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THE AUSTRALIAN

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

environment
YEARBOOK 2011
®

ISBN 9781 921345 15 9


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contents
| contents |

3 minister’s introduction
5 green collar
14 best practice
32 recycling
34 climate change
36 community
Editor-in-Chief: Ric Navarro
Published by: 42 remote + rural
44 infrastructure

Executive Media Pty Ltd 46 green buildings


430 William Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: (03) 9274 4200 Fax: (03) 9329 5295
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48 community housing
Website: www.executivemedia.com.au
The Australian Local Government Environment
56 sustainable street lighting
Yearbook® is a registered trademark of Executive
Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. 60 technology + innovation
First edition 1997
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Eighth edition 2004 70 energy production, consumption + efficiency
Ninth edition 2005
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Eleventh edition 2007
84 waste management
Twelfth edition 2008
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ISBN 9781 921345 15 9 102 equipment + machinery
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145 urban planning
147 vegetation
151 air pollution

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2 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| minister’s introduction |
Minister’s introduction
As Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government,
I am acutely aware of the vital role local councils and shires play in maintaining the
environmental health and sustainability of our local communities.

cross the country, local can be turned into opportunities.

A governments are faced with


short and long-term
environmental challenges
such as natural resource
management, waste and recycling,
The Rudd Labor Government
came to office with a vision for the
future and we have been putting in
place the building blocks to achieve
this vision.
water use, coastal erosion, We have established Regional
greenhouse gas emissions and urban Development Australia – the first truly
congestion. tripartite partnership between the
Over the past 12 months, these Australian, state and territory, and
challenges have been played out local governments to support the
against the pressing backdrops of growth and development of Australia’s
climate change and a global economic regions – including the protection of
downturn through the global financial our environmental wealth.
crisis. In the tradition of federal Labor
Anthony Albanese Through the $1 billion Regional governments, we have also renewed
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional
Development and Local Government and Local Community Infrastructure engagement with our nation’s cities
Program, the $40 million National Bike and have established the Major Cities
Paths Projects and the $176 million Unit to advise government on issues
Better Regions Program, the of urban policy, planning and
Australian Government has partnered infrastructure.
with councils, shires and community The Australian Government will
groups to deliver more than 5,000 work with all levels of government –
community infrastructure projects to through the COAG Cities Taskforce,
enhance the long-term liveability – the Major Cities Unit, and the
social and environmental – Australian Council of Local
of communities large and small, and Government, to secure the future of
to support local jobs during the our cities. 
economic downturn. How we plan and shape our cities,
2009 also saw the Australian spirit right down to the neighbourhood level,
come to the fore as communities and is critical for our quality of life and our
emergency services battled Australia’s economic and environmental
worst ever bushfire in Victoria, whilst sustainability.
towns in northern New South Wales I have been impressed by the
and Queensland were flood-stricken. innovation and thoughtfulness on
These natural disasters are stark environmental issues shown by
reminders of the fragility of our entrants in the 2010 National Awards
environment and the critical need for for Local Government, yet again
collaborative action at all levels of evidence of what local government is
government; federal, state and local. achieving in this vital field. I look
The need for collaborative action is forward to building on the new
set to dramatically increase with the partnership we have forged with local
needs of a growing nation. government to achieve the very best
This presents obvious challenges for our communities.
for governments to service
communities while protecting the Anthony Albanese
environment and our quality of life. Minister for Infrastructure,
However, with forethought and Transport, Regional Development
strategic planning these challenges and Local Government

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 3


Hj 1429
| green collar |
Skills for Green Jobs in Australia
This is a summary of the report ‘Skills for Green Jobs in Australia’ by the Workplace
Research Centre at the University of Sydney.

he Green Jobs Initiative, and the attached ‘Skills for proliferation of responses at the state levels. This has

T Green Jobs’ project by the International Labour


Organisation (ILO), is a new multi-country project
researching the key challenges and priorities for
climate change mitigation and adaptation including skills
development.
produced a fragmented system of different state
government and industry-led initiatives targeting emissions-
reductions, improved energy efficiency, and promotion of
renewable energy alternatives.
The lack of coordination at the federal level has
Jointly sponsored by the United Nations Environment underpinned years of often innovative but poorly integrated
Programme (UNEP), the International Employers State and private sector initiatives, a system that has
Organization (IOE) and the International Trade Union resulted in overlapping programs, fragmented objectives,
Confederation (ITUC), the Green Jobs Initiative is intended and unclear signals for students, consumers, businesses
to support efforts by governments, employers and trade and industries considering the ‘green skills’ imperative.
unions to promote environmentally sustainable jobs and The current environmental sustainability agenda is
developments in a climate challenged world (ILO Skills for undergoing a period of transition, which might be thought of
Green Jobs terms of reference 2009,1). as ‘green shoots’ rather than a fully fledged policy
Amidst global recognition of the need to transition transformation.
quickly to a carbon-constrained future, Australia’s unique In addition, state renewable energy target schemes have
combination of natural endowments, historical development been replaced by an expanded national Renewable Energy
of industry and trade, and social trends, point to imminent Target Scheme that requires 20 per cent of electricity be
and critical policy questions. The scope of those questions sourced from renewable energy sources by 2020.
extends beyond the basic issues of ecological sustainability,
to economic and social sustainability. Green Jobs
The dynamic nature of the green jobs concept makes
Green Shoots? classification/measurement extremely difficult. The United
In the absence of a coherent and nationally co-ordinated Nations Environment Programme’s current definition of
climate change policy agenda in Australia, there has been a ‘green jobs’ is:

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 5


“…work in agriculture, industry, services and insulation installers upon completion of their
| green collar |

administration that contributes to preserving or restoring the employment in this field;


quality of the environment while also meeting requirements • 6,000 new local green jobs are allowing unemployed
of decent work – adequate wages, safe conditions, workers Australians to contribute to environmental sustainability
rights, social dialogue and social protection.” (UNEP, ILO, in priority local communities.
IOE, ITUC 2008).
Given the pace of technological change, is today’s Climate change policy – skills development strategy
standard of efficiency for changes in business practices, The policy context for skills and green workforce
occupations and production methods likely to be adequate development has, until recently, lacked coherence and been
for tomorrow? How do we disaggregate the ‘green’ from characterised by fragmented state and national initiatives.
the traditional components of manufacturing, plumbing or As a result, both the demand for, and supply of, ‘green
the electrical trades? How do we capture the nature of skills’ in the Australian economy has been inadequately
green jobs which focus increasingly on whole-of-process analysed and coordinated. For example, government
environmental protection, rather than an historical focus on initiatives that pay rebates on solar panel installations in
the end-of-process clean-up of waste and pollutants, or the order to stimulate consumer demand have not been
recent focus on the renewable energy sector? coordinated with investment in the development of new
technologies.
Green skill response to the economic crisis Uncertainty around feed-in tariffs particularly for
On 30 July, 2009, the Prime Minister announced the ‘Clean commercial scale solar systems, and a lack of education
Sustainable Skills Package’ which provides opportunities for programs to assist the supply of skills are also limiting
50,000 young or disadvantaged Australians to acquire the capacity to meet solar installation demand. Some of the
skills and training they will need for emerging green. The issues with growing this supply of green skills include the
Clean Sustainable Skills Package includes the following lack of availability of relevant training courses, the lack of
elements: teaching resources to disseminate green skills knowledge,
• 30,000 apprentices will graduate over the next two and lack of policy coordination which would support uptake
years with qualifications that include clean and green of green skills training and greater certainty around the
skills; demand for green skills and technologies.
• 10,000 unemployed 17 to 24 year olds will be able to Significant initiatives are also underway in the state of
access a 26-week environmental work experience and New South Wales, where the ‘Green Skills NSW Strategy’
training program through the National Green Jobs Corps (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2008) has
initiative; prioritised ‘green’ workforce development and business
• 4,000 training opportunities will be made available for opportunities, amongst numerous other sustainability

6 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


programs. Key among these NSW environmental programs The key result from a study by the Washington State

| green collar |
is the $340m Climate Change Fund, which includes $20m Employment Security Department (2009) was that ‘green
earmarked for energy efficiency training for trades and jobs’ are concentrated in a small number of industry
professionals to ensure the NSW workforce has the skills classifications and occupational titles. The study obtained
required to implement environmental measures. The Fund responses from 9,500 employers in relation to directly
also encompasses broader initiatives such as the NSW employed ‘green’ employees, their job titles and associated
Energy Efficiency Strategy and Renewable Energy qualifications, and identified four core areas of direct green
Development Fund. employment – energy efficiency, renewable energy, pollution
Skills coordination at a national level is being greatly reduction and pollution clean-up and mitigation.
assisted by the work of 11 Industry Skills Councils (ISC), The study classified ‘green jobs’ by the North American
which are mandated with identifying and responding to the Industry Classification Standards (NAICS) and these four
skills needs of their respective industries. core areas, and found that 86 per cent of all green jobs
ISCs have identified three guiding principles that existed in just six industry classifications:
underpin all VET activity in skills for sustainability1: • Specialty trades – namely trades associated with
1. Industry specific – Environmental sustainability must be residential, commercial and industrial construction;
approached in a manner that is specific to the needs of • Professional, technical and scientific services –
the job and the industry within which the employee dominated by law, engineering, accounting, advertising
works. 
2. Appropriately timed – Environmental
sustainability skill needs will emerge in an
incremental way and at different rates from
industry to industry. Those sectors affected
by compliance requirements will be primary
instigators for new developments in
technology and work practices.
3. Value adding – Workforce skill requirements
to support environmental sustainability
objectives must be carefully assessed to
determine the need for new skills and the
appropriateness of existing skills.
Environmental sustainability is clearly an
evolving field of expertise, with serious capacity
considerations in many areas requiring significant
investment in research and teaching resources.
The experience of international counterparts and
other best practice models will be important to
the growth of Australian green industries.
New Green Collar Occupations
New green collar occupations are at the frontier
of technological, regulatory, and of course,
environmental change. With technologies and
regulatory regimes in their infancy, many
occupations and their underlying skills and
training are likewise in a developmental stage.
In Australia, the regulatory environment will be and architectural firms;
underpinned by both a Renewable Energy Target, and the • Crop production;
impending Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. • Building construction;
Over 1,200 people are currently permanently employed • Waste management and remediation services, and
in the operation and maintenance of clean energy facilities, • Agricultural and forestry support activities – refers to
in addition to supporting over 7,300 indirect jobs. Their crop-harvesting services.
analysis further indicates that, in relation to existing, Within these results, 53 per cent of ‘green jobs’ were
committed and planned clean energy projects, over 2,400 identified as being within the energy efficiency sector, with
direct permanent jobs are likely to be created, with a further almost half of these jobs falling in the specialty trades
25,000 construction and indirect jobs being generated. classification. Over 30 per cent of ‘green jobs’ related to the
The pace of both private and public global investment in reduction of pollution, with strong representation in the crop
renewable energy businesses, and the changing Australian production occupational category.
regulatory environment, indicate substantial growth in these Moreover, the top 25 occupations within these ‘green’
new green collar industries and occupations. industries comprise over 74 per cent of green jobs,
dominated by a strong presence of the trades, including
Greening Existing Occupations electricians, construction labourers, carpenters,
As mentioned previously, the ‘greening’ of existing heating/airconditioning mechanics/installers, and plumbers.
occupations, such as plumbers installing solar hot water Together these accounted for around 30 per cent of total
systems or energy and water efficient systems and green employment.
appliances, or lawyers assessing the energy efficiency As an indicative measure of current skills requirements,
ratings of buildings, creates significant ambiguity when the study also recorded the educational qualifications of
seeking to define and measure ‘green jobs’. While a stock- current ‘green employees’. It found that 27 per cent of
take of Australia’s green skills and workforce capabilities is green employees required one to four years of vocational
still forthcoming, a number of international studies may help
provide indicative results.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 7


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 terms. This is due largely to its mineral deposits and
| green collar |

processing plants being central to its economic base. It also


training, with a further 13 per cent requiring degree or has Australia’s most decentralised population with regional
higher qualifications. employment relying heavily on the agricultural, mining and
While this study is a snapshot of ‘green jobs’ in tourism sectors.
Washington State, it is likely that the findings relating to the The Queensland Skills Plan of 2006 introduced several
industry and occupational coverage of ‘green employment’ new forms of industry engagement to enable greater
will be relevant to the Australian experience. In particular, industry and community ownership of skills formation.
most developed economies have identified buildings as a An example of this is the Sustainable Energy Skills
dominant consumer of emissions-intensive electricity Formation Strategy (SESFS). The SESFS commenced in
generation, and accordingly have focused initiatives 2008, designed to encourage more collaboration between
pertaining to the energy-efficient design, construction, and industry, government and the education sector in
performance measurement of commercial and residential implementing workforce strategies in the sustainable energy
buildings. industry, specifically, the energy efficient built environment.
The SESFS aims to head off labour and skill shortages by
Education and training articulating overall industry skill needs, integrated education
We have seen that where significant progress has been and training pathways, accreditation schemes and
made in green skilling (such as the green plumbing initiative, standards, licensing and safety issues. The strategy is
or the coal mining union’s lead in tackling climate change) comprehensive, taking into account job design and career
leadership has been shared between employers and paths, utilisation and retention of staff and new training
unions. Greater industry collaboration will be required, approaches, and is directed by the Queensland Energy
especially in new green industries as technologies are Efficiency Industry Leaders Group (QEEILG), a group of key
continually changing. industry and government stakeholders.
We have also seen that much of the initial training The Queensland Skills Plan of 2006 also introduced
demand was met by on-the-job training. Formal training ‘Skill Ecosystems’ as a concept for industry engagement,
systems are now picking up the demand and evolving seeking to foster workplace changes in skills attraction,
course design and curricula needs to be mapped to development, effective utilisation and retention of skilled
qualification frameworks, accreditation schemes and workers, and promoting (with varying degrees of success)
industry quality standards. the alignment of skills to business and community needs. It
aims to create a skilled and adaptable labour force,
FOCUS: Green Skills Queensland promote demand-side utilisation of skills and job design,
Queensland is the state most at risk in terms of mitigation provide opportunities for the progression of low skilled
and adaptation to climate change. It is Australia’s most workers, and to develop ‘high skill equilibriums’ in regions
carbon intensive state both in per capita and absolute over time.

IT infrastructure professionals can make significant improvements in energy consumption and data storage footprints.

10 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Moving Forward
Case Study: Business Analyst, Victorian Advanced Resource

| green collar |
In 2009, this Industry Development Model was further
explored in a pilot process between three of the recently Recovery Initiative (VARRI)
created mega departments, namely Justice and Attorney The Victorian Advanced Resource Recovery Initiative (VARRI)
General (JAG), Department of Employment, Economic is a $10 million Victorian State Government initiative aimed
Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and the Department
at improving organic (food and garden) waste recovery in
of Education and Training (DET). The training system
metropolitan Melbourne. The VARRI project will facilitate the
incorporated green skills, knowledge and technical
competencies. Supporting this holistic policy framework are introduction of new ‘Advanced Resource Recovery
numerous initiatives, including those recently announced Technologies’ (ARRTs) for processing metropolitan
such as the Queensland CleanTech Industry Development Melbourne’s municipal solid waste.
Strategy, the Carbon Outlook Project. The establishment of ARRT facilities will enable more waste
One learning outcome that is emerging from the process to be diverted from landfill, with a focus on organic waste.
of dealing with ‘green’ skills is that government agencies Some technology solutions may offer the option of additional
themselves need to acknowledge that networked sorting and separation of glass, metal and plastics from a
governance as occurs in service integration requires a new
mixed waste stream, recovering more recyclables. Different
set of skills within government as well as other
facilities can produce useful end products ranging from clean
stakeholders. Monitoring process and relationships is
equally important in networks as monitoring numerical and renewable energy to enriched compost and fertilisers.
efficiency outcomes. The important first step of the process is the development of
The relevance for green skills and green jobs is that they a business case to explore a range of ARRT options. The
are developed within an industry or regional development business case will consider the costs and benefits of
process and not solely through an Education Services Skills different ARRT options from a financial, environmental and
Model which is based on supplying pools of skills; community perspective. It is expected following the
consequently, they are tailored to specific needs and completion of the business case, the State government will
developed and owned by industry and/or regions.
work with local government to seek tenders, incorporating
FOCUS: NSW State Government Green Skills Strategy the first two resource recovery facilities.
The NSW State Government Green Skills Strategy is a The establishment and operation of up to eight facilities, as
coordinated policy effort by the NSW government to foster recommended in the Metropolitan Waste and Resource
skills development and business opportunities for more Recovery Strategic Plan is expected to lead to around 250
environmentally sustainable outcomes in the State. Its key permanent jobs over the next five to ten years, in addition to
strategic elements involve allocating resources to: indirect jobs in areas such as construction, supply chain,
• Prioritise availability and uptake of training related to
and marketing. Each facility is expected to have a lifetime of
environmental sustainability, through the provision of
subsidies for accredited training; 25 years. It is envisaged that, once operational, the facilities
• Build training capacity of trainers and training will require a workforce ranging from low skill workers,
organisations; through to specialised engineers and business operations
• Establish industry partnerships to identify training and managers. In this instance, however, we focus on the pre-
business opportunities, including the development of operational stages of developing business cases for such
new training courses and resources; facilities, and the capabilities required to do this.
• Support business take-up of ‘green skills’ training For the solid waste sector, the relative attractiveness of
through an online Green Skills Business Guide and disposal to landfill is affected by the availability of suitably
Course Finder;
managed landfill space and the availability of a viable
• Support additional research and data collection on
green jobs, green skills and green training; and alternative. The regulation of landfill disposal, including
• Implement skills strategies for NSW government tighter regulation of landfill cells and scheduling of available
environmental programs. landfill space over time provides a supply constraint. Other
The implementation plan identifies nine priority regulatory tools such as landfill levies and/or bans
industries, based on their contribution to carbon emissions surrounding certain material going to landfill also affect the
and potential for the vocational education and training (VET) price of disposal and in turn the attractiveness of investment
sector to meet anticipated skill requirements. For each of waste avoidance and minimisation strategies and/or
these industries, the NSW government has identified the alternative waste processing options.
key environmental challenges and opportunities, VET-
The confluence of skills required to construct a business
related occupations, and specific environmental targets.
Moreover, the Green Skills Strategy outlines an action plan case at VARRI requires knowledge of engineering and waste
for each industry. Finally, the Strategy details the underlying processing systems, business valuation and forecasting,
‘units of competency’ to be delivered via training packages advanced and new technologies, as well as government
by registered training organisations (RTO). service provision. The arena to deliver these skills is largely
The Green Skills NSW Taskforce was commissioned to through the university sector, although the dynamism and
advise Government on future priorities and policies that will diversity of knowledge required makes it difficult to provide
build on current initiatives of the Green Skills NSW Strategy. targeted training, and skills are therefore largely learnt on the
Together with other state and national programs, a coherent job with existing experts and mentors.
framework is being developed such that the policy
environment for businesses and industry, households and
consumers, workers, educators and students, is becoming
clearer.
1. Industry Skills Councils (2009), Environmental Sustainability – An Industry Response

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 11


Australian Master Environment Guide
| green collar |

The pressure is on local government to implement environmental solutions, as federal and


state governments devolve more responsibilities, such as development consent
procedures, among other areas.
ndeed, industry is also looking to local government for

I guidance, leadership, policies and processes as


professionals, organisations and the community
become increasingly concerned about the adoption of
sustainable practices by companies.
For example, some remediation practitioners want local
governments to include energy used in the remediation
operation as a development assessment criterion or a
consent condition, so that clean up of the land doesn’t
increase global warming.
CCH’s forthcoming online title the Australian Master
Environment Guide will assist local governments with the
environmental challenges they face. The guide provides a
succinct overview of areas of concern to local governments,
including planning law and development, heritage
protection, contaminated land, pollution control, energy
management and compliance, waste management, • Environment Tracker, a news service via RSS feed,
recycling, water resource efficiency, environmental law, email or in IntelliConnect™
stakeholder communications—and more. • an archive of environmental case law
Written by industry experts, lawyers and academics, the • templates for forms, policies and checklists.
guide is updated regularly to keep you informed of the latest The Australian Master Environment Guide is also
best practice developments and changes to the law. The available in book format.
online guide also features: For more information please contact CCH on 1300 300 224.

!
Your essential NEW

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Australian Master Environment Guide
The Australian Master Environment Guide is a practical
handbook designed for environmental managers,
business managers and anyone who needs an overview of
environmental best practice and law. It contains information
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such as techniques, systems, land development, pollution,
chemicals, energy, waste, water and biodiversity.
CCH Code: 34319A
Key benefits: ISBN: 978 1 921485 70 1
 Get the best information for your organisation - contains best Publish: July 2010
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 Learn from the best - written by academics, lawyers,
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Order at www.cch.com.au/books2010

12 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Interested in preserving your
local wartime heritage?
The Saluting Their Service commemorations
program offers modest grants to assist local
communities to honour the service and sacrifice
of Australia’s veterans.
The program is designed to help preserve our
heritage from wars and conflicts and encourage
community participation in commemorative
events.
A wide range of community projects may be
supported including:
• establishing or refurbishing community
war memorials;
• restoring vandalised memorials;
• restoring and publicly displaying wartime
memorabilia; and
• commemoration of significant anniversaries
of battles and other military operations.
Local councils, schools and community groups such
as historical societies and ex-service organisations
can apply for grants through the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs.

Application forms
and funding guidelines
available from the
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS on:
133 254 – metropolitan callers
1800 555 254 – non-metropolitan callers
Website: www.dva.gov.au/grants
Eco-Buy 2010 Awards showcase
| best practice |

local government best practice


and innovation
The 8th annual ECO-Buy Awards for Excellence in Green Purchasing were held in
Melbourne, on Thursday 6 May 2010.

ward sponsors presented the winners with their ECO-Buy CEO Hugh Wareham says the ripples of this

A awards at a ceremony hosted by Ms Bernie


Hobbs, regular judge on ABC TV’s The New
Inventors. Business and government are starting to
make green a priority in their quest to be better corporate
citizens and make every dollar count on the triple-bottom
increase in green purchasing are far-reaching.
“The flow-on effect of encouraging more and better
green products to enter the widening market is the resultant
green collar jobs and strengthening the so-called ‘green
economy’.
line level. “From IT data centres and event management systems,
With some Victorian councils spending upwards of $4.5 to compostable cutlery and recycling car tyres for use in
million annually on environmentally-sound products and roadworks, green products and services are expanding to
businesses investing heavily in green innovation, a meet the needs and demands of organisations – and of the
considerable green wedge is opening up in the accounts. environment.”

The Awards recognise innovative green purchasing


initiatives undertaken by state government, local
government, businesses and green product suppliers.
Naturally, the ECO-Buy Awards for excellence were
planned with a strong focus on minimising their impact
on the environment.
The winners are:

MUSEUM VICTORIA - Victorian State Government


(page 16)

BORAL - Business
(page 18)

GLEN EIRA CITY COUNCIL - Metropolitan Council


(page 19)

CITY OF GREATER BENDIGO - Regional Council


(page 21)

GLEN EIRA CITY COUNCIL - Local Government Water Saving Champion


(page 24)

ALPINE SHIRE COUNCIL - Small Rural Council


(page 25)

GOING GREEN SOLUTIONS - Green Supplier of the Year


(page 26)

BAYSIDE CITY COUNCIL - Local Government Recycled Champion


(page 28)

DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL - Local Government Energy Saving Champion


(page 30)

DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL - Local Government Green Powered Champion


(page 30)

14 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Excellence in Green Purchasing –
| best practice |

Victorian State Government


MUSEUM VICTORIA
Proudly presented by Australian Paper
Award for Excellence in Green Purchasing — Victorian State Government
his award recognises a state government

T department or agency that has demonstrated


outstanding commitment to green purchasing.
Environmental responsibility is listed as one of
Museum Victoria’s six strategic directions and as a result
they have created an environmental sustainability policy. The
need to embed environmental practices and products into
the procurement procedures of goods, services and works
is listed as a key priority in the policy.
Museum Victoria has introduced a number of green
purchasing initiatives, including: installing infrastructure in
the Melbourne Museum car park to reduce lighting
demand; introducing 100 desktop and 50 notebook Energy
Star-compliant computers; and creating the Museum
Victoria Cost of Life (MVCOL) tool which enables users to
calculate the environmental and operating impact of A Day in Pompeii exhibition with sets made from recycled Xanita Board,
technology across the life of a Museum exhibition. Melbourne Museum. Photo: Heath Warwick © Museum Victoria 2009
Highly visible on the environmental agenda is the “However, we decided we would not attempt to change
organisation’s commitment to procuring sustainable the world in a day but simply make a start by adhering to
exhibition design for all new exhibitions following successful the life cycle thinking aims for the project. It was amazing
trials with exhibitions such as Dinosaur Walk, Waters of how quickly we were able to implement more sustainable
Tuvalu and A Day in Pompeii. practices and how they have a tendency to flow from one to
Museum Victoria’s environmentally sustainable design another.
approach: “I look back now and the amount we have achieved in a
• Purchase low impact materials relatively short space of time is incredible and the team
• Re-use what exists working on it are very proud.”
• Integrate sustainable thinking into design thinking The sustainability initiative is not a one-off but something
• Undertake fabrication practices that minimise waste Museum Victoria is making a part of its everyday exhibition
• Work to reduce other environmental impacts design practice.
• Communicate this approach to contractors, suppliers The exhibition project team continues to research new
and staff. materials, products and processes with sustainable
Museum Victoria aims to use best sustainable practice emphasis; this need is being communicated to suppliers.
in new exhibition creation by applying life cycle thinking – Even the daily resource consumption of the team – printing,
addressing all the life stages of a product’s impact from paper and so on – is being considered.
manufacturing, use and disposal including re-use and Rolfe is pleased with the results so far and sees the
renewal. future of sustainable exhibitions as bright.
Using locally manufactured products, giving preference “Museum Victoria takes this issue seriously and the
to recycled rather than ‘new’ materials and seeking principles are consistently reviewed.
suppliers with environmental certification are all high on the “If we were to do something differently I think we may
list of priorities for Museum Victoria. Project staff dismantling have embraced re-use a little more strongly earlier on.
previous exhibitions are compiling, sorting, storing or “As the manufacturing and recycling processes all have
donating materials and re-using wherever possible. some cost no matter how green, if you can re-use a piece
Exhibition design and fabrication practices now consider of glass or joinery or equipment or whatever in a new
using less material, even down to using 15mm glass exhibition, it is a very sustainable way to go.”
instead of 18mm and changing fixings so that materials can Museum Victoria is the largest public museums
be separated and reused more easily. Materials are laid out organisation in Australia. It provides public access to its
to most efficiently use sheet sizes, minimising waste. collections through three museums and oversees a wide
Lighting and floor coverings are considered for durability, range of research programs, the continued development of
longevity and sustainability. the state’s collections, and runs major education and
Head of MV Studios Tim Rolfe found the most difficult research-based websites. Currently Museum Victoria
aspect of getting the sustainable exhibition design initiative employs 700 staff and has numerous volunteers across all
up and running was to actually take the first step. areas of the organisation.
“It can be very overwhelming when you look into all the Midway through the completion of the Science and Life
things you really should be doing to produce and build Project, Museum Victoria is currently developing two new
sustainably – and that can have something of a paralysing major exhibitions for Melbourne Museum, continuing to
effect, almost ‘it’s too hard, let’s not do it’. apply sustainable exhibition practices as they go.

16 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


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Excellence in Green Purchasing – Business
| best practice |

BORAL
Proudly presented by Corporate Express

his award recognises a commercial business that schedules were not on the cards.

T has demonstrated outstanding commitment to


green purchasing.

What’s in a sustainable paper sack? The answer is


green. Boral is Australia’s largest building and construction
The project became about the technical and supply
chain challenges, including challenging the purchasing
status quo, which needed to be overcome to develop a
more sustainable, higher quality and cost-efficient paper
sack.
materials supplier, with significant operations in the USA When it became clear that not enough was known
and Asia and directly employs around 15,000 people. locally about the type of papers being used and their
As a large organisation, Boral is used to making big relevant structural and environmental performance, a
decisions. But when a small question was asked – how can project team lead by the National Procurement Manager
we improve our packaging (paper sacks) for cement and and the Packaged Products Manager of BCSC, was
concrete products? – it set off a quest that improved not established to investigate further.
only Boral’s packaging, but the sustainability standard for The team has worked closely with BCSC personnel and
the cement industry. the supply market to achieve a step change improvement in
The result: a seemingly small change from a 3 ply to a 2 the sustainability, performance and cost-efficiency of paper
ply paper sack reduced annual paper consumption by 860 sacks whilst delivering improved operational performance.
tonnes, and has set a global benchmark with regard to Boral used a collaborative and continuous improvement
paper grammage, strength, customer satisfaction and approach to the project. Paper stocks and overseas
lowest environmental impacts. manufacturing processes were investigated by the Boral
Key Results of the quest for a better paper sack: team.
• 39 per cent reduction in paper use per sack, which A broader view of the paper market and the various
equates to 860 tonnes paper per annum (with all the strengths and drawbacks was achieved.
associated environmental benefits – carbon emissions When it came time to draw up new contracts,
and water use reductions, less waste, reduced pressure continuous improvement KPIs were incorporated into the
on biodiversity)
agreement – suppliers must demonstrate that they are also
• 20 per cent reduction in sack price
keeping abreast of the paper market.
• New 2 ply sacks stronger and higher quality than the old
The actual process and getting a result was not difficult,
3 ply sacks
but a new challenge emerged when explaining the need to
• Elimination of perforations which created dust leakages
change to internal businesses and their customer base.
and consequential OH&S issues
In hindsight, the team would have started talking with its
• 15 per cent faster filling time and increased throughput
customers earlier in the process. As it was, they were able
on the filling line
• Decreased plastic film weight per sack on average by 50 to prove why the sacks were necessary – and how good
per cent they could be on multiple levels.
• Reduction in leakage during transport by over 90 per Changing the paper sacks was a business risk.
cent. Reducing the amount of paper a sack uses seems like a
Boral consumes more than 15 million paper sacks simple thing to do to, but if the new sacks went technically
annually. These sacks represent the customer interface for wrong it would have been disastrous in the marketplace.
Boral’s Blue Circle Southern Cement (BCSC) brand and in Fortunately, the results speak for themselves:
doing so make a strong statement about the organisation. • Improved environmental performance to support Boral’s
Sack performance in the marketplace was not achieving sustainability objectives
the highest levels of strength, presentation, or cost. • Reduction in grammage of paper per sack whilst
Customer satisfaction in relation to package quality was low increasing strength
due to the number of sacks bursting during handling and • Removal of perforations in sacks which creates dust
filling. during filling
These issues flowed through to the operational site, • Improve valve sealing
having a negative impact on the work environment due to • Increased customer and employee satisfaction
dust and cement leakage. • Improved throughput on current filling machines by
Machinery was failing, the workplace was unpleasant quicker de-aeration through the paper rather than by
and staff morale was impacted. perforations
A packaged products manager first raised the question • Improved equipment performance and throughput to
with existing paper sack suppliers: What can we do to achieve a world benchmark of 85 per cent Overall
improve the sustainability, price and performance of this Equipment Effectiveness
product? • Lower cost per sack for a higher performance sack.
Local manufacturers at first did not appear keen to Leadership, collaboration and innovation can combine
experiment with their production lines; they were locked in to drive better environmental, social and financial outcomes
to existing plant and contracts. New technology, stocks or – and a more sustainable paper sack.

18 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Excellence in Green Purchasing –

| best practice |
Metropolitan Council
GLEN EIRA CITY COUNCIL
Proudly presented by the Department of Planning and Community Development
Glen Eira City Council
Embedding green into corporate culture
Award for Excellence in Green Purchasing — Metropolitan Council

his award recognises the metropolitan council with Glen Eira Green Purchasing Compared to Local Government

T the largest investment in green products as a


percentage of available expenditure.

Local Government Water Saving Champion


Average Expenditure
While the increase alone is impressive, it’s the range of
environmentally preferable products purchased that makes
Glen Eira City Council’s investment unique.
From simple inclusions such as recycled paper for in-
This award recognises the local government with the largest house printing and publications to using recycled rock in
investment in water efficient and water saving products as a road base construction, Council staff have investigated and
percentage of available expenditure. adopted products from suppliers across the ECO-Find
Green purchasing is now embedded in Glen Eira City supplier database.
The decision to integrate green purchasing started
Council’s corporate culture. But it has been a gradual
slowly. Council was willing to take green products on board,
process over seven years – requiring the support and but needed to be convinced that ratepayers’ dollars were
leadership of staff at all levels of the organisation. being spent wisely, efficiently, and with longevity in mind.
Since joining the ECO-Buy program in 2002-03, the Scepticism about green products and their perceived value
Council has increased its green expenditure from $112,000 for money is a necessary consideration for Council, given
to more than $4.5 million in 2008-09. public funds are used.

Green purchases for Glen Eira included drought resistant grass for sporting grounds.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 19


GLEN EIRA GREEN PURCHASING COMPARED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AVERAGE EXPENDITURE
| best practice |

$5,000,000

$4,500,000

$4,000,000

$3,500,000

$3,000,000

$2,500,000

$2,000,000

$1,500,000

$1,000,000

$500,000

$0
Glen Eira total expenditure Average expenditure of Average expenditure of
reporting LG members metropolitan councils’

Championed by the Manager of Purchasing and Fleet, approximately 15 per cent – with the same allocation of
Aubrey Jansen, an in-house ECO-Buy Committee was water.
established, with an invitation to key staff from those areas Attitudes towards green products, and the need to
with the most potential for green purchasing to participate. purchase products that are less damaging to the
A green purchasing policy was developed which didn’t environment, have changed over time. More than ever, the
over commit Council but had a distinctively green leaning — community expects the Council to take the lead in
recognising that it can be difficult to go from nothing to a environmental sustainability.
full-commitment green spend in a short time. It is a change now avidly supported by councillors and
Easy pickings, such as copy paper, printer cartridges senior management - and this support has accelerated
and mobile garbage bins, were the starting point for Glen green purchasing within the organisation (a 46.1 per cent
Eira. Energy audits were conducted to identify other areas increase in green spending was achieved from 2007-08 to
and change over lighting, and upgrades to aerated taps and 2008-09 alone).
high-efficiency/low-flow toilets and showers were Glen Eira’s green purchasing program has proven to be
implemented. so successful that Jansen is regularly asked to provide
Jansen then scaled up the options, using the ECO-Buy advice and present on panels.
reporting template as a tool to alert purchasers to the items Purchases made through the Eco-Buy program have
they could potentially buy green. As procurement in Council included:
is decentralised, he looked at each business area for green • Energy efficient (four star or better) heating and cooling
potential and, using the ECO-Buy reporting template, system upgrades in key buildings
identified and researched products and suppliers that could • Recycled concrete and rock for road-making, backfilling
be of use to each area. It was a business efficiency model and road trenches
that was being introduced, not just a green procurement • Emissions controlled Euro 4 tractors to replace ageing
concept. plant and equipment
Products such as recycled rock and concrete for road
• Recycled rubber for speed cushions
base materials were researched and trialled to overcome
• Recycled content mobile garbage bins
any scepticism of their practicality and usability. Trials
• Energy efficient computer monitors
proved conclusively that the products were better and
• Organic fertilisers, drought-resistant plants and recycled
they’re now used almost exclusively in Council works.
tree pruning mulch
The pattern was similar when additional water saving
measures were presented. Trials of drought-resistant • Green energy allocations
grasses for ovals achieved fantastic, and award-winning, • Fuel-efficient vehicles.
results. Since then Council has invested significant funds Making the program easy for people to be involved in,
and resources into water saving products including and to make greener purchasing decisions, has been the
drought-resistant plants, trees and turf for the city’s parks key. Regular communication and input from inside the
and gardens, and water tanks and soil wetting agents to organisation, as well as externally to residents to help them
maximise moisture retention in sportsgrounds. understand the need and benefits of purchasing green
products, have been integral to the program’s acceptance.
Green purchases for Glen Eira included drought-resistant Council receives community feedback and pressure to
grass for sporting grounds increase its green spending and commitment to reducing its
Electronic central control, moisture sensors and drip line environmental footprint. Glen Eira City Council is now about
irrigation upgrades on sports ovals were also added to the to launch its Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2009-12
mix. The program overall has resulted in Council managing which will further obligate the Council to purchase efficiently,
to irrigate a greater number of ovals – an increase in area of effectively and greenly.

20 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Excellence in Green Purchasing – Regional Council

| best practice |
CITY OF GREATER BENDIGO
Proudly presented by Australian Paper
City of Greater Bendigo
A place in the sunlight
Award for Excellence in Green Purchasing — Regional Council

his award recognises the regional council with the Natural Environment Strategy, which places efficient use of

T largest investment in green products as a


percentage of available expenditure. The purchase
of a wide range of ecologically sustainable
products—from the standard (recycled copy paper) to the
more unusual (hybrid composting toilets) —saw City of
resources and reduction of everyday environmental impacts
squarely in the consciousness of policy makers and
operational managers.
The big tick on Council’s action plan last year was the
purchase and installation of 22 solar powered ticket
Greater Bendigo achieve a green spend equivalent to 5 per machines to replace the city’s 100 conventional mains
cent of its total budget to take out the ECO-Buy Award for power operated machines.
Excellence in Green Purchasing-Regional Council for 2010. In addition to making the most of an abundant natural
Greater Bendigo is a major regional centre servicing the resource in sunlight, these highly visible pieces of necessary
towns and rural areas of the Loddon region, about 150 infrastructure have allowed Council to reduce non-
kilometres north-west of Melbourne. renewable energy consumption, save emissions and
The region experiences comparatively good solar achieve financial and environmental savings during
exposure, making investment in products powered by solar installation of the machines.
energy a logical choice. According to Neville Zimmer, Manager, Parking & Animal
What has been impressive is the range of products Control, solar powered ticket machines are simpler to install
purchased, and the willingness of Council to test new than conventional machines. “There is no need to disturb
technologies as part of their regular maintenance and pavements or footpaths install pits and plug into the grid.
replacement programs.
The noticeable breadth of green product purchasing by
Greater Bendigo is testament in part to the success of its CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

The solar panels on the solar powered ticket machines Photo: City of Greater Bendigo

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 21


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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21
| best practice |

That alone reduces the installation costs and environmental


disturbance.”
Solar powered ticketing machines also have the benefit
of lasting longer than conventional machines, reducing
maintenance and disposal costs and maximising the
embodied resources used to manufacture the machines.
The machines will be ideal for use in remote locations
where there is no mains electricity available. Bendigo’s first
fleet of 22 solar powered ticket machines have been so
successful that the City of Greater Bendigo plans to replace
its remaining four mains connected ticket machines with the
new solar machines.
In addition to other solar energy purchases, which
included installation of solar lighting and solar hot water
systems, Council purchased energy saving LED lights and
Sun Lizard solar heaters.
Council’s green purchasing focus also extended to
water saving initiatives which included converting of turf to
warm season varieties on 6.4 hectares of playing fields and

Green purchasing by City of Greater Bendigo:

• Solar power systems, lights, ticket machines and hot


water systems
• Purchase of LED lighting
• Purchase of drought-resistant grasses and conversion of
6.4 ha of playing fields to warm season turf Solar powered ticket machines are easier to install. Photo: City of Greater
Bendigo
• 290 litres of recycled water and more than 860,000 litres
of biodiesel
• Downsize of seven fleet vehicles, purchase of LPG the use of drought-resistant plants and grasses in parks
vehicles and EURO 4 compliant trucks to replace ageing and gardens.
Bendigo City Council’s green purchasing streak doesn’t
equipment
end with the visible green purchases. There’s the 20 per
• 12,000 recycled content mobile garbage bins cent biodiesel used to fuel the Council’s utes, machinery
• Recycled mulch and soft fall mulch for playgrounds and other equipment, and the five parks and the sports field
which feature underground irrigation systems to reduce the
• Sustainable irrigation of five parks and one sporting field. amount of water required to keep them green, plus the
recycled water.
So the climate keeps the ticket machines running and
the water hot – and Council reduces its impact on climate
change by better using available resources.

Local Government Water Saving Champion


GLEN EIRA CITY COUNCIL
Proudly presented by Sustainability Victoria
reen purchasing is now embedded in Glen Eira From simple inclusions such as recycled paper for in-

G City Council’s corporate culture. But it has been a


gradual process over seven years – requiring the
support and leadership of staff at all levels of the
organisation. Since joining the ECO-Buy program in 2002-
03, the Council has increased its green expenditure from
house printing and publications to using recycled rock in
road base construction, Council staff have investigated and
adopted products from suppliers across the ECO-Find
supplier database.
In the past financial year they have invested significantly
$112,000 to more than $4.5 million in 2008-09. in water saving products such as drought-resistant plants,
While the increase alone is impressive, it’s the range of trees and turf for the Council’s parks and gardens, water
environmentally preferable products purchased that makes tanks and soil wetting agents to maximise moisture
Glen Eira City Council’s investment unique. retention in sportsgrounds.

24 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Excellence in Green Purchasing –

| best practice |
Small Rural Council
ALPINE SHIRE COUNCIL
Proudly presented by the Department of Planning and Community Development
Alpine Shire Council
Champion effort delivers rewards
Award for Excellence in Green Purchasing — Small Rural Council

his award recognises the small rural council with the The largest green purchase for the year was a new tip

T largest investment in green products as a


percentage of available expenditure. Alpine Shire is
situated around 300 kilometres north of Melbourne
in the Ovens and Kiewa Valleys and takes in some of
Victoria’s most spectacular features. Bright, Myrtleford and
truck for the Shire’s works department. The Mack Trident is
bigger and lighter than the Hino Ranger it replaces, and
brings with it some significant environmental savings.
An aluminium tipper body means it is lighter, faster and
able to tow extra capacity.
Mount Beauty are the main townships in a shire that And the change from mechanical fuel pump to
consists of 92 per cent public land. electronic motor fuel injection with Euro 4 emission control
Investment in green products has delivered some makes it more fuel efficient.
outstanding results for the Shire – including the award for “The new truck cost about $60,000 more than buying a
Excellence in Green Purchasing by a small rural council. new Hino. It was more expensive, but the benefits with fuel
A total of 7 per cent of the Shire’s available funds in efficiency and time saving far outweigh the monetary
2008-09 were spent on green products, with the Shire expense,” says Sandra Light, Waste Management Officer
reporting green purchases in almost every category. and the Shire’s ECO-Buy Coordinator.
39 per cent of the spend was on recycled products, One other noteworthy purchase was a thermal blanket for
from organic mulch, recycled content papers for outsourced the refurbished Mount Beauty swimming pool. Designed to
printing, biodiesel, cleaning products, banner stands and complement the solar water heating system, help maintain
bollards right down to pencils. The recycled copy paper water temperature and quality and reduce evaporation, the
purchases alone over the twelve months saved 400 blanket delivers savings in water and energy and improves
kilograms of CO2-e, or just over one acre of forest habitat. the Shire’s ability to sustainably manage the pool.
Water saving devices, drought-tolerant grasses, Like other councils, Alpine Shire has faced challenges in
computer controlled irrigation systems, re-usable bags, getting staff to take on green purchasing as part of day to
water tanks, dual flush toilets and sensor lights were also day operations.
purchased. Replacement of office air conditioning with a It has taken time – and some ‘outside the square’
more efficient system brought energy savings along with a actions – but supported by the efforts of Sandra Light, the
more comfortable environment for staff. Shire’s passionate green purchasing champion, Alpine Shire

Alpine Shire’s most significant green purchase for the year was a new Mack Trident tip truck.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 25


has taken green purchasing beyond a policy decision into
Green Purchasing By Alpine Shire:
| best practice |

action.
By talking with suppliers, Sandra has been able to
• Fuel efficient vehicles for replacement of ageing fleet and emphasise the Shire’s green purchasing needs and make
equipment expectations clear. This process has even helped some
• Thermal pool blanket for refurbished Mount Beauty Pool suppliers introduce new products to build their green
product lines.
• Compact fluorescent light bulbs and solar lighting
Internal action means ongoing communications with
• Showerheads, dual flush toilets and sensor lighting in staff and management at all levels. Checking with all
toilets departments to make sure they’re aware of the green
alternatives is imperative, as is rewarding those who buy
• Recycled paper for copying and printing
green.
• Solar heat reflective paint A pat on the back for making the effort to go green can
• Non-toxic cleaning products and disinfectant, go a long way according to Sandra. “We always try to
recognise staff who take the lead and source green
phosphate-free dishwashing liquid, cornstarch bags
products for their projects.”
• One tonne of steel and a cubic metre of timber from It’s been a big achievement for a small Shire. And
Ovens River Weir reused along paths in Tawonga. they’re beginning to see the rewards – the cost savings,
environmental benefits and long term value for money – and
awards.
And there’s more to come – “We can always improve,”
says Sandra.

Green Supplier of the Year (NEW CATEGORY)


GOING GREEN SOLUTIONS
Proudly presented by The Sustainability Card
Going Green Solutions
Passionate about business relationships and the environment
Green Supplier of the Year

his award recognises the supplier that has specifically by organisations or individuals who are actively

T
members.
demonstrated excellence in overall quality, cost-
effectiveness, environmental performance and
customer service as voted by ECO-Buy program

When your supplier has as good a relationship with their


seeking to purchase green products.
Director Lucinda Flynn appreciates the simple and
practical way the ECO-Find database helps her company
be seen by a very specific target audience.
“The site is aimed specifically at organisations actively
couriers and manufacturers as they do with their seeking environmentally preferable products, rather than the
customers, then you know they’re serious about providing ‘hit-and-miss’ of general advertising.
good service. “And because ECO-Buy incorporates its own checking
For Going Green Solutions, those relationships mean procedure before a supplier may become listed, the ECO-
good business and a better environmental outcome. Find supplier database has a high level of credibility with
And the team is certainly passionate about both. those utilising its listings – which allows both us and the
Going Green Solutions is a supplier of environmentally customer to focus on which product will best match their
preferable product alternatives for home, events and needs, rather than on whether or not our products are
workplaces. reputable.”
A family run business, Going Green Solutions evolved However, the company has put a lot of effort into
from a desire to integrate a more sustainable and healthy sourcing appropriate and reputable products for clients, and
way of living into home, work and lifestyle. into building effective working partnerships with suppliers
Products often purchased through contacts from the and clients.
ECO-Find database include 100 per cent post-consumer Communication is the key and the Going Green
recycled paper and envelopes, 100 per cent biodegradable Solutions team keeps all their partners abreast of product,
and compostable PLA/sugarcane catering ware and 100 delivery and environmental standard changes as they occur.
per cent biodegradable compost, shopping and rubbish Purchasing activity through the ECO-Buy ECO-Find
bags that meet the European compostability standard EN suppliers database has largely been in compostable
13434. catering ware. Going Green Solutions is considered to have
Going Green Solutions’ listing in the ECO-Find database the largest range in Victoria – and to be the most
provides a really simple and practical way of being seen knowledgeable about the options available.

26 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


With so many catering ware products available in the
Going Green Solutions product range includes:

| best practice |
open market, weighing up the benefits and costs and
making sense of the sustainability claims can be
overwhelming. But Going Green Solutions ensures that all • Home and lifestyle – from cloth nappy options and plant-
items have been reviewed, tested and evaluated – even if based cleaning and personal care to solar hot water
that includes taking the entire range of bowls home and systems, energy efficient lighting, solar powered
putting soup in them overnight to see which works best. technology, and water saving products, Going Green
This practical approach helps differentiate products and Solutions has made a name catering to the needs of
ensures the team knows what they’re talking about on all householders wanting to make their own lives more
levels.
sustainable.
Essentially, the team weighs up the options and makes
the call on which items are of most benefit – financially, • Catering ware – a full range of 100 per cent
environmentally and practically – for clients across the range biodegradable and compostable catering ware that
of home, work and lifestyle products. works for both individuals (for weddings, parties etc) and
Flynn believes this is part of the service that makes the for wholesale business customers, who account for just
company so valuable to customers. over half of the company’s total turnover.
“Not only do we want to offer the convenience to our
customers of not having to hunt around, but we want to • Office ware – a range of 100 per cent post-consumer
make it easier for businesses, households and recycled office paper, envelopes & cardboard, stationery
organisations all over the place to take up these changes (recycled paper, biodegradable/recycled content pens
quickly and hassle-free so that we can collectively create a etc), and consumables (toilet tissue, napkins etc) that
strong influence on reversing global warming and protecting complement green purchasing
our planet.”
The catering ware is a case in point. As an obvious item
that is commonly disposed, Going Green Solutions has
sourced an extensive range of compostable products to
offer their customers a point of difference – and a tangible
green change to their end users.
“Changing from purely disposable to biodegradable
makes a big difference on many levels. And as it’s an area biodegradable cling wrap. Previously it was only available
that people can see quite clearly as waste, it lends itself as for catering, in big rolls which required self-supplied cutters
an education tool when in use. It’s a tangible change. and containers. Now it comes in a box with a cutter – and
“We look for products in areas that people haven’t even it’s all compostable.”
thought of. A recent addition to our range has been

RAIL INDUSTRY SAFETY AND


STANDARDS BOARD

Harmonisation is undertaken by:


Harmonising the rail industry
developing Standards, Codes
of Practice, Rules and Guidance
material;
systematically
pursuing Interoperability
initiatives;

progressively promoting and implementing


Railway Level Crossing
initiatives;
facilitating the implementation
efficiently of common Safety Practices.

www.rissb.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 27


Local Government Recycled Champion
| best practice |

Bayside City Council


Proudly presented by SITA Environmental Solutions
Bayside City Council
Saving big by buying recycled
Local Government Recycled Champion

his award recognises the local government with the

T largest investment in recycled content products as a


percentage of available expenditure. Bayside City
Council is an inner suburban Council covering an
area of 37 square kilometres, and is made up of peaceful,
leafy residential suburbs.
Council adopted environmental considerations as part of
its purchasing guidelines and has since seen a steady
increase in green purchasing.
During 2008-09 Council spent an impressive 4.1 per
cent of its total available expenditure1 on recycled products
and was awarded the Recycled Champion award in the
2010 ECO-Buy Awards for Excellence in Green Purchasing.
By far the largest investment for Bayside was in recycled
crushed rock and asphalt as part of Council’s ongoing
maintenance of roads, drains and footpaths, carried out by
Citywide Services.
While Bayside City Council is committed to extending

Images on this page and opposite display Bayside’s commitment to green purchasing which has resulted in significant use of recycled concrete in roadworks.

28 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| best practice |
green purchasing into all possible categories, it has made as well as transport costs. Crushed concrete also has a low
inroads through the tendering process – offering permeability and plasticity index, ensuring it performs well in
advantages to tenderers who specify the use of green most weather and ground conditions.
products. In the contract tender evaluation stage, points are Hundreds of compost bins and worm farms along with
awarded for the use of green products. This can affect the several thousand wheelie bins – all made from recycled milk
overall score of a tender and be the difference between bottles – also made up Council’s investment in recycled
winning or losing a contract. products. And more than 6,000 reams of 100 per cent
Recycled concrete products not only cost less than recycled copy paper were purchased, preserving 2.3
virgin quarry products, but are a greener alternative to virgin hectares of forest habitat.
crushed rock. They also have a significant density Combined, Council’s green purchases saved almost 100
advantage compared to virgin materials which means more tonnes of CO2-e compared to purchasing the same
cubic metres per tonne can be transported. And because quantities of products made from virgin materials.
works use less, the products cost less in initial raw materials 1 Excluding staff costs and depreciation

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 29


Local Government Energy Saving Champion and
| best practice |

Local Government Green Powered Champion


DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL
Local Government Energy Saving Champion, Proudly presented by Greenfleet
This award recognises the local government area with the largest investment in energy
efficient and energy saving products as a percentage of available expenditure.

Local Government Green Powered Champion, Proudly presented by Pacific Hydro


This award recognises the local government with the largest investment in accredited
Green Power as a percentage of available expenditure.
he nuts and bolts of carbon neutrality – it starts with In 2008-09 Council spent more than 8 per cent, or more

T a plan. Achieving carbon neutrality is no mean feat.


It requires a significant commitment to sustainability
and a methodical approach to detail.
In fact, it requires an all-encompassing no holds barred
plan. And that’s exactly what Darebin City Council has with
than $4.4 million, of its total budget on a wide range of
green products – the equivalent of nearly $70 per rateable
property in the municipality.
This included significant expenditure on energy efficient
features incorporated in the $1.4 million East Reservoir
its award-winning Climate Change Action Plan 2007-09. Neighbourhood House project, energy efficient lighting
Adopted in June 2007, the plan committed Council to installed at Edwardes Lake and the conversion of 91
carbon neutral building for all new municipal buildings and streetlights to T5 lamps, which use a third less energy than
to purchasing 100 per cent Green Power, in line with its the previous streetlights. Council spent $803,403 on Green
goal to cut corporate emissions to 20 per cent of 1995 Power alone, saving 5,633 tonnes of greenhouse emissions
levels by 2010. Situated in the northern suburbs of – the equivalent of removing over 1,000 cars from the road.
Melbourne, the City of Darebin is home to more than In order to achieve carbon neutrality at the East
135,000 residents. Reservoir Neighbourhood House, careful planning was

Images on this page and opposite, showcasing the carbon neutral East Reservoir Neighbourhood House

30 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| best practice |
required from the outset.
Council used the Green Building Council’s green star
rating tool as a starting point or checklist for the project and
in most cases went well beyond the Section J Building
Code energy specifications in the building.
A project management team was created, including a
Project Manager, Climate Change Action Officer and
Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) Officer, to keep
track of every nut and bolt, each decision made, and their
resultant sustainability and efficiency.
Every stage of the process needed to be checked and
rechecked, from the architect and designers to builders,
suppliers and contractors, to make sure everyone was on
board and understanding the end vision for the project’s
carbon neutrality.
While sourcing suppliers for green materials and
systems was challenging in some areas, the biggest
challenge to the team was assisting all contractors to
adhere to green building principles. Sustainable features of the East Reservoir Neighbourhood
For example, the highest energy efficient air cooling and house:
heating system was specified and ready to be installed, but
on inspection the control panels connecting the system to • BMS controlled louvres for cross ventilation
the building management system (BMS) were not installed • High efficiency heat pumps operate only when rooms are
as per specification. Every item, right down to the control occupied
panels, wiring, plumbing, insulation etc needed to be
confirmed as meeting specifications – that is, green, or • Energy efficient hand driers and five star tapware
greener than the usual. • Water sensitive urban design uses stormwater run-off,
The Neighbourhood House opened in late 2009. The with indigenous and native vegetation
concept of a Neighbourhood House is that it approximates
• Waterless urinal and rainwater used to flush toilets
a person’s home, and is designed to be a welcoming space
and to be used as such. In East Reservoir Neighbourhood • Ceiling fans linked to heat pump operation
House’s case, it’s also been designed to be a • 20,000 litre rainwater tank
demonstration centre of carbon neutral design.
While the Neighbourhood House is Council owned, it is • Instantaneous gas booster for flat panel split system
a community-operated building. The supportive building solar hot water
manager receives ongoing training from the Darebin Climate • Energy efficient (low e) windows throughout the building
Change Action Officer to help monitor and ensure all groups
using the building understand its use and requirements – • Dimmable T5 lights and other high efficiency lamps
right down to using the automated lights, the waterless throughout, all occupancy sensitive
urinal and computer systems that turn themselves off out of • Concrete floor for thermal mass
regular-use hours.
• Passive solar design – north facing windows provide light
As part of Council’s neighbourhood renewal program,
the residents have responded very well to the project and all year round and heat in winter
community groups have really embraced the building as a • Wide eaves and verandas for shade in summer and heat
great community resource. Now it is up to users of the in winter.
House to maintain its energy efficiency by using the
building’s energy efficient features appropriately.
The project’s success has fed into Darebin’s Accelerated
Sustainable Building Program, including developing a
sustainable public building design tool that will help with
green building design in future.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 31


| recycling |

Create a cleaner future with


Century Batteries
CenturyYuasa Batteries, Australia’s oldest and most recognised battery manufacturer has
launched a National Battery Recycling Program designed to educate motorists and help
reduce the impact of used lead acid batteries on the environment.
he scheme provides motorists, homeowners and

T businesses with convenient locations and


resources to ensure the correct recycling of their
used batteries. Through a national network of
CenturyYuasa approved Battery Recycling Centres, people
are encouraged to return their used automotive batteries for
recycling and responsible disposal.
Used lead acid batteries contain hazardous materials
which if not handled correctly may prove harmful to
humans, wildlife and the local environment. It is estimated
that 1 in 5 Australian households have a used automotive
battery on their property, which poses a serious
environmental and health risk, particularly when 98% of a
used lead acid battery is recyclable.
According to Allan Woodford, Marketing Manager for
CenturyYuasa’s Automotive division
“As a responsible business it is important that we
manage the ‘cradle to grave’ process of manufacture,
distribution and responsible disposal of used batteries.
In many cases we have found that people are simply
unaware of how or where to dispose of their used batteries
correctly and as a result we often see batteries discarded
with household waste, at local refuse sites or dumped on
road sides.
Our program provides motorists, homeowners and
business with the outlets and resources to dispose of the
batteries correctly and is also focused on educating people
on the importance of recycling used lead acid batteries to CenturyYuasa Battery Recycling Centre. The site features
reduce their environmental impact.” over 800 approved recycling sites nationally, ensuring
Century’s recycling program provides a total scrap coverage throughout metro and regional Australia and also
battery management solution, which includes a regular contains useful information and advice on all aspects of
scrap battery collection service, marketing support and battery recycling.
assistance with the environmental issues and legislation Century’s scheme has become extremely popular with
associated with the handling and storage of used lead acid its reseller network and has attracted the support of leading
batteries. environmental groups including Planet Ark, Inside Waste
To support the program Century has created a and Greengages.
dedicated recycling website www.recyclemybattery.com.au For more information on the CenturyYuasa Battery Recycling program
and a national contact number 1300 650 702 where speak to a Century Recycling specialist on 1300 362 287 or visit
motorists and homeowners can find their nearest www.recyclemybattery.com.au

32 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| best practice |
The Mitchell EcoEnterprise Centre is designed to promote sustainability, the environment and climate change solutions.

Innovative new centre reinforces


environmental best practice
Located in the heart of the Mitchell EcoEnterprise Park in Stapylton on the Gold Coast, the
Mitchell EcoEnterprise Centre is an information networking and educational hub designed
to promote sustainability, the environment and climate change solutions.

ere, the general public, eco-conscious Eltron Australia is one company that will showcase its

H organisations, government bodies and educational


institutions can access ‘green’ products and
services, while learning about sustainability and
the environment.
According to Mitchell EcoEnterprise Park’s Director of
expertise at the Mitchell EcoEnterprise Centre. Stiebel
Eltron’s suite of energy-efficient water heating solutions will
be on permanent display at the EcoEnterprise Centre,
providing visitors with insight into the critical role played by
such technologies in sustainable development.
Sales and Marketing, Darrenn Medhurst, the Mitchell According to Stiebel Eltron Australia General Manager -
EcoEnterprise Centre is unique in its pioneering qualities, Renewables, Glenn Day, the EcoEnterprise Centre
and leads the way in its commitment to the environment. reinforces environmental best practice. “As Australia
“By partnering with environmental innovators like Stiebel embarks on the phase-out of greenhouse-intensive hot
Eltron, we have been able to establish a comprehensive water systems, it’s important that both industry and
multi-discipline resource to help educate industry and the homeowners are educated about the environmentally
community about sustainability, renewable energies, and friendly water-heating technologies available to them,” he
climate change solutions,” he said. “Visitors will be able to said. “We’re proud to be involved with such forward-
identify and explore the latest sustainable technologies and thinking developments like the Mitchell EcoEnterprise
innovations, while obtaining advice from on-site industry Centre. By improving awareness and access to green
experts.” technologies we can all minimise our impact on the
Sustainability leader and water heating specialist Stiebel environment.”

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 33


Adapting Local Government’s Business to
| climate change |

Climate Change: Kogarah City Council, in


partnership with ICLEI
lmost all sectors of society and

A the economy are likely to be


either directly impacted by
climate change or impacted by
how we respond to climate change.
Being the tier of government closest to
the community, local governments will be
at the forefront of identifying climate
change risks and opportunities within
their municipality. Local government’s
general duty of care obligations towards
its community (residents, property
owners and business), will involve
adjusting its policies and operations to
help prepare ecosystems, infrastructure
and people to be able to cope with the
impacts of climate change.
Given its topography, large extents of
developments close to the foreshore and
limited capacity of its aging assets
(stormwater systems, buildings, 10 year Community Visioning Plan replacement of Council’s stormwater
seawalls), the City of Kogarah has been ‘Bright Future, Better Lifestyle – Kogarah assets.
identified as an area vulnerable to the 2020’), its long term financial planning The consideration of climate change
risks associated with climate change. In commitments, its communication impacts within Council’s operations has
2009, the Council resolved to participate strategy and relevant project documents. also resulted in a number of innovative
in the ICLEI (Local Governments for Council also incorporates climate change approaches to the issue. These include
Sustainability) Adaptive and Resilient considerations within its supply chain the concept of adaptive management
Communities (ARC) program with the through our procurement policy and when dealing with uncertainty
aim of building Council’s capacity to procedures. This has had a flow on effect (advocated by ICLEI through the ARC
respond to climate change and reduce to our tendering, contractor selection program), the development of an internal
the organisation’s and the community’s and even design considerations, ‘Climate Science Inventory’ to inform
vulnerability to its impacts. From the particularly for our stormwater assets decisions and assumptions, extensive
work to date, through this program and foreshore infrastructure. work on mapping climate change
Council has achieved a number of Despite the tangible outcomes of the impacts using new technology and new
initiatives. These include the work, the main accomplishment for staff engagement techniques to relate
establishment of a Climate Change Kogarah City Council has been the climate change impacts to their work at
Adaptation Working Group across recognition of the extent of work Council Kogarah City Council.
departments and hierarchy, formalisation was already doing in this area. Some of The work undertaken by Kogarah
of the climate change risk management the responses to date which addresses City Council to date has been recognised
groundwork, structured identification of climate change considerations include as International Best Practice in other
key climate change risks to the City and Council’s Total Water Cycle Management countries such as Indonesia and
a systematic approach to managing and (the Beverley Park Sewer Mining plant), Germany through ICLEI. Acceptance by
addressing the identified issues. Foreshore and Marine Infrastructure the international community places
The integration of climate change Management Plan, Council’s Street Tree Kogarah’s work as a highly valuable
considerations into Council’s day-to-day Master Plan, foreshore assets design resource and puts the organisation in a
activities is evident through its highest considerations and the progressive leading role within this field. Nationally,
level strategic planning documents (the the work will be utilised as a case study
for future program participants and
presented at national conferences.
For more information on Kogarah’s climate
change adaptation work, please visit
www.kogarah.nsw.gov.au or contact Elisa
Idris, Sustainability Co-ordinator on 02 9330
9445.

Acknowledgements
Kogarah City Council wishes to acknowledge and
recognise the work of the following organisations,
without which this project and its achievements
would not have been possible.
ICLEI Adaptive and Resilient Communities Program,
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability,
Melbourne, Australia.
The work on Climate Change Vulnerability by the
Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG)

34 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Climate report confirms Australia

| climate change |
getting warmer
BY MICHAEL PERRY WITH DAVID FOGARTY

Australia’s top scientists recently released a “State of the Climate” report at a time of
growing scepticism over climate change as a result of revelations of errors in some global
scientific reports.

he scientists said their

T monitoring and research of the


world’s driest inhabited
continent for 100 years “clearly
demonstrate that climate change is
real.”
“We are seeing significant evidence
of a changing climate. We are warming
in every part of the country during
every season and as each decade
goes by, the records are being
broken,” said Megan Clark, head of
Australia’s state-backed
Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change acknowledged in
January that its 2007 report had
exaggerated the pace of Himalayan
glaciers melting, and last month said
the report also had overstated how
much of the Netherlands is below sea
level.
The 2007 report is based on the
work of thousands of scientists and is The government estimated farm areas.
the main policy guide for governments output for 2008/09 at A$42 billion Sea levels around the island
looking to act on climate change. ($38.4 billion) out of total Australian continent since 1993 have risen 7-
Skeptics have leapt on the errors, gross domestic product of A$1.2 10mm per year in the north and west
saying they undermine the science of trillion. and 1.5 to 3mm in the south and east,
climate change but the IPCC, which Studies show that rising seas, said the report.
has announced a review, has shifting rainfall patterns and greater From 1870 to 2007, the global
defended its work. extremes of droughts and floods could average sea level rose by close to
The CSIRO and the Bureau of cost Australia’s economy dearly. A 200mm (8 inches), sea levels rose at
Meteorology report said international government report last November said an average of 1.7mm a year in the
research showed it is extremely residential buildings worth up to A$63 20th century and about 3mm per year
unlikely that global warming could be billion could be inundated if seas rise from 1993-2009, it said.
explained by natural causes alone. by 1.1 metres (3.5 feet) this century. Sea surface temperatures around
“There is greater than 90 per cent Australia have increased by about 0.4
certainty that increases in greenhouse HEATING UP
degrees Celsius in the past 50 years.
gas emissions have caused most of Since 1960, the mean temperature in
The scientists said global carbon
the global warming since the mid-20th Australia has increased by about 0.7
dioxide concentration in 2009 of 386
century,” said the report. degrees Celsius, but some areas of the
parts per million (ppm) was much
“Evidence of human influence has country had warmed by 1.5 to 2
higher than the natural range of 170 to
been detected in ocean warming, sea- degrees Celsius in the past 50 years,
the report said. 300 ppm that existed in the
level rise, continental-average atmosphere for the past 800,000 years
temperatures, temperature extremes Australia’s warmest decade on
record is 2000 to 2009. and possibly 20 million years.
and wind patterns,” said the report. The scientists said that based on
Australia, a major grains and meat While total rainfall in Australia had
been relatively stable, the geographic their monitoring of the nation’s climate
producer, battled the worst drought in for 100 years, Australian average
100 years for most of the past decade, distribution changed significantly over
the past 50 years, with rainfall temperatures are projected to rise by
damaging its farm output, but in recent 0.6 to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.
years the commodities sector has decreasing in south-west and south-
been recovering due to good rainfall. east Australia, the major population (Source: Thomson Reuters)

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 35


Communities that sow together
| community |

grow together
BY LISA KINAHAN

The growth of community gardens and verge gardens is changing the way we are
acquiring our food as well as the face of our urban landscape.

any would say that there is a quiet revolution growing vegetables on their Marrickville street verge for the

M taking place in our city streets. Across the state


pockets of land from street verges to unused
wastelands are being turned into micro food
bowls. For most people who live in an urban environment
supermarkets and local shops are rarely more than a few
past two years. The verges are owned by council who are
happy to turn a blind eye as long as they are managed
neatly and well. And in Chippendale, a group of residents
have been growing raspberries, native mint and passionfruit
vines on local telephone poles as well as a range of fruit and
minutes away, so what is driving this burgeoning interest in vegetables on their nature strips and footpaths.
growing our own food? North Sydney Council is already one of the leaders in
According to Russ Grayson of the Australia Community community garden space but, says Mayor Genia McCaffery,
Gardens Network, “it’s really for a number of reasons. For “we would certainly be very supportive if communities
some people it satisfies an urge to connect with nature and wanted to grow veggies in their street, as long as it’s a
do some physical work, for others it may be economic and community initiative.”
for the health conscious who want to know where their food However, verge gardening is not for everyone – the
comes from, growing their own is the best option.” precarious nature of the site and the availability of food to
There is nothing new about growing your own passers by is less attractive to those who want to keep all
vegetables. Backyard vegetable gardens have been the fruit of their labours. Fortunately there is a growing
commonplace throughout the nation’s history but our network of community gardens with more and more
modern desire for indoor/outdoor living is creating gardens councils getting behind them. It is difficult, however, to put
that don’t necessarily blend with the requirements or an exact figure on how many community gardens there are
aesthetics of a seasonal vegetable garden. However, there across the state. “To get an accurate picture of the state’s
still remains a yearning amongst many to grow their own community gardens,” says Russ Grayson, “it would require
food, which in turn is creating a raft of innovative solutions, a state level initiative to put in place an evaluation of this
particularly in inner city settings. scale.”
Verge gardening, also known as guerrilla gardening, is The organic nature of community gardens in terms of
one such example where street verges are planted with their growth and structure has also meant that they evolve
vegetables rather than grass or more typical verge flora – in different ways from council to council. There is no set
but it does require the support of council or at the very least template, with some being council-led or supported and
a tacit blind eye. In Marrickville, locals Eva Johnstone, a
landscape architect, and her husband Bill have been CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

36 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


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| community |

The ‘Streets Alive’ program encourages local residents to take responsibility for creating and caring for gardens on public land.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 Community gardens are not income generating


enterprises for councils so costs are usually born by the
others receiving little or no Local Government support. In community garden organisation or the council or a
these cases the impetus and ongoing management is combination of the two. Major costs are generally around
provided by local residents. the establishment and construction phase, and councils
Often telling is where responsibility for community often suggest gardeners apply for the small grants they
gardening sits within council. At City of Sydney Council, it is have for community groups.
easy to see their commitment to the concept with the Ongoing costs are usually covered through membership
recent appointment of Annie Walker as Community Garden fees and by applying for grants. Some councils, such as
Liaison and Support officer but in other councils it can be Randwick City Council, make a financial allocation at times
more difficult to track down the right person. Responsibility to assist the garden, and many other councils, including
might fall within the environment education team or the Randwick, also make in-kind donations such as mulch and
landscape section and at Woollahra the role sits within one materials.
of the community centres. As well as a range of community gardens, North Sydney
However, what is important is how the garden is set up. Council also supports a Streets Alive program, which
Much depends on what level of involvement councils want encourages local residents to take responsibility for creating
with their community gardens. Do they want a council- and caring for gardens on public land. Each Streets Alive
managed community garden, one that operates site has an appointed Council officer who is responsible for
independently and liaises with council, or one in which supporting the volunteers. Council provides the materials
decisions are made by gardeners with council having a needed to maintain the site such as plants, soil and mulch
vote? and Streets Alive volunteers provide the labour. When an
According to Russ Grayson, the independent model is area of public space becomes a Streets Alive site, Council
probably best where council wants to limit the amount of works with the site supervisor and other volunteers to
time staff spend managing it, but at the same time wants to develop goals for the site.
build social capital in the community. Generally, this model As with anything that involves diverse communities,
works well, with good examples found in Woollahra, North there is the usual balancing act. Many have argued that
Sydney, Ku-ring-gai, City of Sydney and Randwick. arable space should be used for native planting to provide
Willoughby Council operates its community garden on more habitat space for our decreasing native fauna. But
the council volunteer: bushcare model, and, says Russ, whatever your viewpoint, one thing is clear: there is a raft of
“this works well for people able to garden when there is a willing volunteers who are happy to provide their time and
Council officer present, but does not work so well for
skills to make their local areas more aesthetic, sustainable,
people who would like to garden, for example, at times
and in many cases, functional.
when Council staff are not present. So there are some
limitations with this as a replicable model in that respect.” (source: Local Agenda)

38 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


World’s best home composter

| community |
tackles CPRS levy
or the first time Australians can The Earth Machine is the world’s

F take advantage of the Earth


Machine, a proven home
composter used in over 3
million homes world wide.
The imminent arrival of the Carbon
most popular home composter of its
type, and is used across 3 million
homes world wide. Source
Separations Systems is excited to be
introducing this system to Australia.
Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) In Australia, the average
has many local government authorities household’s waste is made up of 47%
reviewing their organic waste organic food and garden waste. This
management options. Internationally, represents over 400 kilos of waste per
one of the proven success stories has household per year which can be
been the introduction of home
potentially diverted from landfill with
composting programs. Such schemes
the Earth Machine.
achieve significant diversion rates in
Source Separations Systems is
organic waste, and eliminate the need
for collection, transportation, currently partnering with a number of
processing and disposal into landfill. local government authorities to
Subsequently costs are significantly introduce home composting programs,
reduced, quickly offsetting the initial through comprehensive education
investment. activities and the Earth Machine kits.
By nature, such programs have If you would like to learn more about
also sparked keen community interest these local programs, or to get details
and involvement in both home on international case studies, log
composting, and consequently in onto www.earthmachine.com.au or
recycling, and more broadly, in contact Source Separation Systems
sustainable living. on (02) 4940 4648.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 39


A journey of sustainability
| community |

Baiada Poultry is a family owned Australian business with its portfolio


encompassing two well-recognised poultry brands – Steggles and Lilydale.

or the past 10 years Baiada Baiada also has associations with tanks and trees being planted will

F has been committed to


becoming an industry leader in
environmental management.
This momentum has continued, with
major business developments, like the
Featherdale Wildlife Park, allowing
the Park to plant eucalyptus trees
on one of the Sydney hatchery
properties from which they harvest
leaves to feed the Park’s koala
increase. Packaging will continue to
come under the microscope with
recycling materials being further
explored. The poultry industry is
currently investigating how to best
recent acquisition of Bartter Steggles population. measure its carbon footprint within
in July 2009, only encouraging this • Reducing water usage—Baiada is Australia. Once this has been
direction. a member of the ‘Every Drop determined, Baiada will plan and
Baiada is Australia’s first poultry Counts’ conservation program implement a rectification program to
company to take environmental funded by Sydney Water and in the offset or reduce the carbon footprint
management to a fully certified EMS last 5 years has reduced water where feasible.
(Environmental Management System). usage of potable water by Baiada is also mindful of its social
With all original Baiada sites fully approximately 15-20%. Rainwater responsibilities, particularly within local
certified, the focus, in more recent tanks are being used throughout communities near its operating
times, has been on certifying all newly the business—where bio-security is centres. Baiada actively supports a
acquired business sites. not compromised. number of charities but especially
Some of the initiatives that have • Odour and noise reduction those focussed on the needs of
programs—Baiada has embarked
come from the implementation of an children. The Baiada Group’s
on a number of odour and noise
environmental management system Children’s Charity Nest was introduced
reduction programs, which have
include: in 2002. Funds are raised through
included the construction and
• Recycling—There has been a employee and company contributions
commissioning of biological filters
significant reduction in waste sent and acoustic attenuation. This along with a number of specific
to landfill through the Baiada state- investment of several million dollars initiatives that the business becomes
of-the-art Protein Recovery Plants. has benefited in providing effective involved with. An example is the
There is also a recycling program in control of odour and noise recent Steggles sponsorship of the
place for paper, cardboard, plastic, emissions from these sites. NRL Sydney Roosters—where the
light globes, cans and scrap sponsorship is conditional on a
metals. What the future brings portion of the sponsorship funds
• Tree planting—Over 20,000 trees Baiada is working to have all business and winning games resulting in
have been planted on Baiada sites sites operating under the charitable contributions. As of 26 May
since 2001. The goal is to plant in environmental management system by 2010, this sponsorship alone has
excess of 50,000 trees by 2020. June 2010. The number of rainwater generated over $110,000.

Bowlers Lane Tamworth, where approximately 2,500 trees have been planted.

40 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


&KLFNHQIHHGLVQ·W
FKLFNHQIHHG

Steggles chickens are truly tender chickens. Not sorghum. Their diet is uncompromisingly healthy.
surprising, when you consider we have our very own And for the most part, locally grown.
nutritionist to ensure they are fed a balanced diet of Because we’re convinced that the better our
mixed grains including all natural wheat, barley and chickens eat, the better your family eat.

:H·UH6WHJJOHUVIRUTXDOLW\
EPA ruling ‘a win for
| remote + rural |

responsible mining’
Residents for Responsible Mining (R4RM), the residents’ group with 100 household
members in the Shire of Chittering, is delighted that the Environmental Protection
Authority (EPA) has set the highest assessment level of Public Environmental Review
(PER) for Bauxite Resources Limited’s (BRL, ASX: BAU) Stage 2 mining proposal in
Bindoon, in accordance with environmental legislation.

lair Medhurst, a spokesperson for the group, said agricultural/horticultural and tourism investment.

C the EPA ruling is a win for responsible mining in


the Darling Scarp. “For the first time, affected
residents will have the opportunity to make
submissions about the environmental and social impacts
which they have actually experienced during BRL’s Stage 1
“Residents deserve to know the big picture of what
BRL’s future plans are in the region so that the full and
cumulative impacts can be assessed and clearly
understood.
“It is critical that ongoing issues such as sourcing of
operations, and which they are likely to experience from any industrial water, transport infrastructure, salinity risks and
future mining stages,” Ms Medhurst said. noise and dust emissions are properly analysed and that
“We are, however, disappointed that the PER will only our environment, agricultural and tourism investment and
address BRL’s proposed Stage 2 operations, which we amenity are protected.  
believe encompasses only 1.2 million tonnes of BRL’s “This said, considering that only 6 months ago residents
stated plans to mine up to 30 million tonnes in the area. were faced with a 9 million tonne bauxite mining proposal
“37 Shires in the Darling Ranges are affected by BRL’s before the Shire Council, without an EPA assessment, we
blanket tenement pegging over agricultural and lifestyle feel we have come a long way and that common sense has
areas. prevailed.
“To protect Chittering and the other affected “R4RM will work as required with the environmental
communities from the anxiety, uncertainty and huge consultants presently being appointed by the Shire of
expenditure that goes with dealing with piecemeal mining Chittering to assist the assessment process.”
proposals on private land, we urge Government to For further information, please contact:
implement a regional environmental assessment of large- Residents for Responsible MiningJoint Convenors:
scale, low margin strip mining in the Darling Ranges, Clair Medhurst
together with a comprehensive land use and social impact Tel: 0411 492 769 
assessment of target areas to identify where and to what Derek Gascoine
extent bauxite mining is compatible with existing Tel: 0408 921 22

42 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Railway Level Crossings –

| occupational health + safety |


Every Incident is Avoidable
Approximately 100 incidents occur at railway level crossings causing an average of 37
fatalities in Australia annually. Compared to the Australian road toll, this number may
seem minor but it is important to remember that there is potential for catastrophic
incidents resulting in multiple fatalities and significant damage bills.

ith more than 23,500 railway level crossings representatives, the RLCG released its National Railway

W around Australia, the potential for large scale


tragedy is present at many locations. It is for
this reason that railway level crossing safety is
one of the rail industry’s highest safety priorities as it strives
for zero deaths at railway level crossings.
Level Crossing Strategy (2010 - 2020) in November 2009.
Approved by the Australian Transport Council, the national
Strategy identifies six key focus areas that must be
addressed to reduce incidents at railway level crossings.
These are a safe system approach, national governance,
An Australian Transport Safety Bureau study of 87 fatal risk management, exploring technology, continued
railway level crossing incidents revealed the following facts education and enforcement and improvements in data and
about these fatal collisions. knowledge management.
• More than 50% occur at ‘active’ sites (those with boom In recognition of the national strategy, and to ensure a
gates, flashing lights and bells or a combination of these nationally coordinated approach to railway level crossing
warning devices in place).
safety, the Rail Industry updated its railway level crossing
• 80% occur in daylight during fine weather on straight,
strategy so that it aligns with the national strategy.
dry roads.
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB)
• Over 60% happen on weekdays at rural or urban level
crossings (67%). has been tasked with implementing the Industry railway
• In 33% of fatal incidents, the point of impact is the side level crossing strategy. The Industry and RLCG strategies
of the train. are both available in the railway level crossing section of the
• 46% are a result of unintended driver error. RISSB website www.rissb.com.au.
These findings highlight the challenges surrounding Rail is the safest form of land transport yet risks are
railway level crossing safety and the need for a multi- present at every road / rail interface. The Rail Industry is
pronged approach. committed to working with all levels of Government, the
In March 2009, a new national body, the Rail Level road and trucking industry’s and other stakeholders to
Crossing Group (RLCG), was established to nationally improve railway level crossing safety.
address railway level crossing matters. Comprised of Senior Every railway level crossing incident is avoidable and
Government, Industry, Road, Rail and Trucking zero deaths at railway level crossings is achievable.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 43


| infrastructure |

The first BASYC installation


The DTEI in South Australia is the first road authority in Australia to install the new
BASYC MPS (motorcycle protection system).
anufactured in Spain by

M Cegasa and distributed


exclusively throughout
Australia by LB
International Pty Ltd, BASYC has been
specifically developed to provide a
system of continuous, non-rigid
protection for both motorcyclists and
cyclists that can be retro-fitted to any
type of beam barrier system. The
system has been successfully installed
at numerous locations throughout
Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy,
Greece and Brazil, and now looks set
to change the face of road safety for
motorcyclists throughout Australia.
Speaking about the new BASYC The combined DTEI and BASYC crew standing in front of the completed BASYC installation.
MPS, Paul Hansen, Managing Director easily to any guardrail design. The Importantly, the system has also been
with LB International Pty Ltd, system has been fully crash tested designed to cope with a ‘second’
commented: with motorbikes and with cars to the impact from a pillion passenger.
“We believe that the BASYC European standards. This bike barrier The textile mesh is a fireproof
system sets a new benchmark in does not cause any instability to cars recyclable product that has UV
impact protection for motorcyclists on in the impact.” protection, and is resistant to extreme
Australia’s roads.” The BASYC MPS incorporates a temperatures. A specifically-developed
“Whereas in the past, there have non-rigid barrier designed with paraffin and Teflon surface treatment
been difficulties in balancing the needs controlled elasticity to absorb the minimises the effect of high
of motorcyclists with those of other impact of a motorcyclist. The system temperatures generated by friction
road users—especially in terms of consists of a tensioned geotextile during impact and ensures the
motorcyclists impacting with guardrail mesh composed of different thread progressive slip of the rider on the
and posts—we believe that the densities that deliver excellent mesh. The mesh has also been treated
BASYC system delivers the ideal mechanical properties of resistance,
to minimise the accumulation of dust,
balance of strength and flexibility to stretching and traction. This controlled
meet everyone’s needs,” he said. water, snow and/or other
elasticity gradually absorbs the energy
“What’s more, the fact that BASYC contaminants in the surface.
from the impact, redirecting the rider
is effectively a ‘combination system’ along the barrier, whilst at the same For further information contact:
that can be retro-fitted quickly and time, avoiding the ‘bounce’ effect. Dane Hansen – Tel: (02) 9631 8833.

44 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Measuring the energy efficiency of
| green buildings |

older homes

SUMMARY two houses had a star rating of above 2. This indicates that
Given that 96 per cent of houses in Victoria were built we’ve got a long way to go to bring the majority of older
before the introduction of five-star energy efficiency homes up to today’s energy efficiency standards. It also
standards, improving the environmental performance of means that people living in older houses are likely to be
older homes is essential to reducing the state’s energy use. paying more to heat and cool their homes.
A new study conducted by MEFL for Sustainability
Victoria has given us a better understanding of just how Energy hungry appliances
inefficient Melbourne’s older houses are, what needs to be During the survey of the house, the researchers also noted
done to improve them, and how much it might cost. the type and number of major appliances being used. This
Fifteen houses built between 1900 and 1980, located included checking the energy consumption of water
mainly in Melbourne’s inner north, were chosen for the pilot heaters, fridges, heating systems, air conditioners,
project funded by Sustainability Victoria. The houses dishwashers, clothes washers, lights and televisions. The
chosen were mainly freestanding weatherboard or brick- study examined the cost of upgrading major appliances,
veneer homes, and ranged in size from 75m2 up to 175m2, and calculated how long it would take for the householder
much smaller than the average new home built today. to get their money back through savings on energy bills.
Each house was measured and assessed in great detail Upgrading to a gas-boosted solar hot water system,
to record the floor plan, building materials, insulation levels, installing a high-efficiency central heating system, and
construction characteristics and orientation. Then, a large replacing low-voltage halogen downlights proved to be the
fan was used to blow air through the house, equivalent to a most beneficial actions. In most cases the energy savings
35 kilometre per hour wind (called a ‘fan pressurisation achieved through upgrading fridges, air conditioners,
test’), while specialised equipment monitored how quickly dishwashers, clothes washers and televisions were not
air leaked through all the gaps and cracks. significant enough for the upgrade to be economically
Then, all the construction and design details were viable.
entered into the ‘First Rate5’ thermal modelling software The findings highlight the importance of ensuring that
program to determine each home’s star rating according to high-efficiency appliances are chosen when appliances
the National House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). reach the end of their operating life, since at this point the
The average energy rating of the fifteen houses was just cost difference is much less.
1.3 stars, and four of the houses rated less than 1 star. Only

46 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


What’s the best solution for older buildings? Results of the study

| green buildings |
The research also evaluated the potential benefit that could The results of the modelling show that wall insulation had a
be gained from a range of common home improvements. significant impact, increasing the house energy rating by
Rather than actually installing the upgrades, FirstRate5 over 1.5 stars. Simple draught sealing also performed
software was used to model hypothetical changes to each strongly, increasing the rating on average by almost half a
house and estimate what impact they would have on the star.
home’s energy efficiency and star rating. Two sets of The basic upgrade package resulted in an average
actions were investigated. improvement of 1 star for a cost of just $1,837.
The full upgrade package was
much more expensive, coming in at
an average of $22,591, but resulted
in an average 3 star improvement.
Applying the advanced package
of upgrades increased the average
energy rating of the fifteen homes
from 1.3 to 4.3 stars, close to
today’s legal minimum of 5 stars.
Double-glazing was by far the
most expensive measure modelled
(accounting for 59% of the cost) but
delivered less than 10% of the
improvement in energy
performance. The reverse was true
for insulation and draught sealing
which delivered 84% of the benefit
for only 20% of the cost. It should
be pointed out that the upgrades
were modelled in a particular order
(i.e. insulation was applied to the
houses before double-glazing) and
the star rating improvements would
vary depending on the order in
which they were applied.
As a pilot study, the results need
Basic upgrade: to be treated with some caution, but so far the indications
• Ceiling insulation – either top-ups or installation of new are that basic and affordable actions such as insulation and
insulation; draught sealing may be the best option for making older
• Comprehensive draught sealing consisting of sealing homes more climate-friendly.
wall vents, skirting boards, recessed downlights,
exhaust fans, doors and windows; Next steps
• Underfloor insulation in the case of houses with MEFL has already commenced a second follow up study
suspended timber floors. which will assess a further 30 homes to expand the sample
Advanced upgrade, all of the above plus: size. Stage two of the research is due to be completed by
• Drapes and pelmet on windows to reduce heat loss; the end of 2010.
• External awnings or blinds on unshaded windows facing OR to download a copy of the full report, published by Sustainability
north, east and west; Victoria visit: http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/www/html/2904-
• Wall insulation pumped into the external wall cavity; energy-efficiency-of-victorian-homes.asp
• Double-glazed windows to replace existing single glazed
windows. For other enquiries contact the report’s author Govind Maksay,
Residential Buildings project specialist with the Moreland Energy
The cost of each retrofit measure was calculated to
Foundation on 03 9385 8508 or Govind@mefl.com.au
compare which actions were most cost-effective.

Lucid Consulting Engineers were engaged by the LGA of South


Australia to coordinate with local and regional councils to define
world’s best practice for energy efficient park and roadway
lighting, and ensure South Australia is at the forefront of public lighting sustainability.

Lucid staff are accredited under the “NABERS” and “Green Star” schemes and are
dedicated to providing the best possible ESD solutions across all disciplines for our clients
and for the wider community.
Innovative approaches
to complex challenges.
• ELECTRICAL SERVICES • MECHANICAL SERVICES • SUSTAINABILITY • FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES
• HYDRAULIC SERVICES • VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES • PROJECT MANAGEMENT
• URBAN DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

Level 1/89 King William Street, Kent Town, South Australia 5067 Tel (08) 8364 6155 Fax (08) 8364 6199
lucid@lucidconsulting.com.au www.lucidconsulting.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 47


| community housing |

Port Phillip Housing Association


ort Phillip Housing Association

P (PPHA) is a not for profit


community housing
organisation that owns,
develops and manages affordable
rental housing for people on low to
moderate incomes. We are a
registered Housing Association under
the Housing Act 1983 and as one of a
small group of registered agencies
have access to capital growth funds
from the State and Federal
Governments for the development of
affordable housing projects in Victoria.
In partnership with the State
Government and the City of Port Phillip
our Housing Program has grown to be
the largest local government initiated
community housing program in
Australia. It is recognised nationally as
one of the most innovative and
progressive demonstrations of the
involvement of local government in the
provision and management of
affordable housing for low-income
residents.
PPHA, previously St Kilda Housing
Association (pre local government
amalgamation), had its beginnings in
1985 when the former St Kilda Council
established the city’s community
housing program. The purpose was to
provide secure and affordable rental
housing for local residents with long-
term links with the area and who were
eligible for public housing. We have
now grown to own and manage over
540 units, with an additional 500 either
planned or currently under
development to be available in the next
3 years.
The City of Port Phillip has assisted
PPHA’s growth with a fully integrated
housing strategy in its policy
framework, annual corporate plans
and annual budgets. The need for
community housing is integrated into
the Port Phillip Planning Scheme and
its Municipal Strategic Statement. This
has enabled continuity and progressive
development of community housing
over a 25 year period.
In 2004 the City of Port Phillip
established the Port Phillip Housing
Trust as the ownership vehicle for their
community housing assets valued at
over $90m to ensure ongoing financial
PPHA’s Ormond Road, Elwood development included the demolition
of a 4 bedroom house to make way for 11 units for older persons. and political sustainability in a

48 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


RIGHT: The rear of Enfield House in St Kilda, a

| community housing |
previous backpackers residence, purchased by
PPHA and developed to provide 35 apartments
for local older persons.

BELOW: Some of PPHA’s 82 units at Parkville


Gardens, the previous athletes village from the
2006 Commonwealth Games.

gentrifying community. PPHA was


appointed as Trustee and continues to
own and manage the assets. At that
time Council also committed to
contribute $400,000 per year for 10
years as well as an ongoing
contribution of surplus land to the Trust
for housing projects in the City of Port
Phillip.
PPHA was recently appointed by
the Victorian Government as the
organisation responsible for delivering
the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway
Project (ACGP) in the Inner East of
Melbourne. This project will create over
200 much needed affordable and
secure homes for the local community.
In partnership with the City of Monash,
the ACGP will also rejuvenate the local
area and bring added benefits to the
community including creating public
open spaces for people to socialise,
advocating for training and
employment opportunities, and
improve access to local service
providers and transport facilities.
Another recent successful joint
venture was the construction of
Woodstock Rooming House – a 31
unit development largely in the air
space above a Council car park at the
rear of the Carlisle Street Shopping
Centre in Balaclava. Other successful
models have included partnerships
with private developers where Council
has provided land in return for a
portion of units in the new future
development.
PPHA has had successful
partnerships with other Local
Government Authorities, including
purchase of social housing units
owned by Glen Eira Council that will be
redeveloped by PPHA to improve

CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 49


| community housing |

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

amenity for residents and increase the


number of units. PPHA has also
established a relationship with
Melbourne City Council who provides
rate exemptions to assist with the
ongoing management and viability of
our community housing in Parkville
Gardens.
In the current policy environment at
both State and Federal levels, Local
Government Authorities have the
opportunity to play an integral role in
the development and sustainability of
inclusive communities through the
provision of affordable housing.

TOP LEFT: Pyrmont Rooming Housing in St Kilda


provides mostly fully self-contained singles
accommodation for 35 residents.

TOP RIGHT: The Premier John Brumby with


PPHA and City of Monash representatives
announces PPHA as the successful tenderer for
the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project.

RIGHT: The redevelopment of the historic


Excelsior Hall in Port Melbourne on land owned
by the City of Port Phillip now provides 18 one
bedroom units for singles.

50 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| green buildings |
Clean green business machine
BY EDEN COX

The Green Square North Tower building has become the first building in Queensland to be
awarded both a 6 Star Green Star - Office As Built v2 and a 6 Star Green Star - Office
Design v2 rating. The tower is part of the Green Square Development area, one of the
largest mixed-use corporate office parks in Brisbane, and was certified as a ‘World
Leader’ in environmentally sustainable design in 2009.
eighton Contractors was engaged to design, cost benefits by meeting 70 per cent of the building’s

L construct and fit-out the $94 million Green Square


North Tower, which comprises 12 levels of office
space, 600 square meters of retail, and two levels of
parking, with four major tenants including the Queensland
State Government.
electrical peak load needs and 30 per cent of its peak
cooling needs, providing power savings and security
against rising energy prices.
The Green Square North Tower is only the second
project in Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star - Office
A significant contributor to the building’s 6 Star Green As Built v2 rating, and it is estimated that the project will
Star rating is a large scale gas-powered cogeneration plant achieve reductions of 26kg of CO2, per m2, per annum.
located on the roof of the tower, which generates power Darren Weir, Leighton Contractors General Manager
whilst expended waste heat is captured and reused in an Northern Region, said the project invested heavily in
absorption chiller to run the air conditioning system. sustainability education and relationship management to
The plant simultaneously produces electricity and create a design and construction project culture where
thermal energy using a low CO2 emission fuel source – sustainability was at the forefront.
natural gas. “With the achievement of 5 and 6 Star Green Star
Along with reducing the building’s reliance on the public ratings from the Green Building Council of Australia and a
electrical infrastructure network, the cogeneration plant will host of industry awards, the Green Square Corporate Park
deliver significant reductions in the building’s greenhouse set new benchmarks for sustainable development in
gas emissions; it is estimated to reduce nitrous oxide output Queensland,” Mr Weir said.
by 85%, carbon monoxide output by 90%, and overall Implementing innovative engineering solutions and smart
emissions by 55%, playing a major role in Brisbane City technology have set a new environmental benchmark for
Council’s target to halve carbon emissions by 2026. industry.
The cogeneration plant also delivers operational and The Green Square North Tower is also at the forefront of

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 51


| green buildings |

water-smart practice, with annual savings of 6 million litres, Building occupants have not been forgotten, with fresh
and a 160,000 litre water storage facility onsite for air delivery and high air change effectiveness through the air
landscape irrigation and other building uses. conditioning system, and excellent thermal comfort within
The basement water tank receives the rainwater the office space.
harvested from the entire roof area, which is then filtered A 160 bike rack facility with showers and change rooms,
and pumped back up the building to be used for toilet plus 35 public visitor bike racks make an even broader
flushing and irrigating the building’s vegetation. A sensor impact on the environmental targets set by the Brisbane
indicates when the tank is low on harvested water and City Council by enabling a voluntary reduction in car use.
mains water is only used when storage capacity is “There is also a Wellness Centre in the South Tower of
exhausted. Green Square and staff can now exercise during their lunch
Water efficient fittings and fixtures combine with the breaks,” she said, and added that the number of bicycles
rainwater harvesting system to save 1.2 million litres of has doubled if not tripled since the company moved to the
potable water each year. green building.
Along with high efficiency luminaries and intelligent The development’s master plan also includes a 2,500m2
energy meters to record the performance of the building, high tech utility building, a community centre and proposed
innovative management practices play an important part in childcare facility, a vacant site for future affordable housing
optimising the Green Square North Tower’s environmental development, and a green ‘pocket park’ and retail plaza.
performance. The Green Square North Tower’s adjoining building,
According to Lisa Welsh, Office Manager at Cardno, Green Square South Tower, received the first 5 Star Green
which occupies the North Tower, the automated lighting Star - Office Design v2 and Office As Built v2 ratings in
system reduces electricity waste. Queensland in 2006, and a 4 Star Green Star - Office
“Everything is automated. No-one needs to be Interiors v1.1 rating in 2009.
conscious of turning lights off when they go home. All our South Tower achieved maximum points for the transport
staff have to do is turn their computers off.” category, with similar provision of cyclist facilities and public
A direct digital control system monitors and controls all transport amenity. It’s water efficient fixtures and fittings also
building systems for performance maintenance, and water received a high score, along with water metering, and
meters immediately identify water leaks enabling swift rainwater harvesting and reuse for landscape irrigation.
response. The use of environmentally friendly construction
Smart energy meters installed in the building exceed the materials was a high priority for the South Tower, and 100
development requirements to maximise the accuracy of per cent of timber was either reused, recycled of FSC-
energy reporting, assisting end users with tracking NABERS certified. 60 per cent of the steel had recycled content of 50
energy ratings. per cent or beyond, and low-emission formaldehyde
“We get printouts on our usage about every 6 months,” products and low-VOC finishes were chosen for the
said Ms Welsh, adding that staff can also access these interiors.
reports. Testament to the appeal of the green design in Brisbane,
Ms Welsh said it is useful to be able to determine how all of the North Tower’s commercial space was leased well
much energy is being consumed on each floor, and in before practical completion. Let’s hope that the Green
particular, how much energy is being used by the Square Development is just the start of a booming trend
company’s server room in comparison to the costs in towards sustainable design in Australian, encouraged and
Cardno’s previous building. inspired by councils keen to reduce their environmental
“When we first moved into the North Tower we were footprint.
saving $1500 to $2000 a month on our electricity bills,” she
added.

52 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Supporting a growing sector
s the peak industry body for

A housing associations in NSW,


the NSW Federation of
Housing Associations is the
gateway to the state’s rapidly growing
community housing sector. With more
than 30 full-member organisations and
70 affiliates, we can provide a wealth
of information and contacts with non-
government housing providers in NSW.
The enormous growth of the sector
over recent years has also lifted the
activity of the Federation. We’ve been
working flat out to build a wide range
of relationships to support these rapid
changes. While these include political,
industrial and commercial relationships
for this new growth area, one of our
important activities is hosting a
network of local government officers
involved in affordable housing. The Federation’s web site
We’ve also been working with our (www.communityhousing.org.au) is a
members to deliver a wide range of fantastic resource, providing a
professional support and qualifications directory of community housing
for growing the capacity, providers across NSW. News,
professionalism and skills of those in information on training and events,
the sector. The range is huge, from links to publications and submissions,
short courses for CEOs to accredited and other material of relevance to the
vocational training sessions and sector can all be easily accessed from NSW Federation of Housing Associations Inc.
64-76 Kippax Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
hands-on workshops, allowing us to the Federation’s home page. Don’t Tel: (02) 9281 7144
provide the skills that the sector needs. delay – look it up today! www.communityhousing.org.au

L2 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Community housing becomes a
| community housing |

significant local service


The community housing sector in NSW has experienced an extraordinary
level of growth over the last couple of years, making it a significant new
partner for local government. Across the state, the sector is providing
more affordable housing, while focusing on local communities and their
needs and working with local government to achieve these aims.

here are more than 30 specialist community

T housing providers (CHPs) that provide homes for


low- or moderate-income households across NSW.
The sector has grown steadily over the past five
years, with the number of homes managed increasing from
12,000 to more than 21,000. But in the next year and a
half, this is expected to rise to around 30,000 homes, as
the sector’s growth continues to accelerate.
A large part of this expansion is due to the Nation
Building Economic Stimulus Plan, which is providing around
6,000 new affordable homes to be managed by local CHPs.
CHPs maintain strong local attachments and involvement,
utilising diverse partnerships with local support providers to
ensure that tenancies are sustained and community
participation strengthened.
However, they are no longer the small services with
which many councils have been familiar: the largest provider
will soon manage more than 4,000 homes. Many others
manage more than 1,000 properties, allowing them to make
significant responses to local housing needs.
The diversity of CHPs is echoed by the strength and
number of connections they have with local governments
and providers. As Greg Budworth, CEO of Compass
Housing in Newcastle, explains, these collaborations are
very valuable to his organisation.
‘Generally speaking, Compass has valued and mature
partnerships with several local councils. We’ve been
particularly benefited by the provision of two blocks of land
donated by Cessnock Council for our affordable housing
program, and also the provision of $660 000 from the
Newcastle City Council, via their Building Better Cities
Committee, which we’ve put towards affordable housing in
Newcastle.’
‘Those two partnerships are quite mature, while with the
other councils we’ve begun a process of partnership and
collaboration. We’re looking forward to the further
development of those relationships.’
Another example of the extensive networks between
CHPs, local government and the community is given by
Brian Murnane, the Executive Manager of Argyle
Community Housing. ‘In 2005 Wingecarribee Shire Council
established an Affordable Housing Strategy Group,
comprising councillors, planners, community
representatives and Argyle Community Housing staff. This
group assessed the need for affordable housing in the Shire
and made recommendations to the Council, one of which
was that the Council donate a parcel of land to Argyle. This
was approved, and Argyle built two cottages on the land.’
‘The Council also brokered a deal between Argyle and a
local developer that resulted in the construction of an
additional six cottages for affordable housing in the Shire.
As the Mayor, Gordon Lewis, said, “This collaboration has
produced a great result for the Shire”.’
St George Community Housing is the largest in the

54 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| community housing |
country. ‘Local government relationships certainly are contributions to local communities. ‘In common with other
important because the scope of our portfolio is so broad’ housing associations, Hume Community Housing
said CEO, Nazha Saad. ‘ For us it is about working with Association places a high priority on working within
councils to be able to deliver products and programs that communities and supporting tenants to be active
are most suitable for residents of the particular area.  In this community members. An example of this approach is the
way housing, be it fully or partially subsidised, is integrated engagement with residents of a sheltered housing property,
into the community rather than being a stand alone all of whom are aged pensioners. During Seniors Week,
response’ Hume took nine residents to Darling Harbour for a Seniors
‘We run affordable housing programs with Randwick Week event of dancing and street shows.’
City Council and City of Canada Bay Council. The City of The growth of CHPs is leading to new kinds of
Canada Bay project is important as it demonstrates how relationships with local government. As Nick Sabel from
three levels of government can deliver key worker housing Wentworth Community Housing explains: ‘Wentworth
using both NRAS and local planning incentives.   The Community Housing is experiencing rapid growth under the
partnership encompasses a relationship between Canada
PTP (transfer of public housing to NGOs), and by December
Bay and the Concord Repatriation Generalist Hospital to
2010 will be the largest provider of social housing in the
provide affordable housing to employees of the hospital.’
Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains local government areas,
Clive Bradshaw from Hume Community Housing
Association points out that CHPs make other important with a strong and growing presence in Penrith and
Blacktown.’
‘With this growth comes enormous responsibility.
Wentworth sees local governments as key stakeholders in
the delivery and realignment of affordable and social
housing, facilitating community strengthening and ending
homelessness in the region.’
CHPs reflect the diversity of communities in the state.
The largest provider operates across the Sydney
metropolitan region, while the smallest is a strong local
presence in a country town. And their services reflect local
need. Many provide targeted services to support the most
vulnerable households, but increasingly the affordable rental
sector is growing to meet the housing needs of key workers
in local communities.
Whatever the character of each community, CHPs will
continue to make a growing contribution, a key part of
which is thanks to their partnerships with local government.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 55


The next generation in urban lighting
| sustainable street lighting |

Lighting is a fundamental part of life. It gives us the natural rhythm of day and night,
determines how we see things and brings the world to life. Research shows that well lit
streets make roads safer for motorists and pedestrians. In addition, it enhances the
general feeling of security, encouraging people to walk, run, cycle and socialise in the
evenings, complementing the city’s nightlife.
n Australia, there are 1.36 million

I public lights on minor roads,


costing taxpayers $100 million
annually. A significant number of
these use old and antiquated
technology, providing sub-optimal
lighting. More importantly, they
consume large amounts of energy,
contributing to air, water and light
pollution. Public lighting of roads is a
major source of greenhouse gas
emissions for local governments,
typically accounting for between 30 -
50% of their total greenhouse gas
emissions.1 To compound this crisis,
electricity prices are predicted to
increase an average of 50% in
2010/11.2
Fortunately, new lighting
technologies exist in the marketplace
today that are able to deliver
outstanding energy and cost savings.
Philips Lighting is leading the urban
lighting revolution by implementing
innovative lighting systems.
The Philips ClearLine lighting
system provides urban planners with a
complete solution for road lighting.
Using the latest LED technology,
ClearLine can achieve significant
energy savings compared with typical
conventional SON solutions. One
unique feature is its dimming capacity,
which allows individual light points to
be switched on or off or dimmed
during off peak hours saving additional
energy costs. It has an incredible long
life of over 50,000 hours reducing
maintenance costs while also providing
the benefits of a contemporary
designed, higher quality, bright, natural
white light, creating a secure, safe and
more inviting night-time urban
environment.3
Another solution is the Philips costs. Due to its superior optics, the 1 “Lighting the Way. A local Government Guide to energy

CosmosPolis street lighting system, Iridium also ensures low cost of efficient Public Lighting on Minor Roads”. Prepared by
which is an ideal alternative to the ownership. These two lighting systems Deni Greene Consulting Services, Kevin Poulton and
conventional mercury vapour and high- are versatile enough to be applied in Associates and Genesis Automation for the Australian
pressure sodium lamps. This residential areas, major and minor
Greenhouse Office in the Department of the
extremely energy efficient lighting roads and motorways.
solution delivers a higher quality white Environment and Water Resources. February 2007.
These are just a few examples of current
light and enables greater spacing 2 “Street lighting price hike”, Blue Mountains Gazette.
energy efficient and sustainable lighting
between luminaires thereby reducing technologies that are available today. For Michael Gleggett, 26 May 2010.
initial investment and on-going more information and helpful hints on how to 3 Testing for product performance (including lifetime) and
maintenance costs. Even higher implement cost and energy efficient lighting applications has been carried out in Philips laboratories
efficiencies can be achieved if systems, please contact Philips Customer
using Philips’ electronic control gear. Actual results may
integrated with the Philips Iridium Service: 1300 304 404 or email
luminaire range, which also has a lightingsalesdesk@philips.com or log onto vary based on individual applications. Please contact
dimming capacity to save on energy www.philips.com.au/lighting. Philips for more information.

56 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


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Wyndham Civic Centre lights up with
| sustainable street lighting |

solar powered LED lighting


Wyndham City Council recently completed the upgrading of the lighting in the car parks
and roadways of its Civic Centre.
fter careful consideration of the available energy

A efficient lighting options, including T5 and CFL


options, Council chose a Pecan Lighting Grid Tied
Solar Public Lighting (GTSPL) system using LED
luminaires.
This system provides an energy neutral lighting solution
that translates into a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions of over seven tonnes annually from the 44 x
GTSPL poles in the project.
As the CREE LED’s in the luminaire produce no UV they
do not attract bugs and other flying insects and containing
zero Mercury makes them environmentally friendly.
As the lighting requirements vary throughout the Civic
Centre a number of different optical systems were used.
Type IV forward throw optics were utilised in one car
park section due to the size and shape of the area. The
main car park uses Type III street light optics to achieve
lighting uniformities compliant with the code requirements
with Type II street light optics used throughout the roadways many years to come.
of the civic centre. With the emergence of FIT (Feed in Tariff’s) there now
The long lamp life of the Pecan LED luminaire is a bonus exists a situation whereby even under a Nett FIT, Pecan
for Council with a healthy effect on Council’s maintenance GTSPL systems can have the capability to generate
budget with a truly maintenance free lighting system for revenue for the owner.

58 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


The Department of Primary Industry, Victoria,
Pilot, Electricity Monitoring Project
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is one of 11
Victorian Government Departments and reports to the
Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Energy and
Resources. DPI employs 2,500 staff in 70 locations around
the State to develop sustainable agriculture, fisheries, energy
resources and forest industries in Victoria. Like all other
Victorian departments, DPI aim to continuously improve
environmental performance whilst achieving service delivery
requirements.
A large proportion of DPI energy consumption is related to
research activities. However current DPI environmental
performance monitoring is restricted in its ability to
separately report office and non-office usage due to existing
infrastructure at major DPI research based sites.
In 2009 DPI issued a select RFQ for a pilot electricity sub-
metering solution covering 5 major research sites spread
around Victoria. The project aim was to collect the remote
energy data from the five sites and to integrate this data into
the DPI database via their Environmental Management Tool
(EMT), which requests the sub-meter data from the energy
database and reconciles the data to each site’s total
consumption for environmental performance analysis.
Fastron Technologies Pty Ltd was awarded the contract and
offered DPI various options including:
• Energy data collected remotely via a local computer or by
central computer at DPI’s head office
• Communications to Spring Street via Internet, GPRS or
LAN
• Interface into the DPI computer by “.csv” file or directly
via an SQL database enquiry.
DPI chose to have a Central Computer at head office running
on their existing Local Area Network (LAN) and to input data
into their server by an SQL database enquiry. This reduced
complexity and cost as well as providing a more efficient
software interface.
The software utilised on this project is the Fastron
Technologies “ERGO” Commander software which currently
resides on a computer located at the Spring Street office and
which polls all energy meters in the field on an hourly basis
via their LAN.
The “ERGO” Commander is also designed to be fully
scaleable and to allow any new process data such as water
and gas to be seamlessly added through fully addressable IP
nodes and field RS485 multi-drop links.
The data from each site can also be used in the future to
provide profiling data, alarms and reporting to each Site
Manager. This will enable each Site Manager to analyse their
own local operation to reduce wasted energy, monitor and
target their consumption in order to maintain the savings and
to further benchmark specific actions taken to reduce energy.
Mike Trubridge
Managing Director
Fastron Technologies Pty Ltd
25 Kingsley Close, Rowville, Victoria, 3178
Tel 03 9763 5155
| technology + innovation |

Technology Case Study


Randwick Labor Club saves
$200,000 with innovative power
management system
Randwick Labor Club is situated in the heart of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and provides
entertainment facilities including a restaurant, bar, function room, TAB and lounge area for
the local community. The Club was opened in December 1972 and has since then played a
valuable role in supporting the needs of charitable and sporting organisations from the
local area.

n 2007, Randwick Labor Club management undertook members, including lighting, air conditioning and

I a renovation of the entire building, including the


rebuilding of the second level gaming area, a fire safety
upgrade, including sprinklers throughout the renovated
area, a new electricity switchboard with a single supply and
a new foyer. The renovation represented a complete
refrigeration, meaning the Club had to close until the fuses
were replaced and therefore was losing trade.
Bill Clegg, Randwick Labor Club manager says: “It was
just unacceptable to us to keep losing power as we were.
Even once we’d bought replacement fuses to keep spare
reinvention of the Club, to ensure it remained attractive and we needed to have a tradesman come to fit them so we still
offered the best levels of service for its members. had to keep closing intermittently. Understandably, this was
Some time after the redevelopment it became evident a huge frustration to our members too so we needed to
that the Club was under-supplied with power. rectify the situation.”
As a result of this lower supply, Randwick Labor Club While replacing the fuses was a short-term fix, Clegg
was suffering from regularly overloaded fuses, leading to the started looking into long-term solutions for this problem. It
power dropping out. This was affecting systems that are transpired that the transformer in the street did not have the
integral to the Club’s business and providing a service to its capacity for the Club’s power supply if it ran over 400 amps

60 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| technology + innovation |
and therefore the transformer would need replacing. The
cost of replacement was $250,000 plus cabling, a new
switchboard and other electrical support items.
Deterred by this significant cost, Clegg approached
David Anderson, Randwick Labor Club Load Shedding and
Monitoring Project at Energy Management Solutions
Australia (EMS), to develop an alternative solution to the
problem. The best solution was to install live metering
equipment to monitor the electricity consumption of the
Club. mySmart then supplied the logic control to the
interface with the Club’s existing electrical systems.
EMS is a consultancy service offering cost-effective
energy management solutions and designs to reduce long-
term energy consumption and carbon emissions. mySmart
is an Australian company that uses the latest technology,
consultants and technicians to optimise buildings and
outdoor environments so that they use less energy and
resources while simultaneously driving down ongoing
operational costs.
Using mySmart technologies, Anderson devised a
system of live load monitoring whereby the Club can
monitor electricity consumption in real-time. When levels
reach a critical point (i.e. 370-390 amps) the Club will
automatically ‘shed’ some of the load by turning down the
aircon or some of the lights in order to keep the power
below the 400 amp threshold and keep everything up and
running.
The $33,000 project involved four components which
were enabled by mySmart technology:
1. mySmart provided live metering of the switchboard onto
a server which enables the Club to see from anywhere
how much power they are using at any one time. As well
as these real-time updates, the metering also provides a
historical log of energy used.
2. In addition, mySmart technology reads the energy being
metered and sends signals when thresholds are met.
For example, at 370 amps it sends a signal to the air
conditioning to start switching off and at 390amps
further products such as lighting start to turn off.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 61


Figure 1
| technology + innovation |

Since the introduction of EMS’ program at the


end of 2009, the Club has had many occasions
where load shedding has been required. However,
stage two has rarely been utilised and there has
been no disruption to trade and only minor
discomfort to patrons for about an hour while
stage two load shedding is in place. The reduction
in air conditioning has on these days made the
Club hotter than normal, however there has been
no loss of power and the Club has been able to
continue trading and providing top quality service
to its members.
Clegg says, “The program EMS and mySmart
provided for us has not only saved us a significant
amount of initial financial outlay but has also been
able to provide us with a better understanding of
how we’re using our power.   This has also helped
us save money on energy bills. 
3. The last piece of technology provided by mySmart is “Most important, however,” continues Clegg,
attached to the infrastructure such as the air “is the fact that our members know they can rely on us
conditioning control system and is programmed to again to provide a quality service and always have our
receive those doors open when they should be.” 
signals and
therefore know
when to start
shedding loads.
4. Text messages are
sent every time load
shedding occurs to
keep the
management
immediately
informed and up to
date.
Figure 1 shows that
between 6.00pm and
6.30pm, stage one of
load shedding occurs
three times, and at both
6.45pm and 7.18pm,
stage two commences.
The aim of the load
shedding is to keep the
power usage below
400amps, which is
demonstrated here.

62 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


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Powerful Panasonic technologies
| information technology |

for business communications


Panasonic technologies are designed to enhance
communication in your office—from interactive whiteboards,
to high-impact Plasma displays, and PBX systems that
streamline internal and external communications.

Panasonic Business Whiteboards


A Panaboard is a powerful and
convenient communications tool that
replaces paper flip charts or
conventional whiteboards, to allow
groups to collaborate and share ideas
without participants needing to copy
notes during or after the meeting.
The information is simply scanned
and saved as an electronic file that can
be emailed and printed as a
convenient record of important,
content-rich discussions. The
Panaboard not only saves time and
frees groups to focus and contribute to
the discussion, but it also ensures the
ideas are accurately recorded for
future review.
Boards with colour scanning
features revolutionise meetings,
conferences or creative brainstorms,
by bringing a new dimension to
capturing, sharing and archiving
important discussions. Users can
accurately capture information and
illustrations—ideal for recording the
outcomes of brainstorms, complex
diagrams or ideas in full colour.
Panasonic’s latest Panaboards
bring together the company’s 30-year
heritage in innovative imaging
communication tools; combining
intuitive, universal design with reliability
and trusted quality to create a superior
business tool that will help
organizations collaborate and
communicate with greater ease.
The data on the board can be
scanned in as little as 20 seconds to a A scan can also be saved straight to a computer desktop, simply by
PDF, TIFF or JPEG file and can be connecting the Panaboard directly to a PC via a USB cable. Information can also
easily transferred to an SD card or be shared to a network directory or emailed should the attached PC be network
USB flash memory device for paper- connected. The latest Panaboards offer direct connectivity to a host of printers,
less convenience. The information is without having to connect a PC, allowing for printed hard copy handouts on the
then highly portable and easy to spot.
distribute by email.

64 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| information technology |
Panasonic Plasma
Display Panels
Panasonic’s Commercial Plasma
Display panels can be used as digital
signage, with images and text updated
automatically to communicate
information in public locations such as
foyers or reception areas.
Their Full High Definition displays
ensure outstanding image quality, and
big screens from 42 to 103-inch
models make it easy for everyone to
see information.
The screens are easily configured
vertically or horizontally. Because they
are true commercial panels, they are
durable and long-lasting, with a panel
of tempered glass on the front that
protects them against knocks and
bumps. All Panasonic Plasma displays
are manufactured with lead-free glass components. As a result, the 85-inch display also features Panasonic’s own
to minimise environmental impact. panel is equal in size to four 42-inch multi-function slots, allowing users to
Panasonic’s new 85-inch Full HD panels, yet has a relatively slim depth add up to three different terminal
Plasma display takes advantage of its of 99mm. boards such as DVI and Dual Link HD-
latest energy-efficient, double As a versatile digital solution, the SDI, according to their needs.
luminance technology, NeoPDP, to new Plasma display panel not only The new Plasma can be installed
deliver industry-leading picture quality delivers dynamic images but has vertically or horizontally to display
with amazingly crisp, blur-free dynamic convenient features designed for content in different orientations. It has
image reproduction. commercial use. It has a LAN PJLink optional accessories such as a
NeoPDPs improvements in terminal. PJLink is a standard protocol pedestal, floor stand, wall hanging
luminance efficiency have also allowed which allows remote control of multiple bracket and ceiling bracket for greater
downsizing and integration of displays via a PC over a LAN. The installation flexibility.

Panasonic Phone Systems


Investment in a telecommunications
system requires business
communication foresight.
Organisations need to be able to
effectively communicate today, yet
want to make sure that they are
properly equipped to handle the
growing demands of their future
communication needs.
The Panasonic KX-NCP and KX-
TDE Pure IP-PBX series is a complete,
unified solution that is highly modular,
flexible and empowered with the latest Features such as hot-desking 3 Enhanced user productivity with
SIP technology—ready to take your mean that staff can move desks or mobility solutions
business communication needs into offices and still be reached on the 3 Reduced total cost of ownership
the future at your own pace. same number, simply by logging into 3 Desktop, network and application
The new KX-NCP and KX-TDE any unused desk phone with a pre- integration
Pure IP-PBX supports any type of programmed ID number. The system 3 Centralised management and
telephone terminal—digital, analogue, also allows for seamless integration of upgrades
DECT wireless, IP Softphone or the the office PBX network and mobile 3 IP extension scalability and
new system IP telephones. The system telephones, increasing staff flexibility—supports IP phone, SIP
gives you an extensive choice of productivity and customer satisfaction. phone, digital or analogue phone
telephone terminals to suit your Just some of the benefits of a extensions
specific business telephony needs. Panasonic IP-PBX system include:

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 65


| technology |

D-Link pioneers enterprise mobility

O
rganisations are looking to
enterprise mobility for improved
productivity. That means
wireless technology has moved
from a convenience overlaid on wired
infrastructure and managed in an ad
hoc fashion to a mission-critical service
that needs to be seamless and
flawless in coverage and managed
proactively.
• D-Link is a pioneer in 802.11n,
which even the most conservative
of organisations needs to consider
• D-Link unifies wireless
management and security into the
overall security and management of
an end-to-end network
infrastructure
• D-Link not only supports
demanding wireless applications
without increasing IT management
effort, in many cases we greatly
reduce the effort to manage
wireless infrastructure while
simultaneously raising wireless
quality to enterprise application
levels
• D-Link will make the ROI promised
by enterprise mobility achievable
via higher reliability, greater
scalability, seamless roaming and
end-to-end security

Why D-Link
For government agencies seeking the
productivity gains of enterprise upgrades that distinguish our overall interference. If an AP drops, the
mobility, D-Link provides greater value network solutions. wireless “hole” is closed by raising the
across a comprehensive range of signals of adjacent APs.
Scalability
wireless solutions. Unlike low-cost
As many as 256 Access Points Ease of deployment
competitors who lack a full unified
supporting as many as 2000 WLAN Wireless and PoE compatibility can
solution or more expensive
clients connected by 8 logically eliminate the need to run Ethernet
competitors each with their own
issues, D-Link provides low TCO with stacked switches seamlessly support cable or electrical power. And they’re
scalability, ease of management, roaming throughout the largest of plenum-rated business-class APs can
seamless roaming and robust end-to- campuses. Unlike other WLAN be placed in air ducts without violating
end security in a self-healing solution systems that can bottleneck in a
stringent fire regulations. Finally, a
with automatic optimisation of centralised WLAN controller, D-Link
variety of Access Point modes help fill
coverage that does not bottleneck at a wireless switch edge deployment and
the gaps including Wireless
centralised point of control. flexible distributed traffic forwarding at
the AP optimises traffic flows for Distribution System (WDS) with Access
latency sensitive applications such as Point, WDS/Bridge (No AP
D-Link Key Advantages
voice. Broadcasting), and Wireless Client.
D-Link’s complete end-to-end wireless
solutions offer: Green design
Unmatched coverage, self healing
Manageability D-Link is a leader in 802.11n, which D-Link WLAN installations can turn off
D-Link’s unified management pulls roughly quadruples the maximum Wi-Fi radios after buildings and areas
wireless into the automated end-to- reach of an individual AP. D-Link’s close according to a flexible schedule,
end security, configuration, monitoring, solutions adjust each AP’s wireless cutting power use 80 per cent during
reporting and group firmware signal and channel to mitigate link-off mode.

66 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Solar Cities light the way
| solar cities |

BY EDEN COX

Seven Australian cities are involved in the $94 million Australian Government Solar Cities
program as part of a green energy initiative. Whilst the program has been in the pipeline
since 2005, many components are only now nearing completion. The initiative aims to
develop innovative energy solutions to help change the public perception about green
power.

he $42 million Central Victorian Solar City project The Solar Hot Water Package allows users to purchase

T was announced in July 2007, and will implement


the last of its residential initiatives - energy savings
packages - by the end of 2010.
These packages offer incentives to local residents and
businesses to trial energy efficiency, energy generation and
their own solar hot water systems at a special price, and
the Household Solar Electric Package, so households can
generate their own electricity with a 2kW photovoltaic (PV)
system.
But perhaps the most innovative and rewarding of all the
demand management products and services. 2,500 packages is the Solar Park Participation Plan. This plan
households in fourteen Central Victorian municipalities will provides residents with a share, equivalent to a 2kW
be invited to participate in one of seven product packages photovoltaic system, from either Ballarat or Bendigo Solar
and to take part in research on energy use. In return, Park. These two 300kW photovoltaic solar parks will
participants are eligible for financial incentives, including ultimately determine whether residents will invest in a local
energy cost savings, performance bonuses, government energy power station as a community company.
rebates, and sign-on bonuses. The overarching aim of the solar park plan is to improve
The range of programs begins with the Energy Audit the public perception of renewable energy as a retail option
Package, which enables households to understand their by involving communities locally in its operation.
energy use behaviour and pinpoint potential energy saving “Interest in the project has shown us that Central
opportunities through a comprehensive home audit. Victorians want practical and creative energy solutions,”
The next step up is the Retrofit Package, which also said Solar Cities spokesperson Neriman Kemal, who added
provides an in-home assessment, with a recommendation that all 14 municipalities have been keen to get involved.
of which fixtures and fittings would most improve the The combined parks total almost 29,300 square metres
household’s energy use. in size – approximately the size of one-and-a-half Australian
The Smart Rates Package allows users to choose the Rules Football ovals.
type of energy provision that best suits their household. With provision for 150 participants, each will pay $220 a
Options are Smart Time of Use, for lower rates during off- year until 2013 to cover establishing and operating the
peak times, or the Dynamic Saver, for cheaper prices all parks. In return, users will receive solar power equivalent to
year round except between 2-8pm on 10 days of the year. installing a 2kW rooftop solar panel, and the Central Victoria

68 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Solar City Feed-in-Tariff of 60c/kWh, which is a credit based

We’re right

| solar cities |
on the electricity generated by each participant’s share of
the park. The Central Victoria Solar City Investment
Allowance is also available for those who sign up.
The solar parks are Australia’s largest, ground mounted,
flat-plate grid-connected solar installations, and each park
displays a digital reading of the amount of energy generated
and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved for the
there with you
year.
Each park is expected to generate approximately 420 Macquarie focuses on particular business
megawatt hours (MWh) of solar energy, and to prevent
around 567 tonnes of carbon emissions from being areas in which our expertise delivers
released into the atmosphere each year. special value to our clients. Across
At the end of the trial in June 2013, it is proposed that banking, financial, advisory and funds
the Solar Parks will be offered for community ownership
and the participants of the trial will be given first opportunity management services, we provide a wide
to invest. range of specialist skills that help our
The Central Victorian Solar Cities project is one of many clients address challenges and explore
around the country, with Adelaide, Alice Springs,
Blacktown, Moreland, Perth and Townsville each operating new ways to take their business forward.
solar city initiatives to help locals rethink the way they
produce, use and save energy.
The $73.5 million Perth Solar City will be delivered to
over 106,000 households in Perth’s Eastern region over the
next four years, and offers residents discounted solar
energy products and free home eco-consultations.
The Alice Springs Solar City is a $37 million project
designed to involve every community member in solar
power initiatives, energy efficient technologies and new
approaches to electricity supply and pricing. The project macquarie.com.au
has also involved a large photovoltaic installation at Alice
Springs Airport, a large solar water heating project for the
new Alice Springs Aquatic Centre and a proposed solar
farm at Ilparpa.
As part of the Townsville Solar City project, residents
and businesses of ‘The Magnetic Island Solar Suburb’ will
receive free energy assessments; installation of Ergon
Energy solar PV systems and smart meters; free ‘ecoMeter’
in-house displays, which work with smart meters to show
electricity consumption at a glance; and advice on saving
electricity.
Initiatives broadly aim to make energy use more
transparent for consumers.
“We’d like to think that, along with the good work being
done by the Central Victorian municipalities and local
Climate Action Groups, our project is helping to inform the
debate on renewable energy across the region,” said Ms
Kemal.
“We’re looking forward to obtaining the results of our
project’s energy use behaviour research at the end of the
trial in mid-2013.  This research will go on to inform future Introducing the New Improved
energy policies.” DrugWipe® 5+ Device
According to Ms Kemal, the blueprint used for the
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Ballarat and Bendigo solar parks could be easily adopted in
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With Solar Cities in development across the country, • Currently used by Australian Police as
councils and local governments are eagerly awaiting the For the detection of: their Primary screening device for
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outcomes for residents, business and government. ✔ Cannabis
(delta9-THC) • Simply wipe down the tongue, minimum
“Interest from other Victorian municipalities, as well as
we detect to protect

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national and international interest, has been really strong,” ✔ Amphetamines
• No handling of saliva
said Ms Kemal. “We are investigating options on how to ✔ Methamphetamines
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best support other municipalities who wish to construct (Ecstasy, Speed
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solar parks in their own backyards.”
✔ Cocaine • Detects current and recent drug use
Solar Cities might be the new shining light in the
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e-mail drugwipe@pathtech.com.au • www.pathtech.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 69


AGL leading the way
| energy production, consumption + efficiency |

AGL is Australia’s leading integrated renewable energy company, and is taking action
toward creating a sustainable energy future. The company is committed to leading
Australia in minimising the effects of climate change by investing in sustainable energy
businesses such as wind farms and solar and innovative environmentally friendly projects
such as the hydroelectric Bogong Power Station.
GL has invested more than $2 through AGL’s Energy Management

A billion in renewable energy


and has another $2 billion
worth of renewable energy
projects in its portfolio of development
opportunities (with approximately
team, local government can benefit
from this experience.
AGL’s expertise in Energy
Management is delivered in
conjunction with:
2,500MW under development • Conservation Measures
consideration). • Energy audits and reporting
Decisions being made today by
• Design reviews
AGL to invest in renewable energy are
contributing to Australia’s response to • Project management
climate change, by shaping the energy • Turn-key delivery
profile of our company and the • Energy performance contracts
community for years to come. • Submissions for Government
Whether it is wind farms in South Grants (eg., Green Building Fund
Australia or gas exploration in New etc)
South Wales, AGL is minimising its • Energy efficiency and lighting
impact on the environment by • Mechanical and building service
developing a suite of renewable assets engineers
around Australia. The company The key to energy management is
continues to build on its renewable in AGL’s ability to understand and help
generation capacity, which is already local governments control their energy
substantial. needs and use through a dedicated
AGL prides itself on ‘doing’ and AGL Account Management team and
encourages local government to do so
Client Relationship Manager with
too. For over 170 years, AGL has been
ongoing day to day management of
providing and evolving end-to-end
service to meet customer needs cost- their account – be it billing and general
effectively and sustainably. enquiries, or more complex situations
Customers who choose to like transition of move in and move out
purchase energy from AGL will not of sites or new connections.
only benefit from the company’s long- At AGL, sustainability is about
standing expertise, but also from its recognising that if it wants its business
wide range of products and services to be successful and respected in the
that aim to deliver the best value. next 10, 20 or 50 years, AGL needs to
Whether it’s helping the environment or do the right thing by its shareholders,
helping customers save energy, AGL is employees, customers, the community
finding more ways to ‘do’ for its and the environment. By engaging in
customers. sustainable activities, AGL is uniquely
With a substantial customer base positioned to help its own and other
within local government, AGL businesses transition to a carbon-
understands local governments’
constrained future.
needs. AGL has a rich history, steeped
in innovation and leadership and, For more information please visit agl.com.au

70 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Why choose Australia’s
leading renewable
energy company?

For superior service, competitive pricing and expert assistance


We’ve been the energy experts for over 170 years. And that experience has set the
standard for excellence in the delivery of energy to local government. For you that means
priority service with a dedicated service team, competitive rates, expert advice on energy
efficiency, Carbon Management Solutions and more. And as Australia’s leading renewable
energy company, we are perfectly placed to help you meet your green energy requirements.
Call AGL and we’ll help your organisation do better.

For expert advice and service, call 1300 793 477 (8.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday AEST.)
AGL2088
| energy production, consumption + efficiency |

Green Generation Lighting ®

For your budget, for the environment.

Musco Lighting has provided indoor and outdoor


lighting solutions through innovative technology
and service for over 30 years. Our extensive
research and development has led to numerous
sports-lighting innovations.

Musco’s Green Generation Lighting


provides significant advantages: or 35 years, Musco has revolutionized sports

· reduces energy consumption by up to 50%


· cuts spill-light by 50%
F lighting, specializing in the design and manufacture
of lighting systems for sports facilities — offering
major enhancements in energy efficiency,
environmental light control and cost effectiveness. Musco
has been a leader in developing sports-lighting technology
· provides constant light levels — to make it safer, more efficient, and easier to install and
maintain. Musco offers a comprehensive package of
· includes industry-leading warranty services for projects large and small, and special fabrication
abilities matched with project management for custom
applications.
Musco’s energy-efficient Green Generation Lighting®
systems are the result of 30 years of technology innovation.
Operating costs are cut by up to half when compared to
conventional lighting systems. Maintenance costs are
eliminated for 10 years, including lamp replacements. Off-
site spill lighting and glare are reduced by 50%, and
Constant light levels are guaranteed for 10 years/5,000
Unequalled performance . . . hours.
for your budget, for the environment. Improved photometrics mean light is controlled more
efficiently when directed onto the pitch. Less energy is
consumed per square meter of surface area to achieve
Musco Lighting Australia, PTY Ltd.
desired results, providing substantial life-cycle savings over
Unit 45, 28 Barcoo Street
the life of the system.
Chatswood, NSW 2067 Green Generation Lighting® provides unequalled
Phone: 61 2 9417 0100 performance supported with Musco’s Constant 10™
www.musco.com product assurance and warranty program, assuring 10
lighting@musco.com years of carefree lighting equipment operation.
‹0XVFR/LJKWLQJÃ$8$'
For more information, contact Musco Lighting at www.musco.com or
by phone at 61 2 9417 0100.

72 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Aussie technology powers solar

| energy production, consumption + efficiency |


farms for local communities
BY EDEN COX

Innovative solar energy farms are being trialled in remote communities around the country using
the new Australian ‘Big Dish’ technology. With the goals of reducing fossil fuel consumption and
bringing down energy costs, solar projects have been boosted by the government’s 2010-11
budget allocation of $652.5 million for the Renewable Energy Future Fund.
CONTINUED NEXT PAGE

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 73


| energy production, consumption + efficiency |

indorah in Queensland and Whyalla in South energy among our locals,” he said. “It has put Windorah on

W Australia are two of the remote communities


that have seen trials of solar dish technology,
and are already reaping the benefits of their
new solar farms.
The Windorah solar farm, west of Brisbane in the
the map and drawn local and national interest.
“It is quite spectacular to see. It’s great to see people
pull up to have a look at the project and read the panel
explaining how it all works,” he added.
Mayor Scott said that Ergon Energy had been helpful in
Barcoo Shire, has been in the pipeline since 2007 when gaining local acceptance of the solar farm by involving the
Ergon Energy began construction. As the project’s operator, community in each stage of the project.
developer and owner, Ergon’s aim is to use solar energy to “We’ve had total support from concept through to
power the entire town during sunshine hours – a first for completion and now into operation. There’s always interest
Australia. This is projected to reduce the town’s reliance on in what’s going on at the solar farm,” he said, and added
diesel fuel, shrinking consumption by up to 100,000 litres that the presence of the farm has tied in well with the
per year. region’s clean and green ethos.
Because it receives approximately 200 days of sunshine
per year and supports only around 100 residents, Windorah
was the perfect candidate for the trial solar farm.
The town has also long been powered by its own Ergon
Energy diesel-fired power station, which provided an
opportunity to integrate new solar technology with existing
infrastructure.
The solar technology incorporates several innovative
design features that vastly improve solar energy use
compared with conventional flat-plate photovoltaic (PV)
cells.
There are five solar dishes at Windorah. Each one is
13.7m across and supported by a concrete base and steel
mast structure at a total height of 14.5m. Each dish
contains 112 mirrors, which reflect and concentrate sunlight
500 times onto high-capacity solar cells in a central point at
the front of the mirror. This ‘solar concentrator technology’
has 35 per cent operational efficiency, a vast improvement
on the conventional flat-plate PV cells, which only operate
at 10-12 per cent efficiency. Windorah has also invested in solar technology to
In another design first, the dishes face the exact location generate power for many of its public buildings including the
of sunrise to start producing energy at first light. They then sports complex and administration buildings.
move with the sun to maximise solar capture throughout the “We use quite a lot of solar energy to promote the use of
day, and are separated to prevent shading during the late renewable sources, but also for economic reasons,” said
afternoon. Mayor Scott.
The solar dishes are able to generate around 35kW of The project is one of several similar ventures around the
electricity depending on weather factors, and the solar farm country that are gaining momentum with government
is expected to produce about 360,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) funding under the Renewable Energy Development
of energy each year. Program.
The diesel generator will remain in operation to meet the Whyalla in South Australia is set to become home to the
town’s electricity needs at night and on cloudy days when largest solar energy farm in the southern hemisphere with
the solar dishes cannot harness sufficient sunlight. The the ‘Whyalla Solar Oasis’, the first large-scale solar thermal
system is also able to store solar heat in chemical batteries project in the country.
for use during cloud cover so that generators only need be The Whyalla project received A$60 million in funding
used in extended periods of low light. under the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program with
Windorah Mayor Bruce Scott said the solar farm has the latest budget, and $170 million from a private sector
already brought many benefits to the town. consortium. It will put the state’s regional areas at the
“It has created a lot of construction employment in forefront of sustainable and emission-free energy
town, and it’s really raising the awareness of renewable production.

74 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| energy production, consumption + efficiency |
The plan is for 300 dishes to be built with a combined energy. The residual thermal energy from the plant,
capacity of 40mW that will use the sun’s energy to produce remaining after electricity generation, could also be used to
steam and drive a turbine to produce enough energy to make desalination more efficient.”
sustain around 10,000 homes, which is most of the town’s With the ongoing growth in the Whyalla mining industry,
population. energy needs will also continue to increase. National Power
Councillor Eddie Hughes of the Whyalla City Council and has said that the consortium plans to implement grid
Chair of the University of South Australia’s Regional upgrades to enable growth in electricity generation capacity
Sustainability Centre, said the project has had a very in the future.  
positive reception in the town. “This project ticks all the boxes, clean green technology,
“Most people that I speak to about the project think it is Australian innovation and economic benefits with the
a very exciting addition to Whyalla’s economic base and are potential for significant export opportunities and it puts
proud that Whyalla is playing a part in addressing the need Whyalla and South Australia on the cutting edge of the solar
to develop clean technology,” he said. revolution,” said Cr Hughes.

As such, the Whyalla Council has passed a motion of in- But the benefits don’t stop in Whyalla. According to Mr
principle support for moving to 100 per cent green energy Brown there are many opportunities for large-scale solar
for electricity. power developments in Australia, and various members of
“Whyalla has plugged away for nearly fourteen years to the Whyalla Solar Oasis Consortium are developing plans
secure a large scale solar thermal project,” said Cr Hughes. for almost 2,000MW of renewable energy projects around
“This has been about vision and dogged persistence the country.
despite the many setbacks along the way.” “The Whyalla Solar Oasis Project will provide a major
The Whyalla project, run by a consortium led by US impetus to establishing export markets for the technology,”
National Power in conjunction with Wizard Power, is said Mr Brown. Indeed, Wizard Power is already
expected to be complete in 2012. undertaking pre-feasibility studies on international project
Along with the energy and carbon emissions savings, opportunities in India and the United States.
the project will create 200 construction jobs, with potential The home-grown solar technology has already come a
to expand the solution to support regional water supply for long way in the global battle against carbon emissions,
communities as well. This is particularly valuable in allowing Australia to make use of its access to sunshine
anticipation of increased water demand by mining hours. There will be a large number of councils and other
operations in the region. organisations watching this space over the next few years
“Desalination is considered as one of the options for to find out just how powerful solar farm technologies can be
meeting this demand,” said National Power’s Greg Brown. in tackling carbon emissions here and overseas.
“The Whyalla Solar Oasis can provide a means for powering
large-scale desalination using emission-free renewable

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 75


Solar Inverters Pty Ltd
| energy production, consumption + efficiency |

Peter Bulanyi, Managing Director of Solar Inverters Pty Ltd says, “renewable energy is
strictly a science and engineering business. Companies that are serious about renewable
energy primarily employ electronics engineers, technicians and electricians.”

Solar Inverters – Coffs Harbour Council 137kW Solar Panel


installation

very system, whether large or small requires that

E the installers understand the limitations and


component compatibility so as to maximise the life
and output of the systems. This is the only way that
mistakes can be avoided and long term success can be
assured.
Solar Inverters has been actively working in the industry
since 1989. It is a company with science and engineering at
its core. It employs qualified electronics engineers,
technicians and electricians. It trains apprentices in both the
electronics and electrical trades. It operates a component
level service department that is known in the industry Solar Inverters solar and wind sea container power station, deployed at 350
Australia wide for its high tech inverter repair capabilities. Climate Action Day, October 2009.
This allows us to provide fast and reliable back up
service and repairs for our products, customers and their
installations. solar system for Coffs Harbour City Council.”
Solar Inverters is a vertically integrated company. It is We submitted a unique design using Power-One Aurora
engaged in every aspect of the renewable energy industry Inverters and Kyocera Solar panels. We clearly
including import and export of hardware, design and demonstrated that the use of such premium components
consultancy, manufacture, tender specification services, for a long term result far outweighed the short term gain
inverter repair and calibration services, solar instrumentation with low cost equipment. We overcame many unusual
and R & D. technical design challenges in regards to site shading,
Understanding the components that go into putting mechanical fixing of the solar panels to the roof and general
together a reliable and high performing system has enabled integration of the system.”
us to select the best quality equipment available, for all of Our aim is to raise awareness and promote a greater
our customers in Australia and overseas. understanding of solar power and why the quality will
Mr Bulanyi says that “to us, system performance and always outshine the shady alternatives.
Feel free to call us with your technical questions and we
reliability is paramount. This was the key factor in our
will happily assist so that you can make the best purchasing
company Solar Inverters recently being awarded one of
decision.
Australia’s largest solar projects, the design supply,
installation and long term maintenance of a 137kW rooftop www.solarinverters.com.au / sales@solarinverters.com.au / 1300 767 761

76 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Delivering positive social and environmental
| energy production, consumption + efficiency |

outcomes for local communities


As an Australian owned renewable energy company, Pacific Hydro values the opportunity
to work with regional communities to ensure its projects deliver positive social and
sustainable outcomes throughout their operating life.

lobally, Pacific Hydro is one

G of the world’s largest


renewable energy
companies with 1,934MW of
projects at varying stages of
development, construction and
operation in Australia, the Philippines,
Chile and Brazil.
Our innovative clean energy
projects not only benefit the
environment and our communities, but
also deliver significant value to our
partners and investors.
Australia has abundant renewable
energy resources including wind, solar,
wave and geothermal energy
opportunities. And with energy
generation in Australia accounting for
35% of our total carbon emissions and
utilising significant fresh water during
coal fired power generation, an energy
mix that includes more renewable
energy makes sense for our
environment and communities.
Wind energy has one of the lowest
environmental impacts of any energy
source and provides hundreds of jobs
to regional communities. 
Pacific Hydro’s focus on the
environment and sustainability is not
just limited to clean energy production
and carbon abatement.  We also aim
to minimise our impact on the
environment wherever possible during
the development, construction and
operation of our projects, and work to
protect the biodiversity of our project
sites. In addition, through our
Sustainable Communities Fund we
work with local community groups at
our operating sites to deliver positive
local sustainability and social
programs.
In Australia, Pacific Hydro’s six
operating wind farms are delivering
significant positive impacts for local were minimised. local community organisations working
communities while producing clean The Challicum Hills Wind Farm near to make a positive and lasting
energy and abating carbon emissions. Ararat, at the gateway to the contribution to the communities
At the recently opened Clements Grampians in Victoria, has been around the project.
Gap Wind Farm in South Australia’s operating since 2003. The 35 Pacific Hydro has always
mid north, construction provided work generator project continues to have understood that we can’t stand
for 425 South Australians. All major strong support locally and attracts outside the communities in which we
contractors were South Australian tourists from around the state. And operate. Social responsibility is at the
based and as many local people as locally, Pacific Hydro’s Sustainable core of our business and we are
possible were employed on the Communities Fund, which returns a committed to working closely,
project. Local consultation and portion of revenue from Pacific Hydro’s consulting widely and communicating
ongoing work with the community operating projects, has provided clearly with our communities to deliver
ensured impacts during construction grants totalling around $250,000 to sustainable outcomes locally.

78 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Pacific Hydro:
delivering investment,
jobs and regional
development.
Pacific Hydro is one of the world’s leading
renewable energy companies. Our significant
investments in Australia and around the
world have ensured our operating clean
energy projects have already saved the atmosphere
from around 7 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

In Australia we are working with communities to deliver


clean energy projects, creating local job opportunities and
investment, and supporting long-term sustainability outcomes.

Our Sustainable Communities Fund has delivered around


$1 million in community grants to local organisations who
are working around our operating projects, delivering a
positive and lasting contribution to their community.

Pacific Hydro is a proud Australian company and we look


forward to continuing to work with Australian communities.

www.pacifichydro.com.au
| energy production, consumption + efficiency |

Families will have more control over their energy use with the new web-based energy management system. Photo: Roger Lovell.

Remote-access meters to
cut energy costs
A new web-based smart metering he aim is to help small-scale energy users cut
system has been developed by CSIRO
to enable householders, small
businesses and electricity retailers to
T energy use, costs and carbon emissions. CSIRO
project leader, Dr Martin de Groot, said the system
will give householders the flexibility to cut back their
electricity use at times when it’s needed elsewhere on the
grid.
remotely control energy use over a
CSIRO has worked with energy service company,
broadband Internet connection. Energy Response, and hardware designer, Saturn South, to
develop a system able to aggregate a large number of

80 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| energy production, consumption + efficiency |
Tim Warren from Saturn South, who designed and built the smart meter hardware. Photo: Roger Lovell.

CSIRO Project Leader, Dr Martin de Groot, developed the smart metering technology in conjunction with
Tasmanian company, Saturn South. Photo: Roger Lovell.

smaller users. Until now this has been logistically impossible developed. It found the State’s annual electricity
and cost prohibitive. expenditure could be cut by $10.9 million, even if less than
“By taking advantage of common broadband Internet 10 per cent of Tasmanian customers used the system.
connections we are now able to build and deploy a very If just 10 per cent of Tasmanian households or small
cheap, real-time platform to deliver energy services to businesses take up the technology, the annual savings for
individual dwellings,” Dr de Groot said. those who do is estimated at up to $200 for householders
The system involves installing a mini smart meter in a and $1,300 for small businesses.
household or business electrical switchboard, which can The infrastructure is cheap, can be retrofitted to existing
then be managed remotely from a centralised control buildings and complements other technologies such as
platform. local generators and intelligent home automation systems.
“Once regulatory approval has been given, energy CSIRO developed the remote control system software
service companies will be able offer householders more and Saturn South designed and built the mini smart meters
favourable electricity supply agreements and enable them to to CSIRO specifications.
be more adaptable in their consumption patterns. For further information:
“The householders can even receive alerts on their Dr Martin De Groot – Research Scientist
mobile phones notifying of any significant changes in energy ICT Centre
use in the home.” Tasmanian ICT Centre
CSIRO has estimated projected cost savings for Tel: (03) 6232 5540
Tasmania, where the new demand side technology was Email: Martin.DeGroot@csiro.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 81


| energy |

Standard practice
How management systems standards can provide a roadmap to sustainable development

o be sustainable, organisations must be able to systems standards comes in. An example of one such

T operate in perpetuity and to continuously support


their employees, clients, suppliers, communities
and other stakeholders that rely on their products
and services. Sustainability is therefore underpinned by the
need to not only understand the impacts of our activities on
management system standard helping organisations to
address sustainable development is ISO 14001. ISO 14001
focuses the organisation on being proactive in identifying
key environmental aspects and impacts associated with
their activities and minimising risks. In doing so, an
the environment, the economy and society as a whole, but organisation can benefit from improved operational
also to understand, manage and minimise the impact of effectiveness leading to reduced costs and improved
events which interrupt the continuity of business delivery. profits.
Effective and efficient ways
Measuring and managing energy use
How though can organisations best engage with
In July 2009, the new energy management standard EN
sustainable development? One approach is through the use
of management systems standards. In essence, 16001 was published. Whereas ISO 14001 covers all
management system standards are documents which environmental impacts, BS EN 16001 focuses on the
outline the most effective and efficient way for an specific issue of energy management and provides
organisation to achieve its planned outcomes. They are guidance on how organisations should manage and
written through a rigorous, formal process, involving measure energy use across their facilities. The overall aim of
consultation with relevant national and international bodies. EN 16001 is to help organisations establish the systems
Standards therefore outline ‘best practice’ and also require and processes necessary to improve energy efficiency. This
compliance with regulatory obligations. will then lead to reductions in cost and greenhouse-gas
In the context of sustainability, management systems emissions through systematic management of energy. By
standards have an extremely useful role to play because implementing standards such as ISO 14001 and EN 16001,
they provide a roadmap for implementing sustainable an organisation will be well placed to respond to sustainable
development in an increasing number of areas. development.
Demonstrating good business practice About BSI
Organisations are under growing pressure to keep the BSI Group is a global leader in innovative standards-based
confidence of stakeholders. By establishing a meaningful solutions. BSI provides standards, publications, training,
framework and embedding responsible decision making assessment and certification services for a variety of
into all of its business activities, an organisation has the
standards, including EN 16001 and ISO 14001.
opportunity to demonstrate good business practice and
ethical trading. This is where the role of management For further information, visit www.bsigroup.com.au

82 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


PROFIT FROM
EFFECTIVE ENERGY
MANAGEMENT

Improve your company’s energy efficiency


and reduce your costs with EN 16001
EN 16001 Energy Management Standard will help About BSI
you establish the systems and processes necessary to • BSI Group is a global leader in innovative
improve energy efficiency - bringing significant standards-based solutions.
benefits to you, your customers and your community. • BSI provides standards, publications, training,
EN 16001 Certification will: assessment and certification services for a variety
• Increase your energy efficiency of standards, including EN 16001.
• Reduce your energy bills
• Reduce your green house gas emissions For further information on EN 16001 and
• Help you comply with legislation BSI Group visit: www.bsigroup.com.au
• Formalise your energy policy and objectives
• Secure your energy supply
• Engage top management
• Improve your business performance
• Drive innovation. raising standards worldwide™
Transpacific’s Rapid Emergency Spills
| waste management |

Response team to the rescue


Transpacific has a rapid response team with the capabilities to handle emergency
situations, 24 hours a day.
he national Rapid Emergency Since the team was formed in

T Spills Response team is fully


equipped to provide a swift,
environmentally safe, cost-
effective and complete emergency
spills response solution.
2008, they have helped in many
situations.
In March 2009, the team were on
hand and offered decontamination
services and leading-edge equipment
“We’re not the fire brigade, we’re to support the Queensland
not the emergency services but we Government clean up oil from
have the resources of Transpacific container ship the Pacific Adventurer.
and we are here to help,” The team was also involved in the
Transpacific’s Manager National clean up after the bulk coal carrier
Emergency Response Gary Davoren Shen Neng 1 ran aground on the
said. Great Barrier Reef.
“Every state has its own dedicated The team also provided support
Emergency Spills Response team on when over 15,000 litres of diesel
hand, and within these teams we which had been leaking from a fuel
have expertise including industrial respond to situations including; minor line was discovered in a storm water
chemists, lab technicians, leaks and large industrial spills; drain that was flowing into a nearby
occupational health and safety accidents which occur on land or in dam and wetlands.
experts and environmental scientists.” contained waterways; and emergency The Transpacific National Emergency
From the initial containment all the situations across Australia, including Response team is supported by a dedicated
way through to safe treatment and metropolitan, regional and remote 24 hours a day, seven days per week,
disposal, Transpacific can quickly locations. 1800 SPILLS (1800 774 557) hotline.

*RWD6SLOO"7UDQVSDFLÀFWRWKH5HVFXH

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84 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Australia: less waste,

| waste management |
more resources
Government moves to tackle
growing waste mounds
BY CLAIRE SMITH AND JANICE LIM – CLAYTON UTZ

Key Points: A national product stewardship scheme will require liable businesses to
consider options for end-of-life treatment of their products such as return or recycling
schemes.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 87

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 85


OVERVIEW
| recycling |

yre Crumb Australia (TCA) is a leader in the tyre

T industry. Australian owned TCA operates the only


state-of-the-art facility in Australia recycling whole
scrap passenger and truck tyres. Recycled rubber
is used in Australian made products and export markets.
TCA is committed to recycling and waste minimization. We
take discarded tyres out of the waste stream and turn them

Latest technology will


into reusable products, thereby eliminating scrap tyres from
landfill. TCA complies with all EPA and other government
result in a net overall guidelines.

zero waste process. CORE BUSINESS


Tyre Crumb Australia (TCA) works with the tyre industry to
collect scrap tyres from wholesalers, retailers, councils,
casing dealers, retreaders and local residents. We also
clean up illegal tyre dump sites.
Our state-of-the-art process enables us to produce
both rubber crumb and granules which are then processed
through a sophisticated separation and cleaning system
that removes all contaminants such as steel belting,
reinforcement fibre, glass, stones and metals. The result is
a clean, high quality raw material that can be made to
customer’s specifications for a wide range of uses including
fillers in rubber compounds, asphalt modification, sports
grounds and industrial adhesives.

✔ Beneficially utilizes
waste Tyres
✔ Accoustic Insulation
✔ Antifatigue Mats
✔ Horse Arenas
✔ Synthetic Lawns
✔ Sporting Surfaces COMPETATIVE ADVANTAGE
Tyre Crumb Australia’s latest technology will result in a net
✔ Playground Surfaces overall zero waste process and will not lead to the

✔ Tile Adhesives generation of toxins.


We can provide opportunities for development of new
✔ Road Surfaces businesses and products in secondary markets using

✔ Athletics Tracks composite materials


CONTACT DETAILS
CONTACT DETAILS Contact Person: Steven Matousi
Contact Person: Steven Matousi
Postal Address: P.O. BOX 73 Campbellfield VIC 3061 Postal Address: P.O. BOX 73 Campbellfield VIC 3061
Phone: (61 3) 9357 3433 Phone: (61 3) 9357 3433
Fax: (61 3) 9357 3778 Fax: (61 3) 9357 3778
Email: steven@tyrecrumbaustralia.com
Email: steven@tyrecrumbaustralia.com
Website: www.tyrecrumbaustralia.com
Website: www.tyrecrumbaustralia.com

86 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 85 The policy has two aims:

| waste management |
1. to avoid the generation of waste, reduce the amount of
he first national waste policy released by the waste for disposal, manage waste as a resource and

T Australian Government for almost 18 years is


optimistically called Less Waste, More Resources.
This policy aims to combat the criticism that has
developed from the lack of overarching legislative or policy
framework to encourage reuse, recycling and diversion of
ensure that waste treatment, disposal, recovery and re-
use are undertaken in a safe, scientific and
environmentally sound manner; and
2. to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions, energy conservation and production, water
waste away from landfill. efficiency and the productivity of the land.

Key priorities Key priority strategies


Unlike the former waste strategy, this policy sets out To achieve these aims, the policy sets out 16 priority
focused strategies, responsibilities and dates for strategies, which would benefit from a national or co-
implementing actions (in some cases) to achieve specific ordinated approach, to achieve eight key outcomes that the
Australian Government hopes will be attained by 2020.
policy outcomes.
Some of the key priority strategies are summarised in the
Key priority strategies include:
table on page 89.
• the enactment of commonwealth legislation to establish
a national product stewardship and extended producer Implications
responsibility framework by the end of 2012; A national product stewardship scheme will require liable
• the establishment of a new national waste classification businesses to consider options for end-of-life treatment of
system which will be supported by national data their products such as return or recycling schemes. The
collection and tracking systems; and extent of corporate responsibility for product stewardship
• national principles and specifications to remove will vary depending on whether the schemes are voluntary,
impediments to the development of effective markets for co-regulatory or mandatory and the products that are
reuse and recycling of waste. covered by such schemes.
A new national classification system for wastes that
Background to the National Waste Policy aligns with international standards and provides clarity on
The National Waste Policy builds on the 1992 National when a product or material ceases to be wastes is crucial
Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, which to address market barriers and encourage investment in
was agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments. waste recycling and reuse projects going forward.
The National Strategy for ESD provided a broad strategic The strategies, if successful, should improve the
direction for Australian governments to improve resource regulation of hazardous substance movement, treatment
use efficiency, minimise the environmental impact of waste and disposal. The generation of hazardous waste will also
and manage hazardous waste. In contrast, the new policy be reduced if restrictions similar to those already imposed in
sets out specific national policy initiatives for the next 10 the EU and US are introduced in respect of hazardous
years with the objective of producing less waste for disposal substances contained in products sold in Australia.
and encouraging the use of waste as a resource through The waste industry will have a lot of new regulation to
reuse and recycling. grapple with over the next decade but also a lot of
opportunities to diversify and make use of waste as a
What does the National Waste Policy cover? resource.
The policy encompasses wastes, including hazardous All industry is likely to be affected to some extent by one
wastes and substances, in the municipal, commercial and or more of the key priority strategies. If you would like
industrial, construction and demolition waste streams, and assistance in understanding the implications of the National
covers gaseous, liquid and solid wastes (excluding Waste Strategy or in developing consultation responses to
radioactive waste). It will be implemented by individual and various policy or legislative initiatives as they are released,
collective actions of the commonwealth, state, territory and please contact us. Our Group has extensive international
local governments, and will form a long-term agenda for experience in dealing with legal risk issues arising out of the
resource recovery and waste management by the
Environment Protection and Heritage Council of Australia
and New Zealand (EPHC). CONTINUED ON PAGE 89

“ the new policy sets out specific national policy


initiatives for the next 10 years with the
objective of producing less waste for disposal
and encouraging the use of waste as a resource
through reuse and recycling


THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 87
Zero Waste
| waste management |

WASTE
NOT, F
or more than three decades, Waste Initiatives has
helped businesses to communicate their
environmentally-friendly, green practices through the
incorporation of proper recycling and waste
reduction measures. Australian-owned, we specialise in

WANT NOT. high-quality shredding systems and complete waste


management solutions that service the unique requirements
of the office and industrial waste sectors.
Whether you need to destroy or recycle general waste,
Waste Initiatives can help your business manage or industrial waste including tyres, wood, plastics, glass or
its impact on the environment with a range metals, you need a specialised shredder that means
business. Our range of innovative shredding systems
of complete waste management solutions.
represent the latest in waste technology from around the
We offer an impressive range of customised world and caters for all types of waste, as well as all
shredding systems, specifically designed to recycling, sorting and processing needs.
reduce and recycle office and industry waste. Waste Initiatives extensive range covers:
3 Security shredding
3 Reprocessing equipment
3 Crushing
3 Dust and emission control
3 Waste to energy equipment
3 Balers
We have partnered with the leaders in waste destruction
equipment, so our systems are backed by key brands,
research and development, practical experience and reliable
parts, service and maintenance. With access to these
resources, our clients understand that we will always
provide a total waste management solution to meet the
exact needs of the business.
To enhance your business’ image as an environmental saviour,
while maximising returns and minimising costs – visit
www.wasteinitiatives.com

To give your business a sustainable


future, call Waste Initiatives today.

FOR SALES & SERVICE AUSTRALIA WIDE CALL:

1800 44 11 00 ASTRO SYSTEM 501—Binlifter, Conveyor and Shredder

or visit www.wasteinitiatives.com

88 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 87

| waste management |
EU regulation of e-waste, producer
responsibility schemes and restriction of
hazardous substances.
The content of this article is intended
to provide a general guide to the subject
matter. Specialist advice should be
sought about your specific
circumstances.

About the Author


Claire Smith is a Special Counsel at
Clayton Utz with over 10 years
experience in environment and climate
change law in private practice, at the
bar and as a global environment counsel
for a large multinational company. Claire
has particular expertise
in environment regulatory compliance,
waste, contaminated land, risk transfer
mechanisms and climate change issues.

Table 1: Summary of key priority strategies

Objective Strategy Results Responsibility


1. Management of end- A national product Implementation of product stewardship schemes Australian Government to develop federal legislation.
of-life products, stewardship framework, and enactment of commonwealth legislation within EPHC to co-ordinate consultation regarding future
material and including voluntary, co- three years. regulation of additional products.
packaging. regulatory, and regulatory Accreditation of voluntary product stewardship Industry sectors to fund co-regulatory schemes and
schemes. schemes and commencement of reporting under regulatory schemes.
a national scheme within four years. Accreditation of voluntary schemes to be funded by a
cost-recovery basis through a fee for service.
2. Avoidance, reduction, A national definition and Options for a national waste classification system Phase 1 - EPHC to identify barriers to defining when a
recovery and re-use of classification system for to be developed within four years. product ceases to become a waste.
waste by addressing wastes (including National classifications and definitions of when Phase 2 - EPHC to agree on an approach within four
market barriers and hazardous and clinical materials cease being waste are referenced as key years.
red tape. wastes) that aligns with instruments are reviewed or new instruments are
international agreements established.
and provides for when a Government policies and legislation use consistent
product or material ceases classifications and are supported by a nationally
to become a waste. consistent data collection and tracking system.
3. Avoidance, reduction, Develop national National specifications for recycled construction EPHC to implement.
recovery and re-use of principles, specifications, and demolition wastes, fit-for-purpose use of
waste by addressing best practice guidelines recycled organics and biosolids to be developed
market barriers and and standards that within three years.
red tape. address barriers to
effective markets for
potential waste.
4. Improvement of Reduce the amount of Re-use of compost, soil conditioners, biochar State and territory governments to achieve as part of
biodegradable biodegradable materials through alternative waste treatment technologies, their existing waste management program.
resource recovery and sent to landfills. waste-to-energy plants and bio-digesters.
reduction in Encourage increased markets for beneficial use.
greenhouse gas
emissions from
landfills.
5 Improvement of Develop a strategy to Strategies to address or offset emissions from Strategies to be developed through the EPHC.
biodegradable address emissions from landfills to be released by EPHC by 2011.
resource recovery and landfills and other waste
reduce greenhouse activities that support the
gas emissions from operation of a future
landfills. Carbon Pollution
Reduction Scheme
(CPRS).
6 A nationally integrated Meet international A national waste classification system, labelling EPHC to conduct an analysis of Australia’s hazardous
system that regulates obligations, reduce system and product stewardship schemes that waste treatment and disposal.
hazardous substances hazardous materials, address hazardous waste.
and wastes that ensure efficiency of Streamlined policies and legislation to regulate
accords with transboundary waste transboundary movement of hazardous waste for
international movement, implement treatment or disposal.
obligations. product stewardship
schemes and ensure
adequacy of hazardous
waste facilities.
7 A national system to A system that aligns with EPHC to assess and determine a suitable Phase 1 - Australian Government to consult with states
reduce the availability international approaches approach within three years. and territories.
of hazardous to reduce hazardous Phase 2 - EPHC to determine the most suitable
substances in substances in products approach.
Australia. and articles sold in
Australia.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 89


Transpacific Cleanaway – bringing waste
| waste management |

education to Local Government areas


Transpacific Cleanaway is working hard to educate students about waste minimisation,
recycling and increased resource recovery through a series of programs being
implemented across Australia’s local council areas.

Transpacific Cleanaway Education Officer, Theresa Troup holding a school education session.

ranspacific Cleanaway runs Government Areas since 2007. recycling in order to recover resources,

T preschool, primary and


secondary education programs
on behalf of local councils.
Transpacific Cleanaway Regional
Manager, Sydney Municipal Ken Donley
While specific regionally based
teams run the programs across the
nation, the National Education Team
works closely together.
This ensures the content included in
divert waste from landfill and mitigate
climate change.
In another module called Smart
Shopping, the students learn how their
everyday choices as consumers allows
said: each regional program deals not only them to avoid and reduce the amount
“Education programs help local with the trends and issues facing that of waste they create.
communities reap a number of social specific area, but also the issues we all Students can also learn about worm
and environmental benefits.” face in the wider community. It really is farming and composting (a great way to
“Children learn about their Council- a case of “Think Global, Act Local”. recycle our organic waste) and about
provided waste services from an early The education programs across the impacts of litter in the playground.
age, resulting in greater environmental Australia include a number of waste- Transpacific Cleanaway’s Sydney
awareness and long term behavioural related modules, providing a holistic
education program is just one example
changes when it comes to thinking approach to climate change and waste
of the many comprehensive education
about their waste. education.
programs run across Australia.
“The Transpacific Cleanaway Lessons are also taught by a team
All Transpacific Cleanaway’s
programs also assist Councils to of qualified Environmental Educators
increase their levels of positive with teaching and waste industry education programs encourage
engagement with the community. expertise, and are offered to preschool, students to take home what they learnt
“As a waste contractor and industry primary, and secondary aged students. at school and to share the message of
leader, Transpacific Cleanaway The Transpacific Cleanaway environmental sustainability with their
appreciates the importance of bringing program which was developed in families.
waste education to communities as it Sydney, called the kNOw Waste School
assists in contamination reduction and Education Program, incorporates For more information or to discuss
increased resource recovery,” he said. modules including Bin Wise, in which how Transpacific Cleanaway can help
Transpacific Cleanaway offers its students learn about the waste services with your waste education requirements
school education programs nation-wide provided to them by Council and how around Australia contact
and has presented these programs to to use their bins correctly. email: Education.NSW@Transpac.com.au
thousands of school children in Local They learn about the importance of or Tel: (02) 9671 9612.

90 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Your local government
waste management specialist

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Recover Recycle Reuse


www.transpacific.com.au
From waste to value
| waste management |

GCM Enviro is a leading distributor for the latest in waste management equipment, from
landfill compactors, shredders and crushers through to state of the art screeners and
compost turners.
hey offer top quality equipment GCM Enviro is a privately owned

T from world renowned


manufacturers including TANA,
TERRA SELECT, BACKHUS and
ALLU. Their philosophy is to maintain
constant dialogue between manufacturers
company, where long term goals are set,
and they always operate with their
customers in mind. Key principles in GCM
Enviro’s operation are reliability, customer
orientation, responsiveness and
and clients to ensure that design is continuous improvement. Having
governed by market requirements, competed for market share with large
particularly in the harsh climatic multinational corporations, GCM Enviro
conditions we experience. Combining this
has been able to differentiate itself and to
with efficient service back-up and
win its customers’ trust by relying on
approachable personnel, a continued
these core values. The fact that they are
growth of the market share is envisaged,
together with ongoing industry support. now leaders for landfill compactors in
GCM Enviro’s mission is to provide many markets is strong evidence of their
customers with cutting edge technology success. They are aiming at the same
in solid waste management combined objective with shredders, screening
with state-of-the-art control and equipment, and windrow turners, namely
monitoring systems. The objective of this keeping growth steady and profitable.
mission is to improve their customers’ With current management, GCM Enviro
business and enable them to increase has increased sales year on year and
revenue—from waste to value. tripled turnover within the last decade.

92 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Orange project puts the squeeze

| waste management |
on waste
After 15 years of planning, a new waste disposal project has been approved for the city of
Orange in New South Wales. The planned facility will provide a timely alternative waste
solution for the area, and is also predicted to boost the regional economy and number of
local jobs.
he green light for this project has not been

T illuminated too soon. Waste disposal in the area has


until now been serviced by an ageing landfill facility
off Orphir Road in Orange, but as a result of the
new plan an additional facility will be built 40km from
Orange, near the town of Molong.
The existing site, according to director of enterprise
services Stephen Sykes, has a remaining capacity of only
three years; this is about the time that it will take to build the
new project. “We’re on a tight timeframe here; June 2013
will be the end date for the current facility and it’s going to
take three years to get everything built and ready,” said
Sykes.
A 2007 approval for the original ‘HUB’ waste
management facility was overturned as a result of strong
opposition from the local community and an appeal by the
HUB Action Group, which denounced the proposed facility
as a poorly thought-out project with a lack of consideration
for the environmental impacts of its operations.
After a review of the project, the Planning and
Assessment Commission (PAC), headed by Minister for
Planning Tony Kelly, recommended approval subject to a A significant part of the land cleared at Euchareena
number of amendments and conditions. Said Kelly of the Road will also be designated for ongoing agricultural use,
revised plan, “the Orange City Council addressed all the and a dedicated biodiversity site will be designated as a
issues that were raised by the Land and Environment rehabilitation corridor.
Court”. Kelly also outlined the intention of the new plan, Further conditions imposed by the PAC include the
stating that, “the approval covers waste operations on two implementation of a public knowledge campaign to help
different sites, with increased resource recovery, from residents of Orange understand waste management and
around 20 per cent to 58 per cent.” resource recovery in an effort to reduce the reliance of the
Under the operation of the new project, and according community on landfill.
to the PAC’s recommendations, residual waste will be The effect of waste transport on the environment and
shredded, baled and plastic-wrapped at the existing Orphir local traffic conditions are also a focus of the PAC’s
Road site, then transported to a new disposal facility on guidelines. A Transport Code of Conduct is required of the
Euchareena Road, near Molong. This process, as well as Orange City Council, as well as a number of roadworks to
extending the availability of waste management facilities in ensure traffic safety and efficiency in the area. The number
the area to 40 years, will reduce the risk of detrimental of heavy vehicle movements will be restricted to 30 per day,
environmental effects, not least the exposure of wildlife to the visibility, line marking and edging of roads will be
the waste. upgraded to improve safety, and a new access road to the
Of significant concern to the lobbyists was the local site will reduce congestion.
beekeeping industry, which is responsible for a significant Mayor of Orange, John Davis, notes that the conditions
percentage of Australia’s honey production. The proposed imposed upon the project have increased its overall cost
new facility addresses these apicultural concerns through but helped its viability. “It has been made a little bit more
the PAC’s condition of implementations of an Apiculture expensive because of the 80 quite stringent conditions …
Risk Management Plan. Baling of the waste prior to its but I believe it’s a better project than what it was.”
disposal will mean that bees and other wildlife will not have Despite the extra costs, the new waste project is
access to the waste that some were concerned would designed to extract value from the waste stream through
harm wildlife and contaminate honey supplies. resource recovery and sustainable waste management. It is
Additionally, a new food and garden organic waste estimated that the new project will inject $6.5 million into
collection service will be implemented alongside the existing the local economy, with Minister Kelly saying that 20
general waste and recyclables collections. construction jobs and six ongoing positions will be created
A food and garden organics waste shredder, initially through the implementation of the regional project.
proposed to be located at the new Euchareena Road The project is expected to enhance the community from
facility, will be relocated to the Orphir Road site and will a planning perspective. According to Tony Kelly, “I am
process the organic waste, producing valuable high-grade confident with the amendments and imposed conditions,
compost that can be used throughout the community as an this project will deliver valuable benefits to residents, and
alternative to chemical fertilisers. improve waste avoidance and resource recovery”.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 93


| waste management |

Alex Fraser Group implements the


enwis) waste management system
enwis) is the integrated business tracking of trucks and equipment,
software solution developed for administration of six recycling
recycling and waste management plants, right through to costing.
using Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It By implementing enwis)
is now used by over 180 through Fenwick Software, huge
organisations world-wide and, in improvements in efficiency and
Australia, it has been successfully cost-effectiveness are being
implemented by the Alex Fraser achieved. Manual processes at
Group. the weighbridge have been
Alex Fraser is Australia’s reduced by more than 55%, the
leading construction and duplication of tasks is being
demolition materials recycler with substantially lowered and the
capacity to produce in excess of 3 sales cycle has been improved.
million tonnes of recycled product In addition, the work
every year. Their requirement was environment is being simplified
for an integrated ERP solution, with full, real-time information now
which could be expanded as the available to the management
business grows. team. Operating costs are also
The challenge was to integrate being reduced – allowing the
all the business functions within company to increase their
one easy to use system to business capacity and improve
manage weighbridge operations, levels of customer service.

HQWVRUJXQJVZLUWVKDIW

When it comes to efficiency, nobody does it better than the Germans.


So it may not come as a surprise to you that they lead the is extremely flexible, so it can be customised to
world in software solutions for maximizing effectiveness and meet your precise requirements, integrating all functions
cost-efficiency in recycling and waste management. and processes involved in waste management and recycling
– including contracts, weighbridge, financial management,
Their term entsorgungswirtshaft can be translated as the
analysis and reporting.
economic treatment of waste, but luckily you don’t need to
pronounce this. All you need to remember is a much shorter Perhaps best of all, is a Microsoft Dynamics NAV
version – . product, which integrates with familiar Microsoft Office
software, ensuring all aspects are easy and intuitive to use.
is the integrated business software solution
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P/ (03) 9695 3333 W/ www.fenwicksoftware.com.au

94 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Big step forward for

| waste management |
waste industry
When Whitehorse City Council needed to update their fleet of walking floor
trailers they took a modern approach, fitting the latest in safety and
productivity devices, including a Knorr Bremse Trailer Electronic Braking
System (TEBS). This is one council that is setting a benchmark for the way
they operate on road and at landfill, and it’s paying dividends.
CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 95


Transporting waste is not is just so much better with these new ultimately relies on brake experts, like


| waste management |

glamorous, that’s for sure,” says trailers,” added Kris. Wayne Clarke at Knorr Bremse, to fill in
Kris Briggs, Waste and Recycling “We put our trailers through the the technical gaps and help customers
Coordinator at Whitehorse City roughest conditions at landfill. They are realise the return on investment.
Council, “but our responsibility to have often on mud and uneven unsealed “Although TEBS is a clear OH&S
an appropriate, fit-for-purpose vehicle roads. So far, TEBS has met operator and performance winner, it may soon
operating in the waste and greater expectations.” become a direct financial benefit too,”
transport industry, rests heavily on our Kris added that “for the drivers, said Wayne Clarke, Knorr Bremse
shoulders.” who use the gear every day, it’s all Trailer Specialist. “For the first time
Kris runs the Recycling and Waste these little bits of technology that make insurance companies are now talking
Transfer Centre for Whitehorse City the difference to their safety, of decreasing their premiums for fleets
Council, which is located 15km from productivity and overall enjoyment of that operate TEBS due to some
the Melbourne CBD. Running an the job. Even the addition of the lobbying we have been doing through
operation seven days a week, 10- remote control has made such a the NTC, ARTSA, ATA and road bodies
hours a day, the centre’s goal is to difference.” like the RTA and VicRoads.
make sure the public can drop off their Andrew Nicholls, part-owner of “We are hopeful that this work will
waste when they need to and Kris’s Bulk Transport Equipment, said these have a favourable result and that
team can get that waste to landfill, latest units for Whitehorse are a big ultimately the banks may even start to
located in Hallam, within the same day. step forward, not only for their fleet but look more favourably on fleets that
The centre must separate as much also as a benchmark for the industry. have these added insurance elements
of its waste as possible, from green “The equipment we fitted this time on their vehicle,” he said.
waste to tyres, hard metals, concrete around is far more advanced and more Wayne adds that TEBS can also be
and timber. The idea is for both user-friendly, particularly from a braking used as a great training tool, allowing
council, private companies and perspective,” said Andrew. managers to monitor how a driver is
individuals to come to the centre and “Being heavy, high centre of gravity braking and offer feedback on areas of
re-use as much as possible before the units that operate on uneven ground, improvement. You can even monitor
remainder is sent to landfill. TEBS was crucial from an OH&S and service intervals.
“We get about 500 vehicles onto performance perspective.” “Ultimately we need to ask
the site per day. On average that is Likewise, safety was a driver in the ourselves, would we buy a car and opt
several hundred tonnes of waste each choice of the Hallco floor system. “The out of the stability system? Of course
day. To successfully manage waste, trend is definitely moving away from not, and yet we place our professional
we need to have reliable trucks and tipping trailers to moving floors,” drivers under enormous danger by
trailers. Our first truck leaves here just added Andrew. “It’s purely from a asking them to operate high centre of
after 6:30am, and we run all day – up safety perspective, but from a gravity heavy vehicles with archaic
to 16 loads to landfill. productivity point of view, the floor braking systems. It is mind-boggling,”
“It’s hard work on our units, which takes eight to ten minutes to unload, said Wayne.
is why it’s critical we keep at the top of which is not too much slower than a As a niche trailer builder, Bulk
our game with technology,” said Kris. tip trailer.” Transport Equipment believe it is
Whitehorse City Council manages Andrew added, the feedback he important that they offer TEBS as a
this massive load by running four receives from customers is that brake value-add. “That’s where key
trucks in the fleet, two Iveco 505s, an performance is significantly better with relationships with our suppliers, like
ECO 4 Volvo and a Kenworth. TEBS, but overall it is the stability of Knorr Bremse, is so critical. Dealing
The latest addition to the fleet has the whole unit that impresses them. with Knorr Bremse is dealing with a
been two trailers from specialist “I think it makes them realise how firm that is focussing purely on brakes
manufacturer Bulk Transport much they had to rely on driver skill – it’s not just one of their many
Equipment, delivered in early and experience to avoid accidents, but products,” said Andrew.
November 2009. The design checklist at the end of the day, we’re all human Likewise, TEBS as a total package
included a secure load covering and particularly after a long journey, is far more than just advanced braking.
system, achieved through a unique top skill level drops off due to fatigue. Many optional extras, such as hoist
loading door system, all remote When you also factor in that sensors to help prevent roll-over during
controlled and totally secure. increasingly we are at a point where tipping, as well as axle lift—again
Next was the Hallco 4000 series skilled drivers are harder to come controlled through TEBS for a very
centre mount drive moving floor across and newer drivers still have a small extra cost—can all be part of the
system, again fully remote controlled long way to go you end up being in a package. Fitting raise lower valves is
from the cabin to improve driver safety. position where drivers and general also a possibility. With this easy
The slant on the floor was also road users can be at risk.” system, all the driver has to do is take
modified to make sure the waste came Andrew said that although the his foot off the brake and the
off the floors better. Kris describes enquiry level for TEBS is increasing, it suspension is automatically set to the
Hallco as an appropriate system, is still not as commonplace as it correct ride height without the driver
saying the floor tolerates everything should be. He said that as a having to get out of the truck and
they put into it. manufacturer of trailing equipment he adjust anything manually.
And in a first for the fleet, Knorr
Bremse TEBS was fitted to help the


fleet really set a benchmark for safety
and efficiency. “Finally we have a trailer The equipment we fitted this time around
that is a match to our new Volvo truck. is far more advanced and more user-friendly,
The braking power is noticeably better,
particularly from a braking perspective…


it really tows well. A lot of people say
“well it’s just a trailer, who cares,” but
the performance of the unit as a whole

96 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


“Learning new technology can be

| waste management |
challenging,” said Kris Briggs, “but our
guys who have been driving for 20
years and are accustomed to a certain
way of doing things have been able to
get the hand of TEBS quite easily.”
“At the end of the day, everything
we do to make our driving better and
safer benefits the workers and our rate
payers,” Kris said.

Weigh out there


Whitehorse City Council is so serious
about its responsibility to set a good
example to the transport industry, it
has taken mass management to all
new levels. There are three
weighbridges on site, weighing trucks
as they enter, as they are being loaded
and again as they leave. Also, each
L to R: Wayne Clarke, Knorr Bremse Trailer Specialist, Gian Panozzo and Andrew Nichols, owners of BTE. unit is fitted with axle weighers. As
rubbish is top loaded into the trailers,
which are positioned below ground
Another option is to fit a TIM pressure a fleet has been using and level to allow waste to be easily
Module, where a touch of a button on how hard the brakes have been pushed into the roof of the trailer, the
the side of the trailer lets you know worked. Just plug in your laptop and exact weight of the load is again
how much weight is on that axle get a full download of absolutely measured via a giant LCD weight
group. TIM simply bolts onto the everything that has happened. gauge screen. Once it reaches its limit,
diagnostics box on the chassis and “These are all features of TEBS,” loading stops. The accuracy is very
offers a very accurate weight measure said Wayne. “There are people that are precise to a maximum weight of 4.5
that can be used for mass using bits and pieces of its capacity, tonnes per axle, meaning this is one
management. but there are very few using it all fleet that won’t be caught overweight
TEBS can also note how much air together.” on the road.

ALWAYS CHECK
FOR A SECOND TRAIN! RAIL INDUSTRY SAFETY AND STANDARDS BOARD

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 97


Waste Glass Provides an
Environmental Solution for
Landscape and Construction Supplies

Unprocessed Waste Glass Raw Feed Finished Product – Coarse GlassSand

In 2005 VISY Recycling and Benedict Industries combined forces to solve a long running environmental
issue. This will prevent the land filling of thousands of tonnes of waste glass fines every year.
Glass Granulates Pty Ltd has made steady progress with the development of a range of products that have
been cleverly engineered to meet & exceed various industry standards and technical criteria. Uptake of
the product has been steady with regulatory authorities requiring ticking and re-ticking of stringent OH&S
boxes.
In 2010 Glass Granulates through Benedict Industries, redirected approximately 25,000 tonne of
GlassSand™ to a wide range of markets, through the sales and marketing of these cleverly designed
products, Benedict Industries intend to almost double these tonnes in the coming year. The core markets
for GlassSand™ include but are definitely not limited to Asphalt production, Pipe Embedment, Planter Box
Drainage & Bedding Sands.

EXCITING NEW EMERGING MARKETS


Benedict are at it again, innovatively designing new product blends that have actually demonstrated technical
benefits over the rival natural products for Horticultural Markets.

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FILTER
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Filter Media (M165)
400-600mm

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bioretention
design details Benedict Coarse
TM
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Washed
Washed
a
refer to GlassSandd (GS
(GSCOARSE)
engineer's
details Benedict No Fines
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100
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Installation Note:
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Alternative materials may not be compatible. Filter Profile designed on principles as outlined in the Facility for
fabrics are not to be used. Install so that there is a Advancing W ater Biofiltration (F
Water FAWB) Guidelines for Soil Filter
(FAWB)
clear distinction between layers, do not mix layers. Media in Bioretention Systems (version 2.01) March 2008.

Bioretention Filtration Profile


For over 4 years Benedict has been the market leader in the supply of product used for Bioretention Basins.
Our products are proven through 3rd party testing to the FAWB guidelines to have the required
horticultural and hydraulic conductivity attributes essential for the success of Bioretention Basins. As per
the attached profile, Benedict has been utilising Coarse Washed GlassSand™ as the transition layer with
great success. The GlassSand™ has the advantage of superior drainage over competing river sands due to
its lack of clay/silt particle, as well as the obvious sustainability benefits. Recently we have also developed
the Filtration Layer (M165G) based on Coarse Washed GlassSand™ – again offering a free draining and
sustainable alternative to the quarried blend.

Sportsfield Drainage and Construction


Coarse Washed GlassSand™ is currently being utilised as the drainage sand for Sand Slit Drainage
implementation, which increases the rate of water removal from the oval profile. Once again its superior
drainage characteristics make it a sound choice for such an application. Coarse Washed GlassSand™ has
also been specified into Council tenders as the approved Amelioration Sand to be used to add to the
existing site soil to increase the drainage characteristics of the final mix.

The increasing acceptance of Benedict GlassSand™ will continue to create exciting opportunities for
this innovative product.

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SK_ID[_VDOHV#JODVVJUDQXODWHVFRPDX
Profit forecast to fire up landfill gas
| landfill |

Accurately predicting how much gas a landfill site is likely to deliver over its life span is a
challenge one civil engineer is working to address.

BY KARIN DERKLEY

ristling from the ‘cap’ of the now-closed Narre operator needs to be able to match landfill gas generation

B Warren landfill on the outskirts of Melbourne are


clusters of black pipes, each leading down to a
gas-wells network, drawing gas from the depths of
15 years worth of urban waste. In the past the gas, a
mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, would have
with the number of electricity units needed. Too many units
means the operation is not cost-efficient, too few means
not enough gas is used.
To date, this has been an inexact science – at least
when it comes to actual large-scale landfills. Dr Lamborn
escaped into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse says that current planning models have ranged from 90 per
gas burden or, just as destructively, leached into the cent to as much as 4,000 per cent off the mark, making
surrounding soil, killing vegetation and creating potentially them next to useless as predictors.
explosive gas reservoirs. A range of factors determines the amount of gas
Today, in line with EPA Victoria requirements, almost all available and how quickly it is emitted. These include the
landfill gas is captured in some way. Much of it is flared – actual composition of the waste, its moisture content, plus
burned off to convert the methane into carbon dioxide – a host of other factors. There are several sophisticated
because methane is 21 times more toxic than carbon predictive models that work within highly controlled
dioxide as a greenhouse gas. But increasingly, landfill gas is laboratory conditions, but experience has shown they do
being harnessed as a valuable fuel. Around Australia there not adapt readily to an actual landfill. “You can have very
are now 54 landfill-gas-driven power stations, operated by a high accuracy in a laboratory-based model of one cubic
number of companies including Energy Developments, metre or so, but that’s useless unless you can scale that
Veolia and Sita. At Narre Warren the gas is harvested by model up to landfill size models of, say, three million cubic
Energy Developments for electricity, some of which is used metres,” Dr Lamborn says.
to heat a commercial rose nursery and the remainder is fed This was the challenge that drove her PhD project,
into the grid, helping to power the equivalent of ‘Modelling Landfill Degradation Behaviour’, which she
10,000 homes. completed and was awarded in late 2009. The objective
However, as appealing as it sounds, running a power was to find a model that can strike a balance between the
station from landfill gas is not as straightforward as running lab-based accuracy and the simplicity required by a landfill
it from a coal-fired or hydro-energy plant. Dr Julia Lamborn, operator.
a senior lecturer in civil engineering at Swinburne University The work is important because among the energy
of Technology’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure, options currently available, landfill gas can be quite cost-
explains that the emission of landfill gas not only varies from competitive. A report by the Australian Bureau of
landfill to landfill, but also varies over the life of the landfill. Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) estimates
Being able to accurately predict how much gas a landfill site the long-run average cost of landfill gas at $35.59 per
is likely to deliver over its life span is essential if an megawatt hour. By comparison brown coal costs about
associated power station is to be profitable. She says an $38/MWh, wind power varies from $55 to $80, natural gas

100 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


is $35 to $45 and hydro averages about $62/MWh. The the ground. What Julia is doing is helping translate the

| landfill |
average urban landfill site, such as at Narre Warren (a filled- complex mathematical models into something that is going
in bluestone quarry, 45 metres deep in the centre) is to be useful to the person running the tip – who is generally
expected to be able to supply commercial volumes of gas not a scientist and doesn’t have the time or inclination to
for 40 to 50 years. The Narre Warren site has been look at complex mathematical models.”
generating electricity since 1993. Energy Developments’ operations manager for Victoria
Working as part of the International Waste Working and South Australia Maurie Morrone says the company
Group, a group of about 50 scientists and engineers looking welcomes any research that helps improve power station
at issues dealing with landfill modelling, Dr Lamborn has efficiency. “There’s always a balance between simplicity and
had access to a number of working models and landfill accuracy,” he says. “The more reliable and accurate the
sites, including the Narre Warren landfill, which, being one model, the better you can tailor your infrastructure (to the
of the first landfill power stations in Australia, has been gas emissions predicted).”
closely monitored over its life span, as well as others in the Dr Lamborn admits it is just a small piece in a big
US and the UK. By comparing these real-life models with puzzle, but it is a significant one. If landfill-gas power
complex laboratory models, Dr Lamborn’s research aims to stations can be made profitable it will be a huge step
determine the most useful input parameters to predict how forward in the twin objectives of reducing greenhouse gases
much gas is likely to be generated from landfill sites. “What and harnessing a valuable resource for producing
I’ve tried to do is to find a balance between the accurate renewable energy. “It’s great to be involved in something so
but complex modelling of the lab-based models, and the valuable,” she says. “Any way we can reduce our
simple but inaccurate real-life models.” dependence on brown coal – one of our biggest emitters of
Finding the bridge between these models has been an greenhouse gases – has to be good.”
important step in making landfill gas extraction more viable,
Contact:
says Associate Professor Ian Harding, who was Dr Swinburne University of Technology
Lamborn’s PhD supervisor in Swinburne’s Life and Social 1300 275 788
Sciences faculty. “There’s all too often a huge gap between magazine@swinburne.edu.au
what theoretical scientists are doing and what happens on

Opposite and below: Julia Lamborn at the Narre Warren landfill site, which
she is investigating as part of an international study on predicting the
commercial potential of landfill gas reserves. PHOTO: BRAD COLLIS

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 101


Century Batteries – Your complete
| equipment + machinery |

power solution provider


Australia’s climate and extreme working conditions create havoc for batteries, attacking
critical internal components which can lead to early battery failure. Unfortunately, some
imported batteries, made for softer climates, focus on higher starting power at the
expense of more critical design features.

Australian Made for


Australian Conditions
Century Batteries, Australia’s
oldest and most recognised
battery manufacturer, has been
designing, manufacturing and
supplying batteries in Australia
since 1928. In this time they have
developed the engineering
expertise and state-of-the-art
manufacturing processes to
produce a range of superior quality
batteries better suited to Australia’s
hotter climate and harsh working
conditions.
Century batteries are designed
and built in Australia. They feature
substantial design improvements
and specialist hardwearing
components to deliver what fleet
managers and plant operators accurate results to help identify suspect batteries before
really want – longer life and ultra reliability with less down they fail and when used as part of a total battery
time. management program, they can help keep vehicles on the
road for longer and avoid the true cost of battery failure.

Largest Battery Distribution Network


Wherever you are located in Australia, Century has the
distribution coverage and capability to promptly service your
battery needs. A network of regional agents and distribution
centres ensures you have access to locally held products,
services and battery specialists, on hand to service your
complete battery requirements.

National Battery Recycling Network


Century provides a complete ‘cradle to grave’ solution
regarding the manufacture, distribution and responsible
Century’s product portfolio includes one of the widest disposal of used batteries. The company has launched a
selections of batteries available in the marketplace and dedicated national battery recycling program designed to
features some of the most technically advanced products educate motorists, businesses and fleet managers on the
available in the battery industry. importance of battery recycling and ultimately reduce the
From their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located impact of used lead acid batteries on the environment.
in Queensland, Century produces and supplies a diverse
The scheme provides a national network of battery
range of batteries suitable for use in an extensive range of
recycling centres to which people are encouraged to return
applications including:
their used automotive batteries for recycling, for free.
Automotive, 4WD, Deep Cycle, Truck & Light
Supported by a dedicated recycling website and a national
Commercial, Heavy Equipment, Motorcycle, Marine and
contact number 1300 650 702 motorists and businesses
UPS systems.
can find their nearest recycling centre and useful information
Battery Testing and Management Solutions and advice on all aspects of battery recycling.
Century’s extensive range of battery testing and engine To find out more about Century’s range of products and services
diagnostic equipment is perfect for use out in the field or contact a Century Batteries representative on 1300 362 287 visit
workshop. Quick and easy to use, they provide fast www.centurybatteries.com.au or email info@cyb.com.au.

102 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


How to drive better

| equipment + machinery |
transport decisions
for your council
Emissions from transport account for approximately 15 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse
gas emissions. Reducing your council’s transport footprint is a visible and often immediate
way of showing commitment to sustainability to your ratepayers and staff. It will help you
demonstrate a point of difference by enhancing your reputation.

he sustainable transport strategies Generic principles and approach

T outlined in this article are a summary of


Your Sustainable Transport Guide,
produced by Greenfleet and the
netbalance foundation, and act as a starting
point for organisations. This article is intended
Why?

The business benefits of sustainable transport


Adopting innovative sustainable transport
practices makes a strong public statement
to help you reduce carbon emissions from about an organisation’s corporate social
transport, and you can save money at the same responsibility philosophy. An integrated
time. approach to sustainable transport allows your
The Guide defines sustainable transport as business to benefit from operational and capital
the movement of people and goods in a cost savings, increase employee productivity,
manner that most effectively uses existing improve staff retention rates, exhibit
infrastructure and that doesn’t exacerbate environmental responsibility and retain a ‘social
environmental and social impacts. Whilst license to operate’.
‘sustainable transport’ remains a contested Understanding your organisation’s key
concept, the Guide’s authors view it as broadly motives will dictate how widely and deeply you
achieving positive environmental, social and will implement your sustainable transport
economic benefits by making better transport actions. Identify where your organisation is
choices, while still allowing for full access to currently positioned on its ‘sustainability
services and mobility. journey’, and remember that your organisation
The big issues of today and the future, such may be driven by several motivating factors.
as climate change, peak oil, financial instability,
social inequity and declining community health, Benefits to your bottom line
The conventional economic costs of transport
indicate that our current transport systems and
for business are relatively straightforward,
practices are not viable in the longer term.
including car parking costs, fuel costs, carbon
Transport plays a key role in promoting
pass through costs, business travel and
sustainable behaviours, and therefore company fleet costs. When calculated, these
sustainable transport offers the chance for your costs can be a significant expense for
council to make a real difference both in terms businesses. We strongly urge your organisation
of impact reduction and efficiency savings. to determine its direct transport costs to set a
This article aims to touch on the broad baseline of the cost benefits that sustainable
spectrum of transport-related issues for your transport outcomes can bring to your
council, regardless of its size. Transport is only organisation.
one of the many key sustainability issues that
organisations should be addressing. However, Benefits to your people
by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from The social impacts of your organisation’s
transport, you will see many other benefits. We transportation practices and its economic effect
recommend that any actions developed to is not always evident. WorkHealth, the Victorian
improve sustainable transport practices are government’s initiative to improve the health of
integrated as part of a broader sustainability the Victorian community, reports a direct link
strategy, but if you haven’t done anything to between workplace productivity and employee
date, transport is a good and easy place to health1.
start. CONTINUED ON PAGE 104

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 103


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 103 information flows and workflows.
| equipment + machinery |

A strategy that is underpinned by a clearly articulated


business objective will maximise impact, in comparison to
any single initiative.
Compliance A structured and integrated approach, involving relevant
We only act to the bare departments and engaging employees, is much more likely
minimum so we
comply with the law
to lead to a successfully implemented and embedded
sustainable transport strategy.
That said, any single thing that you do to improve your
Altruism
We do everything we Cost Savings organisation’s approach to sustainable transport is a step in
possibly can to reduce We implement the right direction. In fact, it may be more appropriate for
What are anything that will

?
our environmental and
social imapct because save us money your organisation to start with individual and smaller actions
it’s the right the drivers but we won’t initially, and work towards an integrated approach over time
thing to do invest
for your as you gain confidence and experience. Either way, it’s all
organisation? good.
Consider the range of transport activities your
organisation undertakes and focus on those that make the
Risk
Market biggest contribution and those that are very visible. They
Management may include:
Positioning We implement to
We implement to avoid potential threats • company fleets
enhance our (e.g. avoid further
reputation regulation)
• business-related travel (including air travel, taxis, hire
cars, etc.)
• employee commuting
Diagram 1: Sustainability motivators There are many other transport related issues that may
be applicable to your business.
Encouraging active forms of commuting to work such as These may include supply chain logistics such as
walking, running and cycling can therefore directly improve warehousing, inventory management, freight modes, etc.
employee health, thereby yielding business productivity These are not the focus of the Guide, but should be
benefits. Regular physical exercise can increase health considered as part of your complete transport strategy.
significantly by reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease, The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria
diabetes, stress, anxiety and depression. has entered into a Sustainability Covenant with the Victorian
Time savings gained from reducing business travel can Transport Association to promote sustainability in the
improve productivity in the workplace (i.e. less time in transport and logistics sector. Find out more at
airport lounges, more in the workplace) and also give staff https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/bus/sustainability_covenants/Vi
more time with their loved ones. c-Transport-Association-Covenant.asp.
As a general rule, the ability to commute easily to work How?
and a reduction in business travel can increase staff
retention rates. How can a sustainable transport plan be implemented?
A sustainable transport plan should focus on action. Many
HINT well-developed plans sit idle as corporate objectives
Transport is responsible for 14.6 per cent of Australia’s total change. To avoid this, your team should be supported to
greenhouse gas emissions, and greenhouse gas emissions implement the plan for achieving its objectives within clear
from transport have grown by approximately 27 per cent timeframes. It is understood and accepted that the plan will
between 1990 and 2007. Emissions from the domestic evolve and be refined over time.
aviation sector are projected to increase by 122 per cent We strongly suggest that you frame the strategy to
from 1990 levels by 2012.2 avoid, reduce and offset transport impacts.
Why not? Who?
What gets in the way? Who is responsible and who do they report to?
Despite the best intentions, significant barriers may exist Transport issues will touch all aspects of your business, so
within your organisation that can hinder sustainable an effective sustainable transport strategy is more likely to
transport outcomes. succeed when you involve people across and up and down
Common barriers to keep in mind, and address where the organisation.
possible, are outlined below.
There are potentially more barriers, unique to your Large organisations
organisation, so why not survey staff to find out? For maximum impact, responsibility for delivering on the
business objective and achieving the stated sustainable
What? transport goals should be assigned to a multidisciplinary
team, as suggested below.
What will your approach to sustainable transport be?
A sustainable transport strategy, like any corporate The Approach in Detail
management review and culture change process, will be
highly dependent on the level of commitment and Detailed strategies and examples for sustainable transport
motivation of management. It will require a number of tools, Organisations should aim to avoid, reduce and offset their
systems and guidelines to implement and embed it. transport impacts. This section provides some broad
Many organisations still struggle with ‘patchwork suggestions and practical examples as to how this can be
approaches’, which can culminate in having different achieved.
systems that address different needs, communicating
inconsistent figures in parallel reports, and using inefficient
CONTINUED ON PAGE 106

104 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| equipment + machinery |
Volvo trucks go beyond the regulatory requirements

Volvo’s Euro 5 trucks


wins major contract
elbourne’s Whittlesea Council was safety features including an electronic braking

M one of the first Australian


organisations to go beyond
compliance standards and back the
use of best practice Euro 5 compliant trucks.
Infrastructure manager Peter Ali said the council
system and all wheel disc brakes.
Peter said there was about 2% difference
between the cost of the two options, but there
were tangible and intangible benefits to weigh
against the price premium. Tangibles included a
wanted to demonstrate regulatory standards 43% reduction in nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions
“should be considered the minimum standard we compared to Euro 4, reduced fuel use through
aim for, not the highest”. better engine efficiency, and less vehicle noise –
As one of Melbourne’s designated growth a major advantage in keeping the local
corridors, Whittlesea’s population is projected to community on side.
double during the next 20 years to reach Harder to quantify, but still considered
300,000. In preparing to meet this challenge, the important, was the value of the council taking a
council undertook a Community Plan leadership position in its community. In the end,
consultation process, allowing residents to have councillors found it an easy decision: the council
their say on where priorities should lie. had already been investigating the path to
Environmental sustainability was voted the ‘carbon neutral’ operations, and was aware its
top concern, giving the council a clear driver for 14 garbage trucks, six sweepers and 20 or so
action when its waste and recycling collection heavy vehicles consumed more than 90% of the
contract came up for grabs. Peter said “we diesel used in its infrastructure maintenance
simply included a paragraph within the tender operations.
document that said, ‘the implementation of “Initiatives targeting our plant fleet provides us
environmentally sustainable practices would be with a great opportunity to provide large scale
viewed positively within the tender assessment environmental benefits,” said Peter.
process’”. The decision to use best practice collection
“While we could have taken a prescriptive vehicles also complemented wider waste
approach – specifying specific plant or processes initiatives. The council worked hard to increase
– previous experience had shown us that it’s recycling rates from 31% to 45% during the
better to let the experts come up with the ideas.” previous five years, with residuals disposed in
Winning tenderer, Visy, come back with two Hanson’s Wollert landfill, a best practice facility
options – the first using Euro 4 standard trucks (winner of WMAA’s 2009 Landfill Excellence
(meeting current standards) and the second Award).
using Volvo’s new Euro 5 standard trucks, which “The inclusion of ‘above best practice
achieve standards that will not be mandatory in collection vehicles’ was the final piece in
this country until 2011. These trucks, also feature providing a total best practice solution for the
a unique noise compression braking system and management of our municipal waste,” said Peter.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 105


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 104 Provide the team with a video and/or teleconferencing
| equipment + machinery |

technology induction to explain its capability and the reason


for the policy to replace business travel whenever possible.
Executives Then, require employees to provide a strong justification as
> strategic management to why business travel is required for a business meeting
(i.e. why teleconferencing is not adequate). Further, some
Logistics Managers people use business travel as a way of visiting friends or
family while away. So consider allowing employees to use
> supply chain operational efficiency opportunities video and teleconferencing resources for personal use
during specified times.3
Technical/Engineering
REDUCE
> technical efficiency opportunities
Business location
Communications + Marketing Where your business is located will impact staff commuting
> enhancing reputation and brand building options, impacts of congestion and ease of delivery. Uptake
of ‘active transport’ modes (i.e. walking and cycling) and
Facility Management public transport by your employees may be limited by your
existing location. Consider recruiting locally – advertise in
> building location and facilities > utilities management local media and engage local recruitment agencies to
attract skilled workers from surrounding areas.
Contract Management
> service and supplier agreements
Encourage walking, cycling and public transport
Your employees can be encouraged to shift from highly
Fleet Managers carbon intensive to lower intensity forms of transport. There
are numerous ways that your organisation can provide
> company fleet costs > operating and capital costs specific support to ‘active’ and public transport modes.

Systems Supporting car pooling


Car pooling programs for staff commuting and business
> access to information > teleconferencing facilities travel can help you unlock greenhouse, time, fuel and
parking cost benefits.
Finance + Administration
> business travel costs > company car costs
Vehicle needs analysis
> procurement > data management
Assess the vehicle to best suit your needs.
Quite a number of people simply buy vehicles similar to their
Human Resources
previous purchase without analysing the appropriateness
> salary sacrifice arrangements > employee retention for purpose. For example, a 2.5 tonne truck may be all that
> telecommuting agreements > employee remuneration is needed, not a 3.5 tonne truck, or a sales rep who drives
> employee well-being and productivity mainly in the city may only need a small car rather than a
Diagram 2: Potential employee/department representatives large one.
Other smart, innovative and progressive ideas will Consider the fuel you use.
hopefully evolve as your organisation starts on the journey This can be a vexed question because of the overall
to reduce its footprint. Our strategic approach to environmental impact of the fuel.
sustainable transport is: Things to consider include:
• the fuel type (e.g. unleaded vs diesel vs biodiesel).
Avoid …the need to travel Biofuels have a wide variety of grades of quality
depending on how it was produced and from where and
what it is sourced. Examine each fuel on its merits,
particularly with regard to greenhouse savings.
Reduce …total distance travelled and/or the emission
• standard of fuel (e.g. Euro IV vs Euro V).
intensity of transport modes
• technology fitted to the vehicle (some European
manufacturers do not bring European built vehicles to
Offset …any emissions thart cannot be eliminated or reduced Australia as Australia’s fuel quality is lower than in
Europe).
• the relative efficiency of the engine using one fuel type vs
Advocate …support, encourage and inspire others to follow suit another.
For these reasons the Guide does not recommend use
of one fuel over another at this stage, but as fuel standards
improve and technology is more uniformly installed, future
AVOID
editions of the Guide may make a more definitive
Avoiding the need for business travel entirely is the most
recommendation.
preferred sustainable transport outcome.
Use communications technology to avoid the need for HINT
travel by: Different fuels produce different amounts of emissions so
1. Installing appropriate technology and teaching people compare ratings for g/km travelled, not just fuel
how to use it, and consumption.
2. Developing a workplace culture that supports and
encourages its use, and that discourages unnecessary
travel. CONTINUED ON PAGE 114

106 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Kicking Goals at the

| equipment + supplies |
2010 World Cup
With over 25 years of Turf experience,
EVERGREEN TURF is recognised as one of
Australia’s leading turf producers.
EVERGREEN TURF specialises in sports fields/ open
space conversions, reconstructions, Major stadium turfing
and turf consultancy.
EVERGREEN TURF provides turf solutions and ground
maintenance services to a large Number of councils.
EVERGREEN TURF’S services include:
• Ovals & golf course conversion to drought tolerant turf
• Synthetic turf ovals, pitches & passive areas
• Turf consultancy
• Surface construction
• Prep, supply & laying of turf
• Spraying
• Top dressing
• Fertilising
• Vertidraining
• Scarifying
• Vacuuming
Evergreen Turf also has a Landscaping Division
providing landscaping services to Residential Land
Developers, Residential Home Lots and Commercial &
Industrial developments.

AAMI PARK (Melbourne’s new rectangle stadium)

EVERGREEN TURF (VIC) Ph 03 5945 2100


EVERGREEN TURF (NSW) Ph 0488 958 108
MORE THAN JUST TURF

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 107


| equipment + machinery |

Mitsubishi’s 2010 Triton – More Power,


More Safety, and Enhanced Driveability
The Mitsubishi Triton utility line-up for 2010 offers a new, high powered turbo-diesel
engine with class leading power, industry-leading safety standards including stability
control and side and curtain airbags, greater towing capacity, and improved driveability.

asahiko Takahashi, available on the GLX and GL-R traction control is available on all HP

M President and CEO of


MMAL, is certain that this
year’s strong sales for the
versatile and tough utility will continue
to grow as the year progresses.
variants providing intrinsic comfort for
both driver and passenger.
Two automatic transmissions are
available on HP diesel variants – the
four-speed transmission carried over
diesel models and passenger side and
curtain airbags are available on all HP
diesel dual-cab models—and standard
on GLX-R variants—and cement the
Triton’s four star ANCAP rating.
“The Triton has shown that it is from the previous model sees smooth Load carrying and towing are
more than a rugged work vehicle that shifting as an option on all but the top- critical factors when choosing a work-
can take all the hard knocks thrown at of-the-range Triton. The well appointed and-play utility, and, in response to
it,” Takahashi said. “It is now also GLX-R model receives an electronically consumer feedback, Mitsubishi has
being recognised for its outstanding controlled five-speed automatic with gone all-out to improve both these
four-wheel drive capabilities, improved sports-mode which provides important features on the 2010 Triton.
safety standards and car-like operational improvement, performance Towing capacities have also been
comforts.” improvement, and CO2 emission increased, with the maximum towing
The big news for the 2010 Triton reduction. capacity of the 2010 Triton four-wheel
range is the availability of a new, high- Mitsubishi’s All Terrain Technology drive range up from 2,500kg to
powered (HP) turbo diesel engine on (MATT) is standard on all GLX-R 2,700kg on our dual-cab four-by-fours
four-wheel drive variants, which models, and features the acclaimed with long bed and 3,000kg on all other
delivers the highest output and Super Select four-wheel drive system, four-wheel drives.
performance in this segment. Engine which includes Active Stability & Central purchasing decision criteria
performance has been improved Traction Control, Multi Mode ABS, in the commercial vehicle market are
through changes to the combustion Electronic Brake Force Distribution and maintenance and running costs, and
chamber shape, optimised injector an optional Diff Lock. the 2010 Triton line-up leads the pack
specifications, adding a variable Given many Mitsubishi Tritons with its comprehensive five
geometry turbo charger and increasing spend their weekdays toiling as an year/130,000km whole vehicle
turbo charging pressure. The two- indispensable tool for their hard- warranty, backed up by its 10
wheel drive 2010 Triton range retains working owners—then convert to year/160,000km powertrain warranty
the popular 2.4-litre petrol engine and family transport on weekends—safety and a five year/130,000km roadside
2.5-litre diesel engine from the current was a key priority when designing the assistance package.
line-up. new vehicle. All 2010 Tritons have “Mitsubishi is today giving
The 2010 Triton boasts upgraded standard driver and front passenger Australians a utility vehicle that really
exterior features with new front SRS airbags, front and rear door does have the lot.”
bumpers, grille and side-turning lamps impact bars, ABS brakes with “Powerful and tough enough to get
and central locking with remote electronic brakeforce distribution, front anyone through a work day—stylish,
keyless entry while inside, new seat seatbelt pretensioners and child efficient and comfortable enough to
fabric and seat pads, available sports restraint points. get you around town—yet still
seats and new instrument cluster, floor Additional safety features available extremely versatile and packed with
console treatments, power windows, with the 2010 Mitsubishi Triton line-up plenty of functional extras to suit any
CD tuner with MP3 compatibility with confirm its position as the class-leader weekend outing or holiday,” Takahashi
USB, iPod and bluetooth controls in this segment. Active stability and said.

108 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Discover the
DAF difference.
Meets or exceeds strictest
Australian emission standards

Five star driver World-class


comfort & safety modern design

Supported by A bodybuilder’s dream Fuel efficient


Australia’s best powerful PACCAR
parts & service engines
network

Test drive a DAF and discover for yourself what sets it apart from other trucks in its class. Its sleek European
FAITH PAC0025

design, enhanced safety features, SCR technology, PACCAR engine and intuitive interior combine to deliver
a vehicle that finds the perfect balance between power, efficiency, advanced technology and the environment.
Contact your nearest DAF dealer to organise a test drive today. www.daf.com.au
Environmental Solutions –
| equipment + machinery |

Distinctly DAF
DAF trucks have distinct features that set the standard for the municipal sector, now and
well into the future. Cab space and comfort, manoeuvrability, responsiveness and real
driving flexibility, outstanding fuel economy, optimum payload potential and low
maintenance design for maximum uptime – the municipal range has been well thought out
so you can make a rational and successful business decision.

rom mobile libraries, street

F sweepers and refuse trucks to


tippers, bitumen sprayers and
water tankers, DAF can
provide a specification to meet your
requirements. And the entire 2010 DAF
range offers emissions standards for
Euro 5 (ADR80/03) with even stricter
EEV (Environmentally Enhanced
Vehicle) standards available upon
request.
DAF is widely acclaimed for driver
comfort, as well as safety, with class
leading active and passive safety
systems, wrapped in arguably the
most modern of truck designs. The
latest optional safety innovations
include adaptive cruise control,

“The fuel economy is better, which reduces running costs. The drivers all
report back that the comfort and ride in the cab is the best they have
experienced with excellent, easy to operate controls.” - Jeff Saker,
General Manager of City Services, City of Darebin (VIC)

110 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| equipment + machinery |
“We examined several brands and found the FAT CF85 to be the best vehicle, not only in performance and
productivity but also comfort. Our drivers don’t cover a lot of kilometres, but they do handle a lot of jobs each
day – and that can take its toll on both the truck and the operator. But not when you’re using a DAF.” - Adrian
Schutz, Works Manager, District of Grant (S.A.)

forward collision warning, vehicle Fuel efficient engines range from Since then EcoDesign has been the
stability control, lane departure the LF with the 6.7 litre 220 to 280hp, company’s unique approach to
warning signal, front and side view the CF75 with the PACCAR 9.2 litre environmentally responsible product
mirrors, driver-side air bag and Xenon offering up to 360 hp, to the state of design, and ensures all DAF products
headlights. the art PACCAR 12.9 MX engine comply with the strictest environmental
DAF safety features provide drivers providing power up to 460hp and guidelines, from initial concept to end-
with a comfortable, safe and practical delivering as much as 2300Nm of of-life recycling. The EcoDesign team
working environment, no matter what torque. is responsible for reducing the
Council they work for. Standard DAF is committed to conducting its environmental impact during all three
features include acceleration slip business in a responsible way and has product life cycle phases; production,
control, electronically controlled air had an environmental policy in place use and disposal. The team looks for
suspension, electronic braking system for over 12 years. In 1998, DAF was solutions that are good for the
(EBS), hands-free mobile phone kit, one of the first truck manufacturers environment as well as solutions to
and enhanced windscreen and side with an ISO 14001 certified improve vehicle efficiency.
window demisting. environmental protection system. More than 85 percent of a DAF
truck can be re-used once the truck
has reached the end of its working life.
90 percent of metal parts are re-usable
and 80 percent of plastic parts. All
plastic parts used to produce DAF
trucks are issued with a separate
material code to identify the exact
plastic type, and DAF provides
recycling guides for each model in
which all components are colour
coded by material type.
It takes engineering excellence and
80 years of experience to build a truck
as good as a DAF. The constant drive
to engineer and manufacture the
highest quality transport solutions has
become a trademark for the company,
and delivering the perfect working
environment to all drivers is the
cornerstone of DAF’s success.
For more information about DAF and their
2010 range of trucks, visit www.daf.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 111


Subaru adds diesel dimension
| equipment + machinery |

Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive appeal is expanding with the addition of ultra-efficient


turbocharged diesel variants to its multi award-winning Outback and Forester ranges.

utback 2.0D and Forester 2.0D models are Forester is consistently maintaining its status as

O powered by four-cylinder Boxer engines—so-


called because the sideways cylinder action
replicates that of a punching boxer.
Offering outstanding economy and low emissions, the
six-speed manual 2.0 litre turbocharged diesels meet strict
Australia’s best-selling compact Sports Utility Vehicle and
interest in the diesel versions is high.
Forester is also increasingly seen in emergency services
roles, particularly with ambulance services as a first
response vehicle, with the ability to arrive ahead of
EURO 5 emission standards. traditional ambulances, which are sometimes constrained
Andrew Sinclair, Subaru’s National Manager—Corporate by size and ride height.
Sales and Financial Services, said: “Outback diesel was Besides efficiency, five star occupant safety, quality
launched last November and has met with a fantastic engineering, retained value and reliability are key factors
reception from private and fleet and government buyers quoted by Subaru buyers for their brand loyalty, which is
alike. among the best in the automotive industry.
“Sales of around 150 a month are more than 50 per Subaru’s diesel engine is believed to be the world’s first
cent ahead of our own best predictions. flat Boxer for a passenger car and, in the Outback,
“With Forester 2.0D versions just reaching the market, consumes just 6.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in the
we’re quietly confident of its success too.” combined cycle, while producing just 160 grams/kilometre

112 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| equipment + machinery |
of carbondioxide. And the action for Subaru is not all model related. The
Local testing indicates a range in excess of 1100 company is busy rolling out its All 4 the Driver philosophy,
kilometres is achievable with steady freeway driving. aimed squarely at providing optimum and consistent
Three Outback and Forester diesel models are available: customer service levels across its entire network of 100-
the 2.0D, the 2.0D Premium and 2.0D Premium with plus retailers Australia-wide.
satellite navigation (SatNav). It will take customer experiences to even higher levels at
The new engine produces 110 Kilowatts of power at all key touch points, such as showrooms and service
3600 rpm and 350 Newtonmetres of torque between 1800- centres.
2400 rpm. For example, Subaru TV is being rolled out in all retail
Even at just 1600 rpm, the engine delivers 300 Nm of centres and salespeople are getting iPhones with Subaru
torque for incredible low-down pulling power. specific applications that will detail the brand’s unique
As with all current four-cylinder Subarus, the first service selling points and features and benefits.
is now at 12,500 kilometres/six months. Subaru TV will include product, parts and accessory
Outback and Forester 2.0D share the same spacious information that will be constantly updated to ensure
cabins and refined ride as their petrol counterparts. customers are up to speed on everything Subaru.
Mr Sinclair added: “The amazing fuel efficiency of the Initiatives include Drive It Your Way, which gives
new turbo diesels is adding to Subaru’s appeal. customers much more flexibility in test driving Subaru cars.
“Both Fleet and Government buyers are already largely Subaru retailers will be offering specific, mapped drive
aware of the fact that we offer five-star occupant safety
programs, which allow customers to get a much better idea
across our entire range and the added ingredient of the new
of what makes its cars different—the confidence of
diesel engine is making Outback and Forester irresistible to
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive—in a variety of road
many buyers.
conditions.
“Our diesel engine reinforces our environmental and fuel
economy credentials, which have already been highlighted In some cases, for added convenience, retailers will also
by significant efficiency gains across the entire new be offering overnight drives or the opportunity to have a car
generation Liberty and Outback ranges. delivered to a customer’s preferred address.
He added: “We estimate, for example, that driving There will also be simplified, plain English billing that
25,000 kilometres a year in a diesel Outback at $90 per customers will see when getting their car serviced.
tank of diesel would save approximately $2500 over 20 Other subtle changes will include a new look to Subaru’s
months on an equivalent petrol car. website, with easy navigation to even better information and
“It’s a significant saving and one of the many positive images and, of course, the Subaru Fleet and Corporate
facts that will bring new buyers to the Subaru brand.” Sales Regional Management team remain poised to assist
Subaru’s safety commitment is underlined by Outback both Fleet and Government customers with any or all of
and Forester achieving the highest five-star occupant safety their needs.
rating in independent crashworthiness testing conducted by They can be contacted on:
the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
They also have a three-star pedestrian rating. Peter Clifford (VIC, TAS, SA, WA)
Meanwhile, another variant in the Subaru range arrives Regional Fleet & Corporate Sales Manager (Southern)
in July with the launch of the Impreza XV hatch back. Phone: (03) 8698 3528
Drawing on the heritage of the earlier Impreza Email: peter.clifford@subaru.com.au
Sportswagon and RV, the XV offers greater ride height than Robert Carney (NSW, QLD, ACT, NT)
other Imprezas and protective wheel arch extensions plus Regional Fleet & Corporate Sales Manager (Northern)
bumpers, grille, roof rails and rear spoiler unique to the Phone: (02) 8892 9114
model. Email: robert.carney@subaru.com.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 113


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 106 We recommend that you pass on all cost savings to the
| equipment + machinery |

employee to avoid employee cynicism and increase support


‘Green’ the fleet for your organisation’s sustainable transport commitments.
The HR and procurement departments of your organisation
can introduce salary sacrifice, company vehicle fleet and Alter freight delivery times
business travel policies that preference the purchase, Consider shifting delivery times for freight deliveries to off-
leasing and/or hiring of vehicles with lower environmental peak times, thereby avoiding congestion periods. This can
impact ratings. unlock fuel savings and improve your ‘social license to
Support and encourage fleet managers to address operate’. However, barriers to such changes may include
sustainability issues as well as the more typical procurement parking restrictions during offpeak periods for freight
considerations such as price, availability and local vehicles, and night-time restrictions in residential areas.
manufacture. In considering sustainability issues, fleet Retailers and local government representatives may
managers can prioritise low emissions vehicles, set need to be consulted closely to ensure that an alteration to
minimum fuel efficiency performance standards and ensure timing deliveries is supported. Similarly, local community
that all company vehicles are fit for purpose. groups can be consulted to ensure that they are
The Australian Government maintains an online Green comfortable with increased vehicle traffic during off-peak
Vehicle Guide, which provides a ‘Star Rating’ for vehicles, times.
enabling motorists to identify vehicles with the lower
environmental impact. The greenhouse gas emissions, local HINT
air pollution and fuel efficiency of each vehicle are taken into In order to reduce fuel costs, Greenfleet recommends
account. Smaller, hybrid and/or diesel engine vehicles vehicle maintenance practices such as regular services,
generally have the lowest environmental impact. Vehicles proper tuning, use of correct engine oil, correct inflation of
determined to have the best environmental performance tyre pressure, and regular air filter checks. More information
receive a 5 star rating. These vehicles are shown on the is available at:
homepage of the Green Vehicle Guide. The Green Vehicle http://www.greenfleet.com.au/Global/Individuals/Transport/
Guide also provides a ‘Fuel Consumption Guide Database’, Driving_Tips/index.aspx
which contains fuel consumption data on vehicles sold in
Australian between 1986 and 2003. Adjusting freight loads
It is important to note that hybrid vehicles do not Improved logistics and supply chain management can allow
necessarily have a lower greenhouse gas impact than freight loads to be increased, thereby reducing the number
smaller cars. It is also important to note that while diesel of trips required for deliveries. This has greenhouse gas
vehicles tend to be more fuel-efficient and therefore have a reduction, fuel use and ‘social licence to operate’
lower greenhouse gas impact per kilometre travelled than advantages.
petrol vehicles, they can have a higher impact on local air However, you should also consider the impact of
pollution if they don’t have soot collectors in their engine. alterations to supply chains, such as increased storage area
So ask the question – does this diesel vehicle have soot requirements.
collection in the exhaust system?
Another useful resource when attempting to determine OFFSET
which vehicle to purchase is the Greenwheels website. ‘Carbon offsets’ can be purchased in order to reduce or
recapture greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere
For more information on either site visit: in proportion to any greenhouse gas emissions from
www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au transportation. The Federal Government’s National Carbon
Offset Standard provides guidance on the purchase of
www.greenwheels.com.au credible offsets. By measuring and paying to offset
Eco driving emissions before commencing reductions, it may be easier
Changing the way you drive will save you money. How a to justify reducing emissions later – as you will save both the
vehicle is driven can have a significant and immediate cost of the energy consumed and the cost to offset.
impact on both its fuel usage and greenhouse gas Some organisations offset by staff salary sacrifice or part
emissions. of salary packaging.
EPA Victoria reports that fuel efficiency can vary as This reduces the cost of the offset to the organisation
much as 45 per cent between different drivers using and is tax-effective for the staff member. It is also a way of
identical cars. Eco driving does not require you to buy a engaging staff on behavioural change initiatives.
new car, you just need to get better at driving the car you With thanks to Greenfleet and the Net Balance Foundation, 2010.
use today and you will save fuel and money at the same
time. Greenfleet
Make your employees aware of ‘eco/green driving Email: info@greenfleet.com.au
practices’ via staff inductions and/or with regular training Web: www.greenfleet.com.au
Tel: (03) 9642 0570
courses.
PO Box 1601, Collins Street West VIC 8007
Vehicle maintenance Net Balance
Adequate vehicle maintenance can have a significant Email: info@netbalance.com
impact on fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Your Web: www.netbalance.com
business’ fleet management practices should incorporate Tel: (03) 8641 6400
regular fleet vehicle maintenance. Level 4, 460 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
References:
Flexible remuneration packages 1 http://www.workhealth.vic.gov.au
2 Australian Government (2005) “Health Impacts of Transport Emissions in Australia:
The way people are paid can make a difference to your Economic Costs” Department of Transport and Regional Services: Canberra.
greenhouse footprint. Provide all employees who currently 3 Telstra (2007) “Towards a High-Bandwidth, Low-Carbon Future: Telecommunications-
have a vehicle as part of their remuneration package with based Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions”. Pg46. Report prepared by
Climate Risk and available at:
other choices. http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/csr/docs/climate_full_report.pdf

114 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


1833
NIS183
NIS183 3
Shift your
thinking
about your
fleet’s
potential.

Whatever your fleet requirements, Nissan can shift there’s the X-TRAIL, with intelligent ALL MODE 4x4-i.
your thinking in the right direction. To meet your And then there’s hard working utes like the Navara
green needs, the zero emission Nissan LEAF* is
the electric car of the future. While around town,
ST-X Dual Cab, the most powerful turbo diesel in
its class. For more information and for all general fleet
SHIFT_ the way you move
you’ll find the DUALIS is an incredibly versatile and sales enquiries please email fleet_sales@nissan.com.au,
spacious hatch. Or, for more rugged requirements visit nissan.com.au or call 1800 035 035.

* Anticipated Australian Launch 2012.


SHIFT WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM A
HATCH AND A WAGON.
Is it a hatch? Is it a wagon? Perhaps it’s a
compact SUV? Well it’s all of these and more.
The versatility and flexibility of the DUALIS and
DUALIS+2* across a fleet makes these models
the ideal fleet ‘crossover’ vehicles.
There’s a reason that the DUALIS is known
as the ‘hatch plus’ - it’s because it offers so
much more than a conventional hatch. It really
is a genuine fleet alternative for a small car,
medium car or a compact SUV. Available in both
2WD and AWD. Most importantly, thanks to a
sophisticated combination of safety features,
the DUALIS has obtained the highest ANCAP DUALIS+2 shown available July 2010.
occupant safety rating of 5 stars.
steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls,
As well as being surprisingly economical, the
MP3 player input and the Ti model offers even more:
engine also offers low C02 emissions. The
Intelligent Key, leather seat trim and dual zone climate
DUALIS is not only efficient, but also powerful.
control air-conditioning, to name just a few. Then there’s
Under the bonnet is a lightweight aluminum 2.0
the DUALIS+2 – the 7 seat variant. The SUV influenced
litre engine that delivers an impressive 102kW
styling, command driving position and genuine driving
of power and 198Nm of torque.
comfort are all carried over from the 5-seat DUALIS,
With a choice of transmissions – a 6 speed but the greater length adds another dimension to fleets
manual or an Xtronic Continuously Variable seeking all the carrying capacity of a traditional wagon.
Transmission, which offers an almost infinite Longer and taller, DUALIS+2 has been designed to
number of gear ratios and a beautifully smooth provide greater interior space and more practicality for
ride, the DUALIS is a very responsive car to drive. fleet wagon requirements in both 2WD and AWD.
It’s not short on creature comforts either, Both the DUALIS and DUALIS+2* are truly innovative in their
with an impressive list of advanced luxury creation plus the versatility and practicality of both models
features: Bluetooth® handsfree phone system, offer real fleet alternatives across multiple vehicle categories.
*DUALIS+2 available July 2010.

SHIFT THE CONCEPT OF THE FUTURE.


The way we drive is changing, and soon Nissan A combination of Nissan LEAF’s regenerative-braking
will have a ‘real’ car that will help lead the world system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enable the
into the zero-emission era^. A ‘real’ car that will car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km on one
change the fleet landscape. full charge*.
The engineers and designers at Nissan have Nissan LEAF also incorporates ‘Smart Fluidity’ –
created the Nissan LEAF. A ‘real’ car for the Nissan’s concept of clean, intelligent lines to promote
real-world. optimum aerodynamics.
The LEAF is powered by laminated compact The LEAF will be available for sale in the US and Japan
lithium-ion batteries, which generate over 90kW this year, and is anticipated to be coming to Australia in
of power, whilst the vehicles electric motor 2012. The future however, is not a single model, but a
delivers 80kW of power and 280Nm of torque. portfolio of electric vehicles – the Nissan ‘Zero-Emission’
This ensures a highly responsive, fun-to-drive Line Up. If you’re ready to shift to the future, contact
experience just as good as any you get from Nissan Fleet today.
‘normal’ cars that are powered by internal-
combustion engines (ICE).
Unlike ICE-equipped vehicles, however,
the Nissan LEAF emits no CO2 or other
greenhouse gases – it doesn’t even have
an exhaust pipe.
^ The Nissan LEAF produces zero emissions during operation. Depending
on the energy source used, CO 2 and pollutant emissions may be produced
during the manufacture of the vehicle and battery, the re-charging of the
battery and disposal of the battery.
* Based on the US EPA’s Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule
(also called the “LA4” or “the city test”) emulating light-duty city
driving conditions.
NIS1833
SHIFT WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
FROM A COMPACT 4WD.
The Nissan X-TRAIL can carry just about anything, just Both 6-speed manual and auto transmissions with
about anywhere. M-Mode offer excellent diesel fuel economy – 7.5 litres
per 100km* for the manual and 8.1 litres per 100km*
Let’s start with the engines, diesel or petrol.
for the auto.
The X-TRAIL’s 2.5 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine pushes out
As for advanced features, the X-TRAIL boasts intelligent
a very impressive 125kW of power and 226Nm of torque.
ALL-MODE 4x4-i technology including Electronic Stability
This gives the petrol X-TRAIL a very useful braked towing
Program (ESP), Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) and
capacity of 2,000kg. The petrol engine is available with
Traction Control System (TCS). The ST-L, Ti and TL
a 6-speed manual transmission or the incredibly smooth
models are even more advanced and luxurious with
automatic Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission
leather seat trim.
(CVT) with 6-speed M-Mode.
The combination of X-TRAIL’s incredibly versatile
The 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine is no slouch either.
passenger and storage options, creates a compact
Compared with the petrol engine, it delivers lower
4WD that will give you all the benefits of a compact
emissions and increased power on the manual model,
SUV combined with a station wagon and so much more.
127kW of power and 360Nm of torque in fact.
*Figures have been calculated in accordance with ADR81/02. Actual fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions, driver behaviour, the condition of your vehicle and the accessories fitted.

SHIFT WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM A 4X4 UTE.


When there’s some heavy work to be done, who better power by up to 11% and provides an impressive 450Nm of
than ‘Australia’s most powerful tradie’ to do it – the torque. Fuel economy has improved to just 8.5 litres/100km*
Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab. The Navara ST-X Dual for the manual and 9 litres/100km* for the auto.
Cab combines power with safety for the ultimate light
The power of the Navara is now combined with extra
commercial fleet vehicle.
safety features to give peace of mind for fleet managers
This latest member of the Navara line-up has a new common and their operators. Now with Vehicle Dynamic Control
rail turbo-diesel engine with a class-leading 140kW. (diesel model only) and curtain airbags (additional to the
driver and front passenger front and side airbags).
This extraordinary powerplant has increased power,
torque, improved fuel economy and lowered emissions With improved power and safety, Navara ST-X Dual
thanks, in part, to an all new direct injection system and Cab offers the best of both world’s for light commercial
variable nozzle turbo with electronic control. This increases fleet applications.

* Figures have been calculated in accordance with ADR81/02 (combined fuel consumption data). Actual fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions, driver behavior, the condition of
your vehicle and the accessories fitted.
Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV
| equipment + machinery |

Electric Vehicle

118 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


The Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle—nicknamed the i-MiEV—has now

| equipment + machinery |
arrived in Australia. The world’s first volume production fully plug-in electric
vehicle with zero drive-time emissions has generated unprecedented
interest in alternative fuel vehicle technology, appearing at environmental
symposiums and launch events right around the world.

he i-MiEV is undergoing and long wheelbase of 2550mm.

T feasibility studies in the United


States, Europe, the United
Kingdom, New Zealand,
Iceland, Canada, and as recently
announced, now in Australia.
Requiring seven hours from a 50
Amp domestic household power
supply for a full battery charge, the
i-MiEV should ideally be left to
recharge overnight, making it perfect
Utilising a large-capacity lithium-ion for daily commuting over common
battery system and a compact, high- distances in a city landscape.
output electric motor in place of a Able to reach a top speed of
traditional gasoline power train the 130km/h, with a range of around
i-MiEV has some impressive technical 160 kilometres* from a single charge,
specifications for a zero drive-time the i-MiEV is a rear-wheel drive
emissions vehicle. vehicle with three ‘speeds’: Drive,
Producing 47kW of power and Eco and Brake.
180Nm of instant torque, the i-MiEV’s Drive is the full power mode where
permanent magnet synchronous the car drives under normal mode.
engine is supported by a revolutionary Economic or ‘Eco’ mode allows the
lithium-ion battery from the newly power to drop out automatically to
formed joint venture company Lithium extend the i-MiEV’s cruising range and
Energy Japan. fuel efficiency. Brake mode offers high
The i-MiEV’s electric motor is regenerative braking that absorbs as
smaller, produces more torque at low much kinetic energy as possible—
revolutions and is quieter than a restoring power to the battery—and is
turbocharged gasoline engine. Most perfect for downhill driving.
importantly, the i-MiEV’s engine is Compared to a similar sized petrol Technology” category at the coveted
cleaner, producing zero drive-time car, the running costs per kilometre are “2009-2010 Car of the Year Japan”
CO2 emissions. around 33% lower. If charged during awards.
With total voltage measuring 330V, off-peak or night time hours the Closer to home, progress to ensure
and total energy output at 16kWh, the operating costs will be even less. Mitsubishi is the first company to
compact battery and motor reside During 2009, the i-MiEV won two launch a fully electric vehicle in the
under the seating and in the back of very important awards in Japan. Australian market has been steady.
the vehicle, allowing seating capacity Claiming the “2009 Japan Automotive Following the road show which took
for four individuals and good size Hall of Fame Car Technology of the the i-MiEV cavalcade through
luggage compartment in the rear of the Year” award, the i-MiEV garnered Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and
vehicle. In a small car, this praise as “the realisation of the ultimate Canberra in February and March in
maximisation of space is made in environmental efficiency.” In addition, 2009, the feedback received has been
possible by the i-MiEV’s smart design i-MiEV secured the “Most Advanced very positive. Everyone who drove the
vehicle, including even the most critical
evaluator, agreed that the driving
characteristics of the vehicle—and in
particular its incredible acceleration—
made it more pleasurable to drive than
many conventional vehicles. Mitsubishi
has received many requests for a
return road show from hundreds of
potential i-MiEV owners, who include
government purchasers, as well as
private citizens.
While Australia has yet to sign a
memorandum of understanding to
confirm the availability of the vehicle on
our local shores, Mitsubishi is working
with local, state and federal authorities
to increase awareness of the
infrastructures and policy required to
support this new technology. The
company will continue talking with the
appropriate regulatory bodies to
stimulate better understanding of
electric vehicle and hybrid technology
to facilitate the i-MiEV’s speedy arrival
in Australia.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 119


Mentay has gone for the challenge
| equipment + machinery |

all over the world

The Mentay 2000 ride-on cricket pitch roller is


at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney
Cricket Ground, the Gabba in Brisbane, the
WACA ground in Perth, the Adelaide Oval and
Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

ater filled and concrete filled rollers are Hong Kong Cricket Club on new sight screens. These were

W available in both the Mentay Hydra Glide walk-


behind roller and the Mentay 2000 ride-on
roller and our brand new Mentay 1200 Custom
roller, which will give you a perfect weight of 2260kg. The
Mentay Hydra Ride ride-on roller is a big roller for special
a fixed requirement. We also supplied a special Mentay Tow
a Tarp which gives the curator the option of allowing for
rainfall of a capacity of 600mm per shower.
We have modified this unit to suit Australian conditions,
producing the Mentay Tow a Tarp for Blacktown City
operations and has a width coverage of 1.8 metres. Council Olympic Park. This unit can handle 25 metre x 25
We sold 4 Mentay 2000 ride-on rollers to various parts metre cover capacity with a hi torque unit with a greater
of Queensland in the month of January 2010 and one to more powerful 12 volt motor.
Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, so that is a Mentay went over to South Africa and spent some time
stimulus. at Durban. We unloaded a Mentay Aqua Wizzard – a
We have supplied all rollers to Dubai Sports City complete hydraulic Wizzard that picks up water off the
including our quad bike roller, a new hand roller that you ground.
push, or tow with a 50mm tow ball. A lot of people love the Why don’t you email us for more information and
light roller. prices?
Mentay has also supplied a Mentay 2000 to the Hong mentay@bigpond.com
Kong Cricket Club. We have also done a lot of work at the www.mentay.com.au

120 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Murray Darling Basin – nourishing our
| water |

food bowl
The Murray Darling Basin traverses four states and provides the necessary sustenance for
this country’s ‘food bowl’. From a local government perspective, this report outlines the
Murray–Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) responsibilities in the context of national water
resource management.

The Murray–Darling Basin incorporates Australia’s three longest rivers and is one of our most diverse regions,
stretching from Queensland to South Australia. The Murray–Darling Basin is important to Australia economically,
socially and environmentally. Often called Australia’s food bowl, the Murray–Darling Basin has a population of
approximately two million people and supports much of Australia’s agriculture and agricultural exports. The Basin also
contains more than 30,000 wetlands, including 16 internationally significant sites, many of which provide habitat for
migratory birds.
However, water use in the Basin has increased five-fold in the last century. The Basin is now under significant
stress from the combined impacts of over-allocation of water, severe drought, and the early impacts of climate
change. There has been a marked decline in river health and it has become imperative to take action to return the
system to a sustainable footing.

he Australian Government is Basin Plan for the sustainable allow for comment on the proposed

T working with all states and


territories to improve the way
it manages Australia’s water
resources. As we prepare for a future
with less water it is important that we
management of water across the
whole of the Murray–Darling Basin.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)


www.mdba.gov.au
Basin Plan in mid-2010. MDBA is
already engaging with the communities
and industries and governments
around the Murray–Darling Basin.
MDBA also manages the Murray
improve water use and infrastructure, For the first time, water planning in the River system in close cooperation with
and restore the health of our rivers. Murray–Darling Basin is being state authorities to ensure reliable
To assist in this endeavour, the undertaken by a single, independent water supplies for all users. Further,
Australian Government has passed expert body with a whole-of-basin MDBA implements programs that
legislation and established the focus. The objective is to put water support the restoration of the
following initiatives and programs. use on a sustainable footing to ensure environment in the Murray–Darling
Several Australian Government a viable irrigation industry, to secure Basin, such as the Native Fish
agencies are working together to help water for cities and towns, and to Strategy, and The Living Murray river
deliver this package of water reforms. restore the health of the environment restoration program.
of the Basin.
National Water Initiative (NWI) MDBA is responsible for preparing Water for the Future Program
The NWI is the blueprint for water a management plan (the Basin Plan) http://www.environment.gov.au/water/
reform across Australia. This that will include a new sustainable The Department of the Environment,
agreement between all states and diversion limit (SDL) in the Murray- Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)
territory governments and the Darling Basin to ensure enough water implements the Australian
commonwealth, has been in place is allocated to the environment to Government’s Water for the Future
since 2004. The NWI represents a maintain important ecosystems and program. This ten-year, $12.9 billion
shared commitment by all our river health. program aims to secure the water
governments to increase the efficiency The Basin Plan will: supply for all Australians. Water for the
of Australia’s water use and includes • set legally enforceable Future has four priorities:
commitments to reform water markets environmentally sustainable limits • using water wisely
and trading, and deal with over- on the quantities of surface and • supporting healthy rivers
allocated or stressed water systems. ground water that may be taken • taking action on climate change
from Basin water resources • securing water supplies.
Water Act 2007 (The Water Act) • set Basin-wide environmental, Important elements of the Water for
The Australian Government passed the water quality and salinity objectives the Future are buying back water from
Water Act in 2007 to help implement • develop efficient water trading willing sellers, using it to meet core
the National Water Initiative. The Water regimes across the Basin environmental needs, investing in
Act introduced new powers that help • set requirements for state water water infrastructure to make our water
the Australian Government coordinate resource plans use more efficient and supporting
a national approach to water • improve water security for all Basin other reforms through the following
management and meet the challenges water uses. programs:
facing water management in the In preparing the Basin Plan, MDBA
Murray–Darling Basin. Importantly, the is using the best scientific and Driving Reform in the Basin program
Water Act established the Murray– socioeconomic information available. A The Driving Reform in the Basin
Darling Basin Authority to prepare a formal public consultation period will program supports Australian

122 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Government contributions to the Australia. This water will be used to Other Commonwealth initiatives

| water |
operation and water reform functions protect and restore key environmental A number of other Commonwealth
of MDBA, including those under the sites, including the health of rivers and agencies have programs that support
Water Act. This program also gives the wetlands in the Murray–Darling Basin. these water reforms:
National Water Commission (NWC) • The Department of Agriculture,
and Australian Competition and National Water Commission (NWC) Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)
Consumer Commission (ACCC) http://www.nwc.gov.au/ provides drought assistance and
specific roles and functions under the NWC was established to oversee supports research through the
Water Act which are outlined further implementation of the National Water
Bureau of Rural Sciences
below. Initiative and report on progress to the
(http://www.brs.gov.au/) and the
Australian Government. All state and
Australian Bureau of Agricultural
Restoring the Balance in the Murray– territory governments have lodged
and Resource Economics
Darling Basin program plans for how they will implement the
(http://www.abare.gov.au/).
Under the $3.1 billion Restoring the National Water Initiative’s requirements.
Balance in the Murray–Darling Basin The National Water Commission will • The Caring for Our Country
program, the Australian Government is also be responsible for auditing the program (http://
buying water entitlements from willing effectiveness of the implementation of www.nrm.gov.au/about/
sellers to help restore the Murray– the Basin Plan and Water Resource caring/index.html) is administered
Darling Basin’s environment. Plans. jointly through DEWHA and DAFF
to support communities, farmers
Sustainable Rural Water Use and Australian Competition and Consumer and other land managers to protect
Infrastructure program Competition (ACCC) Australia’s natural environment and
The Australian Government is also www.accc.gov.au sustainably produce food and fibre.
investing $5.8 billion in modernising Under the Water Act, ACCC advises • Centrelink
irrigation infrastructure and improving the Commonwealth Water Minister on (http://www.centrelink.gov.au/)
water use efficiency. water charge and water market rules. provides income support,
The Restoring the Balance in the ACCC will also advise MDBA on information and referral to eligible
Murray–Darling Basin program and the trading rules for inclusion in the Basin irrigators and other rural customers
Sustainable Rural Water Use and Plan. to help them in times of drought
Infrastructure program are helping by and hardship.
returning water to the environment and Bureau of Meterology (the Bureau)
• The Australian Bureau of Statistics
in the transition to the implementation www.bom.gov.au/water
(http://www.abs.gov.au/) provides
of the Basin Plan. Both programs are The Bureau has the responsibility,
regular updates on a range of
administered by DEWHA. through the Water Act, for compiling
and delivering consistent water statistics about Australia’s water
Commonwealth Environmental Water information across all of Australia. The resources including water use and
Holder Bureau’s functions include: water supply.
The Commonwealth Environmental • conducting regular national water
Further information
Water Holder sits within DEWHA. The resources assessments
Copies of this and other reports are
Commonwealth Environmental Water • publishing an annual National
available on the Murray–Darling Basin
Holder manages water purchased by Water Account
Authority website at
the Australian Government for • providing regular water availability
www.mdba.gov.au.
environmental purposes across forecasts.
For copies or enquiries phone 1800
230 067 or email
engagement@mdba.gov.au.
Copies of a more detailed booklet
on the Commonwealth’s water reforms
and agencies’ roles, Securing Our
Water Future, are available on the
National Water Commission’s Web site
at www.nwc.gov.au.
This report provides a general
summary which has been prepared
using best efforts to ensure that the
material it presents is current and
accurate. Users should note that
developments in Commonwealth
Government policy, input from
consultation and other circumstances,
may result in changes to the
approaches set out in the fact sheet.
The information herein does not
represent any decision of the six-
member Authority.
Source: Managing Australia’s water resources
Map showing the location of rivers within the Murray–Darling Basin. (MDBC)

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 123


Floating wetlands help Shoalhaven
| water |

Council to treat stormwater


Harnessing the natural ability of wetlands to treat stormwater, Shoalhaven City Council
recently installed a floating treatment wetland into a pond within Harry Sawkins Park,
Nowra.

The concept of using floating islands as a method to nutrients quickly and in quantities greater than they need.

“ reduce pollutants and sediments in the water is an


environmentally safe and inventive way to help
cleanse these important ponds in one of the major
parks in Nowra,” said Director of Strategic Planning and
Infrastructure Ernie Royston.
These nutrients are then stored in the plant matter until they
die and are then returned to the natural bed of the pond or
the waterway.
However the floating wetlands also maximise another
more under-utilised aspect of wetland physiology. By
“Harry Sawkins Park is a delicate park with ponds that supporting the wetland plants in the water, the floating
capture water runoff from the 37 hectares of catchment,” wetlands allow a large mass of roots to hang like a curtain
Mr Royston said. “We are using this technique as the into the water column. The massive network of stems, roots
floating islands have been successful in cleansing and rootlets are oxygenated because wetland plants pump
stormwater ponds, ponds on golf courses, zoo ponds, large volumes of oxygen into their roots. This oxygenated
sewage treatment ponds and natural waterways in many mass provides a perfect home for biofim, ephipytes and
areas of Europe, Japan and USA.” algae to scavenge nutrients from the water. It’s these
These floating wetlands are one of the newest beneficial microbes that perform the treatment that
adaptations of constructed wetland technology. All these accounts for the high success of floating wetlands being
wetland technologies use the innate capabilities of wetland reported overseas. These microbes are significantly more
plants to act as a filtration system. Wetland plants, such as effective (reported to be 10-20 times) at nutrient uptake
Cyperus exaltus (Giant sedge), Baumea articulata (Jointed than the plant itself.
twigrush), Shoenoplectus validus (River Clubrush) and The value of these microbes is the main area where
Carex appressa are effective because they not only trap water treatment data is available from a number of studies.
sediment with their foliage and roots but are able to absorb International studies have found that there is a range of

124 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| water |
results per square metre per day. But based on an average devices (floating treatment wetland). These floating
of these results, and scaled up for the 100 square metres of wetlands were installed by Sean Harris from Harris
floating wetland installed at Harry Sawkins Pond, the total Environmental Consulting.
nitrogen is reduced by 0.36kg/day and total phosphorous “The challenge is to ensure the system is robust enough
by 0.15kg/day. to withstand adverse conditions such as strong winds, flood
As a large part of the pollutants are associated with fine flows and water currents but also look good and have a low
particulate matter, there is a further opportunity for the maintenance requirement,” explained Sean Harris. He has
floating treatment wetland to remove nutrients and other been developing floating treatment wetlands since 2003
pollutants as it calms the flow of water through the roots, and has successfully installed a number in NSW to solve
increasing the rate of sedimentation. blue green algae outbreaks in storage reservoirs using
If the overseas data proves to be true, the floating recycled treated effluent, sewage treatment ponds and for
treatment wetland is expected to effectively manage the stream bank erosion control.
stormwater pollutants on this site. In general terms, the Floating Treatment Wetland
Council is undertaking a monitoring program to compare
installed at Harry Sawkins Park should not require a high
the performance of this floating treatment wetland in relation
level of maintenance apart from basic weeding, rubbish
to the data found overseas.
removal and adjustments to anchor cables. Due to the high
For optimum treatment, the floating treatment wetland
was positioned strategically to act as a floating boom. The bird population living on the Pond, it was also decided to
water is only 500mm deep below the floating treatment fence out the floating treatment wetland with camouflaged
wetland, which is the same depth that the roots are steel cages. Sean said “other installations have been
expected to grow. Therefore, most of the water that passes plagued with bird attack. In this case we thought it best to
through the pond is in contact with the roots. make permanent cages over the islands. Although in other
Apart from the capacity to provide treatment, other installations we have also successfully used mature wetland
factors influenced Council’s decision to use the floating plants grown in our nursery.”
treatment wetland.
“The floating treatment wetland technology was chosen Facts relating to Harry Sawkins Park pond
because it’s an efficient way to treat storm water,” said Harry Sawkins Pond is a constructed storm water pond. It
Isabelle Ghetti, Manager Natural Resources/Floodplains. is a passive recreational water body, and therefore the
“Within two years, the island will be a self-sustaining water public does not come into contact with the water. The pond
treatment system resembling a natural wetland. It was also is located within a catchment area of approximately 37.28
practical because we could retrofit the existing pond, rather ha, of which the 30 per cent impervious land use is mostly
than sacrifice land in the park to construct a storm water urban. The pond is approximately 7000m2 in area and
treatment device.” 250m long from inlet to outlet, 60m at its widest and 14m at
To undertake this project, Council received a $36,000 the narrow bottleneck where the floating island was
grant from the Australian Government through the Southern installed. If depth is an average of 500mm, storage is in the
Rivers Catchment Authority to install the urban stormwater order of 3500m3.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 125


VENTSHAFT RESTORATION
SERVICE PTY LTD.

REPAIR, MAINTENANCE, RENEWAL, RELOCATION AND


ODOUR CONTROL OF SEWER VENTSHAFTS.
SEWER VENTSHAFT INSPECTION AND
DIGITAL ELECTRONIC REPORTING.
INSPECTION AND CONDITION REPORTS OF SEWER
VENTSHAFTS IN THE SHIRE COUNCIL AREA
Having carried out more than 7,000 ventshaft
inspection/maintenance/renewal and relocation projects for
Sydney Water, our company offer the following Inspections and
Condition Reporting Service, for your perusal.
■ Each ventshaft database sheet shall include – Location, Condi-
tion Report, Digital Photos (2 of ) of the ventshaft.
■ The reports and photos, shall be placed on Microsoft Excel
Spreadsheet, for all areas in the Shire Council Area, for effective
asset management.
■ All ventshaft data sheets with digital photographs will be
collated and bound in catchment folders for easy review and
shall be placed on CD-ROM, for your convenience.

VENTSHAFT RESTORATION SERVICES P/L


11 Sir Joseph Banks Street, Botany NSW 2019
Phone: (02) 9316 8320 Fax: (02) 9316 8894 Mobile: 0407 107 530
Email: ventshaft@bigpond.com Website: www.ventshaftrestorations.com.au
A clearer picture of Australia’s water

| water |
resources
CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have developed a new data transfer format which
enables the Bureau to produce a clearer picture of Australia’s water resources.

eveloped jointly by CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy can capture business rules associated with the data. This

D Country Flagship and the Bureau’s Water Division,


the Water Data Transfer Format (WDTF) provides
the Bureau with the means to more efficiently
collect and process the 6 million data files of water resource
information supplied by more than 200 organisations over
provides a powerful mechanism to support validation of
data provided to the Bureau.
The Bureau’s Assistant Director Water Data Services,
Tony Boston, said the WDTF is now the Bureau’s preferred
format for water data delivery and is being promoted as the
the past 12 months. standard format for data transfer.
The Bureau is mandated to collect, process, compile “A number of commercial companies have already
and deliver water data from around Australia. Data providers embraced WDTF by including data input and export
currently use a variety of methods ranging from mature data functions in their water information software,” Mr Boston
management systems to ad hoc spreadsheets to manage said.  “This is allowing organisations that use the software
this information. to more easily export data in WDTF to the Bureau.
“Thanks to the WDTF, water data from across the nation “These tools will help streamline water data delivery by
can now flow freely to the Bureau,” CSIRO researcher, Dr organisations, while providing the assurance and
David Lemon, said. confidence that their data delivery solution is commercially
“To streamline the collection and use of this data, the available and supported by the water IT industry.”
Bureau required a standards-based information model and This project is part of the water information research and
transfer format to accept water information submitted development alliance between the Bureau of Meteorology
electronically. and the CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship and
“The web-based WDTF has been developed to allow is an excellent example of where research innovation has
data providers to efficiently deliver water observations data helped solve a real world challenge and been rapidly
to the Bureau in a format that is more easily loaded into the embraced by industry. 
Bureau’s Australian Water Resources Information System.”
Science Contact
The format specifies a standard encoding for information Dr David Lemon
about groundwater observations, transfers of water Research Stream Leader - Spatial Analysis
between storages, observation sites and samples, water Land and Water
quality, channel profiles and time-series streamflow Phone: 61 2 6246 5724 
observations, as well as conversion tables. Fax: 61 2 6246 5800
More importantly, it includes an information model that Email: David.Lemon@csiro.au

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 127


Cairns Council use Innovative Power
| wastewater |

Outage Solution for Pump Station


airns Regional Council have installed a

C permanently installed Gorman-Rupp “Silent”


pump unit to pump sewage at their “WR1” pump
station during power outages instead of the
“usual” method of using a generator. They made this
decision after an extensive review of their options to
“protect” a group of pump stations from the possibility of
sewage overflows if power was cut from them.
Mr Ron Watts of Hydro Innovations explained that “an
engine driven pump is usually a cheaper option than a
standby generator because a generator needs to be sized
to suit the starting current of the pumps at the pump
station, which can be anywhere from three to six times
more than the run current. An emergency standby pump
engine only needs to be sized for “run current” and
therefore will always be smaller, sometimes much smaller.”
Mr Watts went on to say “...a generator will only provide
back-up when the problem is with the power supply, but
the emergency pump does not care what the problem is. level”. It then starts automatically and pumps to the “off”
The problem could be related to a motor control panel level, and stops. It only runs when there is sewage to pump
failure, a liquid level control failure, pump cables cut, – not during the entire time of a power outage.”
submersible pump motor failure or anything else. The pump More information on emergency standby pumps can be obtained from
only “knows” that the submersibles have failed to start and Hydro Innovations on 02 9647 2700 or email on
the liquid level has reached the “emergency pump – on sales@hydroinnovations.com.au

Prevent Overflows at
Sewage Pump stations
One of the important environmental roles of engineers of
sewage pumping stations is to prevent sewage overflows
from happening. A generator will assist if the problem is
with the availability of power, but a permanently
installed engine driven pump will not only operate
during a “power outage”, but will “protect” the pump
station should any other failure at the station occur
(control panel failure, level control failure or even electric
motor failure).
Less Expensive

HYDR
A pump is generally a less expensive option than a
generator because it requires a much smaller engine than
a generator does. It also does not require automatic
switching gear, and does not need “load banks” to
INNOVATIONS
prevent diesel cylinders glazing during “non-pump”
running time.

If you would like information on the best solution for preventing sewage overflows,
drop us an email on sales@hydroinnovations.com.au or give us a call on 02 9647 2700

128 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Performance of the Australian

| water |
urban water industry and
projections for the future

WSAA Report Card (PAGES 130-144)

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 129


Abbreviations Energy efficiencies
GL represents gigalitres. One GL equals one billion litres
| water |

The industry is also well advanced in preparation to operate


ML represents megalitres. One ML equals one million litres in a carbon constrained world. The industry has been an
kL represents kilolitres. One kL equals one thousand litres. early adopter in purchasing renewable energy, maximising
the production of green energy from sources such as
Summary biogas and implementing measures to improve energy
efficiency.
Climate change Understanding the water/energy nexus going forward is
The fingerprints of climate change are all over the critical so that investment is directed to where the biggest
information contained in the WSAA Report Card 2008-09. greenhouse gas reductions are likely. A WSAA/CSIRO study
Adapting to climate change continues to be the major driver found that by reducing by 20 per cent the amount of energy
of activity in the urban water industry. consumed by households to heat water, the greenhouse
gas footprint of the urban water industry could be
Capital investment completely eliminated.
The industry is in the midst of a massive capital investment
program and will be overseeing projects with a value greater Water recycling
than $14 billion during the 2009-10 year. This is on top of Investment in recycled water schemes continues and 172
record capital expenditure of $2.75 billion in 2007-08. (As a GL was recycled in 2007-08.This volume of water is
comparison net capital expenditure by the mining industry equivalent to the water supplied to all households in Perth
in 2006-07 was $27.6 billion – ABS 8415.0). during 2007-08.
The expenditure of $14 billion excludes: The volume of water recycled by industry has increased
• the significant capital investment that is also underway in by 118 per cent since 2002. A major challenge for the
large regional centres such as Geelong and urban water industry going forward is the management of
Toowoomba, more complex water systems which involve multiple
• investment being undertaken to efficiently maintain and sources of water.
enhance existing assets, meet the needs of population Management of wastes discharged into wastewater
increases, growing cities and responding to new systems in an era of recycled water is important and the
standards in water, wastewater and stormwater. National Wastewater Source Management Guidelines
The majority of the capital expenditure being undertaken prepared by WSAA assists in managing this risk.
is related to developing new water sources to mitigate the
risks associated with climate change. It is essential that the Asset management benchmarking
industry diversifies its portfolio of water sources so that it A benchmarking project involving 42 utilities from around
reduces its reliance on surface runoff from rainfall. the world revealed that the Australian and New Zealand
Projects being constructed include desalination plants, water industries are leaders in asset management.
recycled water schemes, aquifer storage and recharge and
establishment of water grids. It is estimated that by 2012 30 International partnerships
per cent of capital city water needs, based on 2007-08 During the year, the urban water industry entered into
consumption, will be supplied by desalination. collaborative partnerships with a number of leading
Significant capital investment is also underway in the international drinking water and wastewater research
wastewater system and this is a timely reminder of the bodies.
importance of sanitation systems for public health in cities Relationships with the US Water Environment Research
and towns and the need to ensure that these systems do Foundation, the Water Research Foundation, the
not have a deleterious impact on the environment. WateReuse Association and the Global Water Research
Coalition means that Australia is well placed to have access
Residential water savings to a vast pool of research and knowledge that will assist the
Capital city residential water consumption continues its urban water industry to meet the significant challenges of
onward decline. The extent to which water efficiency has the future. The willingness of international research entities
been embraced by urban communities is one of the great to form partnerships with Australia is a testimony to the
social changes that has occurred in Australia over the last respect in which the Australian urban water industry is held
decade. If water consumption had remained at the levels it particularly in areas such as adaptation to climate change.
was in 2002-03 an additional 210 GL would have been
consumed in the 2007-08 year compared to what was Going forward
actually consumed. To put this volume in perspective, 210 Overall, despite significant capital expenditure programs,
GL is equivalent to the water consumed by all households adapting to a carbon constrained economy and continuing
in Melbourne in 2007-08. to manage the risks associated with climate change.
The industry is in good shape and well-placed to meet
Business sector water savings these challenges of the future whilst maintaining efficient
Australian businesses are also responding to the challenges and effective services to customers.
of water security. Water consumed by the business sector
in capital cities and major regional centres has declined by Introduction
4.6 per cent over the last five years to 2007-08 despite Over the last year rainfall was extremely variable across
significant economic growth occurring during this period. water supply catchments that serve urban Australia.
Although some cities have received welcome rain that has
Water reform assisted in replenishing depleted storages, other cities have
The industry has embraced reform since the 1994 COAG experienced severe dryness which has broken all previous
Reforms and this tradition of embracing change has records.
continued this year with significant ongoing institutional The significant disparity in rainfall across Australia
reforms being implemented in South East Queensland and exemplifies the variability and volatility of rainfall patterns
Tasmania. that have always been present across the country. However

130 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


this variability is predicted to become more pronounced as impacted by climate change, which resulted a major
a result of climate change. change in rainfall patterns.

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During the year the industry continued to deal with the Melbourne and Adelaide are now approaching 15 years
issues of water security by continuing to develop a portfolio since ‘the clouds disappeared’, resulting in changing rainfall
of water supply sources whilst maintaining effective and patterns and severe declines in inflows to storages.
efficient services to customers. In relation to the impact of climate change on urban
Although Sydney, South East Queensland, and the water resources, all of the surprises have been on the
Hunter Region welcomed good rainfall, one does not have negative side.
to travel far south from Sydney before the situation It is also worth noting that climate change impacts on
deteriorates significantly. Canberra, only a three-hour drive every aspect of urban water management.
south and inland of Sydney, has received little run-off during For example, the extreme hot and windy days
the year and good spring rains (which have been absent for experienced in Victoria during the last summer resulted in
a number of years) are very much needed. Canberra bushfires destroying 30 per cent of Melbourne’s water
storages are currently at 43 per cent. supply catchments.
The drying climate continues to impact dramatically on This year’s report card focuses on how the industry is
Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. continuing to respond to the challenges of climate change.
Melbourne has had its driest first six months of a Even though Sydney, the Hunter region and South East
calendar year, receiving just over 120mm between 1 Queensland are currently relatively well off in relation to
January and 30 June 2009. Recently, Melbourne storages storage levels, there is no complacency in these cities. The
have stopped declining and are around the 26 per cent planning and construction of infrastructure to enable these
level. The storages that supply water to major regional cities to have greater drought resilience continues unabated
centres such as Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat (to mention as the community still has vivid memories of the last decade
just a few) are seriously depleted. Above average rain in late of dryness and understands that the rainfall cycles are at
winter and spring is urgently needed right across south the mercy of Mother Nature.
eastern Australia. The $30 billion capital investment program to develop a
Adelaide also experienced another dry year and given portfolio of diverse sources of water commenced in earnest
the lack of run-off into the storages in the nearby hills, the in 2006 and continues to progressively roll out. This
city was almost totally reliant (85 per cent) on the Murray investment is in addition to the significant investment being
River for its water requirements. undertaken to efficiently maintain and enhance existing
Perth is now in the third decade of a drying climate and assets, meet the needs of population increases, growing
although steady rainfall experienced in July resulted in cities and responding to new standards in water,
storages increasing, follow-up spring rains are still urgently wastewater and stormwater.
required. Perth experienced an unusually dry and warm The magnitude of this investment is significant by any
autumn, which resulted in consumption levels being measure, particularly when compared to other major
unseasonably high. investments in the Australian economy by sectors such as
The map below shows cities in southern Australia are mining and transport. For example, the ABS report 8415.0
located in areas with below average rainfall. states that net capital expenditure by the mining industry in
Perth was the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for the Australian 2006-07 was $27.6 billion.
urban water industry as it was the first capital city to be The program to develop new sources of water is likely to

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 131


be largely completed by 2013 when the Adelaide and cities would be from desalination based on consumption.
Melbourne desalination plants are expected to be fully Adelaide will, in theory, have the most reliable water
| water |

operational. supply given that approximately 70 per cent of its water


A common myth is that the industry has adopted requirements will come from desalination (based on 2008-
desalination as the panacea for challenges presented by a 09 consumption levels). Table 1 shows how the population
drying climate and that other viable options, such as more of Australia’s major cities is growing rapidly. Urban
aggressive water conservation targets and recycled water populations increased by 1.8 per cent or 254,076 people
schemes, have been ignored. during 2008-09.
Although by 2013 all mainland coastal capital cities (with Table 2 shows the capacity of the existing and proposed
the exception of Darwin) will have a desalination plant, desalination plants in Australia and the capacity of the inlet
desalination is just one of the new sources of water being and outlet infrastructure should the plants ever need
developed to mitigate climate change risks. expanding.
Australian cities must develop a diverse portfolio of Although desalination has many detractors, the great
water supply sources in order to secure reliable water virtue of desalination is that it is a reliable source of water,
supplies for the community. Other sources of water in which has a small site footprint and can be constructed in a
significant capital investment is occurring include recycled relatively short period of time.
water schemes, accessing ground water, aquifer storage Provided renewable energy is produced to offset the
and recharge, constructing water grids, new dams (Tillegra additional generation of greenhouse gases, the
Dam Hunter Valley) and improvements to existing dams environmental inputs can be managed. It is worth noting
(Warragamba, Sydney), stormwater recycling and rainwater that, to date, all of the desalination plants have involved
tanks. either the construction of renewable energy sources such
The particular portfolio of options chosen will vary from as wind farms or the purchase of renewable energy from
city to city taking into account a range of factors such as a the grid to counter the additional emissions resulting from
climate and topography. the energy consumed to drive the desalination process.
Based on water consumption in 2007-08, it is expected Recycled water is also becoming an increasingly
that if the desalination plants were expanded to maximum important source of water for urban Australia. Investment in
capacity, 47 per cent of water supplied to Australia’s capital recycled water schemes continues and 172 GL was
recycled in 2007-08.This volume of water is equivalent to
Table 1: Major city population growth 2007-08
the water supplied to all households in Perth during 2007-
Population Annual Growth Population June 08.
City
Increase Rate 2008 (millions) Graph 1 shows that the volume of recycled water
consumed in cities has increased by 118 per cent since
Adelaide 12,974 1.1% 1.17
2002.
Brisbane 43,404 2.3% 1.95

Canberra 4,491 1.3% 0.35 Overview of major projects


Darwin 3,319 2.8% 0.12 underway or to be commenced
Gold Coast 13,200 2.7% 0.50 during 2009-10
Hobart 1,957 0.9% 0.21

Melbourne 74,613 2.0% 3.89


Over this last decade, the growth in
Newcastle 1,690 1.1% 0.15
capital investment by water
Perth 43,381 2.8% 1.60 utilities has been extraordinary.
Graph 2 shows how capital investment in Australia’s capital
Sydney 55,047 1.3% 4.4
cities has grown by 220 per cent since 2002. Capital
TOTAL 254,076 1.8% 14.34 expenditure is predicted to increase for the next two to
three years, peaking somewhere around 2011/12 before
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 3218.0 - Regional population growth,
Australia 2007-08 declining to more normal levels.

Table 2: Desalination in Australia


Ability to increase % of annual total
City Location Capacity (ML/annum) Completion date
capacity (ML/annum) consumption 2007-08
15%
Sydney Kurnell 90,000 180,000 2009/10
(potential 30%)
Up to 200,000 41%
Melbourne Wonthaggi 150,000 2011
(potential 54%)

South East Qld Tugan 45,000 24% 2008/09

Perth Kwinana 45,000 19% Completed

50,000 21%
Binninyup 100,000 2011
100,000 (potential 42%)

Adelaide Port Stanvac 100,000 71% Dec 2012

Total 480,000 670,000

(This represents 30% of (This represents 47% of


capital city water capital city water
consumption in 2007-08) consumption in 2007-08)

132 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Graph 1: Growth in the use of recycled water in major urban water Graph 2: Capital expenditure on water and sewerage in Australian
utilities capital cities

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180 3.0

160
2.5
140

120 2.0
GIGALITRES

$ BILLIONS
100
1.5
80

60 1.0

40
0.5
20

0 0
1999-00 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Over the next 12 months, work will continue or begin on
a diverse range of projects in Australian capital cities and
South East Queensland
South East Queensland’s capital expenditure is dominated
major regional areas. The different types of projects being
by investment in new sources of water.
undertaken reflects the need for a diversity of water sources
to mitigate the risks of climate change. Many of the projects Western Corridor Recycled Water Project
are also associated with wastewater systems, providing a This is the largest advanced water recycling project in the
timely reminder that despite the focus over the last decade Southern Hemisphere and the third largest in the world.
on water scarcity issues, the wastewater system also Purified recycled water from the project is currently supplied
requires significant ongoing capital investment. This to the region’s three major power stations (significantly
investment will ensure that environmental protection reducing demand on dams) with the potential to supply
discharge licences are complied with and that the industrial and agricultural customers in the future as well as
wastewater system continues to operate at an optimal level, supplement drinking water supplies for south east
providing sanitation services that are fundamental to Queensland if required. Approximate estimated total cost:
protecting public health. $2.6B.
Below is an outline of the capital investment being
undertaken in major cities by the water industry. The Northern Pipeline Interconnector
projects currently under construction or to be commenced Stage 1 involved a 47km pipeline from the Morayfield
Reservoir at Caboolture to the Landers Shute Water
shortly have a total value in excess of $14 billion. Note that
Treatment Plant at Eudlo. Stage 2 is a further 48km pipeline
project costs were not available for all the projects.
connecting Stage 1 to the Noosa Water Treatment plant
and is in its final planning stage with an estimated
Adelaide completion date of the end of 2011. In addition to the
Adelaide’s capital expenditure is dominated by investment pipeline, the project includes the construction of five
in new sources of water. pumping stations, one balance tank, two water quality
facilities and augmentation of an existing water quality
Adelaide Desalination Plant management facility. The entire Northern Pipeline
Construction of a 100 GL per annum plant has commenced Interconnector will be reverse flow on completion.
to diversify and secure South Australia’s water supply and Approximate estimated total cost: $800M.
reduce reliance on the River Murray and Mt Lofty Ranges.
Approximate estimated total cost: $1.83B. Toowoomba Pipeline
The 38km pipeline is a raw water transfer main designed to
Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant Capacity deliver up to 39 ML of water a day directly from the
Upgrade Wivenhoe Dam to Cressbrook Dam when required. In
Project to increase capacity to meet the demand of addition to the pipeline, the project includes the
population growth and to improve environmental outcomes. construction of two pumping stations: a large 1850 kilowatt
Approximate estimated total cost: $272M. high-lift pump on the bank of Wivenhoe Dam and a smaller
low-lift pump suspended on a jetty over the dam. With
Glenelg to Adelaide Park Lands Recycled Water Project Toowoomba’s three dams averaging 10 per cent full over
Project to supply recycled water to irrigate Adelaide park the course of this year, the completion of this project is
lands and reduce the discharge of treated effluent into the critical for Toowoomba’s future water supply. Approximate
gulf. Approximate estimated total cost: $75M. estimated total cost: $187M. All three projects: approximate
estimated total cost: $3.5B.
Southern Urban Reuse Project
Project to increase the capability to supply reuse water to Brisbane City Council
the southern suburbs (south of Onkaparinga). Approximate Brisbane’s capital expenditure is dominated by investment
estimated total cost: $63M. in the wastewater system.
Bird in Hand Wastewater Treatment Plant Nutrient Reduction Fairfield Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) – Upgrade
Project to reduce nutrient levels and increase reuse of This new plant will replace the existing Fairfield WRP and
wastewater by improving effluent quality. Approximate will include new inlet works, a new two basin membrane
estimated total cost: $39M All five projects: approximate bioreactor, a new centrifuge and new biosolids handling
estimated total cost: $2.5B. facilities. Approximate estimated total cost: $20M

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 133


Gibson Island WRP – Optimisation and capacity upgrade sewerage connections. The scheme aims to protect the
The capacity of the Gibson Island water reclamation plant is environment and reduce risks to public health. Construction
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currently restricted due to the capacity of the existing has commenced and is anticipated to be completed by
clarifiers. Two new final settling tanks and ancillary mid-2010. All five projects: approximate estimated total
structures will be constructed to increase the plant’s cost: $2.4B.
hydraulic capacity to 50 ML per day. Approximate
estimated total cost: $16M. Melbourne
Melbourne’s capital expenditure is dominated by investment
Toowong transfer main replacement in new sources of water and wastewater projects.
Construction of new transfer and reticulation water mains to
allow a transfer main built in 1892 and some of Brisbane’s Wonthaggi Desalination Plant
oldest reticulation mains to be removed from service. The The 150 GL per annum plant will provide a secure water
scope includes 3,580 metres of new water mains. source for Melbourne, Geelong and, via other connections,
Approximate estimated total cost: $12M. South Gippsland and Western Port towns. The plant will be
capable of providing around a third of Melbourne’s annual
Woolloongabba sewerage catchment augmentation water supply from a source that is independent of rainfall.
This augmentation project will improve the capacity of the Approximate estimated total cost: $3.5B.
inner city sewerage system to cater for a population that is
forecast to increase by 118 per cent by 2031. The scope Northern Sewerage
includes construction of 6,898 metres of new sewers. The construction of approximately 12.5km of new sewers
Approximate estimated total cost: $52M. will increase the capacity of the sewerage system for the
growing northern suburbs. It will also improve the health of
Bulimba Creek trunk sewer upgrade – Padstow Road to Coora the waterways flowing into the Yarra River by protecting
Street against the damaging impact of sewage overflows.
This upgrade will improve the existing trunk sewer to ensure Approximate estimated total cost: $650M.
it has the capacity to cater for current and future flows.
Approximate estimated total cost: $52M. All five projects: Sugarloaf Pipeline
Approximate estimated total cost: $152M. The project involves constructing a 70km transfer pipeline
linking the Goulburn River near Yea to the Sugarloaf
Sydney Reservoir in Melbourne’s north-east and will deliver 75 GL
Sydney’s capital expenditure is spread over projects for per annum of water for Melbourne. Approximate estimated
water supply, urban growth and wastewater works in total cost: $618M.
currently unserviced areas.
Melbourne Main Sewer Replacement
Kurnell Desalination project Melbourne Water is replacing a section of the existing
The project is to build a desalination plant that can supply Melbourne Main Sewer. The new main sewer will travel
up to 250 ML of water a day (i.e. up to 15 per cent of approximately 2.3km from Docklands, crossing the Yarra
Sydney’s water needs) and a pipeline to link the plant to River upstream of the Charles Grimes Bridge, and into Port
Erskinville along a route that minimises its impact on Melbourne. Construction of the project began in late August
residential areas. Anticipated completion date is early–mid 2008 and is due to be completed in 2012. Approximate
2010. estimated total cost: $184M.

Replacement Flows project Eastern Treatment Plant – Tertiary Upgrade


This project to construct a new recycled water plant at St The upgrade of the Eastern Treatment Plant to treat
Marys and distribution pipeline will replace 18 GL of dam wastewater to Class A standard began in 2007 and is
water each year for environmental flows from Warragamba expected to be completed in 2012.The upgrade is a key
Dam to the Hawkesbury-Nepean River with highly treated initiative in the government’s plan to secure future water
water flow for river health. Construction is underway and is supplies. Up to 135,000 ML per year of treated water is
anticipated to be complete by early 2010. potentially available from the plant for recycling in new
housing estates, irrigation and industry, reducing flows into
North West Growth Centre First Release Precinct the ocean at Boags Rocks near Gunnamatta Beach. In
This project includes construction of approximately 23km of accordance with the Eastern Treatment Plant upgrade
drinking water, new drinking water reservoir, recycled water works approval, Melbourne Water has completed a range of
pipelines and sewers for the first release precincts in scientific studies into the impact of treated effluent
Riverstone, Alex Avenue and North Kellyville. Design and discharges at Boags Rocks. Approximate estimated total
preconstruction work is underway. Construction is planned cost: $313M All five projects: approximate estimated total
to start in July 2009 and is anticipated to be completed by cost: $4.8B.
the end of 2010.
Perth
Freemans Reach, Glossodia and Wilberforce Sewerage Perth’s capital expenditure is dominated by investment in
Scheme new sources of water and wastewater projects.
The scheme will provide around 1,660 properties with
sewerage connections, while aiming to protect the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant
environment and reduce risks to public health. Construction A 50 GL per annum desalination plant will be constructed at
has commenced and is anticipated to be completed by Binningup, south of Perth. The project includes the
mid-2011. desalination plant and transfer assets required to integrate
the project into the Integrated Water Supply Scheme
Hawkesbury Heights and Yellow Rock Sewerage Scheme serving Perth and surrounding regions. Approximate
This scheme will provide around 340 properties with estimated total cost: $955M.

134 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Beenyup Wastewater Treatment Plant Amplification
The amplification will upgrade the treatment and disposal
Water efficiency in our cities and

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capacity from 120 to 135 ML per day to meet customer towns – the social revolution
growth in the catchment. Approximate estimated total cost:
$219M. continues
Alkimos Wastewater Treatment Plant Stage 1 and Quinns
Main Sewer
Australia leads the world in
The Alkimos Wastewater Treatment Plant is required initially implementing water efficiency
to treat wastewater from the north west corridor and the
area immediately adjacent to the Alkimos plant. A 20 ML
programs in cities and towns.
wastewater treatment plant will be constructed to treat initial The Australian community has responded by embracing
demand. The Quinns main sewer, site works and the ocean and developing a very strong water conservation ethos.
outfall are being constructed for ultimate capacity. Australians have always been obsessed with climate and
Approximate estimated total cost: $336M. weather and this interest has only grown as the spectre of
climate change has turned into a harsh reality.
Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge The link between climate change and declining storage
Treatment levels and the resultant imposition of often inconvenient and
The current wastewater inflow at Woodman Point is 120 harsh water restrictions is very clear to most Australians.
megalitres and the sludge treatment facilities have reached
the design capacity. The upgrade will ensure biosolids are Residential water use
suitable for disposal to land applications. Approximate Across Australia the average annual residential water
estimated total cost: $92M. supplied per property declined by 12 per cent to 211 kL
during 2007-08. Since 2002-03 Australia’s residential water
Groundwater Replenishment Trial consumption has declined by over 20 per cent.
The trial involved the construction of a reverse osmosis It is because of water scarcity that Australians view
treatment plant to treat wastewater from the Beenyup climate change as a ‘here and now’ issue rather than a
Wastewater Treatment Plant, followed by injection into the future issue that can be left up to the next generation.
Leederville aquifer. The plant will enable research to be Graph 3 shows how the population in capital cities has
undertaken which will allow regulators to consider the grown since 2002–03 and how much water would have
endorsement of a full scale scheme and will also address been consumed in these cities if consumption levels had
the technical knowledge needs of the Water Corporation stayed at 2002–03 levels.
and the industry nationally. Approximate estimated total The 210 GL saving up to 2007–08 year, which was
cost: $55M All five projects: approximate estimated total achieved through a combination of water efficiency
cost: $1.6B. measures and water restrictions, is equivalent to the annual
consumption of all households in Melbourne during 2007–
Canberra 08.
Adelaide’s capital expenditure is dominated by investment Water conservation programs represent a win/win
in water supply. proposition for households as a reduction in household
water use often results in a reduction in energy use. As
Enlarged Cotter Dam energy is a much higher value commodity than water, the
This project involves building an enlarged dam wall monetary savings are likely to be far greater compared to a
downstream of the existing one to increase the Cotter reduction in water bills.
Dam’s capacity from 4 GL to around 78 GL; a 20-fold Smart Approved WaterMark, Australia’s outdoor water
increase. conservation label, continued to grow over the year. The
scheme’s independent Technical Expert Panel has
Murrumbidgee to Googong Transfer approved over 170 products and services which are
The Murrumbidgee to Googong Transfer project involves licensed to use the label. WSAA hosts the scheme on
pumping 10 GL of water from the Murrumbidgee River at behalf of the Australian Government and industry
Angle Crossing within the ACT and transferring it through an partnership. Smart WaterMark has been embedded into a
underground pipeline to Burra Creek in New South Wales. range of government policies and state government rebate
programs often require water saving products to have the
Googong Dam Spillway Smart WaterMark label prior to inclusion in the program.
This remediation will bring the structure into line with Consumer awareness of the label is growing, helped by
modern design and safety standards. Approximate promotion within demand management programs and
estimated total cost: $56M. water utility communication campaigns. Funding has been
secured from the Department of Environment, Water,
Murrumbidgee River Pumping Station Heritage and the Arts to further develop Smart WaterMark
The project is designed to improve both the Murrumbidgee over the next two years.
River pump station’s inlet and pump capacity up to 150 ML
per day. Approximate estimated total cost: $26M. Commercial and industrial water use
Australian industry has met the challenge to conserve water
Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre Secondary by reducing water use by 4.6 per cent in the five years to
Treatment Upgrade 2007-08.
The treatment facility requires upgrading to cater for future This is a significant achievement particularly when high
growth in population and load. The project includes three economic growth was experienced during this period. The
secondary clarifiers, additional bioreactor tanks and urban water industry has worked in partnership with this
associated pump stations and chemical dosing facilities. sector to implement water saving initiatives.
Approximate estimated total cost: $72M. Due to the diversity of the commercial and industrial

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 135


Graph 3: Capital city residential water consumption and population (2002-03 to 2007-08)
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13,500 1,200

13,000

} 1,000

CONSUMPTION (GL)
POPULATION (000s)

12,500 800

12,000 600

11,500 400

11,000
210 GL saved. Equivalent to Melbourne’s
annual household use in 2007-08 } 200

10,500 0
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Population (000s)
Residential consumption at 2002-03 average consumption (GL)
Note: Excludes Hobart Residential consumption (GL)

sector, an individual approach is taken by water utilities announced successful private sector tenderer for
when assisting customers to use water more efficiently. Melbourne’s $3.5 billion desalination plant was a possible
While residential water consumption dominates urban sign that banks and financiers are preparing to increase the
water use (generally 60-70 per cent of water supplied to capital flow for attractive infrastructure projects. Despite this
cities), it is imperative that all water consumers contribute to positive signal, the Victorian Government has still been
ensure our cities are continually improving the efficiency of forced to provide guarantees for the private sector debt.
water use. Urban water utilities have also placed greater emphasis on
WSAA has recently produced a paper ‘Meeting the financial robustness of companies when entering
Australia’s water challenges—Case studies in commercial contractual relationships with suppliers and alliance
and industrial water savings’ which showcases many water partners.
saving initiatives in 34 case studies around Australia. The increased capital expenditure over the last few
The clear message from the case studies is that the years has driven significant increases in water prices across
Australian industry has responded to the call to become capital cities and major regional areas.
more water efficient. Consumers will pay more for water services and with the
economic downturn, this may impact many households and
National Performance Report businesses budgets. Water utilities have programs in place
The urban water industry publishes more information than to assist customers who are experiencing difficulties in
any other utility sector in the world and provides the paying their water bills. In many cases however, higher
Australian public with a reliable and transparent source of water prices will provide a further incentive to conserve
information. water which ironically will cushion the impact of higher
The National Performance Report jointly published by prices.
the National Water Commission and WSAA is a requirement The urban water industry continues to place a high
of the National Water Initiative. The document contains priority on improving efficiencies. Projects such as WSAA’s
information on up to 90 urban water utilities. In excess of rolling program of process benchmarking and focused
150 performance indicators span; water resources, asset industry workshops continually identify international best
management, finance, pricing, customer services, practices from a cost and service level perspective and
provide a forum for sharing information and technological
environment and health.
transfer. The focus on ‘best practice’ has resulted in a
The 2007-08 report highlighted significant increases in
culture of continuous improvement in the industry.
capital expenditure (up from $3.2 billion to $4.5 billion: a 41
With the downturn in the mining and other engineering
per cent increase), a further 12 per cent reduction in
related sectors over the past year, there has been an
household water consumption (despite population growth),
improvement in availability of engineering and other
increasing water prices (3.3 per cent for utilities between
professionals for the water industry. Urban water utilities
50,000 and 100,000 properties) and a 6 per cent increase
have become more attractive to many prospective job
of the volume of water recycled.
seekers who see the potential in a stable growth industry
providing critical services. Nevertheless, the industry is
The impact of the global financial crisis on preparing for a recovery in the employment market where
the urban water industry greater competition for skilled labour will return. The utilities
The cost of finance has increased with the onset of the are developing strategies to further attract and retain
global financial crisis. However, to date the financing of talented personnel.
projects has not materially affected the urban water
industry. Financing for large critical capital infrastructure Water and energy nexus
projects was largely completed prior to the downturn. WSAA and the CSIRO recently undertook a study
For future projects the industry remains cautious about investigating the relationship between water and energy in
the availability of finance. For example, the recently Australian capital cities and Auckland, New Zealand.

136 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


The key findings from this study are contained in the such as contingency planning and critical asset
report ‘Energy Use in the Provision and Consumption of protection.

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Urban Water in Australia and New Zealand’. A major finding • Incident management – maintaining an incident
from the study was that the ‘low hanging fruit’ when management structure that is well drilled on the
searching for opportunities to reduce energy consumed in implementation of contingency plans.
the provision of water services actually resides in • Recovery – working with catchment management
households. On average, around 27 per cent of all authorities and fire agencies on prioritising recovery
household energy consumed is dedicated to heating water. works that will minimise water quality impacts.
Interestingly, residential water heating consumed 6.5 times Around 30 per cent of Melbourne’s water supply
the energy that was consumed by utilities in the delivery of catchment was affected by the February fires and given the
urban water and wastewater services. extreme fire conditions the impact could have been more
A key conclusion was that if the amount of energy severe. Although Melbourne metropolitan water quality and
consumed by households to heat water could be reduced supply have not been impacted, Melbourne Water remains
by 20 per cent either by using less hot water (by installing vigilant in the ongoing monitoring, assessment and
water efficient shower heads and changing to water efficient management of the bushfire affected catchments and is
washing machines) or increasing the efficiency of the means doing what it can to support the natural recovery process.
by which the water is heated (gas instead of electricity or Works have included increased catchment maintenance
turning down the temperature by just a few degrees), the to minimise sediment entering the water supply in the event
greenhouse gas footprint of the urban water industry could of rain through:
be completely eliminated. • repairing and installing more than 400 silt traps and silt
This does not mean that the urban water industry will fences
not continue to improve its efficiency in energy use and look • supporting rural landowners to manage their waterways
for further opportunities to generate green energy; however, affected by the fires
it does demonstrate where government spending could be • increasing weed control in forested areas.
targeted to ensure the maximum greenhouse gas reduction Other recovery works have included increased water
per dollar invested quality testing and animal monitoring programs,
constructing and repairing infrastructure damaged by the
Other climate impacts fires, and research into the long-term water flow and yield
implications. Melbourne Water will continue recovery works
Climate change touches every for some time and will continue to work with the fire
authorities in preparation for the next fire season. WSAA is
aspect of urban water planning a workshop to share learnings from this and other
management bushfire events in our water supply catchments.

Impacts of reduced flows in sewers WSAA Board Committees – the


The ongoing implementation of water efficient programs, engine room of WSAA
sewer mining and reduction in storm water and
groundwater infiltration due to declining rainfall has reduced During the year, the WSAA committees that report to the
the flows in sewers. WSAA Board were restructured. Previously there were two
Through the results of an industry survey and workshop, committees —the Asset Management Committee and the
WSAA is trying to determine the significance of this Water, Health, Environment and Sustainability Committee
decrease and if there is evidence of impacts on (WHES).
infrastructure and its performance. Changes in wastewater Reflecting the overriding importance of sustainability and
quality could impact on water recycling and there is a need the need to put the industry on the front foot in adapting to
to investigate whether changes to industry design a carbon constrained economy, the WHES committee was
standards are required to address the issues associated split into two new committees, namely the
with lower flows. • Water Quality and Health Committee, and
There is a need to determine how much further flows in • Environment and Sustainability Committee.
sewers can decline before the management and design of The Water Quality and Health Committee was
sewage infrastructure is impacted. established in recognition that the provision of high quality
drinking water is the raison d’être of the industry and is
Bushfires – preparing for the unpredictable something that can never be taken for granted. This
The bushfires on Saturday 7 February 2009 (Black committee has a very strong relationship with Water Quality
Saturday) were a tragedy and unprecedented in Victoria’s Research Australia which is funded by the urban water
history. This event underlines the importance for all water industry to undertake research into drinking water and
utilities to be prepared for the unpredictable. It has been recycled water quality issues.
recognised for many years that climate change has not only The Environment and Sustainability Committee is closely
affected inflows into our storage reservoirs but has the involved in ensuring that policy associated with the
potential to influence the frequency and intensity of proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the
bushfires. National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme
The precise interrelationships between climate change (NGERS) does not unduly impact on the industry. This
and bushfires are very hard to predict; therefore, all planning Committee will also be overseeing the development and
needs to be in the management of uncertainty and incorporation of improved sustainability policies relating to
strategies need to remain flexible. This includes preparing planning. An overview of the work undertaken by the three
for bushfires and their potential impacts on water quality committees is outlined below.
and long-term yield. Some of the strategies that need to be
addressed by a water utility include: Water Quality and Health Committee
• Preparation – working with catchment management The Australian water industry remains at the international
authorities and fire agencies on preparation activities forefront of the planning, delivery and operations of drinking

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 137


water, recycled water and wastewater services. In particular, developed and managed schemes deliver multiple benefits
the Framework for Water Quality Management, which to the community, particularly in drinking water savings.
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underpins both the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines However, the primary goal for water utilities in planning and
and the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling, is viewed operating recycled water schemes is the protection of
as world-leading. public health.
The Australian water industry, including utilities, The Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling Phases 1
regulators and private sector participants, is continuing to and 2 have been in operation since 2006 and most recycled
refine and improve water quality management. For its part, water scheme operators and regulators have spent
WSAA has developed tools such as Aquality and Requalify considerable resources developing individual scheme risk
to assist utilities in developing comprehensive risk management plans. There are challenges in implementing
management plans. The key challenges facing water utilities the guidelines, and one example is the validation of
in this priority area include: treatment processes. WSAA will continue working with
• managing blended waters, particularly desalinated utilities and regulators to develop pragmatic and usable
seawater, groundwater and surface water supplies for validation protocols for recycled water treatment processes.
drinking, WSAA, with funding from the National Water
• continuing to implement the Australian Guidelines for Commission, has now developed Requality, a
Water Recycling, particularly the validation of treatment comprehensive water quality management tool to assist
processes, and recycled water scheme managers to implement
• rolling out the next revision of the Australian Drinking systematically the Framework for Recycled Water Quality
Water Guidelines. Management. Requality has been developed specially for
the non-drinking recycled water projects, or Phase 1 of the
Australian Drinking Water Guidelines guidelines, and has been built on the very successful
The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines were last updated Aquality tool for drinking water quality management. Already
in 2004. Since early 2008, the National Health and Medical the Aquality and Requality tools are receiving attention from
Research Council (NHMRC) Water Quality Advisory international organisations including the World Health
Committee has been working towards a major revision of Organisation.
the guidelines and they are expected to be available for In an era of recycled water, WSAA recognises the need
public comment in late 2009. Some of the key initiatives to develop a similar tool to assist utilities to manage inputs
and challenges taken up by the revision process include: to the wastewater system to improve water quality
• more extensive guidance on types of monitoring, characteristics and lessen the variability that recycled water
including operational, validation and verification treatment operations commonly face.
• revisions to many factsheets, including pesticides,
inorganics, metals, disinfection byproducts and Source water management
microbial parameters Over the past decade, nearly all utilities in Australia have
• discussion of emerging issues, such as endocrine devoted considerable resources to managing wastes
disruptors and pharmaceuticals in drinking water. discharged to wastewater systems.
In relation to emerging issues, WSAA has been working The success of these programs has been demonstrated
with international research agencies, including the Water in very low levels of ecological impacts from treated effluent
Research Foundation, to determine the likely risks to
discharges to the environment. More recently, new factors
drinking water from trace contaminants such as
have come into play, providing even more focus on
pharmaceuticals. The current state of the science indicates
wastewater quality. Bearing in mind that typical wastewater
that the risk of adverse health effects from drinking water
is 99 per cent water, new powerful laboratory techniques
that ‘may’ contain pharmaceuticals is very low (there is no
can detect tiny levels of chemicals in all types of water.
‘zero risk’). The difference for Australian consumers is that
Somewhat unsurprisingly, pharmaceutical and some
drinking water catchments are far better protected than in
industrial chemicals have been detected at very low levels in
more heavily populated Europe and North America and,
wastewater. While there is no evidence to suggest these
therefore, the risk is likely to be extremely low. Nevertheless,
utilities take any risk to human health very seriously and contaminants are adversely affecting human health, utilities
they will continue to monitor developments in this area. want to ensure any risks are appropriately managed.
In July last year WSAA released a ‘National Wastewater
Blending of desalinated seawater Source Management Guideline’. This document is the third
Over the next three years all the major coastal capital cities pillar of guidelines complementing the ‘Australian Drinking
(with the exception of Darwin) will have desalinated Water Guideline’ and the ‘Australian Guidelines for Water
seawater as part of the drinking water supply. Recycling’. This is the leading document worldwide in
While each utility will supply the new source of water managing wastes discharged to wastewater systems. Over
slightly differently, the challenges will remain the same: the next 12 months WSAA will be developing a guideline
• ensuring customers have no taste and odour issues; management tool to compliment Aquality and Requality.
• ensuring disinfection remains up to current high
standards; and Environment and Sustainability Committee
• maintaining the integrity of the pipes carrying the The industry have been early leaders in implementing
desalinated seawater. innovative energy efficiency and generation projects and
The WSAA utilities have been sharing expertise on this initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Driven by
issue to ensure an easy transition – it remains another area the significant impact that climate change and population
in which the Australian water industry leads the world with growth have had on water supplies, the industry has
such a major and rapid roll out of a new climate managed to reduce its carbon footprint while securing more
independent source of water. reliable water supplies. As rainfall-independent supplies
require more energy than traditional dams, many urban
Recycled water water utilities have been proactive in making public
The use of recycled water for many types of end uses commitments to reduce or eliminate the greenhouse gas
continues to increase every year. There is no doubt that well footprint of their operations.

138 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System managed by the Global Water Research Coalition on
Over the past 12 months, an unprecedented change has water industry assets, which is a collation of fact sheets

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occurred to the Australian energy and greenhouse policy and best practice case studies from the UK, USA, South
and reporting framework. Africa, Europe and Australasia. The study aims to assist
Under the new policy framework, as outlined in the utilities to implement incremental improvements through
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System optimisation of assets and more substantial
(NGERS) administered by the Department of Climate improvements from the adoption of novel (but proven at
Change, all energy sourced from the grid is now assigned full scale) technologies.
one grid emissions factor, so renewable energy purchased • Development of an Eco-Footprint tool, which will assist
is given the same emissions intensity as standard coal-fired utilities understand their ecological impacts through the
electricity. supply chain. This is a powerful tool which will enable
Clearly the urban water industry would like to report the utilities to develop and analyse their energy/greenhouse
situation as it really is: ‘green’ electrons powering inventories; produce reports that comply with NGERS;
desalination plants have and will come from investment in identify supply chain efficiencies; and conduct options
wind farms and other renewable options, not from ongoing assessment for potential projects.
investment in coal fired electricity. • Development of a policy guidance manual to assist
Significant policy issues such as this are still being utilities navigate and keep abreast of the rapid changes
resolved and WSAA is regularly advocating on behalf of the in energy and carbon policy. The manual will be a ‘live’
industry with the Department of Climate Change. This policy web document on the WSAA website, assisting utilities
position now means that the industry is not able to claim it to track developments in policy and providing ‘stepby-
is offsetting its emission from, for instance, a desalination step’ guidance in meeting their obligations and
plant, unless the source of green power is connected highlighting greenhouse gas reduction opportunities.
directly to the desalination plant. Unfortunately, the ideal • A marginal cost of greenhouse gas abatement project to
location for a desalination plant is seldom the ideal location map the most costeffective abatement solutions. This
for a wind farm, which makes connection via the grid project will identify the various opportunities for reducing
inevitable and efficient. greenhouse emissions and, for each opportunity,
In many respects the urban water industry has been address the questions of ‘how much, when and at what
disadvantaged because it moved early to combat climate cost?’.
change through a focus on the use of renewable energy, • A dedicated network for energy managers to collaborate
which is one of the industry’s (and the community’s) on key energy/greenhouse issues for the benefit of the
preferred options for reducing emissions from energy use. urban water industry.

Fugitive emissions Asset Management Committee


Another key policy issue is the inclusion of fugitive Urban water services are an asset-intensive industry.
emissions from wastewater collection, treatment and Managing this enormous asset base, valued at $86 billion in
disposal to receiving waters under the Carbon Pollution a prudent, risk-based, cost-effective manner is a major
Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Fugitive emissions are strategic issue for the industry. At the same time, the
greenhouse gases that ‘escape’ from wastewater systems industry needs to build awareness, understanding and
and processes. Wastewater fugitive emissions are typically confidence with the community opinion leaders and
the gases of methane and nitrous oxide and are generated regulators in the way assets are managed, based on risk
from the natural breakdown of organic matter in the and that, although incidents happen, they are competently
wastewater. These gases are more potent as a greenhouse managed. In other words, prudent asset management does
gas than carbon dioxide by a factor of 21 (for methane) and not mean zero incidents.
310 (nitrous oxide). The Australian and New Zealand urban water industries
While the urban water industry supports the CPRS, it is have progressed well along the asset management journey,
recognised internationally that fugitive emissions are which commenced with the ‘development’ era, where risk
extremely difficult to measure, particularly from the was managed via excess capacity, and planning and
discharge of treated effluent to receiving waters. The current maintenance were not optimised over the life of an asset.
methodologies are inaccurate and could potentially lead to The current generation of asset managers has emerged
utilities tripping the CPRS threshold for purchasing pollution from the ‘reform’ era, where the industry embraced
permits. Other international carbon trading schemes have integrated life cycle optimisation and alignment of corporate
excluded fugitive emissions for this very reason. WSAA will objectives, along with a holistic approach to asset planning,
continue work with the Department of Climate Change to acquisition, operation, maintenance, replacement and
ensure there are robust methodologies in place to rehabilitation. The current challenge is to integrate
accurately determine the extent of fugitive emissions. WSAA sustainability principles and ensure our communities and
has already initiated research in Australia for measuring stakeholders have confidence in this approach.
fugitive emissions from wastewater treatment plants and Australia and New Zealand are recognised internationally
mains, and will also collaborate internationally on measuring as leaders in asset management within the urban water
fugitive emissions from effluent to receiving waters. industry, as WSAA’s most recent international benchmarking
While renewable energy and fugitive emissions are the study has shown.
pressing issues, WSAA is actively in discussion with the Notwithstanding, the industry recognises that
Australian Government on a host of other issues to ensure maintaining the momentum of our asset management
energy/greenhouse abatement efforts in the industry can priority program remains a key focus.
continue to be legitimate and easily understood by the
community. Asset management priority program
A significant initiative in addressing the asset management
WSAA projects underway challenge has been the establishment of an asset
WSAA is also sponsoring projects to improve management coordination program that aims to reduce the
energy/greenhouse management, including: duplication of research and to facilitate technology transfer
• Contributing to a global energy efficiency study and knowledge sharing.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 139


The program, which has been developed by WSAA context.
members and is supported by two full-time program This database allows the upload, collation and
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coordinators, is focusing, in the first instance, on anonymous comparison of water pipe data between water
pressurised pipelines and gravity sewers. utilities. The benefit is that it identifies issues in the quality of
The program focuses on pipeline condition assessment, data collection and provides guidance on what data is
management of data, approaches to risk management and important and should be collected. It will also provide a
sewer blockage management – all areas where WSAA large dataset of pipe failure events. This database is the
members have identified knowledge gaps or need for crucial first step in creating pipe deterioration curves and
improvement. improving estimations of failure events, remaining life and
The 2008–09 program includes nine projects and has a the optimum time for replacement or rehabilitation.
total value of $2 million contributed by WSAA members and
collaborative partners such as CSIRO, Water Research Decision frameworks, guidelines and decision
Foundation (USA) and Water Environment Research support tools
Foundation (USA). The aim of this program was to identify and document best
practice and decision support tools across the industry. The
Asset management process benchmarking program has so far delivered:
The latest process benchmarking study, arguably the • a best practice guideline report for the management of
world’s largest intensive process comparison project, sewer blockages
involved 42 water utilities from Australia, Canada, Hong • a review of the decision frameworks used for
Kong, New Zealand, Sultanate of Oman, United Arab assessment and replacement of gravity sewers
Emirates and the United States of America. The study used • a reference database containing details of sewer
WSAA’s Aquamark Framework to examine key asset rehabilitation projects across the country.
management processes that are required to ensure the Also under development is a new software tool to
supply of reliable water and wastewater services. accurately measure real losses and calculate leakage
Australia and New Zealand scored at a ‘mature’ level of performance indicators, condition assessment guidelines
asset management practice, with Middle East, Hong Kong and a framework for risk management, supported by case
and North America characterised by ‘developing’ and studies for pressurised pipes.
‘established’ levels of practice. This study provided an
unprecedented opportunity to identify leading asset
management practices, to share information for the benefit
Urban water resource planning
of all participants, and develop a culture of continuous All major population centres in Australia must have an up-
improvement in utilities. to-date water resource plan to ensure the supply of
Leading practices were identified across the participant adequate and safe drinking water for the community.
group and were showcased at a three-day Best Practices In recent years, water resource planning has become
Conference in Sydney in October 2008, attended by around more complex and problematic, as the impacts of climate
150 representatives of the participating utilities. The median change mean it is no longer possible to rely on historical
aggregate scores for each region are shown comparatively rainfall and inflow data as a basis for planning. In other
in Graph 4 below. words, history is no guide to the future. Given the
This project demonstrated the Australian and New uncertainty of the climate, water resource planning needs to
Zealand urban water industry’s commitment to continuous include significant risk management measures. During the
improvement and to identifying and implementing world’s year, major water resource planning exercises were
best practice. undertaken in Perth and Adelaide.

Data management and collection Water Forever – A 50 year plan for Perth
WSAA members and the benchmarking initiatives have and Surrounds
highlighted the requirement for quality data. One of the Water Forever is Water Corporation’s 50-year plan to deliver
projects commenced in 2008–09 is the development of a sustainable water and wastewater services to Perth and
National Water Mains database, based on that used in the surrounding areas. A draft plan was released for comment
United Kingdom but tailored to address the Australian in February 2009 with a final plan to be launched in October
Graph 4: Aquamark Function - Regional Comparison (Median aggregate scores)

80%
70%
60%
AQUAMARK SCORE

50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Corporate Asset Asset Asset Asset Asset Business
Policy and Capability Acquisition Operation Maintenance Replacement Support
Business Forward and Systems
Planning Planning Rehabilitation
Australia New Zealand Middle East & Asia North America

140 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


2009. The following proposed actions in the draft plan were major cities in Australia now have strategies which outline
put to the community and stakeholders. the measures to be undertaken to ensure security of water

| water |
supply and the adequate provision of wastewater services.
Reducing water use A consistent theme in all the strategies is to meet the
• influencing urban planning for increased density, water challenges of climate change by adopting sustainable
sensitive urban design and climate resilient gardens, solutions.
• working one-on-one with households to reduce water Because Australian communities have great interest in
use, water, community consultation during the preparation of
• reviewing metering, pricing and billing practices to water resource strategies is imperative to ensure all
ensure they send appropriate signals to support water interested individuals have the opportunity to input into the
conservation, decision-making process.
• working with leisure, recreation, garden and local The strategies guiding water resource planning in major
government interests to reduce water use, cities across Australia are outlined below.
• promoting appropriate building codes, minimum water
efficiency standards and increased adoption of water Sydney
efficient appliances, 2006 Metropolitan Water Plan - Water for Life
• expanding the Waterwise schools program. Water Education Plan for Greater Sydney 2008-2012.

Increasing water recycling Hobart


Increasing the amount of water that is recycled from 6 per Water and Sewerage Reform.
cent to 30 per cent by 2030 by:
• trialling and possibly developing groundwater South East Queensland
replenishment as a water source, South East Queensland Water Strategy - Water for Today,
• recycling more water to industry and to irrigate public Water for Tomorrow, March 2008.
parks, gardens and for horticulture, and
Victoria
• supporting the use of recycled water at a household
Our Water Our Future Sustainable Water Strategy - Central
level.
Region, Action to 2055.
Developing new sources Sustainable Water Strategy - Northern Region, Managing
In addition to the above targets, the plan proposes Water Scarcity to 2055.
developing 70 to 100 GL of additional, new water sources The Next Stage of the Government’s Water Plan - June
by 2030 through: 2007.
• groundwater replenishment, Canberra
• accessing some groundwater from the Collie Coal Water Security for the ACT and Region – Progress and
Basin,
Recommendations to ACT Government, December 2008.
• building new desalination plants north and south of
Perth to serve these growth corridors, Hunter Region
• investigating opportunities for trading groundwater on H250 Plan - Securing our Water Future.
the Gnangara Mound, A long-term strategy to meet water supply needs for the
• expanding the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant by Lower Hunter.
a further 50 GL, and
• developing new groundwater sources. Darwin
Darwin Water Story
Water for Good – A plan to ensure our
water future to 2050 for South Australia International partnerships
Water for Good aims to provide South Australia with the
most secure water supply system in southern Australia, WateReuse Association
through key measures which include: In early 2009, agreement was reached with the WateReuse
• construction of a 100 GL desalination plant to be Association to create an Australian division of the
powered by renewable energy, Association. A Heads of Agreement was signed in mid 2008
• increasing storm water recycling to reach a target of 60 by Dr Kerry Schott WSAA Chair and Managing Director of
GL per annum for Adelaide, Sydney Water and Rich Atwater, President WateReuse
• reaching a minimum target of 75 GL per annum for Association at the Rouse Hill recycled water plant in
wastewater recycling for non-drinking purposes, Western Sydney.
• a target to reduce annual water use in greater Adelaide The Australian division currently has six members but
by 2050 to 50 GL less than would have been the case this is expected to grow quickly once other water utilities
without the implementation of water conservation understand the benefits of being able to tap into the wealth
measures, of knowledge being generated in the US on water recycling
• a single, new Water Industry and Planning Act to replace and desalination. Gary Bickford from ACTEW Corporation is
existing legislation, and the Chair of the Australian division and Michael Malouf from
• establishment of the Essential Services Commission of
Barwon Water is the Deputy Chair. Currently the WateReuse
South Australia (ESCOSA) to provide comprehensive
Association has six sector members based on States in the
and independent economic regulation of urban water
USA and the Australian Division is the first Division to be
and wastewater services.
created outside the USA.
The WateReuse Association supports water projects
Other major city long term water resource that increase high-quality water supplies, improve reliability,
strategies protect public health, and safeguard the environment. The
Over the last five years, in response to the uncertainties creation of the Australian division of the WateReuse
created by climate change and rapid population growth all Association is yet another example of the Australian urban

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 141


water industry leveraging its research dollars by actively facing significant challenges over the short-term.
collaborating with prestigious international research centres.
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Sustainable asset management


Research collaborations The WSAA Asset Management Committee has identified
Australian utilities continue to work within national the importance of integrating sustainability principles into
collaborations, such as the Cooperative Research Centre decision-making frameworks, which would require that:
for Water Quality and Treatment and Water Quality • an effective decision-making framework exists for each
Research Australia, on high quality, world-leading research major asset class
to ensure safe, affordable drinking water for all Australians. • frameworks are flexible and adapt over time
The success of these national collaborations has grown to • Aquamark informs asset management processes
such an extent that WSAA and the North American • safety and efficiency are key considerations in asset
research organisations Water Research Foundation and management decisions
Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) have • our industry is successful in balancing economic,
developed a research and technology transfer partnership environmental and social outcomes.
for all research relating to the urban water cycle. A key challenge will be incorporating the principles of
Although some individual WSAA Members were already sustainability in asset management frameworks and
members of WERF and the Water Research Foundation this decision-making models.
landmark agreement provides an access for all WSAA
Members to the research undertaken by both of these Urban Water Metering Framework
prestigious research organisations and the tools that they The National Water Initiative (NWI) provides a strategy for
develop to assist in technology transfer of the research improving water resource management across Australia.
outcomes to water utilities. Combining this agreement with The NWI specifies requirements for national metering
the two large water research entities in the USA with the standards and a nationally consistent framework for water
formation of the Australian division of the WateReuse metering and measurement, along with open reporting
Association and WSAA’s membership of the Global Water requirements relating to metered water use and associated
Research Coalition (GWRC) means that the Australian urban compliance and enforcement actions.
water industry has never been so well placed to collaborate Requirements for urban and non-urban water meters
internationally on important research areas. differ due to highly variable installation configurations and
The collaborative approach is driven by the fact that no operating conditions in non-urban environments.
one country or research organisation has sufficient Recognising this, a national framework is being developed
resources to undertake all of the research necessary to in collaboration with the National Measurement Institute to
meet the challenges of the future. Furthermore, many high enable implementation of new standards for urban water
priority research areas such as adaptation to climate meters and to accommodate future trade measurement
change, energy efficiency and adapting to a carbon requirements.
constrained economy are all international in nature and it is The framework is underpinned by a nationally agreed
a waste of valuable resources having individual countries policy that the metering standards should seek to provide
undertaking research when it is possible to collaborate and an acceptable level of confidence that measurement
share research outcomes. performance under in-situ conditions is within maximum
The GWRC is growing in importance and plays an permissible error limits of ±4 per cent.
important role in bringing together the most respected The framework will set out the scope, principles,
urban water research organisations from Europe, USA, responsibilities and requirements for urban water metering
South Africa, Singapore, UK and Australia. The GWRC of cold and heated drinking and non-drinking water
plays a valuable role in monitoring emerging issues and supplied by utilities.
toxicants and this year issued a State of the Science paper Codes of practice, guidelines and manuals will address
on pharmaceuticals in drinking water. Australia is well specific undertakings related to the elements that make up
placed to influence the direction of the GWRC as the the framework. Implementing the Urban Water Metering
Executive Director of WSAA is currently the Chair. Framework will be a high priority for the industry in the next
Given the significant investment of $600,000 per annum 12 months.
on collaborations it is essential that WSAA put in place the
right governance arrangements to ensure that the urban Improving water efficiency in testing fire
water utilities are able to extract the maximum value from sprinkler systems
this investment. It is estimated that across Australia’s five mainland capital
In recognition of the importance of technology transfer cities, 1700 ML of water per year is used in testing fire
and the use of software tools to enable research results to sprinkler systems in large commercial and industrial
be translated into day-to-day activities of the utilities, WSAA premises.
has appointed a Collaborative Research Coordinator to A project, undertaken by the Victorian Plumbing Industry
assist in the process of ensuring that research outcomes Commission, Fire Protection Association Australia and
are delivered to utilities in a timely and user-friendly manner. WSAA, has identified a range of water saving strategies and
WSAA intends to report annually on the achievements of proposes a national initiative to be rolled out across the five
this collaborative relationship. mainland states. Drawing on the experience obtained from
the pilot project conducted in Victoria, the key components
Challenges for the future of this initiative are:
• a program of water conservation training involving major
fire services maintenance firms and industry
Integrating sustainability into asset associations,
management • provision of specialist engineering expertise as a key
component of pressure settings adjustment and other
It is a dynamic time in the urban water industry; we are fire sprinkler water saving projects,
changing substantially on a number of fronts. We are also • promoting the adoption of fire sprinkler water saving

142 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


measures by organising workshops, meetings and when fitted with acoustic monitors the smart water meters
media channels, and can provide a continuous leak detection monitoring system

| water |
• investigation of pressure settings adjustment and other without the need for a leak detection crew.
fire sprinkler water saving opportunities in Sydney,
Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Water sensitive cities of the future
WSAA will work with the Plumbing Industry Commission Due to climate change and rapid population growth in
to secure funding for this important initiative, which has the urban areas across the world, work is being undertaken to
potential to save an estimated 1,700 ML per year across determine how cities of the future can be built and designed
Australia. WSAA has also contributed to the development of to become more water and energy efficient. A critical
Handbook ‘HB 233 Fire protection systems testing water element of this is to manage water, wastewater and
conservation’ which was published in October 2008. stormwater in an integrated manner. While greenfields
It was developed to demonstrate the amount of water development and major urban redevelopment offer
used on average when testing systems, such as sprinklers, opportunities to reconfigure our water system, it is hoped
hydrants, pumps and hose reels, to ‘AS 1851: 2005 that through further research retrofitting of some elements
Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment’, of the urban water system may be possible.
together with action recommended to reduce the amount of The Australian urban water industry has been at the
water used during systems test. forefront of embracing water sensitive urban development
In providing an appreciation of the approximate amount and the International Water Association will have this topic
of water that is necessarily used for system testing, several as a theme at the World Water Congress in 2010. WSAA
water saving measures that can be adopted are identified and its members will be undertaking research and holding
for each of the tests. Several worked examples are included workshops so that Australia can show leadership and
to assist building owners, consultants and system influence the outcomes and acceptance of this approach at
designers in analysing the systems. the international level.
Contractor management Conclusion
Over the last 20 years or so, many WSAA members have
established innovative arrangements for the delivery of It has been another challenging yet exciting year for the
operational activities and asset management services, Australian urban water industry. Despite cities such as
including in-house delivery, unit rate contracts and alliance Sydney and Brisbane receiving improved rainfall over the
contract arrangements. last year, cities in the southern part of the continent are
Asset management services have been included in continuing to experience a drying climate.
these arrangements to varying degrees and different The significant capital investment program underway to
arrangements have provided different opportunities and develop rainfall independent sources of water is recognition
delivered varying outcomes. Many WSAA members have that there has been a ‘step change’ in rainfall and that the
been through several cycles of the selected delivery model rainfall patterns in the future are highly uncertain but are
and continue to seek new and innovative ways to optimise more likely to be fickle and highly variable. Regardless of
their business outcomes. rainfall the industry is continuing to deal with issues of water
To understand some of the different business models, security to develop a portfolio of water supply sources
with emphasis on examining how successfully they whilst maintaining effective and efficient services to
integrate these activities for optimal business outcomes, customers.
WSAA and its members are planning to address contractor Operating in a carbon constrained environment will be a
management, with a focus on: major challenge for urban water utilities in the coming year.
• delivery arrangements for operations, maintenance and Given that the industry has been an early leader in
asset management, maximising the production of renewable energy and in
• managing contractors for these activities, and implementing energy efficiency measures it is well placed to
• minor capital projects. adapt to this new environment without any major shocks.
No one has a monopoly on wisdom and this is why the
Smart water metering industry has been outward-looking and has established
The Ministerial Council on Energy has commissioned the relationships with prestigious international research centres
national Smart Metering Project to develop a national so that resources can be pooled and research outcomes
framework for smart electricity measuring. The Victorian shared. The new water systems being developed are more
Government has mandated the deployment of smart complex than traditional systems and the use of new
electricity measuring to all residential and small businesses technology, highly trained staff and access to an
in Victoria by the end of 2013. international body of knowledge will be very important.
WSAA and water utilities have been in discussion with Many of the more critical issues confronting urban water
the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment managers are international in nature and lend themselves
to ensure that the smart metering technology being installed perfectly to international collaboration. Investment in
in households and businesses also has the capability of knowledge, collaborative relationships and a progressive
receiving signals from water meters. Smart water metering culture of continuous improvement will ensure that the
offers many opportunities to introduce innovative tariffs and Australian urban water industry is well placed to meet these
to provide customers with real-time information on how challenges and will continue to enhance its international
much water is being used in the home and for what reputation for being at the forefront of managing urban
purpose. water systems.
Large scale smart water metering trials are being The extensive range of projects and initiatives that are
undertaken in Victoria, Sydney and Canberra. The findings being undertaken by the industry, outlined in this Report
from these trials will determine the potential benefits of Card, should give urban communities across Australia
introducing smart water meters. Smart water meters can confidence that secure and safe water supplies are being
also be fitted with other devices to allow better developed and that investment in wastewater systems is
management of water distribution systems. For example, ensuring protection of public health and the environment.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 143


Overview of WSAA • assess new products relating to water, sewerage and
trade waste systems on behalf of the water industry,
| water |

The Water Services Association (WSAA) is the peak body of


the Australian urban water industry. The Association’s 33 • jointly oversee the Smart Approved Watermark Scheme
members and 29 associate members provide water and for products and services involved in conserving water
sewerage services to approximately 16 million Australians, use,
New Zealanders and to many industrial and commercial • coordinate annual metric benchmarking of the industry
enterprises. WSAA was formed in 1995 to provide a forum and publish the National Performance Framework with
for debate on issues important to the urban water industry the Federal and State Governments.
and to be a focal point for communicating the industry’s
views. Appreciation
WSAA encourages the exchange of information and I am grateful to the WSAA Members who have contributed to this
cooperation between its members so that the industry has Report Card.
a culture of continuous improvement and is always Ross Young, Executive Director, WSAA.
receptive to new ideas.
The functions of WSAA are to: Disclaimer
• be the voice of the urban water industry at the national This 2008-2009 Report Card is issued by the Water Services Association of
and international level and represent the industry in the Australia Ltd. on the understanding that:
development of national water policy, 1. The Water Services Association of Australia Ltd. and individual contributors
are not responsible for the results of any action taken on the basis of
• facilitate the exchange of information and information in this Report Card, nor for any errors or omissions.
communication within the industry, 2. The Water Services Association of Australia Ltd. and individual contributors
• undertake research of national importance to the disclaim all and any liability to any person in respect of anything, and the
Australian urban water industry and coordinate, consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by a person in
• coordinate key national research for the industry, reliance upon the whole or any part of this Report Card.
• develop benchmarking and improvement activities to
facilitate the development and improved productivity of Data sources
Data sources in this paper where not specifically indicated have been obtained
the industry, from WSAA Members and the National Performance Report 2007-08, published
• develop national codes of practice for water and jointly by the National Water Commission and WSAA. This Report Card
sewerage systems, reproduced with permission from the Water Services Association of Australia Ltd.

Appendices
Appendix 1 - Capital cities water prices at 1 July 2009
City Fixed charge Quantity Usage charge
0 to 120 kL $0.97 per kL
Adelaide $137.60 120-520kL $1.88 per kL
>520kL $2.26 per kL
0 to 255 kL pa $0.62 per kL
Brisbane $155.24 256 to 310 kL pa $0.66 per kL
>310kL pa $1.17 per kL
0 to 0.548 kL per day $1.95 per kL
Canberra $89.55
> 0.548 kL per day $3.90 per kL
0 to 160 kL pa $1.21 to $1.23 per kL
Melbourne $64.94 to $136.64 161 to 320 kL pa $1.43 to $1.46 per kL
>321 kL pa $2.12 to $2.37 per kL
0 to150 kL $0.726 per kL
151 to 350 kL $0.88 per kL
Perth $200.40 351 to 550 kL $1.02 per kL
551 to 950 kL $1.537 per kL
over 950 kL $1.779 per kL

Sydney $90.96 not available $1.80 per kL

Hobart Based on property value No usage charges

Darwin $137.06 $0.899 per kL


Source: Water utility websites

Appendix 2 - Current water restrictions and Water Wise Rules in capital cities at 1 July 2009
City Level What’s permitted
Water gardens with a bucket filled directly from a tap, on any weekday between 4pm and 8am. A hose fitted with a twist or
Brisbane Medium level
trigger nozzle can be used on the weekends.
Handheld hose and drip irrigation only on Wednesdays and Sundays before 10am and after 4pm. Hosing of vehicles and
Sydney Water Wise Rules residential building structures fitted with a trigger nozzle is allowed to maximum of 10L/minute. All other watering systems are
banned.
Hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle and drip systems can be used for gardening on an odds and evens basis for a maximum of
Adelaide Stage 3
three hours per week. Buckets can be used anytime. Sprinklers and other watering systems are banned.
Handheld hoses between 6am to 8am on two days a week. Lawn watering banned. Only vehicle mirrors, windows and lights
Melbourne Stage 3a can be washed by bucket. Manual drip systems and automatic systems for limited hours two times per week on an odds and
evens basis.
Perth has permanent rules for watering gardens that include sprinkler rosters on two days a week and daytime sprinkler bans.
Perth No These measures are not restrictions but an ongoing commitment to sustainable water use, which is strongly supported by the
community.
Source: WSAA water storage and water restrictions report

144 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| urban planning |
Redefining land/water
boundaries in Queensland
The new rules
BY BARRY DUNPHY

Queensland property owners will need to understand the new laws for identifying the precise
location of natural water boundaries for land introduced by the Natural Resources and Other
Legislation Amendment Act 2010, which is expected to come into effect mid-2010.
CONTINUED NEXT PAGE

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 145


he Natural Resources and Other For a boundary formed by a non-tidal lake,

T Legislation Amendment Act 2010 will the boundary will be the outermost extent of
| urban planning |

amend the Land Act 1994 and Survey the bed and banks of the lake.
and Mapping Infrastructure Act 2003 Generally, the state will own land that is on
by creating new rules for locating tidal and the watercourse or lake side of a non-tidal
non-tidal water boundaries at law. The boundary.
amending Act will also change the meaning of
‘watercourse’ under the Water Act 2000. Water Act 2000
For tidal boundaries, the new rules will, The meaning of ‘watercourse’ under the
consistent with a moratorium that has been in Water Act 2000 will also change. A
place since November 2005 against the watercourse for the purpose of defining a land
registration of tidal boundary subdivision boundary may not be the same as a
plans, halt claims by landowners to rights over watercourse for the Water Act 2000. While in
beach areas and certain other coastal and both situations the focus of the definition is on
riparian lands. For non-tidal boundaries, the the physical features of the watercourse,
rules will address some of the difficulties that rather than the height of a flow of water, under
have arisen in attempting to define the lateral the Water Act 2000 the concept of the ‘outer
extent of watercourses according to the bank’ of a watercourse is adopted. This
heights of normal water flows, something that ensures that the state’s jurisdiction in dealing
is particularly problematic in Queensland (and with watercourses under that Act is not limited
Australia generally) given that many by a consideration of whether a particular
watercourses suffer long, dry spells and are watercourse has a ‘low’ and ‘high’ bank.
inundated by seasonal and extraordinary
floods. Implications of new rules
It is clear, then, that in most cases the key
Tidal boundaries event that will cause a change in the location
From the commencement of the new rules, of a tidal or non-tidal boundary of a parcel of
where land is bounded by a tidal boundary, a land will be registration of the first new plan of
natural feature approximating the tidal survey after the commencement of the new
boundary as shown in the current survey plan rules. Survey plans prepared after the
will be the tidal boundary at law. On commencement must, to the greatest extent
registration of the first new survey plan after practicable, locate water boundaries
the commencement, the tidal boundary will be according to the new rules.
located according to the natural feature that To fully understand the application of the
was first identified as the tidal boundary in an new rules and their exceptions, a close
old survey plan (for example, the toe of stable examination of the original source documents
bank) or in some cases, according to specific for a parcel of land (for example, a deed of
boundary location criteria which ensures that grant) and an understanding of surveying
the boundary is landward of any tidal practices and legal principles relating to
inundation. From registration of any further ambulatory boundaries will be necessary.
survey plan, the tidal boundary will continue to Importantly, the new rules retain the common
be located according to its position before the law principle that allows a boundary of land to
registration of that plan. shift if the natural feature forming that
Importantly, from registration of the first boundary shifts by gradual and imperceptible
new survey plan after the commencement of degrees.
the new rules, the natural feature cannot be The new rules will provide some certainty
the intersection of a tidal plane with land, for in defining the boundary between a
example, ‘mean high water springs’ or simply landowner’s ‘dry land’ and the state’s ‘wet
‘high water mark’. land’ as they will, in time, remove the need to
Generally, the state will own land that is on locate boundaries by references to tidal
the water side of a tidal boundary and any planes and the level of flow of watercourses.
fixed right line tidal boundary. However, locating boundaries by reference to
physical features will, particularly for non-tidal
Non-tidal boundaries watercourses, remain a difficult exercise that
For land boundaries formed by non-tidal may require the assistance of expert advice.
watercourses, from the commencement of While many landowners who have natural
the new rules, a natural feature approximating water boundaries are unlikely to notice any
the non-tidal boundary as shown in the significant change in the location of their
current survey plan will be the non-tidal boundaries, there will obviously be instances
boundary at law. On registration of the first where persons, including the owners of
new survey plan, the boundary must be infrastructure or works on or near tidal and
located according to specific boundary non-tidal bodies of water, could be
location criteria (such as the top of a bank, a significantly affected. However, the new
particular line of change in a grade of a legislation expressly excludes the right of any
landform or, in some cases, a scour mark or person to claim compensation or seek any
depositional feature on the bank of the other relief for any loss caused by the
watercourse). From registration of any further application of the new rules.
survey plan, the non-tidal boundary will
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
continue to be located according to its guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
position before the registration of that plan. about your specific circumstances.

146 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


| vegetation |
Branching Out
BY GEORGIE OAKESHOTT

They used to clear them, but now farmers


are growing trees to boost agricultural
production and improve land management.

wenty years ago, Andrew Stewart’s farm in the foothills of the

T Otway Ranges in southern Victoria was struggling with problems


of erosion, salinity and water logging. Today that same farm is a
showcase of productivity and sustainability. The difference has
come about because of a carefully constructed farm management plan
which involves trees, thousands of them. Since 1992, the Stewarts have
established around 37,000 trees throughout their sheep and beef
property, providing valuable shelter for their lambing ewes as well as
noticeable environmental benefits.
“It’s complementary to the farming system,” Andrew Stewart
explains. “Our farming system wasn’t sustainable. We had serious
environmental issues and a lack of ecological balances throughout the
property, so we came up with the whole farm plan to divide the property
into its land classes to address all these environmental issues and try to
improve the productivity of the farm by providing shelter and a better
ecological balance.”
CONTINUED NEXT PAGE

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 147


| vegetation |

Indigenous trees are used to hold the landscape together.

Otherwise known as agroforestry, this strategic farmers in the design and management of trees for
integration of multipurpose trees and shrubs into farming conservation and profit, landscape change occurs in a way
systems is delivering enhanced farm productivity, improved that reflects the interests and aspirations of the local
natural resource management and landscape sustainability. community.”
In this part of southern Victoria more than 300 local He says their first harvest of blue gums provided a
landholders have formed an agroforestry network, which significant and valuable source of income when the farm’s
recently hosted a visit to the region by members of the productivity was low. They’ve also sold Pinus radiata
House of Representatives Primary Industries Committee. thinnings as Christmas trees and they’re currently cleaning
“Agroforestry offers a mechanism to implement multi- seeds from their seed orchard, which they’re looking to
functional agriculture, which is urgently needed across the market.
nation,” Andrew Stewart told the committee members. “With all the landholders we have across the Otway
“Improved water quality in our streams, protection of Agroforestry Network, there’s a huge bank of information
soils, crops and livestock, the conservation of our unique and long-term knowledge about the landscape and how to
flora and fauna, and the promise of alternative timber select the appropriate species for your particular issues,” he
sources and other products from revegetation make well- says.
managed trees on farms a good story for rural communities “It’s all that networking which gives us the confidence to
and the nation as a whole.” move forward. A lot of it is experimental but there’s a fair bit
The Stewart’s property, ‘Yan Yan Gurt West’ is part of of science behind it as well. It’s the notion of networking
the Yan Yan Gurt Creek catchment area where more than that develops innovation and creative solutions to land
20 families have planted 40 species of trees on cleared management problems.”
farmland, taking the catchment’s forest cover from six per Founding member of the Otway Agroforestry Network,
cent 10 years ago to 21 per cent today. Rowan Reid describes himself as a forest scientist by
“We’ve got a lot of under-story there which has been profession, a tree grower by passion, a farmer by
grown from locally collected seed, and we’ve put some inheritance and a woodworker by ambition.
over-story species for timber such as spotted gum, blue Since 1987 he’s established more than 50 commercial
gum, shining gum and blackwood,” Andrew Stewart says. tree species for timber, nuts, seed, foliage, fodder and food
“We’re managing these trees for high quality saw logs over 25 per cent of his property, ‘Bambra Agroforestry
by high pruning, and then all the other indigenous trees are Farm’.
there to hold the landscape together and provide the He regularly takes visitors through a series of ‘outdoor
biodiversity and integrated pest management program. classrooms’ to see his collection of mountain ash,
Collectively all these trees are providing shelter for the stock blackwood, shining gum and blue gum, slow-growing black
and pastures and protecting the landscape.” walnut and fast-growing hybrid poplars.
With full community support, these trees are Farm forestry, he says, is about choice, ownership,
contributing a supply of timber through pulpwood management and community involvement and offers a
plantations or sawlog production as well as delivering range of short, medium and long-term benefits.
environmental and agricultural benefits. Stock shelter “Tree growing is often being promoted on the long-term
availability, for example, has increased from 17 per cent of benefits like salinity control and timber production, but for
the catchment area to 57 per cent. many farmers that’s 20 years away,” he says.
“It’s like a web of trees,” Mr Stewart says. “By involving “What we try to do is work with farmers to identify how

148 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


putting up a fence and planting trees can help them almost working on the person and the community rather than just
immediately through shelter, improved stock management, offering trees. We’re training, educating, giving them

| vegetation |
even improving some of the natural pest control options on confidence and all that self-reliance stuff so that they’ll want
the property which can come quite quick. And then we to go out and buy the trees and plant the trees themselves.”
build in the medium to long-term values as a bonus, so they Figures published by the Rural Industries Research and
might be planting a shelter belt which might ultimately be Development Corporation show that in 2001 an estimated
harvested for high quality timber production. 13,400 small growers owned a total of more than 67,000
“The cost of growing the timber is actually covered hectares or approximately 5 per cent of Australia’s
because the trees are offering those short-term benefits.” plantation resource. An additional 4,200 landowners were
He says the success of the Otway Agroforestry Network involved in farm forestry through joint venture or leasehold
is built on farmers talking to farmers. schemes with industrial, corporate or government growers,
“We don’t fund trees and fences, we get money from and an increasing number of farmers were involved in the
governments and philanthropic groups to actually pay active management of native forest of farm for commercial
farmers to talk to farmers, to educate farmers about their forest products.
opportunities, to bring expertise into communities to explain With the growing popularity of agroforestry, it is
how they can use trees more effectively. Then the farmers anticipated that farmers could become one of the largest
go ahead and we help them design and implement their group of participants in the forestry industry, larger than the
own projects.” number of professional foresters or timber workers. This
This concept of ownership is what distinguishes farm has already happened in North America, where more than
forestry from corporate, industrial or government forests, he 10 million non-industrial private forest owners collectively
says, and not just in terms of the ownership of the land and manage approximately half the national forest estate and
trees but ownership of the decision to do it and how it’s surpass the combined timber production from both
done. industrial and government forests.
In the words of Mike Robinson-Koss, President of the Along with his involvement in the Otway Agroforestry
Otway Agroforestry Network, agroforestry offers a good Network, Rowan Reid runs the Australian Master Tree
marriage of commercial and conservation objectives, and Grower program at Melbourne University, where the
works with communities. underlying philosophy is that agroforestry and farm forestry
“It’s not forestry. Forestry is taking over a whole large development should be guided by farmers and should
area and planting a monoculture of trees, dispersing the reflect the diversity of interests, resources and aspirations of
population. We’re trying to help the community,” he says. the farming community.
“What we’re saying to farmers is this is an idea which “We’ve had 1,700 landholders do our eight day course
you might be able to utilise in your current agricultural and they’re starting to recognise from North Queensland to
system. It’s not taking over, and farmers understand that. Western Australia to Tasmania opportunities for this type of
“Where we differ from a lot of other groups is we’re forestry.”
He says the federally funded Master Tree Grower
program uses science to work with the community to see
how tree growing can help them.
“If they choose to grow commercial trees such as
sandalwood in the wheat belt of WA, or tropical rainforest
species like red cedar up in North Queensland, that’s
fantastic and we’ll help them. If they succeed, then their
neighbours will pick up the idea and they’ll have that local
experience to share amongst themselves.
“We have the opportunity of 150,000 farming families
trying different ideas in their own landscape and coming up
with solutions. That is a great opportunity for this country.
Farmers control over 70 per cent of cleared agricultural land
in this country. Are we going to work with them on
conservation and commercialisation of tree growing, or
not?”
He says trees can ameliorate some of the risks
associated with climate change, they can diversify farming
systems and make them more resilient and, importantly,
they lock up carbon.
According to Andrew Stewart, this is the future of
farming. “Good sustainable farm management sequesters
carbon,” he says.
“What the committee needs to think about is how they
can help landholders come up with good sustainable farm
management systems. Maybe it’s better extension or better
research and development, or maybe it’s paying farmers for
environmental credits to pull them through, using a carrot
rather than a stick.
“Climate change can bring quick changes and
adaptation is an issue, but if you have a well-structured
farm with good infrastructure and good natural resource
management, then that farm will be resilient and robust as it
faces the uncertainty of climate change.”
The success of the Otway Agroforestry Network is built on farmers talking to
farmers. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 149


Home-grown solutions
| vegetation |

The only way landholders will take responsibility for changes is “It is beyond the capacity of many of our farmers to fathom a
if they drive the direction of change, according to a Landcare way forward with things such as carbon pollution reduction
group from northern New South Wales. schemes and climate change. We provide a mechanism
Speaking at a public hearing of the Primary Industries where they can come to us and we can link them to the
Committee, Sonia Williams, the Executive Officer of Southern economists, researchers or programs. They see us as the
New England Landcare, stressed the importance of one-stop-shop.”
community organisations which possess the knowledge and But Ms Williams said that under current funding
networks to rapidly implement climate change projects. arrangements, 20 years worth of experience and goodwill in
“We believe that to assist farmers adapt to climate change landholder engagement stands to be lost.
you should utilise and support existing local networks,” she “We spend a significant part of our time trying to find
told the committee. “They are trusted bodies that are already resources so that we can go about doing our job. That is not
there and the community should be involved at all stages of a complaint, it is a fact. It would be far more productive to
the process. have some steady source of funding support for organisations
with track records to get in there and link these processes in.
Then we would not have to spend half our year just trying to
keep the door open.”
She told the committee she’s concerned that under ‘Caring
for our Country’ the focus of funding has shifted from regional
priorities to national priorities.
“So unless your community is in one of the areas for which a
high-priority target has been identified, the chances for
funding are minimal. Even with creativity they are minimal.
“We believe there is great scope for this inquiry to look at how
the community asset built up over the past 20 years can be
utilised to assist farmers adapt to climate change.”
Source: About the House

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Phone: (03) 5382 9777
Fax: (03) 5382 1111
Email: council@hrcc.vic.gov.au

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BASIS OF OUR CULTURE

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www.geelongaustralia.com.au www.knox.vic.gov.au

150 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011


Small biofilters for odour control

| air pollution |
t’s an all too familiar problem – the

I encroachment of residential
development on an existing
industrial area. Or maybe it works
the other way – a new industry locates
too close to an existing residential
area. It could also be a sewerage
pumping station in a residential area,
venting sulphide smells for all to
experience. The result is usually the
same area – an odour nuisance
problem for Council or the EPA to
manage.
The larger odour problems may
not involve Councils, if they fall into the
EPA’s domain. The solution to such
problems frequently involves the
capture and destruction of the
odorous emissions, more often than
not in a biofilter. Biofilters are now has now developed a technology industrial and water industry clients in
accepted as being the most effective product, in the form of a range of the past decade. The small units sit
and affordable technology for the ‘packaged’ biofilter designs suitable beside or above a pumping station,
treatment of most odours. for use in sewerage pumping stations draw foul air from the vent stack and
For the smaller problems, biofilters or other low airflow applications. drain excess leachate back to the
can also be effective. The Odour Unit, These typically handle flows from 200 station. They are visually low in profile.
a specialist odour consulting company to 1,000 m3/hr. This is in addition to There is no reason why small
in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth is well the larger, custom-designed biofilters odour problems should continue to
known for its consulting capabilities. It the company has designed for many exist.

THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENT YEARBOOK 2011 • 151


Green buildings and
your super
At Local Government Super we have a strong commitment to reducing
greenhouse emissions from the buildings in our property portfolio.
All the buildings in our portfolio source 100% of their
base-building energy from green power and this
effectively reduces emissions by approximately 10,000
tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.
This is obviously great for the environment but what
impact will it have on long-term super returns?
When looking at the link between investing in green
buildings and long-term super returns there are at least
two important factors to consider:
• Increasing tenants’ demand for green buildings,
and
• New legislation which will require the disclosure
of energy efficiency ratings.

Increasing tenants’ demand for green buildings


Starting in 2011, all government tenants will be required
to only occupy buildings which have a minimum NABERS
rating of 4.5 stars. NABERS is the National Australian
Built Environment Rating System and it measures a
building’s energy and water use, waste reduction and
greenhouse emissions.
Government departments and agencies account for
around 20% of the total commercial leasing market so
this policy should lead to an overall greater demand for
green buildings.
Large organisations such as banks, professional
organisations and IT companies are also committing to able to make a more informed decision about the energy
sustainable policies which should also drive up the long- ratings of different buildings and this should also increase
term demand for green buildings. demand for green buildings.
The greater demand should reduce vacancy rates for
What this means for your super investment
these buildings and improve returns for investors.
Over time there will be a growing distinction between
New legislation to require disclosure of energy buildings with high NABERS ratings and other less energy
efficiency ratings efficient buildings and it is expected that this distinction
will lead to a widening gap in vacancy rates and
Starting in 2010 all building owners will need to disclose investment returns for these buildings.
up-to-date energy efficiency information when they sell or
At Local Government Super we will continue to improve
lease office space which covers more than 2,000 square
the NABERS ratings of our buildings to effectively ‘future
metres.
proof’ our property portfolio and your long-term super
Building owners will need to provide a valid Building returns.
Energy Efficiency Certificate which includes a NABERS
rating for the building’s base energy use. For more information on our sustainable portfolio
This means that potential buyers and tenants will be program, just go to www.lgsuper.com.au.
Please note that the information contained in this document is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal advice as it does not take into account your per-
sonal objectives, financial situation or needs. Any advice in this document is provided by FuturePlus Financial Services Pty Limited (ABN 90 080 972 630) as an Australian
Financial Services Licensee (AFSL 238445) on behalf of the Trustee of Local Government Super, LGSS Pty Limited (ABN 68 078 003 497).
LGSS Pty Limited is an APRA Registrable Superannuation Entity Licensee (ABN Pool A - 74 925 979 278 and ABN - Pool B 28 901 371 321). A reference to Local Gov-
ernment Super refers to Local Government Superannuation Scheme Pool A and Pool B as the context requires. Local Government Super is a registered business name
of LGSS Pty Limited.
Members should not rely solely on this information and should consider their own personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on this information. Prior
to making any investment decision you should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) pertaining to your membership and seek professional
investment advice.
n
'REEDISGOOD

Times have changed. Our aim is to maximise the returns on your super by
investing in the long-term interests of our community and our
Global warming has changed the way we live, from the
environment.
car we drive and the houses we build to the way we invest
0997-LGS-3/10-Enviro Yearbook

our money. To find out more just go to www.lgsuper.com.au


Climate change is one of the most important risks to our ,ONGTERMRETURNSFORYOURSUPERANDYOURENVIRONMENT
long-term prosperity and that’s why Local Government
Super is committed to a sustainable and socially responsible
investment policy.
We make sure that all of our investment decisions take into
account environmental, social and governance issues.

Please note that the information contained in this document is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal advice as it does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or
needs. Any advice in this document is provided by FuturePlus Financial Services Pty Limited (ABN 90 080 972 630) as an Australian Financial Services Licensee (AFSL 238445) on behalf of the Trustee of
Local Government Super, LGSS Pty Limited (ABN 68 078 003 497). LGSS Pty Limited is an APRA Registrable Superannuation Entity Licensee (ABN Pool A - 74 925 979 278 and ABN - Pool B 28 901 371
321). A reference to Local Government Super refers to Local Government Superannuation Scheme Pool A and Pool B as the context requires. Local Government Super is a registered business name of LGSS
Pty Limited. Members should not rely solely on this information and should consider their own personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on this information. Prior to making any investment
decision you should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) pertaining to your membership and seek professional investment advice.
AUSTRALIA’S BEST
WASTE TRUCK
Designed and engineered in Australia to suit local working conditions, the Volvo
FE Dual Control is Australia’s best waste truck.
Cleanest
The only waste truck that is built in a CO2 neutral factory.
The only side-loader available that can deliver 2011 emissions standards
(Euro 5) today.
Quietest
The only side-loader in Australia that features a unique, noise reducing
compression braking system, ideal for sensitive residential and city areas.
Safest
The only side-loader that offers an Electronic Braking System (EBS) for near
instantaneous brake response.
The only waste truck that offers all wheel disc brakes as standard.
For a test drive contact your local dealer on 1800 803 427.

volvo trucks. driving progress


www.volvotrucks.com.au
VOL0201