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You hold in your hands a community-created plan outlining a range of possible projects aimed at strengthening our local economy,

our community bonds, and our community resilience while reducing our dependence on - and emissions from - fossil fuels. What future do YOU envisage for our community? Better? Worse? About the same as today? The media is full of regular warnings about various energy, environmental and economic crises that one way or another, are likely to impact our quality of life here on the mountain. Individuals and governments around the world are beginning the difficult task of preparing for and dealing with these looming challenges. But perhaps the best place for effective action is at the community level, where we can choose to re-localise critical social systems like food, water, energy, healthcare, transport and so-on. If we choose to plan and act together with creativity, purpose and passion we could create a more local way of living thats even more rewarding than the quality of life we enjoy today, and certainly more sustainable.

Note: This evolving plan will benefit immensely from continued input of the entire community, and we invite you to participate in this ongoing collaborative effort. Any suggested actions in this document are intended as suggestions only; they are not exhaustive or complete because we need input from all community members.

Version 1, August 2011

Introduction............................................................5 Tamborine Mountain Today.....................................7 The Road Ahead......................................................8 1. Food...................................................................11 2. Water.................................................................14 3. Energy................................................................16 4. Health................................................................18 5. Housing..............................................................20 6. Waste Management............................................22 7. Transport............................................................24 8. Education and Re-skilling....................................26 9. Communication..................................................28 10. Business, Finance and the Local Economy............30 11. Manufacturing and Repair..................................32 Where to now.........................................................33 Appendix 1: Life in the Future on Tamborine Mtn.....35 Appendix 2: Personal and Household Preparation....39 Appendix 3: Further Reading....................................40 Appendix 4: How this plan was created...................42

In the early twenty-first century most of us in the western world have come to take for granted a degree of material wealth that previous generations could only dream of. That wealth, and the life style it makes possible, are now under threat because of the global challenges of climate change and a decline in world oil supply. Most householders these days are becoming acutely aware of the increasing pressure on their wallets as the cost of living continues to rise. The prices of petrol, electricity and gas, food and other supermarket goods are all rising steadily. Many of these cost increases are tied to global forces we can do little or nothing to change. There is now a general acceptance that oil supplies are indeed waning and food security is threatened by climate change. The responses of governments in Australia and overseas to these challenges could also contribute to further rises in the cost of living. Nevertheless, here on Tamborine Mountain we can take action to create a more sustainable local economy in ways that will enhance our communitys prosperity and well-being and ensure that our (and our childrens) future is more resilient and more secure. If we are to survive and thrive as a community, a re-localised economy is not optional, but inevitable. At present, 95% of all transportation relies on oil-based fuels. As oil supplies continue to shrink, global trade will diminish and we will need to turn instead to local resources and skills. This shift from reliance on a global economy need not mean we must sink to a third-world standard of living. If we embrace a positive vision of a re-localised economy and act to bring it about, we could reap many benefits, such as healthier food more active lifestyles greater self-reliance a sense of connection to place and products the enhancement of our local identity an emphasis on quality over quantity of consumer goods a meaningful common goal and sense of purpose. Few now doubt that climate change is caused in whole or in part by burning fossil fuels and releasing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that have added to our planets natural greenhouse effect, thus warming the planet. This is causing droughts, floods, severe storms, habitat loss, is making agriculture more difficult, raising sea levels, and it could get a whole lot worse. The decline in world oil supply is harder to see (even if we keep an eye on the global price of crude), but it could affect us even more than climate change. We know oil is a finite resource. So at some point, discovery and production must peak and simply wont be able to keep up with growing demand. According the International Energy Agency,1 the peak occurred back in 2006 and oil output has already begun its slow but inevitable decline. As it gets scarce oil will get expensive. So at some point well have to get used to living without, or at the very least with less of, this cheap, abundant energy source.
1 ABC News 28 April 2011: Age of Cheap Fuel is Over: IEA.

Critical social systems like food production, manufacturing, transport and indeed our entire economy, totally depend upon the availability of cheap oil. No other energy source can easily replace it, and we live at a moment in history when its availability has ceased to increase, and will instead start to decline. One country in particular, Cuba, has already gone through this process. 2 When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba became the first country faced with a reduction in oil supply. Suddenly a supply of 13 million tons of oil a year dropped to one million. There were power outages and people would try to get to work with whatever transportation was available only to discover that there was no electricity at their jobs. The Cuban government imported 2 million bicycles for transportation. However, the biggest and most immediate problem became food scarcity. There was no fuel to transport food and no electricity to refrigerate it, and the massive use of fossil fuel for pesticides and farm machinery had disappeared. Within the first few years of this crisis most Cubans lost an average of 20% of their body weight. What happened next was nothing short of remarkable. Cuba shows us what a future of less oil availability might look like, and how community actions can lead to an even better quality of life in a stronger, more robust community than the one we have now. How smoothly we transition Tamborine Mountain away from total oil dependence to a more sustainable, resilient community is up to us.

2 For more information, watch the documentary The Power of Community How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,

Quite simply, like the rest of the modern world, weve become totally dependent on oil. Its been such a cheap and abundant source of energy compared to the muscle and animal power we used to get things done in pre-industrial times. The typical western person uses the energy equivalent of 8000 slaves to live the lifestyles weve come to think of as normal. Because of these issues, some in our community have asked, How can we make Tamborine Mountain more resilient? More sustainable? Less impacted by global challenges, with a robust and vibrant local economy? Were off to a good start with a wide range of active community groups, such as Landcare, the Garden Club, Community Care, Slow Food, Bungunyah Community Gardens, Local Producers Association, Creative Arts Centre, Sports Association, and various faith-based communities. There are many more. Such groups rely heavily on community involvement, much of it on a voluntary basis. While most of these groups do not have a focus on sustainability, such networks of civic-minded people are a great source of community strength. Furthermore, with rich volcanic soils, a local food network, self-reliance in terms of water and waste-management, a natural population cap, clean air, good rainfall, cool temperatures and abundant sunshine, Tamborine Mountain is ideally suited to be a pioneering community in the transition to a more sustainable future. In the area of food, for example, were fortunate to have a large number of local producers, a weekly local farmers market, community gardens, a cheese and yoghurt factory, two bakeries, plenty of water, several wineries, a distillery and brewery. Even with all this, there is still a lot to do to improve our food security on the mountain. Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means becoming more selfsufficient and less dependent on goods and services from beyond our region. Cooperation with other nearby communities, each with their own local plans and needs, will strengthen us all. Re-localisation will make our community more resilient in the face of cost-of-living pressures that seem inevitable as energy and other resources become more expensive and/or decline in availability. When food, energy and other essentials are locally produced, our whole community is strengthened, with more local businesses and jobs.

In order to give this document some context, its worth considering what we, as a community, think the future will be like. Will the next twenty years be just like the last twenty? This seems unlikely given that this would mean using more resources in the next twenty years than all the resources ever used before (e.g. oil, coal, gas, fish, fresh water, fertile soil, forests, copper, iron, etc.).

So will the future be characterized by collapsing energy availability, collapsing economies, anarchy, panic, mass starvation, severe climate change, etc, a scenario summed up by the word crash? We certainly hope not. But we have to acknowledge that its a possibility. 8

Will the future look more like pre-industrial times, such as the American Wild West or nineteenth century English village life? Likely not, but perhaps there are things we could learn from these times and how they functioned without the comforts and resources we now take for granted. Our community, and this document, needs to focus our efforts on preparing not for every possible future scenario, but rather on what we think the most likely future scenario to be. As events unfold, the future were preparing for will likely evolve In 2011, at the beginning of what some call the decade of change, heres a snapshot of what we as a community, for the purposes of this document, consider a likely future we should start preparing for now. 3

Rising costs. The 2008 peak in the price of a barrel of oil was $147, an event which was immediately followed by, perhaps not coincidentally, the current Global Financial Crisis. The oil price could spike to as much as double this when the full ramifications of the decline of world oil supply are realised by the market. The cost of electricity is on track to double by 2016, and the power grid could become unreliable as it ages and demand grows. And while alternative, renewable sources of energy are being developed, such as solar, wind and tide power, now and in the near future its unlikely these will be able to provide for our growing power demands. Governments appear to be pursuing tar sands, shale oil and coal-seam gas to maintain business as usual. But these have terrible environmental consequences, and in any case, its unlikely that these fuels can be produced cheaply enough and our national transport fleet converted on the scale, and in the time required, to enable us to make a smooth transition from our oil dependence. Rising energy prices will raise the cost of everything, especially goods and services from far away and those that require a lot of energy to produce. Food prices will climb dramatically, making local, fresh, organic food more cost-effective, and backyard gardens more common.

Increased volatility. We will likely witness repeated financial crises from an unravelling of the current financial/economic model based on unprecedented levels of national and household debt in most western countries. This may include severe credit contraction, either repeating cyclically or sustained, and an inevitable end to the unending growth economic model. As the world population increases and available resources decline, there will be severe economic ramifications. Rather than a crash, this could follow a repeated step down pattern, where things stabilise for short periods between crises, but the trend in international economic activity is most likely downwards. Local economic activities will correspondingly gain importance relative to global forces. Local and global economic instability will make reacting to the challenges of resource depletion and climate change all the more difficult. Therefore it makes sense to begin the transition now.
3 How the future might unfold is discussed in more detail in Appendix 1.

Continued environmental degradation and increasing climactic instability. More droughts, floods, storms, and severe weather events. Increased risk of bushfire. Species and bio-diversity loss. Creeping changes to seasons, habitats, glaciers, weather patterns. Increasing challenges to agriculture resulting in global crop shortages and rapid price hikes, reducing food access for the worlds poorest and altering consumption patterns for the rest of us. Growing shortage of fresh-water, sometimes described as the oil of the 21st century. Conflicts over access to fresh water. Possible significant sea-level rise of 1 to 7 metres, displacing billions of people. Possible run-away climate change due to accelerating methane releases from the permafrost.

Combined, these energy, economic and environmental crises compound one another, making action all the more difficult yet even more pressing. If we wait for governments to act, its likely to be too little, too late. If we each act alone, it will be too little. But if we act now as a community, it might be just enough, just in time to create a more sustainable, more resilient local society and economy. Lets now look in more detail at some of the key issues we will need to address to build our communitys resilience.

Food Water Energy Health Housing Waste Management Transport Education and Re-skilling Communication Business, Finance and the Local Economy Manufacturing and Repair

As oil becomes more expensive, the cost of food production and food transport will rise dramatically. Large-scale commercial food production is totally reliant on oil which is required for ploughing, planting, cultivation, herbicides, pesticides, harvesting and transport. Fossil fuels are the raw material for all chemical fertilizer inputs and much agricultural equipment, such as poly pipes for irrigation. Demand is growing for natural fertilizers at the same time as these are becoming scarce and are increasing in price. The same is true of chemical fertilizers based on fossil fuels. Food production is also affected by climate change. During the last decade supplies of many foods have been interrupted because of extreme weather events throughout Australia. Given the vulnerability of the globalised food system, a greater emphasis on locally produced food would improve food security, affordability and quality.

Tamborine Mountain is extremely fortunate to have a well-established horticultural industry, but many larger growers are being affected by increasing production costs. A small but growing proportion of food production on Tamborine Mountain is based on organic methods using natural inputs, such as animal manures and natural fertilisers, and by manual labour inputs rather than mechanisation. The Community Garden is providing valuable experience and training in small-scale food production. The Green Shed market is well established, providing an efficient marketing service for small growers and sponsoring training to teach people how to grow their own food organically. Many fruits and vegetables are grown but a wide range is absent from the mountain. Tamborine Mountain is at present possibly 10% self-sufficient in food if home gardens are included. No grains, meat, milk or sugar are produced here, and there is limited production of eggs. We are fortunate to have some local food processing facilities for making cheeses, bread, beer, wine and liquor.

With climate change, uncertain seasons will make food production ever more difficult and unreliable. Crop diseases may spread quickly, become endemic, and reduce harvests of core crops. Both chemical and natural fertilizers will become even more expensive and harder to access. Food supplies, especially from outside our region, will become increasingly expensive or interrupted. Temporary food shortages could occur and some foods may simply be unavailable. 11

Should electricity supply be interrupted or power lines damaged by extreme weather events or bush fires, bore water supplies for irrigation would be difficult to access. Large scale farms in particular will be severely affected by the rising costs of oil for production.

Greater emphasis on home food production and storage. Information and training to ensure people have the skills and knowledge to produce a substantial proportion of their own food or to work in food production industries. Greater encouragement for farmers to take on young people as school-based apprentices. Support for the establishment of a range of food processing industries, including avocado and macadamia oil. Community farming of available arable land to increase production of fruit and vegetables. Substitution of high energy-input farming strategies with more labour-intensive, organic farming strategies and the education of farmers to enable them to make this transition. Establishment of more markets for locally produced food. Planting of more food trees, including citrus, mulberries, avocadoes, bananas and nut trees, suited to the mountain. Building of shade houses for year-round production of food crops. Development of further community gardens. A seed swapping practice and a seed savers network. Community warehouses to store food after harvest. A chicken coop in as many homes as possible. The establishment of cattle and dairy farms for beef, milk and cheese production. Public awareness campaign concerning the need for composting and the establishment of neighbourhood compost collection and production facilities. A system to generate and transport compost fertilizer to crops across the mountain.


Suggestions include Form a food working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Increase public awareness of the potential problems through newspaper articles and guest speakers. Make food production and methods of preservation training available through community gardens and other venues. Encourage gardening, food production, cooking and nutrition classes in schools and develop a volunteer brigade to teach children and teachers the necessary skills. Encourage re-training of existing food producers in organic methods. Promote and support the school-based apprenticeship program in horticulture. Establish more markets at North Tamborine and Eagle Heights for locally produced food as supply becomes available. Develop a plant a food tree program where everyone is encouraged to plant a food tree each year and given the training to look after their trees. Encourage restaurants to have local food menus and to source their fresh food locally. Build a second community garden on the southern end of Tamborine Mountain. Develop community share farming in public spaces. Establish more dairy cows on the mountain. Set up more bee hives (including native bees) in a range of locations. Support the Witches Chase Cheese factory and encourage the establishment of other food production and processing businesses. Develop expertise in smoking and preserving meat. Establish more chicken coops in private homes across the mountain. Build community warehouses to store food after harvest. Set up food preservation facilities in public places as well as private homes. Educate people to propagate seeds across multiple growing seasons.


Without accessible fresh water individuals and communities cannot survive. It is vital for drinking, hygiene and health, for growing vegetables and fruits, for livestock and for myriad household uses. It is also crucial for much commerce and industry.

Tamborine Mountain has two sources of fresh water. The first is rainfall, which flows into creeks and dams or is harvested from roofs and stored in tanks. The second is ground-water. Three main artesian reservoirs of excellent quality water, which have been fully mapped, can be accessed using bores and pumps. There are more than 1000 bores on the mountain, though not all are in use. Mountain inhabitants are used to being very conservative with their water use, and some use grey-water from bathroom and laundry on gardens. Not all mountain residents ensure that their tank water is free of contaminants and safe to drink.

With climate change, the mountains normally high rainfall may decline and/or become unreliable. Severe rain storms may lead to flood damage and polluted run-off. With increased and prolonged use in times of drought, some bores may lessen in flow or dry up completely. Should electricity supply be interrupted, pumps used to access water in tanks, bores and dams would not be able to be piped to outlets. If fuel supplies for water tankers become interrupted or very expensive, households may not be able to have their water tanks replenished as needed.

A community understanding of our water as a crucial resource. Public awareness of water safety, economy and management issues. Alternative ways of pumping water that do not depend on electricity or diesel, such as windmills. Resources to maintain water harvesting, storage and supply, such as pipes, tanks, seals, pumps. 14

Suggestions include Form a water working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Conduct an awareness campaign to encourage water resource management and enhance drinking water quality (concerning the necessity for maintaining cleanliness of water catchment areas, water tank hygiene and self-cleaning capture and storage of water). Provide information about and encouragement of filtration of drinking water via (nonelectric) carbon or charcoal filters. Provide information about means of making contaminated water safe in an emergency. Encourage the installation of wind or solar-panel generated pumps or back-up manual (siphon) water pumps on bores. Develop local resources and expertise for maintaining and testing rainwater and groundwater systems for water quality. Encourage the installation of gravity-feed water tanks on stands, hand pump or tap outlet on tanks. Identify local tradespeople (fitters and turners, plumbers etc.) capable of maintaining and repairing tanks and electric, wind, solar and manual water pumps. Encourage the drilling of intelligently positioned and contamination-proof water bores for community use. Collate a list of bores presently in use on the mountain, in case of a water shortage crisis.


Our modern world our homes, businesses, food system, transport, economy (both local and global) almost everything we rely on every day in our modern lives is dependent on the availability of cheap, expanding supplies of energy, almost entirely supplied by finite reserves of fossil fuels, predominantly oil, coal and gas. Oil has fuelled exponential global population growth and the extraordinary social and technological achievements of the last 150 years. It is the single largest energy source for the world economy, and therefore the lifeblood of industrial society. In April 2011, the International Energy Agency acknowledged that conventional crude production reached its maximum output in 2006.4 Global oil extraction has already begun its slow but terminal decline. Peak oil, as this event has become widely known, represents an historical turning point, from an era of growth, to an era of contraction. Other energy sources, whether gas, coal or uranium will inevitably peak in production at some point also, and sooner than expected given the current trend of exponential growth in humanitys energy demands. For example, coal extraction is expected to peak by 2030.5 While renewables may help, they will not, and likely cannot, solve this imminent energy crisis cheaply, quickly or easily, if at all. Ultimately this issue may force a shift toward lifestyles less based around consumerism, and better integrated with natural processes and cycles. Shifting away from a dependence on fossil fuels may force a reduction in greenhouse gas emission that has hitherto been unachievable politically. Climate change means we should use less fossil fuels. Peak oil will likely force us to. Either way, this is a future better planned for, than reacted to.

Almost all homes and business rely on electricity supplied via the national electricity grid. The predominant source of electricity is coal-fired power stations outside our local region that supply the grid. Electricity is used for lighting, heating, cooling, cooking, refrigeration, water, communication, tool-use, and more. Electricity prices are rising rapidly and are widely expected to at least double within 6 years. A small number of homes and businesses on the mountain have small-scale grid-connected photovoltaic solar power systems, and there are very few off-grid renewable wind/PV systems. Energy is critical for food and water supplies. Many residents overlook the availability or value of local food production, and instead are dependent on the national food system. The national food system, including farm inputs of fertilisers and pesticides, transport, storage, processing and retailing, relies completely on fossil fuels oil, gas, and coal-based electricity. Our transport infrastructure, not only for our personal vehicles, but also the movement of goods and services relies completely on liquid fuels, predominantly oil.
4. F. Birol, IEA Chief Economist, quoted in ABC News, 28 April, 2011: 5. D. Hughes (2008), Coal: Some Inconvenient Truths. Proceedings, ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference. Sacramento, California.


Rising electricity prices will continue to put upward pressure on household expenses, doing business, and acquiring necessary goods and services. Local extreme weather events, made more severe and/or more frequent by global climatechange, could disrupt energy supplies, including electricity and liquid fuels. Extreme weather events and political instability elsewhere in the world contribute to oil price-shocks. Peak oil could escalate oil prices to unprecedented levels, rapidly raising the cost of transport, food, energy.everything. Early signs of this have already been seen both locally and in the developing world where rising costs of living have destabilised governments, both democracies and dictatorships. It appears inevitable that goods, services, food and transportation will all be much more expensive, perhaps prohibitively so, forcing changes in how and where people live, work and travel; and a necessary and inevitable reassessment of priorities at a personal, household and societal level. Oil price shocks could create and/or exacerbate global economic volatility. Economic volatility will very likely have the unfortunate effect of reducing investment in energy solutions, and hindering the maintenance of existing energy infrastructure. Electricity supply may become more unreliable, with black outs, brown outs and power spikes, all of which can exacerbate electronic equipment problems and hasten grid degradation.

Local transport solutions less dependent on fossil fuels bicycles, walking, shared public transport. A reduced dependence on travelling off-mountain. e.g. by growth of our local economy, providing work, as well as most personal and household needs, especially food. Locally generated energy supply. Household and business sustainable energy solutions e.g. solar panels, wind turbines, battery storage, possible new electricity generation technologies, energy efficiency measures, wood heaters and cooking facilities.

Suggestions include Form an energy working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Encourage local residents and businesses to invest in small-scale renewable energy systems. Support the establishment of larger-scale renewable energy systems (e.g. wind, solar) whether private, commercial or community-owned. Promote energy efficiency in homes and businesses. Support national schemes to reduce our nations dependence on fossil fuels. e.g. the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan to replace our electricity production completely with renewables within 10 years (see 17

We are very fortunate to live in a time of abundance and easy access to a wide range of medical professionals and pharmaceuticals, giving most of us an excellent quality and length of life. However, a perfect storm of factors threaten our health system as we know it today: Oil. Many of the medications, antibiotics and medical consumables available today are synthetically produced from oil-based chemicals. This reliance on oil as a precursor ingredient makes pharmaceutical production dependent on a constant supply of oil at reasonable cost. Should oil prices spike and/or its availability diminish, it seems likely that pharmaceutical production will decline. Availability of pharmaceuticals to the public will become restricted, expensive and the variety more limited. Abuse of resources. The rise of resistance to antibiotics is inevitable. The abuse of this precious resource through blatant overuse of prophylactic antibiotics in intensive animal rearing, and the unnecessary dispensing for human conditions that do not require them, has caused acceleration of mutant superbugs, resistant to even the most potent antibiotics man has developed. Global warming. Should we see a rise in temperature over the next 50 years, we will likely see a rise in vector-dependent infectious diseases and other diseases once unknown on the Australian continent. Malaria, Lyme Disease, dengue fever and cholera could become more common. It seems likely that people living in tropical and sub-tropical areas will be most affected. Decline in healthy environment. There is an inextricable link between the health of the land and the health of the society built upon it. Many of the toxic chemicals manufactured today inadvertently find their way into the air, soil, oceans and waterways; into our lives & foods. Combined with a more sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits, this toxic overload in humans is linked to a range of diseases (cancer, allergies, obesity, diabetes and more), putting greater pressure on our already burdened medical system. Global travel. Pandemics are a naturally occurring albeit rare phenomenon. The area affected and rate of spread of a pandemic is increased with our continued necessity for global travel.

Tamborine Mountain residents have access to a great range of local medical facilities. There are several General Practice surgeries, pharmacies, an optometrist, chiropractic, physiotherapy, dental and prosthetic dentistry clinics, as well as a plethora of alternative health practitioners, psychologists, home-visit nursing service, aged care facility and an ambulance base. 18

There are two hospitals both possessing emergency departments in nearby Beaudesert and Southport, approximately 30 minutes drive away. Mental health services may be found nearby, both on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane surrounds. All medical supplies and pharmaceuticals sold or used on the mountain may originate from manufacturers based in Brisbane/Gold Coast, nationally or internationally.

The largest health challenge we may face will be maintaining a high level of vital health care, given we will be coping with: Fewer and diminished range of medical resources Compulsory diminished reliance on antibiotics due to antibiotic resistant superbugs. Infectious disease experts suggest that life-threatening bacterial infections are likely to become dramatically more common over the next 10 years. According to Dr Tom Gottlieb, President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the abuse of antibiotics has allowed antibiotic-resistant super-bugs to likely set the world back towards the medical experience of the 1930s, when operations and infections now considered routine often proved fatal because of unstoppable infections. 6 The risk of pandemics increasing in severity and extent, should pharmaceuticals become less accessible The risk of an increased incidence of mental health issues e.g., depression and anxiety An ageing population increasing demand on medical facilities Greater occurrence of vector-borne diseases.

As a small township, and given the specialised nature of medical practices, procedures and expertise, it is unlikely that we will be a medically-sustainable community. However, if we can rely less on our valuable medical resources, by proactively caring for our own health, then the medical resources available will be there, ready for emergencies that may eventuate. Support our local practitioners. If we use their services, they will stay!

Suggestions include Form a health working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Provide community support for, and education in, preventative health care, hygiene and maintenance of good physical and mental health. Promote greater use of man-powered transport (walking and cycling). Eat more locally grown, nutritionally superior foods. Continue and further develop community events based on exercise. Support the learning and acquiring of knowledge on plants & herbs that the community can grow and use for treatment of minor ailments, enabling us to be less reliant on vital medical facilities needed for more serious conditions.
6. The Australian, 8 February 2011.


Houses are currently valued in the market for their presentation, their position and the lifestyle they provide for. These values have almost nothing to do with the features that would make a house a sustainable resource that fosters family resilience in times of scarcity. Instead, most householders assume that there will always be a steady flow of goods and services into the house (manufactured and delivered with cheap energy). Some domestic appliances consume a great deal of power, which is likely to rise steeply in cost or be of intermittent supply at times. Householders do not for the most part expect to have to make or repair structures and appliances for themselves; they anticipate that such services, materials and equipment will be readily available should breakdowns occur.

Residences on Tamborine Mountain are either on traditional-sized housing blocks or on larger tracts of land. There are few units or medium-density housing complexes. Houses have rainwater tanks and septic systems; some have bores. Some roofs are equipped with solar panels and/or solar water heating systems. Some households have vegetable gardens and / or chicken runs and compost at least some of their vegetable wastes.

A future characterised by environmental, economic or energy crises may require us to revalue our homes, not as a financial investment but as a resource that contributes to our living and thriving sustainably. Thus how we develop our properties and how we live in them may need to change.

The following features should be considered in building a new property or retro-fitting an existing one: passive solar design to minimise heating and cooling costs energy efficiency measures to mimimise use of electricity sufficient water storage, quality and access slow combustion heater, pot belly stove or fireplace means of cooking without grid electricity (e.g. barbeque) solar panels on roof and/or wind generator, with possible off grid capacity solar hot water heating or other alternative pantry, larder and/or cellar for long term food storage 20

shed and workshop for gardening tools and supplies, property maintenance and asset repair backyard food production, e.g. chicken coop, vegetable garden and fruit trees, compost heap and/or worm farm proactive measures to protect property against extreme weather events.

Suggestions include Encourage retrofitting of houses to be more energy efficient. Form a housing working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Conduct workshops on housing sustainability and food garden development. Support local tradespeople. Encourage reciprocal working bees for property maintenance and development. Community bulk buys of useful goods such as energy efficiency products or solar power.


Management of sewage is of vital importance to the health of our community. Without proper sanitation sewage can contaminate ground water and cause serious disease.

While Tamborine Mountain residents domestic wastes are treated in grey/black water systems, these must be serviced regularly to be effective. These systems depend on domestic water supplies (tank or bore) and on electricity (to run pumps).

Should power be interrupted, water pumps will not be able to flush toilets. During prolonged droughts water may not be available for washing and flushing. Pump parts made of plastic or rubber will deteriorate relatively quickly and replacement parts may not be available.

Public awareness of the need to maintain healthy septic or biocycle systems. More off-grid electric pumps or back-up manual pumps to process sewage. Local expertise and resources to maintain and repair septic systems. Development of methods of making spare parts from locally sourced materials and / or design modification. Possible introduction of composting toilets or alternative forms of human waste management.

Suggestions include Form a waste working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Conduct a public awareness campaign about septic system management. Identify tradespeople with local sewerage system expertise and encourage them to develop methods for making / modifying spare parts with locally sourced materials and machinery. Develop an information kit on safe alternative forms of human waste management. 22

Our consumer-driven economy generates an extraordinary amount of waste. Many products come packaged in non-recyclable materials and are themselves designed to be thrown away after a short time. The whole process of waste disposal depends on oil-based energy. In addition, any household food or green waste put out in rubbish bins ends up in landfill where it contributes to the production of methane, a major greenhouse gas.

Waste is currently collected and transported from the mountain in diesel-powered trucks, sorted at a waste transfer station and processed for recycling or landfill. This whole process is energy-intensive. Many residents dump their green waste at the local dump, where it is chipped into mulch for community use. Some residents make their own compost.

Should oil-based fuel become prohibitively expensive or temporarily unavailable, the present council-run service may be unable to remove rubbish from households and community sites.

Greater community awareness of proper recycling practices. A community recycling centre where items could be made ready for reuse as need arises. Greater prevalence of worm farms, chicken coops or compost bins for recycling vegetable wastes.

Suggestions include Form a recycling working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Lobby Council for more localised and sustainable waste management systems. Encourage a refuse / reduce / re-use / recycle campaign to make residents aware of the consequences of their purchasing decisions. Conduct workshops on worm farms, composting, and re-using and recycling materials into useful household goods. Establish a community recycling and storage centre. 23

Transport of people and goods across and beyond the mountain is crucial to almost every aspect of life. With ready access to affordable oil-based fuels, people can travel to work, goods can be restocked in shops, ambulances and fire engines can provide emergency services, farmers can use tractors to work their fields and so on, in myriad ways we currently take for granted. Our modern world would therefore be very different without ready access to affordable fuels.

The plateau of Tamborine Mountain is about 8 km long and 4 km wide and can therefore be traversed on foot or by bicycle if necessary. There is a limited network of bicycle paths around the mountain. Almost all mountain residents rely on private motor cars to travel to shops, to work and to socialize; few people walk, use bicycles or scooters (petrol or electric). Trucks and tankers supply consumables, including liquid fuel. Public transport is extremely limited: there is a single taxi service, a trolley bus runs a limited circuit for tourists, and a door-to-door bus service runs to Beenleigh to connect with trains twice a day. Comprehensive bus services are provided for children attending the four local schools.

Fuel supplies for transport are likely to become increasingly expensive and perhaps interrupted. Commuting to work off the mountain will similarly become more expensive. Personal, commercial and public transport costs are likely therefore to rise. Increasing oil prices could result in the supply of almost all goods or services becoming more expensive, intermittent or unavailable at times. Large and small-scale farms will be seriously hampered in their operations and transport of produce to markets. Tourism could possibly face a significant decline, placing stress on the local economy. Road surfaces, bridges and other infrastructure will deteriorate when repair vehicles and materials become more expensive or less accessible. Those who are already at risk of isolation through age, infirmity or distance from town centres are likely to become increasingly vulnerable.


Less reliance on private motor cars and greater use of walking, cycling and public transport. A public transport network across and off the mountain, via petrol, diesel, electric, or potentially horse-drawn vehicles. Increased bike paths and footpaths to encourage cycling and walking. Local expertise in repair of bicycles, scooters, electric vehicles, carts and footwear. Car pooling across and off the mountain. Regional transport of freight for essential trade. A community-managed reserve of liquid fuels for essential public and emergency services. Possible use of horses for a range of transport-related services and agriculture.

Suggestions include Form a transport working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Develop a public transport network. Create a network of footpaths and bike paths. Develop an on / off mountain car-pooling scheme. Arrange the bulk purchase of bicycles, electric assisted bicycles and scooters with panniers or trailers. Support local mechanics who are able to repair bicycles and scooters, EVs and carts. Encourage the development of alternative taxi services, such as pedicabs or horse-andcarts, perhaps initially offered as a tourist attraction. Establish a community-managed reserve of liquid fuels for public and emergency services.


Formal education

As a community, we need to ensure that the education of the next generation is relevant in the rapidly changing world that children and young people are growing up in. Schools are particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs which are likely to have a major impact on the way education is delivered. In a difficult economic climate, public funding for education may be eroded.


Many basic skills and crafts practised by former generations have been lost because of modern production practices and the availability of cheap consumer goods.

Formal education

Tamborine Mountain has two state-run primary schools, a home schooling co-op, and two high schools, one state and one private. A number of students travel off the mountain to private schools, some are home-schooled, and others travel up the mountain from the surrounding areas. Bus services are available to transport students to and from school, but many walk or are driven in private cars. Schools draw on a lot of electricity for lighting, heating, cooling, computers, administration, and the day to day running of classrooms. Other resources such as paper, books, pens etc also depend directly or indirectly on fossil fuels for their production and distribution.


At present on the mountain there are a number of opportunities to learn valuable skills, including courses in growing food organically, cooking and cheese making, pottery, as well as skills development and sharing groups such as the Mens Shed, Sustainable Gardeners Society, fabric crafts and the like. Nevertheless, at present very few people have a wide range of self-sufficiency skills. We have come to rely heavily on electrical appliances for many of our daily chores and hobbies and often do not have the knowledge, tools and equipment to do these things manually. Furthermore, parts for the equipment we use depend on an industrial economy and materials which are often sourced from far away.

Educational programs may need to be developed and delivered that are relevant to students growing into a changing world with different career and employment opportunities. Students and teachers may have difficulty getting to school regularly because of transport difficulties. 26

Local schools may have to accommodate extra students who are not able to travel to schools off the mountain. Teachers may lack ready access to teaching resources like paper and writing materials, science or art materials etc. Teachers may need to develop different teaching methods that do not rely on electrically powered equipment. There may be conflicts between official red tape requirements and commonsense approaches to community-based education. School leavers may not be able to find employment in traditional (fossil-fuel dependent) fields or there may be more competition for those jobs that do exist. People with essential practical skills may not be available locally to learn from. People may have to learn how to prepare food, construct and repair things with locally available resources.

Local schools with flexible curricula that include the knowledge and skills relevant to a sustainable community. Local informal all-ages learning centres. Community donations of resources for schools and learning centres. Transport arrangements to ensure all have access to educational opportunities. A community shift in expectations and values from the idea of buying everything to making, exchanging or fixing most things. More community members with more practical skills. Greater access to skills within the community via, for example, a Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS). A collection of manual tools and non-electrical appliances (some available for loan). In/formal schemes of local apprenticeship.

Suggestions include Form a community education working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Discuss with community educational leaders the value of sustainability skills within school curricula. Offer practical sustainable living workshops. Establish an informal all-ages learning centre. Value and utilise Indigenous knowledge of the local area, bush tucker, seasonal changes and connection with country. Establish a local skills register, and set up a Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS) to facilitate the exchange of skills. Set up a collection of manual tools and non-electrical appliances. Encourage Tamborine Mountain Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop in/ formal schemes of local apprenticeship. 27

Communication is critical at all scales of human endeavour, from face-to-face talk and sophisticated two-way internet communication to the logistics that allow for global movement of resources.

At present we are able to rely on an integrated network of communications systems within and beyond Tamborine Mountain. These include telephone (landline, mobile); radio and television; newspapers (print and online); internet; postal system; courier; and HF/UHF radio. These depend on technology, electricity, fossil fuels, hardware supplies and software. Locally we enjoy the services of a library, two post offices, two free newspapers and several community noticeboards. There is also a comprehensive website offering information on local sustainability issues.

Phone and internet communication may become less certain should our electricity supply become unreliable. Maintenance of communications infrastructure relies on materials and fossil-fuel transport that may be expensive or unavailable. Components for computers and other forms of communication technology may be irreplaceable, since these are made far away and are dependent on the just-in-time supply network. Computers have a life-span of only a few years before needing replacement. Postal services could become more expensive, less frequent or reliable as petrol prices rise. Even basic materials like paper and writing instruments rely on long supply chains and may become less readily available or more expensive.

Local communication networks such as notice boards, information centres for dissemination of important information. Corded land line phones for use during blackouts and a battery / solar / crank powered radio (with rechargeable batteries and solar powered recharger). Key information resources made centrally available (e.g. in the library) in print form. The library as a central information exchange, with notice-boards, town meetings and the like. Library-based computers and internet connection kept operative as long as possible. 28

Ham radio licensed operators. Means of transporting postal items not dependent on fossil fuels.

Suggestions include Form a communications working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Conduct an awareness raising campaign to encourage householders to acquire corded land-line phones and battery / solar / crank powered radios (with rechargeable batteries and solar powered recharger). Discuss with Tamborine Mountain librarians the future importance of the library as an information hub and repository of information sources (print and electronic). Encourage the setting up of neighbourhood communication hubs for sharing information relating to mountain resilience matters and for relaying information to essential services. Identify and encourage the training of ham radio licensed operators. Develop means of transport of postal items that are not dependent on fossil fuels.


A smoothly functioning economy is considered to be the foundation of our current society, enabling stable employment, steady prices and the uninterrupted supply of goods and services. The fragility of the present global financial system is becoming more evident and pressing, given unsustainably high levels of debt, failing economies and banks, collapsing asset values and an erosion of consumer and business confidence. This current system is heavily dependent on constant growth which is itself dependent upon a growing supply of cheap energy. However, given diminishing oil reserves and finite natural resources, constant growth is clearly not possible. Consequently there could be more frequent and severe economic upheavals both globally and locally. Governments around the world are already struggling to deal with the economic challenges of rising energy costs, massive debts, high unemployment, diminished trade, food shortages and increasing cost of living expenses.

There are about 250 businesses on Tamborine Mountain. Many of them are involved in tourism, weddings or in alcohol and food businesses. A large number of self-employed tradespeople, retailers and professionals serve the local community. The mountain is fortunate to have a weekly farmers market and two monthly community markets. Many people travel off the mountain for work because there are insufficient employment opportunities for the whole community. Many creative, entrepreneurial people with a wide range of skills live and work on the mountain.

Australias credit-based banking and monetary systems may come under pressure during global financial crises, hindering credit availability in our community. Building our local economic resilience will require decoupling our economy from the globalised system as it becomes increasingly unstable. If the mountain community were to be largely self-sufficient in food production the existing farmers market would need to be replicated a hundred times. Given that local employment opportunities are not sufficient, it is significant that commuting off the mountain for employment may become prohibitively expensive. Local tourism operators may suffer a downturn as petrol prices rise. Conversely, they might benefit from increased regional tourism as interstate or international travel becomes prohibitively expensive. Small businesses of all kinds, whether existing or new, will struggle during economically challenging times.


More local businesses facilitating mountain sustainability in both practical and economic terms. Thinking practically, new business opportunities might include additional farmers markets, clothing manufacture and repair, bicycle maintenance and local energy creation. Importantly, there may be an increased need for local businesses involved in the manufacture and repair of goods using local materials and skills. LETS schemes or a local currency may enable businesses to succeed in a difficult economic environment. A locally owned credit union whose purpose is to make loans to local businesses to help create more local jobs. Increased trade with other nearby local communities.

Suggestions include Form a local business working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Conduct a buy-local campaign to improve community awareness of the value and importance of supporting local businesses. Engage with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop a list of new business opportunities necessary in a sustainable community. Set up a Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS) to support local trade and businesses. Investigate the feasibility of a local currency to encourage the circulation of money within our community. Investigate the feasibility of a local credit union.


Products, parts and tools are manufactured globally and distributed across large distances via a complex logistical network. These products are often designed to wear out quickly and need to be replaced rather than repaired. As energy and other non-renewable resources become more expensive or less available, we will inevitably come to value products built to last and able to be repaired. We may need to seek out locally manufactured alternatives for those products, tools and equipment that can no longer be imported. Or we may need to do without. Local manufacturing may utilise a combination of old and new technologies.

Some residents on the mountain have tools for working with wood, metal, fabrics, leather and clay. There are also a small number of commercial workshops and a range of manufacturing skills and resources within the community. The Heritage Centre houses examples of preindustrial tools and machinery as well as hosting various cottage industry groups. A Mens Shed promotes and practices the sharing of skills and expertise.

The supply of imported spare parts and equipment may become expensive, unreliable or simply unavailable. As a result trades people may need to show ingenuity in finding alternative ways of fixing or making things.

Trade between the mountain and other communities in raw materials and goods. Local cottage industries producing textiles, ceramics, leather work and the like. A broad range of tradespeople with ingenuity, skills and reliable and durable tools. A community recycling centre for spare parts and materials. Local facilities such as metal casting, blacksmithing, leather tanning, rubber moulding and the like, for the production of materials, parts and products that cannot be imported. Maintenance and repair of essential heavy equipment like tractors, forklifts, cranes and excavators.

Form a manufacturing / repair working group to consider this issue in depth, develop strategies and priorities, and then implement them. Identify trading opportunities with other communities. Support local cottage industries and tradespeople. Establish a community recycling and storage centre. 32

In the face of the challenges posed by diminishing oil reserves, climate change and economic stresses, Tamborine Mountain can develop greater resilience if we pull together as a community. If you agree that positive, proactive moves are necessary and desirable, please become part of the solution. For example you could: join the Tamborine Mountain Sustainability Group (visit for contact details); support local businesses and tradespeople; choose an area of interest, form a group with other like-minded people, determine goals and begin working towards realising them; develop a skill that will be useful to our mountain community (and perhaps provide you with a living); ensure your own household is well prepared in the ways listed in Appendix 2, because you will then be better able to weather emergencies and therefore to help others around you.

Remember: none of us can do it all on our own, but if we make a start together, well be better prepared and more adaptable as a community.



No one can determine with any certainty how events relating to energy, the economy or the environment will unfold, which events will occur first, or how quickly. What we offer here is not a prediction but a possible progression, summarised from a range of reputable sources. (See Appendix 3.) For clarity weve organized this brief outline according to three phases though we know that overlaps and uneven developments are more likely in reality. The future may look very different from this. And of course how it all unfolds will depend on measures that are taken (or not) in the short to medium term to avoid the worst possible outcomes of climate change, energy depletion and economic deterioration. Renewable energy and alternative fuel developments may mitigate some of the consequences discussed here but are unlikely to negate them completely. These events described below may be global in nature and origin but of course have national and local implications for us all. While we cant make finite non-renewable resources infinite, while we cant reverse some of the consequences of climate change, while we ordinary people havent the power to repair broken economic systems we can buffer our households and community against some of the resulting changes and challenges, particularly if we take action now.

This phase is characterised by a business as usual attitude, though signs of serious and growing problems are increasingly evident. Issues like resource depletion, climate change and financial crises are discussed in mainstream news media, though many people fail to grasp the gravity and relevance of these problems to their lives. An increasingly erratic climate is bringing threats to homes and businesses, food and water supplies. As demand outstrips supply, petrol prices rise to $2-3 per litre. Domestic electricity prices double. Financial markets are becoming more volatile with increasing global debt and shrinking credit availability in many economies around the world. Rising cost of living pressures are a concern for many households. Disposable incomes have shrunk, many businesses are struggling, and governments are blamed.


To reduce our communitys vulnerability to global and national challenges, efforts have been made to relocalise many aspects of our lives. Workshops to improve sustainable living skills are run on growing food, maintaining water quality, waste disposal, repairing household items and more. Local cottage industries are valued and supported. There are now three farmers markets on the mountain and three community gardens. The two monthly markets are vibrant hubs for the exchange of many local goods, services and skills. Community bulk buys of solar panels have significantly increased the number of renewable energy systems on the mountain. Community members now rely on one another more than ever, creating stronger and deeper connections, by sharing many things, including transport, food growing skills and garden surpluses. The community increasingly values its farmers, health workers and educators. Existing community groups and organisations are acknowledged for the vital role they play in enhancing our sustainability. 35


Our economic, environmental, social and political systems are coming under increasing strain, as problems overseas have repercussions in Australia. Crises in one sector bring deterioration and disruption in others, though stop-gap measures enable our economy and social systems to continue in a faltering fashion. Man-made climate change is now undeniable, and unreliable weather patterns are making agriculture harder than ever and increasing the prevalence and severity of fires, floods, storms and droughts. Our soils, waterways and seas are being seriously degraded, with negative impacts upon public health, food security and the economy. Recurrent oil price shocks are followed by economic downturns, and basic resources necessary to our economy, industries and businesses are also becoming scarcer and more expensive. There is rationing or interruption in supply of petrol and some goods, including foods. The reliability of the national electricity grid can no longer be taken for granted, with occasional brownouts and blackouts of unknown duration. Social services are stretched to their limits with growing unemployment and hardship for many people.


Local resources are increasingly the focus of community living. A growing number of households and businesses have installed off-grid renewable energy systems, and a community-owned wind farm is in operation, which at present feeds into the national grid. More and more, people are acquiring and using tools and equipment that do not depend on electricity. There is a strong and growing network of local tradespeople who have valuable skills and show much ingenuity in repairs, adaptation and manufacture. They and others contribute to a busy education centre where people are teaching or learning a wide range of sustainable living skills that are increasingly a source of employment and income for locals. This centre, like the local library and noticeboards in each of the villages, is a hub for exchanging information, advertising goods and services and more generally providing social support. A large majority of households are growing more of their food, further community farms and gardens have been established and public spaces utilised for food production. Seed saving and exchange are widespread. A local dairy farm provides some milk for local consumption and cheese production. A public transport network links up the mountains settlements, supplemented by increasing use of walking, bicycles and horses. A more active lifestyle and fresh, local produce have enhanced many peoples health. For common ailments, herbal and traditional medicines and health treatments are increasingly valued. The community is becoming more close-knit, as residents increasingly rely on one another.


Diminishing oil supplies are no longer freely available on the open market, causing a collapse of the growth-based global economy. Capital is increasingly unavailable, making a transition to renewable energy alternatives more difficult. Ever more severe climate change is leading to collapsing ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. Global agriculture is severely disrupted, food riots are more common, water shortages affect more people than ever, and there is increasing conflict over scarce resources. Humanitarian, environmental and economic refugees reach record numbers. Many goods and services that we currently take for granted, including fuels and electricity, are very expensive, unreliable or unavailable. Social and political upheaval is commonplace and many public services are underfunded or no longer offered.


For many people, life is good on Tamborine Mountain. Challenging, by todays standards, but rewarding. The mountain is almost entirely self-sufficient in the production of vegetables and fruit, dairy products, eggs and meat. Our water supply is more secure, following the setting up of a number of communal bores that do not depend on insecure power to access water. A local stand-alone renewable electricity grid provides energy for essential functions and a biodiesel manufacturing plant supplies some fuel for community services. Many people work from home on food production or in cottage industries, and a local trade bartering system is thriving. A recycling resource centre provides many of the raw materials used in small-scale local manufacturing. There is a busy trade with nearby communities in goods and commodities; only critical resources that cannot be supplied by the mountain and its surrounding regions are imported expensively from further afield. Tools and equipment are a mix of pre-industrial and twenty-first century technology. Local people have a range of practical skills and enjoy a network of connections; they identify strongly with the mountain community and enjoy its strong communal spirit. They have come to rely on each other for social support, including health services and care of the vulnerable and aged. A vibrant creative arts culture has flourished, and small-scale festivals have sprung up associated with the local markets. Looking back on the earlier years of the twenty-first century, most people recognise that their lives, while not luxurious, are now more securely sustainable and their community more resilient. They acknowledge that they have lost far less than they have gained.


The following list of tasks may help householders prepare for the coming period of transition: Get out of debt as soon as you can. In particular, get rid of unsecured debt like credit cards. Live within your means. Have in place preparations and plans for likely emergencies, such as bushfire or severe storm. Begin growing some of your own vegetables at a scale you can manage in your yard or local community garden. Do a vegetable growing course. Establish a chicken coop in your yard. Build a compost heap and/or a worm farm. Ensure you have sufficient outdoor clothing, wet-weather gear, sturdy footwear, and gardening equipment. Where possible, have more than one source of drinking water, and a filtration system. Ensure your water harvesting system is properly maintained. Have a good supply of food stored for your family and pets in case of supply disruptions. Acquire the equipment and learn to preserve the food you have grown. Develop and learn a useful skill that would make your community self sufficient and potentially replace your current job. Acquire tools for your skill. Consider acquiring tools and equipment that do not depend on electricity. Buy a comprehensive self-sufficiency book. See below for some suggestions. Take personal responsibility for your health and keep fit. Get a comprehensive first aid kit. Consider doing a first aid course. Consider the installation of insulation, solar hot water and / or a solar power system. Reduce your household energy use and install more energy efficient lights and appliances. Buy a bike and ride it. Get to know your neighbours.

Further reading on personal and household preparation

Harrison, Kathy (2008) Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. Storey Publishing. Mollison, Bill (1988) Permaculture: A Designers Manual. Tagari Publications. Seymor, John (1975) The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency. Dorling Kindersley. Shipard, Isabell (2008) How Can I Be Prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods? David Stewart. Stein, M (2008) When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency. Chelsea Green Pubishing. Spigarelli, J (second edition, 2002) Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival . Cross-Current Publishing. Martensen, Chris; What should I do? Building Resilience into your Life (website): http://www. 39

The problems
Heinberg, R. (2003) The Partys Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies. New Society Publishers. Heinberg, R., and Lerch, D. (Eds) (2010) The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the Twenty-first Centurys Sustainability Crises. Post Carbon Institute. Lovelock, J. (2006) The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back - and How we Can Still Save Humanity. Allen Lane. Martensen, C. (2011) The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment. Wiley. Martenson, C. The Crash Course (website) McKibben, B. (2010) Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Henry Holt. Post Peak Living (website): Post Carbon Institute (website): The Oil Drum: Discussions about Energy and Our Future (website) A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (documentary): html Food, Inc. (documentary): Home: The Movie (documentary): Money as Debt: The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (documentary) The Story of Stuff (YouTube video) What a Way to Go: Life at the end of Empire (documentary): http://www.whatawaytogomovie. com/ 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds (YouTube video): watch?v=cJ-J91SwP8w


The solutions
Hopkins, Rob (2009) The Transition Handbook: Creating Local Sustainable Communities Beyond Oil Dependency. Finch Publishing. Harrison, Kathy (2008) Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. Storey Publishing. Spigarelli, J. (second edition, 2002) Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival. Cross-Current Publishing. McFarlane, Annette (second edition, 2010) Organic Vegetable Gardening. ABC Books. Mollison, Bill (1988) Permaculture: A Designers Manual. Tagari Publications. Seymor, John (1975) The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency. Dorling Kindersley. Shipard, Isabell (2008) How Can I Be Prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods? David Stewart. Solomon, S (2005) Gardening When it Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times. New Society Publishers. Stein, M (2008) When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency. Chelsea Green Pubishing. Martensen, Chris; What should I do? Building Resilience into your Life (website): http://www. The Power of Community How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (documentary): http://www. The Economics of Happiness, A film by Helena Norberg-Hodge et al., 2011.

Many useful books, including this one, are held in the Tamborine Mountain public library.


Preparing our community
In 2010 a group of people living on Tamborine Mountain came together to find ways of creating a more sustainable future for our community. We had deep concerns about climate change, the depletion of the worlds non-renewable resources and the degradation of our soils, air, water and oceans. We realised that huge changes were necessary if we were to move into the future with any sense of optimism. As individuals we felt overwhelmed by the scale of what needed to be done and felt we could make little difference. But we were inspired by the Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, documenting communities like ours that were already acting together to carve out paths to a more sustainable way of life. Our confidence grew that Tamborine Mountain was ideally suited to make the transition to a low carbon, resilient community. Throughout that first year, our Sustainability Group organised public film evenings, discussion groups and Sustainable Living workshops, giving rise to many conversations in the community. We acknowledged our fears about a challenging future that could be very different from the present. We took courage by facing those fears together and began to imagine what a truly sustainable future could be like here. Together we identified steps necessary to build a more resilient mountain community. Drawing on these discussions, The Tamborine Mountain Sustainability Group have compiled and developed this draft Sustainability Action Plan. Before the release of the plan to the community, a draft was circulated to a number of local leaders in various fields for their thoughts and suggestions. This plan has been prepared by Tamborine Mountain residents as a working document for our community to use during the challenging times ahead. It is still very much a work in progress, and its recommendations must evolve as the challenges unfold. Our hope is that sharing the vision we have developed so far will spark off further ideas, conversations and initiatives in the community. We trust it will prove instructive, useful and ultimately reassuring: that together we can face these considerable challenges and build a strong, connected, resilient community that continues to be a wonderful place in which to live. This evolving plan will benefit immensely from continued input from the entire community, and we invite everyone who lives here to share in this ongoing collaborative effort.

For more information on the Tamborine Mountain Sustainability Group,

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