There are a range of exciting programs currently underway in the Hepburn Shire that relate to sustainability. These programs are being implemented by a broad range of groups, including community groups, industry and Government. Council recently appointed a full time Sustainability Officer, whose role will be to deliver projects and also to help facilitate projects occurring within the broader Hepburn Shire community.
Throughout 2017, a number of Carbon Free Community Conversation workshops were held across the Shire. The outcomes of those sessions and future steps are currently under review, and will be publicised in coming months. In the meantime here’s some information on other programs being rolled out across the Shire, and how to get involved:
UPDATE – Hepburn Shire selected as ‘Community Transition Pilot’
Following on from Hepburn Shire Council’s recent workshop series ‘Carbon Free Conversations’, that many of you attended and set the ground for further community action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the Shire, Hepburn Shire was successful in being selected to be the Z-NET pilot for Victoria under the Sustainability Victoria Take2 Community Transitions Pilot Program. In particular, this was due to its demonstrated track record in community energy with the Hepburn Wind project and the strong support shown by the Hepburn Shire Council, local community and business to pursue 100% renewable energy.
The Pilot is funded by Sustainability Victoria, Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind, Samsø Energy Academy (Denmark) and Diversicon Environmental Foundation. The project will run from February through to August 2018. Further support is being provided by Engineers Without Borders, Melbourne University and Powershop. The Coalition for Community Energy members the Alternative Technology Association, Moreland Energy Foundation, Starfish Initiatives and Little Sketches are delivering the project.
The Z-NET Blueprint is a successful model that will be evolved through this process from the first version with Uralla (NSW), to encompass a wider carbon emissions inventory than stationery heat and electricity. It will also consider transport, energy storage, waste and land use.
Furthermore, the project will commence feasibility on projects identified to help reach 100% renewable energy and develop community capacity to deliver the community transition pathway. The project team will work closely with Hepburn Shire Council and the local sustainability groups: Hepburn Wind, SHARE, Hepburn Relocalisation Network, Trentham Sustainability Group, Transition Creswick and the Clunes Sustainability Group.
The project runs from March – August 2018 and will aim to:
- Deliver a Z-NET Blueprint for the Hepburn Shire (carbon emissions inventory)
- Deliver a co-developed Community Transition Plan
- Produce feasibility analysis and business cases for local energy options
- Build resources and capacity within the community
- Update and expand the original Z-NET Blueprint
For more information contact Taryn Lane: email@example.com | 0458 048 287
Join the Facebook group: Hepburn Shire Z-NET
First action: Fill out the household survey and share it with your local friends and family
This survey has been developed to help inform the Z-NET Hepburn Shire project. The survey will help understand how you as the community of Hepburn Shire currently use energy in your homes and what you think about using less energy, generating your own energy, generating energy nearby and purchasing or importing renewable energy.
It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and is open until the end of April.
Second action: Join the Community Advisory Panel
Helping to guide the process, the CAP will be a group of community representatives who will come together to learn about the Z-NET Hepburn Shire program, what current strategies and opportunities exist; and to develop and recommend a set of goals and priorities for the Community Transition Plan.
Third action: Hepburn Solar Bulk Buy
Hepburn Solar Bulk Buy is a program being rolled out by MASH – More Australian Solar Homes. The MASH group are behind the hugely successful community solar bulk buy which originated in Castlemaine. The goal of this project is to facilitate increased uptake of residential solar within Hepburn Shire, by cutting through the complexity and making it easier to go solar. The MASH team have gone to significant effort to find high quality, affordable options for solar and storage systems, which they will begin to roll out in April 2018. To register your interest in participating visit: