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Stormwater Harvesting in Geelong: Case studies

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 10th, 2012

Source: Clearwater

From Geelong Stormwater Harvesting Projects:

The City of Greater Geelong has embarked upon a number of stormwater harvesting projects to reduce the City’s potable water use and maintain green open space and recreational assets. Two of these projects are detailed below.

Kardinia Park is an open space precinct that includes Simonds Stadium, home to the Geelong Football Club, and a number of other football/cricket ovals. The precinct is an important asset in the sporting and cultural identity of the Greater Geelong. The stormwater harvesting system diverts stormwater runoff from a 30ha area of Newtown and from nearby roofs and playing fields into a new underground storage tank. Water is drawn from this storage tank and used to irrigate the AFL ground’s playing surface and other surrounding ovals. The scheme is expected to save 13 megalitres of potable water per year.

Grinter Reserve was a product of the City’s Sustainable Water Use Plan developed or established in 2006. Stormwater from a conventional drainage system from an adjacent 200ha residential suburb is diverted into a constructed wetland in Grinter Reserve. Additional water sourced from the ‘Splashdown’ aquatic facility located within the Reserve allows approximately 30 megalitres of cleaned water to supply 100% of the irrigation demand for the reserve, providing ecological habitat and amenity and eliminating the need for potable water.

Read the full case studies on the Clearwater website.

Geelong-built wind turbine flying high

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on May 30th, 2012

Source: The Geelong Advertiser, via Dan Cass

Image from Renewable Energy Solutions Australia

From “A new spin on wind turbines” by Shane Fowles

A Geelong-built wind turbine which is spruiked as the quietest in the world has been placed at Tullamarine. It is the second commercial installation of the Eco Whisper Turbine, following a pilot demonstration at Geelong manufacturer Austeng’s North Geelong plant last October. The turbines are being made by Austeng for Renewable Energy Solutions Australia, with aims to produce up to six more for Victorian customers this year. They are not aimed at the wind farm market but for mid-sized businesses or organisations, with the turbine to produce about a third of the power requirements for the Austeng plant.

RESA chief executive officer Tony Le Messurier said the 20kW turbine was placed just outside Tullamarine’s airport precinct. “This is our second commercial installation in Victoria, which marks a crucial milestone in our evolution and the adoption of renewable energy,” he said. After two years of development and testing, RESA believes its quiet turbine has the ability to capture up to 30 per cent more energy than traditional three-bladed designs.

Western Victoria MP David O’Brien is advocating for the technology to be given greater government support, finding it falls in between subsidies offered to households and larger wind farms. “If we can cut red tape or provide targeted assistance to small manufacturers, it will hopefully help companies such as Austeng employ more Geelong workers,” he said.

You can find out more about the Eco Whisper Turbine on the Renewable Energy Solutions Australia website.

Aboriginal community recreates hunter-gatherer culture to solve food shortage

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 21st, 2010

Source: Permablitz Designers Guild

Image: john tann via flickr CC

A Victorian Aboriginal community has returned to traditional hunter-gatherer methods to solve food shortages and improve healthy eating.  Victoria University has been working with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative in Geelong to reignite passion for traditional cooking methods, improve access to healthy foods and help close the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The project, funded by VicHealth, has led to the development of an Aboriginal television cooking series planned to be aired on community TV, the publication of a specialised cookbook and the distribution of children’s plates depicting healthy food portions. The 5000-strong Wathaurong Aboriginal community, which spreads from near Anglesea to south of Ballarat, is also developing a food bank and holding regular social cooking events.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the average Indigenous household income is $460 a week, compared to $740 for non-Indigenous families. VU Senior Research Fellow Dr Karen Adams said the rise in the cost of healthy foods had put pressure on Aboriginal families, with many running out of food before their next pay. Encouraging the development of community gardens, food shares and the hunting and gathering of traditional foods was vital to healthy eating and food security in the community, she said. “There has been a real focus on how you can recreate your culture in a modern colonised world. It’s about increasing people’s knowledge by planting native foods in community gardens and demonstrating cooking methods that include fish in clay wraps and paperbark, kangaroo, native spinach, native mint and even witchetty grubs. “All of this reinforces cooking as cultural, healthy, social and fun. We want to move away from diets high in sugar and salt content.’’

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