Past events

Hughes: Climate & Energy Election Forum

Wednesday 11 August 2010 at Sutherland United Services Club

Matthew Wright, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, spoke about the ground-breaking Zero Carbon Australia plan for 100% renewable energy in 10 years.

Local candidates Brent Thomas (
Labor) and Susan Roberts (Green) presented their responses to the Zero Carbon Australia plan, and outlined their parties' plans for renewable energy and climate change.

Liberal candidate Craig Kelly declined our invitation to attend

Followed by Q&A from the audience.

Global Warming
Facts & Fictions

Wednesday 2nd June 2010 at Hazelhurst

This seminar by top climate change scientist and IPCC lead author, Professor Andy Pitman, was a great success with a full theatre, including at least a few sceptics and many others with questions regarding climate change.

Jonathan Doig, convenor of the Sutherland Climate Action Network which hosted the event, began the evening by summarising positive solutions for addressing climate change including an initiative to transition to 100% renewable energy.

Prof Pitman delivered a well-organised and stimulating presentation starting with an explanation of how scientific ideas are accepted and tested and what it takes to sucessfully challenge an accepted theory such as global warming.

He stressed that global warming was well accepted by numerous fields of science and that even if one or two pieces of evidence were to be disproven, the theory as a whole would still remain intact.

Prof Pitman countered the recent rash of denialists wishing to debate the reality of global warming saying, "Skepticism is good, it's what good science is all about. However, what is being reported in the media is not skepticism, it's mere denial based on misunderstanding of the science, wishful thinking or intentional misleading of the public."

After a short coffee break, the meeting reconvened and Prof Pitman addressed questions on notice that had been emailed to him, before taking questions from the floor.

Prof Pitman clarified many issues for the audience, including sea level rise, medieval warming and arctic sea ice.

The best measure of the evening's success came from the survey results which showed a significant shift towards accepting that climate change is real and induced by human activity.

Of 60 attendees, 39 completed the feedback form and five of these (13%) said their views shifted during the evening. On the question “ warming [since the 1950s] mainly due to man-made causes?”, two shifted from "not sure" to "probably" and three from "probably" to "definitely".

Comments from the audience were extremely positive - see right column. Seventeen joined Sutherland Climate Action Network as new members.

Audience reaction

Very thorough and engaging speaker.
Elizabeth, Engadine

A wonderful opportunity to hear an expert speak within our community and answer questions in a definitive way.
Elizabeth Hadlow, Gymea Bay

Open minded and rational
Carolyn Hadlow, Gymea Bay

A very clear and honest presentation on climate science.
M Capare, Gymea Bay

Andy Pitman's presentation was great - informative and pitched at the right level.
Sarah Deards, Bonnet Bay

Excellent clarification of the mass of contradictory information that has been flowing about climate change.
Joy Scott, Heathcote

Andy makes a good balance between assertiveness and recognition of uncertainty - well done and very convincing.
Murray Scott, Heathcote

Very well organised and presented and powerfully stimulating
Les Milross, Engadine

Informative and balanced - thanks
Annette Milross, Engadine

Extremely interesting and thought provoking.
Colin Storey, Caringbah


"Interestingly, the Floodwatch meeting held the same evening included the claim that scientists are divided over climate change. This claim was roundly demolished at Hazelhurst", said Mr Doig.
"Local sceptics have had their questions answered and we should now move on to the solutions."

Download:   flyer   poster

Sydney Harbour Tall Ship cruise 24 October 2009

350 for a safe climate

  • We cruised Sydney Harbour as part of 350 Day, the most widespread day of political action in history, with 5200 events in 181 countries.
  • Our ship made the TV news, newspapers and even the giant screen in Times Square!
  • We raised over $4000 to send a Pacific Islander to the Copenhagen climate talks.
Check out the videos and photos of this amazing day.

Three of Australia's leading sustainable economy experts

Public forum in Sutherland 2nd July 2009
The Exploring Solutions public forum held at Sutherland on Thursday 2nd July 2009 was a great success, with 60 attendees and so many questions we had to call a halt at 9:45pm, after 2 ¾ hours.

See the online videos and read the summary here

National Climate Emergency Rally, Saturday 13th June


We were part of the climate solution!


Rally began 10am at Barangaroo, Hickson Rd, Millers Pt.

We marched 2,000 strong through The Rocks and Circular Quay.

See the TV coverage on Youtube.

Check out the photos here, here and here.

We met Senator Michael Forshaw at his office in Sutherland on Friday 27th March to ask him to:

Permit me to make a difference. Fix the CPRS!

It was a peaceful protest, with a little street theatre, and we delivered two letters to Senator Forshaw. Check out this report in The Leader, and Col's video on Youtube:

The greener we get... the more they pollute

What was this all about?

When we turn off our lights during Earth Hour each year, we know that together we're making a difference. Or do we?

If the government's draft Carbon Pollution "Reduction" Scheme (CPRS) becomes law, there will be nothing you or I can do to reduce Australia's emissions one iota. All our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, from buying GreenPower to installing solar panels, will simply make it cheaper for the big polluters in the scheme to increase their pollution.

The government's "do-nothing" 5-15% emissions reduction target is not just a cap on pollution, it's also a floor below which pollution cannot fall. So the CPRS will lock in near-current pollution levels until 2020, as well as transfering billions of dollars of our wealth to the big polluters.

Now that sucks.

The CPRS must be fixed. And fortunately the Government will be forced to amend it to get it past the Senate. We need to make sure those amendments improve the scheme, and don't further weaken it, as the big polluters and some National and Liberal Party members want.

Sutherland CAN has joined a growing national climate movement in a wave of powerful peaceful direct actions to get the political change we need to stop climate change in its tracks.

Read more about the flaws in the CPRS here:

Please, don't just switch off your lights ...join us and make a real difference!

Climate Change and Reconciliation

Sutherland Shire Citizens for Native Title and Reconciliation   |  Sutherland Climate Action Network

For many of us, Australia’s long drought focussed our attention on the looming threat to our wellbeing posed by human-induced climate change.

Confronted by the recent devastating Victorian bushfire catastrophe, our fears are refreshed.

Join members of your local Aboriginal Reconciliation group and the Sutherland Climate Action Network as we explore the growing impacts of human-induced climate change and how we can minimize and manage those impacts, asking what can we learn from the knowledge and experience of Aboriginal Australians.


  • Jonathan Doig, Sutherland Climate Action Network.
  • Uncle Max Harrison, Yuin Elder, and Chair of Sutherland Shire Citizens for Native Title and Reconciliation.
When: 7.30pm Wednesday March 11th
Where: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Hall, Belmont St Sutherland
All welcome. Gold coin donation to support bushfire victims.
Enquiries: phone 9523-9514

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY: How Cuba survived peak oil

Missed the film night? Borrow the DVD we donated to Sutherland Library.

Facing up to climate change means making some big changes, and fast. But are there any models to follow? Has anyone been there before?

When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, Cuba lost access to Soviet oil. The country faced an immediate crisis—feeding the population—and an ongoing challenge: how to create a new low-energy society. In this award-winning documentary, the Cuban people tell their story of hardship, ingenuity and triumph through cooperation, conservation and community.

The Power of Community: how Cuba survived peak oil is a new award-winning documentary from US peak oil advocacy group The Community Solution (see website).

Where: Tuesday February 12th 2008, 7:30pm sharp
When: Life Saving Club, Prince Edward Park Woronora (map)

Entry by donation. Film runs 53 minutes. Stay on for a cuppa and discuss the relevance this may have to our actions on climate change in the Shire.

Contact: Jonathan Doig 0409 049185

the Power of Community


Every couple of months Sutherland Climate Action Network supporters get together for a relaxed barbie in the bush.

Where: Wattle Forest (known as Wattle Flat to some), via Audley, Royal National Park (see map)
When: Sunday 24th February from 12 noon
BYO: everything (food, drink, folding chairs, frisbees etc)

Weather permitting - we'll postpone if it's rainy.

Contact: Jonathan Doig 0409 049185 (no signal at Audley though...)

Wattle Forest map

IN THE HOT SEAT – candidates forum

7:30pm Tuesday 30th October at Hazelhurst

Nearly every week a new scientific report increases the level of urgency behind the threat of climate change. Opinion polls consistently place it at the top of the issues concerning Australian voters. But what solutions should Australia pursue – "clean coal", nuclear power, renewable energy or energy efficiency?

Sutherland Climate Action Network presents a public forum:

IN THE HOT SEAT – candidates for Cook federal electorate front up to climate change.

7:30pm Tuesday 30th October
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, 782 Kingsway Gymea
(5 minutes walk from station – see map and trains)

These candidates will present their climate solutions and answer your questions:

  • Scott Morrison (Liberal)
  • Mark Buttigieg (ALP)
  • Naomi Waizer (Greens)

The forum will be chaired by environmental educator Phil Smith and introduced by UNSW energy expert and author Dr Mark Diesendorf.

Entry by donation. No bookings neeeded. Refreshments provided. For more information call 0409 049185.

An Inconvenient Truth LIVE

BUNDEENA: Saturday 5 May
3:30pm, downstairs at the RSL (map, ferry)
Presented by Marcus Gibson
KURNELL: Wednesday 23 May
7pm at Marton Hall (map)
Presented by Simon Huxley

See the presentation that has brought the truth about climate change to the whole world. Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth presented live here in the Shire by one of 85 'climate messengers' Mr Gore trained on his recent visit to Australia. The messengers have been in very high demand, already addressing hundreds of people each at local meetings since the program's inception in December 2006.

The presentation includes graphics and slides from the Oscar-winning documentary film, as well as an update covering recent Australian events.

» Background:

First meeting

Sutherland Climate Action Network's first meeting was held 7-9pm Tuesday 27 March at Sutherland Shire Environment Centre.

Read the meeting notes (PDF 42Kb) to find out what happened.

Miranda candidates front up to climate change

Greens policies preferred at climate forum
Read our media release (PDF 691kB) and ballot results (Excel 27kB)

7pm Monday 12 March at Hazelhurst

According to CSIRO research, 93% of Australians are concerned about climate change, making it a major election issue. In NSW concern is growing over proposals for new coal mines and coal-fired power stations, while some rural communities are opposed to wind farms. Is the solution "clean coal" and nuclear power, or energy conservation and renewable energy?

Sutherland Climate Action Network presents a public forum:

IN THE HOT SEAT – candidates for Miranda marginal electorate front up to climate change

7pm Monday 12 March
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre
782 Kingsway Gymea
(5 minutes walk from station)

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Graham Annesley, Liberal candidate for Miranda
  • Julie Simpson, Greens candidate for Miranda
  • Ian West MLC, representing Miranda Labor MP Barry Collier
  • Mark Wakeham, Greenpeace Energy Campaigner

Upper House candidate John Kaye will help field questions for the Greens.

Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment Roadshow

7pm Tuesday 6 March at Hazelhurst

Following on two weeks later is your opportunity to make a difference about global warming. The Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment Roadshow aims to motivate people to take action on climate change in the wake of An Inconvenient Truth. The roadshow has also had a phenomenal response since its debut at the Woodford Folk Festival in December. More than forty presentations are planned for cities and towns in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

The Sutherland event will be held at Hazelhurst at 7pm Tuesday March 6, led by international environmentalist Ruth Rosenhek, Director of the Rainforest Information Centre, Lismore.

Ms Rosenhek will use video presentations to quickly recap the issue and explore some of the solutions. The focus will then shift to confronting public and personal denial and despair. The group will consider forming a Climate Study/Action Group and what local activities it might take on.

» Background:

Climate Action Roadshow - flyer

An Inconvenient Truth LIVE

7pm Tuesday 20 February at Hazelhurst

If you missed former US Vice-President Al Gore's gripping documentary An Inconvenient Truth at the movies, or if you need a refresher, you can see his slideshow right here in the Shire. Marcus Gibson is one of 85 'climate messengers' trained by Mr Gore on his recent visit to Australia. The messengers have been in very high demand, already addressing hundreds of people each at local meetings booked since the program's inception in December 2006. Mr Gibson will present An Inconvenient Truth, including an update covering recent Australian events, at Hazelhurst on Tuesday 20 February at 7pm.

» Background:

An inconvenient truth - flyer

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre is located at 782 Kingsway Gymea, 5 minutes walk from Gymea railway station.

More information: Jonathan Doig 0409 049185 or email

Jonathan Doig,
5 Aug 2010, 23:50
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