Posts Tagged ‘local action’

Ride to Work Day: October 17

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 11th, 2012

17 October , 2012

Photo: Matt Biddulph via flickr CC

The Ride2Work Program aims to get people started and keep them riding to work.

Ride2Work Day 2012 is Wednesday 17 October.

The Ride2Work Program is a nationally run, year round program that actively encourages thousands of Australians thinking of commuting by bicycle to give it a try. Existing riders can share their knowledge and experience with peers, as well as support and encourage those starting out.

Ride2Work has a strong influence in the dramatic increase of people choosing to ride to work, with 38% of new riders registered in 2011 still riding to work five months later.

The big event on the Ride2Work calendar is Ride2Work Day, the only nationally recognised event of its kind which provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to join over 150,000 Australians celebrating riding to work and encourages people that don’t currently ride to give it a go. Register, and then see if there’s a Community Breakfast on the day near you.


Campaign to Invest in Solar Thermal

Posted in Policies, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on September 28th, 2012

Source: Get Up

>>Invest in Solar Thermal

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.

New Fairfield Farmers’ Market: Saturday 15 September

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on September 14th, 2012

15 September , 2012
9:00 amto1:00 pm
Source: Melbourne Community Farmers’ Markets

Poster via

From the MCFM newsletter:

You asked for it, so here’s the low down on our newby market in Melbourne’s north…

Fairfield Farmers’ Market had a previous life run by other management and feedback from customers and stallholders alike was that they couldn’t work out ‘what was wrong’ because it had such potential in a great part of town. We were offered the contract late last year and, after hearing the stories, we figured the main concerns that seemed to exist were integrity and quality. So the first thing to do was address those issues by working on accreditation for the market through the Victorian Farmers’ Market Association.

As a result, the market bounced back to life in May and things are looking up! Despite some challenging weather, we have had a great customer support and the feedback is very satisfying. It’s not surprising as the stallholders are a brilliant bunch, some you’ll know and others are getting a new opportunity at a city market.

Our plan for Fairfield (and the new markets in the pipeline) is to be smaller in number, just as much variety but without the duplication of stalls. The current vegie growers Spring Creek Organics and Somerset Heritage Vegetables have started the ball rolling with brilliant winter staples but look out for asparagus this Saturday with broad beans and snow peas coming very soon.

In fruit we are lucky enough to have Marie and Chas Harding from Hardings Orchard in Pakenham join us. They offer many old fashioned varieties of apples and pears including Winter Nellis pears, Golden Delicious and Fuji apples. Beenak Farm biodynamic kiwis are very popular over winter as is The Orange Lady’s range of citrus. That’s got Vitamin C covered! Berries are returning in summer…mmm.


You may have heard the hype from across town and now it’s official…MoVida Bakery is joining Fairfield from this month, offering Spanish pastries and specialty breads. They use local free range eggs, Victorian flour, citrus, butter and fruit.

And in dairy, many of you will now know Simon Schulz and his Friesian cow’s milk; thick, rich and straight from the farm at a fair price (not $1 a litre like the duopoly offers shoppers with nothing for the farmer). Schulz Dairy also have skim and unpasteurized milk, quark and fantastic yoghurt. Simon has also introduced us to his Timboon neighbour Mattieu from L’artisan cheese who’s now a Fairfield Farmers’ Market regular with his superb hand crafted cheeses.

Brekkie while you shop is covered with Janet’s chai stall, The Little Coffee Van, Taiwanese pancakes, hot baked bikkies, Betty’s BBQ and the school parents’ Dutch pancake stall.

And there’s so much more, so why don’t you pop in on Saturday morning and see the rest for yourselves?

When: 3rd Saturday of every month
Where: Fairfield Primary School, Wingrove Street, Fairfield
Time: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Cost: Gold coin donation for specific kids’ school projects would be appreciated

Return to Royal Park: Community Consultation

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on August 31st, 2012

The City of Melbourne and the Department of Health are working together on Return to Royal Park, a project to reinstate parkland on the site of the former Royal Children’s Hospital, on the corner of Gatehouse Street and Flemington Road, Parkville.

The first phase of community consultation was held over a six week period in March and April 2012. During this phase the community told us their ideas and vision for the reinstated parkland. This information was summarised in the Community Consultation Feedback Report and was used to inform the Return to Royal Park Ideas Plan.

We are now inviting your feedback on the Return to Royal Park Ideas Plan during a second phase of community consultation. The second phase of consultation will start on the 15 August 2012 and will run for four weeks, finishing on the 12 September 2012.

A design for this parkland is expected to be complete in 2013 and the parkland reinstated by the end of 2014.

>>Go to the website for more information.

Replant A Forest At ‘The Island’!

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on August 23rd, 2012

29 August , 2012
4 September , 2012

Photo by Glenn Tempest (CC Licence)

Tree planting projects at The Island Reserve, Werribee Gorge will be held on 29th August and 4th September.

`The Island` is a narrow, lava-capped ridge at the junction of Myrniong Creek and the Werribee River. A large property of over 200 hectares, it was donated to Conservation Volunteers in 2006.

Although `The Island` is directly next to the Werribee Gorge State Park, it is significantly degraded and a focus of Conservation Volunteers is to restore it back to environmental health.

You can be a part of this environmentally significant project by planting hundreds of native trees, shrubs and grasses this year!

If you would like more information or would like to make a booking phone Heidi on 03 9326 8250 or email

Cogeneration Heat & Power System going ahead in Fawkner

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 26th, 2012

Source: Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL)

Image via Cummins Power Blog

From MEFL’s July e-bulletin:

Cogeneration comes to Fawkner

Following extensive feasibility studies and a tender process, installation of a cogeneration system at the Fawkner Leisure Centre precinct is about to commence. The project builds on the landmark Carbon Management Strategy developed in partnership between MEFL and Moreland City Council as part of the Moreland Solar City project.  MEFL has been involved in the Fawkner cogen project right from the start. We contributed research and advice to support the project and will provide investment funding of $500,000.

Moreland City Council has awarded Total Energy Solutions the contract to build and commission a 75-kilowatt natural gas-powered cogeneration (combined heat and power) system. It will supply low-carbon electricity to several buildings, including the Fawkner Leisure Centre, Fawkner Library and Senior Citizens Centre, Fawkner Neighbourhood House, and the soon-to-be-constructed CB Smith pavilion. Waste heat produced by the cogeneration system will provide heating for the leisure centre’s pool.

Construction has commenced and the system is expected to be operational by early 2013. It is estimated the plant will produce $37,000 in energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 540 tonnes annually.

Bring back the Bike Budget: Rally tomorrow morning

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2012

21 June , 2012
7:30 amto8:30 am

World Naked Bike Ride 2012 photo by Charles Van den Broek via flickr CC

Bicycle Network Victoria is inviting every person who rides a bike and cares about the safety of our streets to attend the before-work rally from 7.30-8.30, Thursday, 21 June to express their amazement and disappointment at the Baillieu decision to cut funding for bike infrastructure to zero.

“Ted Baillieu’s Government has snubbed the 1.1 million Victorians riding a bike every week and ignored the million more who want to join in but are waiting for appropriate facilities to appear,” Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Harry Barber said.

“We’re going to tell the Baillieu Government that we are amazed and disappointed that they seem to think doing nothing on bike infrastructure is an option – it’s not.

“The Baillieu Government have not grasped the unique ability of bikes to improve the carrying-capacity of our already congested road network. The simple truth is more cars can’t be added to already jammed roads but what we can do, for a small investment, is move thousands more people along existing roadways just by installing appropriate bike facilities.

“Thousands are already riding every day, thousands more want to ride but are waiting for the Government to act – Mr Baillieu, his Government and his zero-bike Budget are failing Victorians.”

Support for the rally is growing across the bike riding community. A number of groups and clubs have organised riders to travel to the rally together. Meeting places so far include:

  • Footscray – 7.00am Hyde Street opposite the Police Station.
  • North Melbourne – 7am North Melbourne Pool, 1 Macauley Rd – coordinated by Melbourne Bicycle User Group
  • Coburg – 6.30am Coburg Railway Station.
  • East Brunswick – 7.00am Café L’Amour, 76 Lygon St, East Brunswick, coordinated by Moreland Bicycle User Group.
  • Carlton – 7.00am Outside Dan O’Connell Hotel, Corner Princes and Canning Streets – coordinated by Yarra Bicycle Users Group.
  • Northcote – 7.00am, Jika Jika Community Centre, Corner Plant and Union Streets – coordinated by Darebin Bicycle User Group.
  • Brighton – 6.45am, corner Bay St and Nepean Highway.
  • Richmond: 7:00am Elizabeth Street and Church Street—outside the commission flats.

The Moreland and Yarra Councils have also passed resolutions supporting the rally. Moreland Council is promoting the rally and encouraging all staff who want to attend to do so. Yarra Council has adopted a similar supportive position and also “authorises a City of Yarra banner or banners being taken to the rally and displayed”.

High performance riders are also getting on board. The North Road Group – a regular Thursday early morning training ride to Mordialloc for road riders – has modified its course and timing and will now finish at the Parliament House steps in time to join the start of the rally at 7.30am.

The 2012 Victorian Budget papers show the government has allocated zero funding to the VicRoads Bicycle Program. (Some already-announced commitments from previous budgets are still trickling through. The Baillieu Government is trying to hide behind these carry over items.)

No high priority infrastructure projects planned for next year have been funded and desperately needed lanes, signals, intersections and other urgent safety improvements have been scrapped. The decision will increase the level of risk for existing riders and stop new riders joining in an activity that improves community health and cuts congestion.

7.30-8.30am, Thursday, 21 June

Inclusion Timebank launching in the Inner South-East

Posted in Movements by Inclusion Melbourne Volunteering on June 13th, 2012

Local disability organisation Inclusion Melbourne is moving forward with its cutting edge new initiative, the Inclusion Timebank. The Timebank is a new approach to volunteering, work, friendship and community building.

If you are a local of the inner South-East, international student, local student, senior citizen, person with support needs, professional, young person seeking work experience (or basically anyone really!), the Timebank allows you to share your skills (languages, tutoring, gardening, design, housework, art mentoring, anything really!) with other Timebank members and learn new skills or get help in return. For every hour of help you give someone, you receive a credit hour, which you can spend on help from someone else. No money ever changes hands. An hour for an hour. All recorded on our fantastic online portal:

Members sign up through Inclusion Melbourne’s Volunteer application process and are assisted by the Timebank coordinator to make their initial exchanges.

It sounds simple – almost like bartering or the well-known LETS system – however Timebanking has the potential to transform communities through:

  • Creating access into a pool of skills and services that would not usually be available due to financial or other limitations
  • Filling the gaps in services provided by government
  • Valuing everyone’s time as equal
  • Facilitating new friendships
  • Upskilling whole neighbourhoods
  • Joining people together to see needs met
  • Creating an environment of respectful reciprocity in a diverse body of people

The Inclusion Timebank is open to anyone who lives, works or ‘does life’ in the area around Armadale (including East St Kilda, Balaclava, Malvern, East Malvern, Toorak, Prahran, Windsor, South Yarra and Caulfield North).

There will be an information session and launch held at Inclusion Melbourne in Armadale at 5:30pm on Monday 25 of June, at 5.30pm. If you would like to book a place at an information session, learn more, or sign up, please call the Timebank Coordinator on 9509 4266 or email us at

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.


Leading the Way: City of Yarra’s Urban Agriculture Guidelines

Posted in Models, Movements, Policies by Jessica Bird on April 16th, 2012


From “A triumph for community gardening” by Thomas, YCAN Local Action Group

One of the most exciting things in Community Gardening happened last weekend. You might have missed it, because it was without fanfare, and very localised: Maud and Neil put up a planter box on a streetside close to where they live. You don’t feel excited? You should do, because this was the first streetside planter box to be installed under the City of Yarra new guidelines. And the City of Yarra guidelines are very progressive. More than that, Yarra are the first local council to employ an officer to facilitate the application of urban agriculture. For that, we congratulate them. The first permit took four months to issue, as all issues of all the relevant departments, and all the bureaucracy and risk aversion of public service had to be negotiated. Without a facilitator, this would have been impossible. The normal reaction of Council would have been to play it safe, and simply reject the concept of planter boxes, nature strip planting, fruit trees and all other forms of urban agriculture in public space. The normal reaction would be to keep things as they are, but the City of Yarra didn’t do this, and they are leading the way, with the eyes of other councils and organisations upon them.

The recent events in Princess Hill, where a divided local reaction stopped the proposal for a community garden on parkland, has demonstrates more stongly than ever that Yarra’s Urban Agriculture Facilitator is needed. It’s not suprising that some urban residents don’t want to loose public open space; it’s equally not surprising that some urban residents feel the strong need to grow some of their own food. The compromise is to use marginal space, like Maud and Neil have: their planter box is on a slight raised area that is neither foot path or road, it is just separation space. The planter box doesn’t interfere with lines of sight or access. It appears from the very short time it has been there to recieve overwhelming support from locals.

But this small scale, decentralised model needs more effort to work, and local residents just don’t have the know-how to get through the local government bureaucracy, and local government departments just don’t have the incentive to deal with local residents on these issues and coordinate with other departments. And because we are talking about marginal space, it is always at the margins of responsiblity.

This is why the Urban Agriculture Facilitator role is so essential. If the role is lost, all the good work that has been done up to now will be wasted. Yarra’s leading position will be lost. It is currently a part time role, but it needs to be increased to five days a week. Time is needed in processing applications and granting permits, and all the communication that involves. In addition available land needs to be put on an inventory, a more robust grants system is needed, more resources are needed for residents of our city, and time needs to be spent on promotion and education.

You can read more about urban agriculture and community gardening in the City of Yarra here, or you can download a pdf of their Guidelines for Neighbourhood Gardening – Planter Boxes.