Bulletin for June/July, 2018
Dear supporters and associate members,
Our two previous bulletins have discussed a key council project: the GWMP review, currently underway. Despite misgivings and concerns about aspects of council’s approach we have encouraged FoN supporters to actively participate in this important project. A few days-ago we received a letter from council with significant news:
After thanking us for encouraging participation in the GWMP review – which included nominating and voting on preferred panel speakers, the letter explained that council has, “received concerns from residents about the transparency and fairness of the process, and experienced technical problems”. (No further explanation is given)
As a result, the process has been changed: Experts will be selected, not by popular vote, but by the consultants, with the panel also choosing speakers if they wish. FoN supporters can continue to nominate additional speakers until July 8th.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9433 3134. And don’t forget that the surveys and other wider engagement activities close Friday 13 July! https://participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/gwmp
Melissa Morganti | Project Support Officer
Please take note of the following ways you can make a difference over the next week and a half:
ACTION 1 – Most urgent
Council is reviewing Nillumbik’s Green Wedge Management Plan. It is important that our natural environment is properly protected, and that you (and all Nillumbik residents) tell Council how you feel about the Green Wedge via the following options and links.
Ø Complete a survey
Ø Share your stories about your experience of the Green Wedge
Ø Share a photo of what you love about the Green Wedge
Please be inspired by any of the suggestions hereunder.
We have until 13th July. Please tell your friends and family to do likewise.
Ø Read about the GWMP Review and please complete a survey and under the survey headings think about:
· Social - The importance of having green spaces for improved mental health, families, the strong community spirit garnered through working together. We love where we live because of the trees. Our treed urban areas such as Eltham are our extension of the Green Wedge, and indigenous vegetation should be protected all over Nillumbik. Excellent environmental outcomes are also positively linked to improved human health and well-being, community, cultural heritage, recreation, tourism, business development.
· Economic - The value of our unique environment, of our beautiful landscapes, of such rich biodiversity – eg in attracting people for their health and well being, recreational pursuits, to markets, festivals, orienteering, musical and other artistic events, carbon emission offsets. Reject the opening of the region to major commerce. We prefer to shop locally, and to support locally made and distributed food and products. The Green Wedge currently attracts huge biodiversity grants - we need to retain these. The continuation of healthy productive agriculture relies on a vigorous, bio-diverse environment which delivers healthy soils, clean water and a stable climate.
· Environment - Protect what we love about living here. We are "The Green Wedge Shire" and "The Lungs of Melbourne". We are a conservation shire with protection of the Green Wedge and biodiversity as our primary strategic focus. We need to IMPROVE and build on what we've got. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for ever. Stop the nibbling. Stop unnecessary vegetation clearing. Stop the urban sprawl. Stop the urbanisation, degradation and fragmentation of our natural environment. Arrest population growth and traffic congestion. Let's protect the Green Wedge, biodiversity, habitat for wildlife, our beautiful environment and landscapes. Improve our waterways. Biodiversity is but a dream unless we actually have a GWMP that stops its destruction. Let's learn to look after our environment better. Let's build environmentally sustainable communities. Let's create opportunities to teach our kids & grandkids to appreciate and protect our beautiful natural environment. Let's learn from the ancient aboriginal ways of managing the land to promote food production for all of biodiversity, and of reducing the fire risk. Let's lead the way in Nillumbik. Let's pass on a healthy environment to our kids, rather than a degraded one.
· Regulatory - Strengthen environmental protection. Protect the voiceless (animals). Protect against the threat of individuals working without environmental guidance. Let's not just talk about these; its important to take effective action. Protect against the issuing of retrospective permits which enable owners to flout existing rules. Change the existing planning schemes to enable enhancement and expansion of significant landscapes and animal corridors. Supporting our Green Wedge is supporting the Lungs of Melbourne. Improve our waste management. Require new developments to be ecologically sustainable; and promote environmental sustainability in whatever we do. Rather than slash and burn, encourage an environmentally sensitive approach to managing our bushfire risk. Landownership involves rights as well as responsibilities. The Green Wedge is our collective responsibility - for all of Melbourne, for the future of our kids, and their kids, and theirs.
Ø Share your stories about your experience of the Green Wedge.
· Spiritually & inspirationally, mentally, physically, economically, socially, culturally. Eg. your experience of natural phenomena; or about encounters with the local wildlife.
· Volunteering stories about all the effort and community spirit around protecting what we have.
· Stories of community spirit that have made us happy or helped us through the tough times.
· Emphasise community or collective responsibility as opposed to individual landowners’ rights.
Ø Share a photo of what you love about the Green Wedge, or follow link https://participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/gwmp?tool=story_telling_tool#tool_tab. Type in a title for your photo. That opens up a dialogue box with editing symbols at the top. Select the mountains picture [Insert Image] and go from there. The image should be no bigger than 1MB.
· Photos/FaceBook screen shots/etc
o Of our beautiful landscapes.
o Of our unique flora.
o Of our beautiful wildlife (alive and dead – eg. to show the destruction to habitat loss that increased traffic causes).
Emphasise the importance of regulation to keep them safe.
o Before and after pictures of areas that have already been lost.
· Art work/ music/creativity inspired by our unique environment.
Please take action - for our Green Wedge - for our natural environment and for the sake of future generations.
A new Facebook page has been established to support the like-minded groups and individuals in the Nillumbik Network. (NB: Friends of Nillumbik Inc is part of this Network)
Nillumbik Environmental and Sustainability Hub [NEASH] aims to raise awareness of the importance of our natural environment and other relevant issues, in particular the Nillumbik Green Wedge.
Please feel free to post items to this FB page or share our posts with your own page.
Please see the link below:
Log in to Facebook | Facebook
Thank you for helping to protect the Green Wedge and everything else that is so great about Nillumbik.
President, Friends of Nillumbik