River, the Daintree Rainforest and Fraser Island a long time ago. Don’t let this happen! With your support we’ll take out full-page ads, starting in The Australian on the day of the COAG meeting, asking the Prime Minister and Environment Minister Tony Burke to step up to their responsibilities, not hand them over to Barry O’Farrell, Campbell Newman and the other Premiers.
>> You can chip to help run the ads using the secure tool on the site.
Information drawn from Urbis Think Tank and Plan Melbourne:
The Discussion Paper, “Melbourne – let’s talk about the future,” is part of the work currently underway in preparation for a new Metropolitan Strategy for Melbourne’s next 3 decades of growth and change. The paper is intended to stimulate dialogue across the community, private sector and industry around a series of ideas and principles for the future of the city. A draft Metropolitan Plan will then be shaped from the current consultation around these principles, due for release in Autumn 2013.
The Government is calling for input on the proposed principles, which raise fundamental issues around the growth and structure of the city, including:
- The structure and location of job clusters in the new economy;
- Opportunities for strategic renewal in areas that are ripe for urban transformation;
- Partnership opportunities to realise new ways of funding for urban infrastructure;
- The potential for long term containment of the city by a permanent green belt.
The 9 principles are focused around three key themes:
- “What most people value about Melbourne”, (principles 1 to 5) exploring ideas that could inform a future vision for Melbourne,
- “What needs to change”, (principles 6 & 7), focusing on how Melbourne’s urban form should be managed at a metropolitan and local scale.
- Implementation considerations (principles 8 & 9), focusing on leadership and partnerships.
Opportunities to comment through online forums or event attendance are currently open, with comments closing on March 1, 2013.
>> Read the Discussion Paper
>> Get Involved
Posted in Policies by Kate Archdeacon on November 14th, 2012
Over the past year, the City of Melbourne has been developing its Food Policy, with requests for public input at two different stages during that time – first, as responses to the discussion paper, and second, as responses to the draft policy. Now the final policy is available online. The sections of the policy are:
- Policy statement
- Themes and ambitions
- a strong, food secure community
- healthy food choices for all
- a sustainable and resilient food system
- a thriving local food economy
- a city that celebrates food
- Implementation and evaluation
The next stage will involve the development of the Implementation Plan – register for updates with the Food Policy team at foodpolicy
>> Food Policy website.
Source: Get Up
Right now there’s a proposal on the table to replace two of the highest polluting coal fired power stations in Australia with solar thermal. Building Australia’s first solar thermal plant in Port Augusta will help create hundreds of new jobs – and reduce harmful emissions that are contributing to climate change. It will deliver local investment and will do a great deal to mitigate long-standing community concerns about health issues related to the coal fired power plant.
There’s only one group of people who are yet to get behind it, and that’s the Government. Email your ALP MP using our tool [visit the web page] and ask them to commit to using our two existing renewable energy funds (ARENA and the CEFC) to fund Australia’s first solar thermal power plant.
The HealthWest Food Security Network is very pleased to present the Healthy Foods for Healthy Communities – Issues of food access and availability in the west, a report canvassing key food security issues in the HealthWest catchment.
The report findings point to a number of food access and food availability issues in the west based on the findings from three data sources: food outlet mapping, the Victorian Healthy Food Basket (VHFB) surveys, and community consultations.
The main issues that affect food access in the west are:
- high cost of healthy food;
- low income; and
- lack of public or private transport.
The main issues that affect food availability in the west are:
- fruit and vegetable deserts;
- disproportion between the number of fresh fruit and vegetable outlets in comparison with take away outlets; and
- lack of culturally appropriate food.
Access to healthy and culturally appropriate food is an important social determinant of health and the Report includes key recommendations to improve access and availability of fresh food in our community.
The report will be particularly useful for local council planners, health promotion workers, managers, program developers, quality improvement officers and other workers who will be able to use the data to inform food security advocacy, policy, planning and program development.
>>Download Healthy Foods for Healthy Communities – Issues of food access and availability in the west, June 2012
From the Executive Summary:
Based on the key food security issues identified in the west that have been presented in this report, the following recommendations are proposed to improve access and availability of fresh food in the west:
- Support community initiatives promoting access to affordable healthy food (e.g. farmers markets, food swap).
- Establish partnerships with local stakeholders including community and health services, council, community groups and local business interest groups, to ensure equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable community groups.
- Advocate to local council and relevant decision makers to improve the access to nutritious foods by improving transport links to food outlets (e.g. new or altered bus routes, cycle paths, community buses).
- Advocate to local council and relevant decision makers to improve the access to nutritious foods by regulating the number and type of food outlets licensed in the west.
- Support development of urban food production in the fruit and vegetables deserts (e.g. public space food production, community gardens, and private gardens).
- Develop a means of evaluating the access to culturally appropriate foods (e.g. develop a cultural healthy food basket).
- Integrate determinants of food security (i.e. transport, employment and housing) across organisational policies and programs.
- Develop evidence based strategies addressing the determinants of food security.
In addition, a number of recommendations for the HealthWest Food Security Network were made to guide future work, as outlined in Chapter 5.
Source: Food Magazine
Photo by Tait Schmaal in an article for Adelaide Now about the damage imported processed food is doing to local growers.
From “Where does the food sold in Australian supermarkets really come from?” by Jessica Burke:
One in every four grocery items now sold in Australian supermarkets is private label and of those, about one in two is imported.
The Age has conducted an investigation into the state of the supermarket sector, and the results would not surprise anyone in the Australian food manufacturing sector. It found the rate of imported food products is increasing at a rapid pace, as the only way for the companies to provide their ridiculously low prices is to buy food produced in countries by cheap labour.
South Africa and Thailand, two countries notorious for lacking in workers’ rights and having extremely low wages, are two of the markets commonly used by the cheap food retailers in Australia. Researchers from the Australian National University embarked on a mission to follow the supply chain of many private-label products sold in Australia, which found them in South African fruit processing factories and canned pineapple facilities in Thailand. “One of the canneries made private-label products for over 100 supermarkets,” researcher Libby Hattersley, who inspected the South African businesses, told The Age. “They just slap the retailers’ label on it and send it out to them.”
Differing food safety laws a risk for consumers
While the ethical issues involved with sourcing food from such countries are becoming increasingly important to consumers, there are various other issues involved with these systems.
“[No Australian food manufacturers] can survive in this environment, most places I’m going, they’re even competing with their own plants in other countries, if the Malaysian or Chinese plant is going better, they have to compete,” Jennifer Dowell, National Secretary of the Food and Confectionary division of the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) told Food Magazine earlier this year.
“The problem with that is that people aren’t comparing like with like.
“We produce food to a very high level and what is being imported from overseas needs to be the same quality.
“There needs to be more regulation and better testing for what comes into our country.
“If food is imported from a high risk site, like China, that will undergo testing, but not if it’s from New Zealand.
“The way the import laws work in New Zealand mean that they can import a product from China, put it in a bag in New Zealand and ship it to Australia as a ‘product of New Zealand.’
“If we try to export to other countries we face huge barriers, but we have removed all the barriers for others getting food into our country.”
Read the full article by Jessie Burke for Food Magazine.
Photoshop image from Do It On The Roof, a campaign for (public) green roofs in Melbourne
From an InDesignLive article by Annie Reid:
Picture this – Melbourne’s city rooftops covered in lush greenery. It may sound fanciful, but a new project launched last week by the City of Melbourne is hoping to green our buildings and houses for good.
The Growing Green Guide for Melbourne was fittingly presented on the rooftop garden of the council’s CH2 building, and will be produced by the Inner Melbourne Action Plan (IMAP) comprising the 4 inner city councils – Melbourne, Yarra, Stonnington and Port Phillip – as well as the University of Melbourne.
The project will comprise a ‘how to’ handbook guide on constructing a green roof or wall, and help people consider all the aspects they need to cover before transforming these spaces into vegetated, leafy habitats. It will also identify prime sites for the future development of green roofs, walls and façades in inner Melbourne, says The University of Melbourne’s senior lecturer, John Rayner.
Read the full article by Annie Reid or visit the City of Melbourne Growing Green Guide site.
Melbourne Water is preparing two draft strategies: The Healthy Waterways Strategy and The Stormwater Strategy to guide our actions and management of our waterways and stormwater in the period 2013/14 to 2017/18.
The Healthy Waterways Strategy will replace the current Regional River Health Strategy when it expires in 2013. It will guide investment and actions for healthy rivers, estuaries and wetlands from July 2013 to June 2018. Activities that will be guided by this strategy include vegetation management, environmental flows, habitat enhancement and working with communities to achieve healthy waterways.
The Stormwater Strategy is closely linked to the Healthy Waterways Strategy. It will focus on the management of stormwater in rural and urban areas to protect and improve ecosystem health of waterways and bays over the same period. It will see Melbourne Water working with others to achieve multiple community outcomes for stormwater management in relation to liveability, alternative water supply and public health.
We are really keen for your input into finalising these strategies, and will be consulting on both at the same time during May and June 2012.
You can join in and comment via an online forum, survey and email on the consultation site.
This will be activated in Mid May 2012.
You can attend one of eight workshops held in May and June throughout the Port Phillip and Westernport region to learn more and provide comment.
To register, please go to the consultation site. Registration closes one week prior.