WATCHWORD – August 2014


Renewable Energy Target RET

Solar Citizens – Cuppa Sunshine Week, 18- 24 August

There is concern that the RET will be watered down or removed altogether. However if there is sufficient pressure from community and business to retain it then this might influence the decision.  Cuppa Sunshine is a week-long Solar Citizens national event. It’s our chance to make sure balance of power senators commit to protecting the Renewable Energy Target. Your heartfelt, handwritten letters will make all the difference, because when a politician receives a personal letter someone has taken the time to write, they understand there are many other people out there who feel the same way.  So make your pledge and we’ll send you a link so you can download materials to make writing the letter straightforward:

Tony Abbott still determined to kill renewable energy target

CSG update in Corowa

At the Corowa Shire Council meeting on Tuesday 15 July, a moratorium was placed on Coal Seam Gas exploration on all lands under the care and/or control of Corowa Shire Council. Here are links to articles in the Border Mail:

Coal Seam gas public forum, Thursday 28th August, 6pm

This will be held on Thursday 28th August at the Corowa Golf Club commencing at 6 pm with hot food in the auditorium.  Contact Delwyn Clifton for details

Fossil fuels – update on divestment

We must bank on clean energy

Read Lizette Salmon’s letter in the Border Mail:

Divestment Day, 18th October

If you bank with the big four and don’t want your money being used to invest in fossil fuels, join Divestment Day on Saturday 18 October. Click here to register today! Click here for a List of Fossil Free Banks. For more information visit

Environment Minister Ticks Off On One Of World’s Largest Coal Mines

Living Lightly 

Living Lightly articles have been published in Saturday’s Border Mail Pulse section for almost four years. This popular column is in need of brief accounts of how you act sustainably in order to live lightly on our planet. If any of you or members of your networks are able to send in some contributions, please forward your 400 word article(s) to Karen Bowley All previous articles can also be accessed on the Ecoportal website:

Recent articles By Christine Holmes, Benalla Food Co-op Coordinator By Dave Cromarty, retired forester and Landcare facilitator  By Lauren Salathiel, Totally Renewable Yackandandah By Karen Bowley, Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH) and Wooragee Landcare


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

East Victoria and Southern New South Wales.

Thank you to all who have completed our 10-minute online survey to help inform our planning for potential improvements to the Ecoportal website. Karen Retra, Jenny Davies, Matthew Charles-Jones

What’s on in August and September- check all events here:



Congratulations to the Albury-Wodonga Field Naturalists for posting their events into 2015! Next outing is Sunday 24th August

Selected events

Benalla Sustainable Future Group AGM, Thursday 22nd August, 7.30pm

Guest Speaker Carol Hall – “What Price An Ice Free Arctic?”

Sustainable House Day – Wangaratta, Sunday 7th September

Six venues will be open. Locations are diverse and will include Beechworth, Bobinawarrah, Wangaratta and Glenrowan.

Greens benefit concert, Sunday 24 August, The Vine Hotel, Wangaratta

Enjoy The Recycled String Band and Peter Klein and Friends, $15 per ticket.  Tickets can be purchased online at:

News from Parklands Albury Wodonga

New Wodonga Rail Trail – Public meeting, Quest Wodonga, 27th August, 6pm-8pm

Parklands Albury Wodonga  is establishing a rail trail along the disused railway corridor from Harris Rd (off the Lincoln Causeway, Gateway Island) through central Wodonga to Whytes Rd near Wodonga saleyards, Bandiana. Come share your ideas, concerns and suggestions for the new Wodonga trail:

Photography Exhibition, October 23 – November 9th

Parklands Albury Wodonga is inviting local photography enthusiasts to submit photographs that showcase and celebrate the natural beauty of our local environment within 50kms of Albury Wodonga.  Photographers are encouraged to register early as places will be limited at this inaugural photography exhibition. See for more details.

Green Army

Parklands Albury-Wodonga will host a Green Army crew in 2014/15. If you are aged 17-24 and would like to register your interest in being part of the Green Army project, visit the Conservation Volunteers Australia website:

Local community gardens

All’s green and healthy in the garden

Five years of hard work is bearing fruit at a Thurgoona vegetable patch. And as members of the Hume Murray Community Gardening Collective found at the Kerr Sustainability Centre it’s all about fresh produce.

Kerr Sustainability Centre

The Kerr Sustainability Centre, based at Charles Sturt University Thurgoona, provides a space where community members and students can share skills and knowledge on environmental, social and economic sustainability:

Hume Murray Community Gardening Collective (HMCGC)

The HMCGC is a group that meets on a bi-monthly basis to network and share information and skills around everything to do with community gardens. The group is facilitated by Gateway Health in partnership with Healthy Together Wodonga. Details here:

Birallee Park Neighbourhood House

Birallee was successful in obtaining a grant through the Healthy Together Wodonga Innovations Grant program to construct 14 additional garden beds for the community to grow fresh produce. Contact Sue Slater for details or check the Facebook page:

Yack Community Garden blog

Check the blog for the Event Calendar and also the Gardening Calendar which is specific to North East Victoria and gives a list of what can be done in a garden during the year:

New market in Wodonga – expressions of interest

Meeting Place Markets, The Cube, Wodonga

Expressions of interest for stall holders are being sought for the new Meeting Place Markets in the Courtyard at the Cube in Wodonga.  Starting 5th October, the Markets will run on Sundays, fortnightly from 9am to 2pm. Contact Nicole Stephens for details.

Australasian Permaculture Convergence 2015

Registration for the 12th Australasian Permaculture Convergence (APC12) is now open. Please forward to your networks and hope to see you in beautiful NW Tasmania in March next year:

Clean energy 

Green Electricity Guide

This guide is just great! See how your retailer shapes up:


Since its launch in early 2012, RenewEconomy has quickly emerged as Australia’s best informed and most read web-site focusing on clean energy news and analysis, as well as climate policy. RenewEconomy produces a free daily newsletter so please sign up to receive it here.

Lord Howe Island Aims For 70% Renewables & Storage


Victorian Womens Trust’s Monster Climate Petition 

Signatures will be collected throughout August, September and October until just before the G20 meeting in Brisbane in mid-November and the petition will be publicised at that event. It will then be presented to Parliament in the last two sitting weeks of 2014. Petitions to the House or Representatives require original pen and ink signatures. So please visit the website, download the petition form, gather signatures and send the forms to the Victorian Women’s Trust. Here is the link to the website:

Environment Victoria

The Napthine Government is moving to scrap the Victoria Energy Efficiency Target (the VEET), despite their own modelling telling them that it’s working. Send a message asking Premier Napthine not to scrap the VEET:

Recent articles

Fact check: How Maurice Newman misrepresents science to claim future global cooling

Fact check: Rupert Murdoch misleading on North and South Poles

Emma Thompson visits Arctic to send Tony Abbott a climate change message

Good news stories – and don’t we need them!

Rutherglen bird project

A group of nursing home residents will have their eyes on the sky as they take part in the Rutherglen Bird Project.

Victoria zoos train Maremma bodyguards in bid to save bandicoots

Maremma dogs have protected a colony of little penguins and conservationists hope their next mission will be as successful

Solar microgrid in India

Amazing!  Greenpeace India‘s latest initiative is bringing clean and renewable electricity to the area for the first time in three decades. Learn more about this people powered, community driven project here:

Thanks again to everyone who provides content for this newsletter. Next one is due out on 24th September. Please send any items for inclusion by 22nd September to Jenny Davies.

WATCH on Facebook

Check the WATCH Facebook page for up to date news links.

Warm regards,

Jenny Davies

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