Oceania eNews 
September 2013   

From the Desk of the CEO              


Dear Colleagues,

ICLEI Oceania has partnered with the ICLEI Biodiversity Centre based in Capetown, South Africa and the WALGA to establish the Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) – Australia program. LAB-Australia is founded on ICLEI’s International Local Action for Biodiversity program and is seeking a 5-year funding contract from the Federal Government. The program has been tailored to our needs at the local level and aligns with the biodiversity objectives at the national level.

In other news, the 2013 Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference will feature Robert Hammond, co-founder High Line New York City. There are a range of expert speakers and researchers to provide delegates at the 2-day conference with approaches to building a thriving neighbourhood. Click here to download the 2013 Thriving Neighbourhoods flyer for information on the ICLEI Members discount.

Additionally, the partnership with Ironbark Sustainability is proving most beneficial to ICLEI Members. In Round 2 of the Community Energy Efficiency Program, funding recently announced that 44 councils that were developed through this partnership were successful with projects worth around $50.64 million - this included energy efficiency in council buildings and street lighting projects.
ICLEI Oceania will soon have a new website based on the site developed by our World Secretariat. The new site will be easier to navigate and will provide Members with access to local, regional and global projects, programs, frameworks and tools to benefit their communities.

Martin Brennan

CEO & Regional Director
ICLEI Oceania

September News

Young people will shape the future of our environment


Start the Switch is a fantastic program empowering high school students (years 8 to 11) to take a leadership role in addressing climate change and developing sustainable solutions. The City of Melbourne is a proud partner of the program, which this year has seen nine schools within the City of Melbourne participate in a variety of sustainable projects. Visit the website below to find out more or to book in for a presentation in a school that you know.

Read more

LED Lights to save millions in NSW

LED light upgrades have saved over $300,000 and cut energy use by more than 25 per cent in the past 16 months, Lord Mayor Clover Moore has said, and the NSW government is following suit.

It announced on Monday a grid-wide roll-out of LED lighting across 41 councils, with Energy Minister Chris Hartcher saying it will save councils millions.

The City of Sydney has installed more than 2600 LED lights since March 2012 as part of a three-year roll-out to replace 6448 conventional lights.

Read more

New RexCom Chair

Cr Cathy Oke, City of Melbourne, has passed the baton as Chair of the Oceania Regional Executive Committee (RexCom) to Stephen Yarwood, the City of Adelaide’s youngest-ever Lord Mayor. Cathy will remain on the RexCom as Deputy Chair. Stephen will be our representative on the Global Executive Committee (GexCom).

Stephen is a town planner with nearly 20 years of experience in state and local government. Stephen’s agenda as Lord mayor is to make Adelaide a modern, vibrant and sustainable place to do business, live and enjoy life.

Stephen will be a keynote speaker at the Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference in October 2013.

A Lend Lease and Stable Group Initiative

An impressive new office building has opened up in Docklands. Created by award-winning architects, interior designers, and artists, this building aims to achieve a better work/life balance for its occupants. This building even enables unit owners to purchase the strata tiled solar panels built on their roof, helping overcome traditional barriers of strata owners accessing rooftop solar. The building will be launched by the Lord Mayor in September.

Read more

ICLEI joins 202020 Vision

Our urban areas need more trees. They’re good for health and productivity, keep cities cool and reduce pollution. People even heal faster when they’re around them.

Yet, so often, green spaces get overlooked when plans are drawn and concrete poured. 202020 Vision is looking for projects that improve health, productivity, aesthetics, community, commerce, wellbeing, heat effects and pollution.

Read more

Melbourne Awards

The Melbourne Awards celebrate inspirational Melburnians! This year a record number of entries have been achieved for the Sustainability categories.

Entries are being assessed and we look forward to announcing the winners at a Gala Dinner on 16 November.

Log on here to learn more about the program, and find out who the finalists are!

One Hundred Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge

The Rockefeller Foundation, a partner of ICLEI Oceania in the Asia region, has launched its 100 Resilient Cities challenge to celebrate the centenary of the Foundation. 

One hundred cities from across the globe will be selected to receive technical support and resources for developing and implementing plans for urban resilience as part of the 100 million dollar program.

Registration to receive an application form closes 23 September 2013. Any ICLEI members wishing to apply may do so directly via the website.

Further information and assistance is available from ICLEI Oceania. Please email Martin Brennan or Steve Gawler.

Rockefeller Foundation Small Grants Fund

ICLEI Oceania has been successful in being awarded an additional grant as part of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience (ACCCRN) program. The 600,000 USD fund will be shared among the four participating Asian countries.

Grants will be available to local stakeholder groups who are collaborating with their city governments in the ACCCRN climate adaptation planning process.

The grants will provide an incentive and resources for community groups, universities and the like to undertake activities to educate and mobilize their communities, and to pilot test adaptation actions.

CitySwitch – a free program helping businesses save energy and money in their office

The CitySwitch Green Office program is available for commercial office tenants at no cost, and provides the opportunity for these tenants to improve their energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

After partnering with RMIT University for a fourth year, to deliver student led energy efficiency reports for Melbourne businesses, the CitySwitch program managers attended a workshop with graduating environment students at RMIT to prepare them for their semester long investigations.

CitySwitch is led in Victoria by the City of Melbourne, if your business would like to learn how it can save energy and money, visit the website today.
Read more

Television and Computer Recycling Scheme

What can you do with a TV or computer that’s too old to sell? Why not recycle it with the Australian Government’s Television and Computer Recycling Scheme? It’s free and there are drop off points throughout Melbourne. This scheme means that the companies that manufacture products are responsible for recycling them. This reduces landfill and the amount of new resources coming out of the ground to make electronic goods.

Read more

Passionate about sustainable food?


When asked about food, this Carlton community member told us that growing her own food and shopping at local farmers markets are preferred ways to get fresh produce for her home. These are also more sustainable options. To find out about food and sustainability, and how we might build a better food system, check out our Food Information Tool.

Read more

Roof Top Farming

On the shoreline of the East River and with a sweeping view of the Manhattan skyline, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is a 6,000 square foot green roof organic vegetable farm located atop a warehouse rooftop owned by Broadway Stages in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

During New York City’s growing season, the farmers at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm supply an onsite farm market and bicycle fresh produce to area restaurants.

Read more

High Line Leaders Workshop

The workshop will be held on Monday, 28 October 2013 at the Melbourne Town Hall,  at 3:00 – 5:00 pm followed by networking drinks.
Robert Hammond will be in Melbourne on 28 – 30 October as a guest of the Thriving Neighbourhoods 2013 conference.

He will also conduct a special workshop for a small group of people from the Victorian state government, Victorian local councils and private development, design and planning organisations.
Registration packages:
· $3,000 – three seats at the workshop and one registration for Thriving Neighbourhoods
· $2,000 – two seats at the workshop and one registration for Thriving Neighbourhoods
For further information contact Martin Brennan or 03 9639 8688.

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Devastating drought, unprecedented wildfire activity, scorching heat waves and other extreme weather are often cited as signs of a changing climate. But what if those extreme weather events themselves cause more extreme weather events, fuelling climate change? That’s one of the possibilities raised by a study released a few days ago.

The researchers have shown that extreme weather events may reduce an ecosystem’s capability to absorb carbon and create a damaging cycle in which extreme weather fuels climate change by preventing forests from absorbing carbon, allowing more of it to remain in the atmosphere.

Read more

Poverty Below the High Line

Sustainable Cities Collective
Of all the factors that contribute to urban livability — including public health, education and infrastructure — policy is often focused disproportionately on economic growth. In pursuit of this assumed prerequisite for prosperity, municipal governments around the world are investing in urban design. At the same time, this investment is fueling inequality and displacement. The allocation of public funds to places of high economic potential favors the rich, creating an unfair playing field for all tax-payers. One of the most striking examples of this trend is the High Line in New York City.
Read more

Out with the Sugar and in with the Solar…

The Sunshine Coast council is on track to become the first in Australia to build a utility-scale solar farm.

The plan is to transform 20 hectares of a former sugar cane plantation near Coolum in Queensland into a solar PV power plant that would generate enough energy to meet half the council’s electricity needs for the next 30 years.
Read more

Dog Poop Power

With funding from the Federal Government, guidance from the Yarra Energy Foundation and encouragement from Yarra Council, Swinburne University carbon economy lecturer Duncan Chew aims to use dog waste as a renewable energy source wit his program Poo Power! Put simply, dog excrement can be converted into energy then used to fuel park lighting or even barbecues.

Read more

Why not be part of the GARAGE SALE TRAIL on 26th October?

If you’re a fan of pre-loved goodies, keep this event on the calendar. The 26th of October is when many folks around Melbourne will hold a Garage Sale as part of the GARAGE SALE TRAIL EVENT: Why not run your own Garage Sale Trail?

If you have stuff you no longer need, use or love, someone else will love it! You could even get your neighbours involved!! Register your own event or keep up to date with the Garage Sale's taking part in your neighbourhood on the website.

Read more


ICLEI World Secretariat based in Bonn provides a range of programs for towns and cities to participate that add value to their sustainability and climate action policies and practices.

Read more

The Oceania Secretariat provides advocacy, networking, information sharing and targeted projects that enhance the work of Members and informs the broader Local Government sector.

Host City, ICLEI Oceania Secretariat

The Thriving Neighbourhoods Blog

Have you heard of Thriving Neighbourhoods?

It is exploring your neighbourhood and the ways that you can enable it to become thriving.

Posts are updated weekly, so have your say and start reading the Thriving Neighbourhoods blog today!

ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee–RexCom

Chair - Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide, South Australia
Cathy Oke, Councillor, City of Melbourne, Victoria
Mayor Paul Pisasale, City of Ipswich, Queensland
Paddi Creevey, Mayor, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
Wayne Walker, Councillor, City of Auckland, New Zealand
Troy Pickard, Mayor, City of Joondalup, Western Australia - Global Executive Committee Member (Biodiversity Portfolio)
Member - Global Biodiversity Portfolio & Cr Cathy Oke, Global Water and Sanitation Portfolio

Host City, Water Campaign Australia
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