One of our members penned this beautiful thank-you note after the pre-election forum at the Box Hill Town Hall:

Dear Carolyn and All,

It was great to be part of last night’s very well organised, polite, and amazingly well attended event at Box Hill Town Hall which, most importantly, helped us ‘move politically towards co-operation on Climate Change Action’.

Congratulations to you all for a grand effort and a very good outcome, and thanks to you Carolyn for representing so well the public face of Lighter Footprints at the forum.

For me, the strong themes on the night were:

the reality of climate change and the urgency for action now (great video clips to focus us on the realities and move us well beyond debate);

the power of one young woman, Kathleen to speak directly and unencumbered about what really matters (there needs to be more of these young voices);

the collaboration, sharing of resources and working together with different climate change action groups (a great modelling);

the significant differences between the parties policies in regard to substantial and effective action (there was good opportunity for these differences to be clearly stated, although attempts to smooth over the mismatch between the realities of the challenges and the proposed policies and practice by some presenters about how far Australia is out of step with developing nations in commitment to the substantial action required were painful to watch).

However, what was perhaps most encouraging was how gradually we observed a very positive development of the discussion over the evening (due in no small part to the well managed process of dialogue, helped by Rod Quantock’s humour, and the focussed questions from the audience).  There was an even greater respect for the problems of the rapidly occurring impacts of climate change on our planet, the reef, our health, our basic needs and lively-hoods, together with the need for us to be co-operating together, right now, in order to effectively address these problems. We were all witness to this gradual shift and we need to hold the politicians who presented to their publicly-stated commitments.

I am very sorry to hear that someone has attempted to fan up negative media about a small stunt which was very well-handled.  This could undermine the very important positive outcomes from the night. I think it is up to Minister Josh Frydenberg himself to go front-foot about what was basically a very small, harmless and well-handled incident, in the context of the very well conducted and respectful meeting.  If the Minister is not willing to publically do this, he is already stepping away from his public statements and pledge at the end of the meeting to meet (be it over coffee) with Mark Butler and Janet Rice ,and work together on a tripartisan approach to tackling climate change.

Dividing peoples for competing political reasons will never result in a reduction in global warming. As we in Lighter Footprints know, we need collaboration and co-operation now in order to address climate change and its escalating threats to our planet, for our healthy survival.

I hope we are all uplifted (although some of you no doubt tired after all your efforts and a late night!) and encouraged to take things to the next level what-ever that may be.

With my regards and good wishes and again many thanks – you are great group of people doing good things together and it’s good to be connected to you.

Ros Chandler

18th June 2016