15 July 2022

Goulburn’s drive for sustainability gathers pace

| John Thistleton
Join the conversation

Victoria Park in Goulburn is among many green spaces that could benefit from a new sustainability committee. Photo: John Thistleton.

Goulburn volunteers maintaining a community garden or wetlands, pushing for better protection of endangered water birds, sounding the alarm on habitat destruction and establishing community solar projects will soon be invited to join an ongoing sustainability committee.

The invitation comes from Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s working party on sustainability.

Goulburn Mayor Peter Walker says the working party’s brief has been completed and its recommendations are now being processed. At the top of their list is creating a permanent committee.

“Sustainability is with us forever and will continue to evolve through renewable energy and numerous other options, whether that’s electric cars, hybrid cars and more charging stations,” he says.

READ ALSO Upper Lachlan backflips on Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail

Cr Walker says numerous people and businesses are pushing individual projects like solar and wind energy projects and cleaner waterways.

“We have to attract these people to be on a similar page on the sustainability committee, but not overwhelm the committee with one particular group’s views,” he says.

Cr Walker was impressed after hearing well-informed high school students speak passionately on sustainability at a recent Goulburn Soroptimists dinner.

“They were sensational,” Cr Walker says. “We need the younger generation in this committee as well.”


Old Gum trees with hollows harbour parrots, ducks and numerous other animals on the grounds surrounding Goulburn TAFE. Photo: John Thistleton.

Other initiatives under review are encouraging new developments to have solar hot water systems that would attract a government rebate and replacing plastic shopping bags with hessian ones.

The working party suggests employing environmental and sustainability education officers and planting native shrubs and trees on council-owned parks and reserves including Victoria Park.

“In times of drought Victoria Park becomes hot and arid; it’s like being out in a paddock,” working party member Cr Jason Shepherd says.

“It shouldn’t be that way in a city like Goulburn. Such a space in the middle of the city could be amazing,” he says.

Planting grassed areas with native shrubs and trees would create more species diversity and help build the population of birds and insects, including bees.

READ ALSO Historic light shines bright once again to guide Goulburn locals home

Cr Jason Shepherd believes Goulburn Community Gardens in Goldsmith Street is a good working model on which to base community gardens.

“Turning areas into community gardens offers huge potential for fostering more social interaction among neighbourhoods,” he says.

Goulburn Community Gardens president Di Picker says the plots are well used and workshops on composting, grafting and pruning are well supported.

NSW TAFE rents plots and holds courses on growing and pruning and in the warmer months University of the Third Age runs courses on a Saturday morning.

Cr Shepherd says other local groups could be involved in the sustainability drive, including Indigenous representatives and Challenge Southern Highlands nursery “Growing Abilities”. The nursery provides supported employment opportunities and choices to people with disabilities and could participate in a voucher system for residents to buy native trees and plants suitable for Goulburn and surrounding areas.

Pond in Goulburn

Victoria Park’s pond in Goulburn is a haven for wood ducks. Photo: John Thistleton.

The working party recommended that Goulburn Mulwaree Council join the Cities Power Partnership Program, Australia’s largest local government climate program. Applicants commit to a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target.

“Membership is free,” Cr Shepherd says. “So long as the council commits to five of the partnership pledges.”

Members have access to Australia’s top experts on climate and energy.

Albury, Bathurst, Orange, Wagga Wagga and Eurobodalla councils have already joined, leaving Goulburn one of the few councils which does not yet belong to the program.

The council is assessing the working party’s recommendations and will issue a report in August. Cr Walker expects the sustainability committee’s appointment to happen quickly.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Hot Water 2Day10:39 am 21 Jul 22

A great post to read about eco-friendly sustaining nature a very good idea installation a solar hot water system to restore trees around the area


Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.