Ian will no doubt speak about the movement of the sun and its impact on housing design related to energy efficiency and comfort. Ian has a passive solar home and has recently upgraded some of the features on his home.
Long-term BSFG member Ian Herbert is doing a presentation on Sustainable Housing at the Benalla Library this Wednesday October 18th from 7.00pm until 8.00pm.
Ian will no doubt speak about the movement of the sun and its impact on housing design related to energy efficiency and comfort. Ian has a passive solar home and has recently upgraded some of the features on his home.
The next General Meeting of BSFG is on Thursday the 26th of October at 7.30pm in the Meeting room, The Benalla Uniting Church, Carrier Street Benalla, opposite the Coles carpark.
Our guest speaker is Carole Hammond who is the Team Leader Sustainable Development at Strathbogie Shire. Carole is engaged in building the smart growth of a 21st century economy and environment for the Shire of Strathbogie. This includes programs across native vegetation and biodiversity, regional stewardship projects, working with Landcare, as well as a range of sustainability, and climate change adaptation projects, such as the ‘Bogie Bulk Buy’, that will contribute to a strong, resilient Shire of the future.
Carole is also the creator of Coolth Sustainability, a multidisciplinary sustainability practice. The consultancy offers accredited thermal performance assessments under the National Housing Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), and specialist input into environmentally sustainable residential design.
We look forward to hearing from Carole who will speak after the business of the meeting. A light supper will be served at the end of the meeting.
0418 135 330
Tuesdays, September 26, October 10, October 24, November 7, November 21, December 5, December 19, 12.30 to 3.30 pm: Plastic Wise Benalla, under the auspice of the Benalla Sustainable Future Group, is working towards reducing the impact of single use plastic on our community.
Upcycled bags are sewn with love by community volunteers,
Working bees are held Tuesdays, 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm, at the Benalla Drill Hall.
Anyone is welcome to come along and help create bags for our community, all help is appreciated. No sewing necessary - the commmunity group also needs help with cutting, sourcing material, ironing and pinning - there's plenty to do for all skill levels!
Other options for support include sew-at-home kits; donations (sturdy material suitable for bags such as calico, curtains and tablecloths, and cotton for sewing up the bags). Purchases will be available as well shortly for $5, with all proceeds going back into the community.
Source: Benalla Ensign, Wednesday September 20, 2017 p 12
Renewable Energy for Benalla is conducting an energy audit to identify options to assist Benalla businesses to
To help out, complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BenallaEnergy4BusinessSurvey
From the Benalla Ensign, Wednesday September 20, 2017
BSFG is seeking assistance for two BSFG projects, Market Stalls and Sustainable House Day 2017.
Market Stalls: In the latest issue of our Newsletter BSFG President John Lloyd has written an article about Market Stalls. The committee believes a Market Stall Action Group consisting of 3-4 members would be the best way to make our stalls more effective and we are looking for a small number of people to establish this action group. The group would organise and prepare for the stalls, enlisting the assistance of members to staff our stall at the annual Day in the Gardens and possibly at three Lakeside markets during the year.
If you would like to find out more and be involved in setting up and contributing to a Market Stall Action Group, please contact Peter Maddock via the Contact page on this website.
Sustainable House Day: BSFG member Howard Bartlett’s open house for Sustainable House Day, which is on Sunday September 17. Entry Fee is a Gold Coin Donation to Benalla Sustainable Future Group. Howard requires assistance to staff a table at the entry to display BSFG information and to collect coins and register visitors. Howard’s home at 1/25 Barkly St Benalla will be open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, and he will be conducting SOAP House Design Workshops at 11.00am and 2.00pm. Are you able to spare an hour on Sunday September 17 to assist Howard? We need a few more people as only one member has been able to offer assistance so far.
0418 135 330
'Where were you, grand parent, when you had a chance to call for a stop to the Adani Carmichael coal mine?'....
At least MP's Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie and Adam Bandt will be able to respond positively.
Here is the text of an email sent to John Lloyd, and a photograph of the voting, relating to the amendment to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Amendment Bill 2017 supported by Cathy McGowan.
Subject: Adani and the Great Barrier Reef (Case Ref: CM53579)
You have written to me about Adani and the Great Barrier Reef. It’s an important issue and this week in Parliament, Andrew Wilkie, Adam Bandt and I called upon the Government to stop the Adani coal mine.
The opportunity came during debate of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Amendment Bill 2017. I supported an amendment, moved by Mr Bandt “that global warming is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and calls on the government to immediately take all available steps to stop the Adani Carmichael coal mine”.
Mr Bandt had earlier spoken to his amendment, arguing that “throughout this whole debate on the Great Barrier Reef so far we haven’t heard a word from either the government or the opposition about something that is going to turbocharge global warming and affect the Great Barrier Reef, and that is the Adani Carmichael coalmine that’s proposed in Queensland”.
However, as you can see by the photograph here at http://www.cathymcgowan.com.au/adani_vote, when we voted only Mr Wilkie, Mr Bandt and myself said “YES”!
All Government and Opposition members voted “NO”.
Cathy McGowan AO MP
Federal Member for Indi
117 Murphy St Wangaratta VIC 3677
P: 5721 7077 | F: 5721 7066
"Cathy McGowan tells parliament it's time for the government to do its bit supporting community energy, supporting communities to be self reliant and self-sufficient in their energy use". (You Tube, Aug 15, '17)
Cathy incorporates BSFG and Benalla Council in her speech. Thank you, Cathy!
The Renewable Energy for Benalla (REB) Action Group is currently planning a workshop on reducing energy costs for business. REB has been working closely with Benalla Business Network, Catherine Macmillan, Business Development Coordinator for Benalla council, and Sustainability Victoria to plan this workshop.
REB has developed a questionnaire to survey energy use by business that will be distributed through the
Business Network. This will provide some base line data on energy use in the business/industry sector and will help with planning of the workshop.
REB members have started to make some preliminary investigations about a suitable community energy
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) Involvement
At the recent EcoCity World Summit in Melbourne, BZE launched the Zero Carbon Communities Guide in which REB features, as do the other two communities BZE is working with, Baw Baw and Nillimbuk. attended the launch as did representatives from the other two communities.
REB has recently received the first draft of a ten year transition strategy to 100% renewable energy. There is much work to be done on this document before it is finalised.
The next meeting of Benalla Sustainable Future Group will be held on Thursday 24th August at 7:30pm in the meeting room at the Uniting Church, Carrier Street, Benalla.
The guest speaker will be Michael Staindl from Beyond Zero Emissions whose topic will be ‘Climate Change: the Bad the Good and You.’ Michael, who has degrees in Nuclear Physics, Computing and Biomedical Instrumentation, considers himself a 'tech-head', and when he had his OMG moment about climate change some years ago he initially thought the problem could be solved through exciting new technologies. However he quickly realised that while we had the technical technologies to solve the problem we didn't have the 'soft' technologies - the attitudes and thinking capability.
Michael's presentation will cover the reality of where we are with Climate Change, touch on some of the positive efforts to address it, then introduce concepts such as cognitive dissonance and wicked problems to try to understand why we are not facing this existential crisis.
Michael now works full time on climate action and is a producer of the Beyond Zero Emissions community radio program.
Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Your Plastic Containers
This article was recommended to us through the contacts page on our website by some young girls in California! Amanda, their Girl Scout Leader, writing on their behalf, wrote "thank you for your page, http://www.bsfg.org.au/links.html My troop found your resources to be so helpful while they are working very hard on earning their Go Green badges! The girls would like to suggest another page, as a thank you for being such a big help: http://www.bottlestore.com/ways-to-reduce-reuse-recycle-plastic-containers They thought that other people (and possibly other Girl Scout Troops) would find it as helpful as they did!" We'd like to thank them for their recommendation which comes from a different lens - ideas for children and families.
"How much of an impact can you have on the environment? Isn't recycling and saving energy something that only adults can do? You might be surprised to learn that you can play a huge role in making a real difference. There are things that you can do at home, at school, or even while spending time in the backyard that can help conserve energy, reduce waste, and ensure that we take good care of the environment. One of the easiest ways for kids to help is learning how to recycle. A lot of the items that you use every day can be turned into something useful when recycled. From the milk cartons or jugs in the fridge to papers from school, you can collect these items and turn them in to a recycling center to go green! Plastic bottles can be made into lawn furniture. Some milk jugs can get a new life by being made into things to play on at a local playground. But there is more to do than just recycling. Turning off the lights when you leave the house can reduce energy costs (which makes Mom and Dad happy, too). Some families start composting. This means they take things like grass clippings and leftover food and turn them into mulch to keep plants thriving. There are lots of resources available to help you learn more about green energy, how to recycle, and what to do with a used plastic bottle. You can make a real difference in your environment!
Article By : Jonathan @ BottleStore accessed on 18 August 2017 at
We are making some progress with our Plastic Sub-committee. We recently had our first 'bag making session' where we are upcycling scrap/waste material into very trendy bags. We are not calling them boomerang bags but obviously a similar type of thing. We intend to sell them at various outlets and to our friends for $2 to $3. Haven't decided on the price yet.
We are investigating how to promote this on social media. Ideas include linking "Plastic Wise Benalla' on the BSFG website and setting up our own facebook page. BSFG will be the overarching body for our Group, Plastic Wise Benalla. We have our own logo which is based around that used in by the Indigo Shire Groups.
Jason, Fabio Industries, has screen printed our first batch of pockets for free. And the Council have provided us with a room at the Drill Hall for free for bag making sessions each fortnight for the next 2 months.
It is great that we are creating some community action about this issue and some wonderful helpers have been recruited. We have started off small just to get ourselves organised. We have several people who are very willing to sew at home which is great.
Any donations of heavy duty fabric, curtains/tablecloths, and not so heavy duty (for a contrast), and calico will be gratefully accepted.
Plastic Free July is an international initiative developed by a Perth council to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives. The challenge is to refuse single use plastic during July.
Some of you may think it is too difficult to stop using plastic. It is. Plastic is ubiquitous and it is made to last a very long time. It is packaged around our food. Some would even say it has started to become a part of our food. It is in our make-up and personal hygiene products. It is in our clothing.
However, if we put in a little thought and effort we all can reduce our usage of plastic. I have been concerned about the impact of plastics on the environment for years. This concern was heightened on a recent trip to Sri Lanka where I was totally disheartened by the rubbish on the beaches, in the ocean and on the streets. Waste reduction is a global responsibility.
Some ideas to aid in this challenge would be to:
Continue the challenge if travelling:
Think- Reduce, Reuse, Refuse, Rethink, Repair.
If we are all a little wiser with our purchases and consumption habits, a cleaner and healthier environment will follow.
For more ideas and to accept the challenge go to www.plasticfreejuly.org
Choose to Refuse.
Source: Baker, W 'Ecoportal' http://ecoportal.net.au/plastic-free-july/ 21 July 2017
While one response to watching this video might be 'why does everything have to be reduced to money terms', the capacity to impute value to natural resources such as the Great Barrier Reef to argue for sustainability can and should be important in influencing decision making. It is significant that funding has been made available to Deloitte to enable them to draw upon their skill sets to undertake and disseminate this analysis.
The Guardian has published article about and a 'letter' in the opinion section taking a counter view h -'The Guardian view on pricing the Great Barrier Reef a dangerous absurdity'. Another thought provoking counter view expressed by concerned activists - what if the amount hadn't been as significant as it was; if the full range of opportunity costs (value of opportunities lost) hadn't been included; if some -, perhaps many, are extremely difficult to value in money terms - would this have meant that the Great Barrier Reef would have been considered less worth saving?
Why Stop Adani?
Coal Kills. The mining, transport, and burning of coal kills people. The world is moving on from this dangerous dirty fuel, more.
Can't Trust Adani. From allegations of offshore tax dodging to inflated jobs claims and corruption, Adani has a history of shonky behaviour that has wrecked communities and the environment, more.
Wrecks Our Climate. Right when we need to cut pollution, burning more coal will lead to more extreme weather and further bleaching of the Reef, more.
Robs Our Water. Adani will draw billions of litres of water from the Great Artesian and other precious basins, for free, threatening farmers and groundwater, more.
Trashes Indigenous Rights. Adani’s mine, rail and port project will destroy the ancestral lands, waters and cultures of Indigenous peoples in the region. And Adani does not have the consent of the local Wangan and Jagalingou people, more.
One way of supporting StopAdani would be to write a letter to our parliamentarians. There are plenty of reasons for stopping the Adani coal mine both in the above information from Stop Adani and in our May Newsletter.
See also our Advocacy page.
Who to write too? This download has information on relevant Members of Parliament.
This guide to writing to a politician, How to Get Politicians' Attention mentions that a handwritten, or typed and signed letter, is the most effective means of communication (other than a face to face meeting).
Good luck with your letter writing. You might like to add a comment to this news article once you have written your letter.
Maybe you are not ready to give up the plastic altogether but there are some easy ways to make a big difference in reducing the amount of plastic waste that is a huge burden to our environment. Recycling goes some of the way to easing the issue; however it is a much better option to avoid the use of plastic as much as possible.
Bring your own shopping bag
I am thinking hessian is best. Or why not make your own out of left over fabric? In addition to bigger
carryall bags, you can take your own reusable produce bags or don’t use produce bags at all.
Ditch bottled water
Such an easy way to reduce waste. Keep a refillable bottle handy and take it wherever you go. Bottled water is incredibly expensive compared to the tap. Say ‘no’ to bottled water.
BYO Coffee Cup
Coffee Cups are usually lined with a polyethylene making it difficult to be recycled. Take your own refillable cup....you may even get your coffee at a reduced price!!
Choose cardboard over plastic bottles and bags
Try pasta in a box instead of a bag, detergent in a box instead of a bottle. Even better, see if the cardboard is from a sustainable source.
Say ‘no’ to straws
They are just not necessary. Paper or stainless straws are an option. Get plastic out of the makeup drawer and bathroom
Aim for none in your products.
Skip the disposable razor
Re-think your food storage
Try to use glass instead of plastic for fridge/pantry storage. Take your own containers for the left over restaurant meal. Use reusable sandwich wraps e.g.‘Keep Leaf’ eco-friendly bags.
Use cloth nappies over disposable nappies
Shop in Bulk
Consider joining the BSFG Bulk Food Co-op. Keep your eye out for places with refill stations or bulk purchases.
Think about fashion choices
Do you really need another item of clothing? Consider clothes swapping with your friends and family. Check out the Op Shop.
Try to follow the practices you have at home. Carry a lightweight rolled-up reusable carry bag. Purify the tap water – choose to avoid the bottled water. My daughter recently travelled Sri Lanka, India and Nepal for 3 months and used a ‘Steripen’ handheld water purifier....was fantastic, easy to use, saved heaps of dollars, and heaps of plastic bottle waste.
CHOOSE TO REFUSE
Check out the ABC’s “War on Waste”:
And the website for “Plastic Free July”:
Also recommended reading:
BSFG Plastic Bag Action Group
Source BSFG's May Newsletter, 2017
As part of the involvement of Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) we had a successful workshop on May 1st jointly conducted with Imogen Jubb from BZE involving a number of local stakeholders with an interest in renewable energy, including businesses and agencies.
There were presentations from Totally Renewable Yackandandah and the Strathbogie Pumped Hydro Project as well as input from government agencies and Ausnet Services. A Baseline Emissions Report for Benalla that had been prepared by BZE was also presented.
Many ideas about possible actions to eliminate emissions in Benalla were put forward under the three headings of: Buildings and Energy Efficiency; Solar and Community Energy; Utility Scale and Storage. These ideas will form the basis of a transition strategy to 100% renewable energy.
REB has been discussing a communication strategy to connect with the community. The development of a website and design of a logo are seen to be important parts of this strategy. We have applied for a Climate Action Network Australia grant to fund these developments.
REB is also interested in making contact with youth and will seek assistance from Benalla Council's Youth Project Coordinator.
We are also seeking to make contact with the Benalla developer who has a permit for a new housing development on the old woollen mill site. We would like to talk to him about the possibility of making this a 'model' development for solar access and energy efficient homes.
This report was originally published in Benalla Sustainable Future Group's May Newsletter.
The BSFG AGM will be held on June 22nd, 2017 at 7.30pm in the Meeting Room, Uniting Church, Carrier Street Benalla, opposite the Coles Car park.
After accepting the minutes of the previous AGM and presentation of reports all elected positions will be declared open and there will be an election of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary plus four committee members including a nominated member from the Food Co-Op.
Instead of a Guest speaker for the AGM this year we will be showing the 30-minute documentary Guarding the Galilee, a film about the epic fight to stop Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. Presented by Queensland born actor Michael Caton, Guarding the Galilee is a documentary on the battle to stop the biggest coal mine in Australian history, Adani’s Carmichael project. The film features farmers, dive instructors and boat operators all concerned about the impacts that Adani’s mine would have on water resources, climate and the reef.
The award-winning documentary team capture the raw beauty of Central Queensland, where the Adani Carmichael mine threatens essential water resources. After the screening, there will be an opportunity for discussion about what we’ve seen and what can be done to Stop Adani.
10 key moments so far in the fight to #stopadani
1. February 2014, Court actions to protect the Reef
2. May 2014, Global bank drops Adani
3. January 2015, Voters vote for the Reef
4. March 2015, Traditional Owners oppose Adani
5. April 2015, Adani’s lies revealed in court
6. August 2015, Court overturns Adani approval
7. August 2015, Australian banks join international banks, say ‘no’ to Adani
8. November 2015, Limits placed on dredge dumping and port expansions
9. June 2016, Controversy over public loan and protests during Gautam Adani visit
10. March 2017, 90 prominent Australians oppose Adani mine, delegation visits India
11. May 2017, Queensland Government refuses to facilitate public money for Adani
The meeting has an opportunity to begin a local action.
3 suggested ways to take action to Stop Adani.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 Benalla Sustainable Future Group AGM and our screening of Guarding the Galilee which is presented as part of the StopAdani campaign;
Download Flyer .
The Bicycle Action Group was established at the General meeting on Thursday 23 February 2017. The group had its first meeting on 9 May 2017. Currently there are four members on the group, but more members are welcome. A strategic plan is being drafted that will set the direction for the group. The group also has representation on Council’s “Pathways to the Future Project” – reference group. This project plans for the delivery of a safe separated path network, mainly in the CBD but with connections to high pedestrian, scooter and bicycle traffic areas, such as community and health centres, schools and sporting facilities.
Some of the purposes that have been identified by the group are:
There are health, environmental, economic and social benefits of cycling. Therefore the group will look at planning networks, improving cyclists’ safety and encouraging cycling participation.
If you are interested in being a part of this group, contact Mike Hillenaar on 0466723293 email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Weebly photo used under Creative Commons from davebloggs007
This is our fifth festival and we have another great line up of speakers and films for you. It follows the same format – three sessions with guest speakers and films to match, separated by afternoon tea and an evening meal served up by the fabulous Swanpool Catering Team. The cost this year is $25 per head (cash please), and a reminder that bookings are essential for seating and catering, phone 0498 007 988.
Julian Cribb spoke in our district back in 2012 about food security and sustainability, courtesy of GBCMA. The title of Julian’s talk this time around, ‘Surviving the 21st Century’, is the title of his most recent book. According to his book summary, ‘This book brings together in one clear, easy-to-read work the principal issues facing humanity – and what we can do about them’. The film to go with the talk, ‘The Age of Stupid‘, starring Peter Postlethwaite, was Julian’s own selection.
When Dr Richard David Hames heard the title of Julian’s talk he had to opt for ‘Burying the 20th Century’. That’s the title of his own second book. The film ‘The Age of Consequences‘ was a popular choice of our Landcare members and fits well with Richard’s talk theme.
So, somewhat by chance, we’ve ended up with ‘Burying the 20th Century’ followed by ‘Surviving the 21st Century’ … and ‘The Age of Consequences’ followed by ‘The Age of Stupid’.
Our final speaker, Prof Sharon Beder, comes from an engineering background but her interests have moved more to the humanities and environmental matters. We’re at a critical time in our social history and we look forward to her talk ‘Business- Managed Democracy’. It’s followed by the film ‘The Bentley Effect‘ which provides a positive ending to the evening.
Last year’s SEFF was a resounding success with people going home saying, “Can’t wait for next year’s”. Well here’s your chance and do please bring your friends along. It would be nice to have a full house for these eminent speakers and top-rated films.
Don’t be disappointed, bookings essential phone 0498 007 988. $25 ticket includes afternoon tea and dinner by the Swanpool Catering Team.
The flyer and program downloads below have more details about the 2017 Swanpool Environmental Film Festival.
Suggested by Plastic Bag Action Group convenor Wendy Baker...
Regular updates on sustainability issues of concern to BSFG members in Benalla and North East Victoria and on key events in the BSFG calendar.