How ordinary citizens can change the world

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A powerful clean energy victory took place in Victoria on 30 August 2016: In a national first, the Andrews Labor Government announced a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas.

Three years ago, it seemed like an impossible task to be demanding a permanent ban on fracking in a state where the political influence of the gas industry was notorious and the underground reportedly was rich on gas recourses just waiting for the industry to come and frack-extract and export it with prospects of billion dollar profits.

How would scattered activists drumming together 60-100 like-minded concerned citizens in local meeting halls ever be able to stop this economically tempting but environmentally toxic fossil fuel adventure, when the exploration licences had already been granted? As it turned out, it became possible simply because these few ordinary people got themselves organised. And stayed organised.

The gas ban which was announced in Melbourne this week is the result of a tireless effort of hundreds of anti-fracking activists working with determination and as a team, year after year, across the state, in particular coordinated by Friends of the Earth Melbourne and the Lock the Gate movement. In The Sustainable Hour on 31 August 2016 we talk with one of our local ‘team leaders’ in the Geelong region, Alison Marchant from Frack Free Moriac, about the the long road of campaigning that eventually lead to this fantastic, clearcut victory.

We also interview Tony Overman, Strategy and Sustainability Coordinator at Barwon Water, about the current situation with our drinking water and the possibilities of increasing our use of recycled water. And Steven Hjerrild from Deakin University brings a group of his sustainability- and media focused students to join us in the studio.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 137 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


Noonan - Marchant
Resource minister Wade Noonan and Alison Marchant www.twitter.com

Audio excerpt: Interview with Alison Marchant

11 minute live phone interview with Alison Marchant, Frack Free Moriac, about the new permanent fracking ban in Victoria

“What a day! Victoria is now frack free! It has been a long 3 & a bit years. At the start when we learnt about fracking, we discussed moving. But decided to stay and fight. Sometimes it felt like the world was against us. Sleepless nights and a few tears. But my faith has been restored today. Community banded together and our ripple turned into a wave. Then it was up to convincing the right decision makers. Some more receptive than others. Some listened and some pretended to listen. These MP’s made a stand. They didn’t sit on the barb wire fence.

@DanielAndrewsMP Shaun Leane Lily D’Ambrosio @JaalaPulford @harrietshing @wadenoonan

In addition I haven’t done this alone, family and friends (new and old) have supported me all the way. Damien Marchant speech writer Nomore Coalorgas my partner in crime. Cam Walker ninja! Kristin Morris cheerleader and now tweeter! Sammi Penning and Ian my go-to rocks! And all gasfield free community go-getters. Ursula G Alquier gippsland warrior.

I may be a bit philosophical tonight, but today was momentous. I can now tell the kids, I gave it all, stay and fight for what is right. #vicgasban
Alison Marchant




Read more:

» Frack Free Geelong – 30 August 2016:
Permanent ban on fracking in Victoria







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 ADDITIONAL: 

In other news

News stories, notes and coming events we thought you should also know about




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Film screening: Inhabit – a Permaculture Perspective
PERMACULTURE FILM on Thursday 15 September at 5.30 pm for 6pm screening of “Inhabit – a Permaculture Perspective” at Beav’s Bar – Free (drinks at bar prices), all welcome

“Come and meet other friendly like-minded people and see a great film. There’ll be time to mingle after; then it’s likely that some will go over the road for dinner – again, all are welcome !”

“Inhabit is a feature length documentary introducing permaculture: a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, and on.

The film presents a vast array of projects, concepts, and people, and it translates the diversity of permaculture into something that can be understood by an equally diverse audience. For those familiar, it will be a call to action and a glimpse into what’s possible – what kind of projects and solutions are already underway.

For those unfamiliar, it will be an introduction to a new way of being and a new way of relating to the Earth. For everyone, it will be a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces.”



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https://www.facebook.com/events/632679320242951/



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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer