Thank you to everyone who came along to our massive forum event!
Over 300 Lighter Footprints supporters packed in to hear from candidates in the upcoming Boroondara council elections, as well as a rousing welcome from ABC star Craig Reucassel.
You can watch a recording of Craig’s welcome talk here.
Sit back and wait?
At a local level do we sit back and wait for the bigger players to act on climate? Absolutely not says Craig! Individuals and councils share the same space in the community, and can be far more nimble. Councils are the first port of call for information on electric vehicles, solar panels and FOGO recycling. And, as a bonus, they don’t even need to put their hand in their pockets, instead acting as advice-givers that support the community to make changes. When they do choose to support people financially, councils can drive great programs like Darebin’s Solar Savers, where low-income households can obtain interest-free loans to put panels on their roofs. Helping the community take the next step on their zero emissions journey can be simple and powerful.
And when it comes to action, we should be thinking collectively. Imagine the five hundred-plus councils in Australia all committing to net-zero emissions by 2025 or 2030, as many already have. We should also help councils avoid seeing themselves as isolated: charging points for electric vehicles or FOGO programs would be much easier (and cheaper) if groups of councils in the same area banded together.
Lessons from COVID
For Craig, COVID has taught us what’s possible with solutions and implementation. If Australia can put ten year’s worth of health policy into action in ten days to respond to a pandemic, surely we can make other changes. Melbourne to Sydney was the second most-traveled air route in the world – can we really justify jumping on a plane when we’ve discovered how easy Zoom makes things? We could have Melbourne’s famous traffic jams without the vehicle emissions. We might not have the cure for COVID, but for climate change we’ve got all the cures we need – we just need to be brave enough to use them!
Council action is necessary and urgent
Even new Councillors should be standing up for significant change. Climate change will affect everything: rates, insurance, infrastructure like storm water drains and parks. Not dealing with the issue is negligence, plain and simple.
But then, as Craig reminds us, climate change isn’t controversial. It’s not going to affect left-wing people more than right-wing people. It’s a humanitarian issue, and those trying to paint the issue as political are protecting their interests. Conservative governments across the world are leading on climate action, and there’s no reason why Australia can’t be one of them.
Boroondara is clearly a switched-on community, and the potential to work together with council for strong climate action is huge. Craig was thrilled to see so many out on a Wednesday night engaging with local politics – a great sign for the upcoming election!
This summary doesn’t do Craig’s talk justice – make sure you watch the 10 min recording of his welcome talk here!
We also recorded some of the ward meetings. Click the links below to see what your local candidates had to say on the role of Boroondara Council in climate action and other issues:
(Junction was not recorded)
Thank you to the candidates for giving the time to answer our questions. There were some terrific Q&A sessions, and the conversation doesn’t stop here. Reach out to your candidates to continue discussions on topics important to you.
And, you can also see the responses of some of the candidates to the Boroondara Candidates Climate Scorecard.
If you didn’t attend our event and are still unsure of what council ward you live in, you can check via VEC’s interactive map.
Boroondara council elections timeline
- Postal ballots will be mailed to you from Tuesday 6 October,
- Voting closes at 6pm, Friday 23 October (which means the declaration on your form must be signed on or before Friday 23 October), and
- Your postal ballot must be received by election officials before 12pm Friday 30 October.
So once you’ve made your informed decision, return your ballot well before the closing date to make sure your vote counts. You must follow all instructions contained with your postal ballot package, and you must fill your ballot paper out correctly for your vote to count.