Archive for July, 2009

Local Story from Wildhaven

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Rebuilding Workshop – Great Success

The combined rebuilding groups of Strathewen and St Andrews held their first workshop on Wednesday the 29th of July. It was a great first meeting of people within the community who intend to rebuild. The panel of experts provided answers and advice on a range of issues including BAL, owner building responsibilities and design issues.

A small but growing list of recommended trades people and building experts was distributed and can be found here:

Building Skills Register

This list is based on recommendations by local residents. The skills register should contain the names of trades people and experts who are reliable, ethical and will be available to contribute to the rebuilding effort. It is also very important that the nominated building professional has given permission for their name to appear on the list. We are calling for your recommendations and these can be left as comments on the blog and will be included into the skills register which will be updated regularly. (you can also send your recommendations to Toni-anne at
Toni-anne@readify.net)

Further workshops are planned for the coming weeks, mainly on a Sunday afternoon.

9th August (2:00pm – 4:00pm)

St Andrews Community Hall

Septic and Plumbing

Septic requirements and Green plumbing for heating of water, space heating and any other relevant plumbing questions answered

16th August

Power Options

Connection of new houses to power grid and discussions on alternative energy sources including solar and wind
23rd August

Earth Wall Construction    

Looking at Earth wall construction and the BAL requirements along with a demonstration. Discussion on the outcome of the Interim report of the Royal Commission

Times and locations to be advised closer to the dates.

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Transitional Towns

Transition Towns Training - Aug 8 and 9 - poster

This training has been hailed by leaders of permaculture and those conscious of peak oil

Transition Towns is a movement, and not just any movement, but one which, in avoiding the civilisational collapse threatened by the twin crises of peak oil and climate change, could prove to be the most important social force humanity has seen.

Marl Lynas, author of Six Degrees

Growing numbers with their microscopes trained on peak oil are convinced that we have very little time to engineer resilience into our communities before the energy crisis descends. This issue should be of urgent concern to every person who cares about their children, and all who hope there is a viable future for human civilization post-petroleum.

Jeremy Leggett, author of The Carbon War and Half Gone

The Transition concept is one of the big ideas of our time. Peak Oil and Climate Change can so often leave one feeling depressed and disempowered. What I love about the transition approach is that it is inspirational, harnessing hope instead of guilt, and optimism instead of fear.

Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association

Transition Towns show how we get from the present commuter chaos of cities and towns, that is killing our planet, and the people in them, to viable ecologically sustainable urban and rural systems. The Transition Towns model is based on ground-breaking work in the towns of Kinsale, Ireland and Totnes, England, engaging whole communities in a transformative process that accepts the crucial need to change course, and has succeeded in doing so.

Jerry Mander, founding director of the International Forum on Globalisation and author of In the Absence of the Sacred.

Transition Towns is a fresh and empowering approach that will help us transition into a materially leaner but inwardly richer human experience. Initiating Transition Culture, wherever you are, will energise and regenerate your commitment to place, community and simple living.

Stephan Harding, coordinator of Masters of Holistic Science at Schumacher College

Oil depletion and climate disruption converge to make a deliberate cooperative transition away from fossil fuels the centerpiece of our human survival strategy for the remainder of the 21st Century. Our national governments are slow to act on this imperative, as there are too many powerful interests vested in maintaining the status quo. Economic relocalisation will be one of the inevitable impacts of the end of cheap transportation fuels. We must produce more of our necessities closer to home, we must make our immediate community the source and focus of our entire energy transition strategy. Transition Towns is the ‘How to’ guide to making this happen, and its fun, more like a party than a protest march.

Richard Heinberg, author of The Party’s Over, Powerdown and Peak Everything

"Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."

Milton Friedman, guru of free market economics and disaster capitalism

In the past few months, one development after another has upended the old consensus about cars, about energy, and about the economic future. There’s an urgency in the air right now (a fright, really) that stems from our economic crisis and our ecological peril. It requires going beyond the admirable solutions of the past, and doing so rapidly.

Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and cofounder of 350.org, a global grassroots campaign demanding significant action on climate change.

It is no coincidence that so many resource peaks are occurring together. For the past 200 years, cheap and abundant energy from fossil fuels has driven technological invention, increases in total and per-capita resource extraction and consumption (including food production), and population growth. Our starting point for future planning, then, must be the realization that we are living today at the end of the period of greatest material abundance in human history – an abundance based on temporary sources of cheap energy that made all else possible. Now that the most important of those sources are entering their inevitable sunset phase, we are at the beginning of a period of overall economic contraction.

Post-Carbon Institute – Manifesto

‘Not only does the Transition Towns model educate and inspire you on the path to sustainability, it also shows you how to get there. It has already had an impact even before it’s release here. Towns from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of Australia to Nelson on the coast of New Zealand are amongst the many communities already influenced by Rob Hopkins’s work.’

Paul Klymenko, Planet Ark

The Transition Towns model clearly sets out the unprecedented and looming challenges climate change and peak oil pose for our civilization, and makes it clear that a concerted community response is our only option. And yet, the approach is profoundly positive – even joyous – because it reinforces how working together as communities and facing these challenges head-on will give us the capacity not just to survive but to actively build a future that is better than our alienated and oil-fuelled present. … Transition Towns is your invitation to join a clear-eyed, community-based, worldwide movement of grounded visionaries who choose hope and action over denial and apathy.’

Nick Heap and David Suzuki, The David Suzuki Foundation

‘The Transition Towns process is one of the most exciting outcomes of permaculture thinking and action in the world today.. It promises to be the guide for peak oil and permaculture activists everywhere who are taking action in the their local communities.’

David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept and author of Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability and Future Scenarios

Transition Towns Training - August 8 and 9 Flyer

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Building workshop Wednesday 29th of July

The rebuilding groups of both the St Andrews Community Bushfire Recovery Committee and the Strathewen Community Renewal Committee are!

And together they are hosting a panel of experts to conduct a workshop at the St Andrews Hall.

Come and have your questions answered by a panel of LOCAL people experienced in the building industry.

Where:

St Andrews Hall

When:

Wednesday 29th July 2009 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm

What:

A range of questions will be answered and there will be particular attention paid to:

· BAL assessments

· Energy Efficiency in your new home

· Permits

· Issues facing Owner builders and what you need to know about the process

Something you need to know not on this list?

Include your questions in your RSVP and we will endeavour to find the answers and the support you need.

Supper will be provided afterwards and will give you the opportunity to discuss your options with other residents who are doing the same thing.

Make sure your neighbours know that this night is on. They may have questions that apply to you that you have not even thought of.

RSVP to Toni-anne at Toni-anne@readify.net making sure you include your specific questions and letting us know how many are coming with you so we can make sure that supper is not just one cracker each.

If you don’t have email access please call Manninder Sekhon on 0430 218 006 to let us know you are coming.

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Future Building Workshops

The rebuilding groups of both the St Andrews Community Bushfire Recovery Committee and the Strathewen Community Renewal Committee will be conducting the following workshops.

Register your interest by RSVPing to Toni-anne@Readify.net

Come and have your questions answered by a panel of LOCAL people experienced in the building industry.

9th August

Septic and Plumbing

Septic requirements and Green plumbing for heating of water, space heating and any other relevant plumbing questions answered

16th August

Power Options

Connection of new houses to power grid and alternative energy sources including solar and wind

23rd August

Earth Wall Construction    

Look at Earth wall construction and the BAL requirements along with a demonstration and discussion on the outcome of the Royal Commission

Times and locations to be advised closer to the dates.

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SACBRA Committee

The St Andrews Community Bushfire Recovery Association committee continue to meet on a fortnightly basis with project groups meeting more frequently.

The Events group are currently meeting twice a week in the General Store to bring to fruition a large community celebration planned for the 19th of September. Led by Amber Dixon, the group has attracted many local volunteers who have been involved in the planning of large community events in the past.

The celebration, "Burnt but Not Beaten! – St Andrews Reunites”, will provide an opportunity for a day of entertainment, workshops, wellness retreats, and great food and drink, while the evening will highlight local talent with music, comedy and drama. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening. This day of celebration and demonstration of resilience will be free to all association members. (Another great reason to join!)

The Memorial group continue to evaluate, along with council, appropriate sites for a memorial to the bush fire victims. This site needs to meet a range of criteria, including providing a place for quite reflection. Some sites have already been considered and one in particular has been rejected as a site that meets the criteria set by memorial group which is headed by Elizabeth Kooroonya Savage. The site at 87 Burn St, St Andrews (the site next to the bakery and across the road from the market) is no longer under consideration as a potential location for a memorial. Other, more suitable sites are still being evaluated.

Continuing to gain momentum is the Building group. Combined representation from both St Andrews and Strathewen gives this group the capacity for greater impact on the rebuilding of both towns. A series of workshops are planned to be run in quick succession over the coming weeks. Topics will include Panning requirements, Power Options, Health Considerations, Owner Builder Requirements and Obligations and Material Choices. These workshops will draw from the experience of local experts and invite others to contribute to the knowledge pool.

The first workshop will be held at the St Andrews Community Hall on the 29th of July. Starting at 7:30 with supper provided, the workshop will highlight the implications of BAL ratings on properties where rebuilding is planned. In addition questions will be answered by a range of experts including builders, engineers, land surveyors and building designers. Make sure that you are there if you are considering rebuilding.

The Gardening group is establishing networks with gardening groups outside the area to grow and care for plants to be transplanted into the burnt areas of St Andrews over time. Carmen Jansen is also talking to growers to establish a directory of growers and suppliers who are keen to support the recovery with discounts and specials on plants and gardening equipment.

The next SACBRA Committee meeting will be held on the 3rd of August. Volunteers are still needed to provide knowledge and assistance in this massive rebuilding effort. If you would like to contribute your skills or time please contact one of the committee members.

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Tree Removal

URGENT COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

ABOUT

ONGOING TREE REMOVAL

in the

KINGLAKE RANGES

Why are trees still being removed?

Where are the trees & tree matter (mulch) going?

All interested residents are invited to an urgent open community discussion session hosted by

Kinglake Landcare Group & KANDO

and talk about any related concerns, pose questions and decide what to do about this matter.

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When: Wednesday 29 July 2009 @ 7.30 p.m.

Where: Kinglake Uniting Church, Kinglake West

Enquiries: Please contact KANDO Secretary, Nigel Polak –

Email: nigel@coachnetwork.net Mobile: 0407 866 691

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