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Archive for September, 2012

Campaign to Invest in Solar Thermal

Posted in Policies, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on September 28th, 2012

Source: Get Up

>>Invest in Solar Thermal

Right now there’s a proposal on the table to replace two of the highest polluting coal fired power stations in Australia with solar thermal. Building Australia’s first solar thermal plant in Port Augusta will help create hundreds of new jobs – and reduce harmful emissions that are contributing to climate change. It will deliver local investment and will do a great deal to mitigate long-standing community concerns about health issues related to the coal fired power plant.

There’s only one group of people who are yet to get behind it, and that’s the Government. Email your ALP MP using our tool [visit the web page] and ask them to commit to using our two existing renewable energy funds (ARENA and the CEFC) to fund Australia’s first solar thermal power plant.

Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on September 28th, 2012

1 October , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

The Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA2020) Buildings Plan is set to launch in the coming months. The ZCA2020 Buildings Plan aims to demonstrate that there are no technical barriers to zero emission buildings in Australia. Project Director, Trent Hawkins, will take us through energy efficiency retrofits, thermal modelling software, implementation timelines, economic case studies, and the renewable energy strategies, that will make every building energy self-sufficient (i.e. zero net energy consumption) by the year 2020.

Whatever your incentive, energy efficient building design and sustainable performance is an absolute no-brainer. It would reduce Australia’s total carbon emissions. It would present energy savings for bill payers and more healthy and comfortable homes. This also has reciprocal benefits for government spending: a healthier population and more breathing room for the transition to renewable energy.

Time: 6:30- 8pm Monday 1 October 2012 

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

Plus LIVE webcast.

Trent is a Mechanical Engineer with a background in renewable energy and computational modelling. He previously held the position of Technical Manager at the sustainable energy consultancy, Enhar.

For participants outside Melbourne, live streaming of this event will be available here. You can ask questions and make comments during the webcast via a chatbox below. We will begin streaming the event at 6:25pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

During live streaming we will provide a chatbox which can be signed into using various social media accounts like twitter and openID.

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:…

Agroecology versus Industrial Agriculture: Infographic

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on September 27th, 2012

Source: Nourishing The Planet

Infographic by The Christiansen Fund

From the Infographic ‘Soil to Sky: of agroecology versus industrial agriculture’ by The Christiansen Fund

In order to feed our world without destroying it, an holistic type of agriculture is needed, and we have a choice. Here we compare the current high-input industrial system with a renewed vision for agriculture: the agroecolocial system. […]

Agroecological strategies can better feed the world, fight climate change and poverty, and protect soil and water while maintaining healthy, liveable communities and local economies. Industrial agriculture contributes to climate change, malnutrition and ecosystem degradation around the planet. It has not delivered on its promise to feed the world.

Bike Futures Conference 2012

Posted in Events by John Myers on September 18th, 2012

17 October , 2012
18 October , 2012
19 October , 2012

Bike Futures has become Australia’s leading bike conference for national and local leaders, planners, architects, urban designers and builders who use bike transport and recreation to advance their communities.

Keynote speakers include Johan Diepens, CEO and founder of Mobycon, the leading edge Dutch transport and mobility consultancy. Mr Diepens, a trendwatcher and strategist, will discuss different smart mobility solutions that are being introduced around the world.

Now in its fourth year Bike Futures will tackle the issue of ensuring that the growth in bike riding around the country now requires its own transport and planning response.

The preliminary program includes:

  • Public Bikes in the Asia-Pacific region: What we can learn and apply ourselves
  • Three Degrees of Separation
  • ‘Make sure you’re home for tea!’: Supportive environments for active and independent kids
  • Learnings from Australian CBDs
  • How to ensure new suburbs support riding
  • Mitigating Circumstances – How to prevent unwanted behaviour
  • Bike Corrals, OK? Effective decision-making for on-street bike parking: Interactive Workshop
  • On-street Bike Parking & Bike Corrals
  • How to upgrade your intersections
  • The New Inventors: Evaluating the innovations
  • How to make it easier to switch mode
  • The Infrastructure, the Horse and the Water
  • Getting routes right: The right thing in the right place for the right reason
  • Bikes and Public Transport on the road: How we can all thrive together
  • Active Travel: Learnings from Key Behaviour Change Programs
  • How close is Melbourne to a world class cycling city? – Swanston Street and beyond
  • Smart Decisions from Smart technology

Bike Futures Conference 2012
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Wednesday 17 – Friday 19 October 2012

Free Guide to Saving Energy and Money

Posted in Models, Research by sashashtargot on September 17th, 2012

From curtains to LCD monitors, taking showers to making toast, the Alternative Technology Association’s new guide examines all the ways to save money and improve energy efficiency around the home.

The Guide to reducing your energy use and saving money is available now as a PDF and is completely free.

This booklet is designed to help low-income households reduce their home’s energy use without the need for big spending on appliances or home renovations. Many actions can be done at zero or low cost, or through small changes in behaviour.

To make it easier, we have tips for each room of the house. These range from the simplest tweaks, to improvements that may require permission from your landlord if you are in a rental property.

The guide was developed by the Alternative Technology Association and the Victorian Council of Social Service, with support from the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Click here to download.

To order multiple copies email

New Fairfield Farmers’ Market: Saturday 15 September

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on September 14th, 2012

15 September , 2012
9:00 amto1:00 pm
Source: Melbourne Community Farmers’ Markets

Poster via

From the MCFM newsletter:

You asked for it, so here’s the low down on our newby market in Melbourne’s north…

Fairfield Farmers’ Market had a previous life run by other management and feedback from customers and stallholders alike was that they couldn’t work out ‘what was wrong’ because it had such potential in a great part of town. We were offered the contract late last year and, after hearing the stories, we figured the main concerns that seemed to exist were integrity and quality. So the first thing to do was address those issues by working on accreditation for the market through the Victorian Farmers’ Market Association.

As a result, the market bounced back to life in May and things are looking up! Despite some challenging weather, we have had a great customer support and the feedback is very satisfying. It’s not surprising as the stallholders are a brilliant bunch, some you’ll know and others are getting a new opportunity at a city market.

Our plan for Fairfield (and the new markets in the pipeline) is to be smaller in number, just as much variety but without the duplication of stalls. The current vegie growers Spring Creek Organics and Somerset Heritage Vegetables have started the ball rolling with brilliant winter staples but look out for asparagus this Saturday with broad beans and snow peas coming very soon.

In fruit we are lucky enough to have Marie and Chas Harding from Hardings Orchard in Pakenham join us. They offer many old fashioned varieties of apples and pears including Winter Nellis pears, Golden Delicious and Fuji apples. Beenak Farm biodynamic kiwis are very popular over winter as is The Orange Lady’s range of citrus. That’s got Vitamin C covered! Berries are returning in summer…mmm.


You may have heard the hype from across town and now it’s official…MoVida Bakery is joining Fairfield from this month, offering Spanish pastries and specialty breads. They use local free range eggs, Victorian flour, citrus, butter and fruit.

And in dairy, many of you will now know Simon Schulz and his Friesian cow’s milk; thick, rich and straight from the farm at a fair price (not $1 a litre like the duopoly offers shoppers with nothing for the farmer). Schulz Dairy also have skim and unpasteurized milk, quark and fantastic yoghurt. Simon has also introduced us to his Timboon neighbour Mattieu from L’artisan cheese who’s now a Fairfield Farmers’ Market regular with his superb hand crafted cheeses.

Brekkie while you shop is covered with Janet’s chai stall, The Little Coffee Van, Taiwanese pancakes, hot baked bikkies, Betty’s BBQ and the school parents’ Dutch pancake stall.

And there’s so much more, so why don’t you pop in on Saturday morning and see the rest for yourselves?

When: 3rd Saturday of every month
Where: Fairfield Primary School, Wingrove Street, Fairfield
Time: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Cost: Gold coin donation for specific kids’ school projects would be appreciated

Business, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Valuing the Earth’s Natural Capital

Posted in Events by unaavic on September 13th, 2012

20 September , 2012
2:00 pmto5:00 pm

Photo by London Permaculture via flickr CC

United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division) Business, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Valuing the Earth’s Natural Capital Seminar will be held on Thursday 20 September, in partnership with National Australia Bank.

Building momentum for collective action post-Rio+20, the seminar brings together key players from business, government and civil society to discuss the challenges and opportunities in measuring the true value of nature and enhancing natural capital as a critical economic, ecological and social asset.

Join the conversation with an expert panel to discuss:

  • The Natural Capital Declaration and the finance sector
  • Australian Government perspective on natural capital and sustainability: current priorities, measurement and where Australia can make a difference
  • Business and biodiversity: valuing natural capital and ecosystem services in practice
  • The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (TEEB for Business)
  • The System of Environmental – Economic Accounts (SEEA)
  • Integrating the valuing and management of environmental assets into business and government decision-making processes
  • Experiences and opportunities for cross-sector collaboration

Guest speakers:

  • Rosemary Bissett (Head of Sustainability Governance and Risk, Enterprise Risk, National Australia Bank)
  • Malcolm Thompson (Deputy Secretary, Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
  • Stuart Anstee (Chief Adviser, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Rio Tinto)
  • Dr Joshua Bishop (Former Chief Economist, IUCN and National Manager, Markets, Sustainability and Business Partnerships, WWF Australia).
  • Charles Berger (Director of Strategic Ideas, Australian Conservation Foundation)

Rosemary Sainty (Former Head, Secretariat UN Global Compact Network Australia and Adviser, Corporate Engagement, Transparency International Australia)

Download Seminar Flyer

Date: Thursday 20 September
Time: 1.30pm registration, 2pm to 5pm
Venue: Hosted by National Australia Bank, The Bowl, 500 Bourke St, Melbourne
Cost: Business/Government: $180 (+GST); Non-profit/NGO: $120 (+GST)

Registration deadline: 5pm, Monday 17 September.

RSVP Essential. Please note places are limited, please register early to avoid disappointment.

For more information visit the registration website.

Melbourne’s Transition to a Water Sensitive City: Recommendations for Strategic Action

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on September 3rd, 2012

Source: Clearwater

The report Melbourne’s Transition to a Water Sensitive City: Recommendations for Strategic Action provides an interpretation of the outcomes of the Melbourne’s Transition to a Water Sensitive City project, led by Monash Water for Liveability. The project involved a series of four workshops in the Yarra Valley region of Melbourne and a series of five workshops in the South East region of Melbourne.

The workshop participants were from a range of organisations that have a role in the planning, design, management and use of Melbourne’s water system. This report presents the authors’ interpretation and synthesis of outcomes from the two workshops series and translates them to provide recommendations for coordinated strategic action across key stakeholder groups to enable transformative change in Melbourne’s water system.

From the report:

50-Year Vision of Melbourne as a Water Sensitive City

Developing a shared long-term vision of a desired future is an important step in recognising that everyone is connected through shared desires and concerns. Workshop participants were asked to identify the principles that will guide how we plan, invest, design, manage, regulate, monitor and evaluate our actions in this desired future. Building on the Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Roadmap principles (Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council, 2011), the working groups of the participants developed a 50-year vision of Melbourne as a Water Sensitive City, underpinned by four overlapping themes: Social and Ecological Health, Connected Communities, Shared Prosperity and Our Water System.

>>Visit the Clearwater site to download the full report.