Castlemaine the new Parachilna? But we must not tell?

The residents of Central Victoria have a deep and serious sense of responsibility towards the sustainability of our presence in Australia. We wish to properly ie scientifically understand what’s happening to our environment and how we might be able to deal with that.
For my part I choose to believe the Aussie Weather Bureau (BOM), CSIRO and Elders Weather as being able to summarise what’s up.
Melbourne Uni and CSIRO modelling indicates a 4 degrees C temperature rise over this century.
Sounds not so desperate? When I look around the map at places that have now the weather that the scientists say we will likely get I find that it is Parachilna – in the Flinders Ranges. I look around Castlemaine and lament. How can we allow this area to be the new Flinders Ranges?
In our Central Vic area we have multiple environmental action groups working, advising and advocating for sustainability. Many are charities complying with
treasury registration requirements to be deductible gift recipients. This is termed DGR status. Their good works, and there are many, are largely supported by donations from ordinary folks who desire positive actions.
However, it seems that the DGR charities this month came under attack from new Federal legislation, specifically three bills: the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill; the Espionage and Foreign Interference Bill; and the Foreign Donations Bill.
If passed, these last two bills could silence charities that speak out on potential election issues – such as climate change and energy; enforce complex regulations; and impose burdensome administrative paperwork.
For example, if you chipped in just $4.80 per week, you would need to complete a statutory declaration to prove you’re an Australian citizen. This would make it near impossible to sustain funding from our community.
The new bills could also expose charities to draconian penalties for not complying, including up to 10 years imprisonment and civil penalties of up to $210,000. Wow.
To the good people of Mount Alexander – contact your local sustainability group, join up, get active, attend information seminars, study how EV travel is half the price of petrol. Do assist to eradicate energy poverty. Praise the shire council for having sustainability objectives. Who said we cannot be carbon-neutral by 2025? And above all don’t tolerate attempts by others to silence discussion of electorally sensitive topics. Surveys show 85 per cent of us want strong action against warming. Why should a government make it illegal for environmental charities to implore it to take the action that so many of us want?

Ian Jones, Castlemaine

Lisa Dennis
Editor of the Castlemaine Mail newspaper and senior journalist on our sister paper the Midland Express. Over the last 24 years Lisa been proudly reporting news in the Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges communities.