Mayors and councillors representing Greater Western Sydney have met in a special strategy planning and priorities workshop to set the agenda for the next four years.

BUSINESS NEWS: Brookfield subsidiary now owns 2.56 per cent stake in AGL

Brookfield Asset Management subsidiary 123456789 4 Pty Ltd is understood to have acquired 17.2 million shares in AGL Energy this month – a 2.56 per cent stake in the company. The subsidiary is part of a series of Australian companies Brookfield set up in late April, after its bids for AGL were rejected. Brookfield and Grok offered $8.25 on an indicative and non-binding basis in March.

Citigroup’s equities desk has done more trading in AGL shares than any other broker this month, and is understood to have been buying on Brookfield’s behalf, the AFR reported. AGL shares traded at $7.95 to $8.88 in the first three weeks of June. 

$38 million from NSW to supercharge EV uptake

The NSW state government will invest $38 million to accelerate electric vehicle uptake by building more charging sites, including for apartment buildings and roadsides, bringing the money being spent on NSW’s strategy to $633 million. The state’s strategy is aimed at 50 per cent electric car sales by 2030-31. 

Going towards co-funding upgrades in 125 medium to large apartment blocks with more than 100 car spaces, is $10 million. A comparable amount will co-finance 500 kerbside charge points in residential streets where off-street parking is limited. The remaining $18 million will provide grants to speed delivery of fast-charge stations. 

Edge Environment acquires creative agency Goodness

Australia’s largest sustainability consultancy Edge Environment has announced the acquisition of creative agency, Goodness, to provide clients a research-backed solution to mitigate greenwashing.  

Newly-appointed creative director Jordan Stokes (alongside head of sustainability leadership Ashleigh Gay) said that the acquisition will allow clients to “embed sustainability at a deeper brand level”, and engage audiences “more holistically and authentically”.

Creative meets science with Edge Environment creative director Jordan Stokes and head of sustainability leadership Ashleigh Gay

Housing, jobs, environment get top priority as Greater Western Sydney councils set agenda for 2022-2026

Mayors and councillors representing Greater Western Sydney have met in a special strategy planning and priorities workshop to set the agenda for the next four years, aiming for: better social and affordable housing outcomes; economic development and local job creation; comprehensive transport solutions; emissions reduction and energy efficiency; improved waste management and resource recovery; urban heat resilience and emergency management; increased financial resilience of councils; and provision for adequate social infrastructure, parks, and community spaces.

“A key outcome of the workshop was a determination to call on the major political parties to clarify their policies on both social housing and affordable housing,” WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert, said. “This is especially important for more vulnerable members of our communities, including those on low incomes, recently arrived migrants and refugees, single parents, and others.”

New seniors housing SEPP amendments 

The Property Council of Australia has backed new amendments made to the NSW housing state environmental planning policy (Housing SEPP), which it says could alleviate housing pressure on affordable, seniors and build to rent housing space. 

“These amendments to build to rent, floorspace, seniors living and self-assessment pathways for the Aboriginal Housing Office are examples of red tape removal which we support,” Property Council NSW executive director Luke Achterstraat said 

Over 250 workplaces jump on Plastic Free July challenge

ANZ, Trek Bikes, Heaps Normal, Australia Post, Gumtree and Koala have already jumped on board the Work Waste Challenge this Plastic Free July. Hosted by zero-waste Aussie start-up Zero Co, the challenge hopes to inspire over 1000 businesses to make a pledge to eradicate single-use plastic from their workplace before the end of the month. 

Gumtree was among the first to make a pledge. Spokesperson Eleni Gavalas said: “We’re really excited to have pledged our support and to have joined the Work Waste Challenge. For over 14 years, we have helped Aussies trade on Gumtree and embrace sustainable living by giving many items the chance of a new life. Our pledge to support Zero Co marks a step further in our ongoing commitment to encourage Australians to share more and waste less.”

The Work Waste Challenge this Plastic Free July is hosted by zero-waste Aussie start-up Zero Co

Launch of new carbon removal company AspiraDAC 

AspiraDAC, a global first solar powered Direct Air Capture (DAC) company has been endorsed by global financial infrastructure giant Stripe, as its first carbon removal purchase. Stripe is making the purchases via Frontier – in partnership with Alphabet, Shopify, Meta and McKinsey – as part of Frontier’s first round of carbon removal purchases, following its announcement earlier this year of a $US925 million ($AUD1347 million) on carbon removal over the next nine years to accelerate the development of carbon removal technology.

AspiraDAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate Carbon, and is working in partnership with innovative Australian start-up Southern Green Gas under an exclusive agreement to produce and deploy the project’s solar-powered modules by the end of 2022.

World-first program to name and rate heat waves

One of the hottest cities in Spain, Seville, has launched the world’s first program to name and rate heat waves – similar to what is already done with tropical cyclones. Under the new system the city will categorise each heat wave on a scale from one to three based on factors such as heat index and nighttime temperature. Perhaps Australia should consider something similar.

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