Goulburn Mulwaree Community Sustainability Hub

The Goulburn Mulwaree Community Sustainability Hub, the Hub, is a community Enterprise with the role to build and support sustainability/resilience across the Local Government Area and realise the economic benefits that would deliver. It is to be managed by a committee that will prioritise and resources those projects. The hub will include subject matter experts who will help to build local expertise. The Hub will generate revenue by selling services, corporate and private memberships and events such as its Community Sustainability Expo.

The purpose of the Sustainability Hub is to build a regenerative community as above, starting in Goulburn Mulwaree and then across the electorate of Hume. This initiative is supported by international bodies, such as the WWF and National bodies such as the ACF and regional organisations such as ZeroSE and its many affiliated community groups. Work is already under way in the form to realise the desired regenerative community.  

The work will be 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. Starting the journey sooner rather than later would position Goulburn Mulwaree to realise community benefits, in particular economic benefits of its actions. 

The Hub will generate revenue to fund its projects in a number of ways, starting with revenue from its Community Sustainability Expo.

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

  • Community Groups
  • Landcare
  • Schools Representatives
  • Farmers
  • First Nations Representative
  • Health Services
  • Charities
  • The Council
  • Chamber of Commerce or Local Businesses
  • Sporting Clubs
  • Emergency Services

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 generate revenue to support its operational activities, this is to start with revenue from the Community Sustainability Expo
  2. To mobilise the community through the likes of Neighbourhood Action Groups (NAGs)
  3. To drive sustainability improvements leading to community regeneration
  4. To provide, either directly or indirectly, expertise in each of the One Planet Council Sustainability Framework categories
  5. To determine improvement priorities and targets
  6. To facilitate community input and reporting  
  7. To find funding for the significant projects that are deigned to be self-sustaining, eg community energy, renewable energy precincts 
  8. To define and monitor local supplier's sustainability accreditation standards
  9. To liaise with other LGAs in SE NSW through ZeroSE
  10. 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"
  11. To support the expansion of community groups delivering sustainability activities, eg Community Gardens
  12. To organise training and examples of how to undertake sustainability initiatives such as making a sustainable garden
  13. To support disadvantaged members of the community leading to a more equitable community

Hub Relevant Plans, Emissions Snapshot and Existing Projects

  1. Goulburn Mulwaree Council's Regional Community Strategic Plan and Towards 2042 project
  2. Social Sustainability Plan
  3. 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 4 Hume (as the architect and initiator)
  2. Goulburn Mulwaree Council (tbc)
  3. Chamber of Commerce (tbc)
  4. Other pertinent community groups working in the area of community sustainability and from the villages
  5. Representative from Health Services
  6. Representative from Schools
  7. Representative of most appropriate First Nations Group
  8. Landcare, especially representative of Regenerative Farmers 

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. The key benefit is for Goulburn Mulwaree to take a leadership role in the development of a regenerative  community and its objectives include:-
    • building a circular economy and to capitalise on new markets such as the export of clean energy 
    • an improved level of social sustainability and to reduce inequality
    • improved building efficiencies
    • improved 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 RA 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
  • Building energy efficiency
  • Social sustainability/equality
  • Circular economy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Reforestation and ecological system restoration including riverine
  • Building and managing carbon credits
  • Estimation and Quantification of the benefits of sustainability initiatives 

Implementation Strategy

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

1. Mobilisation of the residents

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

3. 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.

3. 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. 


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


  • 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 tourism