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‘Advance Castlecrag, Where’ and ‘Towards 2020’ were two themes in this column last Spring. Your Progress Association always tries to forge past ’kerb and gutter’ issues, and ask readers what sort of community and suburb you would like to grow here together.

Now Prime Minister Rudd has also adopted the ‘Australia 2020’ concept to initiate long term strategizing at a national level. All the best wishes to participants; may their combined knowledge, experience and visions for the future help resolve key national issues and positive future directions to enrich debate and action on national and global issues.

However this type of ‘top-down’ planning is not enough. Each small community needs to do its own ‘bottom-up’ planning. Where do you want this little peninsular of 1100 households to be in 2020? The next 12 years do not affect the age group of our current Committee as much as they do those in their 20s, 30s and 40s, possibly new to Castlecrag, attracted by the local ‘vibe’ as well as the geographical beauty, all of which has been developed and protected by older and past generations. You are often working long hours, raising young families, paying off homes. Nevertheless the ‘investment’ of a few hours per month in an organization like the CPA is actually an investment in your household (and house value).

  • Join the Castlecrag Progress Association now. It’s the best $10 investment you can make to play an active part in your suburb and community.
  • Nominate your peer leaders (or yourself) for the Executive Committee. All positions are available: the president, two vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer and committee members. The Progress Association needs a mix of energy, enthusiasm, and experience across all age-groups and backgrounds.
  • Mark your diaries for Sunday 4 May, 12 noon, for the Annual General Meeting (it’s quite short) and a picnic lunch, at The Community Centre, The Postern. Bring a plate and a friend (see page x).

I also dwell on energy management, which is likely to be a key issue over the next decade. Under current best estimates of oil resources, it appears that each oil-producing nation will increasingly use its own oil ‘at home’ to build and diversify that nation’s economy. So, net oil importers (like Australia) will increasingly compete for the remaining dwindling export oil. In the last 6 years, oil prices have gone from $20 to over $100 per barrel.

Unless this issue is tackled nationally, Canberra’s ’2020 Vision’ may become a hallucination. So what about some ‘bottom-up’ leadership from we locals? Let’s reduce our overall energy usage, especially oil and coal sourced. Why not use the car less, and buy the most fuel-efficient car next time? Let’s make use of Sydney’s 325 days with sunshine in them; use the clothesline, not the tumble-dryer (the worst CO2 offender in the house). New improvements in solar hot water and photovoltaic cells mean that these are increasingly affordable with residents banding together.

Bruce Wilson