Environmental Sustainability

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Congratulations to the State Winner: Environmental Sustainability -

                                                 Port and South Hedland

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Finalists:

Port and South Hedland

Shorebird Survey & Monitoring

shorebirdPort and South Hedland is one of 150 key shorebird areas to be involved in monitoring local birds in order to detect national population trends through BirdLife WA’s Shorebirds 2020 project.  Care for Hedland is managing this initiative.

A training workshop held over two days was run by BirdLife WA and supported by BHP, Pilbara Ports Authority and the Esplanade Hotel.   Ten community members attended, learning about the aim of the 2020 Project and how to identify and count shorebirds in Port and South Hedland.

Monthly shorebird counts have now been established by Care for Hedland and this is the first time formal shorebird counts have been conducted in the Pilbara region.  The information will assist in tracking Lesser Sand Plover numbers and observing migratory patterns of all shorebirds.  There are as many as 20,000 migrating birds visiting Hedland.

Care for Hedland also has plans to host bird watching tours in the town and in remote areas and aims to get schools and community members involved.

Albany

The City of Albany 

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The City of Albany has an outstanding commitment to fostering nature conservation and water and energy efficiencies. Its carbon reduction strategy and action plan is aimed at reducing energy use within City-owned buildings. This includes building and energy audits and investigating renewable energy options including the feasibility of developing an electric highway from Perth to Albany and Albany to Margaret River.

The City continues its adoption of a ‘clean, green and sustainable’ mantra with regard to its vehicle fleet - there are currently six battery and hybrid electric vehicles.

To continue reducing water and energy use and to increase labour efficiencies, the centralised irrigation system has been rolled out in all new developments including the Town Square; Heritage Park – Princess Royal Forts; and the Centennial Park Sporting Precinct which is currently undergoing a $20 million redevelopment. The level of the new playing surfaces is being raised 30cm as a result of new sub-structure with significantly improved drainage. This will allow excess water from storm events to drain back into Yakamia Creek.

Exmouth

Golf Club waste water recycling – Just Add H20

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Waste water recycling and irrigation at Exmouth Golf Club was extended to provide water to an additional eight fairways and greens. Twelve of the eighteen holes are now irrigated.  This project was funded by the Shire of Exmouth in partnership with the Water Corporation ($200,000) and Exmouth Golf Club.

One hundred percent of Exmouth’s waste water is reused and the increased water to the golf course means that 572 sprinklers, 100 solenoids and approximately ten kilometres of irrigation line transfer 290,000 litres of treated waste water per night to the greens.  This project enables Exmouth to cope with increased waste water during the tourist season.

Exmouth Golf Club, which has 103 members, also replaced native buffalo grass on the green with Santa Ana grass stolons.  This project was funded through a $66,000 Department of Sport and Recreation grant, $30,000 low interest Shire loan and $36,000 raised by the golf club's committee.

Greenbushes

Bush block project near school

greenbushesProtection of remnant bushland near Greenbushes Primary School has been a long term project by Greenbushes Tidy Towns Committee, local business and the school. They recognised the value of this small tract of land as a wildlife corridor, habitat for wildlife and a place for locals to learn about their environment.

On Planet Ark Schools’ National Tree Day, the Tidy Towns Committee coordinated plantings at the bush block. Students also assisted the Blackwood Basin Group with the installation of a cockatoo nest in a Marri tree which is being monitored.

The Blackwood Basin Group, Tidy Towns representatives and environmental staff from Talison Lithium and Global Advanced Metals also participated in a macro-invertebrate study of the bush block. Students collected specimens which were then examined and identified. Students also examined macro-invertebrates collected by citizen science volunteers from the Blackwood Basin’s Priority Bittern and Waterbird Biodiversity Project

Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Commitment to energy management and conservation

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Kalgoorlie-Boulder has an ongoing commitment to reducing its energy consumption with a focus on innovative energy efficiency measures. The following projects have been completed over the past year: installation of the 120kW solar photovoltaic system (PV) at the airport; installation of LED lights at the City's administration building, Oasis Recreation Centre and Kalgoorlie Men’s Shed; and finalisation of a major regional LED street lighting upgrade. A wind monitor has been purchased in order to investigate the possibility of installing wind turbines within the region.

State funding has also been secured for a regional PV project for the Goldfields-Esperance region and planning is underway for the Arts Centre to have a 100kW PV system installed within the year. The installation of a solar system at the Arts Centre will mean that the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder will have installed six major systems within the past five years. As a result, the City has saved money and achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Karratha

Karratha Airport Solar Plant

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In September 2015 financial support and agreements were finalised for a solar plant at the Karratha Airport and site setup and construction commenced.  The plant is part financed with $2.3 million from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and financed and managed by the renewable energy company, SunEdison, Inc. 

The City of Karratha, which owns Karratha airport, finalised a 21 year power purchase agreement with SunEdison and expects to generate 30 per cent of energy required for the airport (including tenant usage) from solar. The solar plant is estimated to generate 1,805 megawatt hours annually-enough for 300 houses. An estimated 1,200 tonnes of CO2 per year-the equivalent of taking 260 cars off the road-is also expected be saved.

Complete Power Solutions National (CPS) installed 3,104 solar panels over 16,000 square metres in the airport grounds with the next phase for the panels to feed the airport’s power needs. 

The project uses new cloud predictive technology (CPT), which predicts cloud coverage and changes power over to the grid, so avoiding shut downs. This enables solar to be cheaper by smoothing supply and reducing reliance on battery storage.  CPT is managed at the airport by MPower, who finalised the network connection requirements of Horizon Power (grid suppliers). 

This is Australia’s largest behind the grid solar project, and the first time CPT has been used on a solar PV installation of this size.  

Newman

Greening Australia – Martu farm project

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Martu Farm is managed by the Martu Christian Fellowship which has an all Martu Board. Greening Australia is co-located at Martu Farm and assisted the community by running educational and practical programs, helping to promote the Martu connection to land.

Greening Australia successfully applied for funding from Lotterywest and the Pilbara Development Commission (PDC).  Lotterywest funding ($160,000) was used to purchase a digger and chipper and the PDC funding ($200,000) was used to employ two local Martu.  The Martu participants collected donated green waste and created ‘Martu Mulch’.  The mulch was sold and it is planned to continue this small business and employment opportunity. Volunteer representatives also sold plants and seedlings at the Newman market.

The Martu Ladies Group learnt new skills and worked with Greening Australia and Barefoot Training to improve vegetable beds at the farm.  Barefoot Training also worked with Martu Youth from Newman Senior High School to develop their skills in seeding and potting plants for the Martu Farm Greening Australia Nursery. In addition Martu Farm has started discussions with the Shire to have waste water supplied to the garden beds and nursery.

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