Young woman in blazer with laptop in cafe

Plus Arden and RACV drive solar, Morrison’s slap-dash $40 million gas cash splash, and more…

Curtin University will receive a share of more than $242 million in federal government funding to develop a research commercialisation hub to turn research outputs into breakthrough services, products and businesses.

The Curtin-led Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer hub will match $50 million of government funding to funding from the university and industry partners. 

The University will partner with the University of Queensland, James Cook University, and 33 companies involved in value chains requiring lithium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium and hydrogen resources. 

“Together with The University of Queensland and James Cook University, we will use Trailblazer to affect deep and lasting change in the way technology readiness, commercialisation and industry-led research are prioritised, taught and rewarded in our universities,” said Curtin University vice-chancellor, professor Harlene Hayne.

Arden drives solar adoption with the RACV

Arden Homes has announced a partnership with RACV Solar to provide free solar panel systems in all its new home builds. The Victorian volume builder delivers all-electric and carbon neutral homes, which will now include solar panel systems and battery storage, free of charge. The RACV, Victoria’s peak motoring body, is also one of Australia’s largest solar energy providers.

Morrison’s slap-dash $40 million gas cash splash

Prime minister Scott Morrison today announced he plans to pour $40 million of taxpayer money into carbon capture and storage for Woodside’s Burrup Hub gas project. It’s part of a $250 million package that will be spent on CC&S technology, which experts have slammed as unproven and costly. 

Research from energy expert Bruce Mountain shows that carbon capture attached to fossil fuel power stations is more than six times more costly than wind power backed by batteries. 

Ahead of the federal government ban on polystyrene plastic, the pollutant has been found to top the nation’s largest waterways more than any other type of plastic, according to new research from Conservation Volunteers Australia released this week.

Disposing of plastic waste

The National Plastics Plan polystyrene ban will come into effect in July 2022 (for consumer packaging) and December 2022 (for food and beverage containers), giving businesses enough time to transition to alternatives.

Farmers set to grow their climate awareness

Expressions of interest are now open for Western Australia’s first “Climate Smart Agriculture Fellowship”. The free online fellowship is in partnership with WA-based farmer movement, AgZero2030 and Farmers for Climate Action. Up to 30 spaces are available for the six-week fellowship, which will cover climate, carbon and energy literacy. Farmers, pastoralists, rural landholders and industry professionals are invited to apply. Applications close Tuesday 26 April. 

Deloitte invests in sustainability

Deloitte has announced a $1 billion investment to expand its global sustainability and climate practice, which will support their clients transitioning toward a more sustainable future.

“Taking action on climate change and sustainability more broadly is not a choice. It’s an imperative. And we all have a role to play. But it’s the business community that’s best positioned to lead the way on this,” Punit Renjen, Deloitte’s Global chief executive officer said in a press release last week. 

The international professional services network is currently seeking sustainability and ESG professionals, with multiple roles available in multiple cities including Canberra, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. It was recently ranked 24th in the 2022 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, after coming in on top in a number of diversity and inclusion workplace awards in recent years.

Appointments 

Louisa Scott has started as group sustainability manager at global student accommodation service Campus Living Villages. She was previously working as a senior ESG analyst at Scentre, the owner and operator of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand. 

Paul Sloman has been made global lead for property, science, industry, technology and social infrastructure at multinational professional services firm Arup. He has been with the company for more than 33 years, so it’s not so surprising.

Meena Singh has been appointed to the important role of Victorian Commissioner for Aboriginal children and young people for the Australian Human Rights Commission. The mixed-heritage Yorta Yorta and Indian Australian woman has almost 20 years experience as a Victorian legal aid lawyer. 

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