Australia allocates $86 mil for stormwater harversting

Thirteen organisations will share in $86 million to undertake innovative stormwater capture projects to help secure water supplies for Australian cities.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, announced recently the outcome of the first funding round for Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Projects

“In this era of extended drought and the emerging effects of climate change, we need to invest in alternative water supplies and make better use of the water we have available for our cities and towns,” Senator Wong said.

“The combined yield from these projects is estimated to be 9 billion litres per annum.”

The projects will also reduce stormwater pollution in local waterways and help maintain parks and gardens.
The projects will source 100 per cent of their energy needs from renewable sources or fully offset the carbon impact of the project’s operations.

A second round for funding applications has been extended to 10 February 2010

SOURCE: Minister for Climate Change and Water – Australia

Australian Institute of Architects 2009 National Architecture Awards announced


IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – Eugene Regis

Australia’s major new arts, theatre and ‘culture palaces’ from Canberra to Melbourne to New York, and the architects who designed them, are among major winners at this year’s top architecture awards.

The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards are the country’s most prestigious annual architecture prizes. The 2009 awards were presented to the nation’s most inspiring recent architectural projects and architects, at a special ceremony tonight (Thursday 29 October) in Melbourne. A total 32 awards and commendations across 12 categories were awarded to projects in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Topping the list of winners, is the recipient of Australia’s top annual national architecture award – the 2009 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture, awarded this year to the National Portrait Gallery in the ACT by Sydney-based practice Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW). In a double win for the firm, the gallery also received a National Architecture Award for Interior Architecture. The gallery is the most recent in a long list of major arts facilities designed by JPW, including the New Asian Galleries at the AGNSW and the Museum of Sydney, and is their first Sir Zelman Cowen Award.
For images of the other award winners and more go to The Age: Gallery gets gong, but could have been ‘grander’

For the full list of winners
Continue reading Australian Institute of Architects 2009 National Architecture Awards announced

Biz investment down, focus shifts to infrastructure

Queensland Business Review reports

A rebound in business confidence has not yet translated into investment intentions, with Queensland, Australia relying on a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects to drive the economy to more stable ground.

The latest Access Economics-Arup Investment Monitor shows business investment in Queensland was notably worse in the September quarter, while infrastructure remains dominated by water and transport-related projects.

SOURCE:  Queensland Business Review – Biz investment down, focus shifts to infrastructure

City an ‘obese parody’

The Age reports

FEDERAL Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has savaged the Victorian Government’s handling of urban planning in a blistering newsletter to constituents.

Mr Thomson said the State Government’s planning blueprint Melbourne 2030, which aimed to reduce urban sprawl, had failed badly. He attacked State Government plans to increase Melbourne’s boundary by 41,000 hectares.

SOURCE: The Age – City an ‘obese parody’

Call for water savings proposals for Australian towns and small cities

The Australian Government is seeking proposals to develop and implement practical projects to help secure urban water supplies in Australian towns and cities with fewer than 50,000 people.

“Funding under this program will support cities and towns with fewer than 50,000 people to improve the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of their urban water resources while reducing demand on potable supplies.

“Projects that could be supported include recycling and reuse, stormwater capture and reuse schemes, desalination and water sensitive urban design initiatives.”

Funding is capped at 50 per cent of total project costs, with the minimum Australian Government contribution of $250,000. While there is no maximum project size, the Australian Government contribution is capped at $10 million per project.

Projects must be completed by 30 June 2012.

Under an earlier stage of the Government’s National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, more than $100 million is earmarked for projects identified in 2007 election commitments.

Guidelines are available from www.environment.gov.au/water/programs/index.html or by calling 1800 218 478.

SOURCE: Minister for Climate Change and Water – Call for water savings proposals for Australian towns and small cities – 1 October 2009.

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