Visions 2009


  • small scale family farms for local produce
  • self reliance for local food production (2)
  • milking cows
  • locally made cheeses
  • chooks in every back yard (2)
  • good quality tap water
  • sharing tasks & specialising (some doing chooks, others milk etc) (2)
  • making own food, clothes & housing sustainably, as needed
  • old preserving techniques (have workshops)

  • GMO food agriculture

  • food - simple, local and delicious (2)
  • the Gelato Bar

  • all available public space used for publicly available food (using saved seed)
  • herbs/veggies round fruit trees on nature strips, in planter boxes, green spaces (5)
  • edible useful plants in gardens, on verges in town everywhere  (fruit & nuts)(7)
  • public bushfood gardens
  • community gardens on public & other spaces (3)
  • permaculture everywhere – weekly permablitz (2)
  • food security organic and safe - locally grown (2)
  • community shared agriculture - local foods grown everywhere
  • rice growing
  • maize growing - need grain for food security (3) and polenta
  • making farming sexy!
  • food retailers donating 5% of output to community needs
  • local nutrious food prepared locally for hospital/ meals on wheels etc (3)
  • healthy food for all
  • permanent growers market in town linked to community gardens
  • free market every month  - coming together to take, give, share - food,art,talk
  • a full organic co-op (with volunteers) in town


  • community owned electricity production (2)
  • water tanks, fuel stoves (2)

  • overhead powerlines and other cables (3)

·       locally produced and maintained electricity (2)
·       community owned renewable energy (solar/methane/wind farm etc) (4)
·       harness energy from floods, damless hydro (3)
·       shared energy sources from homes into (shire-wide) standalone community grid (3)
·       regional self sufficiency
·       frequency-based power source
·       no 'stand-by' on appliances


  • local hospital at full operational standard
  • hospital kitchen open
  • hospital growing own fruit and vegetables
  • hospital as a more social, friendly part of the community
  • home birth and wholistic birthing centres 
  • elder generation being ‘doula’ support for 6 weeks after birth -- cooking, cleaning, emotional support
  • celebrating birth not 'managing' it
  • preventative health care
  • more support for families (broad definition)
  • the hospital and friendly environment
  • drinking water bubblers in town
  • birth known as normal, everyday event, we naturally have knowledge about (3)
  • birth understood as women's business
  • respect in wider community for birth 'elders'
  • respect and support for the profession of independent midwifery

  • fluoride in water (2)
  • closing our hospital
  • cows in the river
  • constant legal and legislative challenges to birth workers
  • medical control of midwives practice or birth choices
  • having birth taken from us
  • unsafe care/laws/rules
  • fear based care (2)
  • being hoodwinked into thinking we have no power

  • good quality tap water
  • our knowledge of how to birth our babies gently to create a more gentle world
  • birth knowledge and power
  • bliss and lifelong power women experience from a beautiful birth
  • our rights to birth where and with whom we choose
  • keep hospital
  • local hospital services
  • hospital maintained
  • build and own our own hospital/ wholistic medical centre
  • smoke free town (cigarettes)
  • water bottle refill stations
  • more drinking taps in town = less plastic
  • health & well being for aboriginal children (2)
  • conception, pregnancy, birth preparation & early post-natal cherished by everyone
  • creating a more gentle world by birthing gently, in a well-supported atmosphere
  • wholistic free health centre
  • community run wholistic birth centre - conception/pregnancy/birth/post & ante-natal, addressing emotional & spiritual needs as well as physical
  • sanctuary space to connect during pregnancy & birth, alternative to being at home (3)
  • every baby, child in Bello cherished/celebrated/ born into a circle of loving support (3)
  • support network for birth workers
  • Medicare funding for all births in all settings (3)
  • continuity of care in childbirth
  • hospital with hospice facilities for dying people
  • hospital = healing spiritual retreat with good food
  • hospital workers unstressed and healthy
  • hospital with many different modalities
  • hospital with range of therapies and more 'open' to kids, pets, ideas
  • hospital surrounded by vegie and herb gardens used by hospital kitchen
  • hospital with flowers, sweet smells, soft colours, art on the walls
  • hospital accepting w/o discrimination women in labour needing transfer from homebirth
  • natural healing not hospital
  • voluntary teams to support workings of hospital, schools etc
  • more and better aged care -older people being centrally located and honoured
  • excellent standard of care and inclusiveness for ill, disabled and elderly people
  • circles of support throughout the community


  • hierarchical, secretive, exclusive, self serving processes of managing (2)
  • centralised energy, decisions, government
  • Council mismanaged
  • Council losing ratepayers money in stockmarket leaving little for infrastructure.
  • Council lack of long term vision

  • decisions taken slowly, transparently and together
  • people's council (2) - collaborative community decision making
  • quieter - happier more practical meetings
  • a model for decision making that is efficient and considers all needs
  • use of openspace technology to get things going
  • openness in relation to Council (& vice versa), petitions/participatory decision making
  • Council listening to residents and acting on that
  • planning control to protect the "vision"


  • children playing safely everywhere

  • nurturing our youth
  • groups that engage youth in great ways
  • nice kids with sticky fingers and ice cream

·                         youth /community centre /space (5)
·                         collective church/youth event/venue (rotational)
·                         more youth/family controlled spaces(merge CWA,Sen Cits,Red Cross to free up space)
·                         places and services for younger people - sport, film, theatre - especially at night
·                         large friendly space for the youth of Bellingen to organise their own centre
·                         community-owned childrens centre
·                         mobile play-bus for children 0-5 & Mobile playgroup 9.30-12pm
·                         safely fenced, decent playgrounds, better equipment (3)
·                         provision for Bellingen teenage youth (particulary 12-17) (4)
·                         youth involvement
·                         activities for teenagers organised by teenagers
·                         places to create using young people's interest


  • safe roads for school buses
  • safety on roads ref trucks coming through
  • no petrol machines in the town
  • less traffic
  • low energy transport
  • integrated public /community transport (2)
  • horses for transport, carriages to outlying areas
  • local transport network

  • noisy, smelly traffic in Hyde Street (7)
  • bad parking at tourist info centre and library
  • parking meters
  • logging and large logging trucks (3)
  • speeding and bad driving along Waterfall Way
  • bad roads & Council not fixing them
  • addiction to car use, car centric culture (2)
  • lots of car travel, getting everywhere quickly
  • driving to Coffs every morning
  • oil-fuelled anything

·       car free zone in CBD - no cars (2)
·       regular car free days
·       a bypass/ tunnel for through traffic (3)
·       main street one lane, lights at each end
·       more pedestrian crossings - monument, court house, PO to council  park
·       roundabout at PO corner
·       streetscape to reflect sustainability philosophy
·       better parking
·       more disabled parking closer to shopping
·       bridge linking north and south during floods
·       safe, extensive bicycle tracks and safe access everywhere (7)
·       good pathways to connect the town for walking
·       walking & safe biking paths off road Urunga to Dorrigo
·       life and work travel by bikes & sustainably powered public transport (3)
·       community-owned electric car/bike fleet: share, pick up, return points plug in (2)
·       locally made, maintained transport - reliable group transport systems
·       public transport systems - mini bus shuttles
·       more transport sharing, less private cars in Bellingen
·       workmen’s buses to take and collect from all trade jobs daily
·       workmen’s equipment collected and delivered by a back-up truck daily
·       emission-free vehicles
·       car-sharing cooperatives
·       safe hitch-hiking system
·       horses and carts, hitching posts & water troughs in town (3)
·       travel Armidale to coast - no cars, mixture of electric bicycles, horses
·       horse tracks and horse parking in town
·       light railway on the highway
·       personal hover vehicles - no need for roads (2)


  • the hospital and friendly environment
  • heritage buildings retaining original features etc
  • ACE etc supporting locals, local industry, trade  & services,  organic  co-op,
  • drinking water bubblers in town
  • the lolly shop
  • water tanks, fuel stoves (2)
  • caravan park
  • picnic facilities
  • clean streets with unblocked drains
  • gardens and parks taken care of
  • police station fully manned
  • community responsibility for local infrastructure
  • entire community built of networks
  • volunteer groups for maintenance of community assets verges, parks (rostered)

  • vandalism (4)
  • TV & endless hours in front of various screens (use local library & internet for research)
  • litter (on roadside etc)
  • gutters broken by old street trees -  need to plant new ones to replace these by 2020

  • spaces to walk/talk with locals
  • Cemetery Creek, Bellingen Park
  • Bellingen Market and Growers Market (3)
  • shared meeting places
  • swimming in the  river
  • community gardens
  • community radio
  • community support centre (e.g. neighbourhood centre)
  • community groups such as Transition Bellingen
  • all local services
  • our council remaining independent

  • youth /community centre /space (5)
  • make more use of church buildings
  • collective church/youth event/venue (rotational)
  • more youth/family controlled spaces(merge CWA,Sen Cits,Red Cross to free up space)
  • places and services for younger people - sport, film, theatre - especially at night
  • night time community gatherings in town (on Telstra site?)
  • late night music venues
  • large friendly space for the youth of Bellingen to organise their own centre
  • community-owned childrens centre
  • mobile play-bus for children 0-5 & Mobile playgroup 9.30-12pm
  • safely fenced, decent playgrounds, better equipment (3)
  • community maintenance of communal buildings, infrastructure and  homes


  • affordable housing for renting or buying

  • non environmentally sound building practices
  • high density housing and housing development
  • bog standard urban development
  • high-rise buildings
  • uncontrolled development
  • inadequate housing
  • expensive rental accommodation moving us towards a yuppy Byron for the rich
  • unhealthy mouldy environments
  • government initiatives that are not wanted by the majority

  • eco village clusters, for young/old (3)
  • community housing pods -expand/contract/stage of life
  • sustainable design for all houses - living example of sustainable houses and gardens
  • all new development showcasing sustainable and affordable housing
  • community housing
  • affordable aesthetic accommodation
  • new housing integrated into the environment, more trees kept in developments
  • short term community housing assistance on farms/communities in return for work
  • use of local materials - hemp, timber, earth
  • locally made community housing plus shared micro-local resources
  • change laws to establish more communities outside of town eg Homelands (community title too expensive, multiple occupancy too small)
  • low cost housing with big gardens for veggies
  • paint the buildings in the main street


  • simple, localised, community-focused economy eg local shops at Gleniffer
  • making sustainable local products
  • more people living and working on the land
  • mutuality -  the co-op
  • cooperatives for consumables
  • keeping businesses local

  • multinationals in the town - no MacDonalds, Woolies, Bunnings, MNC (4)
  • living as if we had 4 planets, excessive debt, no regard for future generations
  • mortgages
  • capitalism

  • simple lifestyle affordable for people with one income
  • organic & sustainable ventures & living -food supplies/farming
  • sustainable farming/gardening (not shed/penned milking cows)
  • small local businesses - no multinationals/ corporations
  • Bello Market (best market ever) and Growers Market

  • local skill-based economy - bartering of services
  • widespread bartering system
  • local currency to stop money drain  (e.g. LETS)(3)
  • move from money-based economy - more sharing, status not based on wealth
  • skill sharing - central database enabling exchange of skills, produce etc
  • sustainable Community Resource Directory giving modes of availability
  • continued
  • more jobs for our young people
  • sustainable enterprises for youth
  • opportunities for people to return to Bellingen
  • community food/employment - gardens/producers/preservers/suppliers
  • ally our interests with local businesses and farms
  • star rate business based on social/environmental responsibility
  • more variety in shop types
  • less reliance on 'big money' commercial products
  • local existing trading functional, with beautiful goods and services
  • simplified technology requiring cooperatives for harvest, building etc
  • living totally sustainably, sharing & swapping to attain that
  • shorter working days with the help of trhe community veggie garden
  • develop eco-tourism route
  • daily or weekly central local market - Church Street mall (4)
  • permanent growers market in town linked to community gardens
  • free market every month  - coming together to take, give, share - food,art,talk
  • a full organic co-op (with volunteers) in town
  • localised living economies


·       engagement with feeling and senses - not just thinking
·       respecting responsibility for earth
·       respect for people and resources
·       community values and support for neighbours
·       everyone feeling they have an essential and creative role in the community
·       valuing older people for their experience/wisdom/skills
·       elderly and disabled socially integrated, not isolated (2)
·       intergenerational interconnectedness - integration
·       same old people still in town - long-staying in community
·       people having time for each other
·       diversity of people
·       chores shared joyously
·       less money more time
·       creating time
·       taking deep breaths
·       craftsmanship
·       genuine laid-back Bello (without pretentiousness)
  • vandals and vandalism (4)
  • shaming and intimidation
  • loneliness, fear, selfishness
  • cynical, judging attitudes
  • negative talk, no listening
  • defeat
  • inequality
  • exploitation
  • secrets and lies
  • pretentiousness
  • waiting for someone else to do things (eg Kevin)
  • lack of time to talk to people,help,get to know,spend time with elderly/disabled
  • money and clock ruling our lives
  • me/mine in the sense of money and materialism
  • questionnaires
  • super hero myths
  • boguns and rednecks
  • racism - bad in the past, still here to some extent
  • us vs. them - eg old-timers & original settlers vs newcomers/hippies/tre-changers
  • normalisation of heavy marijuana growing/smoking, creating paranoia, distrust,insularity
  • unacceptable behaviour - thuggery, theft, violence (2)

  • community spirit and overall tolerance (7)
  • small vibrant community with room for differing lifestyles
  • diversity (2)
  • good mix of farm/hippy/city - be what you want
  • inclusivity, acceptance
  • friendliness (3)
  • welcoming, smiling people
  • respecting each other (3)
  • valuing each others strengths
  • feeling of belonging to place
  • know thy neighbour, cherishing one another (2)
  • local security, even very local eg neighbours
  • healthy and healing
  • nurturing connectiveness
  • extended common unity
  • acknowledgement of our spirit
  • life based on connection and mutuality, not dollars
  • people not valuing cars/material things too much - great to raise kids here
  • experiencing instead of expending
  • giving time/energy to one another -connection in spirit w/animals,earth,food (2)
  • value of slowing down - less hurry (2)
  • people not working much - time for community/socialising
  • defining family as people in your heart, not necessarily in your blood
  • cultural freedom (2)
  • freedom of expression
  • passion to make change and embrace it, alternative ideas, global ideas
  • our "greeniness"
  • our knowledge of how to birth our babies gently to create a more gentle world
  • birth knowledge and power
  • bliss and lifelong power women experience from a beautiful birth
  • our rights to birth where and with whom we choose
  • creative permission - individual, contracts between partners to agree to local risk  (meaning not having lives dictated by insurance companies)
  • relating to others with holistic values, for the good of all, at all times
  • slowing down, having more time for each other (2)
  • more time to breathe, be with and listen to each other (4)
  • self-awareness, inner balance and wisdom valued
  • looking after everyone
  • community interest in individual welfare
  • teenagers' energy valued
  • children having responsibility and hope
  • respect for our youth


  • Gumbayngirr names for places
  • traditional aboriginal names for hills, creeks etc
  • Aboriginal stories including experiences since european settlement
  • Aboriginal knowledge made visible (e.g. at the Info Centre)
  • local Aboriginal history - good and sad stories (of what we did)
  • education by elders
  • knowledge of what used to happen in local area when first settled
  • Alma Doepel
  • old skills, sharing local knowledge - horses, woodworking with hand tools (2)
  • "neighbourhood watch" in a good trusting way
  • the good old days, village square culture (2)

  • crime

  • community music, art, culture (5)
  • festivals - jazz, global (4)
  • creative, alternative, artistic
  • music in Church Street and shady trees
  • cafĂ© culture
  • wonderful shops
  • historic facades of buildings
  • Chrysalis School
  • wharf at the river
  • our elders (2)
  • history
  • history of natural birth in the Shire
  • rich diversity of our community
  • small, close-knit community
  • simple lifestyles and alternative lifestyles

  • Church Street public event monthly (road closed, movie, food, shops open)
  • end of day celebrations, dancing, stories, laughter
  • music jam space
  • many celebrations - equinoxes, solstice, full moons etc
  • more multicultural celebrations ie yearly
  • sharing music and art and nurturing each other
  • more public art/ street art
  • Bellingen beacon of art, culture, healing and wisdom
  • statue of Adam Gilchrist


  • soil fertility
  • native vegetation and natural habitats
  • old growth trees which were used to build the town's foundations
  • knowledge on natural environment - natives, bushtucker, prior to logging
  • deep river system that is healthy to swim in
  • drinkable river water (3)
  • travelling using the river
  • parties on boats on the river (2)
  • proper flood mitigation
  • clean water
  • quiet
  • moonlight

  • fluoride in water (2)
  • camphor laurels
  • cows in the river
  • polluted river and degraded banks
  • poisoning of weeds
  • water restrictions
  • mosquitoes
  • Indian Myna birds
  • plastic bags & other waste packaging, all plastic (3)

  • Gleniffer river, beaches, rainforests, green valleys - national parks  (4)
  • lots of green areas outside the town
  • water, vegetation, rugged landscape
  • our abundant trees (2)
  • our river (3)
  • rain water
  • clean fresh air (4)
  • sun hours
  • bushland/native fauna/ natural beauty
  • beauty of our countryside, trees, river
  • treeplanting - looking after this beautiful place
  • birdsong
  • peaceful environment (3)

  • clean water - river always clean (2)
  • river used for drinking, swimming and as a social centre
  • sewage disposal not in river/ water not mixed with human waste
  • dealing with own waste, composting toilets, sewage disposal - not water based (2)
  • more rainwater collection
  • neighbourhood water storage
  • cycle-friendly town planning
  • real protection of threatened species