EarthChat with recycler designer Jan Flook

Listen to the EarthChat interview with local recycling innovator Jan Flook with your host, Irene Telford. Friday 22nd July at 10:30am on Seymour FM – 103.9

Glass Chandelier by Jan FlookJan Flook is an inspiring designer with a fascination for light, beauty, symmetry and fun. He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of beauty within the mundane, functional objects that surround us, transforming the everyday into practical works of art. Contemporary chandelier and furniture designer, passionate recycler and advocate of modern materials, Jan believes that “It is the hidden shapes that catch us by surprise and on closer inspection reveal their humble beginnings.”

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Kilmore – searching for a way ahead

Kilmore (and Wandong Heathcote Junction) are ahead of Seymour with their Structure Plan.  Their draft plans make interesting reading and are a guide to what a structure plan looks like – go to and look at the right column.  BEAM prepared a detailed submission on the draft structure plan for Kilmore and you can read it here

State Biodiversity Laws under Review – at last!!

Victoria is reviewing its policies and regulations on the protection of native vegetation following the destruction of many legal protections and a wind-down of resources for conservation by the previous government.  The reviews come at a time when there is increasing awareness of the continuing decline in biodiversity and the growing impact from climate change.

We believe that government should be doing a lot more, and have written two large submissions to the State Government.  Information about the reviews are available at and

Our submissions are:

Note:  the submissions on the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations complement a more detailed submission prepared by the Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance (and about to be added to their website – see

Seymour is moving towards sustainability

Sustainable Seymour bannerSince our first meeting in June last year, our projects have made some real progress.  Ideas for the Chittick Park Project are being developed and we are closely engaged with development of the Seymour Structure Plan.  The Retronet and Pumped Hydro Projects are awaiting advice on funding  applications.


Chittick Park Project

Mitchell Shire Council obtained a $10,000 grant for a feasibility study into the solar park proposal, and have backed it with another $10,000 of Council funds.  We spoke to Taryn Lane from Embark (a community consultant group that developed from Hepburn Wind Project) for her advice.  Taryn’s advice, supported by the approaches being made by similar projects, was to look at the whole proposal but focus on a solar array on the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre.  She also offered a pre-feasibility study from Embark’s funds (worth around $1500) to get the project started.  We took all this to a meeting with Jeff Saker from the Council.  As a result, the plan is to prepare:

  1. a pre-feasibility plan for a 100kw solar array on the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre funded by Embark.
  2. a pre-feasibility study on the larger project for more generation capacity and local distribution
  3. a full feasibility study on all aspects of the solar array including suggestions on the next steps forward.

The Council has engaged Embark for the first stage and we are awaiting the results

The RetroNet Project.

BEAM has supported Goulburn Valley Community Energy with an application for funding under the State Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund. This project includes an audit, design, and implementation service for upgrading the energy performance of older houses in Seymour- 50 of them is the target (and the same for Shepparton). The project is skills training and employment based response to improving the comfort of existing houses in Seymour, and will build on local trade and supply expertise. We await word from the State Government on this….in the coming month.

Pumped Hydro Project

BEAM has partnered with Euroa Environment Group in an application for funding under the New Energy Jobs Fund.  We have had no news so far and wonder if that is good or bad news?

Wind Energy

BEAM continues to support the Cherry Tree Windfarm and met recently with Infigen staff.  We are hopeful the project will start in early 2017.

Seymour Structure Plan

Mitchell Shire Council has put out an Emerging Ideas Paper and we organised a workshop on Saturday 18th June to develop a response – see separate item.  We strongly recommend everyone lest the Council know what you would like for Seymour – go to The deadline for submissions is July 4th.

If you want to be more engaged with this process and are not part of the Sustainable Seymour Network, please contact Peter M via email

Renewable Energy Jobs: Future Growth in Australia




With all the doom and gloom regarding the Mining and Energy sector, here is some positive news regarding jobs in the Renewable Energy sector.

In research undertaken by the Climate Council and Ernst and Young, more that 28,000 jobs would be created nationally by moving to 50% renewables by 2030.

The Renewable Energy Jobs:  Future Growth in Australia report was released by The Climate Council last week is available for download here.

For more information, select here.


Election 2016 Climate Change and Health scorecard


The Climate and Health Alliance has summarised the major political parties stances on Climate Change and the impact of climate change on health.


To check out the results and for more information, select here.


Climate Change Laws in Victoria

Envirojustice has recently reported that the Victorian state govenment has released their intentions to change the state’s Climate Change laws.

This includes the state committing to:

  • a long term  target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • accountability for reaching these targets and
  • pledges to reach these targets

More information on this can be found at:

Renewable Energy Targets for Victoria

On June 15, the Victorian state government released renewable energy targets that will help create many new jobs and cut the state’s greenhouse emissions.

Leigh Ewbank from FOE and Yes2Renewables stated “We’re winning: After a community campaign that lasted nearly two-and-a-half years, the Daniel Andrews government has today announced Victorian Renewable Energy Targets of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025.  This … “represents the biggest renewable energy initiative in the state’s history. ”

These targets include:

  • the amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources
  • developing an auctions scheme which will see project developers compete to be the lowest cost provider.

BEAM has supported Yes2Renewables in their strong advocacy of this campaign.  You can continue to support Y2R by writing to Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy supporting this policy.  Click here for more details.

Fore more information on supporting Y2R to continue their advocacy, click here.