Yellow Box Dispatch April 2017

Welcome to the Yellow Box Dispatch for the crowded month of April.

We might see some of you at the National Folk Festival if you come by our stall.

The Conservation Council Environment Exchange series is proving popular the year. The next event is the day after Easter and it will be a very interesting discussion on how the Canberra community might be engaged for the ACT to get to zero net greenhouse emissions as soon as possible. Register now.

We need to keep reminding you of our big fundraising event in the World Environment Day dinner to be held Saturday 3 June 2017 at the National Arboretum Canberra. Bookings are now available. Be an early bird and save $36 off full price! This is our big fundraiser for the year and it helps us to be a voice for the environment in the ACT and region!

We also have some updates and news of events in the region.

In this Yellow Box Dispatch (click to follow links):

Please forward this Yellow Box Dispatch to others who might be interested.


Larry O’Loughlin
Executive Director, Conservation Council ACT Region

NFF 13-17 April 2017Stall at National Folk Festival

The Conservation Council with and others will have a stall at the National Folk Festival over the Easter weekend 13-17 April.

We will be located at Stall 85 next to Central Park close to the Flute & Fiddle.

Come and visit the volunteers staffing the stall and look at the range of campaigns and material available.

If we’re really busy you might be able to help assist visitors or if we’re not busy you can make us look popular by milling about and looking interested. members will be happy to talk about various activities and you can leave messages for member groups and sign up for more information.

We will be in the fourth or fifth marquee on the left if you go straight after coming through the Flemington Road entrance. We’d be happy to see you even if you don’t go straight.

Thanks to Annie Close for coordinating the volunteers and for the work in setup and design and for producing goods with the Knitting Nannas.


Climate Change Action: getting to zero net emissions

The Environment Exchange on 18 April will be a panel looking at what we need to do to plan to achieve the target of zero net emissions by 2050 at the latest.

In order to keep up with what science is telling us about climate change and to maintain our leadership role we should look at whether we can achieve an earlier zero net emissions target than 2050.

We also need to make sure our pathway to zero net emissions is fair, equitable, socially just, economically viable and does not displace our emissions into other jurisdictions. So the key question is how and what do we need to do to get to zero net emissions as soon as possible?

Speakers are Alex White, Secretary, UnionsACT; Robyn Hendry, CEO, Canberra Business Chamber; Susan Helyar, Director, ACT Council of Social Service; Larry O’Loughlin, Executive Director, Conservation Council ACT Region

Then questions from and discussion with the audience.

We look forward to seeing you there! Register now.

Check out the rest of our Environment Exchange series here.


World Environment Day Dinner

Join us for the Conservation Council annual dinner on Saturday 3 June at the National Arboretum where Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering will cook up a treat using local, seasonal produce. A three course meal plus champagne and canapes to start and your ticket includes wine.

Our MC is Lish Fejer who is entertaining, energetic and environmental all in one.

This is our major fundraising event for the year and we welcome people to attend and also to donate prizes for raffles and auctions.

Book your early bird ticket now for just $99 before 28 April then tickets will be $135. Please promote to your networks and host a table of ten.


Are you loansome tonight?

The Conservation Council has an arrangement with Bank Australia that can really help our finances with win-win-win all over the place including for you!

The Bank Australia ‘affinity program’ means that when people nominate the Conservation Council as they take out or transfer a loan to Bank Australia the Conservation Council ACT receives one-off payment of 0.40% of loan value.

Bank Australia started as a credit union, is member-owned, and doesn’t and won’t finance fossil fuel projects. They are good matches of values!

The loans you have with Bank Australia can be for all sorts of things, even investments (but not for fossil fuels). If you have an existing loan they will help you with the transfer and their loan rates are close to the best if not THE best rates available (currently 3.86%).

We know switching home loans isn’t the kind of thing that gets most people excited, but when it can safeguard the climate, and save you money, it’s a big deal!

We really encourage you to join us in switching your home loan to Bank Australia. Please contact Belinda on 02 6229 3200 if you have any queries about the process. Don’t send us to Heartbreak Hotel.


Ginninderry Development (aka Riverview)

The Ginninderry Development is a joint venture by the ACT Government and Riverview Developments with a total area over 1600 hectares traversing the ACT – NSW border. About 800 hectares is currently proposed as a conservation corridor and in 30-40 years the area is expected to house about 30,000 residents on completion with about 6,500 residences in the ACT and 5,000 in NSW (subject to rezoning approval).

Rezoning proposal for NSW parts now expected to go to Yass Valley Council for decision perhaps end April 2017. There remain some unresolved issues with regard to achieving protection of natural and aesthetic values particularly around the Ginninderra Falls area. The size and design of the conservation area needs to take account of a range of species so that there is no net loss of biodiversity.

Launch of project sales commenced 8 April. The first stage has mandatory energy systems which add a minimum of about $5000 per residence with expected annual savings of $1500 in energy costs. The Conservation Council expects to liaise with Energy Consumer Ambassador on this matter.

First stage of development is expected to gain exemption from need to install a gas network. Gas infrastructure is currently a mandatory requirement for estate development plans. The exemption for Ginninderry might provide an opportunity for a campaign for removal from the Territory Plan of the requirement to install gas for all developments.

Tracking of the Little Eagle has revealed information about the species which warrants further research and the developer is proposing further investment on this matter.


Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) small grants scheme

CANA’s long-awaited small grants scheme is now open for applications.

All the details are here:

Grants of around $5000 will be available to people and organisations that are: engaging different voices in the climate and energy debate, helping the community to understand the energy transformation, or supporting communities to advocate for the transformation in their community.

The first round of applications closes on Sunday 21 May 2017.

Learn more and download the application form at


ACT Government ‘Blueprint’ to get to zero net emissions

The second climate change Community and Stakeholder Roundtable will be held 1 May 2017 to guide the development of a Blueprint for a zero emissions Territory – ACT’s climate strategy to 2050.

The roundtable is described as “an opportunity for conversations on reducing emissions, building community resilience to climate change impacts, and how we can encourage community-led solutions in the journey to zero emissions”. The roundtable will be divided into two sessions – a morning session focused on reducing emissions and building resilience and an afternoon session focused on community participation and encouraging behaviour change.


Friends of Grasslands: Small project grants 2017

Starting in 2017, Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is offering a small number of grants of $500–$1500 each to promote investment in our understanding and management of grassy ecosystems.

A grant might enable the recipient to undertake a small project or add to a bigger project. Projects might include publications, research, education, on-ground work, advocacy, publicity and training. Projects which leverage additional resources will also be favoured.

FOG will publicise the projects it funds, and may offer practical in-kind support.

The recipient will need to keep FOG informed of progress, such as by writing about it for the FOG newsletter, giving talks to FOG, leading FOG visits to your sites, etc.

To apply for a grant, and keep paperwork to a minimum, please send FOG a short written application explaining the nature of your proposed project. We recommend that you contact the sub-committee (via email to [email protected]) to ensure your idea fits with FOG’s objectives before you start your application. You don’t have to be a FOG member to apply.

Closing date for the initial round of grants is 30 April 2017.


National Park Feasibility Reference Group

Notes from the first meeting of the National Park Feasibility Reference Group have been circulated along with an agenda for a second meeting to be held 5 April to consider further information. The second meeting will be asked whether the group is ready to advise the Minister on next steps.

There are ongoing discussions between stakeholders and we will report back on outcomes of the meeting. A key outcome of discussions so far has been the revelation that there are valuable areas that could come under clearer and better management.


Events and activities

Environment Exchange 2017

Environment Exchange events are held monthly to provide for informed, in-depth discussions on environmental issues in the region. Member groups are encouraged to attend and to publicise the events to their members and supporters.

The Conservation Council ‘Environment Exchange’ series is held at the Renewable Energy Hub, 19-23 Moore Street, Turner (just off Barry Drive).

All events are scheduled from 12-2pm starting with a light lunch (donations welcome). We have moved the events to Tuesdays rather than Thursdays and have adjusted for public holidays.

Events are (click to book):

Please forward this to people who might be interested in attending and encourage them to book online to reduce food wastage and stress.


March for Science 11am Saturday 22 April Federation Mall 

What: Join the world-wide campaign to support science and its vital role in public policy, by coming to the March for Science in Canberra. A rally is an important outlet to express our opinions and coming together breaks down the invisible walls institutional life creates and it gives visibility to the public support for science.

With the attacks on science in Australia, epitomized by the destructive cuts to CSIRO, we need to show the government that we support the role of science and scientists in our community.

The impetus for the worldwide marches has been the blatant attacks on Science by US President Trump, as well as the attacks here in Australia. In the US, the March for Science is scheduled to take place in Washington DC on 22 April, with satellite marches set for more than 427 other cities around the globe for all those who are interested in science “to support and safeguard the scientific community”.

Speakers: Prof Will Steffen, Dr Emily Banks, Karli Noon and Geoff McNamara.

Who: There will be a contingent of Friends of CSIRO marching with a Friends of CSIRO banner. A clause of Friends of CSIRO’s Charter is to Promote an understanding of science and the value of science to the community, and this march is very timely to do that.

More info: See more and register that you are going, at:

Info on other marches around Australia Please help spread the word to friends around Australia.

Social media and


Radio Landcare

For an update on local landcare listen to Radio Landcare: 2XX FM 98.3 Tues 9 – 10am

Vote for your favourite volunteers

The voting poll for Canberra’s Choice Award is now open!

We invite you to vote for your favourite volunteer or team of volunteers by clicking HERE.

For more info email [email protected]

Heritage Festival 18 April – 7 May

Here’s just a few events from the 2017 Heritage Festival program:

Lake Burley Griffin Heritage Walks (All walks commence at 9:30am)

Heritage trees and landscapes around Yarralumla

  • April 23 (Sunday) 9:30am to 11:30am
    Meet at carpark near mini railway, Weston Park
    Enquiries: 6251 4468 (Friends of ACT Trees) – No booking required

Forest heritage at Yarralumla

  • April 30 (Sunday) 1:30pm to 5:30pm
    Gold Coin Donation
    You are invited to attend the launch of interpretive signage to highlight the heritage values of the Yarralumla Forestry Precinct in front of the former Australian Forestry School (end of Schlich Street). A guided walk through Westbourne Woods and refreshments at the nearby oval will follow the formalities.
    Enquiries: 02 6153 3044 [email protected] Institute of Foresters of Australia


Important dates

These are important 2017 Conservation Council dates:

  • Saturday 3 June 7pm — World Environment Day Dinner
  • Friday 21-Saturday 22 July — Bushfire Management: Balancing the Risk — a symposium with the National Parks Association ACT, Conservation Council ACT Region, Parks and Conservation Service and Emergency Services Agency. You can obtain more information or just go straight to bookings which are available now.


Our Future History – Community Pathways to a Future We Want

Help Us Create a Desirable and Regenerative Canberra

Event Two:

When: Wednesday 19th April, 6:30pm

Where: Tuggeranong Community Centre, 245 Cowlishaw Street, Greenway.

Register here. Facebook event here.

What: To grow our community, please encourage others in your networks to come along!

Our event in Turner was a great success, and now we are very excited about our Tuggeranong event next week. We are aiming to build a future history of Canberra through the eyes of the community and we need your support.

As a community, we don’t currently have a shared vision, so we need to start a discourse about where we want to go as a society, then create the kind of world that we really want, together.

Creating a shared vision for Canberra is a critical task facing our community. We have the ability to transition to focusing on quality of life for all, solidarity, and ecocentrism in our economy, democracy, environment, community and education. But what does that look like? Come and help us find out!

Plus, there will be a special video message from Transition Towns founder, Rob Hopkins!

Who: Canberra Transition Town Secretariat, Karen (Communities at Work), Ryan (Canberra Environment Centre), Larry (Conservation Council), and Liam (SEE-Change)