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New England Sustainability Strategy

APPENDICES

February 2011

this project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its

and with support from


APPENDICES

TABLE OF CONTENTS
History of Development.....................................3 Sustainability Models & Frameworks........15
What is Sustainability?..........................................6 Key Stakeholders..................................................17
Importance & Value of NESS..........................8 New England Tablelands BioGeographic
Financial Supporters..........................................11 Region.........................................................................18
Bibliography............................................................12 Acronyms..................................................................19
Credits.........................................................................13 Illustration Index....................................................20
About Starfish Enterprises...............................14

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APPENDICES

HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT
The original funding received for NESS in 2008
was to create a sustainability action plan for
Armidale alone. However the benefits,
arguably necessity, of working on sustainability
at a larger bio-regional scale were
recognised by Armidale Dumaresq Council
who generously agreed to make their funding available to benefit the wider New
England Region including Uralla, Walcha and Guyra local government areas too.

Seven specialist working groups developed the above strategic analysis which
informed 120 participants at the first NESS Public Forum, held at NERAM as the last
event of the Sustainable Living Expo '09.

A dynamic multi-stream
open space process was
used throughout the Forum
to enhance creativity,
cross-fertilisation and
collaboration.

The 'Foundation Strategy'


was established that day.
Some 300 community
members, organisations
and stakeholders directly
participated in its
formation.
Illustration 1: Inaugural NESS Public Forum, NERAM 2008

In 2009 the four Local Councils in the southern New England Region (Armidale
Dumaresq, Walcha, Guyra & Uralla), together with the New England Sustainability
Strategy Executive (NESSiE), successfully applied for funding with the NSW
Environmental Trust to 'extend and complete' NESS.

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APPENDICES
This regional collaboration of local Councils and stakeholders was key to this new
funding, with the NSW Environment Trust remarking that the New England is one
of the most successful examples of such a collaborative approach in NSW.

Through 2010 further work was done to expand community participation, support
and ownership and further develop the 'Foundation Strategy' by:
• Holding four local Sustainability Forums (Bundarra, Uralla, Guyra and
Walcha) to review the Foundation Strategy and develop their own SEED
(Social Environmental Economic Development) Plans;
• Convene the inaugural Sustainability Scorecard Round Table to
collaboratively design a Regional Sustainability Scorecard & KPPi (Key
Performance and Progress Indicator) Framework;
• Work with the four Councils to develop a model for the integration of NESS
with the new NSW Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework as a
replicable approach to be used with other similar plans (such as HiCUB,
LAPP, CCCF) and by other stakeholder organisations;
• Research and agree an appropriate multi-stakeholder network
governance structure;
• Analyse and integrate existing plans, priorities and strategies with NESS; and,
• Develop a community communication and engagement strategy for
sustainability, including a new web portal.

Illustration 2: Second NESS Public Forum, Armidale Town Hall, 2010

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APPENDICES
This work culminated in the second NESS Public Forum, and Sustainability
Showcase, held at Armidale Town Hall in November 2010, where NESS was
reviewed, finalised and priorities where agreed for the next phase of work, known
as NESS3. A wide range of multi-media and mixed-media presentations were
incorporated as a 'living briefing document' of the sustainability initiatives taking
place across the region.

To date more than 1,000 people have now participated in the collaborative
development of NESS through forums, workshops, meetings, surveys and
discussions.

These participants genuinely reflect the 'whole of the community' and full
'diversity of sustainability' and have included local and national businesses,
farmers, local government councillors, local, state and federal bureaucrats,
Aboriginal leaders, lawyers, town planners, social and community development
workers, youth, artists, community leaders, schools, natural resource managers,
media, and sustainability professionals. The youngest delegate was 15 years of
age and the oldest 82. An African student was the most distant stakeholder who
participated.

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APPENDICES

WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY?
Wikipedia defines sustainability as meaning that social, economic and
environmental systems can be maintained indefinitely into the future.

The productivity and limits of the capacity of these systems are key to the quality
and growth of the New England's wellbeing (social, material, financial, emotional,
spiritual, environmental and so on).

Sustainability Speedo, Great Transition Initiative

Distress Success

As depicted in the Sustainability Speedo above, exceeding the capacity of these


systems is degenerating them, placing our Region in the red. Any degenerative
state is only possible for a limited time by diminishing resources available for
future generations and depleting the capacity of our systems ~ our commons
capital.

Sustainability is depicted as the midpoint on the dial, where the capacity of the
Region's social, environmental and economic systems is able to be maintained
indefinitely for present and future generations. If a system has already been
degraded, such as was the case with the New England's biodiversity which led to
Die Back, then a period 'in the green' is necessary to regenerate systems and be
able to establish this midpoint equilibrium.

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APPENDICES
It is theoretical
possible for the New
England Region to
move beyond this
sustainability midpoint
~ to create systems
which thrive and
actually increase in
capacity.

Such excess capacity


would increase the
quality of life,
increase the carrying
capacity of the
Region (that is, more
population,
biodiversity and
economic activity ~
being like a
sustainability oasis or
refuge) and build the
capacity to export
(products, services,
knowledge, money,
Illustration 3: Definitions of Sustainability, Dr Micheal O'Loughlin
etc.) while still
maintaining the underlying capacity of our systems and the sustainability of the
Region itself.

NESS aims to incorporate each of the sustainability focus areas outlined above.

Based upon the Inaugural Sustainability Scorecard Round Table convened in


2010 the New England is currently in a state of degradation, though this position
has marginally improved since 2008 since work on NESS began. The Region's
fortunes are of course interdependent with those of the world at large, and to
some extent this reflects the fact that the broader Australian and global situation
is also in the red by reference to biodiversity loss, pollution, poverty and more.

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IMPORTANCE & VALUE OF NESS


Sustainability is one of the most pressing challenges and significant opportunities
facing us today.

Strategic analysis across various domains of sustainability ~ social, environmental,


economic, youth, Aboriginal, government and global ~ was the first step in
developing NESS. These are mapped on the following page.

A clear need for the New England Region to act was identified, with issues
including the importance and urgency of resource depletion, development of a
diversified economy and new regional identity which protects and enhances its
unique community and natural environment, with a view to becoming an
international model of regional solutions such as green design, sustainable
housing, regional exports.

This urgency was underlined by the findings of the Climate Change Adaptation
Action Plan where infrastructure, water security, biodiversity loss and diminished
agricultural productivity were each identified as extreme risks from climate and
other environmental changes.

The New England Sustainability Strategy has already made a difference and can
mature to become a powerful contributor, both as a process and as a resource
and tool, to the sustainability of the region.

As a process it is unique for being designed collaboratively, with participation


coming from right across the diversity of the community and breadth of the issue
of sustainability. This very approach of shared deliberation and decision-making
was identified in numerous local plans and in research literature as a powerful
tool for building social inclusion, trust, respect and understanding... and in turn
enhance our sustainability, strength, health and happiness.

As a resource NESS provides an evidence base and influential set of shared


priorities for alignment of effort, collaboration and resources. It is our chart to
navigate the tumultuous seas of change now upon us, a useful learning tool for
practitioners, and a prospectus for funding, enterprise, philanthropy, advocacy
and lobbying.

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Illustration 4: Analysis of Sustainability of New England Region, 2008

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One of the issues raised during the local planning dialogues during this year was
the view that ‘we’ve done this before and nothing came of it’. Some
communities are frustrated as they struggle on alone, that these matters fall back
on their local Council and that they lack real support from outside stakeholders,
partners and agencies.

NESS is contributing to a more collaborative and integrated approach to diminish


these risks and weaknesses over time, though the complexity of collaboration,
which is so central to addressing complex pursuits such as sustainability, should
not be under estimated. Successfully making the shift to sustainability will require
sophisticated effort, investment and attention to our own wellbeing too.

This shift to sustainability has been


described as a “Great Transition” ~ to
a culture and world that transcends
reform, going on to embrace new
values that change the paradigm
and principles of global development.

Global population levels are stabilised


at moderate levels and material flows
through the economy are radically
reduced through lower consumerism
and massive applications of green
technologies.

This world view seeks to change the


character of the urban, industrial,
global economic situation and rather
than to replace it, it is about building
a more humane and equitable global
civilisation rather than retreat into
localism, or worse still fall into decline,
disorder and collapse. Illustration 5: Future Films Poster, Sustainable Living
Expo 2010, Sustainable Living Armidale

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APPENDICES

FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS
Below are a list of all NESS Financial Supporters since work began in 2008.

Armidale Family Support Services

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APPENDICES

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Catchment Management Action Plans ~ Namoi & Border-Rivers Gwydir
Catchment Management Authorities
Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan, Local Adaptation Pathways Program,
New England Strategic Alliance of Councils (NESAC), August 2009
Climate Consensus Project Report ~ Nature Conservation Council of NSW with
Uralla, Guyra & Armidale Councils, December 2008
Constellation Collaboration: A model for multi-organizational partnership, Tonya
Surman, Centre for Social Innovation, June 2006
Healthy People: Living and Learning in a Health Environment, Dr A Sheridan, Ms L
Conway, Dr J Harris, Armidale July 2003
Local Government Plans – Walcha Social Plan, Armidale Strategic Community
Plan, Guyra Management Plan & Uralla Community Management Plan
Northern Tablelands Electorate Survey ~ ‘The shape of the future’, The
Honourable Richard Torbay, Member for Northern Tablelands, Parliament of New
South Wales, 2010
NSW Aboriginal Land Council Northern Region Regional Economic Development
Strategy & Implementation Plan, NSW Aboriginal Land Council Northern Region,
2010
Regional Plan (2010‐2015), Northern Inland Regional Development Australia, 2010
Southern New England State of the Environment Report (2008-2009),
Incorporating the local government areas of Armidale Dumaresq, Guyra, Uralla &
Walcha
Tackling Wicked Problems: A Public Policy Perspective, Commonwealth of
Australia 2007
University of New England Strategic Plan (2007 – 2010), Achieving Regional &
Global Impact, December 2006
Uralla Creative Village, Uralla Creative Village Team, 30 June 1995
Vision New England Summit Recommendations, Independent Member for New
England, Tony Windsor, November 2009
Walcha Community Townlife Development Plan, Initiated by Walcha Shire
Council, NSW Department of State and Regional Development
Waterfall Way Eco-Tourism Initiative: A Triple Bottom Line Report into the Feasibility
of the Waterfall Way Track Network, Michael O'Loughlin, Jeannet van der Lee &
Roderic Gill, Centre for Ecological Economics & Water Policy Research, University
of New England, 6 November 2003

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CREDITS
The 1,000+ participants in NESS forums, workshops, working groups & more plus...

Strategy Author ~ Adam Blakester & Co-Author ~ Dr Micheal O'Loughlin


Facilitators ~ Dr Micheal O'Loughlin, Dr Rebecca Spence & Ken McCleod
Dialogue Design ~ Dr Micheal O'Loughlin & Ken McCleod
Vision Workshop ~ Tuckandee Training, Tex Skuthorpe & Anne Morrill
Digital Media (Stakeholder & Community Forums) ~ Irene Lemon
Communications Strategy ~ Social Ventures Media
Web Portal Strategy ~ Dr Micheal O'Loughlin

NESSiE (past & present) ~ Hannah Taylor, Kathryn Brooks, Zoe Miller, Maureen Chapman, Peter
Sniekers, Jackie Bowe, Michael Jarochowicz, Dave Carr, Dr Micheal O'Loughlin, Dr Rebecca
Spence, Emily Thomas-Moore, Stephen Gow, Paul Creenaune, Adam Blakester (Convenor)

LGA Steering Committee (past & present) ~ Stephen Gow, Paul Creenaune, Bob Furze, Nanette
Lamrock, Stephanie McCaffrey, Gerry Moran

2008 Public Forum:


~ Speakers, Mayor Peter Ducat, Richard Torbay MP, Zoe Miller, Adam Blakester
~ Digital Media, Social Ventures Media, Laszlo Szabo & David Doyle
~ Production Team, Lindsay Teychenne, John Flower-Emblen, Brylan Stewart, Adam Cafarella

2010 Public Forum:


~ Speakers, Mayor Peter Ducat, Councillor Chris Hallingan, Richard Torbay MP, Stephen Gow,
Robyn Bartel, Adam Blakester
~ Performers, Jimmy Greaves (Captain Sustainability) & Rueben Mellor (Mr Not Very Nice Guy)
~ Exhibition Design & Curation, Irene Lemon
~ Digital Media, Social Ventures Media, Laszlo Szabo & David Doyle
~ Production Team, Matt Widdingham, Peter Hutton & Jimmy Greaves
~ Exhibitors (2010 Public Forum) ~ Frog Dreaming, Sustainable Living Expo, Sustainable Living
Armidale, Talloires Declaration Implementation Committee, Northern Inland Regional
Development, The Armidale Waldorf School, Iron Man Welders, Simon Mellor, Kevin Saunders,
Uralla Community Garden, EASLECC, The University of New England, Armidale Bowling Club, New
England On Now (NEON), EVO Cities, Tablelands Community Transport, AusEnergy, NSW
Government Renewable Energy Precinct, Northern Inland Regional Waste Alliance, The Grass
Routes, Great Eastern Ranges Project, Armidale Tree Group, Citizens Wildlife Corridors, Landcare,
HiCUB, Armidale Farmers Market, Waterfall Way EcoTourism Initiative, New England EcoTourism
Society, Daily Ritual, Kinleigh & Quadrant Australia

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APPENDICES

ABOUT STARFISH ENTERPRISES


Starfish Enterprises is a community entrepreneurs network partnering with
communities to make the transitions for sustainability through community
enterprise, inclusive planning and strategies for social change.

Starfish auspices the New England Sustainability Strategy, the New England Wind
community wind farm and coordinates the Farming the Sun solar and sustainable
energy community enterprise.

To find out more go to http://www.starfishenterprises.net or contact


Adam Blakester | 6775 2501 | 0419 808 900 | adam@starfishenterprises.org

For full details of all the work undertaken through the development of
NESS since 2008 go to http://www.ness.wikidot.com.

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SUSTAINABILITY MODELS & FRAMEWORKS


There are hundreds, probably thousands, of examples, case studies and
theoretical models for sustainability. NESS was inspired and informed by those
listed below.

However, we are unaware of any existing model that has been collaboratively
developed and designed for a multi-stakeholder, whole-of-region, network
governance approach like NESS.

Multi-Level (Global, National, Organisational, Individual)


United Nations Climate Neutral Network
New Economics Forum ~ Valuing What Matters
Accounting for Sustainability ~ “How To” Guide
Global Reporting Initiative ~ Quick Reference Sheet
Strong Sustainability for New Zealand
Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World's Oldest People,
Karl-Erik Sveiby & Tex Skuthorpe

Global
Global Footprint Network
The Earth Charter Initiative
Human Development Index
New Economics Forum ~ Happy Planet Index

National
UK Commission for Sustainability ~
Sustainable Development Indicators
New Economics Forum ~
A Well-Being Manifesto for a Flourishing Society

State Government
NSW Government Sustainability Policy

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Local Government
Uralla Shire Climate Consensus Project
(Adopted Management Plan Vol 3)
Sustainable Illawarra
Ku-ring-gai Council Community Strategic Plan
Montpellier Master Plan, Vermont Canada
Communities, Councils & a Low Carbon Future, Alexis Rowell
LGSA Climate Change Action Pack
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Place-Based & Site Specific


Devilbend Reserve
Post Carbon Cities

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KEY STAKEHOLDERS

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NEW ENGLAND TABLELANDS BIOGEOGRAPHIC REGION

Illustration 6: New England Tablelands Biogeograhpic Region

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ACRONYMS
CCCF Climate Change Consensus Forum
HiCUB High Country Urban Biodiversity Project (auspiced by SNELCC)
LAPP Local Adaptations Pathways Project, also referred to as the
Climate Change Adaptation Project
LGA Local Government Authority
NERAM New England Regional Art Museum
NESAC Former New England Strategic Alliance of Councils (involving
Armidale Dumaresq, Walcha, Guyra and Uralla), now inactive
NESS New England Sustainability Strategy
NESSiE New England Sustainability Strategy Executive, the governance
body for NESS
NESS1 The establishment and foundation phase of work on NESS
undertaken from mid 2008 to early 2009
NESS2 The second phase of work undertaken to extend and complete
NESS during 2010
SNELCC Southern New England LandCare Committee
U3CF Uralla Community Climate Change Forum

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ILLUSTRATION INDEX
ILLUSTRATION INDEX
Illustration 1: Emily Thomas Moore & Stephen Gow, NESSiE ~ Accepting 2010 Armidale & District
Chamber of Commerce Award for NESS.................................................................................................................................... 3
Illustration 2: Inaugural NESS Public Forum, NERAM 2008................................................................................................... 4
Illustration 3: Second NESS Public Forum, Armidale Town Hall, 2010..........................................................................5
Illustration 4: Definitions of Sustainability, Dr Micheal O'Loughlin..................................................................................8
Illustration 5: Analysis of Sustainability of New England Region, 2008.....................................................................10
Illustration 6: Future Films Poster, Sustainable Living Expo 2010, Sustainable Living Armidale.................11
Illustration 7: NESSiE Announce Invitations for 2010 Public Forum..............................................................................14
Illustration 8: NESS Core Resourcing Model............................................................................................................................... 15
Illustration 9: Core Milestones (2011~2012)................................................................................................................................ 16
Illustration 10: New England Tablelands Biogeograhpic Region................................................................................24

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