April 2017 Newsletter


Sustainable retrofit workshop Ryde Council is running a workshop on 3 May to show you how you can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. It’s at Ryde Library (Wallumetta Room), Pope Street from 6-8pm. Event is free but you need to book. http://www.ryde.nsw.gov.au/retrofits

Energy Storage There will be an energy storage conference and exhibition on 14-15 June at the Sydney International Conference Centre. It’s worthwhile going if you are looking at installing batteries to store the energy from your PV system. There will also be an exhibition of Renewable Cities. You can register for free entry to the exhibition by going to https://etf.eventsair.com/2017-australian-energy-storage/exhibition-registration/Site/Register

Gas industry in NSW Lock the Gate is organising a public forum on the gas industry in NSW and the dangers to our farming areas on 7 May at  Willoughby Uniting Church at 2pm. For information and to book a seat, go to http://www.lockthegate.org.au/willoughby_event_the_great_gas_con?utm_campaign=willoughbyevent&utm_medium=email


In the last  month we have done the following on your behalf:

Written submissions to the Central District Plan and Towards our Greater Sydney 2056. These are the plans that intend to make Sydney a mega city.  However, there is no consideration of climate change and how to reduce emissions, improve public transport, improve housing standards or protect  bushland and green spaces. Very bad policy proposal.

Written submission against the planned Santos CSG mine in the Pilliga Forest at Narrabri.(You can do one too – see below!)

Written submission against planned expansion of Dalton gas fired power station owned by AGL which will affect local farming community.


Container Deposit Scheme   Submissions are being sought for Community Consulation on this scheme due to come into effect from 1 December. This will allow minor and low impact recycling equipment such as reverse vending machines to be exempt from requiring planning or building approval to make it easier for recycling equipment to be delivered and maintained in NSW.  This is to support the EPA scheme. Submissions close 26 April. For more info go to http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/container-deposit-scheme.htm. We encourage you to make a comment in support of this proposal- it’s easy. http://planspolicies.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=8297

Mine Rehabilitation At present mining companies which fail abandon mines which they are not paying to rehabilitate and the cost is falling onto the public purse.  Sign the petition to ask the NSW and Queensland governments to protect our land and water from abandoned mines. http://www.lockthegate.org.au/minerehab

Daylesford Windfarm  This windfarm, commenced in in 2010, is a successful example of community owned renewable energy power sources.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/15/renewables-roadshow-community-owned-windfarm-daylesford-hepburn-australia

Climate in unchartered waters With the world’s temperature continuing to rise, scientists are saying we are entering unchartered waters as far as the climate goes. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/21/record-breaking-climate-change-world-uncharted-territory

Santos and Pilliga Forest Santos wants to drill 850 (yes, that’s right) CSG wells in the Pilliga Forest which has the capacity to severely threaten the Great Artesian Basin and the farming community of Narrabri. Submissions are open and we strongly urge you to make one opposing this proposal.  It’s easy! Just fill in the details in submission Lock the Gate has put together. https://lockthegate.good.do/stopcsginnsw/EIS/

Using household waste to make renewable gas A project in Cambodia shows what can be done with household waste. http://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/waste/article/thinking-different-generating-renewable-gas-out-of-household-waste-in-cambodia-16395595

Future Super One way you can help combat the power of the fossil fuel industry is to invest your super in a fund that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.  For more info and see how easy it is to change over to this super fund, go to https://www.myfuturesuper.com.au/

State of Solar Climate Council has put out a  report on the state of solar in Australia and around the world.The cost of large scale solar is less than that of new coal  http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/solar-report

Adani files Read this indepth report on why the Caramichael Mine cannot go ahead. http://adanifiles.com.au/

Battery storage being held back Regulators and energy ministers are holding back the take up of battery storage. http://reneweconomy.com.au/battery-storage-held-back-because-regulators-ministers-not-aware-64037/

Big 4 banks still investing in fossil fuels Market Forces has put together a report that shows in 2016 the big four Australian banks was still lending to fossil fuel projects. https://www.marketforces.org.au/2016lending/

Banks and fossil fuels Lock the Gate has a new campaign aimed at the big four banks urging them to stop funding fossil fuel projects.  Sign up to be involved http://www.lockthegate.org.au/lockthevaults?utm_campaign=lockthevaults2&utm_medium=email&utm_source=lockthegate

Further bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef The Reef has suffered another major bleaching event. Watch the video https://give.greenpeace.org.au/protectthereef

Coalition still supports coal subsidies The Federal Government still thinks coal fired power stations are the way to go! https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/19/coalition-says-coal-subsidies-still-on-the-table-despite-snowy-hydro-plan

Super funds investing in Aurizon Aurizon is Australia’s largest rail freight operator and has just asked for a $1.2billion handout to build the rail link to the Carmichael Mine. Aurizon is a ASX top 50 company so it it likely your super fund has invested in them. Contact your super fund and ask them to not invest in this company by going to https://superswitch.org.au/campaigns/aurizon/

Sustainable Cities There are a number of cities on the coast that are making great strides in becoming sustainable. Read about the top five (spoiler! none are in Australia) https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/five-sustainable-cities-making-difference-planet

Building battery storage Sign the petition from Solar Citizens asking the Turnbull government to upgrade our electricity system to renewables and battery storage. http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/build_big_storage


Repair Café A group of volunteers have set up a repair cafe to help address the growing amount of useable items going to landfill.  They pass on skills to repair things such as clothes, jewellery as well as sharpening knives and pruning tools. It is located at the Uniting Church Hall on the corner of Pacific Highway and Mowbray Road.  It’s open the first two Sundays of the month 1-3pm.