2024 is certainly looking very busy thus far. We are starting to see some ‘green shoots’, with the Federal government announcements on renewable energy roll out and adaptation. However, action on mitigation is much slower, particularly around Scope 3* issues and the opening of new fossil fuel mines. Given that 2023 was the hottest year on record across the globe, and Western Australia in particular experienced extreme heatwave conditions, unprecedented storms and record-breaking temperatures, we need to redouble our efforts. Our very busy committee continues to meet with politicians and local councillors, attend briefings and training to stay up to date with climate change issues, and start to prepare for national climate campaigns for the Federal and State government elections coming up in 2025.

Kicking off the year

  • Strategic planning: PHCCIG conducted a review of the strategic planning document in January, setting new goals and planning future actions.
  • IT systems are in the process of being revamped by committee member Finn, to make communication and access to information easier. He has updated the website and introduced us to the Discord platform, with great improvements and streamlining of our workloads.
  • Karen Beale (Councillor for Mundaring Shire) donated a gazebo to PHCCIG, which is a great addition to our equipment used for market stalls etc.

Meetings with politicians and others:

  • Lynda met with Steve Gates (President, Nature Reserves Preservation Group, Kalamunda) in February, to discuss how smaller organisations can support each other. We committed to stay in touch, share information where appropriate, and work together.
  • Meeting with Barry and Sophia from Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) Denise, Lynda and Finn attended. Barrie and Sophia were in Perth to meet local climate groups and to discuss national campaign strategies.
  • Meet and greet with Mundaring Shire Councillors – Prapti (a newly elected Councillor) and Karen (an existing Councillor) met with Lynda, Basil and Denise – to discuss climate change issues. The Climate Adaptation Plan 2012 and the Emissions Reduction Strategy 2018 for Mundaring were woefully out of date, and we requested they be reviewed and stronger action taken on an array of climate issues.
  • Meeting with Kathy Ritchie, Kalamunda City Councillor – Tanya and Lynda attended a very productive and encouraging meeting with Kathy on 18 March to discuss the revoked Tree Canopy Preservation Policy and implications for the City’s Climate Change Action Plan.
  • Meeting with Briony Moran, Coordinator Environment and Sustainability, Mundaring Shire Council – Denise, Ailsa and Lynda met with Briony to congratulate her on the Emissions Reduction Strategy Review 2024, which was passed at a Council meeting on 9 April 2024. It was particularly encouraging that the emission reduction target had been increased from 30% to 70% and did not include any offsets. We discussed a range of climate and environment issues that the Shire plans to implement, and which our committee wholeheartedly agree with.

Community engagement:

  • PHCCIG Market stall: Denise is organizing a market stall at the farmers Market in Mundaring on 20 April 2024. The focus will be climate change, State and Federal elections in 2025, and recruiting new members.

Training and briefings:

  • Denise and Lynda attended the Feeling the Heat: Stories and Strategies for Western Australia’s Rising Temperatures – run by WACOSS/CCWA at UWA in February. This was an extremely interesting event, highlighting the dangers of extreme heat to people and the environment and how it could be mitigated and how we all need to adapt.
  • Denise and Lynda attended a Zoom meeting with Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) regarding Federal Nature Laws. This was an update on negotiations with the Federal government and 8 priorities were reviewed.
  • ACF Zoom event snap briefing: Lynda attendedHow to shake up a fossil fuel boardroom”.

Papers, submissions, media and letters:

  • Media Statement – Community Climate Experts Urgent Call – regarding WA’s Climate Change Bill. PHCCIG offered support, with Ailsa putting an article into the Echo newspaper. The next step was a letter to all Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) with questions about the Bill for them to consider, and to ask them about the same issues raised in the Echo news article.
  • National election survey conducted by CANA – we responded to the survey as a group to join the national action and planning for the next Federal election in 2025.
  • Call to action from CFA – open letter calling on super funds to stop supporting polluting fossil fuel companies such as Woodside, Santos etc.
  • Tanya sent a letter to the Kalamunda City Council regarding the tree canopy policy, with a request to meet with Councillor Kathy Ritchie (the latter was fulfilled, see above).
  • Proposed changes to the State Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) a letter was sent to Premier Cook and to Minister Whitby expressing strong opposition to the WA government’s proposed changes to the EPA. Together with groups across WA, PHCCIG called on the government to reject changes that undermine our EPA, and instead to strengthen our environmental protection laws. 
  • Anjali Sharma – Australian story – posted on social media.
  • New nature positive laws survey submitted – assisted by ACF talking points.
  • National Adaptation Plan – call for submissions by the Federal government. Basil wrote a submission responding to consultation questions and further called on the government to reduce emissions at source as a mitigation strategy.

*Scope 3 means all the emissions associated, not with the country/organisation itself, but that they are indirectly responsible for, up and down their value chain. For example, emissions from importing products from suppliers, and from products when customers use them. Emissions-wise, Scope 3 is nearly always the big one.

Lynda – Chair