18.2 C
Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Make sustainability economic reality

Latest News

Youth suicide?

ABC News reporting on youth suicide in remote communities at an alarming rate? The Elders are using Aussie Rules...

Other News

Youth suicide?

ABC News reporting on youth suicide in remote communities at an alarming rate? The Elders are using Aussie Rules...

The Music of Bowie

Byron Bay – step into the world of iconic rock legend David Bowie as Brisbane’s very own Soft Treadly (formerly known as The Jensens)

Mullum students off to parliament

During the April Easter school holidays, three Mullum High students represented the local electorates in the prestigious NSW Youth Parliament program camp.  

No care at Shaws Bay

Mullet harvesting is here again and the fishermen have to access Gawandii Beach at Shaws Bay. Again, they have...

Ballina Council join study to understand water use

Ballina Council has joined Bathurst, Dubbo and the Murray River Council areas to participate in a cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology that aims to identify how people use water across regional NSW. 

Broken Head Quarry development plan rears its head once again

Long-dormant plans to turn the former Broken Head Quarry site into a residential development have lumbered out of the bush like a bewildered dinosaur.


Robin Harrison, Binna Burra

If we want a sustainable future, for our community or any other, there is a conversation we need to have. It starts with some basic absolutes, not least the desperate need to find a path to that future. By definition our survival depends on it.

Our future is absolutely dependent on how we live with each other and our environment. This is dictated by our planning instruments which, in turn, are limited by the available housing-development options. All our present options are variations on the theme of suburbia. Dormitory suburbs where we must commute for most things, most supplies are trucked in and most wastes trucked out to be dealt with elsewhere. They are also not conducive to the sense of community we know is vital. No matter how we fiddle with it this is a completely unsustainable development model. Therefore it follows there can be no possibility of a sustainable future without sustainable housing development models available to the mainstream.

There’s an old adage: there’s no such thing as problems, only opportunities and this community is ideally placed to grasp this opportunity. Byron United, in their Byron Naturally campaign, identified the alternative community here as a valuable asset. In fact it’s far more valuable than they thought.

Globally over the last few decades increasing numbers of people have been applying themselves to sustainable ways of living individually, with each other and our environment. Largely educated, they recorded what they were doing. Right now, all the information we need to create sustainable housing development models has been raised, codified and is being taught, although disparately. This global sustainability movement has a small number of geographic focal points and this is one of them. Valuable indeed – and that’s not all we have.

One of the most significant discoveries of the last few decades is that sustainable practice makes far better economic sense. It follows there must be an economic solution, a market response. Our community has people with corporate entrepreneurial skills who are also concerned for our sustainable future. It’s unlikely they are aware we have the knowledge to create sustainable housing development models that will probably be considerably more attractive, affordable and prosperous than their only competition: suburbia. It’s a huge market advantage that we could exploit and it could start by simple, focused discussion.

The concept, along with one idea for a sustainable housing development model, is at www.livingsystems.com.au – hopefully a start to the conversation.

Tourism will always be part of this region. We’re in a beautiful place we are happy to share, but it’s far too fickle to base our economy on. The major growth industry of the 21st century, sustainable living, would be a much more stable economic base for us.


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