Sustainable Southern Highlands Incorporated was established as a not for profit community association by a small number of concerned Highlands residents in late 2015.
They were alarmed that many important political decisions critical to the sustainability of the Highlands environment, economy and community, were at risk of being made without legitimate independent professional research into the pertinent science, facts and potential outcomes.
During 2016 and 2017, with the generous support of Southern Highlands’ residents and businesses, SSHI has been able to grant over $150,000 to local community groups to enable peer reviewed research by eminent experts including:
- A study of the impact of a coal mine on local groundwater dependent ecosystems and fauna.
- A study of the impact of a coal mine on airborne pollution, light, noise on local community health.
- A study into the local colonial heritage and it’s value to the Southern Highlands community and economy.
- A study into the State and Federal legislation regarding mining and environmental safeguards.
- A review of water models presented of the Sutton Forest aquifer by potential miners.
- A study (pending) of the effects of sewage outfall on Highlands rivers’ health.
- A study into the effects of pumping mining by-products such as slurry underground on aquifer health
- A review of the hydrogeology of the Southern Highlands.
- A comprehensive economic cost benefit analysis of a new coal mine in the Southern Highlands
Since then SSHI has raised funds to support projects of a sustainable nature in our local primary and secondary school community. Funding will be directed to:
- Project 1 – to fund the repair of the water tank at Kangaloon Primary School and to connect the tank to the school vegetable garden – similar projects will be considered depending on funds raised.
- Project 2 – Highlands secondary schools will be invited to submit applications for funding grants for research and/or projects that deliver a sustainable outcome.