Queanbeyan City – newly incorporated body for community garden

Final Report – March 2012

The Queanbeyan Sustainability Group (QUEST) is now incorporated and insured under Garden Clubs of Australia.

Our builder, who is donating his services for free, is about to commence on the construction of the pergola and installation of the rainwater tanks.  Council has assisted by extending the fence line.

We are intending to run workshops and an Open Day in April coinciding with Heritage Week.

August Update

The paperwork to incorporate the group and to get insurance quotes has been sent off.

The original gardeners have agreed to join the group – which will be known as Queanbeyan Sustainability Group.

The details of the legal agreement between QSG and the council are still being worked on.

The group committee aims to visit the garden and meet gardeners in late October. COGS will continue to operate the garden while we are getting set up.

Katrina Willis

Update on Queanbeyan Project

Wednesday 1 June 2011

The Queanbeyan City project reached an important milestone this month, determining that there is enough community interest to establish a sustainability group to take responsibility for managing the Railway Park Community Garden.

Considerable effort has been directed in the past few months at working with the current garden managers, Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS), and plot holders at the Railway Park garden. A number of gardeners have expressed concern about securing sufficient support for the project, which includes expanding the garden to include a demonstration permaculture component. Other ideas  include the possibility of including an Indigenous foods garden. Importantly, COGS has agreed to provide a safety net in the event that the new organisation falters.

Discussions have also been progressing with Queanbeyan City Council, which owns the land on which the community garden sits. Council support and approval are needed for the garden extension and, significantly to develop a program for establishing new community gardens throughout the community. With high land prices and limited suitable sites, it is important that this work proceeds sooner rather than later. We are working closely with the council sustainability officer who has experience with a permaculture community garden in Orange, NSW.

The sustainability group will act as an umbrella organisation for a range of activities and interests, including food gardening.  This approach has a number of benefits including requiring only one organisation and office bearers, insurance, financial management and legal reporting.  As well, this form of group can accommodate an expanding range of activities and interests whenever there are enough people interested in working on them.

Forms to incorporate the group will be lodged in the next few weeks. A budget will then be developed so that we can strike a membership fee and undertake promotional activities to sign up members. Detailed planning for the garden extensions will follow further discussions with current plot holders.

It is great to be able to report that two years after the sustainability group was launched as an informal network under the auspices of Queanbeyan Landcare we are on the way to becoming a formal organisation able to grow and reach more people.

We will be promoting the project at Queanbeyan City Council’s Enviro Expo on Sunday, 5 June at the Queanbeyan Convention Centre.

For more information

Contact Katrina Willis on 6284 4113 or email: katrinawillis@iinet.net.au

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