The BEC was formed in 1989 in response to the growing awareness that to deal with environmental issues, members of the community needed to work through an organisation to achieve the maximum benefit for the environment. It was also seen as essential that the organisation become incorporated to take its responsibility seriously and to formalise the structure, accountability and liability of the organisation.
The Bellingen Environment Centre committee works towards:
- Promotion of the cause of environmental issues
- Protection of the natural environment and biodiversity of the Bellinger Valley.
- Fostering proactive responses to climate change with a commitment to non-violent action principles.
With its many members the Bellingen Environment Centre is one of the major community organisations in the region, with the projects it undertakes being supported by a large number of people. Apart from the direct involvement with the BEC, many of our members also make a personal contribution in Land-care, Dune-care, and River-care Groups in our Shire.
The BEC is funded by membership fees, member contributions, and our twice yearly fund-raiser, the Plant Fair. We are a major share-holder in the Sustainable Earth Project, by donation of shares by our members, and as a share-holder we are also responsible for the commercial loans towards the Solar Installation on our building.
Supporting Other Groups
The BEC on many occasions has financially supported other like-minded groups. The Bellingen Environment Centre committee holds the lease on the loft at the building in Church Street which was built by the Community 25years ago and is a community shared space for people working in the field of environmental issues. In recent years the BEC has auspiced the following groups and supported them under its umbrella until they were able to incorporate:
- Transition Bellingen
- Bellingen Seedsavers
- Belingen Eye
- Dorrigo Environment Watch
- Bellinger Estuarine Protection Association
- Bellingen Energy Festival
- Working with Other Groups
The BEC is a full and active member of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and a member of the North Coast Environment Council. The BEC is also represented on the Bellingen Shire Council’s Coastline & Estuary Management Committee and provides the Conservation Representative on the Solitary Islands Marine Park Advisory Committee and the State Fisheries Advisory Committee, all unpaid positions. We have a close working relationship with the National Park Association of NSW, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, and the Solitary Islands Marine Park Authorities. Our informed opinion is often sought by the Media and Authorities.