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Regeneration and sustainable use and development of the New England's nationally unique high country has come through more strongly as a priority for sustainability than any other. This is an holistic integration of economics, culture and nature ~ including eco-tourism, outdoor education, agribusiness, carbon and bio-banking, recreational facilities, food production and the fundamental imperitive to restore the web of life that is so interwoven with our own quality and security of life. A large scale region-wide regeneration strategy will deliver social, environmental and economic value by increasing the land fertility and productivity (such as for agri-business, research, outdoor education) and landscape values (such as for ecotourism and quality of life), plus clear benefits for biodiversity. 18 million years ago the Ebor volcano erupted; its core, the Crescent still sits high in the Bellinger Valley amongst the rolling spurs that seem to flow down to the far off coast. Subsequent uplift, tilting and millions of years of erosion have created the spectacular, deep gorge country within the New England Tablelands that winds its way to the Dorrigo escarpment.

This country contains some of the key holdings in Central East Rainforest Reserves of Australia (CERRA), remnants of ancient beech forests, wet coastal rainforests as well as temperate and dry rainforest. It has been home to the Diprotodon (giant Wombat) and has seen 5 custodian Aboriginal Nations inhabit and walk the area for more than 50,000 years. Less than 200 years ago the first explorers, cedar cutters and sheep graziers arrived. It is home now to koalas, platypus, a huge variety of bird species and the threatened yellow-footed rockwallaby. The New England Tableland bio-region is botanically significant due to its high plant species diversity and high level of endemism. For instance, more than 70 species of Eucalyptus occur on the tablelands, about a third of which are endemic or near endemic to the bio-region. Thirty of these species are listed as endangered, 39 are listed as vulnerable and one species, Euphrasia arguta, is considered extinct in the bio-region. There are some 38 National Parks and Wildlife reserves that comprise nearly one-fifth of the region. Page 1 of 4

NESS is an initiative of


• • What other current initiatives aren't represented? How do we better integrate, collaborate & support across various initiatives & strategies? What else do we need to do now?
Retain & Attract new Business Enterprises in niche high value agribusiness (fish farming, heliculture, aquaponics using smart closed loop water technologies), Assist landholders with significant native tree cover to manage resource so that commercial harvesting will be permitted, identify & Sustainable Practices, survey prioritise land claims with economic agricultural practices (eg. Organic, development potential to strengthen Biodynamic), maintenance & training land holdings into a productive asset for Council planted projects, ese mulch base & bio-control rather than chemicals Urban Streetscapes & Corridors, plantings considering shade & aesthetics for walking corridors & bike ways, short easy walking tracks, locus for multiple uses such as canoeing, hiking, horse trails, cultural, adventure & wilderness experiences, cycling tours Tourism, nature reserves for grey nomads & outdoor classrooms, voyages of discovery, history pilgrimages, birdroutes, gardens, deciduous trees, land axis & land art, improve parks & open spaces (Alma, The Glen, Poster), promote outdoor activities Manage Weeds & Eradicate Pests, Schools’ “Safe Pets Out There” Become an Eco-Bank, carbon sink (trees, soil, native pastures), assess plantings for hotter climate, assess & upgrade water reserves for predicted storm events & depletion of ground water, plant to absorb carbon near highways, review of current flood studies & modelling, , develop understanding of Murray Darling Basin

Local Food Bowl producers networks, Community Gardens, Farmers Markets, on-line ordering systems. local boutique slaughterhouse (multispecies), home food gardens, bush tucker, implement food & wine initiatives into overall marketing Regeneration & Habitat Restoration for endangered species (eg. iron bark for regent honeyeaters), Mother of Ducks Lagoon, preserved TSRs, private land, wildlife corridors, woodlands, use multipurpose species, review/develop planning policy & provisions in LEPs & DCPs for species migration corridors, Conservation Agreements, Create grasslands, Plant a Tree for every Council funding for biodiversity, Adopts Armadalian, use multi-purpose species, fully ecologically sustainable Dumaresq Creek, Malpas water quality, development, Bush Fire Service Level Urban Sub-Catchment Plan, HiCUB Agreements Page 2 of 4

NESS is an initiative of

Waste, Northern Inland Regional Waste Network, Waste Management, Social Enterprises (eg. waste & composting), Recycle commercial waste, user pays landfill, Total recycling of organic & agricultural waste - biomass, methane, soil conditioners, fertilisers - solutions for new waste sources (eg. light bulbs), home & school education on pollution, reduce waste production (eg. Packaging), Environmental Protection Plan for underground petroleum storage, Investigate options for waste disposal in Tingha, Ben Lomond & Ebor Restore Fresh Water Systems, businesses capturing own water (like Costas), water tanks, water use efficiency & recycling, revegetate waterways & riparian zones, strategic response to run off issues, build redundancy into water systems, non chemical purification of water supply, more effective use of grey & storm water, expand existing irrigation farm system, regular monitoring & safety reviews of water supply dams, assess feasibility of a “water grid”, low flow water heads, water reclamation & recycling system for irrigation, truck washing purposes, roadwork & other non-potable Showcases, regenerative case studies, Interpretive signage, PDA devices to detail stories, distinct flora, fauna, features, promote “Keep Australia Beautiful” campaign, Environmental Network – of stakeholders & landholders

Biodiversity – rates of land clearance, (area of veg/community/ tree cover), condition of vegetation, species (ecosystem) richness/loss, threatened species / communities numbers, health riparian ecosystems (data sources NVIS. Bird Atlas as surrogate measure), Conservation Agreements Soil & Sustainable Agriculture – ground cover, biota health – compaction / organic matter – fertility – nutrient import/export (quantity & type), no. of landholders (ha) adapting regenerative practices, rotational grazing, rehydration, soil carbon etc, numbers of organic registered farmers, $ spent on fertiliser (BOS), nutrient loss through effluent (Local Govt) & Agricultural production, change in land-use (BOS) & Feral animals & weed awareness (survey). Other data sources: ground cover - AussieGress, soil carbon & biota health expert advice), sustainable agricultural practices – survey Water – ground water recharge, time for rain to river (catchment retention), water use efficiency, natural flow of rivers (hydrological data – DECCW), water quality indicators (at points (DECCW, Local council advice), macro-invertebrates (UNE, Streamwatch) Land-Use – remediation work (ha), area of productive agric. land, peri-urban growth (note BOS is looking for things to measure)

Land for Development, industrial, stop mining on productive agricultural lands or near natural water sources, review research into co-existence of mining & agriculture, link drought assistance to good land management, buffer zones around industry, more rights to clear & manage land for primary producers Page 3 of 4

NESS is an initiative of

Other measures identified but not defined included waste, water availability & quality, air quality, development & adoption of new technologies (innovation), resource use & footprints – draw-downs on future generations.
Catchment Management Action Rural and Regional Taskforce Plans ~ Namoi, Border-Rivers Gwydir Report (2008) Hunter New England Health Service NSW Aboriginal Land Council Strategic Plan & New England Northern Region Regional Divisions of General Practice Economic Development Strategy & Implementation Plan

In addition to the 2½ years of work on NESS, the following existing plans, priorities and strategies have been integrated:
Climate Change Consensus ~ Uralla, Guyra & Armidale Councils 2010 Northern Tablelands Electorate Survey ~ ‘The shape of the future’ Waterfall Way Eco-Tourism Initiative Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan ~ Uralla, Guyra, Walcha & Armidale Councils

University of New England Strategic Uralla Creative Village Plan (2007 - 2010) Northern Inland Regional Development Plan (2010‐2015) Local Government Plans – Walcha Social Plan, Armidale Strategic Community Plan, Guyra Management Plan & Uralla Community Management Plan Healthy People ~ Living and Learning in a Health Environment Southern New England State of the Environment Report (2008-2009) NSW State Government North West Regional Cluster Page 4 of 4

NESS is an initiative of