RURAL SLANT: Melanie Butcher, Country Noosa's Dick Barnes, Helen Andrew of Spare Harvest and Martin Duncan of Country Noosa at the rural workshop 2 - Sustainable Agriculture.
RURAL SLANT: Melanie Butcher, Country Noosa's Dick Barnes, Helen Andrew of Spare Harvest and Martin Duncan of Country Noosa at the rural workshop 2 - Sustainable Agriculture. Contributed

Eco-boost sought for the Noosa hinterland producers

KIN Kin this Monday will be the final stop for a rural future's community consultation process to help secure the hinterland's primary producing potential.

The Rural Enterprise Program, led by Country Noosa, is completing its research phase as it seeks to engage with the community to discuss "future opportunities in ecotourism for the region”.

This program partners with partners the University of the Sunshine Coast and Noosa and District Landcare with funding from the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation Big Ideas grants.

The forum/workshops follow covers initial research into the development of a sustainable hinterland economy through rural enterprise.

Already two workshops have already been held earlier this month in Cooroy on topics of sustainable agriculture including new products and markets, and collaboration and resource sharing. Organisations such as Country Noosa, Landcare, and Permaculture Noosa have contributed, as well as Dr Sandra O'Sullivan, an independent sustainability consultant and expert evaluator for the European Commission.

This ecotourism focussed gathering will be held at Kin Kin School of Arts Hall on December 3 and anyone with an interest in this field is encouraged to attend.

"Nine concept papers covering everything from holistic farm planning and permaculture to carbon farming and ecotourism have been developed,” project manager Melanie Butcher said.

Country Noosa's Nina Saxton said: "Now that we have established areas of interest and undertaken the research, we want to gather community members and landowners to establish tangible next steps that will capitalise on those opportunities identified.”

Each concept paper outlines the enablers and constraints for the topic, and includes case studies from local sustainable farming initiatives, businesses, collaborations and projects from further afield.

Information will also be shared on a GIS mapping project completed by USC that has established land use patterns to inform the research project.

See www.countrynoosa.com for information and to register.


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