31 July, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Cake


Some love to cook, I cook to love......


Neva’s Chocolate Mousse Cake
From Neva lvancic

300g Dark Chocolate (eg Nestle Club)
185g Unsalted Buffer
1 cup White Sugar
10 Large (52g) Eggs (separated)

Break up chocolate and cut butter into chunks.
Melt butter together in microwave (1 - 2 minutes)
Preheat oven to 180°C
Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until creamy
Stir melted butter/chocolate into yolk mix
Whip egg whites until stiff
Gradually add remaining sugar and whip until glossy
Fold egg whites into yolk/chocolate mix (1/2 at a time)
Pour 1/2 to 3/4 of the mix into a 7” springform tin (lined with GladBake)
Cook approximately 40 minutes (check with a skewer)
Cool slightly
Pour remaining mousse mixture on top of cake

World Toilet Day



I wonder if you can have a bit of a think & a chat to your colleagues about how we might want to celebrate World Toilet Day in 2011.



In 2008, when I was at the Department of Public Works, we teamed up with Caroma, the International Water Centre & Engineers Without Borders to run a 100 toilet Art Exhibition in the Queen Street Mall. We had Bob Mcmullan (the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance) come along and open the exhibition. Councillor David Hinchliffe submitted an entry along with local artists & artisans, PR/Marketing & engineering firms.

In 2009, we held a sit in (squat in) at King George Square, highlighting the fact that 2.6 billion people have to squat out in the open or in the streets, because they do not have access to even the most basic toilets.

in 2010, we held "a where would you hide", Art Exhibition, with the Australian Toilet Organisation & WaterAid Australia, using lifesize cardboard puppets. Unfortunately, the puppets drowned in the basement of Brisbane Square in the January flood. We also acknowledged the work of the folks in Urban Cleansing at Brisbane City Council, who clean & maintain public toilets.

Earlier this year, I extorted some money & support from Natalie Bochenski (aka Girl Clumsy) - http://www.girlclumsy.com/2011/02/rowan-doesnt-want-to-help-or-does-he.html

The objective of World Toilet Day is to celebrate our toilets & the benefits that they bring and to raise awareness of the fact that a third of the world's citizens do not have access to a toilet.

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

Here is a summary of what a toilet means for a young girl (taken from: http://blockbuster.water.org/?p=466)

1) She can stay in school.
Girls in the developing world often drop out of school once they reach puberty because there are not separate sanitation facilities for boys and girls. When menstruating, there is nowhere private to tend to their needs or deal with soiled clothes. The resulting embarrassment and anxiety causes girls to give up on school.

2) She’ll have better health.
Lack of toilets or other sanitation facilities forces girls to wait until nighttime to defecate (under the cover of darkness) or to wake up very early in the morning. This not only causes extreme discomfort, but can also cause urinary tract infections and other gastro-intestinal problems.

Fecal matter is the leading cause of illness in the world. Most of these illnesses, such as diarrhea, are easily preventable with access to sanitation (toilets, or other means of waste disposal). Because no sanitation facilities are available, open defecation is a common practice in rural areas in the developing world – despite the fact that people are ashamed of being forced to use this practice and often know that it is associated with disease. While many adult women suffer chronic diarrhea and survive, hundreds of thousands of girls less than five years old die each year because of it.

3) She won’t have to worry about her safety.
With the setting sun comes the long-awaited opportunity for girls to relieve themselves – but fear is a companion to their relief. When a girl’s only option is relieve herself under the cover of darkness, in a remote field or other removed location, she is more open to attack by wild animals and poisonous insects, and more vulnerable to rape and physical and sexual assault.

4) She’ll have the dignity she deserves.
Imagine living life without sanitation: you have no privacy, no sense of security, poor health, and limited options for staying in school.

regards,

Rowan Barber - Sanitation Engineer

30 July, 2011

Urine separation toilets



One of the first principles of process engineering is segregation (or separation of waste streams). The effluent from one process can be the influent for another. In many developed societies, we aggregate our poo & our wee with vast quantities of water, transfer the slurry over vast distances, only to separate the components out again using energy intensive physical, chemical & biological processes.

Physiologically, are poo & our wee are separated. We need to design our user interfaces (toilets) with baffles or separate urinals to enable the collection of urine.

Urine can be a precursor or feedstock for many useful industrial chemicals including fertilizers, sodium hypochlorite (bleach).

Head to the Year Of Humanitarian Engineering Website & join the discussion.


29 July, 2011

Gold Coast Water secedes from AllConnex




Gold Coast City Council has decided to opt out of the Distributor-retailer Allconnex.

Allconnex Water is currently responsible for the delivery of water, recycled water, trade waste and wastewater services to more than 900,000 consumers across Redlands, Logan & the Gold Coast.

Following a protracted blame game between Councils & the State over water prices, the State Government’s announced on 7 April that it would repeal water legislation, allowing Councils to take back the control of their water utilities.

The State Government gave all SEQ Councils the choice to split with their water distributor-retailers (Allconnex, Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater) because of claims by some that they could provide water cheaper to ratepayers than the current structure.

The Councils were given this opportunity on the proviso that they could show they (the Council's) could deliver prices cheaper (than the amalgamated Water Utilities) to ratepayers "Gold Coast City Council and in particular the Mayor were very vocal that they could provide water cheaper if they took back their water business under the Council banner. The Gold Coast City Council now has until 1 August to provide a price mitigation plan to the State Government. This plan must be published by 1 September 2011. This price mitigation plan must include information about how a council intends to:
* moderate the impact on customers of price increases;
* assist vulnerable customers; and
* inform the community about future price increases. By 1 March 2013 - at the conclusion of the two year CPI price cap - the councils will also be required to publish a quantifiable price path for residential and small business customers. The price path must cover at least five years and truly consider the impact of price increases.


22 July, 2011

poo & wee



The Bill & Melinda Gate's foundation want to re-invent the toilet.....







The statistics are un-fathomable. Every 8 seconds, a child dies from easily preventable, feacal related illnesses.

In my own community, people have become disassociated from the environmental impacts of our flush toilet. We flush & forget.

In places like Kokopo, in East New Britain, the urban population have been using pit latrines & septic tanks for over 15 years. These systems worked quite effectively for a while. However, eventually the absorption trenches start to fail.

When I say "fail"......I mean to say that untreated sewage.....poo & wee flows to the surface.

In some urban areas in India or Africa or parts of South East Asia, the residents of the city just poo & wee in the streets.

2.6 billion people do not have a sustainable, designated place to poo or wee. In many places, young women stop going to school when they start menstruation, because there is no designated place to change a sanitary pad or tampon (or facsimile).

This is what we call the global sanitation crisis. The word "sanitation" fails to convey the gravity of the situation. People are dying because they live & breathe poo. Children suffer malnutrition, not because of a lack of food but because their food passes through them.

Dysentery. Diarrhea. Vomiting. These are the symptoms of the crisis.

Water supplies become contaminated. Flies, rats & other vermin also contribute to the problem.

Washing ones hands is not always an option.

We need better language to communicate the gravity of this situation. We have to start telling it like it is. We cannot continue to use "sanitised" language.




21 July, 2011

water, Surat Basin, Carbon, Energy Efficiency






Product Stewardship Bill Passed

The Product Stewardship Bill 2011 was passed by the Parliament on 22 June 2011. This legislation provides the framework to manage the environmental, health and safety impacts of products, and in particular those impacts associated with the disposal of products. The framework includes voluntary, co-regulatory and mandatory product stewardship. For more information see the Australian Government Website.




Ending the Water Blame Game (again)

This year there has been an ongoing blame game between the State Government, Councils & the Council owned Utilities over who is responsible for water price rises.

The Qld Government has proposed amendments to the SEQ Water (Distribution & Retail Restructuring) Act 2009 (DR Act) to allow sitting councillors, including Mayors, to sit on the Board of their water distributor-retailer.

In an Estimates Committee Hearing Minister for Energy and Water Utilities Stephen Robertson said the Governments decision ensured councils would have more immediate access to and involvement with the strategic decision-making process of their water businesses.

The proposed amendments are another attempt to diffuse the tension between the Qld State Government and the local councils by surrendering more control and direct involvement with water distributor-retailer business.

This will put an end to Councils continuing to label their council-owned water businesses as private entities.

The proposed amendments would not alter the current legislative requirement that the councils appoint the Board members.

However the current associated employee provisions which enable a council employee to be appointed to the Board will be removed

Under the proposal:
• the minimum number of Board members would be five
• the maximum number of councillors would be three;
• no council would have more than one councillor on a Board;
• councillors would be appointed within two months of local government elections;
• councillors would be appointed for a maximum term of four years;
• vacancies that arose must be filled by a councillor from the council where the vacancy occurred;
• the Chair of the Board cannot be a councillor.

It should also be clearly understood that the Boards role itself will not alter and it will continue to be responsible for ensuring the distributor-retailer performs its function and exercises their powers in a proper, effective and efficient way.
The Government would progress these amendments in early 2012.



The Surat Basin Future Directions Final Report

This week the QLD State Government released the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement Final Report. A year on from the release of the Surat Basin Future Direction Statement, the Qld Government has attempted a series of initiatives that address the challenges and opportunities stemming from the new multibillion dollar energy industry.

The Surat Basin is currently experiencing growth unlike any other region of Queensland, largely due to the expanding energy and resource sector.
The Qld State Government is trying manage this growth in the Surat Basin. The mining & energy boom, is often in conflict with the interests of residents, farmers, other industries and the local community..

The Qld Government is determined to learn from their experiences (mistakes) in the Bowen Basin and improve their approaches to the pressures of fast growing communities.

This collaborative approach between community, industry and Government has resulted in clear strategies to address the critical needs of the Surat Basin region including:
- planning and settlement patterns;
- economic development;
- skilled labour & workforce development;
- housing availability;
- transport;
- strategic cropping land;
- land access;
- coal seam gas water management;
- social impact management plans.

The Surat Basin Future Direction Statement Steering Committee includes members from local government, industry, agriculture, major employers, unions and the Commonwealth Government.

For more information on the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement visit www.regions.qld.gov.au



Confused about the carbon tax?

There is a great deal of mis-information about the price on pollution. Norton Rose have put together a good snap shot of where things are at. For more information see their website.




Energy Efficiency Opportunities Workshops Coming to Brisbane

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has announced the next series of Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) national workshops to be run in Brisbane on the 31 August & 1 September 2011. The workshops will focus on the second assessment cycle, which will begin for many corporations on 1 July 2011. On the first day they will discuss what requirements will be different in the second cycle, and what companies & the Department have learned about how to plan and do successful assessments.


The Clean Energy Agreement

The following information comes from the New South Wales edition of the Sustainable Business Weekly....with some editorial comment from the ASBG QLD State Manager











Release of the Multi-party Climate Change Committee Clean Energy Agreement by the Federal Government has been long awaited and provides much needed clarity over the implementation of Australia’s carbon price.

In the release of such a comprehensive legislative change there are bound to be many issues.

Given that the design of the carbon tax program was not debated nor discussed at the public level, will mean there will inevitably be issues with the package.

Already there have been a number of issues arise with the program. ASBG (NSW) has identified a number of areas of concern including:
 Establishing a fixed and growing price for carbon, which is considered high compared to international prices for carbon and international linking.
 The types of funding available under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
 Coverage of the scheme on specific area, eg heavy vehicles, domestic air travel etc.

As discussed in prior SBWs the setting of a fixed carbon price contains problems at the time of transition to a fully floating price based on an internationally linked carbon market.

Overall the price of $23/t CO2-e is considered to be too high as is already
much higher than the EUA (EUs trading scheme unit price) of €12.36/t CO2-e
(A$16.31). In addition, the Australian carbon price is set to reach $25.40 in
201415. Note the future EUA price Dece 2014, is currently €14.84 (AUS$19.58). The package proposes that after the fourth year a full floating carbon market will be formed with the price determined by the market, driven in part by a cap on the amount of carbon permitted to be emitted. Under this flexible price period, international
emissions units will be permitted.

However, less than 50% of emission credits will be permitted to be obtained
from overseas sources. Though this 50% will be reviewed in 2016.

Supporting this flexible arrangement is the setting of a price cap and floor price.
The floor price is set at $15/t CO2-e, but this is also inconsistent with the EUAs
which are permitted to trade below this rate.

Overall, if the international price for carbon remains soft, then come 2014,
Australia will have some of the world’s highest priced carbon units and most of
the investment will be in purchases overseas rather than action within
Australia. Up to half of our carbon tax will be exported. ASBG is not sure what
impact this will have on the budget commitments that have been
established, but may result in a budget deficit for the carbon scheme.
Bankability of carbon credits will also be affected under a lower priced
international carbon unit. Companies will not bank high priced carbon permits
where in the next year or two it is clear that lower priced units will be available.

Funding arrangements under the package appear most heavily influenced
by the Greens. Most notable is the removal of Carbon Capture and Storage
(CCS) from funding under the package.

It seems remarkable that Australia the world’s largest exporter of coal should
abandon such research.

(Editor's Note: A number of high profile large scale attempts at Carbon Capture and Storage projects have already failed including ZeroGen. Carbon capture is very easy (dissolving CO2 in liquid amines), but Carbon storage is near impossible and prohibitively expensive. It is no surprise that CC&S has fallen from favour)

Gas is considered the key transitional fuel to a low emissions economy, by its
replacement of coal, but is not supported. Gas prices are expected to
rise by $1.25/GJ as a direct result of the $23/t CO2-e. Nevertheless, the closure
of one of Victoria’s brown coal power plants will result in it being replaced by
gas fired generation. This will have demand pull implications for the national
gas market of around 1000 PJ/yr. Price increases from increased demand will
add to the increased gas prices.

However, the funding and grant arrangements under the CEFC are only
for renewable energy. Considering the RET scheme already supports rapid
increases in renewable generation there appears to be a significant gap in the
management of gas and other intermediate transitional technologies.

Solar and wind generation if not supported by alternative power
generation supplementary supply can cause significant inefficiencies in
existing power generation. For example, when the wind blows and the
sun shines, large quantities of power flow from the renewable. This causes
the turn down or shut off of coal powered generation, causing these
plants to operate far from their ideal efficiency, causing excessive carbon
generation. So when the wind does not blow and it is cloudy, the coal
generation is called upon to operate at maximum capacity, again away from its
efficiency maximum. A better approach is to use gas peaker plants and a far
better managed funding arrangements taking all transitional and renewable
systems into account. It appears the package is too heavily focused on
renewable energy sources and fails to consider transitional and base power
load requirements of Australia.

(EDITORS NOTE: I don't think the Author has considered energy storage - molten salts & the load balancing potential of electric vehicles).

Coverage of the Carbon price is another area of issue. While the standard
trigger of 25,000 t CO2-e per annum is no surprise the 10,000 t CO2-e for
landfills is. More curious is the impact on transport fuels, in which the
document states:
 A carbon price will not be applied to transport fuels (including diesel,
petrol, LPG, CNG and LNG) used by cars, light commercial vehicles,
agriculture, forestry and fishery activities.
 Other business transport emissions (including mining) and non-transport
emissions from the use of liquid fuels, LPG, CNG and LNG will be
subject to an effective carbon price.

 As aviation fuels do not receive fuel tax credits, domestic aviation fuel
excise will be increased by an amount equivalent to the carbon price.

International aviation fuel use will not be covered as this is subject to international negotiations.

Light commercial vehicles includes trucks under 5 tonnes. Heavy vehicles
are not part of the package and will be covered separately. In addition,
domestic air travel will therefore increase in price is probable. The
treatment of liquid fuels is complexed by the use of fuel tax credits for many
industries. But the apparent intent is to put a carbon tax on these fuels for such
businesses on top of any credit for fuel excises.

20 July, 2011

Surat Basin Future Direction Statement


Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies


The Honourable Tim Mulherin





20/07/2011




Surat Basin Future Direction Statement delivers



Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said practical priorities for the future of the Surat region have been delivered with the release of the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement Final Report.

Mr Mulherin said a year on from the release of the Surat Basin Future Direction Statement we have delivered a series of initiatives that address the challenges and opportunities stemming from the new multibillion dollar energy industry.

"The Surat Basin is currently experiencing growth unlike any other region of Queensland, largely due to the expanding energy and resource sector," Mr Mulherin said.

"These initiatives will ensure we manage this growth to ensure this boom region continues to be a place where people want to live, work and raise a family.

"We have delivered a series of headline initiatives that address the challenges and opportunities stemming from the new multibillion dollar energy industry" he said.

"From the beginning we have been determined to learn from our experiences in the Bowen Basin and improve our approaches to the pressures of fast growing communities.

"We did this by ensuring all stakeholders have a say in the Surat Basin's future direction and have planned for the challenges together.

"We are conscience government needs to maintain a balance between future economic benefits and protection of the environment, quality of life and landholder rights," he said.

This collaborative approach between community, industry and Government has resulted in clear strategies to address the critical needs of the Surat Basin region including:
- planning and settlement patterns
- economic development
- skilled labour and workforce development
- housing availability
- transport
- strategic cropping land
- land access and coal seam gas water management
- social impact management plans

Mr Mulherin said these practical strategies provide an effective framework to guide the Government and our regional partners in responding to the needs of the region.

"The strength of this achievement is in the collaboration and effective community consultation undertaken on planning the future of the Surat Basin region," Mr Mulherin said.

"In the last year there has been extensive progress in development of these strategies through this collaborative process, resulting in a direction which is truly representative of the Surat region.

"I am particularly appreciative of the input and advice offered from the local mayors: Cr Ray Brown of the Western Downs Regional Council, Cr Robert Loughnan of Maranoa Regional Council, Cr John Hooper of Banana Shire Council and Cr Peter Taylor from the Toowoomba Regional Council," he said.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor and Chair of the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement Steering Committee, Ray Brown, echoed Minister Mulherin's sentiments.

"The Surat Basin Future Direction Statement Steering Committee includes members from local government, industry, agriculture, major employers, unions and the Commonwealth Government," Mr Brown said.

"It has been an effective guiding force in a process that has created a genuine consultative approach in the delivery of the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement."

The Surat Basin Future Directions Statement covers the local government areas of Toowoomba, Western Downs and Maranoa, with strong linkages through Banana to Gladstone.

For more information on the Surat Basin Future Directions Statement visit www.regions.qld.gov.au

Media: 32396530

ending the water blame game (again)


Another press release from The Qld State Government .....

Another attempt to end the blame on water prices......







Energy and Water Utilities The Honourable Stephen Robertson

20/07/2011


Government ensures greater water business accountability and transparency

The Bligh Government has proposed amendments to the SEQ Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009 (DR Act) to allow sitting councillors, including Mayors, to sit on the Board of their water distributor-retailer. In an Estimates Committee Hearing today, Minister for Energy and Water Utilities Stephen Robertson said the Governments decision ensured councils would have more immediate access to and involvement with the strategic decision-making process of their water businesses. Councils would also gain a better understanding of specific day to day operational issues and how they impact on customers and the broader communities they represent, Mr Robertson said. This is another step towards making South East Queensland Councils more accountable to their ratepayers. Councils, through their Participation Agreement with their distributor-retailer, are able to review and agree the strategic direction of the water business and m ake an informed assessment of its operations.

The proposed amendments would address once and for all the argument that councils need more control of and direct involvement with their distributor-retailer business.

This will put an end to Councils deception of continuing to label their council-owned water businesses as private entities.

The waters are no longer muddied. Councils will no longer be able to shirk responsibility on the issue.

Mr Robertson said under the proposed amendments:

  • the minimum number of Board members would be five;
  • the maximum number of councillors would be three;
  • no council would have more than one councillor on a Board;
  • councillors would be appointed within two months of local government elections;
  • councillors would be appointed for a maximum term of four years;
  • vacancies that arose must be filled by a councillor from the council where the vacancy occurred;
  • and the Chair of the Board cannot be a councillor.

Mr Robertson said it is important to note that the proposed amendments would not alter the current legislative requirement that the councils appoint the Board members.

However the current associated employee provisions which enable a council employee to be appointed to the Board will be removed, he said.

It should also be clearly understood that the Boards role itself will not alter and it will continue to be responsible for ensuring the distributor-retailer performs its function and exercises their powers in a proper, effective and efficient way.

Mr Robertson said the Government would progress these amendments in early 2012.

an efficient removal of WasteWater?




Queensland urban utilities claim that thier wastewater services are so efficient because:

• For $476* each year they remove and treat the wastewater from your home.
• To remove the same amount of wastewater by tanker would cost up to $10,000 per year.
• Queensland Urban Utilities is spending $341.4 million in 2011-12 and $3.2 billion over 10 years to provide high quality and reliable water and wastewater services, both to existing customers and those in expanding residential areas.



*Based on 2011-12 prices for Brisbane.





However, I don't think they have thought outside the box.




If we did not mix our ones & twos**, with water, we might not need all the pumps & pipelines & energy intensive infrastucture.


**An adult human produces about 200 L of poo a year.














18 July, 2011

come on we need another jingle



http://www.candoqld.com.au/images/stories/CanDoQLD_mp3.mp3


Come on, come on, we need another puppet;
come on, come on, let's dig a can do state;
come on, come on, paid for by Clive Palmer now;
we need a can do Queensland,

16 July, 2011

Politicians with Passion

Remember when Peter Garrett used to sing political songs and make political statements?

Remember the power & the passion?

This week I had a chat with Capt Quirk, the current Lord Mayor of Brisbane....

When I asked him what he was passionate about.....he responded with:

"Racehorses".....


People, wasting away in paradise
Going backwards, once in a while
Takin' your time, give it a try
What do you believe, what do you believe
What do you believe is true?
And nothing they say makes a difference this way
Nothing they say will do

You take all the trouble that you can afford
At least you won't have time to be bored x2

Oh, the power and the passion
Oh, the temper of the time
Oh, the power and the passion
Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line

Sunburned faces around, with skin so brown
Smiling, zinc cream and crowds, Sundays the beach never a cloud
Breathing eucalypt, pushing panel vans
Stuff and munch junk food
Laughing at the truth, cos Gough was tough til he hit the rough
Hey Uncle Sam and John were quite enough

Too much of sunshine too much of sky
It's just enough to make you wanna cry x2

Oh, the power and the passion
Oh, the temper of the time
Oh, the power and the passion
Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line

I see buildings, clothing the sky, in paradise
Sydney, nights are warm
Daytime telly, blue rinse dawn
And Dad's so bad he lives in the pub, it's a underarms and football club
A flat chat Pine Gap, in every home a Big Mac,
And no one goes outback, that's that

You take what you get, you get what you please
Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees
It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees

Oh, the power and the passion
Oh, the temper of the time
Oh, the power and the passion
Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line
(repeat)


Did you happen to see Lateline on Thursday night? Paul Keating was interviewed about his perspective on putting a price on pollution.


If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a moment to watch former Prime Minister Keating’s interview about economic reform.



After watching former Prime Minister Paul Keating, it is worth having a look at Can Do roping in his family to passionately tell us he has a plan (but then telling us nothing about what the plan is). It is hysterical......





15 July, 2011

solar panels at UQ



I will bite my tongue and NOT provide any editorial comment on the following:


















Energy and Water Utilities

The Honourable Stephen Robertson

15/07/2011

Australia's largest flat panel PV solar array up and running

Energy Minister Stephen Robertson officially opened Australia's largest flat panel photovoltaic (PV) solar array today, marking the start of a solar tour of Queensland.

Mr Robertson said the $7.75 million solar power system was providing clean energy for the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland (UQ).

"I am pleased the Bligh Government has supported this innovative solar project by providing $1.5 million in funding," he said.

"It is the largest solar array of its type in Australia, covering four campus buildings with approximately 5000 polycrystalline silicon solar panels.

"This solar array will help UQ to reduce its carbon footprint and its reliance on the electricity grid.

"It will produce about 1750 megawatt hours of clean renewable solar energy each year and provide about five per cent of the university's peak demand power requirements.

"It will also help save an estimated 1770 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions each year - the equivalent of taking 335 cars off the road."

Mr Robertson said the university's solar project would also contribute to the development of future solar technologies.

"This solar power system also includes a ground-mounted, seven metre by six metre 8.4 kilowatt concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) array that tracks the sun as it moves across the sky," he said.

"The SolFocus CPV array has been donated by Brisbane company, Ingenero, and it will allow UQ researchers to undertake detailed comparisons with a different type of solar technology.

"It will deliver data that we expect to be crucial to the development of large scale commercial solar power projects in Queensland."

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield said the university was focussing on reducing carbon emissions and increasing its use of renewable energy.

"As well as being part of the university's functional energy infrastructure, the solar array will underpin research in diverse fields including physics, engineering, economics and sustainability," he said.

"Moreover, we will share this knowledge asset with the community by giving school students, teachers and any other interested people free access to a website showing live and historical data about UQ's solar infrastructure.

"The project is enhanced by the partnerships with industry, including a number of Queensland businesses at the forefront of renewable power."

Mr Robertson said he would be touring Queensland over coming months to engage with industry stakeholders and make some significant solar announcements.

"I want to see first-hand some of the innovative projects that are helping to create a clean energy future for Queensland," he said.

"My solar tour will also help to promote existing Bligh Government initiatives that are encouraging the take up of solar technologies by households and small businesses, such as our Solar Hot Water Rebate and Solar Bonus Scheme.

"Last year we set a target to double Queensland's use of solar energy in five years.

"What we didn't anticipate was just how quickly Queenslanders would embrace the technology and we are currently on track to hit our target three years ahead of schedule.

"The uptake represents a total of 227,000 household solar hot water systems and the equivalent of 125,000 small scale solar panel systems."

Other innovative solar projects the Bligh Government is delivering include:
* Carrara Stadium, Australia's largest solar stadium with solar roof panels capable of producing 240 kilowatts
* The world's first utility scale (44Mw) integration of solar power into a coal-fired power station at CS Energy's Kogan Creek power station
* The 250 megawatt Solar Dawn solar thermal power station planned for Chinchilla. (UQ is a research partner in this project)
* Community solar farms at Hervey Bay and Cloncurry.

Sustainable Business Weekly QLD Edition [Qld Infrastructure Plan, Green Door, Price On Pollution]




The Qld Infrastructure Plan & Regionalisation Strategy


This week, the Qld infrastructure blueprint for the next 20 years was released by the State Government for consultation.


The Queensland Infrastructure Plan (QIP) released this week is the foundation document to the Queensland Regionalisation Strategy (QRS) includes major documents including a significant masterplan for the Bruce Highway.


The aim of the QIP is to provide a clear outline of short-term infrastructure projects, as well as outlining the longer-term infrastructure priorities to meet the needs of Qld’s growing regions and the rebuilding tasks resulting from the recent natural disasters that have affected Qld.


As the key state-wide infrastructure planning document, the QIP replaces other regional infrastructure plans and programs including the South East Qld Infrastructure Plan and Program and the Far North Qld Infrastructure Plan.


Key projects prioritised in the QIP include:

Transit Networks; Bruce Highway upgrades; Dams, Airports; Ports, Kogan Creek Solar Boost; Rail; Pipelines; Gold Coast Rapid Transit and the Brisbane Cross River Rail.

The State Government now needs feedback from Qld businesses on the plan.



Opening a Green Door?

This week the Qld State Government announced that the Green Door is now open and the Green Door Information Paper is now available.

The Green Door is a Qld State Government initiative, developed in conjunction with local government and industry to accelerate the development assessment of exemplary sustainable 'green' developments in Qld.

Features could include the delivery of planning and economic priorities in a particular region, a significant reduction of water, waste and energy, the creation of permanent jobs or the provision of innovative and effective sustainable transport options.


Green Door aims to encourage leadership and innovation in sustainable developments by offering the 'fast track' opportunity to only the highest achieving projects.



A Price on pollution

On Sunday the Federal Government finally released details of the Price on pollution. At $23 per tonne in 2012 - the price will rise by 2.5% per annum.

It would appear (with the support of the Greens & a few independent, the legislation will pass through the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Australian Federal Government is proposing a fixed price for the first 3 years commencing 1 July 2012. The plan is to transition to a cap and trade emissions trading scheme with the carbon price to be determined by the market.

The threshold has been set at 25 000 tonnes of CO2-e for assessing whether a facility is subject to the carbon pricing mechanism. Scope 1 emissions (direct emissions), together with legacy waste emissions, will count. The Government suggests around 500 businesses will be required to pay for their pollution under this mechanism.

The following sources will be covered: stationary energy, waste, industrial processes and fugitive emissions.

Transport has been excluded, but a fuel excise will apply. Heavy on-road transportation will not have any changes until 1 July 2014. More than half the revenue generated will go to helping households with tax cuts. Remaining revenue directed to power generators, renewable energy, clean energy, jobs and competitiveness assistance program.

A new Climate Change Authority will be established and headed by Bernie Fraser. This Authority will make independent recommendations to the government on the progress of the scheme, to ensure the longer-term emissions reduction target is met.



The Qld Government’s response to the Carbon Tax (Price on pollution)

This week the Qld Treasurer Andrew Fraser claimed that Qld Government has always supported action on climate change. Mr Fraser believes that putting a price on carbon is the most economically responsible way to take action.

However, the Qld State Government has apparently made it very clear to the Federal Government that the State will not support reforms that are not in the long-term interests of Queensland.

The Qld Government supports putting a price on the pollution emitted by the country's (so-called) biggest polluters, and compensation for the vast bulk of households, for any costs passed on.

The Treasurer said that the Queensland Government has lobbied hard to ensure things like agriculture and fuel were excluded. The Qld Government sought special arrangements to foster the development of the coal seam gas and LNG industries.

The Qld State Government remains reliant on the coal and LNG sectors for royalties. The Qld Government has welcomed the assistance for the coal industry, particularly to develop new technology.

The Qld Government is particularly exposed as the owner of numerous large coal fired power stations. The initial estimates show that the asset value of the State owned generators is likely to decrease by around $1.7 billion.

Governments and business are frantically analysing the detail and the impacts. Stay tuned!

14 July, 2011

Andrew Fraser on the Price on Pollution




A press release from Andrew Fraser, discussing the Queensland State Government's vested interests.....
















Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade


The Honourable Andrew Fraser


10/07/2011 Statement from Treasurer Andrew Fraser





The Bligh Government has always supported action on climate change.








We believe that putting a price on carbon is the most economically responsible way to do that. But we have always made it very clear to the Federal Government that we won't support reforms that aren't in the long-term interests of Queensland.








The Prime Minister's announcement today is a strong step forward in the fight against climate change.








It puts a price on the pollution emitted by the country's biggest polluters, and compensates the vast bulk of households for any costs passed on.In particular, the compensation buffer for low income earners and the reforms to the tax free threshold will help millions of Australians.








The Queensland Government lobbied hard to see households compensated, and also to ensure things like agriculture and fuel were excluded and special arrangements are put in place to foster the development of the LNG industry.








We support the coal industry being given assistance, particularly to develop new technology.








We will also continue discussions with the Federal Government around the impact on the value of the taxpayer owned electricity generators. Initial estimates show that the asset value of the generators is likely to decrease by around $1.7 billion.








This is a complex, major economic and environmental reform that requires in-depth analysis. The Government will assess the reforms in detail and identify its impacts on Queensland.








Our economy may be reliant on the coal and LNG sectors, but we are also a state that includes natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.








A clean energy future will be of particular benefit to Queensland, which is why we must act now.








It is disappointing that our political opponents will not take the time to assess these reforms in detail.








They will choose a scare campaign over a policy debate every day of the week.

Opening the Green Door













Opening the Green Door for sustainable development projects









Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Paul Lucas announced that the Green Door is now open and the Green Door Information Paper is now available.





Mr Lucas said the Green Door is a State Government initiative, developed in conjunction with local government and industry to accelerate the development assessment of exemplary sustainable 'green' developments in Queensland.





"Through the Green Door the State Government will work with the applicant, the relevant local government and other stakeholders to fast track the assessment of projects displaying the 'best of the best' in green credentials," he said.





"A truly first rate sustainable development should not only be environmentally green, but also have a demonstrable positive impact on amenity, the economy and community wellbeing.





"Features could include the delivery of planning and economic priorities in a particular region, a significant reduction of water, waste and energy, the creati on of permanent jobs or the provision of innovative and effective sustainable transport options.





"We welcome the development industry to knock on our 'green door' so that we can help them to deliver the most sustainable developments in Queensland," Mr Lucas said





Green Door aims to encourage leadership and innovation in sustainable developments by offering the 'fast track' opportunity to only the highest achieving projects.





"The State Government has dedicated case managers who will be able to deal with up to six of the most sustainable development proposals at a time across Queensland," Mr Lucas said.





"Case managers will work collaboratively with local governments and referral agencies to assist the applicant to make an application that minimises delays and the need for an information request once it is lodged.





"The Green Door will reduce the time taken in the information and referral stage with added certainty upfront that the project will proceed smoothly through the process, allowing the delivery of sustainable projects sooner. Local and state Government assessment teams will work with the applicant every step of the way and provide clear advice on what they can expect before their application is lodged,
"This will save the applicant both time and money in holding costs while their application is assessed," Mr Lucas said





The government has been working in great detail with key industry groups to develop the Green Door Information Paper.





"The Green Door program is a great opportunity to fast track projects aiming to deliver exemplary environmental outcomes, that because of their unique nature, can sometimes become bogged down in the approval process," Mike Roberts, Acting Executive Director of the Housing Institute of Australia, said.





Brian Stewart, Chief Executive of the UDIA said the UDIA has provided the strongest support for sustainable development for a number of years.





"The UDIA launched and delivered the EnviroDevelopment branding nationally, and this initiative by the Government will add value and opportunities to our members who are committed to providing for a sustainable future."





In March and April this year 10 Green Door workshops were held throughout the state involving 138 participants with 30 local government officers representing 19 local governments, 66 state government officers and 42 development industry representatives.





The Green Door is a strong example of local and state government working together to improve our processes and support the development industry deliver developments that will protect our environment, promote economic growth and improve liveability.





"I want to know of exemplary sustainable development proposals so that we will be focussing our energy and resources on the proposals that will deliver the biggest bang for our buck", Mr Lucas said.




For more information vis it the Green Door website www.dlgp.qld.gov.au/greendoor
Green Door Advisory Committee organisations:


* Property Council of Australia;
* UDIA;
* Green Building Council of Australia;
* Housing Industry Association;
* LGAQ;
* Centre for Subtropical Design, QUT;
* Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand;
* Planning Institute of Australia;





* Premier's Council on Climate Change (guest)













Media contact: Thea Phillips 0400 232 341

11 July, 2011

Energetics - Climate Change Matters Newsletter


www.energetics.com.au

Dear Rowan

Click on the following articles to read Energetics' analysis of the government's planned introduction of a $23 per tonne carbon price.

For media enquiries and to arrange an interview with an Energetics' spokesperson, please contact Meg Wrixon on 02 9929 3911.

Regards

Meg Wrixon
PR Manager
Energetics


Immediate Opportunity
The government left open the opportunity for businesses not yet assessed for compensation, businesses can make new applications.

----------------------
Enabling legislation to be tabled 31 July, 2011.

----------------------

Jonathan Jutsen, Executive Director, ph. 02 9929 3911

Peter Holt, Principal Consultant, ph 02 9929 3911

Nigel Hartnup, Principal Consultant, ph 02 9929 3911

Brian Innes, Principal Consultant, ph 08 9429 6400