Submission to MRSC Strategic Plan from Kyneton Transition Hub – February 2017
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 recommend the following issues are included in the next council strategic plan:
• Divestment – ensure MRSC does not have investments in fossil fuel and other unsustainable industries. Adopt an ethical investment policy for all money held by the council.
• Invest in renewable energy for council owned buildings and encourage and facilitate the same for community-owned buildings in the region. 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.
• Support for local agriculture that recognises the importance of resilience and equity not just economic issues. Help build links between producers and their local customers, but also address the issue of food insecurity as it affects the disadvantaged in our community.
• Resilience and sustainability can only be achieved if equitable solutions are sought. This relates to food security issues, but also 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.
• 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 council plan takes shape.
Julie McLaren, Community Liaison
Kyneton Transition Hub
(03) 5422 3023