Waste and resource management – being efficient through closed-loop material systems

Wastes (resources with no further use) are an indicator of how we live within our environment. The amount of waste indicates how efficient we are in using resources. The type of waste shows what we value. The way we dispose of waste shows our concern for our environment.

The ACT is one of Australia’s largest waste producers per capita. On Government figures, the ACT once had the best recycling performance in Australia. In 2005-06 it was 75%, however, the overall waste recovery rate reduced to 72.6% in 2014-15.

Total waste to landfill continues to increase, as does our overall waste generation per person from 1.65 tonnes per person 2001 02, increasing to 2.06 tonnes 2007 08 then 2.64 tonnes 2010 11 and still 2.6 tonnes in 2013. Total waste to landfill 2014-15 was 243,793 tonnes.

The current end of the line for ACT waste is at Mugga Lane as landfill. Mugga Lane has finite capacity and will reach its limits within a few years. This waste is creating a hill out of a red gum yellow box grassy woodland valley. Old landfill cells ‘re-shaped’ in 2014 to address landfill shortage created significant odour issues for surrounding suburbs. Two new landfill cells opened since provide expected capacity until 2018 at a cost of $21 million in the ACT 2015–16 Budget.

The No Waste By 2010 Strategy adopted in 1996 was reported on in 2000 by ACT Commissioner for the Environment saying “to be successful, the strategy will require successive Ministers to ensure that it retains a high profile, both in the ACT Legislative Assembly and in the community. I believe the strategy cannot be successfully implemented without enormous combined support of Government and the businesses and residents of the ACT.”

Successive governments, however, did not fund actions set out to achieve no waste by 2010. The ACT Government should: return to a policy of no waste to landfill; prioritise waste minimisation and recycling as well as doing waste management, and; take an active role in determining the materials that enter the waste stream. All ACT waste should be managed and disposed in the ACT with only recovered resources leaving the ACT. Management of waste can generate social capital through development of local reuse, resource recovery and recycling services as demonstrated by recent establishment of the mattress recycling initiative.

Apply waste hierarchy

  • Embed hierarchy: Avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, treat, dispose – in waste management policy, objectives, outcomes and contracts, and encourage and communicate to residents and business. Strengthen the waste hierarchy in education through the ACTSmart schools program. Disposal is a last resort not necessary with closed-looped systems.
  • Emphasise avoid including ‘refuse’ and ‘reject’: ACT has reduced use of plastic bags and could restrict single use polystyrene products. ACT should work to manage use and reuse of products so if their only fate is landfill after a single use then we should not be using it.
  • ACT Government should be leader working with other governments to develop national standards to support product stewardship and to restrict and ultimately phase out production of materials that cannot be reused or recycled. ACT Government should help develop markets for recycled products by preferential purchasing of recycled products where performance and price are comparable.

No Waste Policy

  • Zero Waste Objective: return to target-based policy objective of no waste to landfill as ultimate aim after problematic wastes (asbestos, CCA treated timber etc.) are safely removed.
  • Establish statutory Waste Agency: with authority and mandate to achieve waste targets
  • Publish accurate reporting: Reinstate open and transparent public reporting as used to occur with all prepared reports made publicly available including on waste generation, recycling and best practice benchmarks. Waste streams data to be updated more quickly, more frequently and reported directly to community and Legislative Assembly.
  • Waste strategy: require Waste Agency to develop and implement ACT Waste Strategy with key focus on short and long-term targets for waste reduction, resource recovery and diversion of waste from landfill. Waste Strategy to be revised and renewed at least every five years.
  • Stop the practice of cheap landfill disposal by regulating disposal of waste that should instead be reused or recycled.

Reduce Waste Generation

  • Community Education: Conduct program on waste avoidance and waste reduction including on difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’, and; an emphasis to reduce food waste given each household throws away about $1000 food p.a. and food is about 40% of domestic waste
  • Change food labelling: Work with national, NSW and regional local governments to change ‘use by’ labeling to ‘best before’ in all possible cases to reduce good food being thrown away.
  • Packaging Requirements: Move to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging through targeted education, regulation and contributing to national forums.
  • Develop options to ban sale of bottled water in ACT: as for Bundanoon, San Francisco.
  • No non-recyclable products: Restrict use or sale of products that cannot be recycled (e.g. cling wrap, polystyrene) or develop systems for recycling. Disallow packaging not be reused or recycled through ACT’s waste system. Use of plastic should be reduced given environmental damage done by plastic litter and waste in waterways and eventually world’s oceans.
  • Reduce Food Waste Program: provide funding for delivery by community organisations.

Reuse and Recycling

  • Support growth and development of local reuse industry
  • Develop, implement strategy to support a robust local recycling industry to maximise local reprocessing and markets
  • Progress development of Hume Resource Recovery Estate to assist local industry.

Reduce Waste to Landfill

  •  Household Organic Waste: Develop closed loop systems for garden and food waste to maximise nutrient retrieval and recycling. Divert all garden and food waste from landfill and use sustainably including as compost available to local producers at no or low cost.
  • Review past garden and food waste systems to develop best model for ACT region. Establish composting system for domestic organic (putrescible) waste including some through existing treatment businesses and consider developing community and locality composting
  • Implement food waste charge on outlets. Use revenue to support food recovery charities.
  • Commercial and industrial Waste: Establish waste reduction system, perhaps similar to source-separated domestic recycling scheme, to apply to commercial and industrial sector.
  • Construction and Demolition Waste: Establish systematic higher-end use value from demolition material including through allowing on-site sale of materials.
  • Provide incentives for construction companies following proper procedures of sorting at source and delivery and also apply to other parts of commercial and Industrial waste stream.
  • Waste from Multi-Unit Dwellings: Introduce recycling program focused on residents of multi-unit dwellings including changes to planning regulations to ensure that all new multi-unit developments have built-in exemplar recycling and waste management arrangements.
  • Waste in Public Places: Introduce easy to use recycling bins alongside rubbish bins in all public places, including town centres and all sporting and cultural spaces
  • Legislate for extraction of resources: Legislate that no material be accepted to landfill, or ‘Energy from Waste Solutions’, unless it is first processed to extract all resources possible.

A 2016 ACT Election Agenda: Water conservation – smart use of a scarce resource

Conservation Council ACT Region – A 2016 ACT Election Agenda – Our future, our environment

The Conservation Council has prepared some recommendations which aim to set directions for the ACT Government to reduce environmental impacts over the next four years. We have identified potential initiatives in the key areas of our work:

  • Biodiversity Conservation – protecting our unique ecological communities and the Bush Capital
  • Climate Change – a regional, national and global challenge
  • Planning – the right things in the right places
  • Transport – connecting people and places
  • Waste – being efficient through closed-loop systems
  • Water – smart use of a scarce resource
  • Governance – for a Smarter, Sustainable Canberra

Here we present our policies on water.

Water conservation – smart use of a scarce resource


Water is a fundamental environmental resource that shapes landscapes and nourishes flora and fauna. Water supply is critical for the human population, as well as the environment in which we live. Climate predictions have shown that we can expect more severe droughts, as well as greater floods, and both have major impacts on our environment and way of life.

In an urban society with steadily predicted population increase we need to be prepared for progressive water scarcity, and policies are needed to conserve and effectively use the water available. To maintain and enhance our living environment the conservation and re-use of stormwater and grey water become increasingly important.

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan ties Canberra to a fixed net volume for water supply, without any provision for increased volume related to population growth. The net volume is calculated by deducting the volume of treated wastewater discharged into the river from the amount of freshwater extracted, which cancels any gain from use of treated wastewater, dual flush toilets or domestic water recycling, since reduced discharge leads to reduced extraction.

Policy Measures

ACT Water Policy – reduce consumption, reuse and conserve

  • Think Water ACT Water: Maintain ongoing support for an ACT water policy which encourages water re-use, minimises raw water consumption, conserves water from roofs and builds wetlands and stormwater ponds.

Water Infrastructure to improve water quality

  • Establish water quality improvement measures, in all new developments: incorporating into suburb design wetlands, stormwater ponds and grassed swales to assist water quality improvement.
  • Retrofit existing major stormwater channels, including Sullivan’s Creek, Jerrabomberra Creek, and Weston Creek with constructed wetlands and water retention ponds.

Water Sensitive Urban Design for a more liveable and sustainable city

  • Flexible planning for climate change: Plan for potential variability in the climate in the future including long dry spells and flood events. The planning authority should assist in organising ways for the community to develop a water sensitive Canberra
  • Permeable root protection and water catchment for urban trees: Our urban trees, especially in heavy traffic areas – foot, bicycle and even car – should have permeable hard stands shaped to collect water
  • Enhanced urban tree planting to reduce heat loads and water run-off.

Stormwater Management to recognise value and improve quality

  • Provide urban community education campaign on stormwater, emphasising the value of stormwater and need to maintain stormwater quality by reducing rubbish entering stormwater
  • Reduced runoff from new developments 75% of total annual stormwater runoff to be retained within the community via harvesting, infiltration and aquifer recharge
  • Cleaner runoff: Over 95% total annual stormwater runoff volume is filtered and treated before reaching stormwater system or receiving waters
  • Reduce number of stormwater ‘runoff days’ Reduce the number of days in which stormwater runs off the urban area, by a range of infiltration mechanisms.
  • Wetland and Stormwater Ponds: Establish urban wetland and stormwater retention ponds to assist water quality improvement, wildlife habitat and residential amenity. In particular, there should be a focus on the water quality of Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Tuggeranong with ponds to reduce nutrient flows and faecal contamination from stormwater runoff from the urban areas
  • Building Site Management: ensure the Environment Protection Agency has adequate resources to enforce erosion and sediment controls at building sites with a particular focus on new urban developments
  • Establish raingardens (bioretention systems) in new and established developments, including residential streets, to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff. Enable community involvement in the maintenance of the raingardens.

Water Recycling – Greywater for reuse including for gardens

  • Assist use of Greywater: Provide advice to residents on how to safely use greywater especially for gardens. The planning authority and other government agencies should be organisers and enablers of ways for the community to use greywater
  • Regulate greywater sensibly: greywater should be regulated for appropriate safety levels using a risk management approach.

Water Efficiency – system changes supporting community responsibilities

In public housing and other rented properties

  • Retrofit all ACT Government owned public housing: All ACT government public housing stock should be fitted with efficient fittings and appliances
  • Provide rebate to landlords for fitting efficient fittings and appliances
  • Establish greywater systems in ACT Government owned public housing: Greywater can be useful for gardens and green spaces and should be utilised for public amenity where appropriate. This is especially the case for community gardens associated to public housing
  • Support community involvement in moderating water use.

General appliances

  • Restrict installation of wasteful auto-flushing toilets – community education should occur ahead of water-wasting technologies
  • Provide more publicly accessible drinking water fountains – in both private and public spaces and include provision for pets in appropriate locations.


Temperate Grassland new listing, definition; critically endangered

Natural Temperate Grassland of the South Eastern Highlands, a critically endangered ecological community (EPBC Act)

In April 2016 the previously listed Natural Temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the ACT was replaced by a new listing and definition. The revised listing has extended its distribution and range, altitude, habitat and threatened status. It is now defined as Temperate Grassland of the South-Eastern Highlands, a critically endangered community, under Commonwealth legislation (EPBC Act). Distribution ranges from Orange and beyond in the north to East Gippsland in Victoria, west to beyond Tumut and east to the Dividing Range. It is found from 350 m to 1200 m in altitude, but does not include alpine treeless plains. The community occurs on a wide variety of topographic positions and soils, and is found in areas subject to cold air drainage, in frost hollows and drainage depressions, on exposed west or north facing hills, on basalt plateaux; a sub-type develops on ephemeral wetlands such as Lake George.

Quantitative criteria have been included. An area over 0.1 ha in size that is within the defined region, altitude and is apparently naturally treeless meets the criteria as the critically endangered community if it meets criteria A or B:

  1. It contains a foliage cover of more than 50% Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass), Poa labillardierei (River Tussock) or Carex bichenoviana (Plains Sedge)


  1. The percentage cover of native vascular plants (including annual and perennial species) in the patch is greater than the percentage cover of perennial exotic species


  • In favourable sampling times a 0.04 ha sampling plot contains at least 8 non-grass native species or at least 2 indicator species or a floristic value score of at least 5


  • In other sampling times a 0.04 ha sampling plot contains at least 4 non-grass native species or at least 1 indicator species or a floristic value score of at least 3.

(Indicator species are identified and floristic value score described in the Approved Conservation Advice (http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicshowcommunity.pl?id=152&status=Critically+Endangered, accessed April 2016).

Recommendations on environment groups should be rejected

The Conservation Council ACT Region supports the call by Australian environment groups on Federal Environment Minister, Mr Greg Hunt, to reject recommendations of a report of an inquiry into the charitable status of environment groups. The Conservation Council provided input to the Inquiry.

The Report of the Inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations recognises the enormous contribution environment groups have played in safeguarding Australia’s precious yet fragile environment, protecting icons from the Great Barrier Reef to the Franklin River.

However, the report contains deeply flawed recommendations, including an arbitrary requirement to spend a quarter of donor funds on ‘environmental remediation’ and a draconian attempt to clamp down on the type of work organisations conduct.

This flawed Inquiry, initiated by the Abbott Government and driven by a small handful of conservative MPs with the support of the mining industry, failed to uncover any evidence to justify removing the charitable status of any environment group.

Dissenting statements made by Liberal MP and committee member Jason Wood, raised significant concerns about two recommendations. (*See below). Labor members also presented a dissenting report.

The recommendation requiring environment groups spend at least 25 per cent of their supporters’ hard-earned money on ‘environmental remediation’ is ludicrous, imposing a huge bureaucratic burden on both the government and organisations, particularly small groups working with local communities. In Canada, the same policy experiment failed dismally, creating enormous red tape with no resulting public benefit.

The public understands that protecting the environment is about much more than planting trees. Campaigns to help protect places like the Kakadu, the Franklin River and the Great Barrier Reef, and stop massive coal mines, are equally if not more important.

Environment groups should be free to pursue a range of activities, from scrutinising policies and laws, to challenging planning decisions and being a public voice for the environment to prevent future damage.

The recommendation that environment groups be sanctioned for encouraging illegal or unlawful activity is ill-motivated and unfair. Civil disobedience is an important part of a healthy democracy, successful in saving many precious places from the Franklin River to the Daintree Rainforest. The Federal government should instead be pursuing illegal activity by big business, from corporate tax-evasion to mining and logging companies’ regular breaches of environmental and planning laws.

*Additional comment by Mr Jason Wood MP:

On Recommendation 5 (25 per cent remediation): “I have concerns about [recommendation 5] as there are a number of groups with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status or future groups that want to apply for DGR status that would have no remediation work or would find it very difficult to prove the 25 per cent target.”

On Recommendation 6 (Illegal activities)

“..it should be noted that it was due to environmental activists, through their efforts and through the use of a blockade, that major environmental disasters have been prevented. An example would be the Franklin River in Tasmania, where many activist groups openly supported campaigns to stop the damming of the river. These protests, which were actively supported by environmental groups, would be prohibited under this recommendation and history would now show that, if it was not for these protests and national awareness, the World Heritage Franklin River would have been dammed.

Yellow Box Dispatch May 2016


This month has been a time of major change for the Conservation Council. I am sad to announce I will be leaving the role of Executive Director.  It’s been a fantastic four and a half years, and I am glad to see the Council in a strong position to continue its important group with our member groups and supporters.

Larry O’Loughlin, our current Assistant Director, is the new Executive Director. Larry brings a wealth of experience in advocacy and environmental work and will see the Council take on new and exciting work in the years to come.

We’re also sad to announce that our Communications officer Phoebe Howe is leaving the Conservation Council. She has done some great work on key projects in her short time here and we wish her well.

You can see us all to say farewell or hear about our new directions at the World Environment Day Dinner on Saturday 4 June. Support the Conservation Council, enjoy great local food, and mingle with like minded Canberrans. Early bird tickets close today so get your tickets quick!

Clare Henderson
Executive Director, Conservation Council ACT
Canberra steps up on climate change solutions!
You have been calling for the ACT Government to stay in the lead on climate change, attending the People’s Climate March in November, signing our petition and participating in climate change forums.  And it’s paying off!

It’s been a huge week for climate change policy in Canberra. Last Friday, the ACT Government announced it will bring forward its target to reach 100% renewable electricity by 5 years, to 2020!  This is a fantastic result. With renewable energy purchase to date locking in low prices for twenty years, it’s a wise choice for our environment and for our budget.

On Wednesday this week, the Government announced changes to our climate change legislation, increasing the ambition of our climate targets. The Capital Territory will now be a zero emissions region by 2050. The commitment brings the Canberra zero emissions target forward by 10 years, in line with commitments by cities and nations across the world, following the global climate agreement in Paris last year. The announcement comes hot on the heels of the Federal opposition revealing a policy plan to reach zero emissions for the nation by 2050. The Conservation Council welcomes the change, however we urge the Government to keep Canberra in the lead. Entire nations will reach zero emissions by 2050. As a small city, with no heavy industry, we are perfectly placed to reach 0 emissions by 2040.  We can harness early-adopter advantage, and demonstrate how a city can thrive whilst producing no emissions to assist cities across the world to catch up.

People’s Food Plan – join us to hear more!
We received a great range of comments and ideas on the final working draft of the ACT Region People’s Food Plan!  We are busy integrating them to complete the plan this week.  If you want to get your hands dirty and start growing food in your community, ACT Government community garden grants are open until Monday 16 May – so get your applications in!

The Conservation Council has been offered the opportunity to launch the next stage of our food policy ACT Region People’s Food Plan: Working Draft #1 at the Fair Food in Focus event on Monday 9 May with a great range of food advocacy organisation hosts. Fair Food in Focus brings together issues of national and local food sovereignty with producers, consumers and decision makers and looks at sustainable and fair food for our region. From 5-7pm Monday 9 May we’ll share a great documentary screening, followed by a panel of producers, food retailers and decision makers. The event will include:

5:00pm Screening of Polyfaces, a fantastic documentary on the sustainable agriculture of rebel farmer Joel Salatin

6:30pm Hear from Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance President & Producer Tammi Jonas on removing barriers to regional and small scale food production. Conservation Council presentation on the ACT Region People’s Food Plan Working Draft #1.

7:00pm Panel discussion with producers (including local organic rice farmer Peter Randall and Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering), as well as decision makers on Food Sovereignty for our region and our nation

7:45pm Post-event dinner at A.Baker restaurant (tickets now sold out!)

Tickets: Polyfaces screening, presentations and discussion – $25 per head. Bookings are essential and places are limited – book now

Producers are also getting together at Caroola Farm on Sunday 8 May for a dinner time discussion of the ACT Region People’s Food plan and key issues affecting producers – check out the flyer attached and email Penny to book your place!

Heritage Festival success – oral history project kicking off
The Conservation Council hosted a series of lively events during the Heritage Festival, getting Canberra residents out to see some of our newer and lesser known reserves and discover their natural heritage. A range of member groups added further walks and talks to the program. Together we guided hundreds of people through unique and precious parts of our bushland and helped to kindle curiosity and love of Canberra’s natural assets.

We are excited to have launched our new oral history of the Gungahlin Woodlands during our Tell Your Story at Mulligan’s Flat event.  We were honoured to have people attend and share their stories, who remember droving their sheep to the shearing shed as children. This makes a great start to the project. Stay tuned to here more soon!

National Capital Plan changes to open way for development over habitat
Canberra Times reported on Thursday 5 May the federal Government had given the “green light … to a major shake-up in planning for the ACT”. Although the reporting was slightly ahead of an official announcement by Paul Fletcher – federal Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government – it did indicate some major changes that will fall out of National Capital Plan amendments.

The big issue here is that the long-term high-level planning approach taken by the national government through the National Capital Authority is being replaced by the ACT’s planning processes. It doesn’t matter the colour of the governments: the national government takes a planning approach and Territory government looks for development opportunities.

A key part of the National Capital Plan which will no longer apply to some areas is: The development of a city which both respects environmental values and reflects national concerns with the sustainability of Australia’s urban areas.

The current Labor-Greens ACT government took steps through the August 2014 passing of the Planning and Development (Bilateral Agreement) Amendment Act to facilitate the handing of national environmental responsibilities to the Territory government in order to facilitate simpler processes for development. The balance between these approaches will now be removed over several areas including the area across the Murrumbidgee west of Tuggeranong and the 701 hectares of the CSIRO Ginninderra Field Station.

The Conservation Council raised issues with the proposed changes through comments on the National Capital Plan exposure draft. As we said:

“The development of the West Murrumbidgee area is not a logical extension of Tuggeranong given the significant riparian region that needs to be set aside to protect the natural values of the Murrumbidgee. The distance between the proposed urban area and the existing town centre of Tuggeranong would effectively create two communities – one without adequate facilities.”

The changes to the National Capital Plan also fit with ACT Planning Minister Mick Gentleman’s concept of developing a new suburb (“Thompson”) in the Murrumbidgee riparian corridor next to Tuggeranong town centre. This inappropriate development would provide a bridging point to cross the Murrumbidgee into areas that the NCA’s predecessors – such as the National Capital Development Commission – sought to protect for environmental and planning reasons.

We also raised particular issues with the development of CSIRO land at the Ginninderra Field Station. This huge tract of land is proposed for future urban development even though CSIRO acknowledges there are threatened species and habitats and heritage values that should be protected. As is the case with all planning in Canberra “Before we start planning urban development investigations should take place to establish what environmental values are to be protected.”

Conservation Council joins calls for Murray-Darling environmental flows

The Conservation Council joined with a coalition of eighteen environment, Indigenous and community groups to call on State and Commonwealth governments to rule out delaying or weakening environmental water recovery targets in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The call was in the lead-up to the last meeting on 22 April of State and Commonwealth Water Ministers before a decision in June to finalise Basin Plan water extraction limits.

The Basin Plan package in its entirety, which was endorsed by all Basin governments and a bipartisan vote in both houses of federal parliament, aims to recover 3,200 gigalitres of water for the environment, whilst allowing some of this water to be offset by projects that achieve equivalent environmental outcomes.

Recovering the equivalent of 3,200 GL of environmental water is the absolute minimum required to keep rivers healthy, support ongoing Aboriginal cultural connections and ensure the survival of native fish and waterbirds.

Cat tracking!

Conservation Council participated in a teleconference recently to take the South Australian Cat Tracker project national. The CATch-up was coordinated by Dr Philip Roetman of the Discovery Circle citizen science initiative at the University of South Australia to gauge support for the project and to look at some of costs and options.

The Cat Tracker project engages with cat owners to fit satellite trackable units to uncontained cats to map where they go. The collected data tells people about their own cats and also provides information on the biology, reproduction, lifecycle and behaviour of domestic cats.

The project has not yet got a final budget but it is expected to be in the realm of $150,000-200,000 with ‘plan A’ being to obtain contributions of $5,000 from participating organisations, usually local councils, with about 50 cats being tracked in that area and tracking run from Adelaide. Plan B is to apply for a big grant. States and Territories will have to each arrange for animal ethics compliance.

The project will have improved tracking units and better web-based mapping. The project is also intended to undertake cat hair isotope analysis to determine what % of cat diet is pet food – this component will depend on costs.

Cat tracker is a citizen science project which also provides teacher resources that are currently being reviewed by teachers in the SA Riverland.

If any individuals or member groups are interested in volunteering to help bring this project to the ACT please contact Larry 02 6229 3200 [email protected]org.au. We have ideas on obtaining funding but need volunteer resources or we will have to press paws on participating.

World Environment Day dinner EARLY BIRD TICKETS CLOSE TODAY
Join us for our event of the year, the annual World Environment Day dinner! Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering will cook up a treat using local, seasonal produce. A three course meal plus champagne and canapes to start, and your ticket includes bottled wine at the table. This year will feature large platters to share and delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes.

When: 7pm, Saturday 4 June

Where: National Arboretum Canberra, Forest Drive.

Buy your early bird ticket now before it’s too late!

Biodiversity Offsets Forum – moved to May
What: Biodiversity offsets in the ACT are yet to demonstrate gains for biodiversity, with the ACT Government’s offset policy framework released in 2015. Join us to discuss the state of offset policy. Are Governance arrangements up to date? When will we be able to see net biodiversity gains?

When: 12–2pm, Thursday 26 May

Where: Alan Barton Forum, ANU College Business & Economics, Kingsley St Acton.

For registration and information click here.

Polyfaces screening & Fair Food panel
What: Premier screening of Polyfaces documentary about Joel Salatin and sustainable farming. Panel with food producers, retailers and decision makers.

When: 5-7:30pm, Monday 9 May

Where: Palace Cinemas, New Acton

Register now: See the website for all the details

Producers Fair Food evening at Caroola Farm
What: Meeting of fair food producers, purveyors and lovers to discuss the People’s Food Plan and where to next.

When: 6-8pm, Sunday 8 May

Where: Caroola Farm, 9074 Kings Highway, Mulloon, NSW (15km from Bungendore towards Braidwood)

Register now: Email Penny to let her know you’re coming

Winter Warmer Workshops
What: Learn how you can prepare your home for Winter and reduce your energy bills! ActewAGL is hosting Free Energy Saving Workshops to help you prepare your home for winter.

When: 6 workshops across May

Further info: See website for dates, times, locations, and to book your free place

Put it into practice: free winter house blitz practical
What: See exactly what you can do to warm your home. Lish Fejer will explain what you can do to a property to improve its energy efficiency, and Andrew Pickard will do a blower door test to demonstrate how draughty the house is, and then how much better the house is at the end of the workshop.

Who: SEE-Change and ACTSmart

When: 1:30-4:30pm, Saturday 28 May

Where: Location provided once you register

For registration and information click here.

Festival of Democracy
What: The Canberra Alliance for Participatory democracy  aims to empower citizens to take control and transform our political system for our common good. Their flagship event for 2016 is the Festival of Democracy: DemFest16 – People Power for Democracy. It’s a weekend of conversation about our role in politics, and change for the better. We’ll begin to map out action we can take to transform our political system.

When: 18-19 June

Where: Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra

For registration and information click here.

Community Garden Grants close Monday!
What: The ACT Community Gardens Grants are focused on assisting the community to undertake on-ground activities in line with the ACT Government’s commitment to support the development of Community Gardens.

When: Grant applications close Monday 16 May

More information about how to apply: See the website

Accessing and managing sensitive ecological data
What: A Professional Environmental Practice talk: ecologists, park rangers, landscape architects, foresters, urban planners, environmental engineers, research scientists, entomologists, botanists, zoologists and agricultural scientists and other interested persons can share their environmental knowledge about professional practice. Join EIANZ for this discussion of the Australian Government’s new approach to making sensitive ecological data more accessible, discoverable and re-usable.

Who: Guest speaker Tania Laity, Environmental Resource Information Network, Department of Environment

When: 6:30-8:30pm, Wednesday 25 May

Where: Hotel Realm, 18 National Cct, Barton

Cost and bookings: $30 for EIANZ members, $60 for non-members. See website for all details and to book.