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September Newsletter

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Graffiti wall

Hey 👋 this is Brook from YCAN.

We hope this message finds you well and enthusiastic about our mission to create a safe climate and sustainable future in Yarra City Council. As a valued subscriber to our monthly newsletter, we are excited to share the September edition, brimming with Yarra's most recent climate news. By staying connected through our newsletter, you join a community of passionate individuals dedicated to safeguarding our planet for future generations. Together, we can shape a greener, more sustainable community that benefits us all.

Did your brilliant friend forward this to you? Subscribe here.

A Mural 4 Climate YCAN worked with a local artist, Gustavo (Gus) Morales, Murals4Climate, an arts organisation that helps connect artists with projects, and a North Fitzroy resident to develop an arresting mural that challenges people to reflect on the impact their consumption has on the natural world. The mural was funded through a small grant from the City of Yarra.

We hope this will be the first of many environmentally-focused murals across Yarra over time. If you can offer a suitable wall, particularly in a prominent position, we’d love to hear from you –

Final mural design. We hope that it will become a Michael Street icon!


The War on Waste YCAN’s waste working group has been following the brilliant series War on Waste. YCAN member Kerry shares her insights on battling blister pack waste and suggests actions you can take: If you're among the 15% of Australians using medication, you likely face the challenge of disposing of blister packs. While not recyclable in regular bins, TerraCycle offers a solution, though finding a drop-off point can be challenging. Some pharmacies charge for returns, and postal options like Banish require payment for shipping.

The Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre provides a blister-pack recycling container, forwarding the packs to TerraCycle. However, the real responsibility lies with pharmaceutical companies." Kerry wrote to various companies and received responses from AstraZeneca, which leads the Medicines Australia Medical Sustainability Group (MAMSG). MAMSG aims to address industry sustainability and has discussed recycling schemes for medical waste. To enforce corporate responsibility, government regulation is key. You can make a difference by writing to state and federal environment ministers: – Federal Minister for Environment – Victorian Minister for Environment Lastly, join Craig Reucassel's GoFundMe campaign to support blister pack recycling and advocate for responsible practices in the pharmaceutical industry.


Yarra’s Cat Curfew - preserving our local fauna: The City of Yarra’s recent public consultation requires owners to confine pet cats to their home premises from 7pm to 7am. A 24-hour curfew option was proposed by Cr O'Brien but was voted down due to monitoring and enforcement concerns. YCAN would have preferred the prospect of a 24-hour curfew in the consultation but supports an overnight cat curfew as a minimum measure to create a safer environment for local wildlife.

Shockingly, cats kill 546 million reptiles, birds and mammals per year in Australia. A roaming pet cat kills an average of 3 animals every week. Just the presence of a cat in an urban ecosystem is likely to change wildlife behaviours, with birds and animals spending more time hiding or avoiding a predator and less time feeding, resting and raising their young.

A cat curfew would also benefit individual pet cats and their owners. Confined cats are healthier and less likely to pick up diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or injured through fighting or being hit by a vehicle. Owners will have reduced vet bills, and cats will have a longer life span and less chance of getting lost. YCAN supports this change.


Fitzroy North Community Battery Project: Annual Review In July, Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) released an annual performance report for the Fitzroy North Community Battery Project. The battery helps to eliminate solar waste, make energy more affordable, enable more solar installs, and increase community-wide access to locally-produced renewable energy. The first full year of operation brought many learnings, but the results were promising as the battery moved towards steady-state operation. Using a perfect foresight method, YEF highlights what the financial performance of the battery could be if optimised to maximise revenue and continue to prove the operating model for community batteries. We encourage you to review the report and YEF’s website for a better understanding of Communities Batteries and their importance in the energy transition.


Yarra’s transport action plan

YCAN supports Yarra's Transport Strategy 2022-2032, emphasising reduced car usage and prioritising active transport. While acknowledging short-term reliance on cars, the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) is crucial for environmental benefits, with forecasts indicating a global surge in EV sales by 2030. Despite past advocacy for an overarching EV Strategy, the recent Transport Action Plan from the City of Yarra doesn't address this, marking a significant gap. We urge the community to participate in the consultation on YourSayYarra until 9am on Monday October 16th 2023, and emphasise the need for an EV Strategy in the Plan. Share your thoughts: #YourSayYarra - Transport Action Plan

Ban on Fossil Fuel Advertising: Congratulations to Yarra Council for committing to this ban on Council-owned property. YCAN advocated for this and asked a public question in May. Getting off fossil fuels is a critical and urgent step towards a clean energy transition.

Food and Organic Waste (FOGO) Collection: YCAN is delighted to see progress on the roll-out of the FOGO kerbside collection. Reducing landfill waste will lower greenhouse gas emissions, lower landfill levy costs, and support a circular economy by recycling food waste into useful products. YCAN questioned why weekly general waste (landfill) collections will continue alongside weekly FOGO bin collection and has been told the frequency of collection will be reviewed. YCAN also suggested small bins (kitchen caddies) should be available – this was agreed upon.

Transport Action Plan: YCAN supports the thrust of Yarra’s Transport Strategy adopted by the Council last year (as highlighted above). However, we were disappointed when there was no mention of an EV Strategy within the Plan. This will be raised at the next council meeting.

Our waste Working Group will be holding another cleanup on Sunday 29th October 10am -12.30pm followed by refreshments. Please keep your eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for more information. YCAN received a grant from City of Yarra to develop a comms strategy, including updating our website and social media. Come along at 6.30pm, Wednesday 6th December to see our new "look", hear what we’ve been up to in 2023, share ideas for 2024, and share some food and drink with us.

Wired for Tomorrow: Yarra Energy Foundation is looking into what’s required to achieve an all-electric precinct in Yarra, including all residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

Help them by filling out this survey.

Take action against more brown coal: An international consortium has proposed a Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project in the LaTrobe Valley. Brown coal would be gasified to produce hydrogen and then piped to Hastings for liquefaction. The project would increase Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions and drag the climate further into the danger zone.

Sign the petition here.

Getting Off Gas Problem Solving - send us your questions: Are you searching for information or stuck with a problem when trying to get your home/business off fossil fuels? YCAN is currently planning an upcoming webinar to support people with the intricacies of transitioning to all-electric. Currently on the agenda is hydronic heating, and upgrading the power supply to your home but we are open to other issues.

Please send us any problems you are having and we will seek experts to respond.

Email us at

The Carlton Kitchen Library let’s you use borrow things you only use every now and then! You can borrow an appliance you want to try, but don't want to buy. The library has events kits with cups, cutlery and bowls to help keep your events zero waste. Membership and other info:

Or drop in to the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre Recycling Hub to prevent waste from going to landfill. You can leave batteries, light globes & fluorescent tubes, mail package satchels, mobile phones and e-waste, printer cartridges, blister packs, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes. Plus, there are monthly specials for hard to recycle items. In October it’s CDs & DVDs.

Check the CNLC website for more information.

Copyright © 2023 Yarra Climate Action Now, All rights reserved.

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