Around 10 years ago, people who care about their grandkids’ Australia, started collaborating locally so towns would become sustainable and resilient – re-localising and transition towns were the terms used. Many Australian towns have joined the transition network and Yackandandah, in NE Victoria, has set up Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) a 2016 version of a transition town it seems.
PWF has been interested in the transition movement since hearing about:
1. Jill Jordan and the Sunshine Coast’s Sustainable Maleny Project in 2008. (Remember their fight against the Woolies Supermarket?) Entrepreneurial Jill and her friends set up a credit union co-op in the 80s and set the scene for a successful network of interdependent cooperatives that included a business enterprise and incubation centre which supports individual and group businesses.
2. The MAV, Victoria’s local government association, backing of the transition movement and witnessing a lot of productive local energy in Melbourne’s city of Maroondah.
3. The achievements of a patient-owned health organisation in the ACT at the West Belconnen Health Co-op – WHY doesn’t this co-op success get more publicity I wonder?
Not much evidence of either major political party here.
At Jon Faine’s 2016 Candidates Election Forum last night in Wangaratta, what stood out for me in the forum’s 2 minute key policy outlines from 10 candidates, was independent MP Cathy McGowan’s intention to develop realworld PLANS for regional development, not simply (idealogically driven) ideas.
Moving from grassroots community consultation to working with regional unis and TAFES to identify needs and opportunities, then training local people accordingly, AND locally, makes sense.
This morning at the Beechworth Bakery Cathy McGowan spoke about using the ‘Totally Renewable Yackandandah’ initiative as a model for towns throughout Indi…one that she could take to the Federal Government as a success story and a plan for other willing communities looking to be sustainable and resilient.
A successful process has been clearly demonstrated by Cathy McGowan through the grassroots consultation and collaboration used to achieve 30 mobile phone towers for Indi communities…an excellent base from which to continue working towards sustainable regional development plans.
Participatory democracy winning out over top-down theoretical rhetoric of the ‘major parties’?