Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Transition Town meeting

It went well! We had fifteen altogether, although Ross West, who's in the State Emergency Service, was called away to an emergency (a lost windsurfer I think) soon after we started. Andrew McEwen (Director of Sustainability at South Gippsland Shire Council) talked about the situation which makes local community based organising so important, and Councillor Jennie Deane talked about how the transition initiative got going in Loch, which is a very small town up the western end of the Shire. Susan Davies (ex State Member of Parliament) talked about the Energy Innovation Cooperative which she is setting up. We had a fairly wide-ranging discussion, but in the end Fiona Mottram (who is a journalist on the Foster Mirror) and I decided we'd get a Transition Town initiative going here, just with the two of us to start with. Not quite sure what we'll do yet, but there were lots of ideas in the air!

1 comment:

mjd said...

That is really exciting Lloyd, I am so glad for you.

I remember a geography assignment I did when I went to high school some 30+ years ago. In the assignment, I visited all the farmers in the neighbourhood, and asked them their perception of growing trees, and what their intentions were in the future regarding tree planting.

With few exceptions, the universal response was one of ambivalence. The matter just didn't register on their mental radar. However, in asking such a "greenie" question, I made myself a target for ridicule by all the local kids. And I daresay the local farmers had a good laugh at my tree-planting parents too.

I went back there recently, and now it seems all the farms are planting long windbreaks of trees, and talking of wildlife corridors and pest control though bird life. The rise of organisations such as Landcare has not only encouraged people to rethink their relationship to the land, but its existence in itself is a barometer of just how much social attitudes have changed.

15 people is not many in a town of 2,000. But it is 14 more than you would have got 5, 10 years ago. Passionate people such as yourself and the others at the meeting can make a difference in turning around how people feel about the world around them.

Please don't stop now.