Blog | 11th May, 2022

Hundreds of Victorians hit the streets with a message for our next government

With just weeks to go until the federal election, communities across Victoria took their calls for climate action straight to local candidates.

In the first week of May, communities around Victoria hosted eight big events – rallies, marches and even a bike ride – to show our federal candidates that we want climate action!

Local leaders in Gippsland, Ballarat, Westernport and Melbourne’s south-east have spent the last few months building support for climate action in their communities. Their open letters, signed by hundreds of local businesses, community groups, schools, sporting clubs and residents, call on federal candidates to commit to fast, fair climate action.

They had already been published in local newspapers across the state (check it out here). But with just weeks to go until the federal election, it was time to deliver them straight to federal candidates – to show them that Victorian communities will be voting for our climate at the ballot box!

Check out all the highlights from the #VicVotesClimate week of action below:

 

 

Gippsland ride for a fast, fair transition

In the Latrobe Valley, we rode our bikes from the largest source of Victoria’s climate pollution – our coal fired power stations – to the heart of the community.

The bike ride was about demonstrating the growing local support for greater climate action and for a just transition plan for coal workers and their families. We invited federal candidates from Gippsland and Monash electorates to join us at the finish line so we could present our open letter.

Environment Victoria organisers hosted the event together with other local groups Friends of Latrobe Water (FLow), Just Transition South Gippsland and East Gippsland Climate Action Network.

“I feel Climate change is the biggest challenge we are facing. The health of our environment and our communities are threatened. It’s not going to fix itself. I’ve become involved to have a say in how I want our communities to transition to cleaner, fairer and healthier environment” – Margie, Gippsland local organiser

 

Read the gippsland open letter

 

 

 

 

ballarat rally for climate action

The Ballarat Climate Rally was a massive community effort, with local environment groups and activists, school students, First Nations, unions and families coming together to demand climate action in the region.

Together, we marched past local MP Catherine King’s office and gathered at the Town Hall for speeches from the community. And at a candidate’s forum that afternoon, hosted by Ballarat Renewable Energy And Zero Emissions (BREAZE), Environment Victoria local organisers handed over their open letter to federal candidates.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our future food production and our economy, as well as the environment itself. We need to make change now, 2050 is too late” – Sue, Ballarat local organiser

Read the Ballarat open letter

Hastings climate rally

In Hastings, we marched down the main shopping street to send our politicians a message, loud and clear: Westernport want our climate and Bay protected!

Led by the Extinction Rebellion Sybil-disobedients, we marched to the centre of Hastings. After speeches from Save Westernport members and local businesses on the importance of climate action in Westernport, we delivered our open letter to the federal candidates who joined the rally.

Read the Westernport open letter

LOTS OF ACTION IN MELBOURNE’S SOUTH EAST

It was a massive week of action in Melbourne’s south-east, with volunteers bringing their community together at 5 different events across the region.

In Dandenong, Pakenham, Frankston, Knox and Mount Martha, we invited federal candidates to come and hear what fast, fair climate action looks like in our local communities. Together, we listened to local voices, painted banners, shared food – and importantly, made sure our federal candidates received our open letter!

“Climate change should be at the core of all social and economic issues … If we want to push sustainable development through economic activity, we must have a plan” – Faizul, SE Melbourne volunteer

 

Read the south east Melbourne open letter

What's next?

It was great to see our growing Action Network out in full force across Victoria! 

As we keep gathering momentum over the next few months, there will be lots more happening.If you want to learn more, get involved with your local group or sign up for updates, head to the Action Network Hub here >>

Get involved