Walk in SOLARdarity with the community of Port Augusta

September 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

For many of us, the town of Port Augusta in central South Australia is synonymous with the detention of refugees with its proximity to the infamous Baxter Detention Centre as well as to visit those inside.

Baxter was completely dismantled in 2007, and the enormous front steel gates even sold off at auction. But the town of Port Augusta is now becoming famous for another reason – as the site of a vibrant community campaign to build Australia’s first big solar plant.

Port Augusta has long been home to two large coal fired power stations, both of which are reaching retirement age. The South Australian government has proposed replacing these power stations with gas but the local community has grown tired of the health effects of burning fossil fuels and are calling for the building of a clean renewable energy instead.

The semi-arid lands around Port Augusta will greatly suffer from the fall in rainfall that we’ve already seen as a result of climate change, and will need clean energy solutions if these areas are to remain habitable.

The local community are joined by climate groups throughout the country such as Beyond Zero Emissions, 100% Renewables, and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition to take the quest to the Federal and South Australian governments and to people across Australia.

Many of you have taken our survey on the importance of building large scale renewable energy in Australia. And in the next couple of weeks we’re going to be taking the results of that survey to our local member, Kelvin Thomson and we’ll update you on what he says about the campaign to build big solar. If you’d like to get some lobbying experience get in touch with us: climateactionmoreland@gmail.com.

Walk in support

But until then, we invite you to be a part of the Port Augusta campaign! This week a group of around 100 people are walking from Port Augusta to Adelaide and solidarity (or SOLARdarity) walks are planned around the country, including Melbourne:

12pm, Sunday 30 September 2012

Walk from CERES to Energy Minister Martin Ferguson’s office in Preston

On the ashes of the coal fired power station, let’s build something we can really be proud of! For more information about the campaign see: http://repowerportaugusta.org/. For more information about the Melbourne walk see:https://www.facebook.com/events/409101889150904/

Report back on community solar

And while we’re on the joyous topic of solar – a report back about our community solar project. How inspiring would it be to have a community scale community owned rooftop solar park in Moreland? Or how about ten?

We’ve been working hard over the last couple of months investigating all aspects of what’s necessary to make community owned solar project work and we’ve decided it’s definitely do-able! The search for the perfect roof is now on.

If you’d like to get involved in this great community project, we’re looking for a couple more people to join our core organising group. No experience in solar necessary, just enthusiasm, some time to commit to the project and an interest in community solar is all you need. Email us at climateactionmoreland@gmail.com if you’re interested. Meetings are fortnightly on a Monday evening.

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