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National Energy Initiative kicks off

BRIEF: The Rudd Government’s National Energy Initiative kicked off recently when industry consultation workshops were held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The initiative comes at a time when energy and sustainability consultants are expressing growing concern over the entrenched inefficiency of the energy network (see our story). Announced in the May Federal Budget, the National […]

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Baranga-Who?

by Tina Perinotto – 11 August 2009 – (Updated) John Tabbart, the man who got Melbourne’s Docklands off the ground and then went on to run VicUrban, and more gigs in the UK and Middle East, is in Sydney heading up the Barangaroo Delivery Authority that will transform the CBD’s last remaining brownfield site, its […]

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Alan Pears: Australian government and its agencies are the culprits in poor energy efficiency

by Lynne Blundell Australia’s chances of cutting greenhouse gas emissions cost–effectively are being seriously undermined by Energy  Ministers and bureaucrats who are maintaining a system that encourages inefficiency and high usage, according to energy efficiency expert Alan Pears. Winner of the Centenary Medal for contribution to climate change and environment policy in 2003 and currently […]

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Data Cities coming to a place near you

Data Cities, planning frameworks for the future. Photogrammetry: Marcus White, Industry-embedded PhD candidate with MGS Architects and Professor Mark Burry at RMIT Spatial Information Architecture Lab – 9 August – On 17 August about 100 people have been invited to the Sydney offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers  to decide the future of the world. Or at least […]

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Profile: Simon Carter – change agent

By James Paton – 7 August 2009 – Simon Carter started thinking about sustainability long before the word became fashionable. Growing up in New Zealand, he spent many hours on the beach and in the bush, pondering changes in the environment and the consequences of human activity. Carter, whose father is a scientist and professor […]

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Davis Langdon and DEGW merge

BRIEF – 6 August, 2009 – Construction consultancy Davis Langdon and strategic design consultants DEGW have merged but the details of the finance and the agreement were struck remain secret. Managing director of Davis Langdon, Mark Beattie “refused to be drawn” on the details The Australian Financial Review reported this morning. DEGW’s client list includes […]

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Green groups turn up the pressure on Rudd’s emissions trading scheme

5 August 2009 – Total Environment Centre, Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF Australia, CHOICE and the Alternative Technology Association have thrown their weight behind a new campaign to stop the carbon pollution reduction scheme ignoring the greenhouse gas savings  of GreenPower and alternative energy users. Director of the TEC Jeff Angel today said the current design […]

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Green groups turn up the pressure on Rudd's emissions trading scheme

5 August 2009 – Total Environment Centre, Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF Australia, CHOICE and the Alternative Technology Association have thrown their weight behind a new campaign to stop the carbon pollution reduction scheme ignoring the greenhouse gas savings  of GreenPower and alternative energy users. Director of the TEC Jeff Angel today said the current design […]

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Community and precinct rating tool under development

BRIEF – 5 August 2009 – VicUrban’s Officer township in Melbourne’s south-east, Frasers Broadway, Macquarie University and Barangaroo in Sydney, CUB in Melbourne, and Eastlake in the ACT could all soon be able to rate the sustainability of their entire communities and precincts, with the development of a new framework to be developed by the […]

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Property Council releases guide to corporate and sustainability reporting

5 August 2009 – The Property Council of Australia has released for public consultation a new do-it-yourself guide to sustainability and corporate responsibility for property companies. Launched by Assistant Treasurer Senator Nick Sherry, A Guide to Corporate Responsibility Reporting in the Property Sector, will standardise the metrics the industry uses to report corporate responsibility, according […]

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Stick to your word Mr Rudd – green energy savings should count, Alternative Energy group says

BRIEF – 4 August 2009 -The Alternative Technology Association has called on the federal government to stand by its commitment to include the carbon saving contribution of households, businesses and community organisations in the design of the carbon pollution reduction scheme. The current design of the scheme, due to go before Parliament on 11 August, […]

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Stick to your word Mr Rudd – green energy savings should count, Alternative Energy group says

BRIEF – 4 August 2009 -The Alternative Technology Association has called on the federal government to stand by its commitment to include the carbon saving contribution of households, businesses and community organisations in the design of the carbon pollution reduction scheme. The current design of the scheme, due to go before Parliament on 11 August, […]

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Biochar – fuel for debate

FAVOURITES – 23 July 2009 – Biochar, a system of carbon capture by turning organic matter into charcoal, has been storming the news circuit as a breakthrough technology. But it’s controversial. Australian author and leading scientist in the climate change debate, Tim Flannery explained the system to the ABC’s Lateline program on 30 June, and […]

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Biochar – fuel for debate

FAVOURITES – 23 July 2009 – Biochar, a system of carbon capture by turning organic matter into charcoal, has been storming the news circuit as a breakthrough technology. But it’s controversial. Australian author and leading scientist in the climate change debate, Tim Flannery explained the system to the ABC’s Lateline program on 30 June, and […]

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Glenn Murcutt on You Tube – calls for Newcastle University site to be listed as green credentials threatened

By Tina Perinotto 30 July 2009 – [Updated 9 August 2009] –  One of Australia’s leading architects, Glenn Murcutt, has described as “unbelievable” that one of his earliest and most important buildings at the University of Newcastle campus has been “destroyed” by alterations carried out without his consent or consultation. Professor Murcutt, winner of the […]

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Glenn Murcutt on You Tube – calls for Newcastle University site to be listed as green credentials threatened

By Tina Perinotto 30 July 2009 – [Updated 9 August 2009] –  One of Australia’s leading architects, Glenn Murcutt, has described as “unbelievable” that one of his earliest and most important buildings at the University of Newcastle campus has been “destroyed” by alterations carried out without his consent or consultation. Professor Murcutt, winner of the […]

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2009 Architecture Awards – Snowy Mountains House (Kalkite House)

Snowy Mountains House by James Stockwell Architects won three major awards, the Architecture Award for Residential Architecture; Blacket Prize for regional architecture; and the Colorbond Award. [See related story: A Jury’s roadshow, by Genevieve Lilley ] Although it was not entered as a sustainable house, its small footprint,  budget of around $500,000 and its design be […]

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Queensland company plans 900 new green jobs

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan with the Allsafe team By Lynne Blundell One company that is bucking the trend of business caution and retraction right now is Townsville-based business, Allsafe Energy Efficient Products, poised to create hundreds of new green jobs across the country. The company has boomed on the back of the Federal Government’s rebates […]

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News from the front desk – Issue No 9

Jobs are booming By Tina Perinotto Here’s some gossip. Grocon in the market for a sustainability manager to assist Brian Moore who has recently taken on the role of national sustainability leader. Not as big news as Westfield appointing a former Greenpeace member to a similar role late last year. But Grocon is not alone. […]

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2009 Architecture Awards – APRA building

Smart Design Studio took out two awards at the NSW Architecture Awards 2009, with two separate entries. One was a project for the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) by Smart Design Studio won the Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture. Interestingly the client chose not to have the building Green Star rated, instead investing this […]

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Infrastructure looking for green roads trains, bridges, ports, tunnels …

30 July 2009 – The concept of green buildings is pretty much an accepted notion these days but what about sustainable infrastructure? Considering the bulk of the Federal Government’s current economic stimulus spending is going into infrastructure projects, it would be logical to assume that there are uniform sustainability standards and protocols in place across […]

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ATO and Melbourne Water to build green in Melbourne

by Lynne Blundell As the effects of global economic conditions continue to impact across Australian office markets, with rising vacancies and increasing incentives, two government departments in Melbourne are taking the opportunity to strike new property deals and move to more sustainable buildings. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Melbourne Water are both engaging property […]

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Postcard from Santa Monica, California

by Nicola Woodward Thirty six hours in a city is long enough only to form first impressions. My over-arching first impressions of Santa Monica culminated in the words of the self proclaimed greenie Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger “I’ll be back”. Santa Monica is more or less like Melbourne; more beach and more lifeguards but less […]