RSS Entries ATOM Entries

Posts Tagged ‘community support’

Are you a Solar Citizen?

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on May 22nd, 2013

Suburban Solar_Duncan Rawlinson_BY_NC
Photo: Duncan Rawlinson via flickr CC

From the Solar Citizens website:

Australia is one of the sunniest continents on earth, so producing power from the sun just makes sense.
This has been recognised by millions of Australians who have chosen to take energy generation into their own hands.
One million rooftop power stations are now lighting up homes around the country. And many more households are looking to solar as a way to manage their energy bills, creating cleaner energy along the way.

To date ordinary Australians have invested $8 billion of their own money in solar – a massive investment in clean energy generation in the grid.
The solar revolution IS happening at an astounding pace – the price of solar is plummeting, making solar more affordable than ever, and rates of uptake continue to rise rapidly.
But despite the many reasons to go solar, some big energy companies don’t want to see Australians take back control of their own energy needs. They want to make connecting to solar harder, not easier.

Solar Citizens is a new community project to bring together existing and future solar owners to ensure the rights of solar owners are protected and to help see Australia put a panel on every rooftop.

Solar Citizens will work to ensure:

  • Every Australian is able to take up the benefits of solar in their home or in their community
  • Solar homeowners are paid a fair price for the power they contribute to the grid
  • Solar homeowners are able to connect to the grid
  • Solar homeowners are not subject to unreasonable charges or tariffs

If you want to ensure your rights as a solar owner are protected or if you believe in a solar future for all Australians join Solar Citizens today.

Solar Citizens is an initiative of 100% Renewable – a community organisation to help Australia move towards a renewable energy future. The project is non-partisan and independent of any political organisation or party.

>> www.solarcitizens.org.au


Goulburn Valley Food Co-Operative: Open for membership

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on May 25th, 2012


Photo by angelanoel via flickr CC

In late May 2011, Heinz Australia announced what it termed “productivity initiatives to accelerate future growth”. Translated, that meant it was shifting production from plants in Girgarre, Brisbane and Wagga Wagga to New Zealand – 344 jobs would disappear, including all 146 positions at Girgarre which would affect 600 in the Goulburn Valley.

This film captures the effort by farmers, workers and the community to establish a Cooperative Food Hub in the Valley.

In the 12 months since the Heinz announcement, the GV Food Cooperative project has:

  • Brought together expertise across the whole ‘paddock to plate’ food chain
  • Developed new food products based on consumer demand for local produce
  • Found a site for a new factory in Kyabram (20 km from Girgarre)
  • Organised the finances to get this started and is now seeking additional support so that it can be producing Australian Grown food products within the next 12 months.

If you are interested in supporting the GV Food Cooperative please click here.

>> gvfoodcooperative.com


Keep Supporting Fair Food (free raspberries for sensationalist media)

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 20th, 2012

From: The real dirt on CERES
What’s the worst thing that can happen to an environment park that educates kids and grows food? A contamination scare that breaks in the city’s most trusted paper.

Appearing on page three of The Sunday Age, March 5th edition, just the week before CERES Organic Farm was given the all clear by Moreland Council and the EPA, a feature article reported, “produce grown at CERES banned from sale” because of lead contamination. The timing of Steve Holland’s article could not have been worse or more mischievous.

If The Sunday Age had bothered to check their story, the real but far less newsworthy story would have revealed that Moreland Council and EPA testing had found five privately leased community garden plots with lead levels slightly over ANZFSC limits and that produce from CERES Organic Farm had never been contaminated or banned from sale. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story they say.

When I read the article, including a quote from CERES chairperson, Robert Larocca, which seemed to back up the story, my first thoughts were, “That’s not right and why would Robert confirm it?”

And then I found out how some journalists work and it all became clear. At the time of the interview in January the final Moreland Council test results hadn’t come out but Steve Holland obtained a leaked version of the preliminary results. The document had the test results but not the locations of the tests. Wrongly assuming the results referred to the CERES Organic Farm instead of the community garden plots, Holland used the report to ask Robert Larocca what he would say to people who could have eaten contaminated CERES produce? Larocca’s reply was, “It is unfortunate it has happened and we are sorry for that. A very small number of people will have purchased that [contaminated food], including myself.” It was an honest answer to a hypothetical question but Holland used the quote make it seem like CERES had actually been selling contaminated produce without ever checking his story was correct.

Two months passed before the article was finally published. It would have only taken a simple phone call to discover that Council and EPA test results had cleared produce sold at CERES and isolated the problem to five 4x4m community garden plots not accessible to the general public. But no phone call was made, the story went to print and all hell broke loose.

I’ve been feeling sick about this for the last fortnight. I used to trust The Age. I read it every day, but now I feel like CERES’ good name has been destroyed by sloppy journalism and a paper eager for a controversial story. Two weeks later and it’s all old news; Moreland Council and the EPA came out with their test results clearing CERES Organic Farm, new articles have been written with the facts but fear is a powerful motivator and people are turning away from CERES. The damage has been done.

The outcome has been immediate for CERES; Fair Food orders are down, the Market is quiet. We are reducing what we buy from the 50 plus Victorian farmers and processors who depend on us for their income. Our packers and drivers are losing shifts and CERES will need to take money away from environmental education programs to cover the financial losses of Fair Food and Market. So much damage caused by a few careless words.

We can’t beat this alone. CERES has always lived and died on the support of our community, so we’re asking you to tell your friends the real story, to share it through your networks. We’re asking you to stand by our farmers and our packers & drivers by placing your Fair Food orders and by shopping at CERES Market. We’re asking you to stand up for CERES.

Chris Ennis

Manager

CERES Fair Food and Organic Farm

If you would like to read more information, go to CERES Safe Food Info

RMIT Community Advocacy Unit to cease operations + forward contacts

Posted in Seeking by Ferne Edwards on January 22nd, 2009

The RMIT Community Advocacy Unit has ceased operations. For alternative advocacy training opportunities, please visit the VCOSS Clearinghouse at www.vcoss.org.au/clearinghouse/index.htm or contact the following workshop facilitators:
The Change Agency, www.thechangeagency.org
Trent McCarthy: Communication Skills at trent @trentmccarthy.com
Amy McDonald: Grant Seeking Skills at amykmcdonald @hotmail.com
Mandy Oakham: Media Skills at mandy.oakham @rmit.edu.au
Janet Powell: Lobbying Skills at janetpowell @optusnet.com.au
Read the rest of this entry »