Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wind farm researcher debunks bird ‘myths’

Dr Cindy Hull is an avian ecologist who investigates claims that wind farms kill birds and bats in large numbers. Dr Hull writes that misinformation has muddied the waters on this issue, adding that her research debunks a number of common myths.

Wind farm in sunset

Image: A wind farm in sunset with birds nearby. (Getty/Florea Marius Catalin)

This is an edited transcript of her Ockham’s Razor broadcast reposted from ABC Radio National Tuesday 27 October 2013. Download this item as MP3 (6MB)

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Ararat’s wind farm lessons for Mitchell Shire

Seymour will get a chance to hear how the Ararat community has lived happily with wind farms for the last ten years.

Gwenda Allgood, a councillor of the Ararat Rural City Council, will present her district’s experience of the Challicum Hills wind farm, at the Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16. Pacific Hydro’s Challicum Hills wind farm, consisting of 35 x 1.5 megawatt turbines, was Australia’s largest wind farm when first built in 2003. Cr Allgood held the position of Mayor at the time when the Challicum Hills wind farm was first proposed.

Councillor Gwenda Allgood of the Ararat Rural City Council

Councillor Gwenda Allgood of the Ararat Rural City Council

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BEAM Bulk Food Scheme: Our first group order is now open

Providing wholesome foods for our local community

Bulk-Food-FamiliesWould you like to:

  • Obtain better quality food direct from wholesalers and producers?
  • Reduce packaging & “food miles”?
  • Save time & feed your family for less?
  • Contribute to community resilience by building local food security?
  • Get together with other like-minded people and share knowledge about local foods, markets, recipes and other food-related activities?
  • Reduce your reliance on the big supermarkets?

Well now you can!  BEAM is now offering a bulk food scheme to our members, who are residents of the Mitchell Shire and surrounds. The Bulk Food Scheme will aim to obtain Australian organic (including bio-dynamic) and ethically produced foods at an affordable cost.

Orders will be due by November the 28th, with a flat $10 delivery fee for delivery and division to Seymour on December 5th.

For further information about Bulk Food Scheme visit our webpage. PLEASE NOTE: you need to be an up-to-date member to participate.

Community-owned solar power

Community SolarImagine 1000 solar panels on a large rooftop in Mitchell Shire, community owned and run.

BEAM: Mitchell Environment Group will be hosting an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16 where a grand idea like this will be featured.

One of the key speakers will be David Robinson, from the group LIVE – Locals Into Victoria’s Environment.

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VCAT hearing to decide on Cherry Tree

VCATWe are encouraging supporters of the Cherry Tree Wind Farm to attend the hearings at VCAT on the 23rd and 24th of October.

The first day of the hearings is an opportunity for the anti-wind activists to submit further evidence of the ‘dangers’ of the proposed wind farm. The second day of the hearing will be when the decision is made.

We have collected a long (and growing) list of supporters for the proposed wind farm. It is likely that there will be a strong media presence and it would be great if supporters could attend. If you are interested in attending either or both days of the hearing please email us.

Research Study Investigating Forest Values

Melbourne Uni LogoNative forests in Victoria are valued for many different reasons, such as for water, biodiversity, recreation, forest products, for their beauty, as well as for a range of other reasons.

The aim of the research study is to better understand the different ways people value native forests, and to better understand the relationship between what people value in forests, how forests should be managed, and indicators used to describe forests and their management. We hope such indicators can help guide future forest policy and management.

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Broadford Community Garden Design & Concept Plan Workshop

‘The Broadford Community Garden is a welcoming place that strengthens community spirit, embraces diversity and encompasses organic and sustainable principles throughout the garden and conservation areas.’

We’ve got 8 acres and we need to make a plan that will take into consideration all the differing needs for the space such as:

Conservation Area – Veggie Garden Beds – Orchard / Food Forest – Art/Craft Shed/Space – Amphitheatre – Music Area – Walking Tracks – Educational/Workshop Area – Chicken Coop – Kids Space – Lunch/Eating Area – Outdoor Kitchen and the list goes on…….

 To make this space truly reflect what’s needed now and into the future we need everyone’s input – so please make the time to come along, we’re going to have a lovely BBQ lunch:

When: Sunday 17 November 2013
Where: Broadford Community Centre
158-162 High Street Broadford
Time: 12 midday for lunch
1-4 for Workshop
RSVP: 12 November 2013 or 0428 311 553

We aim to make this event accessible and inclusive to all of the community. If you would like to attend this event and have specific access, communication or dietary needs please advise us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Social Enterprise, CoDesign will be running the workshop, which they promise, will be fun!

CoDesign Studio is a social enterprise that works with communities, professionals and service providers to design and implement neighbourhood improvement projects. With expertise in architecture, landscape architecture and community development, we adopt a highly participatory methodology that allows communities and stakeholders to achieve a shared vision, and realise that vision through a practical design process.

‘Energy Futures’ forum in the pipeline

BEAM will be presenting an ‘Energy Futures’ forum in Seymour which will look at the what, why and how of energy.

In transitioning from our dependence from limited fossil fuel reserves to harnessing the renewable energy from the sun, wind, water and earth we can reduce our impact on the environment and the severity of climate change.

Reducing our own energy demand will play a major role in our ability to make this transition. So we all have a part to play in our Energy Future.

Guest speakers will talk about future energy options including solar and wind power, battery storage, community energy systems and distribution networks. Along with concerns about Coal Seam Gas (fracking) and the risks associated with NOT moving to a renewable energy future.

The day will be MC’d by Phil Bourne, with Leigh Ewbank of Yes2Renewables. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Gwenda Allgood – long-standing Ararat councilor that has seen the wind farm development
  • David Robinson – leading a pioneering community solar effort on the South Melbourne market
  • Ursula Alquier – Gippsland landowner fighting plans for coal seam gas

The event will be held at the:

VRI Hall near Seymour Railway Station
on Saturday the 16th of November from 2-5pm

Stay tuned to the BEAM website for more information, with more speakers to be announced.