Goulburn Mulwaree Community Sustainability Hub

The Community Sustainability Hub for Goulburn Mulwaree is designed to bring the community together and give it agency that will enable it to respond readily to changing conditions. The three key considerations of the Hub are the health of the environment, economy and community.

Details of the Building and the Running of the Community Sustainability Hub

The Goulburn Mulwaree Community Sustainability Hub, the Hub, is seen as the start of a number of such Hubs across the electorate of Hume and beyond. One objective is to share resources and knowledge that will create interlinked communities large enough to form viable circular economies. The Hub has been adopted as an official project of ZeroSE.

This Hub initiative is supportive of:-

  • the WWF's Regenerative Communities initiative,
  • the Canberra Region Joint Region's Blueprint for a Resilient SE NSW. 
  • the Goulburn Mulwaree branch of the ACF
  • ZeroSE and its affiliated community groups 

The work is informed and guided by the One Planet Council's Framework defined below and by the annual  emissions snapshot data published by Ironbark Sustainability at the LGA, State and Electorate levels.

The timely establishment of the Hub will position Goulburn Mulwaree to realise the associated community benefits. 

The CSH is planned to generate revenue to fund its projects in a number of ways:-

  • Membership fees from individuals
  • Business membership
  • Selling services
  • Revenue from education services and conferences 

The Hub is intended to comprise the following stakeholder with the Community at its centre:-

  • Community Groups
  • Landcare
  • Schools Representatives
  • Farmers, represented by Landcare
  • First Nations Representative
  • Health Services
  • Charities
  • The Council - discussions underway
  • Chamber of Commerce or Local Businesses - discussions underway
  • Sporting Clubs
  • Emergency Services
  • Environmental Groups
  • Performing arts Groups

One Planet Council Sustainability Framework Categories

  1. Health and Happiness
  2. Equity and Local Economy
  3. Culture and Community
  4. Landuse and Wildlife
  5. Sustainable Water
  6. Local and Sustainable Food
  7. Sustainable Materials
  8. Sustainable Transport
  9. Zero Waste
  10. Zero Emissions
  11. Additionally - Soil Health

Hub Functions

  1. To address disadvantage in the community to improve equality
  2. To generate revenue to support its operational activities, starting with revenue from Landcare's Farming Landscape Sustainable Sustainability Conference and Expo
  3. To mobilise the community support through the planned Neighbourhood Action Groups (NAGs)
  4. To drive sustainability improvements leading to community regeneration
  5. To provide, either directly or indirectly, expertise in each of the One Planet Council Sustainability Framework categories
  6. To determine improvement priorities and targets
  7. To facilitate community input and reporting  
  8. To find funding for the significant projects that are designed to be self-sustaining, eg community energy, renewable energy precincts, from ZeroSE
  9. To define and monitor local supplier's sustainability accreditation standards
  10. To liaise with other LGAs in SE NSW through ZeroSE
  11. To liaise with State and Federal Government projects, such as the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's "Blueprint for a Resilient SE NSW"
  12. To support the expansion of community groups delivering sustainability activities, eg Community Gardens
  13. To organise training and examples of how to undertake sustainability initiatives such as making a sustainable garden

Relevant Plans, Emissions Snapshot and Existing Projects

  1. Goulburn Mulwaree Council's Regional Community Strategic Plan and Towards 2042 project
  2. Goulburn Mulwaree Council's Social Sustainability Plan
  3. Goulburn Mulwaree Council's Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation Planning Report
  4. NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's Blueprint for a Resilient SE NSW
  5. Emissions Snapshot for Goulburn Mulwaree LGA from Ironbark Sustainability and Beyond Zero Emissions
  6. Existing programs such as Building Hume's Future Together from Community Voice For Hume

Hub Suggested Membership

  1. Community Voice For Hume and other community groups across Goulburn Mulwaree who are working in the area of community sustainability
  2. Goulburn Mulwaree Council - discussions in progress
  3. Chamber of Commerce - early stage discussions in progress but also going direct to businesses
  4. Representative from Health Services
  5. Representative from Schools - in progress
  6. Representative of most appropriate First Nations Group - discussions in progress
  7. Landcare Goulburn Mulwaree
  8. Performing Arts Groups

Hub Deliverables

  1. Community Climate Resilience Plan
  2. Mobilised and informed community
  3. Regular sustainability events
  4. Reporting on the benefits achieved at the personal, neighbourhood, community and environmental levels

Hub Objectives

  1. For Goulburn Mulwaree to take a leadership role in SE NSW in the development of a regenerative  community. Its objectives include:-
    • work to imrpove social sustainability 
    • to build a circular economy and to capitalise on new opportunities, such through a technology hub/precint 
    • to improve building efficiencies, starting with Aged Pensioners
    • To improve our human capital
    • to achieve carbon negative, in particular through carbon sequestration from better use of agricultural land 
    • to be sufficient in food and to be a supplier of clean/organic food high on nutritional value
    • to be a leader in SE NSW in Regenerative Agriculture and associated education
    • to have the best schools
    • to be able to retain school leavers in the community by having suitable education opportunities and career paths
    • to have a clean atmosphere quiet streets with cool public areas and private gardens
    • to prepare its citizens for the impacts of climate and pandemics  
    • to have high quality soils that can hold high levels of moisture and soil organic carbon 

Hub Planned Areas of Expertise 

  • Community engagement
  • Regenerative Agriculture and carbon sequestration
  • Electrify Everything
  • Garden Sustainability and vegetable growing
  • Energy efficiency in buildings and dwellings
  • Social sustainability/equality
  • Circular economy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Reforestation and the restoration of ecological system restoration including riverine
  • Building and managing carbon credits
  • Estimation and Quantification of the benefits of sustainability initiatives
  • Doughnut Economics 

Implementation Strategy

Start with highest priority activity that requires the least funding and has the most benefit

1. Form a steering committee

2. Input from residents on their community needs

3. Building Social Sustainability with practical projects such as improving home insulation and thermability for Aged pensioners. 

4. Soil improvement leading to carbon sequestration on agricultural, council and in private gardens. 

5. Where possible conduct an assessment of each of the One Planet Council Sustainability Framework, eg to establish the adequacy of council plans to support the sustainability of the communiuty.

6. Work with partners in the execution of sustainability initiatives

Example of the Emissions Reduction and Earth Cooling Opportunities

Carbon Draw down on Farming Land

With the total emissions for Goulburn Mulwaree LGA at some 608,000 tCo2e in the latest (July 2019-2020) LGA snapshot, there is the opportunity through improved Landuse to reduce that by 200,000 tCO2e. This is itemised on the second page of the document as per the following link. 

https://secureservercdn.net/192.169.223.13/v25.8a0.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Goulburn-Mulwaree-Fact-Sheet-v2.0.pdf

In summary the Landuse emissions drawdown requires a change in the use of 1% of agricultural land as follows:-

1. 137,000 tCO2e per annum by preventing the replacement of native pastures by exotic grasses

2. 50,000 tCO2e per annum by retaining existing trees (conservation)

3. 7,300 tCO2e per annum by increasing shelter belts on farms

4. 1,600 tCO2e per annum by planting legumes in pastures

5. 400 tCO2e per annum through optimal grazing

The above actions will also cool the ground by the retention of moisture.

Benefits and Opportunities

Environmental benefits:-

  • moisture retention
  • soil health 
  • erosion-proofing
  • animal well-being
  • biodiversity
  • sustained productivity and drought resilience

Plus

  • Diversification of on-farm income
  • On-farm long-term financial dividends and investment in ‘natural capital’
  • Business & job opportunities in carbon drawdown
  • Conservation
  • Nature-based/Agri-tourism