Shire Climate Action Network

Shire Climate Action Network is a group of Sutherland Shire residents who are deeply concerned about the threat climate change poses to our world and to the future faced by our children and grandchildren, animals and ecosystems.

Shire Climate Action Network (ShireCAN) formed in 2007 with the aim of raising community awareness about climate change and promoting strong, practical actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Sutherland Shire, New South Wales, Australia, and the world.

Australia’s unprecedented, catastrophic 2019-2020 bushfires are directly attributed to climate change and rising global greenhouse gas emissions. Now is the time for Australia to transition to clean, renewable energy.

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What’s Tassia, Chair of the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre, doing in her swimmers in the middle of winter!? Just because we’re in lockdown, it doesn’t mean you can’t take positive action on climate change…and have some fun while doing it!

ShireCAN members are currently taking part in the Greenpeace ReEnergise campaign to encourage big companies to commit to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. The telecommunications and IT sector are growing industries and they consume 4% of Australia’s total electricity. Optus is the second largest telecommunications company in Australia.

You can get involved and add some sunshine to your day by urging Optus to commit to using sun (and wind) for their electricity needs. Why not triple your sunny vibes for the day by writing your own letter to the CEO of Optus, ask one friend to do the same, and then meet them for a walk to pop your letters in the post box?

If you are an Optus customer, now is the time to ask your telco provider to join the likes of Vodafone and Telstra and commit to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

Some tips to write an effective letter:

  1. Say who you are and why you care about the climate and Optus going renewable
  2. State that you want them to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2025 (see this link for a list of positive reasons why they should commit)
  3. Make sure to keep the tone polite and respectful
  4. Add some cool things like a paper windmill or decorate your card
  5. Address envelope to: Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, CEO Optus, PO Box 888, North Ryde NSW 1670
  6. Take a selfie when you are posting your letter and send it to us (SSEC) and we will ensure it is used in a massive mosaic image that Greenpeace is creating.

Here’s a draft letter and further Optus letter writing tips and resources to get you started.

You can also read more about the Greenpeace REenergise campaign and the many success stories so far.

ShireCAN members also led the recent petition to stop mining underneath Woronora Reservoir, were responsible for obtaining signatures, lobbying the politicians and the NSW Department of Planning to stop the mining. We are continuing to work with the Nature Conservation Council and the Environmental Defenders Office who are actively investigating legal avenues to stop our water supply at Woronora being damaged and compromised by what is taking place.

It is time to move away from coal, especially when it is being mined under our drinking water. This is a risk we can’t afford.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has shown that Australia can rapidly transition to renewable energy, and that coal can be rapidly replaced without the need for any reliance on gas-fired generation. Even “Twiggy” Forrest has announced Fortesque will be moving to green hydrogen supplied by renewables by 2023, and has said that coal’s days are “either over or numbered”. He is investing $1 billion in new technology and building a hydrogen fuelled power station at Port Kembla.

Hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs could be created by implementing energy efficiency measures, renewable energy generation, green steel and manufacturing. It makes economic and environmental sense.

To help achieve this aim ShireCAN lobbies / petitions all tiers of government. For more info see some of our Submissions.

We are not politically aligned, we are unafraid to challenge the status quo, and we often join with other like minded community organisations across Australia to bring about positive climate initiatives.

We applaud Sutherland Shire Council’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and we are keen to work with Council to ensure the Shire backs 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Shire Climate Action Network is also looking for ways to amplify Council’s efforts to ensure that the 2030 carbon neutral initiative is emulated by local businesses and residents. We work together with Sunny Shire to increase uptake of renewable energy here in the Shire, advocating for decreasing transport-related emissions, through the uptake of electric vehicles (charged with green electricity) and building of modern, green infrastructure such as the Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport link.

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If you would like to sign up to our email list, we send out a newsletter every 4-6 weeks with the latest news, including our planned activities and actions.


ShireCAN also welcomes volunteers!

If you are concerned about climate change and would like to be part of a group in the Shire that is actively working towards solutions, we encourage you to join us. 

We aim for collegiality and collaboration in all our activities. We have a range of tasks, requiring various skills. Although we are non-partisan, we are very much involved in motivating all levels of government to do more to address the threat of climate change.

Unfortunately Covid has restricted many of our activities, but we communicate regularly re various initiatives and hold regular, relaxed and informal meetings.

If you would like to attend our meeting or would like additional information, feel free to send an email to: tassia@ssec.org.au

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If you would like to participate in our efforts, we encourage you to have a look at the list and contact us to let us know if you can help out: 

  • review of Sutherland council agendas, minutes and community surveys to flag items of relevance
  • review of council, state and federal government policies – we’ll shortly be reviewing Sutherland Shire Council’s new draft tree management policy
  • writing letters, submissions and grants
  • social media 
  • liaising and networking with other groups, such as Sunny Shire to help with the initiative to set up a community battery
  • helping with fabulous and inventive protest actions
  • serving as a representative on committees, such as the local Bush Fire Risk Management committee

If you are interested please contact Sutherland Shire Environment Centre Chair and ShireCAN convenor Tassia Kolesnikow directly – tassia@ssec.org.au, or fill in our volunteer expression of interest form here https://www.ssec.org.au/volunteers/

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Recent ShireCAN related blog posts:

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