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'.
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.
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 email@example.com .
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.
Click to set custom HTML
Suggested by Plastic Bag Action Group convenor Wendy Baker...
Our next General Meeting will be held on Thursday April 27 at 7.30pm at the Benalla Uniting Church, Carrier Street Benalla, opposite the Coles car park.
To enable our guest speaker to return to Melbourne the General Meeting will be held after our speaker’s presentation.
Guest speaker for the meeting is Pablo Brait who is a Community Organiser at
Market Forces: Your Money As A Force For Good.
Pablo has been interested in social, environmental and political issues since child-hood. Since 2007 he has worked on various climate change campaigns promoting 100% renewable energy for Australia.
The talk will focus on people’s personal finances and how they are exposed to fossil fuels and climate risk.
– Why is divestment good from a moral and financial standpoint?
– Which banks fund fossil fuel companies/projects?
– How much do these banks lend to fossil fuels?
– Which banks are fossil-fuel free?
– Which superannuation funds invest in fossil fuels and which funds don’t?
– What sorts of investments do super funds make on our behalf?
– What is a climate/stranded asset risk?
– How are super funds dealing or not dealing with climate risk?
– What can I do if I want to align my money with my values?
Market Forces is an affiliate project of Friends of the Earth Australia and member of the international BankTrack network. Facebook.
A light supper will be served after the meeting.
Download Meeting Flyer
Renewable Energy for Benalla Action Group
The REB Action Group was established from self-nominated interested members of the community who
attended the Benalla Renewable Energy Future Forum in October 2016.
The REB Action Group will work in collaboration with the community and relevant organisations to achieve the following objectives:
• Promote energy efficiency and reduce energy use within the community
• Create awareness, promotion and support for renewable energy by the community
• Develop a Future Energy Plan for Benalla to transition to zero net energy
• Achieve a significant increase in local renewable energy generation
• Keep increased financial benefits locally
As well as these major objectives the REB Action Group has developed an Action Plan which identifies key tasks to be achieved over the next 6 months and the members who are to undertake the tasks.
The REB Action Group will make regular reports to the community.
Beyond Zero Emissions Support
Benalla has been selected as one of the three Victorian communities to be part of the BZE Zero Carbon
Communities Project. BZE will support Benalla to develop a 10 year 100% renewable energy transition strategy in the energy use and building sectors. BZE will work with our community over the next 10 months (until October) to develop this strategy.
The BZE contribution will include:
• Developing a baseline of emissions across energy consumption and buildings
• Two community engagement workshops, one of which will focus on businesses
• Reports for potential for renewable technologies in the region.
New Energy Jobs Fund
BSFG (REB), with the support of Benalla Rural City Council, (which includes a co-contribution of $20,000 if successful), has applied to the Victorian government's New Energy Jobs Fund for $50,000 to fund the development of a Benalla Future Energy Plan which will outline how to achieve becoming a zero net energy town by:
• Following the established Z-Net Blueprint least cost approach. (for further information see www.z-net.org.au
*Identifying the characteristics of Benalla and the community and existing energy use.• Defining current and likely future energy requirements
• Identifying options for reducing energy use.
• Investigating which renewable energy options are feasible, viable and desirable by the community
and therefore will work best in Benalla.
• Assisting low income households, renters and businesses to invest in energy efficiencies and
access renewable energy opportunities.
• Undertaking two feasibility studies for renewable energy projects which can be replicated for
additional future projects (small and large scale opportunities).
Most people are aware of the rapid increase in the number of refugees/people seeking asylum on a global level. In fact this is the first time in the history of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that the number has exceeded 60 million. A recent report released by them in June 2016, Global Trend, provides some staggering statistics.
Wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any time since UNHCR records began. The report noted that on average 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, four times more than a decade earlier, when six people fled every 60 seconds. Forced displacement worldwide, based on data from governments, partner agencies and UNHCR’s own reporting, found a total 65.3 million people were displaced at the end of 2015, compared to 59.5 million just 12 months earlier.
Our media continually remind us of the racial and political conflict that is contributing to this situation in areas such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. however there are others that we hear less about. Iran, Sri Lanka, Somalia, South Sudan, Myanmar to name of few, but they don’t usually grab the headlines, unless there is an event that is deemed to be newsworthy e.g. people in trouble at sea, terrorist incident etc. A quick search on the internet will reveal the countries of origin and the number of people leaving their homes to seek a better life. The Refugee Council provides a quick snap shot of the countries of origin of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate (top ten) in 2014. http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/getfacts/statistics/ intl/countries-origin-refugees-unhcrs-mandate-top-ten- 2014/
So how is this relevant to climate change? The language surrounding what is being referred to as “migration” is quite complicated and uses terms such as “internally displaced persons”, “stateless persons”, “asylum seekers “etc. However if we confine our thinking to those who are forced to flee their homes due to the long-term effects of climate change - erratic weather, droughts, and the gradual loss of land due to rising sea levels – are they, or will they, be considered to be refugees and therefore have the same legal and humanitarian rights as those that are fleeing persecution?
It would appear that they may not, as the UNHCR defines a refugee as… A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries. http://www.unrefugees.org/what-is-a-refugee/
Julia Blocher, writing a review of an interview with Peter Singer, provides the following information:
Human mobility in the context of climate change is complex. Limits to a more nuanced understanding of this issue may be due to a lack of agreement on the legal definitions and the methodological choices made to project numbers of environmental migrants, as well as - importantly - an understatement of the agency and adaptive capacities of people. Communities in coastal and low-lying areas that may be affected by sea-level rise in the future are affected today by recurrent natural hazards, coastal erosion, land subsidence, and saltwater contamination of arable land.
Empirical studies, including from the United Nations University, have explored how migration contributes to livelihoods and household adaptation strategies.
Experts tend to agree that the types of movements that might fall under that moniker “climate migrant” are varied and complex. Robust estimates by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre fall short of accounting for people living in prolonged displacement, displaced across borders (generally agreed to be a minority), or migrating away from their homes due to the long-term effects of climate change. People migrating due to loss of land may be the largest – and would be considered labour migration under current definitions.
Julia also points out that climate change experts have largely been reluctant to attribute individual weather events to climate change, thus making it difficult to attribute displacement due to climate- or weatherrelated disasters, to climate change.
(As the climate changes, are 750 million refugees predicted to move away from flooding? Julia Blocher The Conversation August 4, 2016)
So will the people living on islands in the Pacific Ocean, who are losing their homes due to rising sea levels, be considered “refugees”? Given the huge number of refugees/asylum seekers/displaced persons etc. that already exist, how will they be viewed? Will the developed world see that they have a responsibility to them given that the global response to action on climate change has been patchy at best? How will Australia respond?
Naomi Klein reminds us in her 2016 Edward W. Said London Lecture, of the many assaults on environment which result in the displacement of people, particularly indigenous people, who then have no choice but to seek refuge elsewhere. In particular she reminds us of the environmental challenges of the Middle East and states that they are impossible to ignore by those of us who are interested in geopolitics. The region is intensely vulnerable to heat and water stress, to sea-level rise and to desertification. She draws our attention to the “aridity line” defined by Israeli architect Eyal Weizman In his latest book, The Conflict Shoreline.
The so-called ‘aridity line’ encompasses areas where there is on average 200 millimetres of rainfall a year. This has been considered to be the minimum for growing cereal crops on a large scale without irrigation.
The Syrian border city of Daraa falls directly on the aridity line. Daraa is where Syria’s deepest drought on record brought huge numbers of displaced farmers to the city in the years leading up to the outbreak of Syria’s civil war. It’s where the Syrian uprising broke out in 2011. Drought wasn’t the only factor in bringing tensions to a head, but the fact that 1.5 million people were internally displaced in Syria as a result of the drought clearly played a role. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n11/naomi-klein/let-them-drown
So has the current conflict in the Middle East been influenced by climate change? What other areas of our world will see social and political unrest develop in the setting of a changing climate? What will the world do to meet the ongoing needs of displaced people who are forced into seeking refuge elsewhere. All food for thought.
BSFG December Newsletter, 2016
Further reading and updates on this topic (to be added to over time)
Elliott Negin (2015) 'Think Today's Refugee Crisis is Bad? Climate Change will Make it a Lot Worse' Union of Concerned Scientist article shared by Ecowatch 30 June 2015 (accessed 17/5/2017)
Award winning 2010 documentary 'Climate Refugees' - article and trailer
National Geographic 'Years of Living Dangerously' - video trailer below
BSFG Visit to “Xiuhtezcatl Martinez; Why I Sued the US Government” with young people from Benalla, 11 February 2107
On Saturday Feb 11 BSFG members Peter Holmes and Peter Maddock accompanied a delightful group of young Benalla people to Melbourne to attend the event "Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: Why I Sued the US Government" at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square in Melbourne.
We travelled to Melbourne by train and had time before the afternoon event to look around the CBD; several of us took the opportunity to look at the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival being held on the banks of the Yarra River. Peter Holmes' family and friends also met us at ACMI to see Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.
At the well-attended ACMI event Xiuhtezcatl (“Shu-tez-caht”) was introduced and interviewed by a young local poet and during the interview both gave us some poetry/rap pieces. Xiuhtezcatl has been involved with the Earth Guardians for many years and spoke of several issues he was involved in during his short activist career. The Earth Guardians link has a short video on Xiuhtezcatl titled Kid Warrior.
Xiuhtezcatl spoke of how many people already feeling the impact of climate change are both indigenous and coloured. He gave encouragement to both young and old who might be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of tackling climate change by saying do what you can, even the small things count. This can lead to other actions. As he says in the Kid Warrior video young people are seen to be the future and will one day do something about climate change; however, they aren’t going to wait, they are going to do something now! See Xiuhtezcatl delivering a TedTalk here.
Suing the US Government over climate change is based on a constitutional challenge that through “the governments affirmative actions in causing climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources”.
For such a young person Xiuhtezcatl has thought through many of the environmental issues facing us on the planet and is determined to encourage a youth led activist movement to change the direction from the path we are presently on. Although quietly spoken he is assured of his position on the issues and determined to do something about them.
After his presentation Xiuhtezcatl welcomed people to meet him outside the theatre where many asked for an autograph or to have a photo taken with him.
BSFG wish to thank our members and contacts who were able to offer sponsorship to enable the young people from Benalla to attend the event. And thank you to Peter Holmes who saw an article in The Age about Xiuhtezcatl and was inspired to suggest BSFG organise our visit.
This article by Latrobe University PhD candidate Stacey Rich was posted on the Ecoportal's Living Lightly column on 11th January. Our President John Lloyd thought it would be interesting to put on the website and we thoroughly agree! Eds
One loaf of bread changed the direction of my life. That’s not the whole truth. It was a loaf of bread and a jar of jam. The bread and the jam were both made by me, with yeast caught from the air in our kitchen, and berries my family had picked. As we sat on the couch eating chunks of bread covered in jam, we talked about how much better it tasted. This probably isn’t an unusual conversation to have, and if not for my line of work, it probably wouldn’t have gone any further. But I am a social psychologist in training with La Trobe University, and I get to be curious about stuff for a living.
The conversation over bread and jam lead me to investigate people who choose to change the way they provide for themselves; a lifestyle known as voluntary simplicity. Voluntary simplifiers reduce their material consumption, often as a way to pursue satisfaction in non-material ways. Some do it so that they can reduce the amount of time they spend working, some do it because they are really concerned about the effect humans are having on the environment.
Whatever the motivation, simplifiers do seem to have a lighter impact on the environment. What are they doing that is different? Earlier this year I visited simplifiers and asked them. They don’t buy much; they have decided for themselves what enough is. Some grow their own food, some shop at op shops, some make do with the stuff they already have. Some bake everything from scratch. They learn new skills in order to repair their stuff rather than throw stuff out and buy new stuff. As a consequence of not needing to buy as much stuff, some decide they don’t need to work as much. Some use this time to be more involved with their family, with their friends and with their community. Some use this time to devote to learning and growing, some to volunteering for environmental causes.
So far, no one I have spoken to has mentioned feeling deprived. Living such a lifestyle is not without it’s challenges, but everything I have heard so far suggests the challenges are worth it for the rewards. I am now conducting an online survey to find out more. If you would like to help with this research, please go to www.everydaybehaviours.wordpress.com to complete the survey. Thanks!
The next General Meeting of Benalla Sustainable Future Group will be held on Thursday February 23rd at 7.30 PM in the meeting room at The Uniting Church, Carrier Street Benalla, opposite the Coles car park.
The meeting will be raising the possibility of a BSFG Bicycle Action Group to look at opportunities for improving and encouraging bicycle use in Benalla.
We do not have a guest speaker for this meeting however we anticipate having a report on the BSFG sponsored visit to the Sustainable Living Festival event “Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: Why I sued the U.S. Government”, possibly with a number of the young people who attended the event along to speak about their experience.
Thank you to Peter Holmes for suggesting and organising this BSFG sponsored visit to the Sustainable Living Festival and thank you to those who have been able to offer sponsorship.
We will also have a short 350.org film on Fossil Free Divestment
A reminder that 2015 memberships unpaid by March will be moved to our general contact list. Membership fees help to provide the necessary finance to run Benalla Sustainable Future Group so that BSFG can continue to provide a valuable role in the community. I have attached a Membership Renewal form to this email.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting after which a light supper will be available.
0418 135 330
Extended invitation to attend “Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: Why I sued the U.S. Government” on February 11th.
Extended invitation to attend an event on February 11 at the Sustainable Living Festival Australia which is being held in Melbourne from 4-28 February 2017.
The event is “Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: Why I sued the U.S. Government”.
“Displaying a wisdom far beyond his years, Xiuhtezcatl (“Shu-tez-caht”) Martinez has been speaking on behalf of the planet since the tender age of six. Today still just a teenager, his extraordinary eloquence has moved audiences which include world leaders, Hollywood celebrities and other impassioned young people across continents who have joined his Earth Guardians activism movement. Through public speaking and hip-hop, Xiuhtezcatl is spreading his message and shifting human consciousness – and in 2017, his message will reach Australia and New Zealand”.
Article in Benalla Ensign
This event will appeal to anyone interested in Sustainability however BSFG would like to sponsor a group of young people to attend the event.
Can you nominate and or sponsor a young person interested in attending this event? $250 was raised from committee members at the BSFG Committee meeting held on January 17, nearly enough for 6 tickets.
There is a limit of 10 tickets per customer and tickets are $42. Tickets have been held for BSFG until Wednesday February 1st. There is a possibility of having an extra 10 tickets if necessary.
If sufficient responses are received the group will travel to Melbourne by train on February 11th which will include at least two BSFG members, returning to Benalla on the evening train from Southern Cross Station. Young people will need to pay the train fare.
Please leave a response on the BSFG website Contact page by Wednesday February 1st if you wish to nominate a young person to attend this event or phone 0418 135 330.
Renewable Energy for Benalla - Council approval of joint application with BSFG to the New Energy Jobs Fund for feasibility study
The Planning and Development Committee meeting of Benalla Council on Wednesday 25th January approved making a joint application with BSFG to the New Energy Jobs Fund for funding to conduct a feasibility study of renewable energy options for Benalla and the preparation of a Future Energy Plan.
Council also agreed to make a co-contribution of $20,000 if the application is successful. The financial matter was passed with the support of councillors Barbara Alexander, Peter Davis and Scott Upton.
Those two matters were the recommendations from Larissa Montgomery’s very comprehensive report to council. John Lloyd, BSFG President, would like to thank Larissa for all her work on this and to thank all those members of BSFG who came to the meeting to show their support for Larissa, himself and the Renewable Energy for Benalla project.
Note - If you would like to read Larissa's report you will find it by opening this link to the Agenda for the Meeting starting on page 10.
Victoria’s broken nature laws: where to next?, an Environmental Justice Australia workshop is being held in Tatura on Tuesday 24 January 6.30–8.30pm (doors open 6.15pm).
"Victoria’s nature protection laws are broken. In 2014, the Andrews Government promised to review Victoria’s main nature protection law – the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act – but to date very little progress has been made towards reviewing and amending that law.
Many Victorian communities are concerned about environmental issues affecting their local community but are unsure about what they can do to try and improve the situation.
This workshop will:
Hosted by: Goulburn Valley Environment Group
Where: Tatura Hotel
154 Hogan St
FREE – BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
Register at: envirojustice.org.au/nature-laws-shepparton
This post on innovative sustainable housing in 'urban' Benalla updates an earlier post relating to Sustainable House Day in 2016.
Howard and Bernie's Solar Skillion Sleep Out
An energy efficient sleep out has been designed and attached to the existing house by a covered walkway, forming part of a complex of four buildings.
Buildings are solar oriented and follow golden rules of good design related to sunlight, open space, access and privacy (SOAP).
Skillion roofs are oriented to the north which shade the buildings in summer and emit the winter sun.
One building is rented and three are used by the owners as sleep-out, artists studio and house under renovation. Click on the button below to check out the Sustainable Housing Day's case study -
What is SOAP?
If you would like to join in the discussion about SOAP House Design you can join Association SOAP House Design Inc. - you will be sent out diary dates for workshops to meet others interested in sharing their knowledge and experience. Call Howard Bartlett on 0409504420 for more information.
Howard and Bernie's sustainable house event on Sustainable House Day, September, 2016.
For more photos of their solar skillion sleepout, check out the Sustainable House Day website.
Neil Garrett, an accredited hemp builder who recently built a hemp house and studio as an owner builder, will conduct this workshop. Neil has run a series of workshops whilst building their house and wishes to provide futher training opportunities associated with Hemp Building.
The workshop will include the theory and practice of hemp building using both conventional casting techniques and building with hemp bricks. The participents will be given practical experience in design and construction of a small dwelling and the basics of rendering with lime renders on a hemp wall.
Hemp has many qualities for building construction including
The workshops will commence at 9.00am sharp and finish at 4.30pm, morning and afternoon tea together with a healthy light lunch will be provided along with detailed notes on hemp building.
The cost is $150 per person paid in advance.
Violet Town is a small village located on the Hume freeway approx two hours north of Melbourne
Further details contact Neil Garrett on 5798 1522
Photos of past workshops:
A Community Forum was held in October to discuss a future clean energy plan for Benalla. Ninety people attended to hear about the benefits of community owned renewable energy and to hear how other towns were planning for a renewable energy future.
Community renewable energy projects strengthen local economies by:
Following presentations by the guest speakers, attendees were asked to form small groups to discuss what they saw as the key opportunities and challenges of exploring a renewable energy project for Benalla. Groups recorded their ideas which will be used as the basis for planning a renewable energy future for Benalla.
A Renewable Energy Working Party has been formed to progress the project of developing a future renewable energy plan for Benalla and has established the following key objectives:
A submission for funding to support this project will be made to the Victorian government's New Energy Jobs Fund. The second funding round is now open and will close on March 1st .
Source: BSFG Newsletter, December 2016
BSFG General Meeting Thursday 8 December - Guest Speaker: Jeff Austen, Systems and Environment Coordinator from D&R Henderson
The next General meeting of the Benalla Sustainable Future Group will be held on Thursday December 8, at 7.30 pm in the Meeting Room, The Uniting Church, Carrier Street Benalla, opposite the Coles car park.
The guest speaker will be Jeff Austen, Systems and Environment Coordinator from D&R Henderson. You may be aware that Henderson’s were the winners of the Environmentally Sustainable Business Award that was jointly sponsored by BSFG and Sun Real.
Jeff’s presentation will cover the site operations at the Henderson factory and will highlight the range of initiatives Henderson’s have taken to reduce their impact on the environment, which led to them being the winners of the award.
0418 135 330
'Our Strathbogie Forest' will be holding a media event on Thursday November 24th. Here is a summary of the information we have received on the event.
Benalla Sustainable Future Group
The Ovens Murray Regional Partnership is inviting community members to help shape the future of the region by participating in consultation ahead of the first Regional Assembly to be held in Benalla on 30 November 2016.
At the assembly, residents, Members of Parliament and local government will come together to discuss priorities for the region.
A new Engage Victoria website recently launched by the Victorian Government is giving people the opportunity to participate in an online consultation where they can share ideas about ways to create a better future for their region.
People can also learn more about the Ovens Murray region, vote on regional priorities, post their big ideas and have an online discussion about making a better future for the region. In addition, community members can register their interest in attending the Regional Assembly.
The Ovens Murray website can be found by visiting www.engage.vic.gov.au/ovens-murray.
If you can't get on line, you can also provide input through conversations with Ovens Murray Regional Partnership members and written submissions addressed to:
Regional Development Victoria
Reply Paid 90883
WANGARATTA Vic 3676
Ovens Murray Regional Partnership c/o Regional Development Victoria
1st Floor, 62 Ovens Street, Wangaratta 3677 T: (03) 5722 7103 | M: 0400 051 622
Regular updates on sustainability issues of concern to BSFG members in Benalla and North East Victoria and on key events in the BSFG calendar.