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Autumn 2014

2013 Sustainability Services Report

Byron Shire is a hub of grass-roots sustainability. As humanity confronts resource shortages and the affects of accelerated climate change, local communities across Byron Shire continue to reduce their ecological impact and improve social and economic justice within their neighbourhoods and beyond.

I am pleased to report that 2012 and 2013 has been an exceptionally productive period for delivering Council’s Sustainability programs. The breadth and depth of Council’s Sustainability programs continue to provide excellent customer service and contribute to meeting the high environmental expectations of the people of Byron Shire. Click here to download the 2013 Sustainability Services Report which showcases the diverse nature of this program area and celebrates all that has been achieved.

WIN a local food voucher!

Have your say by completing the Recycling, Garbage and Organics Community Survey. You will be helping Council to plan for the introduction of the new three bin collection service (the green bin) in August 2014. By completing the Community Survey you will go into the draw to WIN one of three food vouchers to spend at one of Byron Shire's local Farmers Markets. There is one $100 voucher and two $50 vouchers up for grabs. Competition closes 21 March 2014 and is open to residents of the Byron Shire. For your chance to WIN click here to complete a survey.

Swap Party in the Garden!

One person’s junk is another’s treasure and what better way to show it than at a Swap Party in the Mullumbimby Community Garden. Come along to swap your clothes, furniture, tools, plants, toys, homewares and things. Everyone is welcome and you don’t have to give to receive. This is a great eco-friendly and economical way to spruce things up.

Friday 7 March 3pm followed by jam session and cob oven pizzas.

$5 Entry fee and for further details contact Efrat 0455 236 575

Shara Gardens is Blossoming!

Do you live in the North of our beautiful Shire? Shara Community Gardens in Ocean Shores is bursting with new veges and has achieved great things in the last 12 months. New garden beds, working bees and even a shed! Catch up on the latest news about Shara Gardens here and see how you can get involved.

Rural Environmental Leaders Program

In May 2014, the Centre for Sustainability Leadership (CSL) is offering the Rural Environmental Leaders Program to 30 people from the Northern Rivers region.

The 14-week program runs from May to August 2014. It utilises face-to-face workshops as well as an online learning platform. This is an opportunity for rural Australians to access an award-winning program, previously only offered in Sydney and Melbourne.

This course is offered by CSL, a not-for-profit organization with ten years experience empowering leaders in sustainability.The course is valued at $1500. However, due to the generosity of our partners the cost to individuals will only be $135. There are also limited scholarships available.

Applications close 4 April, 2014 and please feel free to contact Sandi Middleton on  or visit for any further information.

Permaculture Training Available Now!

The college is currently running a month long funded course for young people in Permaculture which has been a great success and students are fired up a keen to keep going! A new Certificate III in Permaculture begins March 18th that runs for 27 weeks.  Enrollments open now. Contact the college on 66843374 or see . Low interest loans to cover course costs are available through the NILS scheme.

Also check out the  new sustainable living short course in Preserving the summer bounty, Eco-nomics, Bike maintenance, a Sustainable living tour, Cob oven building, Organic gardening for beginners and the popular Energy efficient house design is back.

First Sun Solar Hot Water

Visitors to the First Sun Holliday Park this summer have been enjoying piping hot showers free from the sun. Shortly before the peak holiday season this year, Byron Shire Council installed a commercial gas evacuated tube solar hot water system. The new system provides hot water to the two main amenities blocks which include the shared kitchen and laundry. This project was part funded by the previous Federal Government’s Local Government Energy Efficiency Program.

Pictured here are Byron Shire Council’s Sustainability Officer Kim Mallee and First Sun Holliday Park Manager Ian Heiniger showing off the new solar collectors.

Sustainability For Educators - A Toolkit of Learning Activities and Resources

The Sustainability for Educators –A Toolkit of Learning Activities and Resources written by Katrina Shields & Lisa Hoggard is an engaging and accessible collection of teaching/learning resources designed to catalyse transformative education. It is essential reading for educators wanting to embed skills for sustainability into learning and professional development programs. Of value to teachers, trainers and facilitators from vocational training organisations, universities, secondary schools, communities and business organisations, this resource will also provide great inspiration for campuses and businesses in planning and implementing sustainability changes. This is a remarkable resource produced in our Shire by Byron Regional Community College


NRMA Community Grants

The NRMA Insurance Community Grants program recognises and showcases the great work that grassroots organisations undertake in our communities each year.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support initiatives aimed at making our communities safer, more sustainable and better prepared to respond to emergencies. Applications are open now and close 31 March 2014.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your project is, if your organisation or project relates to any of the following areas, they would love to hear from you:

•    Crime prevention

•    Road safety

•    Emergency readiness and response

•    Environment

Find out more by visiting 2014 NRMA Insurance Community Grants program.

Small Grants for Rural Communities

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal is a collaboration of various partners. The next round of Small Grants for Rural Communities is now open. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to Not-for-profit community based organisations carrying out projects for a charitable purpose.

Closing date: 28 March 2014

More information, guidelines and eligibility criteria click here:

Rise of the Eco-Warriors

On the evening of Saturday 8th of March, catch the official launch of the 'Rise of the Eco-Warriors' film at the Palace Cinema in Byron. Producer/director Cathy Henkel, her two co-producers and one of the eco-warriors will be present during a Q&A session. Watch the trailer here.