We have a new committee!

Another highly successful BEAM Annual General Meeting was held on August 20th at Gavan Hall in Broadford.

42 guests attended the dinner meeting, including local councillors Rhonda Sanderson, Bill Chisholm and Des Callaghan, and members of the Euroa Environment Group who have worked closely with BEAM over the last year. A gourmet feast was provided by BEAM member Jonathan Murphy, supplemented by some beautiful home made desserts. I don’t think anyone left hungry!

new-committeetrent-mccarthyOur guest speaker, the Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) Executive Officer and Darebin City Councillor Trent McCarthy provided the laughs as well as an engaging presentation about successful energy and sustainability projects in his local area. Trent also encouraged BEAM to reach out to local young people and look at how we might link with the LLEN’s local initiatives, such as the 100 days in 100 ways campaign.

Outgoing president Mr Peter Lockyer provided an outline of the depth and breadth of BEAM’s work in our local area over the past 12 months and thanked the outgoing committee for their tremendous contribution. A new committee, featuring a mix of seasoned long-termers, brand new members and one of our youngest members was enthusiastically voted for by the membership.

Thank you to all who attended and to all the committee members involved in organising this fantastic night. We look forward to another great year for BEAM.


Who is Trent McCarthy?

Trent McCarthy will be presenting ‘From Little Things New Jobs Grow‘ at our AGM on the 20th of August. How regional local governments and communities can drive the clean energy economy and create thousands of new jobs.

Trent McCarthyTrent will share his insights and experiences about to create local prosperity and employment through connecting new and old technologies, the sharing economy and grassroots sustainability initiatives, drawing upon successful programs in Australia and overseas. Are we ready to take up the challenges and opportunities?

Trent McCarthy is CEO of Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network, a dynamic not-for-profit working to improve the outcomes for young people in the Mitchell, Macedon Ranges and Murrindindi Shires. Trent brings to the role his unique background as a strategic facilitator and educator, specialising in leadership, creativity, entrepreneurship, communication and sustainability. Trent has also worked as a director and comedian, performing in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival since 2005.

In his spare time, Trent serves as a local councillor in Darebin, where he has championed the award-winning Solar $avers program and various community solar initiatives. An Executive member of the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action, Trent is a former Vice President of the Victorian Local Governance Association. In 2011, Trent was a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Awards as the co-founder of the Whitelion Bail Out, working with over 1,000 business leaders to raise $5 million to support youth at risk. A third generation game show winner, Trent believes we create our own luck.

Hear Peter Lockyer and Trent McCarthy on Earthchat

Bulk food orders open again!

bulk food divvy up day 270815

BEAM Bulk Food Scheme (BBFS) orders are now open. The new order form has been posted on the BEAM Bulk Food Scheme page, and orders are due by midnight 17th August. Divide up day will be Thursday September 1st from 9.30am.

Please note that there have been many changes to our list as we are transitioning many products from NSM to Terra Madre and other new suppliers of Aussie and organic products. Please take your time to go through the list as some items have moved around, we have deleted some lines and added others. Where the price difference between organic and conventional has been minimal we have only offered organic. Where price differences are vast we have offered both options.

Our trial of Terra Madre and their processes was very successful on the last order so we will continue to increase their product offerings. You will also note a new nut and seed supplier – Royal Nut Company. Unfortunately the wholesale prices did not arrive in time but we have chosen to show you the new lines we hope to offer next time around. As always we are open to suggestions of new suppliers and are happy to help with any queries you have as the list continues to grow.

Like and follow the BBFS Facebook page for regular updates on the BBFS and our suppliers.

The BEAM Bulk Food Scheme aims to provide local, organic and ethically produced foods to the local community. We welcome new participants at any time. You can access the bulk food scheme if you’re a BEAM member, or by completing a simple form. Please share the love and tell your friends!

To place an order please contact the BEAM Bulk Food Scheme Administrator, Cynthia Lim on exchangefood@gmail.com or 0403 831 520.

From Little Things New Jobs Grow – a presentation by Trent McCarthy

Trent McCarthy presentation AGM2016‘How regional local governments and communities can drive the clean energy economy and create thousands of new jobs’

Comedian, Darebin councillor and CEO of the Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network, Trent McCarthy has a lot to contribute to a topic which fits well with the work we have been doing over the past year and into the next.

Local chef Jonathan Murphy will be preparing two delicious soups and a vegetarian main using predominantly regional seasonal produce. Please join us for our…

annual dinner and AGM

Saturday 20th August 2016 from 6pm till 10pm
Gavan Hall, High Street Broadford

CLLEN logoCost: $25 (incl main meal), children & students $10 – bookings essential.
BYO drinks along with nibbles, side-dish or dessert to share
Numbers limited so you MUST book in before 13th of August to avoid disappointment.
For bookings contact Barb on 0428 311 553 – email: beam.inc@hotmail.com
For more information:  click here

Download the BEAM AGM 2016 Invite

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EarthChat with recycler designer Jan Flook

Listen to the EarthChat interview with local recycling innovator Jan Flook with your host, Irene Telford. Friday 22nd July at 10:30am on Seymour FM – 103.9

Glass Chandelier by Jan FlookJan Flook is an inspiring designer with a fascination for light, beauty, symmetry and fun. He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of beauty within the mundane, functional objects that surround us, transforming the everyday into practical works of art. Contemporary chandelier and furniture designer, passionate recycler and advocate of modern materials, Jan believes that “It is the hidden shapes that catch us by surprise and on closer inspection reveal their humble beginnings.”

Continue reading

Kilmore – searching for a way ahead

Kilmore (and Wandong Heathcote Junction) are ahead of Seymour with their Structure Plan.  Their draft plans make interesting reading and are a guide to what a structure plan looks like – go to http://engagingmitchellshire.com/kilmore-structure-plan and look at the right column.  BEAM prepared a detailed submission on the draft structure plan for Kilmore and you can read it here

State Biodiversity Laws under Review – at last!!

Victoria is reviewing its policies and regulations on the protection of native vegetation following the destruction of many legal protections and a wind-down of resources for conservation by the previous government.  The reviews come at a time when there is increasing awareness of the continuing decline in biodiversity and the growing impact from climate change.

We believe that government should be doing a lot more, and have written two large submissions to the State Government.  Information about the reviews are available at http://haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/biodiversity-plan and http://haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation-clearing-regulations.

Our submissions are:

Note:  the submissions on the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations complement a more detailed submission prepared by the Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance (and about to be added to their website – see https://www.centralvicbiolinks.org.au/).

Seymour is moving towards sustainability

Sustainable Seymour bannerSince our first meeting in June last year, our projects have made some real progress.  Ideas for the Chittick Park Project are being developed and we are closely engaged with development of the Seymour Structure Plan.  The Retronet and Pumped Hydro Projects are awaiting advice on funding  applications.


Chittick Park Project

Mitchell Shire Council obtained a $10,000 grant for a feasibility study into the solar park proposal, and have backed it with another $10,000 of Council funds.  We spoke to Taryn Lane from Embark (a community consultant group that developed from Hepburn Wind Project) for her advice.  Taryn’s advice, supported by the approaches being made by similar projects, was to look at the whole proposal but focus on a solar array on the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre.  She also offered a pre-feasibility study from Embark’s funds (worth around $1500) to get the project started.  We took all this to a meeting with Jeff Saker from the Council.  As a result, the plan is to prepare:

  1. a pre-feasibility plan for a 100kw solar array on the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre funded by Embark.
  2. a pre-feasibility study on the larger project for more generation capacity and local distribution
  3. a full feasibility study on all aspects of the solar array including suggestions on the next steps forward.

The Council has engaged Embark for the first stage and we are awaiting the results

The RetroNet Project.

BEAM has supported Goulburn Valley Community Energy with an application for funding under the State Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund. This project includes an audit, design, and implementation service for upgrading the energy performance of older houses in Seymour- 50 of them is the target (and the same for Shepparton). The project is skills training and employment based response to improving the comfort of existing houses in Seymour, and will build on local trade and supply expertise. We await word from the State Government on this….in the coming month.

Pumped Hydro Project

BEAM has partnered with Euroa Environment Group in an application for funding under the New Energy Jobs Fund.  We have had no news so far and wonder if that is good or bad news?

Wind Energy

BEAM continues to support the Cherry Tree Windfarm and met recently with Infigen staff.  We are hopeful the project will start in early 2017.

Seymour Structure Plan

Mitchell Shire Council has put out an Emerging Ideas Paper and we organised a workshop on Saturday 18th June to develop a response – see separate item.  We strongly recommend everyone lest the Council know what you would like for Seymour – go to http://engagingmitchellshire.com/seymour3660. The deadline for submissions is July 4th.

If you want to be more engaged with this process and are not part of the Sustainable Seymour Network, please contact Peter M via email