Bellbunya Sustainable Community

The Sustainable Living Assoc Inc has provided project management for the initial development of the Bellbunya Sustainable Community in conjunction with, and on behalf of, the Association for Sustainable Communities Inc.

This project culminated in December 2008 with the purchase of Bellbunya, a 40 acre existing conference centre in Belli Park and the gathering together of a small community to model holistically sustainable living.

Regeneration and revegetation project

For the last two year, our organisation has been involved in regeneration of Belli Creek in and around the Bellbunya property, taking an active role with international student volunteers.

Pool to Pond

The Bellbunya property holds significant conservation and biodiversity values, including visits from critically endangered Coxen's Fig Parrots and rare frog species.  It forms the vital component of a wildlife corridor between the State Forest to the West, regenerated land to the North and the National Park to the South.

We are partnering with frog habitat experts, MRCCC, ecological designers and the community to transform a large, conventional pool into a chemical free native wildlife sanctuary, complete with frog ponds, forest and waterways.

Whilst much qualitative data suggests that toads have a significant impact on biodiversity, we will be working with experts to create a significant toad exclusion zone in the sanctuary and to survey and monitor biodiversity within the zone.  This will be the first public study area of its type in Queensland.


As a fertile area with high rainfall, agriculture is a major activity of the hinterland for a variety of small-scale and lifestyle farmers.

We aim to build the knowledge, desire and skill base of local growers to grow healthy food in sustainable ways. 

supports and runs sustainability workshops from Bellbunya, and we are currently working with the community and the Association for Sustainable Communities Inc to develop sustainable land use plans for the centre.  These plans include modeling organic, biodynamic and permaculture principals.  The community has set a target of 90% of all fruit and vegetables consumed at the centre being produced on site.

We are assisting a number of agricultural projects based at Bellbunya, including setting up demonstration sites for native food forests, permaculture food forests, biodynamics and permaculture.  More...

Education and Workshops

We are involved in organising and running a variety of workshops from the Bellbunya eco-conference centre. Earlier this year we organised a Permaculture Design Certificate Course in conjunction with the Northey Street City Farm. We will be running more permaculture courses during the year, as well as cob-building workshops. For latest information on upcoming workshops visit the Bellbunya events page.

We are always interested in partnering with people for workshops and events.  Please contact us to discuss.

Eco-Cabin at Bellbunya

We are proud to be sponsoring an eco-cabin at Bellbunya sustainable community and eco-conference centre. 

We have been exploring with, and on behalf of, the Association for Sustainable Communities Inc ways to model sustainable and ethical forms of tenure.  Through a community consultation process we established our values for ownership and tenure.
The parameters the group established for tenure are:
  • Facilitates optimum care of land and supports our view of the land as sacred
  • Non-speculative and does not divide the land (unlike freehold title)
  • Reduces waste of resources through duplicated facilities, encourages sustainability and simplicity
  • Supports and encourages people financing each other (borrowing from each other rather than banks), flexible and liquid
  • Encourages individuals who are highly committed to community living
  • Inspires and supports altruism / service
  • Ensures that the primary focus of land is to support the vision
  • Enables the group to define our rights and responsibilities to each other and the land and be guided by our own agreements
  • Affordable, easily transferable, subject to the laws of succession
The result is land owned by and for the broader community through an environmental organisation, granting long-term leases of geometric spaces enclosing cabins.

We are now in the process of finalising site design plans with the Bellbunya community and the Association for Sustainable Communities Inc.

Once complete, we will design and construct an eco-cabin on the site that will show-case compact, sustainable building.  If you would like to attend any of our sustainable building workshops, please contact us.

Regeneration Project at Kin Kin

In 2007 we completed our regeneration project on a partner farm in Kin Kin, which involved land analysis and planning, weed clearing, erosion control and regeneration work.  We focused on replanting around Kin Kin Creek, dams and in eroding gullies. 

Sustainable Kitchen - Low Food Mile Restaurant

One of the most important things that we can do for the planet is recognise the impact of our choices in consumption.  Eating food is something we do every day.  Yet how many of us know where our food has come from?

Research indicates that the average Australian meal has travelled over 2000 kilometres to reach the plate.  Our humble sandwich may have an origin as grain on a farm in South Western Queensland, be transported to New South Wales where it is made into flour, then into Victoria where it becomes bread.  It's then wrapped in plastic ( made from oil that has been drilled in Saudia Arabia, shipped to China where it is made into plastic, shipped into Darwin and then shipped to the bakery in Victoria).  The cheese comes from a cow in a dairy in South Australia on the Murray River, the cheese manufactured in Victoria, transported to Woolies base in NSW before being shipped around the country.  The lettuce has been in cold storage for 10 days since it left its hydroponic farm in our countries "food bowl" in the Murray-Darling Basin, at a cost of 80 litres of water per lettuce and has never been in contact with sun or soil.  The mayonaise has been produced in Turkey, and includes imported vegetable oil from Iraq; the squeeze bottle it came in was manufactured in China from components sourced from the Middle East.

What is wrong with this picture?
  • Wasting the limited and valuable fossil fuel resources that were created over millions of years, shuffling food-stuffs all over the planet.
  • Packaging uses finite resources in its manufacture, and more resources in its disposal.
  • What are the health consequences of food that has been filled with preservatives to travel long distances?  Of food that has no connection with the soil?  What has happened to the enzymes and life forces of the food
  • What are the social and spiritual consequences of disassociating eating from our experience of growing, nurturing, harvesting food?

Sustainable Living Association Inc is working with Bellbunya to develop "The Sustainable Kitchen"; a low food mile kitchen where the bulk of food served is grown in South East Queensland, on ethically based organic farms and bought with minimal packaging, much of which is reused.  

This ties in with our eco-agriculture project, where we are working on supplying 90% of all fresh fruit and vegetables used in the restaurant from the Bellbunya site or within 10 kilometres by Easter, 2012, highlighting and supporting local organic enterprises.
Ethical, sustaining food production creating delicious, living, healthy meals with as close to zero food miles as possible.