Kyneton Transition Hub is a part of the international transition town movement and is concerned with sustainability issues in a broad sense. Our special focus is on building strong and resilient communities in a future of peak oil and climate change. Our vision for the Macedon Ranges region includes initiatives to make our region more resilient and sustainable and also ways to contribute to a more resilient and sustainable world.
For these reasons we make the following comments regarding the draft Climate Change Action Plan:
- The targets fall far short of what is required to contribute a fair share in addressing climate change. For Australia (and the world) to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 is too little, too late to avoid catastrophic effects; to take that as our target when we are a relatively wealthy part of the world is far too little. We should be aiming for 50% reduction in the life of the current council (2020), and neutrality during the subsequent council (2024). This will be aided by quickly advancing technologies (e.g., battery storage) but should also be a budget priority.
- The council should take responsibility for their overall impact on climate not just those things that are measurable. For example, actions on green power and waste should not sidelined as they are not happening in our back yard or not measured as the council’s direct impact. Green power should be the norm and waste issues need to be addressed as if we owned the land fill sites. The council’s attitude to this is a little like the sailor who is happy that the leak is in the other end of the boat.
- Divestment from fossil fuel and other unsustainable industries should not be something we consider or plan for the future. It should be something we undertake immediately and finalise within the life of the current council. Again, we’re in that leaky boat.
- We support the move to invest in renewable energy for council owned buildings but would prefer much quicker progress, especially as when the payback period is over there are continuing savings in both money and carbon.
- There are many community-owned buildings in the region, and council should encourage and facilitate their installation of solar PV. Council should also encourage and support community-owned renewable energy initiatives like the solar and wind farms in Woodend.
- Urban agriculture should be encouraged through edible trees on nature strips, a clear and positive nature strip garden policy, support for community and neighbourhood gardens, and encouraging edible gardens on under-utilised council land and open spaces. It may be difficult to measure the carbon impact of these initiatives however that does not mean they should be overlooked.
- Support for local agriculture that recognises its role in carbon reduction and sequestering. Encourage and support proactive initiatives such as soil enrichment, regeneration and the use of biochar.
- Resilience and sustainability can only be achieved if equitable solutions are sought. This relates to food security issues, homelessness and access to housing. Council should work with other groups to help secure equitable outcomes for all.
- Work with local communities and community groups to preserve and enhance our local parks, botanic gardens and nature reserves.
- Bring sustainability issues to the fore in all council decision-making. This may require a sustainability reference group that includes community members and experts to ensure sustainable outcomes. [For example, we recently became aware that a cleaning tender which has until recently been undertaken by locals now requires $50,000 bond. This rules out most small local businesses and ensures the work will now be done by larger corporates based in Melbourne and possibly sending staff from elsewhere. If environmental impacts had been fully considered the bond was unlikely to be approved.]
- Enhance council decisions by embedding community consultation into the processes. This is likely to be some form of deliberative democracy such as citizens juries.
This is only a brief outline of our key concerns. We would be happy to discuss this in more detail as the climate change action plan takes shape.
Thursday 11th May – 1 to 3 pm
Come for the whole session or just a while.
No sewing experience needed – lots of fun jobs – sewing machines, scissors, etc. available or bring your own. Kids welcome.
BUPA Boomerang Bag sewing bees will be on every second Thursday of the month.
Do you find it hard to remember to take your reusable bags when you go shopping? There’s a solution on its way and it’s coming from the Kyneton community supported by Kyneton Transition Hub and Kyneton Community & Learning Centre.
An enthusiastic group of locals is organising sewing bees to deliver community made and shared reusable cloth bags where you need them most. This is part of the Boomerang Bag initiative started by two young women on the Gold Coast in 2013 which is now expanding around Australia and overseas. Its aim is to reduce plastic bag use and protect ocean life. For more information on the Boomerang Bag movement check out their website.
The bags are made from donated fabric and upcycled clothing and linen. Donations of fabric and linen are already coming in, and if you have a sewing machine, iron, overlocker or other sewing equipment you no longer want the group would love to hear from you.
The first sewing bee is on Thursday 4th May at the Kyneton Community & Learning Centre (KCLC) from 9.30 am to 3 pm. Come for the whole day or just a while. Sewing machines, scissors, etc. are available or bring your own. No sewing experience is needed and there are lots of fun jobs including cutting fabric, ironing, pinning and screen printing. Kids are welcome.
Regular sewing bees will also be hosted by BUPA and RM Begg to make even more connections in the community. Monthly weekend sessions are also available.
Schedule for May:
Thursday 4th May – 9.30 to 3 pm – KCLC
Thursday 11th May – 1 to 3 pm – BUPA (and then every second Thursday of the month)
Thursday 18th May – 9.30 to 12 noon – RM Begg (and then every third Thursday of the month)
Sunday 21st May – 1 to 4 pm – KCLC
Wednesday 24th May – 9.30 am to 3 pm – KCLC
If these days don’t suit please contact the group as sewing bees will be scheduled to suit everyone and further partnerships with schools and other community groups will be welcome.
For more information find us on Facebook, email Kynetonboomerangbags@gmail.com or call KCLC on 5422 3433.
~ Come along to our first garden gathering for a while ~
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Join Kyneton’s own “Raspberry Queen” to:
· Get some free raspberry canes to grow in your own backyard
· Learn about raspberry growing from the “queen”
· Help to stop the raspberries taking over the whole of Jan’s veggie patch
· Weed around the raspberries
· To have some fun chatting with other garden-loving locals
· Enjoy a yummy afternoon tea
· Bring your kids to run and play (or garden if they really want to)
Why? It’s an opportunity to share your garden dreams and challenges, ask questions, learn and help others.
When: Sunday 23rd April from 2pm to 4pm
Where: 10 Granite Hill Lane, Kyneton (from Kyneton take Edgecombe, Pipers Creek, Baynton and Black Hill Roads, then first right past the Kyneton Golf Course)
What to bring: gloves, sun hat (or beanie), water bottle, tools (especially spades for digging up raspberries)
No need to RSVP, just turn up.
Any questions please call Julie on 5422 3023 or 0425 724 156.
March Produce Swap matched February’s with great variety, quantity and quality of produce. The chats with locals and visitors were also a lot of fun.
This Saturday’s April market may be the last of the big ones before our seasonal slow down starts. Remember we also do swaps of egg cartons, seedlings, seeds and cuttings.
Bring your produce along on the second Saturday of the month to the Kyneton Farmers’ Market or just drop in for a chat about what’s going on around Kyneton and especially in our gardens.
We have enthusiastic members on the Boomerang Bags steering group to do the organising. This makes the load fairly light, but we would love to have some more people on board to further lighten the load and to spread the word further.
Next meeting of steering group is on Wednesday 29th March at 7 pm at the Kyneton Community & Learning Centre.
First sewing bee is scheduled for early May to allow us to get past school holidays and get everything organised.
For more information about Boomerang Bags check out their website or facebook page or join the community facebook group.