17 November 2022

Regional community shares car called 'Little Miles' as part of resource sharing initiative

| Albert McKnight
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Sam Bailey, Robyn Martin, Raven Stokes-Oates, Rae Kennedy and Anouk Hart show off Candelo Go’s car, ‘Little Miles’. Photo: Mali Oates.

Over the past few years, an idea to share the resources of a regional community has been racing along, starting with a little car that can be borrowed by those who need it.

“It’s great! It’s a whippy little thing, a Honda Jazz. It’s got lots of go,” Candelo Go committee president Robyn Martin laughed.

The car share project was the first initiative of Candelo Go, a not-for-profit committed to sharing resources, and is available for the community to use.

Those who want to borrow the five-seater manual called ‘Little Miles’ go to a shared, online calendar, make a booking, pick it up, fill it up with fuel, then put it back when they are finished.

While it is clearly a handy service for those looking to move around a regional area with few options for public transport, Ms Martin said it and resource sharing went beyond just providing a set of wheels.

“It’s another access point for people to meet other people in their community and connect with them,” she said.

“Through that process, we’ve found out a lot about each others’ lives.

“It’s just building those community relationships and creating the opportunities to support each other, both through the practical resources of having things that you need, but also having a human connection through that.”

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Candelo Go started in 2018, when Ms Martin said she was looking at ways to simplify her life so she could work less and focus more on her passions.

While having a vehicle was a large cost, she knew access to one was also needed in the region, so she looked at setting one up as a community car share.

This kicked off in 2019 and has enough members to pay for its own costs, which Ms Martin said was fantastic.

People use Little Miles for all sorts of reasons, such as as a replacement car when their own breaks down, while other uses have been for birthday parties, buck’s nights and touring bands.

Ms Martin said the car sharing idea had mostly spread through word of mouth, so it was quite remarkable to have been able to build to 30 members and last through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But right from the start, the vision of Candelo Go was an initiative to share all sorts of resources, so members could minimise their overall impact on the world and live well together as a community.

Ms Martin said they already shared finance management software and had plenty of ideas for possible future ventures, such as a ute and trailer, tools, as well as information and knowledge sharing via workshops.

The committee is open to hearing about more ideas for resource sharing.

To learn more about Candelo Go or to become a member, visit its website. It costs $10 a year to become a member.

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