Rebecca Wardle and Adam Terrill have founded Cogency Australia

BIZ NEWS: Australia has fourth-highest cost of construction labour in the world 

Australia has reported the fourth highest cost of construction labour of any global region, at an average of $US75.50 per hour ($AUD110.64). Data from global consultancy Turner & Townsend reveals that Perth has become the most expensive market in Australia to build with an average cost of $2822 a square metre, followed by Sydney at $2699, Melbourne at $2666, Brisbane at $2,620.70 and Adelaide at $2454.40. 

It reveals that 79.6 percent of global markets are struggling to deliver labour to meet demand for real estate development amid labour shortages, supply chain disruption and net zero demands. Switzerland ($A173.11) is the most expensive, followed by Austria ($A113.89) and the USA is placed third ($A113.01). 

Launch of climate-focused planning and engagement consultancy

Rebecca Wardle and Adam Terrill have founded a new planning and engagement consultancy focused on projects that address climate change. Cogency Australia aims to be Australia’s first net positive planning consultancy that also includes scope 3 emissions. 

“We want to shake things up a bit. We aren’t trying to offer all things to all people like the big consultancies, but work on planet shaping projects that work to reduce emissions,” Mr Terrill said. 

Rebecca Wardle and Adam Terrill have founded Cogency Australia

The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation partners with IAG to develop new carbon farming projects

The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation (AbCF) has joined forces with Australia’s largest general insurer Insurance Australia Group (IAG), whose brands include NRMA Insurance, CGU and WFI, to support new First Nations-led carbon farming projects across Australia. 

Over three years the partnership aims to develop three Aboriginal cultural fire management and carbon farming projects across NSW by 2023, expanding into Victoria and South Australia by 2024.

“Through this partnership with IAG we will work to spread further opportunities to Aboriginal Land Managers in the southern parts of the country and highlight other sophisticated land management practices built on Indigenous Knowledge in tandem with cultural fire practice,” AbCF spokesperson Sean Appoo said.

CH4 feed reduces cow fart methane by up to 95 per cent, finally hits the market

The agricultural sector is experiencing a big win as cattle feed made from native Australian seaweed asparagopsis has finally hit the market after years of research, seller CH4 says the breakthrough can reduce methane emissions by “90 to 95 per cent”. 

Four years of research and development by the CSIRO, Meat and Livestock Australia and James Cook University led to the end product. South Australian meat processor CirPro was one of the first three buyers after research has suggested that very little of the additive is required to drastically reduce the emissions from livestock. 

Cattle feed made from seaweed can reduce methane emissions by “90 to 95 per cent”

Klarna bank partners with InterEarth to remove atmospheric CO2

Leading global retail and payments bank Klarna has announced the backing of WA-based company InterEarth, investing half a million dollars to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and tackle the climate crisis. The partnership will see over $500,000 invested, as part of a total global investment of $2.4 million to remove 11,587 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents by 2030. 

InterEarth founder and chief executive Howard Carr said: “We’re delighted to receive support from Klarna’s Climate Transformation Fund, and are looking forward to making progress in bringing to life what might be a globally significant climate solution.”

InterEarth founder and chief executive Howard Carr

Labor asked to reassess how fossil fuel project approvals are assessed under federal environment law

The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECCQ) has written to federal environment minister Tanya Plibersek, requesting that she reassess 19 coal and gas project approvals to consider the broader effects of climate change and how emissions from these projects damage the environment. 

Represented by lawyers at Environment Justice Australia, the environmental group argues that these projects are likely to damage 2121 matters of national environmental significance, including the Great Barrier Reef, koalas and dugongs. 

“We’re asking the minister to reconsider those assessments in the light of the enormous amount of evidence that we’ve given to her about the impact of climate change on matters that she’s required to consider,” ECCQ president Christine Carlisle said. 

CFMEU Construction merger  

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) construction division has announced a merger of its Victoria/Tasmania branch with its South Australian branch. The partnership at the request of the South Australian branch will enable sharing of resources, with SA acting secretary Andrew Sutherland stating: “The merger is a great thing for SA members. The experience and wealth of knowledge the Vic/Tas executive team bring to the table can only ensure positive outcomes for our members.”

AIRAH’s HVAC&R salary survey now open

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has launched its Salary Survey to benchmark industry wages and forecast trends in employment for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) sector. 

The survey will run until the end of August, with chief executive Tony Gleeson stating that the pandemic “caused a surge in demand for services such as ventilation and air filtration. In many ways, HVAC&R professionals were busier than ever during the pandemic.”

“More recently, issues with supply chains, energy provision, and rising costs are changing the world in new ways. Once again, this is impacting the professionals in our sector.”

“The more people who participate, the more useful the results. We invite all professionals in our sector to complete the survey to help provide an accurate picture of where we stand.”

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