MRCCI and Nature Conservation Margaret River Region‘s second annual environment celebration last Thursday was another huge success with over 100 RSVPs demonstrating that the protection of our local environment matters to our business community.
The purpose of the event was to update the business community on Nature Conservation’s new direction, including biodiversity protection and business-community partnerships, which are instrumental to both the organisation’s and region’s long-term success. As our President, Steven Castan stated in his speech
“Our Chamber and its members understand the importance of our clean and green environment which in many ways underpins so much of the future prosperity of our local economy and our healthy lifestyles that we all wish to lead.”
This year the event was hosted by the fabulous Margaret River Distilling Company during biodiversity month and included an interpretive nature walk with Boyd Wykes and Jane Scott though the bushland surrounding the Distillery’s recently acquired Riverglen Chalets, then back to Distillery for complimentary drinks, nibbles and speeches, including freshly distilled gin – delicious! Rebecca Cameron gave a great update on the Distillery’s recent purchase of the chalets, their utilisation of local produce in the distilling process, and their acclaimed Giniversity, where patrons have the chance to make their own flavourful gin.
A huge thank you also to Sandy of Passel Estate for providing the excellent wine and to Steve Chase and Mark Wall of Ocean Grown Abalone Ltd for the delicious tasters and update on the world’s first commercial abalone ranch right here in Augusta, where the abalone are naturally grown and ‘hand-pucked from a sustainable habitat, requiring no power or introduced feed, thus resulting in a totally ‘wild-harvest’ product. OGA has also built their own artificial reef in Flinders Bay, which is in turn supporting marine life in the area. This incredible local business is set to float on the stock exchange in a couple of weeks so watch this space!
Thank you as well to our additional inspiring guest speaker, Mike Hulme of Witchcliffe Ecovillage who wowed us with another incredible world first – a fully sustainable residential development that is set to become the first fully integrated village to be self sufficient in renewable energy, water, and fresh food produce, harvested on site without pollution, and with an emphasis on restoring and protecting indigenous flora and wildlife habitat. With recent approvals acquired and over 400 expressions of interest to purchase, the vision is fast becoming a reality. Another one to keep an eye on!
Our final guest speakers of the night were Grace Gardner and Miles Levinson of The Beer Farm – recent co-winners of the MRRBA’s Environmental Excellence Award, and was easy to see why. Grace and Miles updated guests on how their business operates ‘For the Future’, including their internal ‘Green Team’ tasked to identify and implement environmental initiatives, such as turning the byproducts created through the brewing process into feed to grow produce on the farm, which is then used in their restaurant kitchen. They’ve also done an excellent job decorating their front of house with recycled products while reducing their waste, etc. Keep up the great work!
A final very big thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets and contributed prizes (Passel Estate, The Beer Farm and Ocean Grown Abalone), raising $250 for Nature Conservation’s important Western Ringtail Possum project.
If you’d like to keep supporting this important project or some of the other great work achieved by Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, there are many ways your business can help. Please contact Caroline Hughes – firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few more happy snaps from the Sundowner…
A few more snaps from the walk…