Blog | 8th Jun, 2011

Thank you!

In the lead-up to World Environment Day on Sunday, 5 June, Environment Victoria volunteers doorknocked areas of the suburbs of Werribee and Moonee Ponds.

These volunteers were sharing a supportive message with householders, talking about the benefits of putting an effective price on pollution – one that replaces our dirtiest power stations with clean energy, and the necessity of saving the Murray-Darling river system with a robust Basin Plan that returns enough water to the environment.

Doorknocking is about getting out, having conversations and making personal connections with people.

One of our doorknockers reported that “It was good to chat with someone who wasn’t convinced and then get their signature!”

Others said that “It is worth it” and that “Perseverance pays off.”

The crucial factor with doorknocking is that direct community engagement through one-on-one community campaigning can start to shift the public in favour of important environmental issues.

We organised a doorknock because radio shock-jocks, irrigator lobby groups and big polluters have been telling some tall tales. They’ve been trying hard to convince our political leaders that Australians just don’t care about our environment.

We know that’s just not true. So a week out from World Environment Day, we went door to door to spread the message.

This year, the Gillard Government faces two key environmental tests – to save the Murray-Darling forever and to put a price on pollution. Important decisions about both these environmental issues will be made this year – and sooner, rather than later.

On a brisk Sunday morning, we set out in pairs to go door-to-door, sharing our message of support for a strong price on pollution and a decent Basin Plan.

We were heartened by the response to our Doorknock, with 67 percent of all householders who answered their doors signing our petition in Werribee, and 80 percent doing so in Moonee Ponds. Clearly, there’re good levels of community support for both a price on pollution and important national water reform to save the Murray-Darling.

And doorknocking didn’t turn out to be as hard or scary as some people first thought, with our doorknockers commenting that “People are on the whole respectful and friendly” and “Great experience. Most people were very positive and happy to sign.”

Whilst out on Sunday, volunteer doorknocker Lance told householders that “The health of the Murray is an important issue to me. I’m doorknocking today because I know there are countless other Victorians who also want at least 4,000 billion litres of water returned to our environment.”

Volunteer Laura commented that “Those who signed our petition were very happy that something was being done to support action on these two important issues.”

Environment Victoria regular volunteer Catherine Ryan is a Werribee local, and was featured in a local newspaper article about our doorknock.

Catherine said that “People are being bombarded by a fear campaign in the media over the proposed price on pollution, so doorknocking is a good way to speak to people one-on-one and let them know the real story”.

Other highlights from the day include:

  • “Interesting to doorknock in the morning – an amazing number of people were in the shower after 11am!”
  • “There were lots of rich people complaining about the cost of living – ha!”
  • “Very well organised.”
  • “Friendly older residents loved to talk and have the opportunity to have a say.”

If you’re keen to find out more about doorknocking, check out the short videos and testimonials about doorknocking here

And most importantly, a hearty thank-you to all the Environment Volunteers who helped organise the event, and to all those Doorknockers who spent a few hours of their Sunday talking with folks in Werribee and Moonee Ponds – you all helped to make our World Environment Day Doorknock a success!