Moreland Community response on Bushfires and climate action

January 16, 2020 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

On January 9 a community meeting was held at the Coburg Town Hall called by Emily and Sam of CERES Joe’s Market Garden.

About 50 people were present from across the community from various local community organisations.

There was Grieving and brainstorming about what we can do for short term and long term climate action.

The meeting included at least two Moreland Councillors, Cr Mark Riley and Cr Sue Bolton, and Brunswick MP Tim Read.

After a round of touching base, the meeting broke up into smaller groups to brainstorm ideas. This is the list of ideas.

Note Climate Action Moreland has an established list of actions for empowering Moreland through climate action.

Samantha noted that “there were a couple of small group gatherings at the end of the larger meeting – one to discuss a community grief processing event/ceremony/ritual. John Englart mentioned that Vets for Climate Action might be organising a similar ceremony to grieve the loss of so many animals and he will keep us posted on this.

“And there was another group discussing food security – and particularly the idea of establishing another market garden (like CERES Joe’s garden) in Fawkner / North Coburg area. ”

“One idea which seemed to have a bit of interest was the letter writing party (perhaps parties) where we come together to write to local MPs and senators to demand strong climate action – including the bring a friend to the party idea. ”



  • Food for wildlife
  • Joey pouches, koala mittens, possum boxes – Coburg Library, Sussex Street Neighbourhood House – Facebook Post
  • Work based fundraisers / functions for the bushfires – use this as an opportunity to talk about the climate emergency
  • Organise a bake sale as a fundraiser
  • Fund the fire fighters
  • Collective grief processing
  • Visit bushfire affected communities – spend money there



  • Local agriculture / building and supporting local food systems
  • Local water / local energy supplies – what happens if there is a power outage and water supplies are cut or contaminated?
  • Emergency and evacuation kits – is there a list of things to include in a kit? Is this list relevant to Moreland / local context? How are the list and the kits distributed?
  • Households to develop household emergency plan
  • Accommodation – Air B ‘n’ B
  • Who is in charge / where do communications come from in a local disaster?
  • Red Cross disaster Get Prepared app – mapping community skills in preparation for disaster


  • Climate/environmentally friendly neighbourhood buying systems
  • Upskilling people ahead of time so that we can all offer skills at the time of climate crisis – right people with right skills needed
  • Community owned renewable energy (See Moreland Community Solar, Australian Energy Foundation – Moreland Power)
  • Community hub – equipment and resources including education resources / information
  • More local food gardens / market gardens (building local food systems)
  • Decentralised water storage – council subsidies / no interest loans on water tanks – also for solar panels like Darebin Solar Saver project
  • Seed/seedling bank
  • Protection / preservation of local food trees – community graft project
  • Community food growing (eg. Fawkner Food Bowls – website) – also promotes inclusion, reduces isolation
  • Home food production tours
  • Food growing skills workshops / capacity building
  • Use public land for food growing
  • Food cooperatives


  • Telling local, state and federal political leaders that we want no new fossil fuel projects, funding for science including the CSIRO, no private ownership of water rights
  • Advocate private sector leaders to advocate for the same – no new fossil fuel projects, funding for science including the CSIRO, no private ownership of water rights
  • Citizen journalism to counter fake/ Murdoch news
  • Collective citizen tweeting to counter fake news
  • Climate conversations – talking about the climate emergency – the science, the impact of climate change and what we can all do – to neighbours, friends, colleagues etc. – provide skills in having these conversations – See Climate for Change
  • Use ‘creative resistance’ to reach people with climate messages
  • Sack Scomo!
  • Boycott Murdoch media – publicise boycott
  • Letter writing party – writing letters to state and federal MP’s to demand no new fossil fuel projects, transition to 100% renewables, get off gas, no further land clearing / stop logging – bring a friend from another electorate to the party. Don’t forget to target senators. Don’t use same words as everyone else / form letter – this has less impact Keep letter short and polite, ask for a meeting. See List of Federal and state MPs for Moreland and surrounds
  • Also write to:
    • International media
    • High-profile sports / media personalities – invite patronage / support / public statement re need for climate action
  • Groundswell Giving’ – new philanthropic group funding high impact climate action and advocacy – host a community dinner to raise funds for this. This group funding ‘emergency leaders for climate action’ summit lead by Greg Mullins
  • Advocate to state government to declare a climate emergency and re Victorian emission targets | Environment Victoria – Take action
  • Zali Steggle climate bill (announcement) – encourage local MPs to support this
  • Get on the street, protest!
  • Upfield train line – advocate for line duplication, more frequent trains, less cancellations – this is weak in Council’s new integrated transport strategy – See Upfield Transport Alliance
  • Number 19 tram – advocate for extension – this is weak in Council’s new integrated transport strategy
  • Better council advocacy re public transport in the north of Moreland


  • Cultural burning / land management – reassessing merit of European based land management system we have used for 200 years – learn from Aboriginal community
  • Support the Arts – what is the role of the arts in all those ideas mentioned above
  • Personally divesting from fossil fuels – via banking and superannuation
  • Setting own (individual and household) emissions targets
  • There is a climate emergency summit in Melbourne February 14 and 15 – also Climate Peoples’ Assembly in Canberra February 2 – 6
  • Join a local group like Neighbours United for Climate Action, Newlands Friends of the Forest or other groups like Extinction Rebellion Moreland – go along to events hosted by these groups
  • Tim Read’s office proposing a climate fair – climate groups coming together to showcase what they do
  • Overarching decolonization
  • Keep bringing the community together
  • Ensuring/promoting diversity within the climate movement
  • Don’t expect to be perfect – we need more people shifting towards a more sustainable lifestyle
  • Planting trees / rewilding / revegetating
  • Environmental / climate literacy – education for all
  • Food swaps
  • Green your community, nature strip, block – plant more shade and habitat trees
  • Council support / incentives for businesses which reduce packaging / do not package
  • Develop Moreland fruit squad project like Darebin fruit squad
  • Fruit trees on public land mapping
  • Adopt a street tree and water through summer
  • Learn how to ‘be’ not just ‘do’ in a crisis
  • Three responses to climate including activism – see author Richard Eckersley (Researchgate PDF)
  • Supporting businesses to allow volunteer leave especially at times of crisis / disaster
  • Gardens for Wildlife project – Council to support / implement / fund this (Gardens for wildlife Victoria | Creating Gardens for Wildlife in Moreland Facebook Group))
  • More education and engagement with First Nations people
  • Engage faith communities
  • Backyard beekeeping courses funded by Council / council subsidized bee hives for households


  • Sussex Street Neighbourhood House sewing bee (joey pouches etc) – not sure of date and time – also Coburg Neighbourhood House and Coburg Library – maybe Monday 13 January
  • Newlands Friends of the Forest meeting, Monday 13 January, 2pm – not sure of venue – email Pascale Pitot for more information
  • Concert at Spotted Mallard (pub) 24 and 25 January – fundraiser
  • First Nations fundraiser – not sure of details
  • Vets for Climate Action grieving ceremony for animals killed in the bushfire – John Englart to keep us posted

Groups already active (get in touch if you want contact details for these groups):

Entry filed under: campaigns, meetings, news. Tags: , , , .

Bushfires a threshold event, a climate tipping point in real time says climate expert Premier Dan Andrews, time to declare an ecological and climate emergency

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