Tathra’s call to Australia

About 2000 people turned up at Lawrence Park in Tathra on a warm Sunday at the beginning of Spring to send a strong message about global warming to the Australian community. They, along with 14 RFS trucks formed a giant animated sign spelling out initially “Keep Tathra Cool”, “Reduce CO2” and ultimateley “Climate Action Now” – 34 letters in total.


Tathra is a town like no other, it really understands the threat of climate change and how it can be turned into an opportunity. The town has been at the forefront of solutions to climate change since 2006, when CEFE formed two human signs on the town’s beach with 3000 people that read “Clean Energy For Eternity” and “Imagine”.

Since then, 250 kilowatts of renewable energy had been installed in Tathra, coming from such locations as the solar farm at the sewage treatment plant, the primary school, the football club and many businesses.

Speaking to the media following the sign CEFE President Dr Matthew Nott said it was a “disgrace” and a “dereliction of duty” that Australia did not have a national emissions policy and the sign’s message to “politicians of all colours and stripes” was they needed to come together to develop a strong national policy to reduce emissions.

“Renewable energy is now cheaper than coal-fired electricity, so why do we focus on coal as a form of energy? It doesn’t make any sense to me,” Dr Nott said.


Nick Graham-Higgs, the founder of environmental consultancy NGH Environmental, who spent March 18 fighting to save his home and neighbouring properties when a bushfire hit the town participated in the sign.

“We are lucky that no lives were lost that day, but it took several months to recover from the emotional trauma as well as the smoke inhalation,” Mr Graham-Higgs said.

“Everyone is extremely uneasy about the coming summer, as a hot day and strong breeze could set off the nightmare for us once again.

“The clean energy solutions required for climate action are already technically feasible, affordable and available today.

“Making the switch away from fossil fuels is just a matter of political will.” .

David Gallan, President of the Far South Coast branch of the National Parks Association and member of the RFS, who sustained severe damage to his solar-powered home in the bushfire.

“In addition to renewable energy, protecting forests is also one of the cheapest and most effective ways to cut emissions and reduce bushfire risk,” he said.

“Our leaders must act in the best interests of all Australians and support climate solutions such as renewable energy and forest protection.”

20171020 Solar for Tathra Public School

A 17 kW kW solar system was installed on the roof of Tathra Public School in October 2017. The School’s principal, Lisa Freedman said the project showed what can be done when a community works together towards a common goal. “Its not only the benefits of having the panels but all the community groups working together”. After 18 months the project was completed with funding from the IMAGINE community solar farm, Enduro mountain bike event, a community concert and a NSW Department of Education grant.

20180729 Solar for Evans Park amenities block

Thanks to the hard work of Adam Wiggins and his Kalaru Sports Complex Steering Group, this project is coming into fruition. The concrete has been poured for the floor of the amenities block and thanks to CEFE, with the assistance of a $5000 grant from the IMB Bank Community foundation, the amenities block will be powered by a stand-alone solar + battery solution. The total cost will be $8000 of which $3000 was provided by CEFE through funds raised via the sale of electricity from the IMAGINE solar farm. The photo shows IMB Bega branch manager Sharon Shepherd and CEFE’s Prue Kelly at the award ceremony.

20180803 Solar for Tathra AFL Football Club

12 kW of solar has been installed on the roof of the Tathra AFL Football Club in Lawrence Park Tathra. The solar power will be used to energise the heat pump based hot water system as well as for refrigeration. CEFE provided a grant of $12,000 from the proceeds of electricity sales from its IMAGINE solar farm in Tathra with the balance coming from a joint fund raising initiative conducted by CEFE and TAFLFC.

Those in photo L to R are:
John Turville – Recreation & Natural Assets Co-ordinator, BVSC
David Howard – Treasurer, Tathra AFL Club
Cr Liz Seckold – Deputy Mayor, BVSC
Prue Kelly – CEFE Project Manager
Peter Cross – Secretary, Tathra AFL Club
Ben Scales – Sunny Afternoons Solar
Cr Kristy McBain – Mayor, BVSC
Greg Coman – President, Tathra AFL Club
Dr Mike Kelly – Federal Member for Eden Monaro

Climate change impact on the South East

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has now published the finding of the NARClim Project

The Regional Climate Modelling (NARClim) Project is a research partnership between NSW and ACT governments and the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW. The NSW partners include Sydney Water, NSW Department of Transport, NSW Department of Primary Industry and NSW Office of Water

You can download maps from their website

Here is an example of one of the maps

Compared with the two decades 1990-2010, the decades 2020-2040:-

Average annual rainfall in Bega will decrease by between 5 and 10%, with between 10 and 20% more rainfall in Autumn and less in the other seasons.

The number of days on average per year in Bega with temperatures above 35 degrees C will increase by between 1 and 5 days a year.

The average number of days with severe fire danger in Bega per annum will increase by less than 1 day with fewer severe fire danger days in Autumn and more in the other seasons

The average number of days per year in Bega with a minimum temperature below 2 degrees C will decrease by between 10 and 20 days.

The Jaws of a beast

Footage taken 2 weeks after a monster bore down on Tathra.
Out of respect for those that have lost everything, no houses have been shown in this video.
A big thanks to National Parks, the police and ambulance, SES, VRA, NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW Forestry, and the courageous RFS. Thanks to brigades from Shoalhaven, Milton, Kangaroo Valley, Bega, Bemboka, Bermagui, Brogo, Burragate, Candelo, Cobargo, Eden, Kiah, Eurobodalla, Nethercote, Quaama, Rocky Hall, Towamba, Wolumla, Wonboyn, Numbugga, Pambula, Jellat, Angledale, Taraganda, Merimbula, Buckajo, Tanja, and of course Tathra. Thank you for saving our town.

Tathra Community pulls together in crisis

Clean Energy for Eternity was born in Tathra in 2006 when 2000 assembled in the beach to make the human sign you see on our banner at the top of this page. Up until Sunday’s devastating fires the news out of Tathra has always been good – a tight knit supportive community acutely aware of the risks of climate change and working together for a low carbon future, as epitomised in CEFE’s slogan 50/50 by 2020, proudly displayed on the water tower as you enter town. The latest in a long list of initiatives undertaken by Clean Energy for Eternity was to have been a ‘Hub in the Pub’ talk on the Science of climate change by CEFE founder and President Dr Matthew Nott that was to have taken place on Tuesday 20/3 when the catastrophic fires upturned everyone’s lives. From all of us in the wider CEFE community our hearts go out to those who have their homes and now have to start the process of rebuilding their lives. At least no lives were lost. Tathra will recover, and what we need now is to IMAGINE that future. We are relieved that the Tathra Community Solar Farm has emerged unscathed.