Lately we have seen many disasters impact communities in Australia.  There have been floods in Townsville, bushfires in Tasmania and Victoria, and cattle drowned in western Queensland after years of drought!  Somehow these communities have to endure these set-backs and rebuild.

A community’s ability to manage unplanned events, to keep going and to rebuild is called resilience.  The same idea applies in the natural world. In ecology, the term resilience refers to an ecosystem’s ability to roll with external shocks and attempted enforced changes. In the context of communities it refers to their ability to not collapse when some disaster comes along.

What does the idea of resilience mean for our Mudgee community? Here are a few thoughts…

Australia relies on mining and agriculture for a lot of our export earnings. These industries are very important to our local economy. We need to be prepared for external shocks affecting these industries. These can occur unexpectedly.

Consider these possible situations:

  1. An interruption to the supply chain of liquid fuel (e.g. another Gulf war?) Australia has only a few weeks supply of fuel!
  2. Natural disasters (e.g. bushfire, flood, prolonged heatwave, animal or human pandemic?)
  3. Financial/economic rearrangement (e.g. global downturn in demand for coal, domestic disruption within a major trading partner?)

None of that sounds good! But there is a solution!

Building resilient communities can happen; we just have to choose that option and work together.

Let’s create communities that:

  • are strong and connected
  • are self-sufficient with locally-grown food
  • value relationship and quality of life over wealth and material goods
  • develop grass-roots community projects
  • create an environmental and socially sustainable lifestyle
  • conserve the world’s finite resources

…how good would that be!