Monday 19 December 2011

Ashburton cogeneration plant opened by Mayor Heinz Kreutz

Boroondara's recently elected Mayor Heinz Kreutz, opened the Ashburton cogeneration plant on Thursday 15 Decemb er 2011.  The plant uses natural gas in a piston engine to generate electricty for the Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre.
Heat generated by the engine is used to heat the swimming pool.  A standard German-made cogeneration unit was installed in the existing equipment room.
The plant will save carbon emissions equivalent to taking 300 cars off the roads, and saves ratepayers $70,000 per year in electricity bills, and was commissioned as part of Boroondara's Our Low Carbon Future strategy.  
Carolyn Ingvarson and Mick Nolan (from Lighter footprints) and Peter Campbell attended this event, and congratulated the City of Boroondara for this energy and money saving initiative that also reduces our carbon emissions.
Following this successful pilot, similar cogeneration plants will be used in other locations within the City of Boroondara and elsewhere.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Boroondara Sustainability Network meeting - Our Low Carbon Future Strategy

Boroondara Sustainability Network meeting - Our Low Carbon Future Strategy

  • Date: 7pm Tue 15 November 2011.
  • Venue: Boroondara Room, Council Offices,  8 Inglesby Road, Camberwell (Melway 59 J1)
  • Purpose of meeting: An opportunity to provide input to the Our Low Carbon Future strategy for 2012-2015


Carolyn Ingvarson, Heinz Kreutz, Mick Nolan, Peter Campbell (minutes), Robert Brown, Mathew Dixon (Council), Nicola Hoey (Council), Michaela Skett (Council), Jenny Henty.


Liz Burton, David Coote, Garry McDonald


Briefing notes for discussion at the meeting (PDF)

Lighter Footprints submission

General discussion points

  • T5 street lighting is progressing and will provide siginficant emission reductions.
  • The Asburton Pool Cogenergation plant is operational.  A template is being developed for further similar installations within Boroondara and elseware.
  • The Boroondara community has much higher emissions than Council buildings and operations, so the strategy could extend to influence emission reductions within the community.  
  • Transport sector provides opportunities for reducing emissions - shifting car trips to bicycle, walking and public transport.  Opportunity to set targets for modal shifts.  Carbon emission reductions associated with modal shifts not currently estimated or measured. A meeting the Council's transport department could flesh this out further.
  • Improved cycling network.  Council has been making good improvements on existing paths such as the Anniversary Trail and Gardiners Creek bike path.  However, a more comprehensive network of safe cycling paths - separated from other vehicles and suitable for local and family use - is needed across Boroondara
  • Waste. Opportunities for Council to promote use of worm farms and other waste minimisation strategies.  Methane production and associated energy generation from landfill is not currently accounted for in Boroondara as waste is transport to Western suburbs landfill rather than to the Clayton landfill (part owned by Council)
  • In home display meters show energy usage and can strongly influence efficiencies and behaviours in homes.  There is an opportunity for Council to identify and promote a cheap and effective In Home Display for residents.
  • Reducing traffic near schools promotes walking and cycling as low emission alternatives.  The impetus for this needs to come from School communities rather than Council.
  • A Revolving Energy Fund could be established to fund energy efficiency initiatives, the benefits of which can accrue back to the fund for re-investiment.  For example, this could be used to replace all remaining electric hotwater systems and bar radiators in Council buildings.
  • Rate savings could be achieved by reducing Council expenditure on energy, or increases in rates could be avoided.  This needs to be quantified.
  • Transport of recycled water to ovals and reserves has siginficant carbon emissions.  These could be avoided by installation of local stormwater capture and usage.
  • Backyard food swaps, Sharehood and Sustainabilty Street are Local community initiatives such as can provide means for people to share information and local resources.
  • Independant assessments (e.g. 20%) or random audits of compliance with the Sustainable Building Policy could improve adherence to it.
  • Council is interesting in supporting community-initiated projects associated with emission reductions and sustainability.
Further feedback and input to the Our Low Carbon Future Strategy can be sent to Michaela Skett via

Visit to Ashburton Cogeneration Facility

The formal opening of the Ashburton Cogeneration facility is scheduled for 15 December, but this be a very limited opportunity for viewing the generator.
Action: Peter Campbell to liaise with Mathew Dixon to schedule a evening tour of the Ashburton Cogeneration facility with BSN members.

Next meeting

  • Eco Living Centre consultation, 7pm Wed 30 November 2011.

Sunday 29 May 2011

Preserving Delta Street, a unique unsealed road in Boroondara with heritage values

Friends of Delta Street, a group formed recently to protect and preserve Delta Street in Surrey Hills, have advised that Boroondara Council plans to pave and widen the street.

For those that haven't visited Delta Street, it is one of the very few remaining "dirt roads" in the City of Boroondara.  The street runs adjacent to a portion of South Surrey Park.  It is narrow and unsealed and has a country lane ambience.    
Delta Street is living history. It is the LAST significant unsealed road in Boroondara.
Many local residents use the street as a walkway to access South Surrey Park.  It is pedestrian-friendly as there is very little vehicle traffic due to the street's narrow width and unsealed surface.
Some locals even take international visitors to see "the dirt road in Boroondara".
Council Officers have advised that are recommending that Delta Street be paved to solve drainage issues and reduce maintenance.
The limited community consultation, conducted with residents directly adjacent to Delta Street, resulted in a large majority of them indicating they want the unsealed surface retained.  
Friends of Delta Street have commissioned an engineer who has prepared an alternate plan that retains the country lane surface without widening the street. This plan also addresses Council and resident concerns about drainage and maintenance.
This flyer from Friends of Delta Street provides more information [link]
You might like to visit Delta Street and a have a look at what we all have to lose.
Boroondara Council will be voting on this matter on Monday June 20th 2011. 
You can also:
  • Complete the petition in the flyer and drop it into 34 Arundel Cres, Surrey Hills, 3127.
  • Let your concerns be known to ALL City of Boroondara Councillors.  Their email addresses are here.
  • Attend the meeting at the Council Chambers, 8 Inglesby Rd, Camberwell at 6PM on June 20th 2011.
  • To be kept up to date, email


Update 20 June 2011

Council voted to retain the unsealed surface and undertake works to fix drainage issues, with the situation to be reviewed in 12 months.  For: Cr Kevin Chow, Cr Dick Menting, Cr Phil Meggs, Cr Coral Ross.  Against: Cr Phillip Healey, Cr Brad Miles, Cr Jack Wegman.  Absent: Cr Nicholas Tragas, Cr Heinz Kreutz, Cr David Bloom.