30 June, 2011

a national framework for water revisited


The State and Federal Governments have agreed to implement a national compliance and enforcement framework for water resource management to help protect the environment and secure water users entitlements. The framework moves all jurisdictions towards a nationally consistent approach to managing water resource compliance. This national initiative has been tailored to the Queensland context within the State's implementation plan, with the aim to ensure fair and equitable use of water resources in Queensland. Click here to view Queensland's Implementation Plan for the National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management.

28 June, 2011

National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management


National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management

The State and Federal Governments have agreed to implement a national compliance and enforcement framework for water resource management to help protect the environment and secure water users entitlements. The Commonwealth will provide over $10 million for this program, and this funding will be used to enhance or develop:

  • additional stakeholder and public education tools about compliance
  • best practice regulatory tools
  • a nationally consistent range of water offences and penalties
  • appropriate compliance programs
  • risk prioritisation of water resources
  • increased levels of monitoring of high risk water resources
  • public reporting of compliance statistics.

The framework moves all jurisdictions towards a nationally consistent approach to managing water resource compliance. This national initiative has been tailored to the Queensland context within the State's implementation plan, with the aim to ensure fair and equitable use of water resources in Queensland.

Read more on the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website...

Compliance Alert 2/2011 - Adequacy of Systems and Training

Compliance Alert 2/2011 - Adequacy of Systems and Training

DERM develops compliance alerts to highlight commonly occurring areas of non-compliance, and outline the steps that can be taken to improve performance and avoid enforcement action. The alerts include a description of problems that are regularly encountered, the strategies that can be implemented to address those problems, and case studies that provide practical examples of the consequences of those problems.

Analysis of DERM's litigation activities has highlighted that two common reasons for operators to breach the Environmental Protection Act 1994 - failure to:

  • adequately train staff
  • develop and implement adequate systems to manage environmental risk.

Compliance Alert 2/2011 provides case studies that illustrate how this failure can result in significant environmental damage, and prompt enforcement action by DERM.

Read more Compliance Alerts...

Sustainable Business Weekly QLD Edition [EOTFY, EPBC, Qld Enviro Politics, Coal Seam Gas]


EOTFY

As the end of the Financial Year approaches, many Financial Controllers are attempting to apply theories of Quantum physics to various spreadsheets, with an irrational belief that funds allocated in this Financial Year, will somehow change state, if they are not spent by 30 June.


The Law of Conservation of Matter: During an ordinary chemical change, there is no detectable increase or decrease in the quantity of matter.


The same accountants seem to waste a lot of time and energy without realising that:


The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change its form.


Perhaps some basic physics should be compulsory in Business Schools.




Tony Bourke vetos GBR development


At a recent ASBG seminar, Rebecca Hoare from Norton Rose explained the interactions between Federal & State Environmental Law.


In an interesting development, Environment Minister Tony Burke has announced his proposed decision to refuse a residential and tourist development in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and invited comments on the proposed decision.

The Hummock Hill Island development proposed by East Wing Corporation, valued at $569 million on the project's website, is in the world heritage area about 30km south of the industrial port of Gladstone in central Queensland.

The proposed development would involve a bridge to the mainland, a golf course, an airstrip, boat ramps, a desalination plant, 790 residential allotments, two hotels, a conference centre and a motel, holiday accommodation, camping grounds, a commercial centre and a retail centre.

As Federal Minister for the Environment, Mr Burke only has the political power to rule on matters which are referred to him by the State Governments with the potential significant impacts on matters of national significance protected under national environmental laws.

Having proposed the decision, Tony Bourke is making his proposed refusal available for further public comment.



Rolling back the EPBC Act?

In the context of the Federal Environment Minister’s proposed refusal of the Hummock Hill Development, the candidate for the State seat of Ashgrove, Campbell Newman expressed his frustrations (and lack of comprehension of) the Federal Government’s powers to stop major projects on environmental grounds.

Perhaps Mr Newman should attend an ASBG seminar.

If elected, a Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) State Government would seek changes to the Federal EPBC Act way projects like the Traveston Crossing Dam can be scuttled by the federal government, even where they have state approval.

The LNP Candidate for Ashgrove said "Frankly, the use of the environmental protection and biodiversity conservation has got to a point where it's intolerable for a sovereign state to ... deal with anymore,"

The Opposition deputy leader Tim Nicholls said development had traditionally been the responsibility of State Governments.

He said: "There is too much power given to federal ministers in order to be able to stop things that the elected government of a state has made a decision about,"

Mr Nicholls denied concerns by environment groups that changes would herald a return to times when the environment was rarely considered.

Mr Nicholls went on to say: "We have green groups who, if they had their druthers, would have us heading back to the days of living in caves and running around in bear skins," he said.

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the Qld State Government disagreed with some Federal decisions and there was a risk of "double jeopardy" in the way the approvals processes were run.

It is going to be an interesting QLD State Election Campaign.


Coal Seam Gas


The Queensland Government is committed to developing a CSG industry. In doing so, the State is trying to balance coal seam gas development with strict safety standards to protect the environment and social values of regional communities.


The Qld Government is still quoting the statistic that electricity produced by liquefied natural gas (LNG) results in around 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than coal.

The process of extracting CSG and subsequent conversion to LNG is well established, however there are still lots of unanswered questions being raised about the industry's potential accumulative impacts on the environment and communities.


It is difficult to take confidence in the adaptive environmental management policy and regulatory framework being applied to this industry. On 28 June 2011, the Society of Sustainability and Environmental Engineering are running an event: Coal Seam Gas - Without fear or favour at Engineering House, 447 Upper Edward Street Brisbane.


ASBG will report on the outcomes of this event in the next Sustainable Business Weekly.

27 June, 2011

Campbell Newman's Legacy


I have written the following letter to my Community & Stakeholder Coordinator for the Northern Link Road Tunnel Project.


N-Link is a $1.8b project for a four lane underground motor way from Toowong to Kelvin Grove.

It makes me wonder:

Is tunnels all Can-Do could do?






Teresa Millar
Community and Stakeholder Coordinator - East

Dear Teresa,

Thank you for your email today.

I wonder if there is anything TransCity can do to re-route the N-Link transitions, to avoid the Fig tree which was re-located during the construction of the Inner City Bypass (ICB).

This tree was relocated at great expense by a previous regime. It makes a mockery of the guilt offset process, if relocated trees are going to be mowed down by subsequent projects. The tree holds a degree of sentimental significance to some people in my community.

I understand there are also two Hoop Pines (Araucaria cunninghamii) which are approximately 40m high. The hoop pine are allegedly around 100 years old. I am also told there is a significant and healthy Moreton Bay Fig ( Ficus macrophylla) to be removed.

My main concerns about the Northern Link Road Tunnel, are related to perpetuation of car dependence, peak oil, climate change etc and the related social justice issues for future generations & those in developing communities who will suffer the worst consequences of climate change.

This current project that you represent will produce 32 000 tonnes of CO2e during construction and an estimated annual GHG emissions for the operation of the project are 18 120 tonnes CO2-e (averaged over a 12 year period from time of opening).

Mowing down old growth trees only adds insult to injury.

regards,

Rowan Barber

19 June, 2011

Swanning around a Clean Energy Future



Clean Energy Future?


Wayne Swan thinks that putting a price on pollution will drive innovation to find better, less polluting ways of producing power, goods and services.

The question remains concerning how (&why) the Government will compensate the so-called trade exposed industries.

Wayne Swan says that under a Carbon Price: "Dirty energy will become more expensive and clean energy cheaper, tilting the balance towards investment in renewable energy and forms of power generation that produce lower emissions."

I wonder if anyone has told Martin Ferguson??!!

Swanny says: the Government will also help accelerate this transition by directly investing in clean energy projects.

Julia Gillard yesterday announced funding to help build two of the largest solar power plants in the world - one near the Queensland town of Chinchilla (which has been announced before), and another in Moree, NSW. Together, the projects are expected to generate enough power to support the annual electricity needs of more than 115,000 Australian homes.

Unfortunately, these power stations are NOT actually the largest and aren't actually going to be built for a few years.

According to Dan Cass

Moree Solar Farm is a joint venture between BP Solar, Fotowatio and Pacific Hydro. It will be a 150MW solar power plant using BP Solar’s polycrystalline photovoltaic panels mounted on a single axis tracking system. It is near Moree in northern New South Wales.

The project is exciting because of its scale. The total cost is slated to be $923 million, including $306 million funding from the flagships program and $120 million from the state government.

This plant will be much larger than the biggest current Australian PV installation, which is a 1.2MW array at University of Queensland. But Moree will probably not even be in the top 10 plants in the world when it is completed:

  • The US currently has 7 plants in the 150MW+ range under consutrution or in planning stage.

  • Greece has the 200MW Kozani PV Park due to start in a few months.

  • China is planing a 4 stage 2000MW venture, the Ordos Solar Project

Dan goes on to say:

Solar Dawn has been announced already (at least once). It is a joint venture between AREVA Solar, CS Energy and Wind Prospect CWP. It is a solar thermal power project using AREVA Solar’s Compact Linear Fresnel (CLFR) technology with backup gas boilers. It is located at CS Energy’s existing Kogan Creek Power Station, near Chinchilla in Queensland.

So will Solar Dawn be the biggest in the world? No chance. There are already 3 plants in the 100-150MW range in Spain and the US has a facility of 9 plants totaling 354MW in the Mojave Desert (which the biggest solar station in the world.)

Plants due to open include:
* 370MW
Ivanpah in the US is the biggest under construction.
* The US has announced almost 20 plants in the 200-1000MW range
* Ashalim in Israel will be 250MW
* Andasol 4-7 in Spain will be 200MW


Swanny says: Projects like this will help kick-start the clean-energy jobs of the future. In the mean time the QLD Government is bending over backwards to lay out a red carpet for the coal seam gas industry.

Swanny (& I) encourage you to take a look at some of the interesting fact sheets put out last week by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency that show a big increase in investment in clean energy around the world.

Productivity Commission’s Report on Carbon Schemes

The Commission’s report: Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies is a thorough review of carbon abatement methods used around the world. The interesting issue is the number and high cost of non-market based mechanisms used by many governments, which pick favorite technologies or are propping up expensive methods. Key issues include:
• More than 1,000 carbon policy measures were identified in the nine countries studied, ranging from (limited) emissions trading schemes to policies that support particular types of abatement technology.
• As a proportion of GDP, Germany was found to have allocated more resources than other countries to abatement policies in the electricity generation sector — over $10b, followed by the UK ~$2b, with Australia ~$0.5b, China ~$2b and the US ~$3b mid-range.
• Estimates of abatement relative to counter factual emissions in the electricity generation sector followed a similar ordering, with Germany significantly ahead, followed by the UK, then Australia, the US and China.
There is much good information in this report which provides strong support for a market based mechanism. The report generally found that the fewer government schemes the
more cost efficient was the outcome.

In 2009 alone, large-scale investment in the clean-energy sector included US$34.6 billion in China, US$18.6 billion in the United States, and US$1 billion in Australia.

New Zealand scored very well, but the USA which had many schemes was a poor performer. Australia performed very poorly on photo voltaic installations.
















confessions of a toilet cleaner






Up until recently, I earned a livelihood by picking up rubbish, emptying garbage bins and cleaning toilets in my city....

This is my story:


Well...
I was walking in the Mall
When I saw a cleaner, cleaning.
He was actually emptying the bins
Not on his broom a leaning.

I asked him, how he was that day
He sighed but did not slow up,
For he was on a double shift,
For his replacement had not shown up.

I thought a bit, and then I stopped
Why was a cleaner called for?
What could cleaner in high viz
Be cleaning in the Mall for?

Soon I swept up and emptied bins,
And made the bins all shiny.
My colleagues they would moan and whinge,
They sounded rather whiny.

Yet I swept up. I cleaned up fast
As fast as I could go, sir.
I cleaned the loos, I mopped up stains
But did I whine, well. No, sir.

After that two years went by.
I cleaned from two to ten
I spent mornings as a stay home dad
Unlike most other men......

Well, while I cleaned my city.
More poetry I’d write
And letters to the editor
I’d write with all my might

I learnt how best to use a mop
I drove big diesel sweepers,
I learnt to use a scrubber while
I tweeted to my tweeters

.......to be continued

17 June, 2011

Sustainable Business Weekly QLD Edition [QLD Budget, Rebuilding QLD, Water Blame Game, Food]


Budget
Last week, the newly appointed Lord Mayor of Brisbane released his budget for Brisbane. Last month ASBG trawled through the Federal Budget looking for some good news for the Environment and/or the planet.

This week, it was the Qld Government's turn to spruik its budget which includes:
• $75 million to support investment in solar power energy generation
• $60 million to the end of next year for ClimateSmart Home Services – reducing household bills and carbon emissions
• $28.6 million allocated for the newly declared estate on North Stradbroke Island
• Initiatives to stimulate geothermal energy growth.

One can have a closer look at how the money is raised and how the money is spent.

After the ongoing kerfuffle over the “resources rent Tax, it was a little surprising to how little Qld gets from royalties (in the scheme of things), relative to how much is spent on economic services to the mining industry. ASBG needs to do more research.

Have a listen to Kate Jones talking up a greener Queensland.

Rebuilding Queensland
Following Queensland's summer of natural disasters, $6.8 billion in State and Federal disaster funding will be provided in 2011-12, including $2.9 billion on roads, $2.75 billion for local Governments and $656 million for small business, non-profit organisations and primary producers.

For more information, read Rebuilding Queensland after the natural disasters of the summer of 2010-11 and view the Premier's media release.


The Water Blame Game
The QLD Government will also maintain its focus on the blame game over
South East Queensland's water supply, demand management and who is responsible for water prices rises.

Ironically the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) will continue to play a role as another cost centre, without really adding any value. The QWC has total revenue of $20.9 million this year with responsibilities for things that they have limited capacity to influence:
• putting pressure of Councils & water utilities to cap prices;
• the implementation of
recommendations in the SEQ Water Strategy;
• a review of the bulk water
price path;
• water issues in the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) sector.

The price cap on distribution and retail water and wastewater charges will begin on 1 July 2011 and remain in place for two years. This will protect consumers, from the considerable price increases in the State Government’s bulk water charges being passed on by Councils and/or Water Utilities.

Work will also be carried out on the finalisation of a review of water use
efficiency measures.

While the QWC will continue its work in planning for the provision of
south east Queensland's water supply, indirect potable reuse appears to have dropped off the political agenda.

QUU’s plan for the future

Queensland Urban Utilities invites it customers on Brisbane, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Somerset & the Lockyer Valley to help shape their plan for the future of water and wastewater services in their catchment region. QUU have prepared a draft Water Netserv Plan for consultation. One can help guide QUU’s planning by reading this plan and giving them your feedback.
The plan describes the infrastructure and services QUU currently have and how they will meet customers’ needs over the next 20 years. It outlines their planning assumptions, how they attempt to contribute to sustainability, emergency response measures, Customer Service Standards, their connections policy and key projects to support projected population growth.
One can Download the full Water Netserv Plan here or Download the summary Water Netserv Plan here
Tell QUU what’s important to you by; Filling in and emailing QUU’s feedback form to community.feedback

Food

Food supply and food security issues are constantly being raised. The ban on export of live cattle to Indonesia opens a huge can of worms.

Perhaps cans of worms should literally form part of the food supply chain.

As part of the 2011-12 State Budget, the Queensland Government has made an initial allocation of $2 million to support initiatives related to a food policy for Queensland to further build the state's multi-billion dollar industrial food industry.

Queensland's food value chain worth $18.7 billion to the state economy and supports a workforce of around 267,000.

A Department of Employment, Economic Development & Innovation (DEEDI) policy has been release for public comment. The QLD Government's intention first and foremost, is an economic development policy to maximise the economic growth of businesses across the food sector.

One can view the Draft Policy Framework on DEEDI’s website.

One can email comments to foodpolicy@deedi.qld.gov.au. The period for comment closes at 5pm, Monday 15 August 2011

15 June, 2011

The QLD Government delivers an Industrial food policy



As part of the 2011-12 State Budget, the Queensland Government has made an initial allocation of $2 million to support initiatives related to a food policy for Queensland to further build the state's multi-billion dollar industrial food industry.

Queensland's food value chain worth $18.7 billion to the state economy and a workforce of around 267,000.

The increasing demand for food is apparently stemming from population growth and rising affluence in developing countries presented significant opportunities for Queensland as a food exporter.

The policy has been release for public comment. The QLD Government's intention first and foremost, is an economic development policy to maximise the economic growth of businesses across the food sector.

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

Food for a Growing Economy: An Economic Development Framework for the Queensland Food Industry

DEEDI is leading the development of Food for a Growing Economy: An Economic Development Framework for the Queensland Food Industry. This is a draft policy paper.

Your answers to the following questions will help shape the development of this policy framework:

1. To what extent do the seven themes address your major concerns, or the concerns of your organisation and its members?

2. What challenges exist that have not been addressed in this draft policy?

3. What other actions could be included under the 'What we will do' section of each theme?

You can email comments to foodpolicy@deedi.qld.gov.au or alternatively mail them to the postal address below. The period for comment closes at 5pm, Monday 15 August 2011.

Mail written submissions to:

Food Policy Submission
Level 6, Primary Industries Building
GPO BOX 46, Brisbane Qld 4001
Customer Service Centre 13 25 23

Your input will help the Queensland Government deliver sustainable economic growth in the food industry.

View the draft policy framework

Food for a Growing Economy: An Economic Development Framework for the Queensland Food Industry (PDF, 1.13MB)

Downward pressure on water bills - circular arguments

Check this amazing piece of logic.....

The State Government (which is responsible for bulk water prices) are going to spend a shitload of money, putting downward pressure on the Councils to limit water prices.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Minister Robertson said the Bligh Government will also maintain its focus on
South East Queensland's water supply, demand management and keeping water
prices fair in this year's Budget.

"The Queensland Water Commission will continue to play an important role
like maintaining downward pressure on water bills with a total revenue of
$20.9 million this year.

"The price cap on distribution and retail water and wastewater charges will
begin on 1 July 2011 and remain in place for two years," Mr Robertson said.
"This will protect consumers from the considerable price increases many
Councils would otherwise have made.

"The price cap is in direct response to local governments which are not
listening to their community and not accepting responsibility for soaring
water and wastewater prices in South East Queensland.

"The Commission's priorities will also include the implementation of
recommendations in the SEQ Water Strategy and a review of the bulk water
price path which is due in 2012-2013.

"Work will also be carried out on the finalisation of a review of water use
efficiency measures.

"The Commission will continue its work in planning for the provision o f
south east Queensland's safe, secure and sustainable water supply," he
said.

14 June, 2011

Queensland Budget - Environment Highlights & building back better...



There's a sense of de ja vu and a great deal of hypocrisy from one level of Government to the next, particularly from the various leaders of the opposition (or Loos as Jess Rudd would call them) &/or their facsimiles.


Last week, the substitute Lord Mayor released his budget for Brisbane...having been given a hospital pass (& a Tunnel Vision) by the former Lord Mayor.

Today I received a message from the Candidate for the seat of Ashgrove, which started out:

Today we have seen an embarrassing budget handed down that provides no relief for families across the state.

It’s a budget that sees an explosion of debt, up to $85 billion in three years time, which will see interest repayments of $100 million a week. That’s $595,000 an hour, each and every hour!

This money is coming from our pockets and driving up the cost of living.


One could use exactly the same words and substitute the numbers to describe the budget for Brisbane City Council, handed down by Captain Quirk. My children will still be paying off the debt on the latest Tunnel from Toowong to Kelvin Grove (also known as the Legacy of Debt).

Last Month I was trawling (or trolling) through the Federal Budget looking for some good news for the Environment and/or the planet.

Today it was the Qld Government's turn to spruik its budget.


I have mixed feelings about privatisation. I suspect the core business of Governments is regulation, rather than asset management. Perhaps divesting Qld of vested interests in the coal industry is a good thing....

The forests were another story.....A story that the mainstream media did not tell....

According to their 2008/2009 annual report, Forestry Plantations Qld had net assets of $1.14b (not including State-owned land).

On the 18 May 2010, the Qld Government signed the deal to sell these assets to a US-based multinational company for $603m, including 35,000 ha of freehold land and a 99 year lease on Qld's State forests. The standing biological assets (plantation trees) were valued at $1.17b alone (there was about $222m of outstanding liabilities).


.....Back to the Future? Have a listen to Kate Jones talking up A greener Queensland




Rebuilding Queensland better than ever

Following Queensland's summer of natural disasters, $6.8 billion in State and federal disaster funding will be provided in 2011-12, including $2.9 billion on roads, $2.75 billion for local governments and $656 million for small business, non-profit organisations and primary producers.

For more information, read Rebuilding Queensland after the natural disasters of the summer of 2010-11 and view the Premier's media release.

I need to have a closer look at how the money is raised and how the money is spent....

I was surprised how little Qld gets from royalties (in the scheme of things) & wonder how much of that is spent on economic services to the mining industry. I need to do more research.



13 June, 2011

What is Sustainable Sanitation?





In light of the earthquakes in Christchurch, floods in Brisbane & elsewhere.....it is apparent that modern centralised sewerage & sewage treatment systems are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes & floods.

I seriously believe we need to re-think the strategy of mixing our poo with our wee & diluting it with vast quantities of 'food-grade' water, then transporting the slurry over vast distances, only to have to separate the poo, wee & water at the other end of the pipe with energy intensive processes.



The following article is reposted from the SuSana website.....


The main objective of a sanitation system is to protect and promote human health by providing a clean environment and breaking the cycle of disease. In order to be sustainable, a sanitation system has to be not only economically viable, socially acceptable, and technically and institutionally appropriate, it should also protect the environment and the natural resources.

When improving an existing and/or designing a new sanitation system, sustainability criteria related to the following aspects should be considered:
  1. Health and hygiene: includes the risk of exposure to pathogens and hazardous substances that could affect public health at all points of the sanitation system from the toilet via the collection and treatment system to the point of reuse or disposal and downstream populations. This topic also covers aspects such as hygiene, nutrition and improvement of livelihood achieved by the application of a certain sanitation system, as well as downstream effects.
  2. Environment and natural resources: involves the required energy, water and other natural resources for construction, operation and maintenance of the system, as well as the potential emissions to the environment resulting from its use. It also includes the degree of recycling and reuse practiced and the effects of these (e.g. reusing wastewater; returning nutrients and organic material to agriculture), and the protection of other non-renewable resources, e.g. through the production of renewable energies (such as biogas).
  3. Technology and operation: incorporates the functionality and the ease with which the entire system including the collection, transport, treatment and reuse and/or final disposal can be constructed, operated and monitored by the local community and/or the technical teams of the local utilities. Furthermore, the robustness of the system, its vulnerability towards power cuts, water shortages, floods, earthquakes etc. and the flexibility and adaptability of its technical elements to the existing infrastructure and to demographic and socio-economic developments are important aspects.
  4. Financial and economic issues: relate to the capacity of households and communities to pay for sanitation, including the construction, operation, maintenance and necessary reinvestments in the system. Besides the evaluation of these direct costs also direct benefits e.g. from recycled products (soil conditioner, fertiliser, energy and reclaimed water) and external costs and benefits have to be taken into account. Such external costs are e.g. environmental pollution and health hazards, while benefits include increased agricultural productivity and subsistence economy, employment creation, improved health and reduced environmental risks.
  5. Socio-cultural and institutional aspects: the criteria in this category refer to the socio-cultural acceptance and appropriateness of the system, convenience, system perceptions, gender issues and impacts on human dignity, the contribution to food security, compliance with the legal framework and stable and efficient institutional settings.

Most sanitation systems have been designed with these aspects in mind, but in practice they fail far too often because some of the criteria are not met. In fact, there is probably no system which is absolutely sustainable. The concept of sustainability is more of a direction rather than a stage to reach. Nevertheless, it is crucial, that sanitation systems are evaluated carefully with regard to all dimensions of sustainability. Since there is no one-for-all sanitation solution which fulfils the sustainability criteria in different circumstances to the same extent, this system evaluation will depend on the local framework and has to take into consideration existing environmental, technical, socio-cultural and economic conditions. Taking into consideration the entire range of sustainability criteria, it is important to observe some basic principles when planning and implementing a sanitation system. These were already developed some years ago by a group of experts and were endorsed by the members of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council as the "Bellagio Principles for Sustainable Sanitation" during its 5th Global Forum in November 2000:

  1. Human dignity, quality of life and environmental security at household level should be at the centre of any sanitation approach.
  2. In line with good governance principles, decision making should involve participation of all stakeholders, especially the consumers and providers of services.
  3. Waste should be considered a resource, and its management should be holistic and form part of integrated water resources, nutrient flow and waste management processes.
  4. The domain in which environmental sanitation problems are resolved should be kept to the minimum practicable size (household, neighbourhood, community, town, district, catchment, city).

11 June, 2011

Turning my dream into a plan - the #BARBERPoo

I have a dream.....


A place for sharing plans and ideas to make them happen | PlanBig


I have a dream that one day, all nations will sit down and do something sustainable.

I have a dream that one day our poo & wee from the red hills of inner North-western Brisbane will not end up in Moreton Bay.

I have a dream that one day even the State of Queensland, a state sweltering from the heat of addiction to the revenue from coal, sweltering with the heat of vested interests, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom, climate justice and sustainability.

I have a dream that my one (and a bit), little children will one day live in a nation where they will not suffer the extremes of the consequences of climate change.

I have a dream today!


It is time to turn my dream into a plan


10 June, 2011

A message to Graham Quirk


A Message to Graham
With households feeling the weight of cost-of-living pressures and Brisbane still recovering from the impact of January’s floods, I’m mindful of the need for a responsible, ‘back to basics’ approach to Council’s finances.

That’s why I wonder why the largest line item in the 2011/12 budget is $456m for another road tunnel, while basic services like libraries & parks were cut in March 2011. Residents of Brisbane are suffering a rate rise to pay for the "Tunnel Vision" which was hospital passed from Can Do Campbell to Captain Quirk.

Graham is on track to deliver a little bit of guilt offset that was promised (and paid for) in 2008 - planting two million trees, purchasing 500 hectares of bushland for conservation, putting 500 new buses on Brisbane roads and chipping away at a $100 million upgrade to our fragmented bikeway infrastructure. In reality, how far will $100m go? How much has been spent? What improvements have there been?

At the same time Captain Quirk is proceeding with his white elephant, Northern Link Road Tunnel from Toowong to Kelvin Grove, (also known as the Legacy Way). The Federal Government have poured half a billion dollars down another hole in the ground. Additional funds will be bled from core Council services, with record spending on one single road project.

Captain Quirk is committed to making Brisbane a rabbit warren of tunnels. Like his predecessor - Campbell Newman, Quirky will leave our children with a Legacy of Debt. This tunnel unlike all the others is fully funded by taxpayers and ratepayers. Clem 7 and Airport Link were privately funded. Legacy way is not.

If you have any questions, or would like more information on what this year’s budget means for you, please contact the Lord Mayor's office on 3403 4400 or e-mail Captain Quirk at lordmayor@brisbane.qld.gov.au

Rowan Barber
BRISBANE RESIDENT













~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Message from Graham
GQHeadshotWith households feeling the weight of cost-of-living pressures and Brisbane still recovering from the impact of January’s floods, I’m mindful of the need for a responsible, ‘back to basics’ approach to Council’s finances.

That’s why my 2011/12 budget is focused on improving core Council services while delivering one of the lowest rate rises in the past 35 years.

We’ re on track to deliver key promises we made in 2008 - planting two million trees, purchasing 500 hectares of bushland for conservation, putting 500 new buses on Brisbane roads and completing a $100 million upgrade to our bikeway infrastructure.

At the same time we are proceeding with our important traffic congestion busting project, Legacy Way, with a welcome contribution from the Federal Government. Additional funds will be invested in core Council services, with record spending on road resurfacing and footpaths.

I’m committed to making Brisbane a cleaner, greener and more inclusive city. This Budget - concentrating on the fundamentals of rates, roads and rubbish - does exactly this.

If you have any questions, or would like more information on what this year’s budget means for you, please contact my office on 3403 4400 or e-mail me at lordmayor@brisbane.qld.gov.au
Graham Quirk
LORD MAYOR

09 June, 2011

my letter to Teresa Gambaro on Climate Justice

Teresa Gambaro
Member for Brisbane

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance.

cc: Kevin Rudd - Foreign Minister.

Dear Ms Gambaro,

Right now, negotiations are taking place which will determine what the carbon price will look like.

Over the next 3 weeks, crucial details including the starting price, compensation measures & exemptions will be decided.

I can appreciate that the various lobby groups & vested interests will be intensifying their scare campaign, aiming to secure a weak and ineffective policy.

Australian Businesses have adopted a position calling for a relatively low starting price. Professor Garnaut is calling for $26/tonne. Some are lobbying for $10/tonne. The Federal Opposition Leader - Tony Abbott wants $0/tonne & a subsidy scheme instead. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has alluded to a starting price of around $20/tonne.

So called "Trade Exposed" industries want exemptions from their moral obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Tim Costello was quite impressive at Sunday's "Say Yes" rally in Brisbane. Tim made the connection between climate justice & the end of slavery. Apparently in the 19 century, companies in Britain who exploited "slave labour" also considered themselves as "Trade exposed" Industries.

For developing communities, acting on climate change is not another political issue – it is the issue on which their future depends.

Please consider the impacts of your decisions over the next 25 days on developing communities and future generations.

regards,

Rowan Barber

Sustainable Business Weekly QLD Edition [Seminar next week, Perceptions, Setting a Price, CSG, Renewables]

Tied up in Green Tape?

If one attends ASBG QLD’s Environmental Management Seminar on Thursday 16 June 08:00-12:30, one will have the opportunity to find out the best way to stay out of trouble with the Environmental Regulator in Queensland.

One will also have the opportunity to discuss the issues that one faces with Environmental compliance.

Through its greentape reduction project, the Department of Environment and Resouce Management (DERM) is in the process of reviewing the licensing framework under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, with the aim of reducing the regulatory costs of environmental regulation while upholding environmental standards for the community.

The project is a response to business and government concerns that navigating the environmental regulatory framework has become increasingly difficult, making it harder to comply with regulatory requirements.

A discussion paper and regulatory assessment statement has been developed to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment about the proposed initiatives. Written submissions are open until 1 July 2011.

Perception is reality

The Australian Sustainable Business Group (ASBG) is pursuing the development of businesses in Australia for a sustainable future. That is our core business.

ASBG achieves our objectives through weekly newsletters and by running training courses and seminars primarily focused on Environmental management. However, that is just the starting point.

ASBG needs your help. We (collectively) need to improve the general public’s perception of Australian Businesses.

Everyday Australian Businesses are labelled with the tag “polluters”. Australian businesses need position themselves to meet on going demands in a global market. This requires both economically and environmentally sustainable solutions.

ASBG needs some good news stories. Please share with us some case studies or even some of your marketing material.

What is your business doing to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions?

What is your water specific intake? (litres of water per commercial activity measure). How are you reducing or reprocessing your waste?

If you are going to the trouble of collecting data for the purposes of environmental compliance, then you need to make sure the data does not go to waste.

As individual businesses, as industries and as a business group, we have to get better at telling the general public about the things we are doing for a sustainable future.

We have to get better at telling politicians and bureaucrats about the impacts of the decisions they make are having on our respective businesses.

Setting a Price on Carbon

Last Sunday, on World Environment Day 45,000 Australians allegedly said ‘YES’ to setting a price on carbon.

The very next day a Galaxy Poll for the News Limited alleged that 58 per cent of people are opposed to the carbon tax. Their sample size of 500 people indicated that just 28 per cent are in favour, with 14 per cent uncommitted.

As you read this, politicians are in the process of negotiating what the carbon price will look like. Over the next 25 days, crucial details including the starting price and compensation measures will be decided.

Australian Businesses need to weigh into this debate.

ASBG has adopted a position calling for a relatively low starting price. Professor Garnaut is calling for $26/tonne. Some are lobbying for $10/tonne. The Federal Opposition want $0/tonne & a subsidy scheme instead. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has alluded to a starting price of around $20/tonne.

Wayne Swan also pointed to modelling which suggests our renewables sector will experience dramatic growth under a carbon price – with the renewable electricity sector projected to be 600 per cent bigger in 2050 than it is today.

ASBG realise that a carbon price alone is not enough. A renewable energy target alone is not enough. If the carbon tax is brought in too low, it will kick start the coal seam gas industry in preference to wind, solar thermal & other renewable energy technologies.

CSG/LNG Compliance

DERM has released a CSG/LNG Compliance Plan 2011 for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) related compliance activities.

DERM hopes that publishing this compliance plan and advising both the community and industry of what can be expected in 2011, will fulfill its commitment to ensure compliance activities are carried out in a transparent manner.

Renewable Energy impost

A Coles supermarket has been asked by the local Municipal Authority, to use at least 50 per cent renewable energy for a development on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Energy Institute recently released a report which indicates that the cost of renewable energy has been significantly overestimated by the Australian Government and industry.