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. The CSH will drive Goulburn Mulwaree's transition to a sustainable community.

Details of the Goulburn Mulwaree 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 as part of the Resource Based Economies (RBE). 

There are very significant business opportunities to be realised through the implementation of the CSH that lead directly to community sustainability. This is demonstrated by the Bega CSH in the form of the "Bega Circular Valley". See https://begacircularvalley.com.au/

The Hub initiative delivers and is supported by:-

  • The Circular Economy leading, over time, to the Resource Balanced Economy 
  • the Canberra Region Joint Region's Blueprint for a Resilient SE NSW 
  • the WWF's Vision for Regenerative Communities
  • ZeroSE and its affiliated community groups across SE NSW

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, Electorate and State levels.

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

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

  • Membership fees from individuals and businesses, either as a Cooperative or as an Incorporated Association  
  • Selling services
  • Revenue from education services and conferences
  • Revenue from Solar and Windfarms

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

  • First Nations Representative
  • Community Groups
    • Service Clubs:- CWA, Rotary, Lions, Probus et al 
    • villages:- Tarago, Windellama, Bungonia, Taralga, Marulan   
  • Landcare Groups in Goulburn Mulwaree
  • Schools
  • Farmers, represented by Landcare
  • Health Services
  • Charities
  • The Council (GMC)
  • Chamber of Commerce/Local Businesses
  • Sporting Clubs
  • Environmental Groups
  • Fine Arts Groups and Artists 
  • Performing Arts Groups, including musicians

One Planet Council Sustainability Framework Categories

  1. Health and Happiness
  2. Equity and Local Economy
  3. Culture and Community
  4. Land use 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 Help Drive the transition to a Circular Economy and, eventually to a Resource Balanced Economy  
  2. To address disadvantage in the community
  3. To generate revenue to support its operational activities including from the planned Sustainability Conference and Expo
  4. To mobilise the community support through Neighbourhood Action Groups (NAGs)
  5. To drive sustainability improvements leading to community regeneration
  6. To provide, either directly or indirectly, expertise in each of the One Planet Council Sustainability Framework categories
  7. To determine improvement priorities and targets
  8. To facilitate community input and reporting  
  9. To find funding for the significant projects that are designed to be self-sustaining, eg community energy, renewable energy precincts
  10. To promote sustainability accreditation by local businesses to support Eco-tourism  
  11. To liaise with other LGAs in SE NSW through the ZeroSE group, see https://zerose.space/ 
  12. 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"
  13. To support the expansion of community groups delivering sustainability activities, eg Community Gardens
  14. To organise training and examples of how to undertake sustainability initiatives such as making a sustainable garden

Relevant Plans, Emissions Snapshot and 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. Building Hume's Future Together from Community Voice 4 Hume

Current Hub Membership

  1. Aboriginal Representation includes the Gundungurra and Ngunnawal Peoples 
  2. Australian Agricultural Centre (Education&Agri-Tourism) (Jo Marshall)
  3. ANU - Sustainable Farms
  4. ANU - Hon. Prof Robyn Alders, AO, Development Policy Centre
  5. Australian River Restoration Centre and Rivers of Carbon - https://arrc.au/
  6. Bioregional - https://www.bioregional.com/bioregional-australia
  7. CE4G (Community Energy for Goulburn)
  8. Community Voice 4 Hume (CV4H) - https://www.cv-4h.org/building-humes-future-together-program.html#/
  9. Divalls (Sand & Soil)
  10. Eric Brown Motors (Hamish Brown)
  11. JSF Interiors
  12. Landcare Goulburn Mulwaree
  13. Landcare Goulburn Wetlands
  14. Regen Action Wingecarribee - https://www.regenaction.org.au/
  15. The Goulburn Group (TGG)
  16. ZeroSE - representation from groups in SE NSW - https://zerose.space 
  17. Cynthia Dolan
  18. Dr Di Dibley, Environmental Lawyer, ZeroSE
  19. Cynthia Dolan
  20. Frank Fegan
  21. Jenny Bell (Artist & Regenerative Farmer 
  22. Heather Kemp 
  23. Dr Leyla Acaroglu - Circular Economy https://www.leylaacaroglu.com/
  24. Matt Ford 
  25. Penny Steel

Other Suggested Hub Members

  1. Other community groups across Goulburn Mulwaree who are working in the area of community sustainability
  2. Goulburn Mulwaree Council
  3. Chamber of Commerce 
  4. Representative from Health Services
  5. Representative from Schools 
  6. Performing Arts Groups
  7. Other

Hub Deliverables

  1. A growing, sustainable economy 
  2. Neighbourhood Action Groups
  3. Community Climate Resilience Plan
  4. Mobilised and informed community
  5. Sustainability Projects 
  6. Community sustainability events
  7. Hydrated and vegetated landscape
  8. Regular farmers market

Hub Objectives

  1. For Goulburn Mulwaree to take a leadership role in SE NSW in the development of a sustainable community. Its objectives include:-
    • improved social sustainability 
    • a climate resilient landscape, from bushfires and floods
    • a circular economy connected across SE NSW that is able to capitalise on new sustainable opportunities
    • to improve housing energy efficiency starting with the homes of Aged Pensioners
    • To improve on our human capital and job opportunities for our youth 
    • 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 of high 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 and quiet streets together 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 significant levels of moisture and soil organic carbon 

Planned Areas of Expertise 

  • Building sustainable businesses
  • 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 leading to a Resource Balanced Economy
  • Development of New Forms of Renewable Energy
  • Reforestation and the restoration of ecological system restoration including riverine
  • Building carbon in the soil and managing carbon credits
  • Estimation and quantification of the benefits of sustainability initiatives
  • Application and understanding of 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 on community needs from other groups, especially from he "Villages", through meetings and surveys, plus Council survey

3. Use metrics from Ironbark Sustainability Snapshot to set targets so we can measure progress, ditto metrics from the One Planet Council Sustainability Framework Categories, through the Bioregional Group, see https://www.bioregional.com/bioregional-australia

4. Building business and social sustainability with practical projects such as improving home insulation for Aged pensioners, based on agreed se of priorities

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

6. 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 community

7. 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 land use 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 land use 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.

CSH Benefits and Opportunities

Environmental Benefits:-

  • reduce carbon emissions and increase moisture retention
  • soil health 
  • erosion-proofing
  • animal well-being
  • safeguard and build natural capital and biodiversity
  • sustained productivity and drought resilience
  • cooling the ground and around neighbourhoods

Business Benefits

  • establishment of Goulburn Mulwaree as a leader in building a sustainable future through:-
    • major eco/agri-tourism projects such as riverine and suburban restoration 
    • self-sufficient in clean food production
    • reduced power use and hence business and domestic outgoings  
  • safeguard and build your revenue
  • align your business with community needs
  • build the sustainability of your business through collaboration and shared community values