As there was no nomination for President, Wendy Sherlock, who is continuing in as Vice President, will proceed in this role in the interim. As most of you know, John Lloyd has resigned as President after many years to focus on the work of Renewable Energy Benalla. Councillor Upston made particular mention of the valued work John has played working with the Council in relation to environmental sustainability and renewable energy.
Our guest speaker for the meeting was Leigh Ewbank who has worked as an activist with Friends of the Earth for six years and is the current Act on Climate coordinator for Friends of the Earth. He has also worked on the Yes 2 Renewables campaign and was very much involved with campaigning against the anti-wind farm lobby. Yes 2 Renewables was the driving force behind the campaign to restore fair wind farm laws in Victoria, and spearheaded the case for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target. Leigh has a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) from RMIT University, Melbourne. He has been engaged in climate and energy debates for years and more recently has lectured in the Urban Planning and Energy and Energy Policy and Management courses at RMIT University.
Leigh presented a most engaging slide show to accompany his talk, highlighting many case studies of FOE's grass roots involvement with communities concerned about climate change issues. He spoke of his current concern at the absence of climate change policy in the State's Liberal Party policy platform and recent backward steps in some aspects of previously very positive Labour Party policy.
Leigh then organised us to work in groups to develop responses to questions relating to our concerns about climate change. The 'scribe' for each group then read back the responses - these are being collated by Leigh, working with BSFG's Cath Marriott, for inclusion in a letter to be sent to local politicians which we will inclorporate into this post when available.
A delicious supper, the signing of postcards as part of an advocacy campaign and convivial discussions concluded the evening.