Free in Melbourne today?

Today, there’s going to be a couple of rallies.

One is going to be outside Julia Gillard’s electorate office, far out in the western suburbs of Melbourne. They’re going to be protesting a price tag on pollution. Organised by a disgruntled ex-insulation salesman and a couple of shock jocks, a few hundred people will gather and yell about free markets and climate denialism.

On the other side of town, however, it’s going to be a different story. At 11am, thousands of people from all across Victoria will be coming together to show that Australians do want climate action. This event, organised by a large number of organisations including GetUp! and the AYCC, is going to be a little more interesting than the other one. It’s going to be bigger. It’s going to be happy. It’s going to be fun and family friendly. We’re going to be positive about action on climate change.

I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be there. Can you make it today? If you can – bring a friend! It’s going to be amazing. 11am at Treasury Place, right around the corner from Parliament.

You can also find the Facebook event here.

Gonna ride my bike until I get home

It’s a sunny day and a perfect day for a bike ride…I wish I had a fold-up bike like Mark Ronson. Sadly my bike isn’t fit to ride right now, and is in dire need of a trip to the Monash Bikery.

Liberal Sen. Mary Jo Fisher gets her ridiculous on

By now, half of Australia has probably seen this video of SA Senator Mary Jo Fisher getting her groove on on the Senate floor (a popular d-floor amongst cool Canberrians, I have heard)

The Liberals have truly lost the plot – no, not just Mary Jo Fisher, although she does seem to be embracing their new vibe very enthusiastically. (You can tell by the genetically modified ferret that appears to be strangling her).

What are the Liberals pushing for? Do they not want Australia’s renewable energy sector to be internationally competitive against countries such as China, who invest heavily in energy independence? Don’t they want to provide Australians with new jobs in growing industries? No – they want to drag their feet about policy that will make Australia a world leader, for the sake of cheap politicking and old dance moves. They’re the ones that are going to give Australians all pain with no gain.

New research launched by independent MP Tony Windsor last week found that an adequate price tag on pollution will help create 34,000 jobs in regional Australia.  A price tag with some good policy standing behind it – with the money going straight back to cutting Australian families’ energy bills & supporting renewable energy R&D – will seriously help reduce the impacts of climate change while growing Australia’s new industries. Not just that, but it’ll boost Australia’s international standing and make us a leader in energy policy.

I personally am generally more of a fan of direct renewable energy development as  a means of reducing the price, but it’s fairly obvious that a financial mechanism &  economic incentives are also needed. Whether or not mid-2012 sees an adequate price tag on pollution or not, what is essential is that the money is fed directly back into R&D and helping Australian families become more sustainable. I’m quite heartened by Julia Gillard’s approach to this issue nowadays – I was beginning to be afraid that she’d be a dud (just like Rudd, hur hur hur). Of course, I’m sure the wins the Greens made in the last election have certainly not done any harm!

I’m looking forward to the oncoming debate about what sort of price tag on pollution we’ll be setting. In the meantime, it’s really important to tell your politicians that you do support a price tag on pollution. Call your MP now! You can use this page on the AYCC’s website to find your MP’s contact details to call them. It’s absolutely vital that we spread the word to our politicians that we it support a good price tag – the coal industry has already got into gear and are campaigning viciously so that they don’t have to pay the real price of their product.

Let your MP know – it really will make a difference to their morale! It’s the truth. And, to quote a friend of mine – if you’re in Tony Abbott’s electorate, give him a call and tell him the only people revolting are the ones revolted with his policy!

Off to leave my local MP some more answering machine messages (It’s a Sunday). xx


Bubble walkin’

I’m not ashamed to admit I have an obsession with a particular brand of shoes: Melissa.

Every shoe is entirely vegan, pretty eco-friendly, non-sweatshop made and simply, absolutely amazing (well, on the most part. There are a few duds). I’ve always found them to be reasonably good quality, and the designs usually come slightly out of left field so they’re a bit more interesting than your average pair of flats, booties, etc. They often do collaborations with well-known designers (Vivienne Westwood probably being the most prolific), as well as, interestingly enough, architects – Zaha Hadid, Gaetano Pesce, etc.

The case in point: today I finally (after some drama with fitting) picked up my new pair of Gaetano Pesce-designed booties. They’re amazing. It’s like your standard bootie, but if you made it out of bath bubbles instead! The ‘bubbles’ are a whole lot of interconnected plastic discs, made out of recycled material. Nicely bizarre and completely fantastic. They come in quite a few varieties of colours, but I decided to go for the clear translucent ones because I loved the idea of actually looking like I was wearing bubbles on my feet.

Bubbling away in the garden

The concept’s meant to be that you can customise them however you want with a pair of scissors, but to be honest, I’m probably just going to leave them as is. Fortunately for me, I quite like the look of them in the ankle boot shape, and I’m not overly fond of Melissa’s suggested customisations. Perhaps a coloured ribbon or something like that? Any suggestions?

A warm sunny day, and a new blog


Having recently moved back to Melbourne from the depths of winter in Berlin, I was looking forward to a bit of scorching Australian summer . I’d both missed and dreaded it. Unfortunately, as always, Melbourne weather has been a bit miserly.  Nice warm days have been produced very begrudgingly.

Today, however, it’s a different story. Right now, I’m sitting out in my mother’s  big beautiful garden and it’s just right. The plants are green like I haven’t seen in years, the butterflies are everywhere, and the sun is shining. I’ve got a cup of coffee in hand and the dog is having a lazy wander around.

I also have a perfect Melbourne Saturday lined up – coffee in Yarraville, lunch in Footscray at the delicious Lentil as Anything, and then some moonlight cinema out over in St Kilda, all with friends. It’s going to be a good day!

I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and what I hope it’ll bring. Work, campaigning, study, friends – I can’t wait to see what will happen. What do I really want to see? I want to learn some new skills, I want to see a good price tag on pollution from the Australian government, and I want international climate negotiatiors to get to work and produce a binding agreement in Durban.

Let’s go!

– Hilary