Over the past year the Environment Subcommittee has held one event (in conjunction with Glebe Voices) investigated two broad environmental issues – food security and community renewable energy – and drawn attention to Council’s apparent lack of commitment to completion of the Johnstons Creek Parkland Masterplan.

Glebe Voices – Tony Larkum on mangroves
In September 2015 Tony Larkum spoke at Yuga Cafe, as part of Glebe Voices. Tony provided background on mangroves generally and the important role they would have played in Blackwattle and Rozelle Bays prior to European settlement in 1788. The Bays would have been richly populated by the local Grey Mangrove, Avicennia marina, and it is this species that has been used in replanting the bays, a project that extended over several years from 1992 in order to securely establish them along the shore near Bellevue.

Supporting local fruit and vegetable suppliers
A Bulletin article in September drew on an interview with Joe Galluzzo, who reflected on changes occurring in fruit and vegetable supply. Joe explained how the dominance of the two main supermarkets both undermines the central market and diminishes the options for small suppliers, especially those supplying specialist or very seasonal produce. The important role played by our local fruit and vegetable stores is greater than we may think, and emphasises the need to support them.

Community renewable energy
The subcommittee is looking for opportunities to link some large local premises with a community renewable energy company. The aim is to find a suitable location for the installation of rooftop solar panels on a sufficient scale to make it an opportunity for the community to invest, by linking to an existing not-for-profit enterprise such as Pingara or ClearSky Solar.

Johnstons Creek Parkland Masterplan – a half-finished project
In the April Bulletin we drew attention to disturbing references from Council to the Johnstons Creek Parkland ‘final’ project being underway, although this would leave about half of the Masterplan abandoned, in particular the treatment of Johnstons Creek itself, and the development of The Hill. We have recently written to Monica Barone, CEO of City of Sydney, expressing our support for completion of these remaining projects.

Council’s Draft Environmental Action plan, 2016–2021
We welcome Council’s update to its Environmental Action plan, and have prepared a response on behalf of the Glebe Society. We believe that the plan could be further strengthened by including a specific focus on food waste (especially in relation to supermarkets); supporting community energy by actively linking potential medium-sized businesses with community energy enterprises; and by including consideration of light and noise pollution.

Looking for new leadership
Jan Macindoe will be retiring from the role of convenor of the Environment Subcommittee from the AGM. The subcommittee is looking for someone to take on the role and bring a new energy to this important role for the Glebe Society. We are keen to hear from interested members.