2019 Community Sustainability Survey
This is the fifth Community Sustainability Survey conducted in Nimbin by the Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre (NNIC). The survey is intended to engage the community in, and measure the results of, the Sustainable Nimbin Community Plan (SNCP). The scope of the survey includes questions relevant to the nine Key Focus Areas of the SNCP.
The survey period was two months between September and October 2019.
There were 241 respondents to this survey.
In this survey there were a series of questions asked in relation to the issue of plastic use, disposal and recycling. These questions were asked for the purpose of evaluating the extent of the issue in Nimbin given the background of the plastic recycling crisis across Australia, and the feasibility of developing a plastics recycling project at 7 Sibley Street, Nimbin’s Sustainable Living Hub.
It must be noted that a lot has happened since this survey was conducted. At the time of the survey the community was experiencing drought conditions and anxiety around water security was growing. Immediately after this survey closed, the Mt Nardi bushfire emergency commenced. The fire continued through November and December, with the first significant rainfalls occurring on Christmas Eve and the fire finally declared extinguished by mid-January 2020.
Then, just as the community was returning to normality, Covid 19 emerged in March 2020.
You can find the Survey Report here
Survey of Young People Sept-Oct 2019
The survey period was between September and October 2019 and there were 45 valid responses ( and 3 from out of area).
You can see the raw data results here.
Sustainable Nimbin Community Survey #4 - 2016
The survey period was for three months between September and December 2016.
This survey was completed by 264 people. Thanks to everyone who helped collect the surveys and to all of you who responded.
The survey asks questions relating to the Key Focus Areas of the Sustainable Nimbin Community Plan. This survey had a particular focus on Energy because of a number of changes and innovations occurring which are likely to impact upon our community.
You can find the full Report here.
2016 Nimbin Community Tools Library Project - Social Housing Survey
Nimbin Community Tools Library Project is a project to create a tools library for access by community members for the purposes of participating in skills development workshops and undertaking basic repairs and maintenance around the home. The project has a particular focus on social housing tenants, long term unemployed and young people.
The Tools Library is the first step in a larger ‘People’s Shed’ strategy identified in the SNCP to be ultimately located at 7 Sibley Street. The ‘People’s’ Shed’ is a concept which combines the men’s shed, makers faire and hackerspace concepts and will require a new building to be erected.
The aims of the tools library include improving access to tools and equipment, building skills and resilience, creating social inclusion opportunities between older and younger people in particular and improve/maintain existing housing and community assets.
The Tools Library is a new project of NNIC and the People’s Shed is a strategy under the SNCP.
A community survey was conducted between Monday 30th May and Monday 6th June 2016 to assess the need for a tools library. See the survey results here.
2016 Nimbin Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) - Survey of People Who Use Drugs
Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre auspices the Nimbin CDAT, which is made up of people from the community who are interested in developing and implementing harm minimisation strategies in the community.
During 2015 a survey was conducted of people who use drugs in the community to inform the priorities and directions of the Nimbin CDAT.
CSG - Nimbin Roads survey
This survey was conducted by a group of volunteers (not by NNIC). The survey had one of the highest participation rates in Nimbon's recent history, including the census.
The survey covered almost every resident (1,830 people) of each of the 42 roads of the Nimbin Valley inc the Lismore-to-Nimbin road from Terania St, and through Booerie Creek and Goolmangar. The survey covered to the end of Stoney Chute Rd, and from Nimbin to the end of Blue Knob Road, but did not include the rest of the Nimbin catchment in the Barkersvale, Wadeville and Uki areas...these are being done separately.
Over 98% indicated they are opposed to CSG development in the Nimbin valley.
Over the past few years NNIC has conducted a number of surveys to track sustainability trends in the Nimbin bio-region. The results of these surveys are summarised below.
1. Sustainable Nimbin Community Survey #3 2013
These results will help inform our work in relation to sustainability issues and info such as the wildlife stats will be sent on to relevant organisations and networks who are working on eg. regional biodiversity.
Again, thanks to everyone who participated and a very good response rate from our little community!
2. November 2011: Sustainable Nimbin Community Survey #2
Summary of Results
This survey was conducted for a period of 6 weeks between September 2011 and November 2011. Surveys were collected from people living in the Nimbin bio-region (i.e. within 30kms of the village).
A total of 155 responses were received (compared to 140 for the Dec 2009 -Jan 2010 Sustainability Survey).
The majority of surveys (106) were collected over the weekend of the Nimbin Ag Show.
Thanks to everyone who helped collect the surveys and to all of you who responded.
This survey focused primarily on food security issues and repeated some of the 09-10 survey questions so that we can see if there has been any change. But we also asked some general sustainability questions as well as again asking about electricity use.
In relation to average daily electricity use (ie drawn from the grid), the results are consistent with the last survey, with the average being 7.18 kWh per day (compared to 7.64 last time).
30% of survey respondents had stand alone solar systems and did not draw from the grid so they were excluded from this question.
There were 68 responses to this question which is 63% of the remaining respondents. Plus a further 12 households were included in this question for a total of 80 households. We note that numerous people could not respond to this question because they did not have their electricity accounts to hand. There was one respondent who used no electricity at all.
Only 6 respondents used 20 or more kWh per day, the highest being 26kWh. Of these, 4 were small-scale agribusinesses (e.g. 400 head of cattle) which did not separate out their farm power use (pumps, fences, lights, sheds, tools, machinery etc) from their household use.
The current NSW Average daily household power use is between18 and 20kWh per day. (Note this is an encouraging decrease from the 2009 average of 22kWh per day.)
Both the 2009/10 survey (see below) and this survey taken together confirm that the Nimbin average household power use is well below half the NSW State average.
Other notable stats include:
70% buy food from Blue Knob Farmers Market (which did not exist last time we surveyed!) – 23% of them on a weekly basis.
There would appear to be a significant increase in egg and poultry production.
71% of respondents said that the availability of local food had increased, and 14% said it had increased substantially
There was a 7% increase in people who grow over 10% of their own food needs
Plus there was lots of interesting feedback. For a more detailed summary of the results, click here.
3. June 2011: Nimbin Community Consumer Survey
This survey was conducted by students from Djanbung Gardens Permaculture course, on Saturday 4th June 2011, outside the Town Hall where the second 'Towards a Sustainable Nimbin Forum' was being held.
Most of the responses were from people who happened to be passing by or doing their Saturday morning shopping and errands. The focus of the survey was on food consumption habits.
There were 59 responses to this survey. Not all respondents answered all questions. Nine people left out the last question which was on the back of the form, most likely because they did not realise it continued overleaf.
The survey results indicate a strong awareness of local food and practice of shopping locally, particularly at Nimbin Emporium and Nimbin Organics.
Interestingly, the results correlate the Nov 2011 Sustainability survey results in relation to an increase in local food growing – and almost 41% said they grew food excess to their own needs which they supply to others.
88% were concerned about GMO foods and the majority preferred organic food over locally grown food. This is an interesting point regarding the balancing of sustainability issues – organically grown food may for example have many food miles associated with it.
74.5 % would like to see a farmers market in the Nimbin village.
Plus there were lots of great comments and feedback. To see more detailed survey results click here.
4. October 2011: Nimbin Cafe Survey
This survey was undertaken by Permaculture College Australia in conjunction with the Nimbin Food Security Project in September and October 2011.
12 Nimbin cafes were surveyed.
7 of them used some locally (Nimbin bioregion) produced food in their cafes. Impressively, one used 100% local produce.
11 were interested in using more local produce, the main barriers to this being: Reliability 9 Quality 3 Seasonality 3 Cost 6
8 expressed interest in a Nimbin commercial kitchen.
Click here for a more detailed summary of the results.
5. January 2010: Sustainable Nimbin Community Survey #1
Number of Responses: 140.
PART A: General Sustainability issues
Unfortunately too few people filled in their actual location which made it impossible for us to identify any particular food growing clusters in the area.
There was widespread interest in the car pooling idea. 36% said they travel alone in their vehicle at least half of the time.
Energy and recycling:
No one had wind turbines.
Note that the average household use in Sydney is 22.6kWh per day and the average for NSW is 21.5kWh per day. So Nimbin residents use on average only one third of the NSW average!
Tree planting: most respondents said they had planted a lot of trees, most of these being native trees or shrubs and food trees. Around 13% wetland plants.
PART B: Food Security Issues
As we suspected would be the case, there is broad support for food co-ops or farmers markets, but most respondents grow less than 10% of their own food, (growing mainly vegetables and herbs, fruits, and eggs, using non-accredited organic principles).
45% of respondents said they have no spare food to sell etc. But 14% said they could supply some food on a weekly basis. A surprising number of respondents have spare land, and would be interested in share cropping.
Barriers identified to growing more food included:
A number of people identified the need for post harvesting processing capacity such as commercial kitchens and a local mill available for use by growers.
6. September 2009: Plastic Bag Free Nimbin Survey
In addition to the above, a survey was circulated to all business owners on the main street, to gauge the level of support for the concept of a ‘plastic bag free Nimbin’.
Encouragingly, all bar one of the respondents expressed support for the idea, with most willing to provide alternative cloth bags, either for sale or on consignment.
Most businesses in Nimbin already say no to plastic, or only use biodegradable or recycled plastic bags. Some businesses expressed concern that their product requires plastic for safe carriage, or that their consumers (mainly tourists) demand it. The concerns of these businesses will obviously need to be addressed if this initiative is to be successful.
We are looking for people to progress the plastic bag issue in Nimbin. Contact NNIC if you are interested.