EnvironmentMaroondahUrban Sustainability

Maroondah Climate Change Action Group: the Science, Politics and Solutions on Climate Change

By August 12, 20077 Comments

The Maroondah Climate Change Action Group was formed earlier this year to advocate to all levels of government on the need for action in regard to climate change and to educate the wider Maroondah community on the need for greater environmental sustainability. In working towards these aims, the group organised a public presentation at the Karralyka Centre which explored the growing consensus around climate change and the solutions that are available.

The presentation included two speakers, Dr. Peter Christoff, the Vice-President of the Australian Conservation Society and Professor at the School of Social and Environmental Enquiry at the University of Melbourne and Mark Wakeham from Greenpeace.

Dr. Christoff, who was trained to deliver presentations on Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, was able to reinforce his presentation with a number of localised examples, showing the repercussions that climate change would present to Australia. While the focus of the presentation was in regard to energy, Dr. Christoff did make reference to the damage being caused by the transport sector, which remains Australia’s fastest growing source of emissions.

Mark Wakeham spoke about the need for greenhouse reduction targets, but failed to provide any indication as to whether political parties would in reality meet such goals. While setting greenhouse reduction targets might be seen as a positive step forward, there is a need for a detailed implementation plan to achieve such goals.

As an example, the State Government has targets to increase rail freight usage to 30% by the year 2010 and public transport modal share to 20% by 2020. In the case of the freight goal, the trends have shown a decline in rail freight usage, demonstrating a complete failure to achieve this target. In regard to public transport modal share, the State Government has still failed to provide a detailed implementation plan that would work towards increasing modal share above the current figure of 9%. While more people are using public transport, more people are also driving showing very little improvement in achieving this target and a lack of conviction on the part of the State Government.

It is easy for political parties to set goals, it is more difficult for them to actually maintain the conviction to achieve such goals, particularly when target dates such as 2050 are chosen. Electorates should remain cynical until a detailed implementation plan is provided with interim targets to benchmark performance.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au


  • Rebecca Lee says:

    I’m wondering how I can get in touch with someone from the Maroondah Climate Action Group. I’d like to offer to run a solar workshop, answering questions about solar power generation and providing access to quality systems installed for under $2000 (rebate amount financed by us). I’m a resident of Maroondah, and believe there is a huge calling for this type of information and access to the products. Please check out our website, and call me if it’s you who deals with such things. Rebecca

  • Alex Makin says:


    Thank you for your comments. Details on the Maroondah Climate Change Action Group are available from their website http://www.macca.org.au. It would also be worth discussing the workshop with the Croydon Conservation Society as they hold regular community events focused on environmental sustainability.

    Details on the Croydon Conservation Society are available from http://www.croydonconservation.org.au. I am currently their Treasurer so I am happy to discuss your ideas at their next meeting.

    It would also be worth speaking to Council’s Sustainability Department as Council is currently planning its environmental education program. Council has re-committed itself to the a 20% reduction on greenhouse emissions by 2010 (based on 1995 levels). This target will be the first step towards further sustainability goals.

    Please contact me on 0408 311 645 or email alex.makin@maroondah.vic.gov.au if I can be of further assistance.



  • Lisa says:

    Thanks for highlighting the importance of the environment. I wish you well in the upcoming council elections!

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hi Lisa, thank you for your comments and for wishing me well in the upcoming council elections.

    It is critical that Maroondah is seen as an environmental leader so that we reduce our water, energy and transport usage. Councils need to lead by example and I will be seeking to build upon council’s current water and energy commitments to improve our urban sustainability.



  • detoxdietguy says:

    recently, there has been some massive flooding in the Philippines and Vietnam which i think is also due to Climate Change. the tropical storms in asia are somewhat getting stronger stronger each year.

    • Alex Makin says:


      Thank you for your comments and for visiting my website. The world has seen differences in climate and scientific reports continually reiterate the need for action in mitigating climate change.

      This makes it critical that all levels of government work in cooperation to reduce greenhouse emissions and encourage sustainability.



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