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August Sustainability E-Newsletter

Facilitating Local Network Charges and Local Electricity Trading

Australia's first trial into Local Network Charges and Local Energy Trading was undertaken here in Byron Shire and is now complete. 

The trial has been undertaken as part of a one-year research project, Facilitating Local Network Charges and Virtual Net Metering, led by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) and funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and other partners. It is one of five ‘virtual trials’, in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The trial investigated the potential impact of a local network charge, as well as the effects of netting off energy between the sites. 

The Byron Shire Council trial aimed to test the economic impact of Local Network Charges (LNC) and Local Electricity Trading (LET) on local energy projects, and assess the real-world requirements for these two measures to be applied.

Local Energy Trading allows the excess production from a solar array of one building to be credited against the consumption of another building; and Local Network Credits are tariffs for electricity generation used within a defined local network area, to recognise that only part of the network is used.  

Check out the summary fact sheet here or visit the project website here for more details. 

Zero Emissions Byron –One big step forward!

The Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) project aims to transition the entire Byron Shire to zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years. The project encompasses all areas of emissions, focusing on five major sectors: energy, buildings, waste, transport and land use.

After months of research the ZEB team have finalised its baseline data which gives detailed reports outlining where emissions in the shire are from. The baseline report was launched on 18 June, at Renew Fest in Mullumbimby.

This ground breaking report can be downloaded here.

To find out more about the Zero Emissions Byron and the baseline report visit here.

Food For Thought Forum

Are you passionate about improving access to local, healthy food?

Do you care about food security and our capacity to grow and distribute food in an ecologically healthy regional economy?

Do you want to visit local farms and food industries?

If so, this forum is for you!

Tweed Shire Council is hosting a two day food forum 11 & 12 August and invites you to attend. Visit the forum website here for more information.

Life after the feed in tariff – What to do?

By the end of 2016 over 275,000 households with solar power across NSW, Victoria and South Australia will receive much lower payments for their electricity exports to the grid, as several premium feed-in tariff schemes expire.  This brings several uncertainties and questions to solar powered households; however it is possible to make the most of your solar energy and keep your bills down even when premium feed in tariffs end this year.

An important first step for the solar homes about to lose their premium feed-in tariff in NSW is to ensure they are using net metering rather than gross metering. Net metering recognises the use of solar electricity on-site to reduce more expensive imports from the grid.

With lower feed-in tariffs, there is much greater value in using your solar electricity on-site rather than exporting it to the grid. Use your appliances more during the day.

Some retailers are improving their offers for solar energy exported to the grid. In NSW there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate that must be offered by retailers to any new solar customer. Retailers can choose whether or not to offer a feed-in tariff at all, so shop around.

To find out more about the Life after the feed in tariff visit here.

Climate Change and Me

Southern Cross University are offering a unique opportunity to all NSW northern rivers schools to implement the Climate Change + Me Curriculum (as much or as little as suits your students).  The curriculum is child-centred and was written by local teachers and young people with the support of university academics.

The curriculum incorporates over 100 children and young people’s climate change research undertaken between 2014-2015.  The full curriculum is available for download here.

We provide support throughout the implementation along with free resources.  We will also be hosting a Climate Change Conference for children and young people on 12 October at Southern Cross University, Lismore Campus.

So far we have had a fantastic response to the curriculum in primary and secondary schools in the region with many teachers and students describing it as “the most empowering climate change education curriculum they’ve ever implemented”. 

If you would like to partake in the curriculum implementation (in any way you like) in Term 3 or 4, please contact Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie on 0418 801 893 or by email .


The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program

The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program is a Commonwealth Government investment to provide farmers with knowledge and materials on co-operatives, collective bargaining and other forms of collaboration in the agriculture sector.

The Forum will be held in Kingscliff, NSW on the 29th and 30th of August. During the event, participants will engage in several agribusiness topics such as the Challenges, Dynamics and Benefits of Collective Activity, led by the key note speaker, Jack Wilkinson. Moreover, the event is a great opportunity for farmers to network.

The free of cost event is focused to farmers (non-farm organisations may be restricted to one delegate dependent upon availability) and the registration can be done here .

To find out more about The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program visit here.

Choose to Reuse on Second Hand Saturday

The best reason to spring clean and make some cash is here again! Second Hand Saturday, the biggest day of garage sale on the North Coast, will be on Saturday 24 September.

Register your garage sale 14 September to hold a garage sale at and it will be promoted for free.

This is a joint North East Waste and Byron Shire Council funded initiative.

Subtropical Rainforest Plantation Field Day

Timber Production on Small Farms for Best Social, Environmental and Economic Outcomes.

Topics for the Day – Harvest to Market and Potential Carbon Offsets


  •  Carol Neal, Specialty Timber Growers Group (STG) - Introduction
  •  Dr Joe-Harvey Jones – motivation for planting trees and ‘where to next?’
  •  Darryl Collins: STG member & timber merchant - Harvesting to marketing
  •  Dr Kevin Glencross (SCU) – Biomass studies and potential for carbon offsets
  •  Alison Dillon - Forester, Dr Joe Harvey-Jones & Dr Kevin Glencross – economics of farm forestry and wood production

137 Taylors Rd, Eureka, NSW
Saturday 10 September
Times: 10.00am – 1.30pm
$10 per person (includes morning tea and field notes - BYO lunch)

Please RSVP by 3 September 2016  to Joe Harvey-Jones on 02 6688 4257 or

GIRLS IN Engineering & Science

Women are taking on the world – and embarking on exciting careers in engineering and science. Whether you are about to choose school subjects for your senior years, or are a mature-aged person looking for a career change, the GIRLS IN Engineering and Science event provides a chance for you to investigate your options. The evening will include guest speakers from industry as well as students talking about studying these subjects, so you will hear first-hand what these careers are all about and have the chance to ask those curly questions.

Attendance is FREE but please do RSVP to for catering purposes. This event is open to men and women.

Date: Thursday 18 August 2016

Time: 5.30pm to 7pm followed by refreshments and networking

Place: Ballina Surf Club 65 Lighthouse Parade East Ballina

Girls In Engineering Facebook Event Page

Community Groups Online

Byron Shire is fortunate in that we have many passionate community groups who are dedicated to ensuring that we maintain our identity, protect the environment and enhance our lifestyle.

Being part of a local group is a great way to find out what’s happening in your backyard, make new friends and support your community.

Now Community Groups can provide their contact details on Council's webpage - just go to and enter your information.

Join our next Beautify Days - 14 and 21 August

Sunday 14 August from 9am - Ewingsdale Road

Our goal is to landscape the easement on Ewingsdale Road near the cycle bridge to improve aesthetics, runoff quality and reduce potential for week infestation. We will meet at the Cavanbah Centre carpark, sign on at either 9 or 10am. Work will finish at 12 midday with lunch provided to volunteers at the Cavanbah Centre. Water, tools and gloves will be provided, please wear a hat and covered footwear. Due to heavy traffic on Ewingsdale Rd a commuter bus will be used to transport volunteers to and from the site from the Cavanbah Centre, please do not attempt to park on the side of Ewingsdale Rd.

Sunday 21 August from 9am - Kolora Way

We'll meet on the corner of Kolora Way and Helen St, sign on either 9 or 10. Work will finish at 12 with lunch provided to volunteers. Water, tools and gloves will be provided, please wear a hat and covered footwear. The focus of the work will be to plant an avenue of 27 local rainforest trees in the newly completed centre islands.

Sign up and help us Beautify our Shire

Drop off Household Problem Wastes for FREE

Did you know that household problem wastes such as paints, gas bottles, fluro bulbs, batteries and oils can do harm if placed in your household kerbside bins? Well now you can drop off these items for free at Byron’s new Community Recycling Centres (CRC), where they will be recycled or disposed of safely.

The CRC is located at Byron Resource Recovery Centre, 115 The Manse Rd, Myocum and is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, and Saturday-Sunday 8:30am-11:30am.

Karen Rudkin, CRC Project Officer with North East Waste (NEW), said the Byron CRC is part of a network of 8 centres across the north coast region, for which NEW secured funding, awarded by the Environmental Trust in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“The CRC is a great asset to Byron residents who can now freely and safely dispose of their household problem wastes,” she said.

The CRC will complement the upcoming Chemical CleanOut event to ensure that these wastes are kept out of landfill where they may harm the environment and will help to minimise waste and boost recycling.

To find out more about your CRC contact Council on (02) 6684 1870 or visit and follow the link to ‘Recycling Centres’.