Off-grid dream becomes reality as bushfire threat creates new era for power networks - ABC News. Colac's renewable organics network is turning food waste into biogas, hot water and power - ABC News. The regional town of Colac, in south-west Victoria, is only home to about 13,000 people.
Its main street has a park on one side and is lined with bakeries, banks and take-away shops on the other. Until Colac was hit by a large coronavirus cluster earlier this year, it didn't often make the national news. But this unassuming country town, which serves as hub for farms dotting the green Otway pastures, is about to become home to a new energy concept. The town's largest employers — food manufacturers Bulla Dairy Foods and the Australian Lamb Company (ALC) — together with the regional water corporation, Barwon Water, are collaborating to build an Australian-first facility. Barwon Water infrastructure and technology general manager, Shaun Cumming, said the Colac Renewable Organics Network (RON) would take waste and turn it into something valuable.
Infrastructure Victoria 30-year strategy offers blueprint for zero-waste, zero-emissions post-COVID future - ABC News. As Victorians begin planning for life beyond COVID-19, Infrastructure Victoria has released a 30-year blueprint for the state's future, with a heavy focus on climate, energy, and sustainability.
Key points: It recommends phasing out combustion engine vehicles, starting with government vehiclesIt suggests a target of having a 30 per cent tree canopy in new suburbs on the urban fringeIt proposes congestion charges in Melbourne's CBD as well as on all new freeways In a detailed strategy, the state's independent infrastructure advisors make 95 recommendations aimed at creating a zero-waste, zero-emissions economy by 2050. "The COVID crisis has created a seismic shift in how Victorians live and work," chief executive Michel Masson said. "Now is the time to harness the positive changes we've seen, and facilitate a transition to a better new normal. " Googong's water recycling plant fully operational amid calls for Canberra to develop more sustainable options - ABC News.
A $133 million water recycling plant in Googong, just outside Canberra's border, is expected to reduce the town's water usage by nearly two-thirds.
Now fully commissioned, the plant was designed to be used by the township's anticipated population of 18,000 people, including its schools and businesses. A new community, Googong began construction in 2012, allowing its planners to lay the groundwork for the system right from the start. For the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, in whose borders the town sits, the system is a game-changer. Sydney Harbour underwater garden to mimic marine habitats destroyed by pollution - ABC News. An underwater garden is being planted in Sydney Harbour in an attempt to revitalise marine habitats destroyed by a "legacy of pollution".
Developer Lendlease has teamed up with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to bring the garden to lifeSeaweed will be harvested from other sites in the harbour and transplanted to the Barangaroo gardenThe project's First Nations advisor says it's the responsibility of developers to protect country Concrete tiles 3D-printed to mimic four occurring marine habitats have been installed below the sea at Barangaroo.
"We are really trying to capture both the marine life that we have lost and the marine habitats that they like to live on," Macquarie University Marine Ecologist Doctor Katie Dafforn said. The project has been 10 years in the making and has been designed to attract sea life that has disappeared because of pollution and development. The concrete tiles have been installed on three levels, stretching about six metres below the water. Northern Australia's saltwater crocodiles under investigation following dramatic rise in population - ABC News. A predatorial population boom has taken place across northern Australia in the past half century — and scientists are now set to look at the ecosystem impacts of the increase in estuarine crocodile numbers.
Key points: The study will look at the ecological role of crocsThey will look at crocs' eating habitsThe CDU study will span three years Researchers from Charles Darwin University (CDU) will lead the project, examining the results of the population recovery since saltwater crocodiles were declared a protected species in 1971. The numbers are fairly well-known — the estimate has gone from 3,000 in the 1970s to over 100,000 crocodiles in the Northern Territory today.
But ecologist Keller Kopf from CDU's Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods said there has been little formal investigation of the effect of that key conservation decision. "We are really trying to understand what the ecological role of crocodiles is in waterways up here," Dr Kopf said.
Report recommends greater emphasis on avoiding waste creation, as recycling export ban looms - ABC News. In less than two months, a ban on exporting Australia's waste is due to begin and researchers say attention needs to shift to avoid creating waste, to stop the problem piling up in the first place.
Key points: The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering argues for greater emphasis on avoiding, rather than managing, wasteThe Federal Budget contained $250 million in funding for the recycling sectorCompanies including IKEA have implemented repair and buy-back programs to try and stop products becoming waste The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), which develops researched-based policy advice, has recommended government grants and incentives target innovative designs, which avoid or minimise waste. "The end of a product's first life ought to be disassembly and reassembly, or repair and repurpose," ATSE chief executive Kylie Walker said.
The ATSE report concludes those goals will be "difficult to achieve without focusing on avoidance". Former live export chief says beef industry is at risk of losing its social licence, producers must be proactive - ABC News. Australia's cattle producers have been warned by a former industry leader that beef is "emerging as agriculture's coal equivalent".
Key points: A former industry leader has warned the beef industry its social licence may be under threatAlison Penfold says producers should be proactive in addressing shifting public perceptionsTwo Queensland cattle families agree transparency is key, but have conflicting strategies "We're seeing climate change campaigners shift focus from fossil fuels to meat and also dairy," said Alison Penfold, a social licence consultant and former chief executive of the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council. "They're targeting the investor community in terms of either releasing capital in the red meat sector or indeed pushing for divestment, and there's significant emerging evidence that this is playing out more and more.
" "I don't say it lightly and I don't say it with any malice, I am calling it out because the risk is significant," she said. South Australia to become first state to introduce electric vehicle user charge - ABC News. The South Australian Government plans to introduce a road user charge for electric vehicles in a national first.
Key points: The SA Government plans to introduce an electric vehicle road user chargeIt estimates it will raise about $1 million per yearThe Government is also spending $18 million on charging stations The state's Treasurer, Rob Lucas, said two other Australian jurisdictions are interested in following his Government's lead within 12 months. As part of his State Budget yesterday, Mr Lucas announced the South Australian Government planned to charge electric vehicle drivers for using the road, just as other motorists pay the fuel excise duty. Australia invests $9.6m in 'revolutionary' Chinese solar company Sunman - ABC News. Consumers could potentially see their power bills drop within years if Australia's latest bet on solar energy pays off.
Key points: Taxpayers by extension of the money invested will own 14 per cent in SunmanThe company has developed a new type of flexible solar panelThe founder of the company Dr Zhengrong Shi is an Australian Chinese national With Australia-China relations showing no clear signs of improvement, the government-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has poured $US7 million ($9.6m) into a Shanghai-based company called "Sunman".
Water resilience: Is a backyard bore a sustainable way to safeguard against drought? - ABC News. Despite the fact much of the country is in for a wet spring and summer, the future for most Australians is dry.
Now is the time to think about options for increasing resilience in the face of a changing climate and severe weather events, including the next drought that will inevitably arrive again before too long. During the last dry spell, a rush of people turned to backyard bores to avoid depending on town water when restrictions set in. Queensland apple-growing family invents new drink to use apples rejected by supermarkets - ABC News. A Queensland apple-growing family believes it has made a world-first fruit drink that bottles all of the apple, minus the pips and core. Key points: The Savio family created the product to add value to fruit rejected by supermarkets, which would otherwise go to juiceThey hope the drink's long shelf life, nutritional content and convenience will encourage Australians to consume more fruitThey hope to outgrow their pilot bottling plant and build a factory to use apples from the whole district The Savio family, from Stanthorpe in Queensland's Granite Belt, spent more than a million dollars and three years researching and developing how to get both the skin and the pulp into a commercially acceptable liquid form.
Neither a juice nor a nectar, Upple is pitched as a filling snack and healthy drink. Massive $5 million solar power system pays off for Australia's largest free-range chicken farm - ABC News. The country's biggest free-range meat chicken farm has slashed its power bill after installing one of agriculture's most extensive solar and battery systems. Key points: A large-scale free-range meat chicken farm has invested in extensive solar and battery systemsIt is also turning straw and manure from chicken sheds into profitable compostThe investment group that owns the farm believes the sustainable model can be rolled out to all areas of agriculture "Before we put the system in, our cost of energy imported from the network was getting towards $1 million," said Ben Edser from AAM, the investment group that owns Riverlands Free Range.
"Following the investment we've put in place, which has been circa $5 million, we've been able to reduce our consumption by about 70 per cent. " The farm at Blanchetown in South Australia does free ranging on a massive scale. There are 42 sheds and about 10 million birds are turned over each year. How renewable energy scientists and engineers discover the best sites to build wind farms - ABC News. You might think a steady supply of wind is all you would ever need to spin some turbines and start producing renewable energy, but the reality is more complex. Key points: Wind farm developers must consider available land size, access to roads, endangered species and proximity to power infrastructureFarmland is often selected due to the large land size and there being fewer stakeholders to coordinate withOne academic recommends wind farm operators should release their data to improve energy optimisation research Developers must navigate a host of complex criteria ranging from cows to computer software.
So how does a wind farm developer know where to build its new wind farm? Renewable Energy developer Epuron has 17 wind and solar sites operating across Australia. Recycling sector welcomes Budget boost but calls for mandates to drive demand for recycled material - ABC News. When you throw a glass bottle in the recycling bin, you'll be hoping its journey doesn't end in landfill — so where does it go? The bin is emptied and its contents driven to a recycling facility, where the glass is sorted and separated from other waste, like paper and plastic.
A 2019 Department of Environment report found about 30-40 per cent of recycled glass is lost in the collection and sorting process. All of South Australia's power comes from solar panels in world first for major jurisdiction - ABC News. The unique Indigenous outfit caring for country inside Australia's biggest city - ABC News.
Botany Bay is known by most Australians as the industrial centre of Sydney, through which more than 1,000 ships and about half the country's freight pass every year. Key points: The Gamay Rangers are the first urban Indigenous Ranger groupScientists and rangers are working together to protect Botany Bay wildlifeThe program is providing role models, skills and employment for the local community. City farming on rise as COVID-19 makes people rethink how they source their food - ABC News. Urban farmer Rachel Rubenstein thinks the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down major cities, state and international borders, is a chance to rethink where we get our food from.
Local car parks, median strips and rooftops, golf courses and even public parks — they're just some of the ideas she and her city farming friends are throwing around as potential places to grow food. "I think that having food grown close to home is super important, because we have seen a lack of access to fresh food with the bushfires and then COVID," Ms Rubenstein said. Logan City turning human waste into energy in move to go carbon neutral within two years - ABC News. Jervis Bay mussels in on key seafood markets with conservation-friendly farm - ABC News.
Electric car put to the test in regional and rural NSW - ABC News. More than 60 public electric vehicle charging stations are being built this year around regional New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in a bid to make electric cars a more practical option in regional Australia. Key points: Is not having a car worth it? Yes, for our family it is — but that doesn't mean it's easy - ABC News. How the regenerative farming movement transformed Charles Massy's sheep station - ABC News.
On a still autumn morning in 2016, Charles Massy walked up a hill above his farm to sit beside a favourite old snow gum. High up on the Monaro plateau that runs off the flank of Mount Kosciuszko he could see his homestead and the native brown grasses on his farm dusted with frost. Backyard food bowl of just 500 square metres bountiful enough to feed a family - ABC News. Food miles under scrutiny for Darwin foodies challenging themselves to only eat local - ABC News. Are local councils dumping recyclables now we can't export to China? - ABC News.
Australia amid climate change is making migrants adapt again. How to get solar if you're renting - ABC News. Are virtual power plants the future of solar power? - ABC News. Fears seismic testing undermining southern rock lobster industry's recovery efforts - ABC News. Canberra households offered interest-free loans for solar and storage if ACT Labor re-elected - ABC News. SA breweries' expired beer to generate renewable energy for sewage plant - ABC News. 'World's largest solar farm' near tiny NT town could help power Singapore via 4,500km undersea cable - ABC News. Residents fear proposed waste-to-energy plant could 'decimate' recycling industry - ABC News. Atlassian's Mike Cannon-Brookes says clean energy 'best opportunity' for COVID-19 rebound - ABC News. Cotton waste composter uses earthworms to turn waste into high-grade fertiliser - ABC News. Coronavirus pandemic sees charities and retailers work together to divert excess stock from landfill - ABC News.
The next pandemic is coming – and sooner than we think, thanks to changes to the environment - ABC News. More jobs in renewable-led COVID-19 economic recovery, EY report finds - ABC News. Safflower oil hailed by scientists as possible recyclable, biodegradable replacement for petroleum - ABC News. Coronavirus restrictions bring good news for solar, tank and double glazing businesses - ABC News. Remote community trials technology that makes water 'out of thin air' - ABC News.
Butterflies crucial to outback pollination, despite being 'more interested in sex' - ABC News. Coronavirus is focusing attention on how fragile global supply chains can be, so how will Australia respond? - ABC News. Fighting fire with fire. He's a keeper of memories. Custodian of a knowledge that has been handed down for thousands of years: the ability to see when the land is sick and know how to heal it.
When he reads country, Victor Steffensen is drawing on a sophisticated, historical and complex understanding of the nuances of seasonal shifts, of minute observation of nature. The intimate knowledge of ecosystems and how things are interrelated, of fire and water, the significance of the timing of flowers blossoming, the breeding behaviour of animals, the particle nature of trees and the ground they stand on. It is knowledge, he believes, that can heal our country and prevent bushfires like those we've just experienced. "When we burn the right fire in the right ecosystems, we enhance our native vegetation," Victor says.
"I've done burns all over the country and seen the improvements in landscapes and there are even places where the last wildfire went and didn't burn our cultural burn areas. Coronavirus is changing the way we recycle waste and it's not all bad news. Updated about an hour agoSun 12 Apr 2020, 12:28am Coronavirus, and the many restrictions and rules it has imposed upon us, has justifiably drawn almost all of our attention as we attempt to flatten the curve. With the radical changes made to our lives in just a few weeks, the way we run our households, work and even prepare meals has shifted. What a simulated Mars mission taught me about food waste. Everyone is buying rice during the coronavirus crisis, but Australia's biggest rice company is struggling. Three ways you can reduce your fashion footprint for a sustainable wardrobe. Telstra struggling with overcast conditions, flooding, to keep solar-powered network up. Documentary Honeyland follows bees and two female keepers practising a dying art in North Macedonian mountains.
Solar power contributes to cheaper energy but also 'critical' grid instability, warns ESB. Green turtle's death led to a $2.5 million grant to help rid the ocean of plastic. Wild culinary landscape on Flinders Island captures imagination of chef and farmers - ABC Rural - ABC News. Plastic the dirty little secret behind the scenes of Australia's freshest vegetable produce - ABC Rural - ABC News. Bill Gates drops $747 million on hydrogen-powered superyacht. WA band turns down Glastonbury Festival, Sydney Opera House due to carbon policy. Electric bikes to pave green path for online deliveries in bid to reduce emissions. Car seat manufacturers pledge to recycle to help cut down on waste. WA Cleanaway fire crisis offers Perth households the opportunity to improve recycling habits.
Solar farms asked to reduce output as uptake challenges remote West Murray power grid stability. Tiny homes are adorable and cool, but how does the reality of living in one compare with the image? Regenerative agriculture a contentious trend still stirring emotions in Australia's farming industry. Aboriginal communities call for ongoing funding of cultural burning for bushfire mitigation. Solar generation is being buffeted by financial headwinds that are killing investment. Do fans make any difference in a heatwave? Darwin River Dam at lowest level since 2006, but NT Government quiet on action. Barack Obama praises Melbourne environmental activist's different approach to bushfire recovery. What I learnt about the Australian bushfires living on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Plans for Kangaroo Island eco-lodges to be pursued despite bushfires levelling Flinders Chase.
Homes with higher energy ratings sell for more. Here's how Australian owners could cash in. As high-rises reach their use-by date, we need to find safe ways to 'unbuild' our cities. Has NSW seen more than twice the amount of prescribed burning this decade compared with the last? - Fact Check. Marie Kondo's Tidying Up taught us to let go of stuff. A year on, has the philosophy stuck? Finding a creative use for the afterlife of kitchen scraps in sustainable fabric dye. The Amazon's lost tribes are inspiring Colombia's cocaine farmers to become conservationists. Recycling helped Ken build his dream home from items destined for the dump. So, you want to live in a tiny house? Here's what to consider when choosing a house, van or caravan. WA tourist town of Denham to become zero-emission community powered by hydrogen.
Chris made his home stormwater smart and saved money in the process. He says you can too. Arnott's makes Tim Tam using 'beautiful' Australian strawberries supermarkets rejected - ABC Rural - ABC News. Tokyo 2020 announce cardboard beds for Athletes Village. Israel's food tech scene experiments with insects and computer-designed sweeteners. Weekend surf 'shack' takes off-grid eco-living to next level luxury. Bodhi Farm and other countercultural communities live like the 1970s never ended.
Australia needs to triple renewable energy plants by 2040 to replace coal power plants set to close. Should I switch off power at the wall? Here's what you need to know for your next electricity bill. Solar panels seem like a good idea. But are they really worth it? The rise of solar power is jeopardising the WA energy grid, and it's a lesson for all of Australia. Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at University of Wollongong aces Living Building Challenge. King Island, in Bass Strait, generates 50 per cent of its energy from wind and solar power. SKM Recycling tells Victorian councils it will stop taking rubbish; waste now headed to landfill. Township rallies around local man recycling thousands of Australia's used bread tags into everyday items.
Australia's solar industry is booming, but so is the amount of valuable waste going to landfill. Victorian solar farm to generate enough electricity to power Melbourne's entire tram network. Oil and gas giant Eni starts work on Northern Territory's largest solar farm in race to 50pc renewables by 2030 - ABC Rural - ABC News. SKM Recycling warns of major landfill crisis if waste management company goes under. Cherbourg's recycling centre provides jobs and a second chance for people on parole. Townsville Supercars' school recycling initiative could roll out to all future events.