Advocacy and community outreach is an important part of what we do. Working with our member groups, we represent tens of thousands of community members and work tirelessly to educate and mobilise people on the biggest issues facing the Sunshine Coast.
Member Group & Environment Minister Roundtable Meetings
Once or twice a year, SCEC hold a member group roundtable meeting which provides a platform for our region to discuss the issues of highest environmental concern. Following the meeting, three issues are selected and drafted into easy to digest briefing notes before being submitted to the Environment Minister for assessment. SCEC then go on to represent its member groups at the Environment Ministers Roundtable event which occurs in Brisbane twice a year. It is here that issues relevant to the Sunshine Coast can be raised in person.
The Ministers Roundtable event also provides the opportunity for SCEC to learn about other issues of concern happening across the Queensland conservation sector, some of which are matters of state, national and even international significance. The Roundtable event goes for four days, and also includes various capacity building workshops hosted by the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC).
Working across all levels of government
When SCEC aren't busy working on a campaign or organising an event, staff are contributing to broader conservation outcomes across the country by writing submissions to inquiries and responding to Discussion Papers. In 2017, SCEC wrote over 30 submissions on a wide variety of issues. Here are just a few:
- The proposed cutbacks to Australia's Marine Park Network
- The Senate inquiry into shark mitigation and deterrent measures
- Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017
- Coastal Pathway Submission
SCEC often meet with local council staff and members to workshop through solutions to matters of environmental concern. Council Ordinary meetings are often attended by SCEC, as are various Council seminars, workshops and information sessions relevant to local environmental issues. SCEC also meet with members of Parliament in regard to environmental issues of state and national concern.
SCEC staff also contribute to various working groups and steering committees to bring about sustainable change to the region.
Workshops, Forums and Panels
- We co-host community information and discussion nights with the Environmental Defenders Office
- We run campaign information sessions and election forums
- We appear on discussion panels about a range of issues from plastic pollution to climate change
Outreach & Education
- We host the World Environment Day Festival every year where the community comes together to learn, be inspired and take action for the environment.
- We hold information stalls at Maleny Wood Festival, public film screenings, member group events etc.
- We run community information nights on campaigns where people can learn about the issues and how to take action.
Working with the Community
With a very small team, it's not possible for SCEC to take on all issues of concern across the region. Our capacity is limited to matters of high environmental significance which are determined once a thorough assessment of an issue is undertaken. Where SCEC are unable to take on an issue, we provide campaign advice to concerned residents where we can. SCEC encourage residents to form groups to assist in information gathering and sharing, and to act as a point a contact for the public. This is often done through social media and face to face meet-ups.
The voice of the public is powerful, and with a concerted approach, there is no limit to what a committed group of people working towards a common goal can achieve. SCEC encourage residents to contact their local Councillor with their matter of concern, and keep us up to date with how the campaign evolves, and how we can be of assistance within our capacity.