Archive for August, 2008

Eco Market Public Information Session – A real alternative to the Supermarket – 10 September

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on August 29th, 2008

Wednesday 10th September, 6.30pm
Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith Street Collingwood

In Spring 2008 Friends of the Earth will revolutionise the way we shop with the development of Australia’s first Eco Market, the sustainable market that will sell all the common items found at a supermarket. All products sold at the Eco Market must meet the standards of the Friends of the Earth environmental, ethical and social criteria. The Eco Market will be a ‘one stop’ shopping destination providing a real alternative to the supermarket.

* Do you want to learn more about this exciting new campaign?
* Do you feel politically inspired to be involved in a campaign that challenges the way we consume?
* Maybe you have a sustainable product that you wish to sell at the market?
* Or perhaps you are you interested in donating?

If you answered `Yes’, then join Friends of the Earth as we share news and information about the Eco Market campaign.

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The Victorian Monorail Proposal

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on August 28th, 2008

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #74, 26 August 2008, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar, This newsletter provides an excellent commentary on local sustainable transport issues in Melbourne.

Victorian Monorail Proposal
“German company ThyssenKrupp Transrapid has proposed the construction of a maglev monorail between Geelong and Frankston, with connections to Melbourne and Avalon airports, that would travel at an average speed of 275km/h and possibly up to 500km/h in rural areas. Its proponents say the monorail would reduce the Geelong-Melbourne commute to just 20 minutes.”
Ref: F R Perry & Associates, July Newsletter, 2008

Ref and Submission to Eddington:

“The consortium’s submission said the monorail would: Hover above the track using magnetic levitation; Reach speeds of 500km/h in rural areas; Silently cruise at 250km/h in urban areas; and, Operate safer and cleaner than normal rail transport. But the submission also revealed considerable cost – calculated to be about $4 billion per 100km of double rail lines.”
Ref: Martin Watters, Herald Sun, 30/7/08

“For half the price of the planned rail tunnel Transrapid can build a high-speed monorail from Geelong to the Airport to Frankston – more than 100km. However, maglev track takes up far more space than a conventional ALWEG monorail so should only be routed down existing freeway easements. The CBD – Frankston section of a Maglev could only run down St. Kilda Road and Nepean Highway which is likely to be unacceptable.”
Ref: New Australia

Community gardens new recognised by Green Star Building Ratings!

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on August 27th, 2008

Community gardening is now recognised in the Green Star building ratings (see in the new pilot program for multi-residential buildings. Hopefully this will encourage more people to incorporate community gardens into urban design and planning! You can see the original document at

The details are:

Credit summary for Communal Garden Facilities

Aim of Credit:
To encourage and recognise the provision of communal outdoor amenities as a way of reducing demand for separate gardens or facilities and thus reduce the ecological impact of the residential sector.

Credit Criteria Summary:
– Up to three points are awarded where a minimum 25% of the site area is developed as a communal garden and provides a range of facilities: active and passive spaces for both adults and children,
individual and communal activities, hard and soft landscaping.
One credit point is awarded where the minimum communal garden area is provided and at least 3 of the following facilities are provided;
Two credit point are awarded where the minimum communal garden area is provided and 6 or more of the following facilities are provided; and
Three credit points are awarded where the minimum communal garden area is provided and 9 of the following facilities are provided.

The features/ facilities are:
-compost facilities
-garden plots that can be tendered by residents
-communal or individual vegetable gardens
-in-ground deep soil planting capable of supporting large trees
-landscaped areas for quiet contemplation
-landscaped areas for active play
-natural clothes drying facilities
-playground area
-outdoor entertainment area with integrated BBQ facilities.”

Melbourne Sustainability Drinks

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on August 27th, 2008

Please find a note below from Dean Steele-Bennett and Carly Philips about the next Melbourne Sustainability Drinks.

At the next Melbourne Sustainability Drinks Eric Bottomley, of CERES (Community Environment Park) will be discussing his vision for how we as a society can impart sustainability into our schools, communities and the education sector, Wednesday 3rd September.

Erics personal interest in sustainability has lead to a passion for educating our youth. Eric has designed much of the CERES Educational programs and is currently implementing the Victorian Sustainable Schools Program.

This is not a sponsored event; i.e. you buy your own drinks. We choose to come together in the spirit of a shared interest. So come and join us at the next “Melbourne Sustainability Drinks” held on Wednesday September 3rd from 6 – 8pm.
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Could carbon become a new currency?

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on August 27th, 2008

Alternative Technology Association Seminar: Could carbon become a new currency? – Are personal carbon allowances, reminiscent of wartime rations, the way forward?

When: Thursday, 4th September, 2008
Time: 6:15pm onwards for a 6:30pm start
Where: The Banking Chamber theatrette, Ground Floor, KPMG, 147 Collins St, Melbourne. Disabled access via 161 Collins St.
Costs: $15, $10 for ATA members (ATA couples $15). Refreshments provided after the presentation
RSVPs required: Email Wendy Clarke on or ph:(03) 9631 5407

ATAs seminar will explore carbon rationing, which has been examined by the UK Government in their report “A Rough Guide to Individual Carbon Trading” and also supported by George Monbiot in “Heat”. David Spratt, co-author of Climate Code Red, advocates personal carbon allowances as the most fair and equitable means of rapidly reducing carbon emissions. David will look at the science relating to global warming and why greenhouse emissions would be best controlled by personal carbon allowances.
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Brendan Mackey to speak on forests and climate change

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on August 27th, 2008

Title: Transition to a Zero Carbon Future Discussion Group

Topic: Forests as a solution to climate change

Description: Monthly discussion group hosted by Beyond Zero Emissions focusing on solutions to climate change. This month, we will be joined by world leading ecologist & research scientist, Professor Brendan Mackey.

A new ANU study has found wild untouched forests store 60% more carbon than plantation forests. The ‘Green Carbon’ report says untouched forests store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated by the IPCC and the Kyoto Protocol. This makes forests all the more critical in the fight against climate change. Co-author of the report, Professor Brendan Mackey, will speak about the role of forests on climate change. Professor Mackey is the Director of the Wild Country Research and Policy Hub at ANU.

“Protecting the carbon in Australia’s and the world’s natural forests is no longer an option – it is a necessity. If natural forests continue to be cleared and degraded then the C02 released will significantly increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The carbon stored in natural forests is a larger and more reliable stock than the carbon stored in commercially logged forests and plantations.” – Professor Mackey

Event location: 2nd Floor, Kindness House, 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Time: 6.30 – 8:30 pm, Monday 1st September 2008

If you arrive late and have trouble getting in, please call 0421 272 884, and we will come down and meet you
Cost and payment methods: Gold coin Donation
For more information contact


Wheelchair access: 2 flights of stairs, happy to assist with access

More news from the Sustainability Street crew

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on August 26th, 2008

Another SSA Village SnapShot – The Sustainability Street Approach – Walton Ave – Sustainability Street Party

Sustainability Street has always been about reaching out into the community and celebrating our achievements. What better way to do this than a street party where everyone is invited. While Sammy Star kept the kids happy, the adults swapped over their old showerheads for new efficient ones, made soap, had their homes audited, free cycled, met the neighbours and talked about the things they have done and the things they can do. A great time was had by all.

Thanks to the folks of Walton Ave for organising the party and Darebin Council for supplying the marquees and Stuart Nesbitt for the auditing.

Launch of Future Scenarios website

Posted in Visions by Ferne Edwards on August 25th, 2008

David Holmgren, well-known permaculturalist, has developed his global scenario planning into a website called Future Scenarios,

As stated by Holmgren on the site: presents an integrated approach to understanding the potential interaction between Climate Change and Peak Oil using a scenario planning model. In the process I introduce permaculture as a design system specifically evolved over the last 30 years to creatively respond to futures that involve progressively less and less available energy.

A press release about this new website can be found at:

Free negotiation and influencing workshop

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on August 22nd, 2008

Please find some information about Environment Victoria’s upcoming free community workshop on Effective Negotiation and Influencing Skills.

“The workshop is specifically designed for people who are actively seeking to improve environmental and river health, EV individual and group members, Waterkeeper members, Landcare members and anyone who is involved in working groups or stakeholder committees, especially on water issues.”

When: Thursday 18th September, 9am -5pm
Where: Meeting Room. 60L Green Building, 60 Leicester St, Carlton 3053
Cost: FREE! Lunch provided.
For more information and bookings: contact Juliet Le Feuvre T: 9341 8106, E: juliet.lefeuvre Bookings close Monday 15 September.

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Seeking sustainable sheds

Posted in Seeking by Ferne Edwards on August 21st, 2008

Now this a competition I want to enter! See news below from the latest Alternative Technology Association newsletter.

The search is on for Australia and New Zealands best sustainable shed! ReNew magazine is looking for a shed that excels in sustainability. Are you building an electric car in your shed? Have you built a water-saving device? Is your shed solar powered? Does it have its own wind turbine? Or did you build your own wind turbine in your shed? Is your shed made from recycled materials?

Competition closes 16 January 2009. The winning shed will be featured in ReNew 107 (out mid-March 2009). The competition will be judged by acclaimed shed researcher Mark Thomson, author of “Makers, Breakers & Fixers: Inside Australias Most Resourceful Sheds” and ReNew editors Jacinta Cleary and Lance Turner. The best four entries receive copies of this book.

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