• Following feedback from Association members and partners the “National Sustainability in Business Conference” has been reconvened, and will be held the Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane from the 23-24 March 2017.

    The National Sustainability Conference themed ‘Renewables – Markets – Innovation – Opportunities – Capital’ will address the need for sustainable business practices, and what this means in today’s ever-changing world.

    The Conference will bring together Business leaders, SME’s, Academics and Practitioners from Australia and New Zealand while providing an opportunity to network with others who are building profitable and sustainable business models, services and products.

Melbourne’s Trams To Be Solar Powered

Melbourne’s trams network will soon be powered by the first large-scale solar plant to be built in Victoria. The solar plant, which will be completed by the end of 2018, is expected to be located in Victoria’s north-west. The state government announced on Thursday that the solar plant would produce 75 megawatts of power, with about half of that production to be linked to the tram network. Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the government would use its purchasing power as a “large energy consumer” to boost investment in renewables. The project is expected to create 300 …

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Community Energy Opportunities in Regional Australia

In 2016 the ACT government committed to a target of 100% renewable energy by 2020, moving the target forward and reflecting a growing commitment by sub-national and local governments, and city administrations to changing their energy dependencies and the energy mix, and decentralising the energy production process (reference – Paris Council of the Parties on Climate Change in 2015). Governments are recognising the growing interest in renewable energy in their constituencies, and in fact the public is arguably leading the political agenda. The regional Victorian experience in relation to community energy is instructive. Daylesford began a conversation about two community …

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Design Competitions and the “Design Dividend” in Central Sydney

Good design delivers a variety of public benefits. The so-called “design dividend” links these benefits to positive financial uplift for property interests resulting from superior design. But what happens when competitive design processes enter the picture? An Australian Research Council-funded project led by researchers from UNSW Sydney and the University of Canberra is examining the City of Sydney Council’s Competitive Design Policy. This policy uniquely requires major private projects in Sydney’s CBD to undergo a design procurement process based on jury-based evaluation of alternative designs. A discretionary floor-space bonus becomes available for achieving “Design Excellence” via this route. With this …

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Living Pods and Naturescapes: Transforming Residential Areas into Sustainable Living Environments

As an Architect, I’m able to see a bird’s eye view of trends in design. A significant movement that continues to expand in our consciousness, is how to create a sustainable world (for ourselves and generations to come) amidst an expanding population and increasing use of natural resources. Now more than ever, we see people responding to this challenge. We are re-discovering our fundamental connection with the earth and with each other and communities are being created around environments where food, nature and aesthetics are re-united. My own work on “Living Pods”, a term I use to relate to home …

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Australian Cotton ‘Pick of the Crop’ as More Global Consumers Demand Sustainable Fibres

Consumer desire for sustainably produced goods is driving domestic and global demand for Australia’s $2.5-billion cotton crop, according to retailers and millers. Leading brands are now introducing clothing ranges made entirely from Australian cotton as an alternative to cheaper fibre mixes. “More and more international retailers and brand owners want to know the story about the production cycle,” Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay told ABC News. “They want to know about the sustainability and the environmental story,” he said, adding the industry had worked hard for years on winning a social license to operate. “We can clearly demonstrate over 40 …

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Clever Regions, Clever Australia – Enhancing the Role of Regional Universities

Dr Caroline Perkins, Executive Director, Regional Universities Network The Australian economy is moving from a heavy reliance on mining and manufacturing to a new era in which skills, knowledge and ideas will become our most precious commodities. The jobs and industries of the future will need highly skilled university graduates who can connect regional Australia with the global, innovative economy. The six regionally headquartered universities of the Regional Universities Network (RUN), CQUniversity, Federation University Australia, Southern Cross University, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland, and the University of the Sunshine Coast, make a fundamental contribution to their regions. …

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Australia’s First Biofuels Pilot Plant Opened in Gladstone

Australia’s first biofuels pilot plant was officially opened by the Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, in Gladstone. The $18 million Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant (NOABPP) was opened just 14 months after the project was announced by the Premier. The NOABPP is a joint venture between Southern Oil and J.J. Richards & Sons, on the site of their Northern Oil Refinery and brings together five best-of-class technologies from around the world to produce biocrude and renewable fuels from waste. Southern Oil Managing Director Tim Rose said that, together with a $5.3 million biocrude …

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Lower Costs, Greater Investment Produces Record Year for Australian Renewable Energy

Renewable energy produced a record share of Australia’s electricity in 2016, with a slew of new projects putting Australia on track to reach the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. More than 17 per cent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable sources last year, up from 14.6 per cent in 2015, thanks to greater rainfall in key hydro catchments and a series of new wind and solar projects, according to a new report from the Clean Energy Council. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the industry was set for another record year in 2017. “Every month brings new project announcements. While …

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3D Modelling for Communicating Urban Revitalisation

3D Modelling for Communicating Urban Revitalisation – A Local Government Experience Two years have now passed since City of Launceston finished constructing and began working with the 3D virtual model of Launceston running in Urban Engine software.  The final product has lived up to expectations as a tool for communicating urban revitalisation and more.  Since that time, the model has grown in detail with the addition of Aero3DPro building model data, street scape design concepts, building proposals, future development buildings and massing models. Beyond the initial scope of supporting the Launceston City Heart project, the model has proven to be …

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Green Space – How Much Is Enough, And What’s The Best Way to Deliver It?

Half of the world’s people now live in urban areas. This creates competition for resources and increases pressure on already limited green space. Many urban areas are still experiencing active degradation or removal of green space. To reverse this trend and ensure the multiple benefits of green space are realised, we urgently need to move toward on-ground action. However, there is no clear guidance on how to translate the evidence base on green space into action. There is limited information to guide green-space practitioners on how much is “green enough”, or on how to manage and maintain green space. There …

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