Dr Monique Ryan MP was elected to Parliament on 21 May 2022. She rode a teal wave of optimism for action on climate change, integrity in government and gender equality. A full house at the Balwyn Park Centre came to hear Dr Ryan’s reflections on her first year in Parliament with a climate focus.

Exchanging ideas at Lighter Footprints June meeting, this time at the Balwyn Park Centre

Exchanging ideas at Lighter Footprints June meeting, this time at the Balwyn Park Centre

The event was faciliated by City of Boroondara Councillor Susan Biggar.


Lighter Footprints co-convenor Mick Nolan introduced Dr Ryan, the eighth Kooyong representative and the first woman to represent the people of Kooyong. Mick reminded the audience that, in her first speech to Parliament one year ago, Monique referred to climate change as the greatest challenge of our generation.

Lighter Footprints Co-convenor Mick Nolan introduces Dr Monique Ryan MP and explains the audience question process on slido

Lighter Footprints Co-convenor Mick Nolan introduces Dr Monique Ryan MP and explains the audience question process on slido

Mick asked, “So what are the insights, what are the challenges for Monique in Canberra and here in Kooyong, and how can we work together to achieve decarbonisation as well as a just Australia and a common wealth?”

Dr Monique Ryan MP, Independent Member for Kooyong

Monique said it was climate change, and in particular her then 13-year-old son’s distress on watching David Attenborough, that convinced her to stand as a candidate at the 2022 election. However, she was also personally frustrated and embarrassed by the Morrison government.

Dr Monique Ryan MP addresses Lighter Footprints on her first year, talking in about opportunities and challenges with a climate perspective

Dr Monique Ryan MP addresses Lighter Footprints on her first year, talking in about opportunities and challenges from a climate perspective


Dr Ryan talked about surviving and thriving in Canberra, collaborating with others and the strength of the independents – when she, and the other Independents put their hands up in their electorates, for similar reasons, “there was no such thing as a Teal.”

The Independents were initally told that they had no power, however, they soon realised they did. For example, some of the amendments moved by the Independents to the Climate Change Act in the Lower House got up in the Senate.

And when the Liberal Party opposed the Safeguard Mechanism, Monique said “we got to debate it, put in a huge number of amendments. Some of them got up in the House and some of them got up in the Senate. It wasn’t perfect. It’s far from perfect, but it was better.”

Another example was “In the second week the Governor-General had received a whole lot of money from Scott Morrison, a really dodgy grant, a leadership fund. There’s this thing called delegated legislation and if something’s been put before the House for less than 10 sitting days or fewer you can stop it. And we did.”

Dr Ryan talked about surviving and thriving in Canberra, collaborating with others and the strength of the independents

Dr Ryan talked about surviving and thriving in Canberra, collaborating with others and the strength of the independents


Dr Ryan explained that the Independents are “working out how to work with each other. How to cover all the areas that we need to cover effectively and efficiently while giving each other space to get some wins”, and noted that the next election could be as early as August of next year.

Upcoming legislation includes the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, will be debated but perhaps not until next year. The EPBC Act is “massive” and includes the water trigger, species protection and even heritage buildings.

The job of the Independents is to try and improve the legislation – the Independents must also build the expertise and team, looking forward to perhaps holding the balance of power after the next election.

In conclusion: “What we’ve seen is that this government, although it has some really good things to do and it’s got good intentions, is hampered for whatever reason in what it’s putting on the table in terms of legislation. And so what we’re doing now is kind of just the beginning.”

In Conversation

Being in Canberra

So what’s it like in Canberra. How do you balance what you’re thinking about in Canberra with what you’re thinking about for all of us here?

Cr Susan Biggar engaged Dr Ryan in conversation, swapping notes on influence, electrification and unpeeling a little more of what is has been like to be working politically in Canberra

Cr Susan Biggar engaged Dr Ryan in conversation, swapping notes on influence, electrification and unpeeling a little more of what it has been like to be working politically in Canberra


Monique Ryan said “It’s really frenetic”, noting attending two or three different breakfasts, briefings as well as attending the House.

“I run, you know, literally run from things and go see a school, go here, go here. It’s incredibly intense but it’s so interesting. There’s so much to learn. And you know, you might look at five or six different pieces of legislation in a week.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

“Actually, the biggest challenge is not the Canberra bit because I’m getting my head around that. I can read legislation now. I can see where I’ve got an in, and where I don’t. I’m beginning to write speeches much more quickly than I did initially. But the things that I’m struggling with are how to get a bike trail from Box Hill to Hawthorn. And how to get things done in the community, how to get EV chargers. Do we want a community battery? And if so, how to do it and where to put it and how to facilitate that.”

Monique Ryan said that working with the Boroondara Council and the state government has been really challenging, with it being more difficult to develop personal relationships with the state government than in Canberra. “And working with Council, can be challenging, not in a negative way, but it’s really hard when you’re not physically here a third of the time.”


Can you talk to us a bit about the Safeguard Mechanism? Did it work well? Did the Greens and Labour work together well? 

“The first thing I discovered was that the Greens and Labour hate each other” said Monique, but “some of it is definitely performative. Some of it is visceral. Most of us are relatively pragmatic. But often you find that there’s a bit of brinkmanship.” She commented that it was “very important” to have the Greens there, also the community independents “because if it weren’t for us, things would just be going straight through.”

Cr Susan Biggar in conversation with Dr Monique Ryan MP with a focus on climate

Cr Susan Biggar in conversation with Dr Monique Ryan MP with a focus on climate


“Tanya Plibersek floated the new sea dumping bill, which just made me just have chest pain, which is about giving permission for Santos essentially to take gas from the Barossa, take it to Timor Leste and do carbon capture and storage there. You look at it and wonder how could you think that that is reasonable or justifiable.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

New fossil fuel projects

If Labor agree with the science of climate change, why are they still suggesting that new fossil fuel plants are necessary? Why are they not ready to say, no, we’re stopping now?

“I actually think it’s jobs. I also think that lobbying groups and the money that fossil fuel companies give to the major parties influences the decision making.”

“I think they’re all pretty good at hiding it, but if you look at the donations to the major political parties last year, they were really significant to the Labor Party as well as the Liberal Party. There’s money on the table there. And that’s just the stuff you know about, and I suspect that that’s the tip of the iceberg.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Dr Ryan noted the $1.9 billion offered last year to set up the Middle Arm petrochemicals facility in Darwin Harbour was essentially putting money into infrastructure to process gas and ship it offshore.

“That’s a subsidy of new fossil fuel activities. There’s heaps of that going on, and I don’t think we even see the half of it.”

EV take-up

Worldwide, the trend is fantastic. In Australia, it’s in the right direction, but a lot slower. I think 3.8% of new car sales in Australia are EVs. So do you have any thoughts about what’s going on and how we speed it up?

Monique Ryan noted that improved fuel efficiency standards are coming, and also signs of progress such as Uber committing to going all electric by the end of 2025.

“The Commonwealth fleets are all going over to electric, which will improve the second-hand market. I think there will be more action in terms of dropping things like the luxury car tax, which I pushed for last year.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

“I’m hoping the government will move to subsidising other forms of active transport, like bikes. We’ve talked about putting up a private members bill for that.”

Replying to a query about being the Convener of Parliamentary Friends of EVs, Monique Ryan noted the irony “because I drive a 12-year-old Golf and my husband drives a 23-year-old Subaru. We’re on the list for about three different EVs, but as you all know, there’s a massive wait for them.”

Affordability is a real problem still. They are “out of most people’s reach. We need to get the cheaper ones into the country, but we’re being told that there are supply chain issues. But I think with fuel efficiency standards, we’ll get there.”


And so a year in, how do you think the community best influences change in Canberra? What are the most effective things that people can do, either as individuals or groups?

“As an independent, I have the ability to decide what I want to do. And I know that that really annoys my backbench colleagues in the parties. The problem is that so many people come to me every single day with things that I need to do. Which is great, but you can’t possibly do everything. I’ve been really lucky and I’ve been very reliant on people giving me their knowledge and their expertise.”

Monique said she’d learned from Cathy McGowan not to accept sole responsibility for what people coming to you say you need to do, but say to them, “Great, how are you going to help me do that?”

Frank conversation about politics and being an independent - a lot of fun, but you hve to read every bill yourself

Frank conversation about politics and being an independent – a lot of fun, but you have to read every bill yourself

“And so with Lighter Footprints, we have a meeting where we go through all the different areas and where I can, I offload work to people. And it’s become very clear to me that that’s something that I have to do, otherwise I can’t get anything finished.”

“It’s taken me 12 months, but I’ve now got to the point where I know who to call if I need to talk about what is reasonable, where to put a gas cap, I’ve got Rod Simms’ number now. People have been incredibly generous with their knowledge and their expertise, I think because they know that the Independents are well-meaning and potentially in a position to effect change.”

“But we need support. If people want to change something, if they feel we’re passionate about it, they should come and talk to me, but they can’t just come to me and say this is a problem and you need to fix it. They need to come to me and say this is a problem and this is how you should fix it and this is what needs to be done.”

Native forest logging

The independents have taken a strong stance on native forest logging in Victoria: “We went to see the native forest. I went with Michelle Ananda-Rajah from Higgins. I came back and talked to people in the team. We made a lot of noise about it.”

Dr Ryan spoke about the upcoming private members bill to protect native forests nationally from logging, saying that it was another stepping stone in protecting native forests, similar in getting up ICAC, the National Integrity Commission. “There was a number of iterations that were brought to parliament. I think marriage equality took 19 times before it got through.” The cross bench is working with experts in collating information and drafting the legislation.

“As a team, we’ve actually come up this week with a private members’ bill to stop native forest logging nationally. It won’t get up. I will take it to parliament and I will argue for it and I’ll make a fuss and other people will support it and debate it and the Greens will support it and it won’t get up.


But each time you do that, you realise that you are ratcheting up the pressure and you are making a change and you’re bringing it to people’s consciousness.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP


Audience Questions

Question One: New fossil fuel projects

What’s your attitude to approval of major new fossil fuel projects and what is the Albanese ALP government doing about it? 

“We can’t have new fossil fuels, we can’t have new gas or coal if we’re going to avoid 1.5.”


“The frustrating thing is the government knows that. Tanya and Chris know that better than I do. And yet they look you in the eye. That’s the frustrating thing and sometimes you just can’t work out why they won’t effect the change that they need to effect.”

Dr Monique Ryan Mp

Dr Ryan talked about about pressures “that you don’t know”, such as the unions. However “it’s not that they don’t know, it’s just that for whatever reason they won’t go there until they’re forced to almost. And that’s what we’re going to have to do.”

Question 2: Protecting biodiversity

Thank you for your work showing the importance of our Victorian native forests. And you have talked about the private members bill, but federally, what are the other ways you can influence to protect our precious biodiversity? 

Dr Ryan said “The EPBC Act is coming. There’s also the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Act” and noted upcoming “different things, difficult, complex things about equivalency and biodiversity” including a number of other Acts.

“And for me, one of the things we’ve realised is that we can’t all do everything. The crossbench meets and we talk about who’s doing what. For me at the moment, it’s Middle Arm, Beetaloo, native forest logging, seismic testing and marine conservation stuff. That’s where I’ll be putting my focus.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Question 3: Beetaloo and Middle Arm

Do we need the Beetaloo gas and Middle Arm projects in the NT – a question from a person from Ballarat who is meeting with Catherine King next week.

Monique Ryan responding to an audience question on approaching the subject of no coal and gas with the Minister

Monique Ryan responding to an audience question on approaching the subject of no coal and gas with the Minister


Dr Ryan replied that we do not need Beetaloo and Middle Arm, citing impacts on water, environment and health. “The First Nations people don’t want that.” She is working with a group of pediatricians from the Northern Territory who are planning a day of action in Canberra on the 8th of August. “The pediatricians are coming, the First Nations people are coming, other sorts of health professionals are coming. We’re trying to get hundreds and hundreds of people into the House to just say this has to stop.”

“Beetaloo is frightening – somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 fracking wells in the Northern Territory, from which the gas will go to Middle Arm and then be exported. The frightening things about that fracking is what they’ll do to the aquifers of the Northern Territory.

So there’s a real danger of pollution, significant pollution, and then loss of water supply to large parts of the Territory, and then the direct and indirect effects of the fracking itself. “

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Dr Ryan notes that Middle Arm is a petrochemical processing factory just three kilometres away from Palmerston, a suburb of 30,000 people and highlights that Catherine King and Madeline King both keep denying that it’s a gas processing facility. “All of the initial paperwork said gas processing, and now they’ve changed it to sustainable precinct. It’s just like they’ve just done a find and replace thing, which is just deeply, deeply annoying.”

“The idea of having a petrochemical hub processing, they’re going to produce hydrogen there, three kilometres from Palmerston. An accident could be disastrous, quite apart from what it will do to Darwin Harbour and what it will do to the water supplies of the Northern Territory. I get furious even thinking about it.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Question 4: How to approach Catherine King?

Going back to the same question Cr Biggar asked What’s a good question to ask Catherine King? What do you want to ask her?

Monique Ryan said that when pressured over Middle Arm, Catherine King keeps trying to deny that it is a fossil fuel project: “She said, no, no, it’s not. The Territory needs jobs.”

Dr Ryan suggested to just keep holding them to the facts. “They said it’s not fossil fuel, it’s not fossil fuel. And then two weeks ago, Tamboran, which is the company that’s got the major shareholding in Beetaloo, announced, “Great, we’ve got this new gas processing facility at Middle Arm”. The double think is just deeply, deeply frustrating. And I’m new to this. I’m not used to this sort of lying.”

Question 5: Working with Boroondara Council

What more should Boroondara Council be doing regarding climate change? Think globally, act locally. Can we lead the way?

Cr Biggar replied that there’s definitely more that could be done, and noted that when Council voted in a climate emergency a couple of years ago, and then when Council launched its climate action plan, there were different views whether the Council had a role regarding community missions. “But you can do the maths very quickly” she said noting that 97% of our emissions are from our community.

“So the view was, well, maybe we need to focus on our own space.” However, Councillor Biggar noted that Council is making pretty good progress with its corporate emissions. “But the real challenge, obviously, is about how do we, as in all of us, bring around all of our neighbours and everybody in our community to change the way we live?”

“Luckily, what we know now, is that it’s not what we used to think, which is that we can’t have fun, can’t have a weekend, can’t have a car, can’t heat our houses.

We can do those things, but we just need to electrify them. We just need to do it differently. So it’s not to say that it means necessarily living in a tent.”

Cr Susan Biggar

Electrify Boroondara and the Climate Action Plan

Cr Biggar moved on to talk about Electrify Boroondara, where the Council is “very much supporting this Alliance. And I think that that is the way that we as a council, hopefully, will begin to do more and more.”

“We have a real opportunity to educate people. In my ward newsletter, for instance, Carolyn helped me find a resident from Hawthorn who had just electrified their home. This is about role modelling.”

Cr Susan Biggar

Cr Biggar went on to talk about Council’s Climate Action Plan offering a variety of opportunities, and outlined a few:

  • Concrete education actions about sustainability
  • Education and publicity on solar and electrification purchases
  • Helping people to find ways to supplement the costs of electrification purchases
  • Advocating for people in multi-unit developments to be able to charge their EVs if they don’t have off-street parking

Monique Ryan continued: “So there’s lots of pieces to the puzzle. Most of us would like to electrify our homes but are daunted by the cost, and at the moment, there’s difficulty getting tradies”.

“We’ve done really well in getting Electrify Boroondara up and running. I’m seeing lots of people from Electrify Boroondara here. These things aren’t easy to start and to get going, but once they do it, they’ll have their own impetus.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Electriify Boroondara volunteers explain the eletrificaton process and chat to the speakers

Electrify Boroondara volunteers explain the electrification process and chat to the speakers


Cr Biggar noted the cross party support on the Electrify Boroondara Steering Committee, “sitting in there with people from Labor and Liberals, and we’ve got someone from John Pesutto’s office, and people from Matt Fregon’s office, and it’s great. Obviously, Mon’s team, is very supportive.”

Question 6: Political donations

How do we separate big business, especially the fossil fuel industry, from the major political parties without donation caps? We haven’t talked about donation caps yet tonight.

Spending and donations caps have the real risk that they will disadvantage small parties and Independents: “the reasons for that are a little bit complicated, but you can probably take it on spec that the major parties would be very happy to make changes to electoral rules that benefit them and disadvantage people like me and like the Greens.”

“There’s some long-hanging fruit that the Independents have absolutely no problem with, in fact, that we have been pushing for.

One of them is truth in political advertising, because I still can’t quite believe that you can lie outright in a political ad. Remarkable. The fact that you can say anything you like in a political ad is extraordinary. Real-time donation transparency around that, absolutely fine.

But the reality is that the Liberal Party has something called the Cormack Foundation, which has $100 million in it, and it took $7 million out of that for the election last year, and didn’t make a dent in it. The Labor Party has all these different holdings, plus the unions, plus they have these private groups where you pay $30,000 to be a member of Labor business, and you get to have dinner hosted by PwC on budget night. Maybe not by PwC next time. I’m not joking. “

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Dr  Ryan noted that there would have been a dinner for Labor Party business club members hosted by PwC after the budget this year “and it was stopped because people like me said, you’ve got to be joking. And that was while the whole PwC thing was beginning to come to light.”

“But they have all these private clubs, and Josh had $3.5 million from Kooyong 200 that he’d accrued in the three years before the 2022 election, not a penny of which he’d had to declare because those means of donations didn’t have to be declared.”

“So if those things are still in place, and you’ve still got these private ways of pushing money through to the political parties, whereas people like me have been utterly transparent about everything, and with a donation cap of $3,000, $4,000, you’ll get what you had in the New South Wales and Victorian state elections, which is that Independents will not be elected.

And that would be just fine for the Liberals and the Labors, but it might not be just fine for everybody. So we need reform, no doubt about it. The trick is not throwing the babies out with the bathwater.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Question 7: Integrity

One of the platforms that you stood on was related to issues around integrity. Are there other areas of integrity that you think have been encouraging or surprising this year, or discouraging?

“Every week, sometimes twice a week, there’s more and more evidence of how corrupt the Morrison government was. And I’m not saying that just to bury the boot into my predecessor, you know, it’s apparent.

“Today was the fact that the building program the government set up in 2019, 2020, decreased housing affordability, it decreased housing availability, and it disadvantaged builders. It put builders out of work, and there was a PwC report in 2020 that said it was working beautifully. Because if you get external contractors to come in, they’ll always tell you what you want to hear.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

In the community hospital and health program, the health department was found to have acted “unethically and unlawfully” –  only two out of 171 programs that were approved met criteria – “external contractors thought it was a good idea”. This is using “public money for personal or political gain.”

Integrity is really important: “the extent of the corruption that’s becoming apparent is frightening, and we haven’t even talked about Robodebt or other ways in which the system’s been subverted.” The new national anti-corruption commission is expecting a flood of phone calls.

“We need reform of things like our lobbying rules, and we need donation reform, and we need a whole other raft of integrity measures, and the crossbench are working on those. It just shows really how integrity is so integral to a decent political system. We’ve been like frogs. We’ve sort of been slowly boiled and not realised that the water is getting hotter.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Question 8: The Greens

What’s your relationship like with the Greens?

“It’s pretty good. I’m a pragmatist. I’ve got a good relationship with most people. The Liberals don’t seem to like me. I like the Greens. They’re politicians. Adam in particular is an experienced politician, and they’re an interesting group of people.

So we work together well with them, and we’re all very civil and respectful of each other. But we don’t work closely together on, for example, developing policy. They don’t want to do that with us.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

In comparison, there is more coordination with other independents: “We don’t want to step on each other’s toes and duplicate things unnecessarily”. Dr Ryan said that she was working on a piece on lobbying: “Sophie’s working on a piece on junk food advertising. Zoe’s working on a piece on gambling reform.”

Question 9: Pragmatism

Given staffing limits what about working together as Teals if you have a similar view on something?

Dr Ryan replied that the crossbench are all pretty much supportive of each other, but they don’t always vote in the same way, and don’t think about the same things in the same way either. “There are times we’ve gone in different directions, even on each other’s Bills. We’re not a party. So it makes sense that you don’t vote in the same way, necessarily.”

Question 10: Recycling

Recycling in Australia is not in a good way at the moment. Is there any chance of some progress?

Dr Ryan talked about the “appalling” state of recycling, and noted “some new facilities that will be able to markedly increase our ability to recycle soft plastics in the next six to twelve months”, despite some current problematic shipments of soft plastics overseas, which are not a good short-term answer.

“I’ve been part of a number of conversations about how we package things, and how they’re presented to the public, and what the cost of that is, and how the cost of the items that we buy should reflect the cost of dealing with the packaging that they come in.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Cr Biggar acknowledge public complaints about the problems with soft plastic recycling.

“Council is looking at a short-term stopgap for the soft plastics, because I think there is a view that the soft plastics will get back on its feet in the next 18 months or so, but that we would look at working with a company, not to end up with lots of storehouses full of soft plastics, but a company that’s interested in using them for making furniture.”

Cr Susan Biggar

Question 11: Teal Party?

To consolidate your efforts beyond the next election, will you eventually form a Teal Party to have more impact?

“Teal Party? No. We’ve talked about it. It’s an interesting one, but no. I just can’t see it happening because we actually believe different things and we go in different ways on different issues. And we all have our own pressures and our own electorates. We have really quite different electorates.


People sort of think that they’re all wealthy, well-educated electorates and that all the Teals are cut from the same cloth, but that’s actually not true.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Dr Ryan talked about some of the differences. “One of them is the change to prescription rules that came through in the last budget, which I’ve pushed for in the first half of this year where you can get a 12 month prescription rather than a six month prescription on medications that you’ve been on for some time if you’re on a stable dose and your GP thinks it’s safe to do so.”

Benefits include less MP visits and scripts, saving around $180 per medication per year, but pharmacists will get less. “And I think that’s a great idea, but Kylie Tink has a lot of pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies in her electorate and she thinks it’s a really bad idea. And even though a lot of pharmacists are very cross with me about this because it’s going to really cut into their income, I think it’s a good piece of policy and I’ll support it.”

Differences include IR reform, stage three tax cuts and changes to super. Dr Ryan noted that it’s also quite an undertaking to set up a political party. “It’s also really fun being independent. Because no one gets to tell you what to do.” However “you have to work harder.”

“And there’s been a few people on back benches on either side who sort of said, you guys seem to be having a lot of fun. I’d like to join you. And we go, well, you have to read every piece of legislation. They go, oh.


But being told what to do, and having to vote against my conscience is something that I’m just too old and too ugly to even think about. I just couldn’t do it. That’s not why I’m here.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

I think you are challenging, that the Independents themselves are just challenging what we have understood of politics, which is a two party system. Do you really want to replace it?

Dr Ryan stated that Australia has never had a two party system.

“From a federation, we had three parties. And Sky said this to me the other day – you killed the two party system. I said, what two party system? The Liberal Party wouldn’t have held government without the National Party since what, the 1950s or something like that. So we’ve never had that.


And then we’ve had the Greens and then we’ve had the Democrats. And the history of conservative parties in Australia has been that they have split. The Labor Party had a big split in the 50s, but the conservative parties used to be free trade and protectionists. There’s always been splits. And so even the Liberal Party is a post-war phenomenon. I think there’s been more change than most of us have appreciated in our lifetimes in Australian politics.”

Dr Monique Ryan MP

“I think it’s fascinating but I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next election. Because the Labor Party at this point is happy for us to succeed, but not too much. And the Liberal Party seem focused on the Teals, but not on policy development or anything like that. And I think their review after the last election, it was all about, we hate the Teals, we must get the Teals. It wasn’t about we should really need to think about what we did wrong.”

Conclusion: The Voice

Dr Ryan reminded us of the experience of community power last year: “And I don’t think any of us saw it coming, what happened last year. I’d certainly never, never thought that Kooyong would mobilize in the way that it did at the last federal election.”

This change to community power was more widespread than just Kooyong, with varied success. “What people have to take away from that is the ability for all of us to effect change when we feel strongly about something.”

“Right now, the thing that’s keeping me awake at night is the Voice. I feel really strongly about it.


What I would ask people to do is to go out and talk to the people and, you know, have the kitchen table conversation, talk to the people, talk to 10 people, turn them, get them to stand up in Menzies or in Chisholm.


But, you know, to force people to change, because politicians do react to pressure. And that’s what all of you can do. You did it, you’ve done it already, but you could do it better and in spades.


And you should not forget what you did last time.” 

Dr Monique Ryan MP

Thanks and next steps: Lynn Frankes

Lynn thanks Monique and Susan including a copy of Prof Lindenmayer's beuatiful book 'The Great Forest'

Lynn thanks Monique and Susan including a copy of Prof David Lindenmayer’s beautiful book ‘The Great Forest’


July 26: Agriculture and climate

The July Zoom meeting on Regenerative Agriculture features three great speakers:

  • Peter Holding, Outreach Officer for Farmers for Climate Action, from Harden, NSW
  • Jodie Hay, dairy and grain farmer using irrigation from Cohuna, Northern Victoria
  • Dr Kate Burke, agricultural scientist, Echuca

It’s on agriculture and the important contribution that agriculture can make to fighting the climate crisis.  RSVP here.

August 30: Keeping warm in winter

The August meeting is in-person at the Kew Library, in the Phyllis Hore Room with two speakers coming to us from industry leaders EcoMaster, with detailed practical advice on draught proofing and insulation, with more on energy efficiency and lowering energy bills.

  • Maurice Beinat, Co-founder, EcoMaster
  • Michael Beinat, EcoMaster
  • Charlie Phillips, Earth Workers Smart Energy Cooperative

RSVP here – seats are limited.

September 27: Prof David Lindenmayer on forests

Catch up with revered academic Prof Lindenmayer on forests on September 27th – RSVP here.

Lynn Frankes, Lighter Footprints Co-convenor outlines upcoming meetings - regenerative agriculture in June, energy efficiency in July and on forests with Prof Lindenmayer in September

Lynn Frankes, Lighter Footprints Co-convenor, outlines upcoming meetings – regenerative agriculture in June, energy efficiency in July and on forests with Prof Lindenmayer in September

Forests Working Group and Electrify Boroondara Working Group

Lynn Frankes mentioned Lighter Footprints working groups which can be found on our Take Action page.

Forests Working Group

Despite Premier Andrews’ very welcome announcement that Victoria will cease native logging by the end of the year, our forests are still under threat. Vic Forests has ramped up highly destructive “salvage logging” and has identified new coupes to log. Join the Lighter Footprints Forests Working Group to help make forest protection permanent. The group is active in lobbying, citizen science, forest tours and works with the Victorian Forest Alliance. The group meets fortnightly on Zoom, and you can join here by ticking the top check box on our Take Action page.

Electrify Boroondara Working Group

Lynn also spoke about Lighter Footprints Electrify Boroondara Working Group, working with others on the Electrify Boroondara project.

“We’re talking to people, community engagement, library pop-ups. You may come across us in either the Kew Library or the Ashburton Library, and we’re talking to people about what they can do in their homes to start the electrification journey.”

Find out more:



Dr Ryan was happy to stay and chat with Lighter Footprints members

Dr Ryan was happy to stay and chat with Lighter Footprints members