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Monday, 30 May 2011
Page: 5127


Ms BURKE (Chisholm) (10:33): Today I want to get up and say congratulations and thank you to the members of the Lighter Footprints group, a climate action group that has been operating around my electorate. They are actually based in Kooyong but since late 2006 many of the members of the group have come from the Chisholm electorate. This group has come together to focus their energies on action towards pending climate change. It is not a political group. It is a group of concerned citizens who have been seeing for years that climate change is real and that, without action, we will not be able to leave to our children a society and environment in which to live.

The Lighter Footprints webpage is very good, and I commend people to look at it to get some ideas about you as a local community getting together to do something about your own environment. On their opening page, they quote George Monbiot:

The real issues are not technical or economic. The crisis we face demands a profound philosophical discussion, a reappraisal of who we are and what progress means. Debating these matters makes us neither saints nor communists; it shows only that we have understood the science.

This is a group of individuals from around Surrey Hills, Canterbury and other local areas who have come together since 2006. They meet each month and they are very active in the local community. At every community event I go to—a fete or whatever—they have a stall. They are out there in the community and they are pushing this barrow as concerned citizens. They are not pushing a political agenda; they are doing this because they want to ensure an environment for their children and grandchildren to live in. On Saturday they took part in what is now known as the 100% Renewable campaign and they organised an enormous group of volunteers, who used my office as their focal point to meet at because my office has a rather large sign. So they all said, 'Meet at Anna Burke's office'. They spent most of Saturday doorknocking to be part of the 100% Renewable energy campaign. The aim is to take the time to have more than just a cursory glance at this issue, to try to have 20,000 conversations Australia-wide about the use of renewable energies.

If you go to the 100% Renewable website, it talks about how people and communities across Australia share a vision for a 100 per cent renewable future, an Australia powered entirely by clean renewable energy. In a country like Australia, where the sun beats down every day, where the wind always blows, where there are hot rocks under the ground creating heat and where waves on our long coastlines keep rolling, renewable energy just makes sense. So they were out there doorknocking on Saturday. It was not the best day in Melbourne; sadly in winter there are not too many best days in Melbourne. It was raining and it was inclement, but they all went out—a huge group of volunteers—of their own volition to doorknock houses. They went out to talk about climate change, not with hysteria and not to talk about the political aspects, but to say that we as individuals can take action, that we can take action now and that we need to ensure we have a future for our planet.