BRIEF: 15 July 2009 – Two Victorian Green Precinct projects have received funding for their water and energy-saving initiatives through the Rudd government’s Green Precincts funding program
The Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES), located on the banks of the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne has received $1.15 million to help implement its Zero Emission by 2012 project.

Manningham City Council received $1.5 million for its Hill Green Civic Project which will help support the development of a sustainability education hub to be integrated into a new multi-purpose community centre and regional library.

Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, said CERES had a proud reputation for leadership in sustainability.

“This $1.15 million commitment will assist the Centre to further build on a great record by installing wind turbines, solar panels, a solar thermal energy generator, electric vehicle charging stations and even a biogas powered barbeque,” he said.

Mr Garrett said that with more than 450,000 people visiting the Centre every year, the additions would showcase the latest in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology.

“They will also get people thinking about the changes they can make around their own homes,” Mr Garrett said.

New water conservation features in the Centre’s six most visited buildings are expected to save about 620,0000 litres of water per year. The initiatives will allow water to be re-used in the property’s gardens and include rainwater harvesting and an on-site treatment system for grey and black water.

Manningham City Council plans to install a wind turbine, solar photovoltaic panels, a solar thermal system and a co-generation plant to use the heat produced in power generation.

Water saving devices and technologies in the project, including a garden bio-retention system to harvest rainwater and stormwater, are expected to save around eight million litres of water each year. Grey water and black water re-use systems will also be used.

Together, the two projects are expected to save about 2600 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 743 cars off the road.

lblundell@thefifthestate.com.au