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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27493" align="alignnone" width="215"] Image courtesy of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.[/caption]

 

Comment - Charles Pauka

Queensland Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles was chuffed to welcome a Deloitte Access Economics report identifying the social, economic and iconic asset value of the Great Barrier Reef at $56 billion.

“This highly anticipated report confirms the outstanding value of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Miles said. “But it could be even higher as the research did not seek to place a financial value on the tremendous biodiversity and the natural wonder value on a global scale.

“It also confirms the Palaszczuk Government’s record investment in improving Great Barrier Reef water quality is justified, with two-thirds of people surveyed willing to pay for its continued existence and protection.”

Which is where the problem lies: the Palaszczuk Government is also dead-keen on the Adani Carmichael mega-coalmine going ahead, which is widely predicted to further wreck the reef.

[caption id="attachment_27494" align="alignnone" width="300"] Is this the handshake that will kill the reef?[/caption]

 

Steven Miles continued: “The Great Barrier Reef is incredibly precious to all Australians, and the international community - and this report confirms that.

 “We have committed $175 million over five years, plus a boost of an additional $100 million for improved reef water quality outcomes.

“This means we are investing more than $63 million in 2017-2018, which is almost double the annual funding provided by previous governments.”

The Minister said the research showed the Great Barrier Reef contributed $6.4 billion in terms of the value added to the economy and over 64,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2015-2016.

64,000 vs. 1,400

So how many jobs would Adani’s supposedly $16.5bn mine contribute? The most optimistic estimates so far have topped out at 10,000 jobs, but more likely in the 1,400-range.

“The government promised to focus on job creation and this report demonstrates the Great Barrier Reef is critical to supporting jobs in Australia.

“The report also rightly identifies an opportunity and need for action on a universal level to protect the reef.

“As the report clearly recognises, protecting the Great Barrier Reef is not only an Australian or international priority – it is a human one.”

I just wonder if Mr Miles has spoken to his Premier about that? Because the two – a healthy coral reef and a mega-coalmine – may not be able to co-exist.

“The Great Barrier Reef and other World Heritage reefs are in grave danger from climate change, mainly driven by the burning of coal. Incredibly, almost half of all shallow water corals in the Great Barrier Reef died in the last two years due to a massive underwater heatwave,” said Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) spokesperson Imogen Zethoven. 

“Yet the Australian [and Queensland] governments appear hell-bent on making the problem worse by pushing ahead with Adani’s monstrous coal mine, talking up a coal-fired power station next to the Great Barrier Reef.

“The [two governments are] not only placing our Great Barrier Reef and the 70,000 jobs that depend on it at grave risk: [they are] endangering the future of World Heritage coral reefs around the world. These places are the crown jewels of our global ocean. They belong to the world community.

“In the face of so much loss of coral over the last three years, it defies belief that [they are] ignoring this global tragedy," Ms Zethoven said.

[caption id="attachment_27495" align="alignnone" width="300"] Sediment-laden water flowed from Adani's Abbot Point facility into the Caley Valley wetland recently.[/caption]
                    [post_title] => Coal or coral? The Queensland Government seems undecided
                    [post_excerpt] => The Great Barrier Reef is worth $56bn, according to Deloitte Access Economics. How does Adani's Carmichael coalmine fit into it?
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                    [post_content] => 

Stinky wheelie bins, noisy garbage trucks and scavenging rodents will never plague Maroochydore’s new city centre on the Sunshine Coast.

Rather than employing a fleet of wheelie bins and rubbish trucks, Sunshine Coast Council will suck rubbish from waste inlets in the walls of apartments and commercial buildings at speeds of up to 70kmh through a 6.5 kilometre system of underground vacuum pipes, lurking beneath Australia’s newest, 53-hectare city.

Three colour-coded waste inlets will deal with general waste, recyclables and organics and each will be compartmentalised and sealed underground until the vacuum pump gets switched on to suck it into the central waste facility, probably twice daily. There will also be waste inlets above ground in public areas which will look a bit like daleks.

The waste is then put into sealed compactors and once or twice a week the council receives a message indicating the compactor is full and the waste needs to be collected.

The council’s Director of Infrastructure Services Andrew Ryan said the Swedish system, pioneered in 1965, was already popular in the Northern Hemisphere and would be the first one installed in Australia.

He said the process functioned similarly to sewerage and water systems.

The system will cost $21 million to install but Mr Ryan said costs would be recouped from CBD occupants over the life of the project, around 25 to 30 years.

The council will build the central waste collection centre and charge per property to cover operational and collection costs.

“One of the things we really liked about this system is they work really well in large-scale, medium density masterplan communities [like Maroochydore], particularly where the developer has a long-term interest in the precinct,” Mr Ryan said.

“The most obvious advantages are you have a public realm that doesn’t have garbage trucks trundling up and down the street in the early morning or at night. There’s no noise, no smell and no vermin.

“Buildings can have active frontages because you’re just dealing with a pipe [not bins] and you save on labour costs.”

Mr Ryan said Sydney and Melbourne had a good look at the system but it was difficult for the business case to stack up because of the cost of sinking pipes underground in an already established city centre, although he said Barcelona and Singapore had both done retrofits.

The system was most suited to medium to high density masterplan communities of between 3000 to 5000 people or a resort-style development where five or six buildings were located together.

But it is not just about waste collection. At the same time, the council will install a high-speed fibre optic network as part of its smart cities’ project. This will provide free Wi-Fi hotspots, movement sensors, smart signs and lighting.

The council is not hanging about. The pipes should be in the ground within three months and the central collection centre should be operational by December 2018.
                    [post_title] => Council dumps wheelie bins for whizz-bang underground waste system
                    [post_excerpt] => Maroochydore in Australian first.
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                    [post_content] => 

 

NSW councils tentative on housing affordability package 

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has welcomed NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s ‘promising ideas’ in the state’s new housing affordability package but said the reforms were ‘somewhat light on detail’.

The reforms include stamp duty concessions for first home buyers, changes to the first home buyer’s grant, higher taxes on foreign investors and accelerating council-led rezonings and development application approvals.

"LGNSW congratulates the government on its efforts to do what it can to support housing affordability, and there's nothing we'd like more to do than to come out and praise their efforts,” LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said.

"Unfortunately until there is more detailed information available it really seems to be a case of the devil will lie in the detail."

Mr Rhoades said the sector welcomed many components of the package, including the ‘very positive’ move to lift the cap on development contributions to ensure new homes had the necessary infrastructure to support them, like footpaths, roads and parks.

He also cautiously welcomed the announcement of funding of up to $2.5 million for ‘growth priority councils’ to help councils update their Local Environment Plans quicker.

"It's great news that these ten to 15 councils will be supported to plan for future growth, but we are a little concerned at the suggestion that councils should accelerate the rezoning of land," Mr Rhoades said.

 "Rezoning needs good strategic planning at a local level, and it's important that we don't give this up in the pursuit of speed at all costs.”

He said it was unclear whether the government’s new guidelines around protecting the local character of communities would have much force.

However, Mr Rhoades said councils were pleased the government had not moved straight to mandatory independent planning panels for deciding larger development applications.

"These panels work very effectively for some councils, but other councils don't see the need for them - it really needs to be a matter of local choice.”

 

Digital marketplace for smart cities

Local councils can now use the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Digital Marketplace platform to collaborate on smart city projects, including smart lighting, rubbish collection and infrastructure modelling.

The new functionality, which is expected to become permanent, was introduced to help councils find suppliers for the innovative products and services they need to deliver smart city ideas.

“There is a great appetite for innovation within local councils, who are at the forefront of smart city initiatives,” Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said.

“Already 25 per cent of registered buyers on the Digital Marketplace are local government and there are more than 400 sellers who can provide the digital expertise they need to transform their communities.”

There are already some exciting projects up on the Digital Marketplace, such as Sunshine Coast’s underground waste collection project and Ipswich Council’s 5D data modelling, which brings together streams of data to build a five-dimensional view of the city’s infrastructure.

The Marketplace is supporting the federal government’s Smart Cities Plan and complements the $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Applications for the first round of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program close on 30 June 2017. 


Eight Sydney councils will offer residents free energy advice 

Eight Sydney councils will offer free energy advice to residents through the Our Energy Future partnership, going live on World Environment Day, Monday 5 June.

Eight councils are working with Our Energy Future: Inner West, Bayside, City of Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown City, Georges River, City of Parramatta, Randwick City, and City of Sydney.

Our Energy Future (formerly Our Solar Future) will involve an energy advice website, phone line and free, no-obligation quotes on solar and assessment services.

Users can find information such as trusted solar and storage battery retailers and installers and tips on improving the energy efficiency of their homes and workplaces.

For a discounted rate, Our Energy Future experts can also conduct comprehensive energy assessments to offer more tailored advice.  

Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) President Councillor Sally Betts said she was excited about the launch.

“We’re delighted that Our Energy Future and SSROC have been able to come together with eight councils to deliver financial savings to our local residents,” she said.

Our Energy Future is coordinated by Positive Charge, a not-for-profit social enterprise.

“Our organisation has its foundations in working with local government to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewable and energy efficiency technologies,” said Manager Positive Charge Kate Nicolazzo.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with SSROC to bring this award-winning service to Sydney-region residents,” she said.

SSROC General Manager Namoi Dougall said, “Our Energy Future is a key element of SSROC’s Renewable Energy Master Plan, and will be run by Positive Charge for a 15-month pilot.”
                    [post_title] => Around the councils: Digital Marketplace open for smart cities; Response to NSW housing reforms
                    [post_excerpt] => And eight Sydney council's energy efficiency push. 
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                    [post_content] =>   
Bendigo Council's Presentation and Assets Director Craig Lloyd with Clean Cube.
Pic: supplied. 

 

A solar waste compactor that functions with an ordinary household wheelie bin will be trialled by a Victorian council keen to increase bin capacity, cut costs and reduce the number of rubbish collections the council makes.

 The City of Greater Bendigo Council is currently trialling Clean Cube, a smart waste compactor which runs on renewable solar energy and tells you when it is full.

The Clean Cube was developed by Korean start-up company Ecube and it can hold a 120 or 240 litre bin.  Bendigo Council’s Australian supplier is Smart City Solutions.

City of Greater Bendigo Presentation and Assets Director Craig Lloyd said it could help reduce the cost of waste collection.

“By reducing the frequency of collections there is the potential to reduce the costs and labour associated with providing waste collection services to public areas by up to 80 per cent,” Mr Lloyd said. “It’s important to look at the new technology that exists to see if it’s viable for our community.”

He said the Clean Cube used smart technology and multiple sensors to measure the bin’s fill level in real time.

“The sensors trigger the automatic compaction of waste inside the bin and by doing this the capacity of the bin is increased by up to eight times meaning it doesn’t have to be emptied as often,” Mr Lloyd said.

“However when it is full, the Clean Cube electronically notifies the city’s waste collection staff that it needs to be emptied.”

Mr Lloyd said the compactor’s smart technology also included safety features that could detect sudden temperature rises, such as a fire in the bin. 

Using the compactor bins at events would also reduce overflowing and litter.

Ecube Labs’ online marketing manager, Matti Juutinen, told IoTAustralia in June last year that the cube can hold up to eight times more rubbish than traditional bins.

“We are the only company in the industry to offer an ultrasonic fill-level sensor (with 10 years battery life) and a smart solar-powered waste compacting bin on a single real-time monitoring platform that generates optimised schedules and routes based on fill-level forecasting,” Mr Juutinen said.

He said the compactor could go for two to three weeks without sunlight once fully charged. Charging it takes three to four days if there has been at least four hours of sunlight on each day.

The Clean Cube is being trialled at Lake Weeroona, the city’s most popular recreation area, until June 13.
                    [post_title] => Korean solar waste compactor could slash councils' rubbish collection costs
                    [post_excerpt] => Victorian council trials Clean Cube.
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                    [post_content] => 

 

Local Government Excellence Awards

Local Government Professionals NSW revealed the winners of its Oscars for local councils earlier this month. Full list below.

 President LG Professionals, NSW Barry Smith said the awards recognised and showcased the pinnacle of excellence in the local government sector in NSW and significant achievements by NSW councils over the past year as well as the outstanding professional development achievements of our members.

“Local government works hard for the communities in New South Wales, and we were thrilled that the Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister joined us in acknowledging the sector’s professionalism and dedication," Mr Smith said. 

 

Excellence in Innovative Leadership and Management

Recognising the use of superior management and leadership skills to achieve outstanding benefits for the organisation and/or for the community.   Winner: Tweed Shire Council Highly Commended: Lachlan Shire Council, City of Ryde Council Community Partnerships and Collaboration Recognising genuine and effective partnerships and collaborations that have resulted in better outcomes for council, as well as initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to working with and/or in the community to achieve positive outcomes.   Population over 15,000 Winner: Port Stephens Council Highly Commended: Blacktown City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council   Population under 15,000 Winner: Warrumbungle Shire Council Excellence in Local Economic Contribution Recognising innovation in leadership and management for a project/initiative that has enhanced the economic wellbeing of their local government area and increased the value proposition to ratepayers and residents, in parts or all, of their city, town, district or region.   Winner: Liverpool City Council Highly Commended: Lake Macquarie City Council Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Recognising dedication to sustainability as evidenced by the implementation of corporate process improvements, projects or initiatives that demonstrate significant real or potential benefit to the environment.   Population over 100,000 Winner: Campbelltown City Council Highly Commended: Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Central Coast Council   Population under 100,000 Winner: City of Canada Bay Council Highly Commended: Byron Shire Council  

Special Project Initiative

Recognising leadership where an individual, team or council has developed a concept or practice that significantly improves the business in which they work, development of processes or practices that has had a major impact on the organisation or its customers. Population over 15,000 Winner: Lake Macquarie City Council Highly Commended: Central Coast Council, North Sydney Council   Population under 15,000 Winner: Hunter’s Hill Council  

Excellence in Community Development and Services

Recognising leadership in community services as evidenced by way of corporate process improvements, a particular project initiative, innovation in management and leadership practices or demonstrated practicality and resourcefulness. Winner: Canterbury-Bankstown Council Highly Commended: Cumberland Council

Excellence in Asset Management and Infrastructure Initiatives

Recognising excellence in Asset Management as evidenced by the implementation of corporate process improvements, projects or initiatives that demonstrate significant real or potential benefit in asset management. Winner: Campbelltown City Council Highly Commended: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Wentworth Shire council

Excellence in Risk Management

Recognising the community and/or Council benefits (strategic, operational or financial) delivered through the identification, control and mitigation of risks within a council’s unique risk profile. Winner: Wollongong City Council Highly Commended: City of Canada Bay Council

Excellence in Creative Communities

Recognising excellence in bring together communities through art and cultural creative projects. Population over 15,000 Winner: Campbelltown City Council Highly Commended: Bega Valley Shire Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council   Population under 15,000 Winner: Narrabri Shire Council  

Excellence in Operational and Management Effectiveness

The Excellence in Operational and Management Effectiveness Award is open to all NSW councils who have participated in the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program. Winner: Willoughby City Council Dux of the Governance Intensive Course The Governance in Local Government Intensive Course has been developed to enhance the governance knowledge and skills of professionals working in the local government sector. Dux: Christine Priest, Wagga Wagga City Council Dux of the Finance Intensive Course Covering all aspects of local government finance this one week intensive residential course will benefit new finance managers, senior accounting and accounting officers or anyone with a financial background wishing to expand their knowledge of local government finance. Dux: Tracy Wilde, Sutherland Shire Council     NSW Environmental Excellence Awards Nominations are open for the NSW Environmental Excellence Awards, which celebrate councils and council staff who have done outstanding environmental work in the state. Local Government NSW President Keith Rhoades said local government was the closest level of government to communities and had the most direct influence on local environments. "But what is often forgotten is that local government is one of the biggest sectors in the NSW economy,” Mr Rhoades said. "Councils are responsible for maintaining and upgrading $142 billion in infrastructure and land assets, including parks, reserves, roads, community facilities and water and sewerage systems. He said the sector employed more than 50,000 people and injected $11 billion into the state's economy every year. "Combine that economic power with a commitment to environmental sustainability and best practice, and you have a sector making a very real contribution to the environment in NSW." There are 15 award categories, including the prestigious Local Sustainability Award for overall council performance and the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability awarded to an individual. They will be announced on October 11 at the University of Technology Sydney and they cover projects and programs from January 2016 to May 2017. The prize for overall winner of the Local Sustainability Award is an overseas study tour or a professional development program for staff, valued at $10,000.  Individual councils, county councils and regional council groupings are all eligible to enter, and compete against similarly sized councils in one of three levels: populations of less than 30,000; between 30,000 and 70,000; and more than 70,000.  Nomination applications close on 31 May, with further details available on LGNSW's website National Reconciliation Week funding Councils have until the end of this week to apply for federal government funding to support celebrations for National Reconciliation Week, which runs from May 27 to June 3. Celebrations are particularly poignant this year with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo High Court decision. The funding round closes on Friday 21 April 2017. President of the Australian Local Government Association, David O’Loughlin said councils can use the funding to partner with a local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community organisation to mark these two historic events through activities that honour and respect their significance to all Australians. “It is a great compliment to the sector that the Turnbull Government has chosen local councils as partners in celebrating this national milestone,” Mr O’Loughlin said. “I would hate to see any council miss out so I urge all councils to submit applications for this funding via the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.” Bill Shorten to address local councils Labor leader Bill Shorten will address this year’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) on Tuesday 20 June in Canberra. This week, the Opposition came out in support of ALGA’s call to end the freeze on Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) indexation agreeing that local government funding has been under pressure following the 2014-15 freeze. The party called on the Government to rule out any extension of the FAGs indexation freeze beyond 30 June 2017.   The NGA is the peak annual event for local government, attracting in excess of 800 Mayors and Councillors each year. Themed Building Tomorrow’s Communities, this year’s NGA will be held from 18 - 21 June. [post_title] => Around the councils [post_excerpt] => Full list of NSW Local Government Excellence Award winners. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => around-the-councils [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-18 14:07:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-18 04:07:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26910 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26720 [post_author] => 667 [post_date] => 2017-03-31 11:36:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-31 00:36:41 [post_content] => Accurate tree canopy maps enable targeted management strategies in Canberra.   In the leafy streets of a city like Canberra, a strong understanding of natural resources will prove invaluable for overcoming the challenges of climate change, sustainability and community expectations. Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) recently engaged 1Spatial to analyse and extract aerial laser scanning data to accelerate the process of establishing baseline data for Canberra’s urban tree canopy coverage. The resulting case study features TCCS and Safe Software’s FME custom workflow for canopy mapping. Using the method established, informative and current data sets can now be used to inform management strategies by overlaying age, density and condition data and proposing future canopy density targets. The establishment of current baseline data for Canberra’s urban tree canopy coverage was essential to the program. In this respect, two data sets were available: a 2010 ground-based audit of trees in streets, verge areas, open spaces and parks; and new aerial laser scanning LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data for the majority of urban areas across Canberra. Read more here.   This story first appeared in Spatial Source.  [post_title] => Canberra tree survey cultivates a greener outlook [post_excerpt] => Establishing baseline data for Canberra’s urban tree canopy. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26720 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-31 11:38:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-31 00:38:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26720 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26287 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-02-20 12:44:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-20 01:44:03 [post_content] => Cooler streets: Concord West Sustainable Village. Pic: Canada Bay Council.     Cooler high tech streets in Canada Bay Canada Bay Council, in Sydney’s inner west, has breathed new life into one of its local shopping strips by cooling down its roads by eight degrees. The council realised that businesses were suffering because they were in full sun all day so it turned down the heat using four innovative products: Ascrete (white asphalt); TonerPave, which uses the toner from recycled printer cartridges, reclaimed asphalt pavement and warm mix, which has lower construction temperatures, takes less energy to make and has lower emissions. The results were excellent. The strip [Victoria Street], which was renamed Concord West Sustainable Village, became busier and peak visiting time was extended from 1pm to 2pm. The council’s project had social as well as economic aims: to get locals leaving their cars at home and to make the shopping strip a more communal place to be for residents. A key part of the early planning process was community engagement. The usual complaints prompted by a new road did not occur. It was so successful that residents were on board and happy with the results.   Learner drivers get free graded route maps to help them pass driving test Ku-ring-gai Council will offer learner drivers free ready-made route maps to help them build up experience and confidence before they sit their driving test. The council has developed nine separate driving routes graded according to the degree of difficulty and the required level of experience needed to pass the provisional driving test. Routes include the approximate journey time, skills to practice such as merging and advice on changing lanes and sharing the road with larger vehicles. The maps also include features for novice drivers to be aware of, such as school zones, pedestrian crossings and roads with high traffic volumes. All the nine routes are downloadable via the Council’s website at www.kmc.nsw.gov.au or a free printed booklet of the maps can be requested by phoning 9424 0000. Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the maps had been developed by the council’s road safety officer in cooperation with the Roads and Maritime Service. “Teaching someone to drive is a responsible and occasionally stressful experience, given the number of hours that learner drivers have to log before they can attempt a driving test,” Ms Anderson said. “Not so long ago learner drivers could use shopping centre car parks and quiet back roads to gain valuable experience. But with Sydney’s roads becoming so much busier it’s far more important to be well prepared before you go out on the road. “These prepared maps take much of the stress out of working out where to go with your learner driver.”   Council’s beach cleaning pays off Central Coast Council has improved its water quality ratings and made its beaches cleaner using a raft of measures. The council put gross pollutant traps at key locations, more bins at popular dog walking spots and asked crews to clean Macmasters Beach and Pearl Beach Rockpool four times a year. The council also invested $30 million on improving major sewerage transfer systems that service Forresters Beach, Terrigal, Avoca, North Avoca and Kincumber. Central Coast Council plans to invest a further $36 million on improving the sewerage system, sewage pumping stations and sewage treatment plants throughout the former Gosford Local Government Area. The council manages and tests 44 swimming sites across the region, including beaches, lagoons, lakes and baths, in collaboration with the Office of Environment and Heritage. Of all the sites, 28 returned very good or good water quality ratings in the Office of Environment and Heritage’s annual BeachWatch reports. The results of a recent report for five beach swimming areas – Terrigal Lagoon, Copacabana Beach, Pearl Beach Bath, Ocean Beach and Lighthouse Beach - have improved as a result of Central Coast Council’s management. [post_title] => Around the councils: Cooling streets, cleaning up beaches [post_excerpt] => Roads eight degrees cooler using white asphalt. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => around-councils-cooling-streets-cleaning-beaches [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-21 12:41:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-21 01:41:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26287 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26273 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-02-17 11:09:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-17 00:09:19 [post_content] =>       The NSW Container Deposit scheme (CDS) will be delayed by five months to give local councils and industry and environment groups longer to prepare. NSW Environment and Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said the CDS would be rolled out from December 1, 2017 rather than from July, as originally planned. It also means the cash for cans program will have broader coverage across the state and take in more rural and regional areas. Ms Upton said groups such as Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, as well as drinks industry stakeholders had asked for an extension. “This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right,” Ms Upton said. Under the scheme, NSW residents can return most empty drink containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points in return for a 10-cent refund. The aim is to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year and ease the burden on local councils.   Local Government NSW President Keith Rhoades called it ‘an eminently sensible decision’. "Councils spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year picking up litter, and would much prefer to be investing this money in other community services,” Mr Rhoades said.  "The scheme has the potential to cut litter in NSW by up to 43 per cent, but the complexity of the collection and refund processes required have become increasingly clear.” He said the five-month extension would make it easier to ensure the supporting infrastructure and resources were in place before the scheme began, as well as rolling it out to other local government areas. Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the Alliance fought hard for the container deposit scheme and wanted to ensure it would work efficiently for the community and business to maximise the environmental benefits. “The Alliance understood that getting the container deposit scheme up and running was a very complicated process. It’s better to delay the implementation by a few months, so the scheme is ready from day one,” Mr Angel said. Industry groups were also pleased about the delay. Tanya Barden, Director of Economics and Sustainability Australian Food and Grocery Council, said the drinks industry supported an efficient and effective container deposit scheme in NSW. “We’re pleased that the NSW Government has listened to industry and environmental groups’ views about the complexity of introducing such as scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Ms Barden said. The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW container deposit scheme. Ms Upton said container deposit schemes operate in more than 40 jurisdictions around the world and are a proven and efficient way to recover litter and increase recycling of beverage containers. [post_title] => NSW container deposit scheme delayed until December [post_excerpt] => Move welcomed by councils. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26273 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 10:46:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 00:46:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26213 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-02-09 16:51:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-09 05:51:28 [post_content] =>   by Ben Hagemann  With a new Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) looming in New South Wales, the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has made a last ditch plea to the state government to reconsider the timeframe of the scheme rollout. Earlier this year AACS CEO Jeff Rogut highlighted a lack of detail about the specifics of the scheme as a reason for delaying the rollout, and now says that despite repeated efforts to speak to politicians about the issue, none have “even had the decency to respond”.   Read more here. This story first appeared in C&I Week.  [post_title] => Delay NSW cash for cans scheme, say convenience stores [post_excerpt] => Contracts too rushed. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-container-deposit-scheme-soon-say-convenience-stores [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-19 10:52:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-19 00:52:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26213 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25518 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-11-08 15:18:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-08 04:18:42 [post_content] => light-years-ahead2_opt Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council's Light Years Ahead program     NSW local government environment stars have been busy over the past year, with projects encompassing a broad range of areas, including sustainable procurement; climate change action; asbestos management; communication, education and empowerment; roadside management and water conservation. The best of the best will be honoured in the annual Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards later this month. The top two awards are for overall council performance and another celebrating the achievements of an individual council officer or councillor who has been a beacon to sustainability. Please see below for a full list of finalists. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 29 November 2016 at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, Sydney.   2016 Finalists Asbestos Management Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils - Western Sydney Asbestos Answers Facebook campaign Climate Change Action Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Holroyd, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith Councils - Light years ahead Blacktown City Council - Cool streets Hunter & Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy- Regional heatwave resilience project Penrith City Council - Cooling the city   Communication, Education and Empowerment   Leichhardt Municipal Council (Inner West Council) - On tour: sustainable food, fashion and fun! MIDWASTE - Frugal forest Rockdale City Council (Bayside Council) - Engaging the community: landing lights wetland restoration Waverley Council - Second Nature 'I'm in' community engagement campaign   frugal-forest_opt MIDWASTE'S Frugal Forest  Community Sharps Management City of Ryde Council – Sharps Disposal Invasive Species Management    Bankstown City Council (City of Canterbury-Bankstown) - Feral rabbit management in urban Bankstown Camden Council - Management of Australian white ibis at Lake Annan, Mount Annan Clarence Valley Council - Use community based social marketing for effective tropical soda apple management Palerang Council (Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council) - Weed identification and mapping from high resolution aerial photography   [caption id="attachment_25522" align="alignnone" width="500"]"Young Mountain Cottontail rabbit Sylvilagus nuttallii resting in grass. Boulder, Colorado, 2009." Former Bankstown Council has won praise for its management of feral rabbits.[/caption]   Natural Environment Policies, Planning and Decision Making     Palerang Council (Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council) - Remote pilot aircraft aerial imaging trial Sydney Peri Urban Network of Councils - Sydney food futures project   Natural Environment Protection & Enhancement: On-Ground Works Bankstown City Council (City of Canterbury-Bankstown) - Habitat box program Bathurst Regional Council - Restoring regent honeyeater habitat in the Bathurst region Blue Mountains City Council - Leura Falls catchment improvement project Orange City Council - Gosling Creek Reserve precinct floating island and hollows habitat Parkes Shire Council - PAC Park urban wetland construction Wagga Wagga City Council - Marrambidya Wetland Roadside Environmental Management    Ballina Shire Council - Chickiba Roadside Wetlands restoration project Lachlan Shire Council - Roadside corridor assessment and management guidelines Moree Plains Shire Council - Roadside environmental management plan Sustainable Procurement   Marrickville Council (Inner West Council) - Embedding sustainability into 'value for money'   marrickville-council-procurement_opt Former Marrickville Council's sustainable procurement campaign won plaudits   Resource Recovery    Broken Hill City Council - Increasing resource recovery for Broken Hill Campbelltown City Council - Annual free recyclables drop-off day     Waste Avoidance and Reuse    Lismore City Council - Lismore revolve shop and recycled market Parramatta City Council – The R3 program: resource, rescue and reuse Waste Education and Communication    Lachlan Shire Council - Lachlan Shire waste services rationalisation Warringah Council (Northern Beaches Council) - The Sort it Out campaign     Water Conservation Ballina Shire Council - Pressure and leakage management plan [caption id="attachment_25524" align="alignnone" width="460"]High pressure pipe leaking Finalist: Ballina Shire Council's Pressure and Leak Management Plan[/caption]     Local Sustainability Ballina Shire Council – Sustainability: serving the community of today whilst preparing for the challenges of tomorrow Camden Council - Sustainable Camden Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability Winner to be announced at the Awards on Tuesday 29 November     [post_title] => Full list of finalists: NSW local government environment stars [post_excerpt] => Sharing good ideas. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => full-list-finalists-nsw-local-government-environment-stars [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-11 10:15:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-10 23:15:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25518 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25380 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-10-25 11:33:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-25 00:33:42 [post_content] => panama High rises and hotel buildings in Punta Pacifica, Panama City, Panama. Photo: Gerardo Pesantez/World Bank   By Anthony Wallace

An urban environment expert at The Australian National University (ANU) is among leading scientists calling for a greater say on a new international plan for cities of the future, ahead of a major United Nations conference currently being held. Professor Xuemei Bai from ANU is one of the scientific leaders of the Urban Knowledge Action Network to be launched at the UN Habitat III conference in Ecuador. Cities already account for about 75 per cent of global energy use and contribute an equivalent share of greenhouse gas emissions.” Delegates from the world over are currently in Quito to adopt a new global framework that will guide sustainable urban development for the next 20 years – the New Urban Agenda (NUA). “Unfortunately science didn’t play a major role in the drafting of the NUA,” said Professor Bai from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.   Read more here. This story first appeared in Spatial Source magazine. [post_title] => Urban experts call for smarter approach to cities [post_excerpt] => New urban agenda. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => urban-experts-call-smarter-approach-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-28 11:35:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-28 00:35:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25380 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24861 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-09-01 05:00:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-31 19:00:45 [post_content] =>  Okegawa-centrale-Alexis_opt  ©Ciel&Terre International picture     Australia’s first council-operated, community-funded solar farm will be operating beside a sewage treatment plant in Northern NSW by Christmas. Lismore City Council is collaborating with Farming the Sun, a community solar energy initiative, and borrowing the money from around 40 - mostly local - community investors to build two 100kw solar plants on council land. One will float on a settling pond at East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant, the other will be on the rooftop of Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre. The pontoon at the East Lismore plant will be only the second floating solar system in Australia, the other being at a wastewater treatment facility owned by Northern Areas Council in Jamestown, South Australia. The council awarded tenders for the Lismore Community Solar project on August 3. Suntrix Commercial will design and construct the floating system, which is expected to produce around 178MWh of electricity a year and slash the council’s annual electricity bill by $24,000 and the Rainbow Power Company will build the other, which is forecast to produce around 138MWh of electricity and save $18,000 a year in bills. Environmental Strategies Officer at Lismore City Council, Sharyn Hunnisett explains that the idea for a floating solar plant was borne out of necessity, because the council had run out of space on the land. The location also works brilliantly because the plant is the council’s heaviest electricity consumer. “We couldn’t fit a solar system on any of the plant space,” Hunnisett says. “There’s a big expanse of water out the back and we went “ha! Let’s use that”. It means that the electricity will be used on site and you can extend the system in the future because the system is only a very small portion of the space.” Appealing to investors to come on board has generated much enthusiasm for the project, she says. “There has been so much interest, a really good response. When the investment launched last year it had well over 100 people registering their interest and we only needed 40. People really want it to happen.” Hunnisett said the loan would be paid back to shareholders in seven years at 5.5 per cent interest. The council will start to make its money back in ten years. “What’s great about the project is that the council has recognised it’s more than just a solar system. It’s a community energy project. It’s a small price to pay for leadership in sustainability.” The council eventually hopes to generate most of the power used by the sewage treatment plant. No mean feat when you consider that the plant’s electricity bill weighs in at a massive $230,000 a year. Lismore City Council, which has committed to being self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2023, is keen to share its experiences and expertise of community renewable energy projects with other councils and businesses who may wish to replicate the project. Farming the Sun is intending to hold workshops for other councils and businesses to show them how to drive the business model used. [post_title] => Community funds floating solar panels at sewage plant [post_excerpt] => Lismore leads the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => community-funds-floating-solar-panels-sewage-plant [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-01 11:55:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-01 01:55:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24861 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24794 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-26 11:19:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-26 01:19:47 [post_content] =>  Forte_opt  Lendlease's Forte, Melbourne Docklands.    From homes that can be unfolded and assembled without machinery to carbon positive modular houses and contemporary beach shacks, the prefab market in Australia is looking exciting, sustainable and beautiful. While multi-storey buildings have usually grabbed less attention in the prefab space, attention to larger housing solutions is gathering momentum. Now the University of Sydney and construction heavyweight Lendlease have been awarded a $3 million Commonwealth government grant to research pre-fabricated multi-storey housing. The five-year industry-led project, bankrolled by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) program, will design and build prototype housing using high-tech renewable materials and use cutting edge manufacturing methods. Prefab buildings are not a new idea. The Roman’s used some prefabricated elements to build parts of their forts from around AD43 when they conquered Britain and prefab housing was transported to the British colonies from the first quarter of the 17th century, including Australia. Prefab housing is probably most famously linked to providing homes and employment for soldiers returning after World Wars and keeping up with the baby boom. It is not a new area for Lendlease either. The company already has experience in the prefabricating high-rise buildings and has a Western Sydney factory where it manufactures the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) used in prefabs as part of its DesignMake business. The company designed and built the world’s tallest prefabricated timber building, Forte, in 2013. The 32.17m tall building (10 storeys) in Melbourne Docklands is made from CLT. It has a five green star as built rating and includes sustainability features, including rainwater tanks, car sharing and energy efficient lighting and appliances. It also sold well and was occupied quickly, a result which Lendlease will no doubt be eager to replicate in its new project. Prefabrication is also essential to Lendlease’s gateway project at Barangaroo, where it will design and build a six-storey commercial building totally from timber - called International House Sydney. The new research project with Sydney University deepens its commitment to prefab buildings and sustainability. Chief Executive Officer, Lendlease Property, Kylie Rampa, said the demand for affordable and innovative housing meant the building industry had to come up with imaginative, new housing solutions. “We aim to bring to market an innovative housing system that is design-led, which will help address affordability issues, while developing advanced manufacturing technologies and techniques for future housing construction,” Rampa said. Associate Professor Mathew Aitchison at Sydney University’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning said the project was a great opportunity to spearhead innovation in  the residential construction market, which had remained largely static in the last 100 years. “We will focus on developing multi-storey prototype houses that can be adapted for manufacture and customised project to project,” Prof Aitchison said. “At the same time, we are looking at ways to reduce risk and waste, while increasing the efficiency, safety, quality, sustainability and diversity of market-ready housing. “Despite major advances in other manufacturing sectors, innovation in residential construction is lagging,” Prof Aitchison said. “This project seeks to drive efficiency and safety benefits and boost Australia’s competitiveness internationally, where we have seen a notable increase in advanced manufacturing in building over the past decade.” The aim is to develop a range of solutions for the multi-storey housing market that answer the twin calls of increasing urban density and the demands of the residential market. Rampa said the new jobs, skills and technologies would be created through the project, which would also open up export opportunities “for prefabricated housing to meet the sophisticated needs of homebuyers and builders.” The research project brings together industry leaders in Australian housing and construction including Lendlease and the University of Sydney’s Innovation in Applied Design Lab, located in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning. [post_title] => Federal government millions for prefabricated multi-storey housing [post_excerpt] => Sydney Uni and Lendlease team up. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => federal-government-millions-prefabricated-multi-storey-housing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-26 11:58:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-26 01:58:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24794 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24226 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-06-22 16:47:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-22 06:47:02 [post_content] => Sydney Park water reuse 1_opt A local council project using millions of litres of treated stormwater runoff to keep its parks green and wetlands thriving has scooped a 2016 Good Design Award. City of Sydney Council’s water re-use project harvests and treats up to 850 million litres of stormwater from Newtown’s Munni Street catchment and uses it to irrigate Sydney Park, a 44-hectare area from The stormwater is captured, stored and then treated to deliver a new sustainable water supply to the wetlands and Sydney Park. There is also potential for other water users across the local area to access the clean water, including industry. The council has even managed to turn the project into a waterscape feature. Visitors are wowed by the elevated terracotta pipes that funnel the cleansed water into Sydney Park’s main pond. The project won the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences category in the Good Design Awards – a prize given to products that have the potential to make a significant improvement to the quality of health, wellbeing or the environment. Sydney Mayor Clover Moore said it was the City’s biggest environmental project to date and that it “brought together design, science and sustainability to create a significant new piece of green infrastructure.” “It not only improves overall water quality and habitat, it also educates residents and visitors on the importance of water management by allowing park visitors to connect to the concept of water capture and cleansing in a beautiful setting,” Ms Moore said. Director of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Dolla Merrillees, called the Sydney Park water re-use development a ground breaking project. “We have selected a project which highlights important contemporary issues such as sustainability and social innovation, and addresses the increasingly critical issue of our natural resources,” Ms Merrillees said. “This community-focused project illustrates how Australian designers are successfully responding to ‘real world’ problems, by planning our future cities and urban environment with a sense of social responsibility and purpose.” The project was a collaboration between Sydney firms Turf Design Studio, Environmental Partnership, Alluvium, Dragonfly and Turpin+Crawford Studio, who completed the two year project in October 2015. The project plans will be displayed in the Success and Innovation gallery at the Museum of Applied Arts and Science at Ultimo. [post_title] => Water recycling project wins Good Design Award [post_excerpt] => Stormwater reused for parks and wetlands. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => water-recycling-project-wins-good-design-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-28 10:28:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-28 00:28:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24226 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27492 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-28 17:04:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-28 07:04:46 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27493" align="alignnone" width="215"] Image courtesy of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.[/caption]   Comment - Charles Pauka Queensland Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles was chuffed to welcome a Deloitte Access Economics report identifying the social, economic and iconic asset value of the Great Barrier Reef at $56 billion. “This highly anticipated report confirms the outstanding value of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Miles said. “But it could be even higher as the research did not seek to place a financial value on the tremendous biodiversity and the natural wonder value on a global scale. “It also confirms the Palaszczuk Government’s record investment in improving Great Barrier Reef water quality is justified, with two-thirds of people surveyed willing to pay for its continued existence and protection.” Which is where the problem lies: the Palaszczuk Government is also dead-keen on the Adani Carmichael mega-coalmine going ahead, which is widely predicted to further wreck the reef. [caption id="attachment_27494" align="alignnone" width="300"] Is this the handshake that will kill the reef?[/caption]   Steven Miles continued: “The Great Barrier Reef is incredibly precious to all Australians, and the international community - and this report confirms that.  “We have committed $175 million over five years, plus a boost of an additional $100 million for improved reef water quality outcomes. “This means we are investing more than $63 million in 2017-2018, which is almost double the annual funding provided by previous governments.” The Minister said the research showed the Great Barrier Reef contributed $6.4 billion in terms of the value added to the economy and over 64,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2015-2016. 64,000 vs. 1,400 So how many jobs would Adani’s supposedly $16.5bn mine contribute? The most optimistic estimates so far have topped out at 10,000 jobs, but more likely in the 1,400-range. “The government promised to focus on job creation and this report demonstrates the Great Barrier Reef is critical to supporting jobs in Australia. “The report also rightly identifies an opportunity and need for action on a universal level to protect the reef. “As the report clearly recognises, protecting the Great Barrier Reef is not only an Australian or international priority – it is a human one.” I just wonder if Mr Miles has spoken to his Premier about that? Because the two – a healthy coral reef and a mega-coalmine – may not be able to co-exist. “The Great Barrier Reef and other World Heritage reefs are in grave danger from climate change, mainly driven by the burning of coal. Incredibly, almost half of all shallow water corals in the Great Barrier Reef died in the last two years due to a massive underwater heatwave,” said Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) spokesperson Imogen Zethoven.  “Yet the Australian [and Queensland] governments appear hell-bent on making the problem worse by pushing ahead with Adani’s monstrous coal mine, talking up a coal-fired power station next to the Great Barrier Reef. “The [two governments are] not only placing our Great Barrier Reef and the 70,000 jobs that depend on it at grave risk: [they are] endangering the future of World Heritage coral reefs around the world. These places are the crown jewels of our global ocean. They belong to the world community. “In the face of so much loss of coral over the last three years, it defies belief that [they are] ignoring this global tragedy," Ms Zethoven said. [caption id="attachment_27495" align="alignnone" width="300"] Sediment-laden water flowed from Adani's Abbot Point facility into the Caley Valley wetland recently.[/caption] [post_title] => Coal or coral? The Queensland Government seems undecided [post_excerpt] => The Great Barrier Reef is worth $56bn, according to Deloitte Access Economics. How does Adani's Carmichael coalmine fit into it? 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Sustainability