At the time of BCCAG’s last AGM, our hopes were still high that the new Turnbull
government would begin to take real action to deal with the challenges of climate
change looming large. But it soon became clear that any hopes the Government would
act were misplaced. The need for BCCAG and groups like BCCAG to act and grab the
attention of the public was paramount.
So we decided to start 2017 with a big event that would attract a large crowd,
particularly from amongst sections of the community we don’t normally attract. We
wanted to use that event to talk of a climate emergency.
The well-publicised ‘Facing the Climate Crisis’ event in February took place at
Brighton Grammar School and attracted a record attendance of some 350 participants.
They came to hear Tim Flannery on a panel with 2 other guest speakers, Alison Rowe
from the Future Business Council and Laura Sykes from the Australian Youth Climate
Coalition. It should be noted that roughly 60% of attendees were new to BCCAG. They
were not listed on our mailing list.
Flannery set the tone, not only for that event but for much of our activity to come
when he said that, in the absence of leadership from Government, leadership must
come from the community.
At the last AGM, we saw the election of an excellent group of keen members to the
BCCAG board but also the retirement of 2 long serving, dedicated and experienced
outgoing board members. Then, during the first few months that the new board had
been working together, 2 of its key members had to resign, each for pressing personal
reasons, our Secretary Anne Tourney and President, Lynette Luther.
That cumulative loss of experience and expertise made for a difficult few months of
reorganisation and redistribution of responsibilities.
In addition to running our monthly public forums on topical issues we decided to
pursue a range of additional activities. These included maintaining contact with and
lobbying of our local federal and state MPs, interaction with Bayside City Council on
sustainability and their ‘carbon neutrality by 2020 plan’ and running campaigns in
coordination with other climate action and environment groups.