Newtown Climate Newsletter – January 2024

Our vision is to be Australia’s first inner city zero emissions community, through a transition that is fast, fair and fun.

We are inclusive and democratic, community led, positive and focused on what works.

Hello (or warimi in Dharug language) and welcome to our first newsletter for 2024.

As ever we would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of the land we now call Newtown. If you get the chance we would encourage you to head down to the Yabun festival in Victoria Park tomorrow!

A huge thank you to those of you who responded to our survey – if you ticked the box for a sign or sticker we’ll be in touch in the next week or so to get them to you. Our committee met last weekend for a half-day planning session, using the results of the survey to plan some activities for the year. If you haven’t completed the survey we are still interested in your views: click here to access the survey. Our survey for local businesses is also live – please pass it on to any local business owners who may be interested.

We’re excited to be holding our first in-person event at Young Henrys on 14 February from 5-7pm. Come along to meet other Newtown Climate members and supporters and enjoy a private tour of Young Henrys’ Algae Project. The algae project – which captures and uses co2 from the brewing process – is a fabulous example of local climate action and local business leadership, and we’re excited to see it up close.

We’re also excited to be attending the Everything Electric expo at Sydney Olympic Park from 9-11 February. This is Australia’s biggest home electrification and electric vehicle fair showcasing a huge range of low-emissions technology. Some of our members will be helping out at the climate action stall, which we’re sharing with a bunch of other local climate groups, so please come and say hi! Single-day adult tickets start at $50 and kids are free: here’s the link.

We were pleased to see the NSW Government announce some new funding to expand rooftop solar to social housing residents, renters and strata schemes. We’ll be doing some more research to understand what this announcement will mean for our local residents and will share more info on how to access these schemes when it’s announced.

We’ve been talking to the Committee for Sydney about how to realise the Committee’s vision of regular car-free days on King St and Enmore Rd. Car free days are common elsewhere in the world, including in South America (where they’re known as ciclovía) and Europe, and have been successful in cutting emissions and normalising less car-centric lifestyles. We agree with the Committee for Sydney and would love to see this take off in Newtown. If you’d like to collaborate on this campaign please get in touch!

Photo of the month

We often bemoan the fact that Newtown has one of the lowest rates of rooftop solar in Australia – about 8%, compared to the national rate of 33%. But it’s not all bad news – this photo was taken out of the window of a Newtown Climate member’s house on one of the recent sunny days. How many solar installations can you spot?

Upcoming plans and projects

Next month we’ll be attending a planning meeting with the Inner West Alliance for Climate, meeting with local MP Jenny Leong, and following up Inner West Council and City of Sydney to make sure they follow through with their decisions late last year to put an end to new gas connections. On 3 March we’ll be walking up and down King St talking to local businesses about climate action: it would be great to have as many members and supporters as possible join us for this so please save the date!

More opportunities to get involved

We’d love some more help maintaining and upgrading our website, and managing our social media. If this sounds like you please email us.

We mainly coordinate through a whatsapp group. Reply to this email if you’d like to be added to it. We also meet most Sunday mornings at Ariana’s Place on King Street. All welcome, but please email us in advance to make sure we’ll be there!

If you are interested in sharing resources with family and friends, the Resources page on our website has links to some particularly useful (we think) research articles and other information. Let us know if you come across any excellent resources that you think we should add, or if there are questions you’d like us to answer.

If you’re not yet a member of Newtown Climate we would love to have you as a member! You can find the membership form here.

That’s all for now! So, Yanu in Dharug language. See you round!