Freeway greening

Roundup of industry news: Junglefy general manager Suzie Barnett says the team is now at 35 and looking to add staff, especially in the sales area.

The team has been busy not just expanding but on testing out new ideas, working in conjunction with UTS – Associate Professor Sara Wilkinson in particular.

This includes seeing how robots might work in maintaining green installations, especially at height.

Safety issues come into this – that is, it’s safer for robots than humans at the top of the Central Park Broadway installation that the company maintains for instance. But there’s also the potential for these mechanised intel objects to capture information. Do the plants need more or less hydrating or fertiliser? Are these pest or disease issues?

“The robots are more the eyes and intelligence for places where humans can’t be,” Barnett said during a recent conversation.

Another useful place where the robots will come in handy is in testing freeway installations of green walls in conjunction with Transport NSW. Now scaling up something like that’d be a nice antidote to the asphalt.

And then there’s lighting for the indoor installations.

Plants have circadian rhythms, but in the white light of many indoor spaces, this is denied them and plants simply then fail to photosynthesise, Barnett points out.

So in another trial the team is running a program that mimics the circadian rhythms of sunlight to see if plant growth improves. Let’s take a stab in the dark and say it will.

Close on the heels of Burning Man Festival (a name that’s getting a bit too close to the bone, if you ask us), the Perth Climate Action Team recently launched the Burning Globe Award for WA’s biggest polluter in the resources sector, this year going to Chevron.

To mark the occasion, they held a backwards march ahead of the ALP state conference. And yes, the ALP is certainly moving backwards with its cowardly support of coal to mask its dismal lack of strategists who couldn’t manage to win the classic drover’s dog election.

A recent report we posted this week referred to the big opportunities in industries in WA not based on mining; unfortunately the sectors mentioned included the highly unsustainable sector of defence (well, killing people is still in our unsustainable basket, no matter how many solar cells they use – a bit like awarding a high Green Star rating for a factory that produces Agent Orange or “glamourous” gambling premises, in our view).

According to the report writers Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, there are plenty of cleaner industries to create jobs and a bit of wealth, such as agriculture, horticulture, downstream food processing, accommodation and grain wholesaling were among industries that could generate 3850 jobs and $1.2 billion for the WA economy.

Other areas are a mixed bag: scientific testing and analysis services, oil and gas extraction, defence, offshore caged aquaculture, offshore longline and rack aquaculture, airport operations and air and space transport. These could add 7250 jobs and $3.5 billion

PCAT spokesperson Paddy Cullen said “The WA government is heading in the wrong direction. We are the only state in Australia with no target to bring emissions to zero and no targets to increase renewable energy, consequently becoming the only state with rising emissions.”

But not the only government. Look to our Feds to see true beliers in denial.

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