East Gippsland Climate Action Network formed

Following on from the very successful climate emergency lecture by Jane Morton (image above) the East Gippsland Climate Action Network (EGCAN) was formed on 23 April at a meeting held at the Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House. Despite being wedged between the Easter holidays and Anzac Day fourteen people attended the meeting and there were several apologies. The group now has an extended mailing list of over 50 people. Interestingly those in attendance were overwhelmingly female and the facilitators of the meeting Ro Gooch and former shire mayor Mendy Urie handled the meeting smoothly and efficiently.

The mission statement of the group was that they accepted the scientific consensus on human caused global warming and would act upon this information. To qualify as member of the group prospective members must accept this. For practical reasons rather than incorporate the group decided to operate under the auspices of the Gippsland Environment Group. A number of other in-house matters were discussed including where and when to meet. It was decided to meet monthly and the next meeting will be held in the Neighbourhood house on May 23.

Most of the evening was taken up with discussion about activities. A wide range of possible actions was put forward – many of them educational – including everything from a market stall upwards. It was decided to try to have a delegation of three meet with the local member. There was much discussion about the upcoming election and what could be done about it. I volunteered information on questioning of political candidates and pointed out that it was a matter of asking them to accept the group’s mission statement. The discussion was shared around the room and the group agreed that they would not align with any political party.

The possibility of candidate’s forums was also discussed. It was pointed out that the Bairnsdale Advertiser ran one of these at the last election and would possibly do so again.* Further discussion on actions will be continued at the next meeting. It was also noted that a Bass Coast Climate Action Network group had just formed in Wonthaggi and someone mentioned that there may be a similar group in Leongatha.

Anyone interested in joining the group should contact Ro Gooch ro.gooch@gmail.com

*May 14 Bairnsdale Sporting & Convention Centre at 7 pm.