Archive for July, 2007

Visions – Five changes of paradigm for Sustainable Prosperity

Posted in Models, Visions by Ferne Edwards on July 31st, 2007

The article below is from a speech by Prof Chris Ryan at the recent Future Melbourne forums, held at the University of Melbourne. The paper identifies and discusses five possible future directions to create a prosperous Melbourne. These are:
1. Embrace the revolution: focus creativity, invention and innovation towards a low–carbon, low water economy.
2. Embrace the idea of big challenges, audacious goals, visionary targets.
3. Dont wait for big technology – focus on new uses of existing technology, smart outcomes, new solutions, enabling services.
4. It is good to have a ‘Melbourne Solutions – to encourage a diversity of local solutions relevant to the specific context of Melbournes sustainability challenges.
5. Shift thinking from big scale centralised systems to ‘distributed models – networked, localised production and consumption.

Comments are welcome for people to outline some of the ways a prosperous Melbourne could be realised – see notes at the end of the article.

Five changes of paradigm for Sustainable Prosperity
©Chris Ryan. University of Melbourne. June 2007

How can we speak with any certainty about our future prosperity given the swirling forces of international capital, global development, patterns of trade, shifts in geo-political power and regional conflicts? Focusing on all the really big global issues – surging growth in China and India, escalating tensions in the middle east, the spread of religious intolerance, poverty and disease in Africa, the spectre of global pandemics, and so on – can easily make one feel powerless in the face of the future.
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Event – Free Sustainable Gardening Seminar Series

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on July 30th, 2007

GARDENING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE – Free Sustainable Gardening Seminar Series
Bought to you by Manningham City Council and Sustainable Gardening Australia

Registrations are limited so please book early!

Seminar Series Dates:
Tuesday 21st August Workshop 1 – Soils, Erosion, Drainage & Waterways
Tuesday 28th August Workshop 2 – Composting, Mulch, Organic Recycling
Tuesday 4th September Workshop 3 – Garden Irrigation, Rainwater tanks, Greywater
Tuesday 11th September Workshop 4 – Plant Selection & Plant Health, Weeds
Thursday 13th September Workshop 5 – Sustainable Garden Design

Manningham City Council Offices
Function Room 3
699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster

Time: 6.30pm to 9.00pm

Cost: Free & Supper Provided

Who Should Attend?
Anyone interested in creating a Bush Block or Garden that is environmentally friendly, and want to actively participate in gardening for the future.

Sustainable Gardening Australias main objective is to help home gardeners garden in a way that minimises the environmental impacts of gardening and enhances the positive environmental impacts.
Registration: Please contact Kay Toussaint at Manningham Council on 9840 9348 or email:

More Information on course content: Please contact Manningham Councils Environmental Officers Samantha Bradley on 9840 9474 or Nigel Philpot 9840 9173.


Frances Saunders – Sustainable Landscape Professional Co-ordinator

Frances has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) and was awarded the Parks & Recreation Prize for her final year work ‘Energy efficient landscapes for medium density development’. Frances previously ran her own garden design practice (sustainable gardens only of course) and was a freelance writer who wrote for The Age for over four years. She now produces Cuttings, SGA’s email newsletter, and co-ordinates the ECLIPs program (Environmental Certification for Landscape Industry Professionals). Frances has her own garden design practice (sustainable gardens only of course), and she is a freelance writer with involvement in media and promotional work.

Paul McMorran – Development Officer

Paul has a Bachelor of Science (Conservation Biology and Ecology) Hons. and has worked in the landscape and nursery sectors for a number of years. While working as a revegetation landscaper and at Bulleen Art and Garden Paul has gained considerable hands on experience with the challenges that face the industry.

Event – Malcom Smith, ARUP, and Megacities, Global Cities Institute

Posted in Events, Models, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on July 30th, 2007

Is the mega city the end of life as we know it?

2008 is a milestone for the human race. Next year more than half the worlds population (some 3.3 billion people) will live in cities. By 2030 that number is expected to have blown out to almost 5 billion. According to the UN report “The State of the World Population 2007”, the future quality of how well we live in these mega-cities depends on decisions being made now.

If you care about sustainable quality of life in the urban environment you need to meet Malcolm Smith, Director of Arups global Urban Design team.

Date: 4:00pm – 6:00pm, Thursday 2 August 2007
Place: RMIT, Research Lounge. Located at Building 28, Level 5, of the City Campus, Opposite the RMIT Library (entrance to this building can be made from Swanston Street or Bowen Lane).

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Local Action – Car Pooling, Going Solar Transport Newsletter

Posted in Models, Visions by Ferne Edwards on July 27th, 2007

By guest author, Darren McClelland, reproduced with permission from Going Solar Transport Newsletter #25, 24 July 2007,

Car Pooling
The more effective use of motor vehicles is an important element of any integrated sustainable transport strategy. Most of the public dialogue about environmental transport solutions has focused on improving our public transport systems and the promotion of cycling and walking. It is, however, sensible and realistic to acknowledge that certain members of the public will not engage in these options as readily as others, for a variety of reasons. For example, it may not be practical for residents in the outer suburbs of Melbourne to commute by public transport to their workplace, where it would involve multiple modes and excessive travel times. One way of reducing the amount of single-occupant car trips for these commuters is to promote the use of car pooling – sharing a lift to work with other commuters who live and work near them. The key to successful car pooling is a widely promoted, on-line database on a highly-visited website. It is critical that the database has a strong concentration of people who live and work near each other to make the service attractive by providing a high probability of a practical match with like commuters. A number of concerned individuals and budding entrepreneurs are making laudable efforts in this sphere. Examples include, & However in the long term they are unlikely to result in a large uptake of car pooling, as they do not focus on a single area of geographic locality, and accordingly will not achieve a critical mass of participants. Presumably these providers may also lack capital to promote their respective websites on a widespread and ongoing basis.

In future editions of the Transport Newsletter we will explore alternative ways of encouraging car pooling on a significant and sustained basis. In the meantime, take a look at the websites above if you are a reluctant car commuter and would like to reduce your car trips.
Thanks to Darren McClelland for this item.

The city’s role in protecting River Red Gum Forests

Posted in Policies by Ferne Edwards on July 26th, 2007

This Press Release (below) from Environment Victoria’s website refers to people in the cities – including Melbourne – responsibilities to protect the river red gum forests. Read the Press Release below for more information.

Cities can play a part in saving river red gum forests
Thursday July 19, 2007: Environment Victoria today called on Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat to play a part in restoring Victorias mighty river red gum forests.

“Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat could have a big role to play in saving Victorias red gum forests. If those cities take water from the Goulburn they have an obligation to make sure the river is healthy,” said Dr Paul Sinclair Healthy Rivers Campaign Director.
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Local Action – Banksia Award Winners Announced!

Posted in Events, Models by Ferne Edwards on July 26th, 2007

The Banksia Environment Foundation Award Winners were announced last weekend recognising Australia’s outstanding environmental initiatives. Awards go to:

The Prime Ministers Environmentalist of the Year Award Winner
Aaron Wood, One Life, One World, Out Future

International Banksia Award
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Origin Gold Banksia Award Winner
Westpac: Unlocking Value

DaimlerChrysler Australian Environmental Research
Molectra Technologies – QLD

The Inaugural Banksia People’s Choice Award Winner
The Falls Festival – The Greenest Festival in Australia

Built Environment Award Winner: National Lifestyle Villages – WA and
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Event Reminder – Shopping with a conscious supermarket tours start tomorrow!

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on July 26th, 2007

“Shopping with a Conscience” Supermarket Tours
Food miles, genetic engineering, multinational ownership, packaging…. and much, much more
Join us to find out more about the products, companies and related issues that are part of your weekly supermarket shopping adventures. Time to share questions, experiences, and to feast on some positive alternatives. We’ll explore practical ways to help you in making more ethical choices and lighten your impact.

Dates: 6pm – 8.30pm, Friday 27th July, 31st August, 28th September.
Cost $6. Light supper provided. Meet at Footscray Baptist church, 60 Paisley Street, Footscray. More info: Nick Ray on ph:0500 868 498 or info

Your Dollar is your vote. Find out who (and what) you voted for today!


Event – Public Meeting – Water, Sustainability and Environment

Posted in Events, Policies by Ferne Edwards on July 25th, 2007

7pm Thursday 26 July 2007
Brunswick Uniting Church, corner of Sydney Road and Merri Street Brunswick


Philip Sutton
Convenor of the Greenleap Studies Institute
Topic: Coping With Greenhouse and Preventing the Unthinkable

Kate Noble
Australian Conservation Foundation
Topic: Sustainable Solutions We Can Put In Place

Mary Crooks
Project Director Watermark Australia
Topic: The Current State of Our Water Issues

Senator Lyn Allison
Leader Australian Democrats
Topic: What Needs to be Done for Water, Sustainability and Environment Issues to be Implemented in Australia

Sustainbility Street extends invitation to advocacy workshop

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on July 25th, 2007

Join with others to make your voice heard.

Sustainability Street Carlton have been running workshops for the local community for most of this year. The topics have been as varied as Sustainability for Renters, Local Purchasing and Green Cleaning. The next workshop is Green Advocacy.

Louise Morris from Environment Victoria is running the workshop which will deal with ideas such as, constructive activism, finding the right information, how to focus your efforts, different organisations that can provide assistance, how to get the best results from your effort. There will also be time for all the questions which people may have.

Carlton Sustainability Street would like to extend an invitation to all Sustainability Streets and individuals who may be interested in attending this workshop.

Sustainability Street Carlton Green Advocacy Workshop
7PM – 9PM Thursday 26th July 2007
Carlton Primary School Staff Room
Cnr Drummond and Palmerston St
Carlton (Melways Ref 2B H5)

Please RSVP to jason (at) or Jason on 9381 1722.

Event – New Ideas for Australia’s Cities – Urban 45

Posted in Events, Policies, Research, Visions by barbara norman on July 24th, 2007

RMIT University and the University of Tasmania are hosting a Summit on ‘New Ideas for Australia’s Cities‘ on 16 August 2007, State Library, Melbourne. The Urban 45 Summit is an initiative of leading urban and housing researchers. Both the Summit and the resulting document will focus on the complex and integrated problems in Australia’s regional centres and major cities. All are welcome and the event is free. Numbers are limited so please book early. The details and registration are to be found on or email urban 45

Barbara Norman, Global Cities Institute, RMIT University