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Southbank Sustainability Group

08 May 2019

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Positive changes in our neighbourhood

With the Southbank community vegie and herb garden finding its permanent home at Boyd’s front yard, our group has been busy caring for our new seedlings, expanding the garden, planning the upcoming orchard and community composting area and getting results through some important sustainability activism.

With the invaluable help and support of the City of Melbourne to establish the new garden, including bringing us Biofilta – the company that provided the wicking garden beds, soil, and seedlings – our group members and other Southbankers interested in learning how to garden, got their hands dirty and planted away most of last month!

Shortly after the initial planting day on April 6, the council gave us the lemon trees and a triangular garden bed/sitting area to plant 65-70 additional seedlings.

It was amazing to see such a positive reception and an avid interest in the new garden, and in gardening by community members on our meet-ups (and on many days inbetween)!

Their love and care certainly made the seedlings grow beautifully over a short four-week period. If nothing else, this garden highlighted the need of many Southbankers to get back in contact with nature, garden, grow food as well as their desire for more community green spaces.

This was evident by the more than 40 people who showed up on the initial planting day and the ongoing interest of more and more community members wanting to join the group.

Some new members were added in April alone, along with an overwhelming number of positive comments received and constant photo snapping of our neighborhood’s new gem.

Seeing so many passionate Southbankers contributing endlessly to the creation, wellbeing and growth of our vegie and herb patch and our community’s expressed appreciation certainly motivates our hard-working, volunteer-members to continue their amazing work.

Without these members, this wonderful area would not have become a permanent addition to our neighborhood – not to mention the amount of positive change they are bringing about in a wide range of sustainability matters.

This brings us to the positive results our group’s quick-to-respond activism helped bring about at mid-April’s Future of Melbourne Committee meeting, where our city’s Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 plan was a key agenda item.

The 131-page document was up for endorsement by the council in its existing form and would define Melbourne’s position and actions on waste management and reduction for the next 11 years – the most critical time for mitigating climate change, with waste identified as a key contributor.

Following a number of submissions from Southbankers, along with a few more from other inner-suburbs, councillors responded with a proposed amended plan, adding more areas of waste to tackle and requesting higher targets, a more detailed plan and clearer implementation actions. Councilors especially commented on the importance of the submissions made and how the community’s comments were taken well into account when forming their amended motion.

There are certainly many areas people can get involved in to make Southbank more sustainable and our volunteers can use the help.

If you’re interested in gardening, helping with the watering or the upcoming orchard, community composting, or getting involved with one of the many sustainability issues and education the group tries to tackle for the betterment of our city, you can either message us (southbanksustainability@gmail.com or facebook.com/SouthbankSustainabilityGroup) or come join us on an upcoming meet-up (Saturdays May 11, May 25, and June 8, from 10am at Boyd).

About the group

A solutions-focused community group of Southbank residents working to bring positive change in sustainability practices and education to our neighborhood, while building a wonderful community of like-minded people.

Artemis Pattichi - Southbank Sustainability Group

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