2018 Environmental Sustainability Awards

Published on 24 May 2018

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Council has presented its environmental sustainability awards for 2018 to the Kurri Kurri Co-operative Society, and Nature’s Way Eco-Sanctuary.  

The awards, presented by Mayor Cr Mick Wolfe, are an annual program which aims to recognise excellence in environmental sustainability in our municipality.

Awards are made in two categories, short-term and long-term.

Nominations are open to all sorts of entities including individuals, government or non-government agencies, businesses, schools, charities and service clubs, provided they can adequately demonstrate a contribution to environmental sustainability within the Moyne Shire.

The nominations are assessed for their impact on fields such as water quality and water conservation; greenhouse gas emissions, waste management practices, biodiversity management and environmental education and awareness.

Previous winners have included the Friends of Pallisters Reserve and the Port Fairy-Warrnambool Rail Trail Committee of Management.

The 2018 award winners are:

Long-Term - Kurri Kurri Co-operative Society

For over 30 years this volunteer-owned co-operative has managed a 32 ha bushland property to ensure the continued survival of the native flora and fauna that inhabit it. The property is an island of intact bushland in an agricultural landscape and provides critical habitat for many species to survive and flourish.

Members have volunteered hundreds of hours over the years to ensure the property provides the best habitat for native species. Working bees manage weeds, provide and maintain nesting boxes for birds and sugar gliders and control introduced species such as foxes.

Short-Term – Nature’s Way Eco-Sanctuary

The Eco-Sanctuary was created from a vacant 6-acre block of volcanic rock and is now a 10-star rated demonstration model for sustainable living, which runs tours for schools and TAFEs, workshops, open days, a community garden group and social media.

The sanctuary has many sustainable features including straw bale construction and energy-efficient design, solar power with batteries, hydronic heating, rainwater harvesting, chemical-free food growing, a worm farm waste system that reduces waste by up to 90 percent composting and companion planting, organic animal production and a focus on natural biodiversity to care for native wildlife.

The sanctuary regularly conducts workshops on topics as diverse as backyard bee-keeping, chemical-free gardening, drystone walling, straw bale building, limestone carving and daily sustainable living practices. It literally is a sanctuary: for children, the elderly and those facing mental health challenges.