Dear members, friends and supporters,
Trying to mix in some good news stories for you even though it’s difficult to avoid talking about the challenges our world is facing. Either way, you can always find something to brighten up your day. Surround yourself with positive people, like EcoNetwork members, and if you’re not a member, why not? Here are some good reasons why you should join us.
Cartoonists often give me a laugh even on the most depressing of subjects.
Please let me know what you’d like to read about in EcoUpdate. I am looking at starting a book review section – so do let me know if you’d like to contribute.
Get Involved: Embracing change
Sadly, this is 2022’s last instalment of Get Involved from Dr Alison Rogers – and appropriately, the theme is Embracing Change! What has she got in store for us next year?
Many people fear or hate change – yet as an inevitable part of life, often changes are worthwhile and essential.
PS Spoiler Alert: the first topic Alison writes about as we start a New Year is ‘Enjoying the journey!’
It’s dire, it’s not hopeless. The atmosphere doesn’t have or care about borders. Satellites don’t have political opinions. If we are going to get anywhere, we need to recognise that we are global citizens. Can COP27 help drive that home?
Sustainability consultant, Rob McCann, shares his thoughts on global warnings, whether COP27 is important and what it all means for you as a resident of this planet.
Four Port Stephens marine species listed in Action Plan
EcoNetwork’s President and marine scientist, Iain Watt, gives us the lowdown on the recent Federal Government’s ‘Threatened Species Action Plan: Towards Zero Extinctions 2022-2032’.
Iain describes the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park as having the ‘rather ignominious honour’ of hosting 4 of a total of 8 marine species on the priority list. But does the new Action Plan introduce any new obligations on individuals, organisations or governments?
Brandy Hill Battery Storage Project
Brandy Hill has been recognised by Renewable Energy Systems as an ideal project site for their latest battery energy storage system.
Brian Tehan from Renew Australia and EcoNetwork, shares his expertise in renewable energy, describing the proposal for a 250 MW with up to 1000 MWh of storage and why this could be good news for Port Stephens.
An alliance for threatened species in a warming world
As climatic conditions change, many populations of native species will depend on their ability to colonise newly-suitable habitat. The Barrington to Hawkesbury region and its protected areas network needs to accommodate the most vulnerable species under the worst-case climate scenario.
Coordinator of the Hunter Community Environment Centre, Jo Lynch, leads a coalition of groups including EcoNetwork and has written this special letter to our members and friends to ask for your support.
Our Local Shorebird Program
Paint and learn about our incredible local shorebirds with Hunter Landcare.
Shorebird Exhibition Tomaree Library: 4 – 31 January 2023.
Kids’ Storytime & Art sessions: Raymond Terrace Library at 10.30am Monday 16 January and Tomaree Library at 10.30am Wednesday 18 January. Most suitable for 6 to 13 year olds.
Tomaree Headland – what’s at the end of the road? Update November 2022
At long last the NSW Government is taking action to determine the future of the Tomaree Lodge site located at 4 Shoal Bay Road and has opened a community consultation process which runs until Friday 6 January 2023.
Nigel Dique from the Shoal Bay Community Association and EcoNetwork explains the background to this hot topic and outlines some of the proposals from the Tomaree Heritage Headland Group which might assist some readers with their submissions.
- 11 – 20 November 2022. FrogID Week. Take part in Australia’s biggest frog count! Recording frog calls with the FrogID app will help provide our scientists with valuable data for the protection and conservation of frogs. Download the app here.
- Saturday 26 November, Newcastle. Electric vehicle drive and information day.
- 5 – 8 December 2022. Webinar series: Sustainable Renters Week. Do you live in a rental property and want to live more sustainably? Learn how to make easy improvements to your home that will improve comfort and energy efficiency, as well as encourage your landlord to access rebates for more permanent improvements. We’ll also shine a light on the reality of Australia’s rental properties that are often freezing in winter and sweltering in summer, and advocating for an uplift in energy standards.
- 19 November – 5 February 2023. Australian Geographic: Our Country. Celebrate the beating heart of Australia at an intoxicating new immersive experience. Through highly crafted cinematography, large format screens and powerful 360 soundscape, this sensory experience shares the most intimate and epic treatment of Country to date. Hall 7, ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre. Tickets on sale now.
- 4 – 31 January 2023. Shorebird Exhibition Tomaree Library. Organised by Hunter Region Landcare Network.
Mostly Good News:
Sustainability continues to hit the headlines in Port Stephens and the Hunter!
- Huge congratulations to Resourceful Living who have won another business award – the Hunter Manufacturing Awards for Outstanding Start-Up. An affiliate of EcoNetwork, we were thrilled when owner Jess Hodge attended our Sustainable Futures Festival both as a speaker and a stallholder. Resourceful Living is a prime example of how a circular economy operates, reusing plastic waste to make furniture and other items. In just their first year, they recycled 10 tonnes of plastic waste. They have special Christmas decorations and gifts on sale now.
- More sustainability accolades to St Brigid’s Primary School in Raymond Terrace who have been rewarded for their program to reduce waste and create wildlife habitat on their school grounds. They have been named the Young Climate Champions in the 2022 NSW Sustainability Awards. Read More.
- Join the Great Plastic Rescue: The Great Plastic Rescue is on a bold circular mission to rescue and recycle 100,000kg single-use plastics destined for the dump as a result of government plastic bans. Donate unused banned plastic today.
- While Australians are keen to recycle their plastic, figures show the current system is not working.
- What does Australia need to bring to Egypt for COP27?
- When you’re travelling, you can save wildlife with your phone – download the Wildlife Rescue App. The IFAW Wildlife Rescue App identifies the closest licensed wildlife rescue group to where your phone is situated and, at the touch of a button, you will be connected to someone for assistance if you have found a sick, injured or orphaned animal.
- ‘Virtual’ fence erected to protect native wildlife from traffic on NSW South Coast.
- EcoNetwork’s special interest group, Koala Koalition, has submitted an objection against the Martins Creek quarry development. There are currently 234 objections, and 342 supporting, 1 neutral. The deadline for submissions has been extended to 5pm Tuesday 22 November 2022.
- ‘Humanity’s Moment: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope’ by Joëlle Gergis. Author Sarah Wilson says ‘I’ve been waiting for an IPCC scientist to write this book. Where does someone charged with delivering the globe the stark existential truths find their hope; how do they navigate a path forward? How wonderful that Joëlle, a nature lover with a poet’s sensibility, has been the one to do it.’ This essay based on the book was published in the Conversation: ‘I feel my heart breaking today’ – a climate scientist’s path through grief towards hope.‘ If anyone has read this inspiring book or would like to, please consider writing a book review to publish in next year’s EcoUpdate. Please contact Ewa, EcoUpdate Editor.
EcoNetwork Port Stephens
Our Vision: Ecologically sustainable communities existing in harmony with the natural environment.
Our Purpose: To support our members and to educate and advocate on environmental issues that impact Port Stephens communities.