Working to harness community energy

A chance to network with ‘like-minded community and government activists working for local action on climate change’ will take place in Traralgon on Friday.

The Gippsland Climate Change Network is inviting anyone with an interest in sustainability to attend and hear of ways to create a more sustainable future.

“And certainly look towards minimising climate change,” GCCN chair Darren McCubbin said.

The meeting is aimed at enabling sustainability groups to bring each other up to speed on what’s happening in the climate change field across Gippsland.

The network itself will bring into light its successful funding application to investigate the potential for biomass production in the region.

Mr McCubbin said this could involve looking at ways to convert waste residue from the timber industry, such as woodchips, into a heating source for office buildings or swimming pools.

In the past, the network has worked with Gippsland councils to change their streetlight globes to low energy light bulbs – an initiative Mr McCubbin said helped save money and reduce energy emissions.

“(The network is) about looking at projects we can invest in to create savings; save the planet and save energy at the same time,” he said.

He said Friday’s meeting would be particularly interesting given Victoria’s TAKE2 climate change pledge program which will help reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

“The government’s TAKE2 pledge has really put some focus on us so we’re really excited about what this might mean in the future,” Mr McCubbin said.

“It’s a great opportunity for the government to put its money where its mouth is.

“They want to create zero emissions, well how is that going to work in communities such as the Latrobe Valley in Gippsland?”

The meeting is hoped to attract local people involved in community activism.

Mr McCubbin described the community as a “huge reservoir of ideas” whose enthusiasm could be harnessed to get better outcomes.

“I guess the interesting thing is the government seems to be moving towards real outcomes in terms of climate change mitigation,” Mr McCubbin said.

“So what we would be seeking to do is look at possible projects we might be involved in.

“That could be anything from biomass, solar battery technology or community energy hubs where groups of people might get together to reduce energy costs.

“We might be looking for funding opportunities to be able to get these projects up and running. The government seems to be very interested in that now.”

The Gippsland Climate Change Network meeting will take place on Friday from 11am to 3pm at the Premiere Function Centre, 29 Grey Street, Traralgon.

RSVP by Thursday, 14 July, by emailing the network at