Sustainability

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Environmental Sustainability

  • 1.  Environmental Sustainability

    Posted 04 January 2012 01:13
    Hi all,

    We are supposed to have 700+ members linked to this Climate Change CoP. Where are you all?

    Please make a comment so Wayne, Chris and I know you are out there.
    Surely there is interest at the Local Government level on how climate change will affect us and our communities.

    What steps is your council taking to alleviate the problems that Climate Change might cause?
    Are you all climate change sceptics. We need to debate this issue NOW!

    Perhaps you might like to comment on;
    "Does your Council have a strategy to address future environmental issues?"
    "Does your Council have an Environmental Sustainability Strategy?, If so, give me some ideas that it contains. If not what do you think it should cover?"
    "Is your Council planning to use (encourage use of) more 'green' energy - sun, wind, biomass etc".
    "Are there any thoughts of moving your fleet to electric?"

    Come on, join in so we have a debate rather than a one way conversation.
    I am sure you have more to share than you are letting on.

    Regards

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    Darron Passlow
    Asset Planning PRF
    Warringah Council
    DEE WHY NSW

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  • 2.  RE:Environmental Sustainability

    Posted 04 January 2012 22:09
    G'day

    Comment from an ex LGE

    As engineers we should look at the facts. Just what is the actual impact of our council's proposed actions on the environment compared with the cost imposed upon the ratepayers? We should all be able to carry out a basic cost benefit analysis to quantify this and then present the results to our individual councils.

    Do this with known facts; carry out a sensitivity analysis; and you will have some concrete evidence to state your case and advise your council.

    You might be surprised to find out how utterly wasteful and insignificant any proposed "greening" or "ameliorating" efforts will be.

    Cheers
    Bill Peach


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    William Peach
    Manager
    W L Peach & Associates
    Gordonvale QLD

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  • 3.  RE:Environmental Sustainability

    Posted 06 January 2012 00:00
    Hi Darren,

    it is indeed "all quiet on the western front" on the subject of environmental sustainability and climate change within local government at present, somewhat surprising given the global focus on the issue.

    The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities at Monash Uni here in Clayton, VIC have released a document called blueprint2011 which I think makes interesting reading.

    You can access it at http://www.watersensitivecities.org.au/resources/publications/blueprint2011/ and I recommend it to all members interested / involved in the debate.

    Given the political and cyclical nature of councillors (and here I generalise somewhat) I think the concept of sustainability is a difficult one to grasp. By nature it means thinking beyond the next electoral term and committing councils to a plan of action that has to be ongoing without necessarily delivering immediate and obvious benefits. Having worked with local government engineering and infrastructure departments for some considerable time I firmly believe that the debate has to be approached in the context of identifying known council infrastructure problems; e.g.
    • requirements to upgrade or replace ageing drainage infrastructure,
    • requirements for flood mitigation
    • requirements to reduce pollutant content in drains
    • requirements to find alternate sources of water
    and utilising them to drive significant combined capital works programs to deliver these outcomes. This is especially relevant while there is federal grant funding available for stormwater harvesting projects and the recently completed project at Darling Street, East Melbourne is a good example of that approach.

    I have written a concept document for discussion which I hope to present at Stormwater 12 in October here in Melbourne and will happily share it with the forum if required.

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    Peter Diprose
    Southern Region Manager - Water Solutions
    Humes
    LAVERTON NORTH VIC
    peter.diprose@humes.com.au 03 9360 3879
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  • 4.  RE:Environmental Sustainability

    Posted 08 January 2012 19:59
    Re Electric Cars

    Electric cars require expensive, high tech batteries that do not last the life of the car. They are also far more expensive in energy use (carbon dioxide production, use of valuable resources), as well as costing far more than the conventional alternative. to produce. At some time in the future they may be powered by renewable energy sources but at present their fuel is produced in Australia almost entirely by that catastrophically dangerous method of burning coal.

    Pollutant reduction in larger population areas is the only reason I can think of for wanting to go down this very expensive track. "Peak Oil" arguments are not sufficient in themselves to contemplate inflicting this impost on our ratepayers. Can anyone present to me any other sound argument why anyone in his/her sane mind would want to run an electric car!!

    Cheers
    Bill Peach


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    William Peach
    Manager
    W L Peach & Associates
    Gordonvale QLD

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  • 5.  RE:Environmental Sustainability

    Posted 09 January 2012 22:41
    Bill
    re Electric Cars
    I would like to update knowledge (thinking?) on Electric Cars.

    I would love to drive an electric car (in Sydney) and a number of my colleagues might join me.
    Why?
    I am now better informed on what is available today and what the benefits are.
    There is a major activity going on in Australia (primarily east coast at this stage - Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne) to deliver infrastructure and support to prove the benefits of electric cars. It is early days but I am happy to support this project to whatever extent I can.
    I saw a 2 hour presentation (by an executive of the company involved) but you might benefit by initially looking at their web site (it should provide a worthwhile update to knowledge in this area).

    The company is called Better Place and has a web site at the name http://www.betterplace.com.au/.
    Hope this is worthwhile and if you need any further information or a link directly into this progressive company, I can provide this to you.

    Regards and keep thinking innovation!

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    Darron Passlow
    Asset Planning PRF
    Warringah Council
    DEE WHY NSW

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