WATCHWORD – July 2014


Wanted: WATCH volunteers

From time to time WATCH needs volunteers for tasks like making banners, meeting with politicians, manning market stalls, speaking with the media or circulating petitions. These tasks tend to fall back on our hard-working but under-resourced committee. If you think you might be able to help, please get in touch with Lizette, specifying the sorts of tasks you could assist with. Contact: 02 60 59 4185. 

WATCH on Facebook

Check the WATCH Facebook page for up to date news links. Our number of “likes’ has been growing steadily so please have a look:

Repeal of carbon tax

Last week’s repeal of the carbon tax was deeply disappointing and a big backward step for Australia. Finally we had a scheme that was reducing greenhouse gas emissions and after a mere two years it got withdrawn. Polluters are free to pollute with impunity again. If you share our sense of shame at this myopic action by our government, please make your views known. Discuss it with friends, write to your local paper, share on social media and phone talk-back radio.

Tony Abbott battles the future by axing carbon tax
Read more:

Carbon tax repeal – Border Mail

Carbon tax axed: how it affects you, Australia and our emissions 

Australia’s “carbon tax” is being axed – so what does it mean for you and for Australia?

Renewable Energy Target RET

WATCH submission to the RET review 

WATCH lodged an online submission to the RET review which has now been posted on the RET website: The Australia Institute released a new report that shows just how critical it is for us to protect the Renewable Energy Target. Research conducted for the report found that the overwhelming majority of Australians want more renewables and 71% of us support the target. Get the full report here:

Online petition – protect the RET

The Renewable Energy Target needs your support – if you haven’t signed the petition to protect it then click here to add your name: Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Renewable Energy Target is the cause of soaring power prices…Is the PM telling Australians the truth? Check out The Australia Institute‘s video for the facts. #‎ProtectTheRET

 ‘Climate Change and the Community’ and ‘Living in Australia’s climate’

Tuesday 19th August, Albury Entertainment Centre

Please RSVP for both sessions


Your online directory listing groups and events for sustainable living in Albury-Wodonga, North 

East Victoria and Southern New South Wales.

From the Ecoportal working group – Karen Retra, Jenny Davies, Matthew Charles-Jones

Ecoportal users – your feedback sought

As Ecoportal is a volunteer-run website we’re keen to understand the needs and priorities of the site’s users and also ensure our energy is used as efficiently as possible.This short online survey aims to collect information about user and contributor perceptions of the Ecoportal website and investigate areas for potential improvement or expansion in the future. Access the survey at:  The survey will take most people less than 10 minutes to complete and responses can be anonymous.  Survey closes at 10pm on Wednesday 6th of August, so please consider adding your thoughts online now.

What’s on in July and August – check all events here:



National Tree Day – planting opportunities

Sunday 27th July

Friends of Willow Park Community Gardening

Baranduda Landcare Planet Ark 15th Annual Community Tree Planting Day

AlburyCity National Tree Day

Friends of Padman/Mates Park – Tree Planting Day

Planet Ark National Tree Day, Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainability BULS

Wangaratta National Tree Day

More planting in August

AlburyCity National Tree Day! 3rd August

Hume’s Annual Tree Planting Day, 3rd August

Albury Environmental Lands Community Planting Day17th August

Living Lightly 

Living Lightly articles have been published in Saturday’s Border Mail Pulse section for nearly four years. Karen Bowley has been doing a sterling job coordinating this task and needs your descriptions of how you think, observe and/or act sustainably in order to live lightly on our planet. If any of you or members of your networks can send in some contributions, please forward your 400 word article(s). All articles can also be accessed on the Ecoportal website:

Recent articles By Narelle Haw, Building Biologist and Feng Shui Practitioner By Alan Hewitt, Chiltern Landcare member By Alison Mitchell, Friends of Willow Park and Wodonga Urban Landcare Network By Karen Bowley and Natasha Stafford, Member of Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH) and Permaculturalist By Glenn Wilson, Tallangatta Valley

Community energy

Beechworth Montessori partners with CORENA

In another example of the rapid innovation in renewables, Beechworth Montessori is partnering with ‘CORENA’ to install a photovoltaic array using crowd sourced funds. More information available at:

Energy builds for Yackandandah renewables target

A small Bavarian village run entirely on renewable energy is proving an inspiration for the north-east Victorian town of Yackandandah. A great story:

Community Energy Congress

Australia’s first Community Energy Congress in Canberra last month was a huge success and several locals attended. Contact Matthew Charles-Jones for more details

Jonathon Porritt: Community energy is becoming a force for real change

New policy and developments in the cooperative energy space offer great potential for generating wealth:

Update on divestment

Divestment is the selling of an investment, such as the shedding of unethical investments. The World Council of Churches has agreed to divest.  Good news for the Great Barrier Reef as the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays UK have both revealed they won’t fund development of the mega coal mine and port at Abbot Point.  The British Medical Association has voted to divest from fossil fuels and instead invest in renewable energy:  Click here for a List of Fossil Free Banks. For more information visit

Australian banks face more pressure over support for coal projects
Read more:

The price of power

Solar energy shift leaves taxpayers with unwanted power assets

ABC Four Corners, 7th July, ‘Power to the people’

Solar experts say Australian renewable energy investment being stifled by Government policy

An excerpt from the excellent Four Corners documentary:

Letter in the Border Mail

Online petitions

Nestlé’s water privatisation push

Across the globe, Nestlé is pushing to privatise and control public water resources. Tell Nestlé to stop:

Greenpeace – act now to block the Carmichael coal mega-mine

Tell Environment Minister Hunt we don’t want the reckless expansion of new coal developments threatening our Great Barrier Reef:

Solar Citizens and Simply Energy

In early January, energy retailer Simply Energy introduced a 14c-a-day levy on Victorian solar users. Tell Victoria’s Premier Denis Napthine and Energy Minister Russell Northe to protect solar homes from unfair charges.

Environment Victoria – health of our rivers

report released by the Victorian Auditor-General shows that the government is not spending all the money collected through the environmental levy on our water bills on its legally mandated purpose – river restoration and sustainable water use. Let the Premier know you that you want your environmental contribution money spent on river health >

Our federal politicians in the news

Climate of the Nation 2014 Report 

Cathy McGowan launched the Climate of the Nation 2014 Report on Monday 23rd June in Canberra.  Here is a link to the Report:

Senator Janet Rice on her bike to new career

Here’s an excerpt from a Border Mail article: ‘Among the issues close to Janet’s heart is climate change and she wants the government to start taking action on global warming’ More here:

Happy Birthday!

To celebrate the two year anniversary of the carbon price, WATCH members presented a cake to Cathy McGowan in her Wodonga office and another to Ms Ley’s office as she was away on portfolio duties.  Here’s the link to all the photos including the deliveries to Sussan and Cathy:

Letter in the Border Mail 

Lauriston Muirhead wrote this letter to the BM after Sussan Ley’s comments on opening a new science centre at Trinity College:

Baranduda Landcare movie

Local filmmaker Andrew Pearce has completed a wonderful movie to celebrate 15 years of Planet Ark events by Baranduda Landcare which annually engages the community and 3 local schools in revegetation work amounting to over 50,000 indigenous trees shrubs and grasses.

Thanks again to everyone who provides content for this newsletter. Next one is due out on 20th August. Please send any items for inclusion by 18th August

Warm regards,

Jenny Davies

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