Friday, March 27, 2009

Have your say on emissions trading

Dear friend,

The Senate wants to hear what you think about the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme.

The Greens have established a Senate Inquiry into Climate Policy, which will report on the environmental adequacy of the Government's scheme. You can directly address Senators – before they vote on the scheme – by making a submission.

Have your say on emissions trading.

The best the Government itself can say about its so-called 'Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme' is that it is better than nothing. The Greens disagree. It is worse than useless.

The Government's plan will undermine existing policies to move Australia to renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transport. It will pay polluters billions of dollars in compensation and use the voluntary emissions reductions you make to free up even more permits for polluters. Worst of all, it will lock Australia into a weak 5% emissions reduction target and close off the option of achieving the much deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions we need to prevent climate catastrophe.

Have your say on emissions trading.

If you want an emissions trading scheme that makes polluters pay instead of paying them to keep polluting, a scheme that creates new green jobs and stimulates investment in clean industries, a scheme that will see Australia play its fair role in preventing climate catastrophe, then please tell the Senate you don’t want a scheme that’s ‘better than nothing’ – you want the best emissions trading scheme there is.

Have your say on emissions trading.

Thank you,
Christine Milne
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Earth Hour: Breathing Life into our Community


Media Release 

16th March 2009

As part of World Earth Hour, a new environmental network is being launched in Newcastle. Transition Town Newcastle is part of a world-wide movement responding to the twin pressures of Global Warming and Peak Oil in an inclusive and integrated way.

A spokesperson for the group, William Vorobioff said, “We need to start planning for a community that is less reliant on oil. We can’t wait for governments to legislate the change. For our children and for our planet, we need to start breathing life into our own communities now. We need to build resilient, sustainable ways of living together.”

To celebrate Earth Hour, Transition Town Newcastle is being launched with a forum “Breathing Life into Communities”. The forum begins at 5 pm just before Earth Hour on Saturday 28 March 2009 at Hamilton Baptist Church, Lindsay Street, Hamilton. While the adults are being engaged in the community forum, children can take part in “Earth Ticklers”, a creative drama workshop about caring for our planet. The group will also launch the new Australian edition of The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, the co-founder of the Transition Initiative.

Agenda and  flyer for the workshop can be downloaded here

After the forum and workshop everyone will move across the road for a picnic in Gregson Park at 7pm followed by the Earth Ticklers performance, wandering minstrels, a lantern parade and observing Earth Hour at 8.30pm.

William Vorobioff said, “Through the forum we want to explore the many ways in which people living in Newcastle are helping create an environmentally sustainable community. We want to bring people together and explore what motivates them to take action and to think about how we can work together”.

“The Transition approach not only recognises the need to reduce our greenhouse emissions but also recognises the threat of pending resource depletion particularly through a reduction in oil production. Rather than focusing on the threat, however, we are focusing on creating a dynamic, resilient vision for the future. We believe that sharing a creative, inspiring vision can help bring about powerful change. We are looking forward to sharing people’s ideas and enthusiasm so that together we can breathe life into our community”.

The forum is being organised by Transition Town Newcastle and is sponsored by Osmosis Creative, Climate Action Newcastle, Hamilton Baptist Church and Newcastle City Council.

For interviews: William Vorobioff on 4967 3231 or 0414 408 956
  Geraldine O’Connor on 4926 1606 or 0417 292 414

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Community Bank® campaign launched

Mayfield Community Bank® Steering Committee • media release •  Wednesday, 11 March, 2009

Invitation to support the establishment of a Mayfield Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank.

A Community Bank® branch is a locally owned and operated company, which functions as a franchise of Bendigo Bank. Bendigo Bank and the community company are each entitled to agreed portions of the revenue of the local Community Bank® branch and the local company is responsible for paying branch running costs.

When the local company begins to make a regular operating surplus, after the payment of branch running costs, and Bendigo Bank’s share of the revenue is received, the remaining funds are available to be reinvested back into the community through dividends to shareholders and grants to community groups and projects.

The local committee and Bendigo Bank will officially launch the campaign – the first stage in a process to gauge community interest in the concept. Those who feel passionately about the establishment of a branch are also encouraged to join the steering committee.

Steering committee spokesperson Niko Leka urged people interested in the Community Bank® model to attend a meeting on Sunday, 22 Match at the St Columbans Church Hall, 39 Church Street, Mayfield, beginning at 4pm.

Committee members and senior Bendigo Bank staff will be available at the meeting to answer any questions local people may have about the Community Bank® model and the Mayfield campaign.

Bendigo Bank currently supports 229 Community Bank® branches throughout Australia. The number of Community Bank® branches has doubled in the last four years and in the same time frame, customers have tripled their commitment of banking business to the community network, increasing it to more than $11 billion.

More importantly, in excess of $21.7 million in Community Bank® branch profits has been returned to community projects and $12 million has been paid in dividends to more than 50,000 local shareholders. 

Add to those contributions the employment of more than 1000 staff members and daily expenses in the local economy and you have a truly meaningful contribution to those communities and to local prosperity.

Mr Leka said behind those numbers are hundreds of stories of Community Bank® branches making a real difference to the lives of local people.

“Last financial year, the North Richmond Community Bank® Branch returned more than $118, 000 back to the community and paid a 11 cent dividend to local shareholders.
“That’s a great contribution and it’s time Mayfield benefitted too,” he said.
Branches also have extended trading hours, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm on Saturdays.

Click here to download a good quality copy of the poster to distribute as widely as you can! The more people there are, the sooner we get local banking up & running....

Media enquiries: Anne Rooke-Frizzell 4968 3648 or Niko Leka 0406 296 141 • 

email: • Visit blog:

If you're interested in helping to organise, join the e-list: