Bellingen Chamber of Commerce

Doughnuts and the future of our Shire

11 Jun

Doughnut economics

At our meeting on Weds 10 June, Hilary Cadman gave a brief presentation about an alternative economic model, based on the book Doughnut economics: seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist. The author is Kate Raworth, an Oxford-based economist, who was frustrated by the current models that rely on infinite growth, and fail to take into account equality, quality of life, health and the environment. Her approach can be summed up as needing to replace:

  • -the current situation: Economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive
  • -a new approach: Economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow.


The doughnut model, shown here, has a safe and just space for us to inhabit. The floor of this space is that everyone’s needs (e.g. for water, food and health) are met, and the ceiling is a healthy environment, where we deal with issues such as climate change and pollution.


One way this model could work is by creating a circular economy. Currently, our economy uses up resources and spits them out as waste. Globally, less than 10% of resources are recycled, with high costs to us and to the environment. A circular economy would recycle everything. This does not need to be expensive. For example, hotels can save $7 for every $1 they invest in reducing food waste. And it can be fun – Copenhagen cut littering by 46% just by painting green footsteps leading up to the bins.

Amsterdam is looking at how to use doughnut economics in its recovery from COVID-19. And towns and communities are putting the idea into practice. The Chamber would love to hear your views on this idea. Is this something that we could build into the Local Strategic Planning Statement (see the next item)?

Draft Local Strategic Planning Statement – next week’s Zoom meeting

As mentioned in this week’s newsletter, the draft Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) for the Shire is now available on the Council’s Create website.


Our special guest for the Zoom meeting on Wed 17 June will be Daniel Bennett, Senior Strategic Planner with Bellingen Shire Council. Daniel will be talking to us about the draft LSPS, and explaining how we can provide feedback to Council to assist with finalising this important document.

It would be very helpful if you are able to review this draft document before next week’s meeting – click here to access the draft document
The Chamber of Commerce, the Bellingen Co-Working Group and the Centre for Ecological Learning contributed to the development of the draft LSPS by participating in a series of workshops, and identifying priorities and ideas for inclusion.