Archive for June, 2012

In Transition 2.0: Film Screening

Posted in Events by TransitionTownPortPhillip on June 27th, 2012

4 July , 2012
6:30 pmto8:30 pm

“In Transition 2.0″ is the new film from Transition Network, capturing inspiring stories of Transition initiatives around the world, responding to uncertain times with creativity, solutions and engaged optimism”.

Join us for the screening on Wednesday 4 July, 6.30pm
@ Port Phillip EcoCentre
55A Blessington St, St Kilda

Introduced by members of local intiative Transition Port Phillip, followed by discussion, snacks & refreshments

FREE EVENT, gold coin donation welcomed

RSVP: transitiontownportphillip@gmail.com/ 9534 0670


Repowering Port Augusta: BZE Discussion Group

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on June 25th, 2012

2 July , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

The monthly discussion group, focusing on solutions to climate change, is brought to you by Beyond Zero Emissions and our Zero Carbon Australia project partner, the Melbourne Energy Institute.

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At this critical time for South Australian energy policy, Beyond Zero Emissions has released the long-awaited Repowering Port Augusta report. This report presents the compelling economic and environmental case for why Port Augusta’s ageing coal-fired power stations should be replaced with concentrating solar thermal power (CST).

As with the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan research collaboration with the University of Melbourne, this Port August blueprint is technically detailed, fully costed and backed up by rigorous research. Join us and support the future of Australia’s first solar thermal power plant with molten salt storage. For interstate participants, stay tuned for details of live streaming of this event.

Time: 6:30- 8pm Monday 2 July 2012

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute and Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners, for joining us in bringing you this event.

Entry: Gold coin donation

Further reading:

http://beyondzeroemissions.org/events/discussion-group

http://repowerportaugusta.org/

http://beyondzeroemissions.org/blog/repowering-port-augusta-report-now-a…


Water Sensitive Cities Tour 2012: Project snapshots

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 21st, 2012


Photo of the Isar River in Munich by Marcio Cabral de Moura via flickr CC

From “Water Sensitive Cities 2012 Study Tour Group return home“:

The Water Sensitive Cities 2012 Study Tour group, comprising of 18 young water professionals from across Australia, have now completed the overseas leg of their trip. The group travelled to Singapore, the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands to develop their knowledge of integrated water management and to draw out relevant learnings that can aid Australia in moving towards a Water Sensitive City.

Tour participant Nicole Sexton, Senior Planner Strategy and Sustainability from Barwon Water, produced a poster presentation for the Healthy Cities Conference in Geelong on 6-8 June. The poster provides a snapshot of the sites that the group visited.

Click here to view the poster.


Bring back the Bike Budget: Rally tomorrow morning

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2012

21 June , 2012
7:30 amto8:30 am


World Naked Bike Ride 2012 photo by Charles Van den Broek via flickr CC

Bicycle Network Victoria is inviting every person who rides a bike and cares about the safety of our streets to attend the before-work rally from 7.30-8.30, Thursday, 21 June to express their amazement and disappointment at the Baillieu decision to cut funding for bike infrastructure to zero.

“Ted Baillieu’s Government has snubbed the 1.1 million Victorians riding a bike every week and ignored the million more who want to join in but are waiting for appropriate facilities to appear,” Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Harry Barber said.

“We’re going to tell the Baillieu Government that we are amazed and disappointed that they seem to think doing nothing on bike infrastructure is an option – it’s not.

“The Baillieu Government have not grasped the unique ability of bikes to improve the carrying-capacity of our already congested road network. The simple truth is more cars can’t be added to already jammed roads but what we can do, for a small investment, is move thousands more people along existing roadways just by installing appropriate bike facilities.

“Thousands are already riding every day, thousands more want to ride but are waiting for the Government to act – Mr Baillieu, his Government and his zero-bike Budget are failing Victorians.”

Support for the rally is growing across the bike riding community. A number of groups and clubs have organised riders to travel to the rally together. Meeting places so far include:

  • Footscray – 7.00am Hyde Street opposite the Police Station.
  • North Melbourne – 7am North Melbourne Pool, 1 Macauley Rd – coordinated by Melbourne Bicycle User Group
  • Coburg – 6.30am Coburg Railway Station.
  • East Brunswick – 7.00am Café L’Amour, 76 Lygon St, East Brunswick, coordinated by Moreland Bicycle User Group.
  • Carlton – 7.00am Outside Dan O’Connell Hotel, Corner Princes and Canning Streets – coordinated by Yarra Bicycle Users Group.
  • Northcote – 7.00am, Jika Jika Community Centre, Corner Plant and Union Streets – coordinated by Darebin Bicycle User Group.
  • Brighton – 6.45am, corner Bay St and Nepean Highway.
  • Richmond: 7:00am Elizabeth Street and Church Street—outside the commission flats.

The Moreland and Yarra Councils have also passed resolutions supporting the rally. Moreland Council is promoting the rally and encouraging all staff who want to attend to do so. Yarra Council has adopted a similar supportive position and also “authorises a City of Yarra banner or banners being taken to the rally and displayed”.

High performance riders are also getting on board. The North Road Group – a regular Thursday early morning training ride to Mordialloc for road riders – has modified its course and timing and will now finish at the Parliament House steps in time to join the start of the rally at 7.30am.

The 2012 Victorian Budget papers show the government has allocated zero funding to the VicRoads Bicycle Program. (Some already-announced commitments from previous budgets are still trickling through. The Baillieu Government is trying to hide behind these carry over items.)

No high priority infrastructure projects planned for next year have been funded and desperately needed lanes, signals, intersections and other urgent safety improvements have been scrapped. The decision will increase the level of risk for existing riders and stop new riders joining in an activity that improves community health and cuts congestion.

7.30-8.30am, Thursday, 21 June
www.bicyclenetwork.com.au

Enviro Trivia Contest

Posted in Events by EcoCentre on June 18th, 2012

1 July , 2012
2:00 pmto4:00 pm

we'll give you something to puzzle over

Sunday 1 July, 2pm-4pm

Get your green thinking caps on for a cozy afternoon of environmental trivia at Port Phillip Eco Centre.

Reckon you could tell a tawny frogmouth apart from a barn owl? Do you know when the first earth day was held? or how many tonnes of pollution hazelwood power station produces annually? A tip: you’ll be needing all your senses for this quiz (and if you can recognise a few animal calls, that’ll help!)

Answer quiz questions covering natural history, geography, science and current affairs; win points in a round of charades (Could you act out ‘An Inconvenient Truth’??); plus have a go at other fun challenges to get your team over the line.

Round up your friends or come alone and join an impromptu team. The first team of five to RSVP will receive a special door prize.

There’ll be prizes/give aways for every round.  Hot drinks (inc. our house made chai) and appetizers available.

Entry: Gold coin donation.

RSVP to Paula: gardeners@ecocentre.com/9525 3102/0417 501 383.

Port Phillip EcoCentre
Cnr Blessington & Herbert St., St Kilda (adjacent St Kilda Botanical Gardens)
Enquiries: paula – 0417 501 383 / gardeners@ecocentre.com


The Future of Coal and Gas in Australia: Seminar

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 15th, 2012

27 June , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm


Coal-seam gas pipe-laying machine photo by Jeremy Buckingham MLC via flickr CC

Energy analysts and commentators envisage coal and gas playing major, if not dominant roles in supplying an energy hungry world for many decades. Australia is a major exporter of coal, and coal-based electricity underpins our standard of living. Gas development is undergoing a revolution driven by technologies that extract it from coal seams and shales and the scale is mind boggling. Yet an effective response to climate change means the combustion of coal and gas as we know it today must cease by mid-century.

This seminar in our Energy Futures Series will examine this conundrum, one of the major challenges of our time.

6.30-8pm Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne

Register here for this free event or visit the website to find out more.


Inclusion Timebank launching in the Inner South-East

Posted in Movements by Inclusion Melbourne Volunteering on June 13th, 2012

Local disability organisation Inclusion Melbourne is moving forward with its cutting edge new initiative, the Inclusion Timebank. The Timebank is a new approach to volunteering, work, friendship and community building.

If you are a local of the inner South-East, international student, local student, senior citizen, person with support needs, professional, young person seeking work experience (or basically anyone really!), the Timebank allows you to share your skills (languages, tutoring, gardening, design, housework, art mentoring, anything really!) with other Timebank members and learn new skills or get help in return. For every hour of help you give someone, you receive a credit hour, which you can spend on help from someone else. No money ever changes hands. An hour for an hour. All recorded on our fantastic online portal:

www.melbinc.timebanks.org

Members sign up through Inclusion Melbourne’s Volunteer application process and are assisted by the Timebank coordinator to make their initial exchanges.

It sounds simple – almost like bartering or the well-known LETS system – however Timebanking has the potential to transform communities through:

  • Creating access into a pool of skills and services that would not usually be available due to financial or other limitations
  • Filling the gaps in services provided by government
  • Valuing everyone’s time as equal
  • Facilitating new friendships
  • Upskilling whole neighbourhoods
  • Joining people together to see needs met
  • Creating an environment of respectful reciprocity in a diverse body of people

The Inclusion Timebank is open to anyone who lives, works or ‘does life’ in the area around Armadale (including East St Kilda, Balaclava, Malvern, East Malvern, Toorak, Prahran, Windsor, South Yarra and Caulfield North).

There will be an information session and launch held at Inclusion Melbourne in Armadale at 5:30pm on Monday 25 of June, at 5.30pm. If you would like to book a place at an information session, learn more, or sign up, please call the Timebank Coordinator on 9509 4266 or email us at timebank@im.org.au


VEIL Exhibition: Sunshine 2032, Stage three

Posted in Events, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 12th, 2012

13 June , 2012 10:00 amto17 June , 2012 5:00 pm


Image credit: Jack Pu

The city of Sunshine was designed according to the principles of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City. The suburban layout combined back yards adequate for a vegetable patch, fruit trees and chickens, with regularly placed public parks for social recreation. The layout remains intact today, but the expansion of transport infrastructure over the years has fractured much of the social space in the suburb. The Garden City layout of Sunshine is suited to the intensification of sustainable programs including urban agriculture, shared water and energy harvesting systems, increased pedestrian and bike access through the neighbourhood and shared public spaces for increased social cohesion.

Following on from our exhibition of ‘Vision: Sunshine 2032’ projects in 2011, VEIL took the design process further and held the studio in the community as a Studio Atelier. Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre generously provided a vacant shop for the duration of the semester, and we constructed the furnishings as we went along. Being in Sunshine every week has allowed us to become better acquainted with the project sites, the community, and the experience of working, shopping, eating and travelling in the area.  The studio door has literally been kept open, and we have had locals and past residents come in to speak to us, deliver brief lectures on the area, and request inclusions in the projects. VEIL hopes to continue using the Studio Atelier as a model for teaching and co-creating innovative design projects for the future.

This exhibition of selected design projects, developed as part of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) Eco-Acupuncture studio program 2009-2012, includes selected Architecture and Landscape Architecture Design projects envisioning a sustainable future for Sunshine [stage one, two and three].

13 – 17 June
Shop 34, Sunshine Plaza 324-328 Hampshire Rd Sunshine
Open Wednesday-Sunday 10am-5pm.

Exhibition launched by Professor Philip Goad, Director of the Melbourne School of Design, Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne.

www.ecoinnovationlab.com


Earthwatch Annual Appeal 2012

Posted in Seeking by earthwatch on June 8th, 2012

Earthwatch Annual Appeal 2012

Earthwatch Institute is an international not-for-profit environmental organisation which brings science and people together to promote understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
In partnership with scientists, business, government and philanthropic organisations Earthwatch engages a broad range of people in environmental scientific research expeditions in over 50 countries.
According to the CSIRO, Australia has just experienced the hottest decade on record. The climate change science is compelling, but the impact on Australia’s unique flora and fauna remains largely unknown. Earthwatch has developed two new climate change research projects, aimed at building their knowledge and tackling this unparalleled challenge.

The challenge

The rainforests of Northern Queensland’s World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics are home to endangered species such as the northern bettong, mahogany glider, spotted tail quoll and southern cassowary. The cassowary is the only animal that can distribute the seeds of more than 70 species of trees, whose fruit is too large for any other forest dwelling animal to eat and relocate. If land temperatures increase as predicted, only 11% of their habitat will remain, leaving them exposed to further environmental threats. Prof. Stephen Williams and Earthwatch volunteers, require funding to expand this research on the vulnerability of rainforest species and their potential for adapting to climate change.

Coastal mangrove forests are among the richest, most diverse and most vulnerable landscapes on Earth. Mangroves shield coastlines from storms and cyclones, help prevent shoreline erosion, filter pollutants and are nurseries for manta rays, sharks and turtles. They support over 50% of the world’s fisheries and store vast amounts of greenhouse gases. Yet, mangroves are being destroyed at four times the rate of land forests. Working in the Daintree, Dr Norm Duke and volunteers want to set a baseline for assessing the health of unprotected mangroves around the world. Their work will make the case for mangroves to be included in United Nations initiatives to price the carbon stored in different ecosystems and thereby facilitate their protection.

Make a donation today, make a difference

Financial support is vital for Earthwatch to continue funding scientists to carry out critical, conservation research, assisted by our extraordinary volunteers. Your generosity and commitment to helping scientists provide the evidence needed to conserve these remarkable ecosystems is greatly appreciated. Please take the time to donate by visiting earthwatch.org.au/donate or phoning Earthwatch on 03 9682 6828

Every dollar really does count.


Building A Sustainable House to Suit Your Site: Free Webinar

Posted in Events by sashashtargot on June 7th, 2012

15 June , 2012
11:00 amto12:00 pm

Learn about the importance of site orientation, location and climate in designing an energy efficient, sustainable home at a free webinar on Friday June 15 from 11am-noon.

This will be the fifth webinar in a series held by the Alternative Technology Association in conjunction with bankmecu.

We will be looking at sustainable design elements incorporated in an owner-built home on Sydney’s northern beaches, looking in particular at how the site’s location and challenges (including slope, proximity to the sea, and limited solar access) influenced the design.

The webinar will include a presentation by designer Dick Clarke of Envirotecture and a conversation with homeowners Barbara Stack and Rodney Reece on their design priorities and what it’s like to live in the finished house. The webinar will finish with a Q&A session.

If you’re not able to join in live, view it at the ATA website from a couple of days afterwards.

To register, click here