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Sustainability eNewsletter - Spring 2015

Come and be a part of your new ‘green and local’ energy retailer - only 9 days to go!

Enova Energy is to be Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retail and installation company. Enova is now open for investment and has made available a Share Offer Prospectus for an Initial Public Offering aimed at raising $4 million in capital to fund its development.

An integral part of Enova Energy’s mission is to keep profits that flow from selling renewable energy and reinvest it in the region by assisting in the development of new renewable energy projects. 

“We estimate as much as $80 million a year flows out of the region to existing energy companies,” explains Ms Alison Crook AO, Chair of Enova Energy. “The initial response from the community has been very positive with people pledging their immediate support,” says Ms Crook.

To be a part of history and help create the first community owned retailer in Australia invest in this share offer which closes on 25 September 2015. Shares commence at $1,000.

Details of Share Offer and upcoming information meetings:

Sustainable House Day Expo and Awards - this Saturday!

Sustainable House Design Showcase: 12-4pm, Saturday 19 September, Lismore City Hall

For the second year running, the Sustainable House Expo is set to go off with a bang on Saturday 19 September, at Lismore City Hall from 12-4pm. The Expo will showcase over 35 sustainable modular house designs as created by architects, designers and young people who have entered the Sustainable Housing for Life Design Competition.

Visitors to the Expo can talk with the designers in person and discover which designs will take out the Professional, Community & Young People’s Design Awards.

All visitors go in the draw to win lucky door prizes including a 1kW Enphase Micro Inverter Solar System from Light Touch Solar & Electrical, a Hemp-Builders starter kit from the Australian Hemp Masonry Company, a tour and organic lunch for two at the Permaculture Research Institute from Eco Building Design, vouchers from Nickel Energy, a sustainable design consultation from Little Warrior Creative, a compost bin and laundry green cleaning pack.

Stalls & Education

Speak with local experts at stalls featuring solar, compost toilets, eco wall coverings, ethical banking, handmade furniture, sustainable building and green cleaning. Learn more about Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby, the Lismore Community Solar Project and water tank rebates. Check out the interactive Green House, Solar Sunflower and Sustainable Energy Caravan for children.

Guest Speakers

Alyssa Clift & Ray Maher from Project Habitation – the master architects who won last year’s First Prize Design Award will talk about sustainability in architecture.

And for home-owners and renters Beyond Zero Emissions will share the top 9 tips on how to completely wipe out electricity bills and achieve energy freedom in your home as part of the launch of a new publication called The Energy Freedom Home.

It’s going to be a fantastic event and we look forward to seeing you there!

Visit for more information.

To view last years event see our short video - and last year's 3D rendered animation of the winning community category  for Lismore and Byron Shire -

Event partners include Lismore City Council, Byron Shire Council, Tweed Shire Council, The Green Building Centre, Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre, North Coast TAFE, Rous Water, Byron Community College, Dorroughby Environment Educational Centre & Self Seed as the event coordinator. 


Byron Region Food Sovereignty Network Meeting & Film Screening Grow!

The Byron Region Food Sovereignty Network is a part of a greater movement of people who are active and engaged in creating a transparent and clean local food system. This brand new Network is inviting locals to join a network meeting along with the film screening at the Food Sovereignty Network Sustainability Seminar.

If you are interested in our community’s food, local ownership and sustainability, then come along to this interactive Network meeting.

You’ll meet other amazing 'go getters' and change-makers from the Byron region passionate about creating an ecological economy that is fair, safe and supportive for our community’s food and planet. The Seminar will assist in creating a peer-to-peer support network for real discussions, support and inspiration. Our focus is on facilitating networking opportunities and providing creative capital to projects for the young leaders in food sovereignty for our region (u40).

There is a need to support Australia’s ageing farming industry, over the past 30 years the number of farmers declined by 40% with less children taking on family farms.

If you are a young leader/entrepreneur/social creative with a great idea for our regions food sovereignty please come along! If you are an experienced farmer, food and sustainability leader please come along to help support our region’s emerging food sovereignty projects.

Council Chambers Mullumbimby, 6-9pm, Tuesday 8 September

Gold coin donation, local organic snacks available

More info:    and

COREM Launch 18th October & Community Survey

Community Owned Renewable Energy (COREM) has had a positive response to their community engagement survey. However, we would love to hear everybody's views and by filling in the survey ( you will go in the draw to win a Mullum Music Fest Gold Pass!! 

COREM's launch to get Mullum running on 100% renewable electricity will be on Sunday 18th of October at the Mullum Civic Hall. It will be a balance of education, entertainment and inspiration as well as a fundraiser. More info coming soon, and the COREM Facebook page.

First to go solar!

Brunswick River Inn recently became the first business registered with 100 Go Solar to complete its solar installation when it switched on the 10.4kW system provided by Juno Energy.  The solar panels also power a Tesla electric car charge point, available free for guests. 

Brunswick River Inn will receive a 100 Go Solar sticker to display their environmental commitment and will be eligible for a great prize later in the year.

For more information visit

Northern Rivers Carpool Winners

Congratulations to Tony Edwards, Sharmila Addis and Uma Vernau from the Byron Shire who were our lucky subscribers to the Northern Rivers Carpool promotions for July.

They each will receive a very practical green cleaning pack from Council to help to keep their car and home green and clean.

Find out how you can share the costs and share the ride by registering on

Looking to expand your sustainability skills?

Education for Sustainability - Workshop with Katrina Shields

Education for Sustainability is a vital international education movement. In fact the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development is now drawing to a close.  How does this approach differ from education about sustainability or practical hands on workshops in sustainable skills? This introductory session is for all kinds of teachers, community organisers or people wishing to contribute to a more sustainable world. Find out about the latest resources, including the "Sustainability for Educators Toolkit".

Tuesday, 24th November 6 pm - 9 pm Mullumbimby
Concession: $27   Full fee: $30

Intensive Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

Learn how to design, build and maintain abundantly productive food gardens within sustainable human settlements. Find out how to work with an appreciation and understanding of nature’s patterns and cycles.

This 85 hour intensive course over 10 days and evenings will cover the foundational 72 hour International Permaculture Design Course (PDC) curriculum with an additional focus upon practical activities in the garden including no-dig gardening, seed saving, plant propagation, Food Forestry, Hugelkultur, tree maintenance, composting and more..... The course will incorporate field trips to the award winning Mullumbimby Community Garden, Urban Food Forests, Bush Permaculture Systems and Natural Forest Ecosystems. The teaching team led by Bunya Halasz have a diverse, complimentary and deep range of experience and skills.  This course offers a good introduction into permaculture and would benefit students interested in studying Permaculture Certificate III or IV next year.

Other Tutors: Robyn Clayfield, Sharon Gibson, James Nash, Tom Duncan, Chris Woods

Tuesday 24th November to Friday 4th December 2015 (one day off on Sun 29th Nov)
Full Fee: $1750* Early bird: $1550 (pay before Friday 23rd October)
*Course fee includes 10 lunches, morning & afternoon teas and 5 evening meals (vegetarian)

There are a lot more sustainability courses on offer – check out the term 4 brochure out soon!

Rad Dad's Fathers Day Out

Mullumbimby Community Gardens will host the ‘Rad Dad’s Fathers Day Out’ on Saturday 6 September, 10:30am – 2:20pm in the park near the community gardens. A family friendly fun day with a range of activities for the young and old encouraging growing more local food, seed saving and keeping active and healthy through physical activity. There will be food available however bring your picnic attire, park games, dad jokes, family and friends. More info at or on Facebook.

Seed Freedom Celebration

Byron Hinterland Seed Savers will host the Byron Shire’s annual Seed Freedom Celebration on Saturday Oct 3 as part of the movement towards seed and food security happening globally throughout early October. The family friendly day includes a farm tour, skill sharing, a community picnic, seed/plant & produce exchanges, music and a twilight screening of the film ‘Our Seeds.’ This event is one our communities seasonal sharings building community, local food diversity and increasing the knowledge base about locally adapted food and plant varieties. For more info go to:, email or like Byron Hinterland Seed Savers on Facebook.

Second Hand Saturday - 26 September

Hold a garage sale for free! 

Second Hand Saturday - the biggest day of garage sales on the north coast - is being held on 26 September.  Registrations close tomorrow 17 September at

Households are encouraged to register and hold their garage sale at home, or coordinate a joint garage sale in their street, or with their local school, preschool, community organization or Church. It is free to register and a free listing of your garage sale is included in participating newspapers and on the Second Hand Saturday website.

Second Hand Saturday helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, enables residents to participate in the promotion of reuse and repair, and engage them in an environmentally, socially and
economically rewarding activity. This will be the sixth Second Hand Saturday event NE Waste has coordinated since 2006. Last year, more than 700 people registered to hold garage sales across the region.

Helping our less fortunate to help themselves save energy

In partnership with Byron Shire Council, the Byron Community College ran two free, 3 hour workshops on Energy Efficiency on 30 July and 10 August 2015. These workshops were well attended with a number of community service centres who provide support to low income people in the shire.

As part of the program 70 energy saving kits funded by the Office of Environment and Heritage where packed up and distributed to workshop participants as well as Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre and Byron Community Centre for distribution to low income households to help make energy efficiency a more available option for all members of our community.

A BIG thanks to the Community College, in particular Katrina Shields, for making these workshops so worthwhile!

Past Now Future exhibition

Between August 2014 and July 2015, 135 children and young people from across Northern New South Wales (NSW) Australia participated in the Climate Change and Me project as researchers.

They were not given predetermined definitions or perspectives on climate change, but were encouraged to investigate the diversity of children and young people’s awareness, attitudes and actions towards the issue.

The Climate Change and Me website was developed as a social media space for the researchers to post and comment on their research findings and creative works. The exhibition features three major works produced by researchers in collaboration with Research Fellow David Rousell and Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie: an interactive montage of photographs archived in beeswax; a series of three video installations; and a book featuring essays, fiction, poetry and images by the student researchers.

Each exhibition showing will include an opening and book launch on the Friday afternoon between 4-5pm.  All openings will feature young researchers speaking about their experiences in the Climate Change and Me project. We invite all members of the community to attend these events to witness the remarkable creativity and passion of the region’s children and young people.

August 21 to 27 Banora Point High School Library (opens 21 August at 11 am)
August 28 to September 3 Kyogle Public Library (opens 28 August at 4pm)
September 4 to 10 Ballina Public Library (opens 4 September at 4pm)
September 11 to 17 Lennox Public Library (opens 11 September at 4pm)
September 18 to 24 Lismore Public Library (opens 17 September at 4pm)
September 25 to October 1 Byron Public Library (opens 25 September at 4pm)
October 13 to October 31 SCU Lismore Learning Centre (opens 16 October at 5pm)

Funding $$$

See the Brunswick Valley Landcare's latest newsletter for more information on Landcare and Dunecare in Byron Shire. Their newsletter also includes information about upcoming grant opportunites, such as those listed below.


Saving our Species Partnership Grants 

Funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, the SoS partnership Grants program encourages partnerships between government, the community, non-government organisations and corporations to protect and conserve our most vulnerable plants and animals in NSW.

Round 2 focuses on projects targeting landscape-managed species, as identified under the SoS Program. The program is specifically designed to encourage stakeholder to join forces to help protect and conserve threatened species and applicants must form stakeholder partnerships operating as a coordinated consortium.

Individual grants of between $300,000 and $1,000,000 are available over 6 years, including seed funding for successful EOI applicants to develop a detailed project Business Plan. More funding and application criteria are available on the OEH website at:

The program opens Monday 10 August 2015. The closing date is 28 September 2015.


20 Million Trees Programme Grant Round 2 

Round Two of the 20 Million Trees Programme invites applications from individuals, organisations and community groups such as schools, landholders and conservation groups to apply for funding of between $20,000 and $100,000 to plant trees in a range of urban, peri-urban and regional environments across Australia.

The Programme will support projects that involve the community in re-establishing native vegetation, provide habitat to support our threatened species, sequester carbon from the atmosphere and help to create greener spaces to improve the liveability of Australia’s cities and towns. Priority for Round Two will be given to projects with positive outcomes for threatened species and threatened ecological communities listed under the EPBC Act.

To assist applicants to plan their projects, the Guidelines and other key information are available online at

Applications for Round 2 can be submitted from early August using the online form. Applications must be submitted by the closing time of 2.00pm AEST (Canberra time) 16 September 2015


Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants

Applications are now invited for the next round of the Environmental Trusts Restoration and Rehabilitation grants program. 

The aim of the Restoration and Rehabilitation program is to facilitate projects run by community organisations and government entities working to prevent or reduce environmental degradation and pollution, restore habitats and improve the capacity of the community to protect important ecosystems and species.

Grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 are available.  Closing date is 18 September 2015. 


Habit Action Grants

Angling clubs, individuals, community groups, local councils and organisations interested in rehabilitating fish habitats in freshwater and saltwater areas throughout NSW can apply for grants. 
Habitat rehabilitation projects which may be funded include:

  • removal or modification of barriers to fish passage
  • rehabilitation of riparian lands (river banks, wetlands, mangrove forests, saltmarsh)
  • re-snagging waterways with timber structure
  • removal of exotic vegetation from waterways
  • bank stabilisation works
  • reinstatement of natural flow regimes

Applications will close at 5 pm Friday 16 October 2015.

For further information please contact the Habitat Action Grants Administrator on


Stronger Communities Program

Are you a member of a local club that could benefit from funding for small capital projects?

Justin Elliot announced the Richmond Stronger Communities Grants Programme which is making $150,000 available for small capital projects for our area.  She is encouraging community groups, sporting clubs, and other local organisations to consider applying for funding.  This programme will deliver funding across the Richmond electorate through small capital grants for projects that will contribute to the vibrancy and viability of our region.

Applicants will be able to apply for funding from $5,000 up to a maximum of $20,000, but will need to provide matching cash or in-kind funding to be eligible.  Examples of potential eligible projects that organisations may wish to consider seeking funding for under this programme could include sporting facility modernisation, kitchen upgrades, and equipment purchases such as computers, furniture and fittings.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Programme Guidelines and the Frequently Asked Questions, available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s website – For more information please contact Justine Elliot MP, Federal Member for Richmond Phone: 07 55 234 371  Email:


The Propeller Project

Propeller, an initiative from The Foundation for Young Australians, exists to celebrate and enable youth-led social change initiatives in local communities across Australia.

Quality short films tell the stories of ordinarily extraordinary young people leading social change projects and are showcased on the Propeller online platform alongside helpful tips and resources.

Propeller projects are youth-led, have a social or environmental focus, demonstrate local impact and have community networks and support.

Check out the Propeller Project website for videos of young people making stuff happen. Get inspired. Copy ideas. Start your own thing. Apply for funding. Be the Propeller.


ING Dreamstarter

Applications to participate in the next round of Dreamstarter open August 2015.

We're looking for projects that will create positive social impact, that are original, shareable and likely to succeed.

All successful candidates will need to run their crowdfunding campaign on StartSomeGood for 30 days from 20 October 2015 - 18 November 2015. Please consider if this timing works for your project.

If your project is successful, ING DIRECT will pledge up to 50% of the 'tipping point' of your crowdfunding campaign. It will be your responsibility to leverage your networks of supporters to crowdfund the remaining 50% in order to receive the ING DIRECT donation. Dreamstarter is not a grant program.