16 November 2010

Green Loans presentation to Mayo Greens - 10 November 2010

On Wednesday last week, I gave a presentation to the Mayo Greens in the Adelaide Hills about the Green Loans Program.

A few people have asked for me to make the Powerpoint slides public, so here they are.

28 October 2010

MEDIA RELEASE: Senate report into Green Loans “worst of both worlds”

The Senate's report into the Green Loans Program has offered weak recommendations that will disappoint virtually everyone working in the Program, according to an assessor spokesperson.

Why I have nominated for the ABSA Board

With the ABSA 2010 Annual General Meeting less than a month away, members will shortly be receiving information about who has been nominated to run for the all-new Board of Directors.

There has been some speculation that I would be among the candidates. I am hereby announcing that this is indeed the case.

If you've been reading my blog - which has been dominated for nearly a year by the (ahem) less successful facets of the Home Sustainability Assessment Scheme (HSAS) - or, as it is still (inaccurately) called, the Green Loans Program - you might be wondering what on Earth has possessed me to go through with this.

22 October 2010

"An Urban Orchard" film trailer

Friends of the Earth Adelaide have just published a trailer on YouTube for their short film, An Urban Orchard. It looks at the "growing" culture (if you'll excuse the pun) of producing and sharing food locally, and it was produced right here in South Australia. Although I wasn't involved in the production of the film, I am producing the DVD for it.

Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to organise a screening of the film, and I'll pass your request on to FOE.

14 September 2010

HSA delay - Volume Nine: Work, Choices

I want to write this time about the Department of Climate Change and about ABSA. This was originally going to be two letters, and then two articles, with many of the key details duplicated. Bear with it being one long article now; it's been a long time since I've written publicly about what's happening, so there's a lot to cover.

26 July 2010

The Great Debate: No Choice is the New Choice

(This article was republished in On Line Opinion on Wednesday, 28 July 2010. Thanks to Susan Prior for her consideration.)

If you smear peanut butter on the roof of its mouth, a chimpanzee will rhythmically smack its lips together trying to get it off. It's apparently how they make those ads you see on TV with the talking monkeys.

It seems that Sunday night's Great Debate 2010 was made the same way - although it was slightly more difficult to take seriously.

06 July 2010

HSA delay - Volume Eight: from the Senate Inquiry

I was in Sydney on Tuesday, 29 June 2010, to give evidence to the ongoing Senate Inquiry into the Green Loans Program. It was an interesting day, certainly, but it was exactly as much fun as it sounds.

A proof transcript is available online here.

24 June 2010

Media releases from yesterday's Green Loans rallies

What follows after the jump is a speech that I wrote for yesterday's United Programs of Australia rally in Adelaide. I didn't actually make the speech on the day: it would be an understatement to say that we didn't get the turnout in Adelaide that we hoped for. However, I did get ten minutes on ABC Radio in Canberra, and I got most of my points across in that. I understand that they found me via Senator Simon Birmingham's office, but in any case, I'm thankful for it.

Senator Birmingham also released a statement in support of our efforts, to go along with an official media release from Green Loans Assessors Action Group (one of the groups uniting for these rallies).

BREAKING NEWS: Abbott eyes off Gillard's "precious gift"

Ms Gillard says that Australia's first female Prime Minister is a "precious gift" that the country "should not give away lightly".

19 June 2010

United Programs of Australia - Adelaide protest rally on Wednesday, 23 June

Green Loans Assessors Action Group is proud to announce the United Programs of Australia protest rally, taking place simultaneously around the country on Wednesday, 23 June.

The Adelaide rally will be held in Victoria Square from 8am to 9am.

Printable flier here. More details after the jump.

13 June 2010

Green Loans: my appearances on ABC Radio Adelaide last week

As some of you may be aware, I was on ABC Radio Adelaide last Wednesday, posing a question to Senator Penny Wong about what will become of the 5000 of us accredited Home Sustainability Assessors waiting for 600 remaining contracts in the Green Loans Program.

15 May 2010

GLACG: Canberra Green Loans Rally, 24 May

[Press release from the GLA Compensation Group. For a PDF version, click here. Full disclosure: I am a member of this group. - A.N.] 

Canberra Green Loans Rally
WHEN: Monday May 24th 2010, 10am for 1100am media call. Conclusion 12pm
WHERE: Parliament House Lawns, Canberra.

‘A FAIR GO - for Green Loans Assessors and their families’


07 May 2010

HSA delay - Volume Seven: the oncoming train

On Thursday, 6 May 2010 - nearly 11 weeks after the fact - DCCEE awarded a contract to work in the Green Loans Program.

Some other uncontracted Home Sustainability Assessors received news of theirs the next day, and were kind enough to share the news on the ABSA Forums. Good luck to them. But what's really going on here?

Three media releases about Green Loans and the GLA Compensation Group

[These three media releases were passed on to me by Patrick Moroney, the media consultant for the GLA Compensation Group. They are available for immediate release. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of this group. - A.N.]

17 April 2010

From Plains To Plate: a declaration from the food convergence

[Held in Adelaide in February 2010, From Plains To Plate was a convergence dealing with issues of the sustainability and security of the food industry in South Australia. The following declaration has arisen from the convergence. Feel free to spread it far and wide to politicians or other interested parties. The original publication is here. - A.N.]

13 April 2010

HSA delay - Volume Six: Where do we stand?

With a Senate Inquiry looming, this is as good a time as any to take stock of the Green Loans Program. The scheme has been riddled at all levels with a broad spectrum of problems, many of which have already been discussed at length, even on this blog. However, we need to understand where we are at this point in time and, most importantly, what to do from here.

What follows is a summary of the GLP so far, laced with a few anecdotes I have received personally from assessors, both working and waiting, and customers who have had their own homes assessed.

05 April 2010

Letter to Mark Butler MP regarding the Green Loans Program

[I have written the following letter to Mark Butler MP, my federal member for the seat of Port Adelaide. If we in the GLP are to secure a fair outcome, in either the short or long term, we need the understanding and support of the federal government. - A.N.]

Dear Mr Butler,

I remember meeting you at a public visit to Mawson Lakes when you were first a candidate for the seat of Port Adelaide. We spoke briefly about discovering the topic of peak oil and of Jeremy Leggett's book, "Carbon War".

My letter concerns another issue of environmentalism: the federal government's Green Loans Program and the difficulties it is causing working families in your constituency and across Australia.

02 April 2010

HSA delay - Volume Five: The Return Of Fieldforce

This week, I want to look at what that pack of bastards at Fieldforce have suggested doing to thousands of defenceless participants in the Green Loans Program. (With apologies to Mr Littlemore QC for the paraphrasing, of course.)

15 March 2010

HSA delay - Volume Four

Wednesday saw Senator Penny Wong, now the Minister in charge of the stagnant Green Loans Program, on her third day on the job. As is par for the course, though, the afternoon was less about what was said that was left unsaid.

Read the relevant pages from Senate Hansard here. More analysis after the jump.

11 March 2010

Video: "Transition Adelaide West presents Fresh! The Movie - 2010-02-26"

This is the second video I've uploaded for Transition Adelaide West. This is a short documentary film covering TAW's screening of Fresh! The Movie at Henley Square on 26 February 2010.

Watch the movie below, or use this link to see it on YouTube.

Video: "Transition Adelaide West photo slideshow - February 2010"

I've just uploaded two videos for Transition Adelaide West. The former is a slideshow of photos that illustrates TAW activities in the community. I put this together as a video backdrop, to play in the background at TAW events.

Watch the movie below, or use this link to see it on YouTube.

06 March 2010

HSA delay - Volume Three - a complaint on behalf of assessors yet to be contracted

[This was emailed to ABSA, DEWHA, and others for whom I have email addresses. If you know a HSA, practising or not, or anyone else involved in the Green Loans Program, please pass this message on to them. - A.N.]


Subject: a complaint on behalf of assessors yet to be contracted

20 February 2010

HSA delay - Volume Two

Update: This article was republished in On Line Opinion on 24 February 2010. Many thanks to Susan Prior for her consideration.

Given the pressure mounting against the Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett, you would think that he would be trying to stem the tide of scandals unfolding from his portfolio. If a problem persists, try to solve it, or at least try not to make it worse. Sadly, politics is not that kind of operation.

19 February 2010

Big Brother is sending you email

Following on from my participation in the Great Australian Internet Blackout, I received a charming letter from Senator Stephen Conroy. OK, it's just a form letter, and he already had my email address from the protest letter I wrote to him. I just wanted to sound important.

Senator Conroy's pitch was simple: to defend the proposed mandatory internet filter. Really, it's the same old claptrap, with plenty of mentions of the children to disguise the hypocrisy. It also fails to address the same questions that we've been raising for years.


published article: "Peak Oil: Under The Radar"

This article was published in the 2010 issue of Projections magazine, conceived and compiled by Ewan Scott and Nick Petch. Many thanks to Ewan for his consideration, and to Cecilie Corless for recommending me.


Peak Oil: Under The Radar

While climate change has been in our consciousness for over a decade, another pressing issue remains largely untouched by the mainstream: peak oil.

In 1956, a Shell geophysicist called Marion King Hubbert presented a shocking revelation about the state of oil production in the United States. According to Hubbert's figures, oil production in the lower 48 states would peak within 15 years. His colleagues spent 14 of those 15 years dismissing his theory, until U.S. oil production did indeed peak right on cue, in 1970. Production levels have been in decline ever since.

09 February 2010

Adelaide Greenies calendar has moved

The Adelaide Greenies calendar has moved to a permanent home on Google Sites:


As a mild inconvenience, the addresses of the calendar subscriptions have changed. The old addresses will be phased out at the end of February, but the new addresses are available right now. See the How To Subscribe page for more information. The links in the sidebar of this blog have already been updated.
I hope people are finding this useful. It's certainly helping me keep track of what's happening. As ever, all feedback is welcome.

Oh, and if you know of any events that you think might belong on the Adelaide Greenies calendar, there is a specific email address as well:

adelaidegreenies [at] gmail [dot] com

25 January 2010

The Great Australian Internet Blackout

This blog is supporting The Great Australian Internet Blackout.

From the link: "The Great Australian Internet Blackout is a combined online and offline demonstration against imposed online censorship. We’re collaborating with Electronic Frontiers Australia to make sure every Australian knows why this draconian policy is unacceptable."

This blog will be in a black theme throughout the protest, until 29 January 2010.

HSA delay

Happy New Year to you all. This has been a busy time for me, but hopefully, things will be calming down over the next couple of weeks.

As some people know from meeting me in real life, I have taken a course to become a Home Sustainability Assessor, under the Australian government's Green Loans programme to help householders become more energy- and water-efficient. The process of becoming a HSA has taken longer than I expected, not least of which due to the fact that the police records office, despite my explicit forwarding instructions, sent the certificate of my police check to my home address while I was on holidays. However, with that minor setback behind me, I was set to register with ABSA and get started.

On Friday afternoon, I got a troubling email from Alison Carmichael, CEO of ABSA, some of which I will republish here: