Our vision for a sustainable Melbourne
The following is taken from our document 'a green New Deal for Victoria', which outlines in broad terms how we think the state government could act to make our city far more sustainable.
The full version of a green New Deal for Victoria can be found here
New housing regulations. We build more than 35,000 new homes in Victoria each year. Housing stock is a significant contributor to our greenhouse emissions.
Victoria should act quickly on the promised review of the regulations that govern new domestic housing. New houses are currently required to meet a 5 star energy standard and install either a rain water tank or solar hot water panel. A requirement to have both a panel and a tank, and to meet an 8 star energy rating standard would create thousands of new jobs in Victoria in construction, installation and maintenance and would have substantial benefits for our manufacturing sector. Our approach to new housing must be as holistic as possible, looking at the â€˜thermal shellâ€™ of a house, energy efficiency measures that can be built in to new houses, water efficiency and the embodied energy of materials.Â Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the mining and processing of natural resources to manufacturing, transport and product delivery.
While the April 2009 decision to adopt uniform national 6 star energy standards for new houses in Australia must be welcomed and acknowledged, this is still short of what is possible and required. At present the average energy rating of housing in Australia is 2.5 stars, while in the USA it is 6.5 and in Western Europe it is 8.
In the 2009/10 state budget, the government announced itâ€™s intention to fast track five major metropolitan developments â€“ at the Amcor site, the Pentridge Prison redevelopment, Werribee, Waurn Ponds and Caulfield. This highlights the need to get the housing regulations right as soon as possible to ensure this future housing stock is built at the highest possible standard.
As part of this, we should make double glazing compulsory. This would have both employment and energy efficiency benefits.
But what about the cost?
In terms of affordability, cost is often cited as a reason to hold back on energy efficiency.Â While peak housing industry organisations quote figures such as $10,000 to move basic houses from five to seven-star standard, actual calculations indicate otherwise.Â An unpublished study by RMITâ€™s Lifetime Affordable Housing project found seven stars to be significantly more affordable than five-star homes. The best cost outcome is a 7.2-star standard, which provides a simple payback of seven years. This takes no account of the extra comfort experienced in better homes, the reduction in marginal load on the grid, the fact that the house is cheaper to run than a five or six star variant, nor the higher resale value of the house which are estimated to be around $9,000.
Friends of the Earth will be releasing a report on the possible financial costs of shifting to an 8 star rating in August 2009.
Refurbishing thousands of existing homes each year through the creation of a house retrofit program with full insulation, other efficiency measures and renewable energy, starting with homes that fail to meet the current 5 star rating for new housing. Home owners could opt in to this program.Â It could prioritise the most vulnerable households, low income individuals and families living in poor quality houses, who will be paying ever more of their income on heating and cooling their homes as energy prices go up and the effects of climate change become more dramatic.
This must include a commitment to continue upgrading public housing. The current allocation of $2.1 million to retrofit public housing is a worthwhile initiative that will require continued and expanded support in future state budgets.
In the short term this innovation could be driven by an increase in the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) from 10 to 40% for emissions reductions in residential housing. The scheme sets a target of 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from households by 2010, with energy savings to be achieved through the uptake of energy efficient technology, initially in the residential sector. VEET should include insulation as a key efficiency measure.
This improved efficiency must also include commercial buildings. By 2014 the 8 star energy rating should apply to new build and retrofit of all commercial and public buildings.
This will require the creation of a â€˜carbon armyâ€™ of high- and lower-skilled workers to implement this vast street-by-street reconstruction, through a comprehensive program of training and re-skilling. Initially this would include greatly expanded funding for free energy and water audits of existing homes. These audits would cover an assessment of short term and easy improvements around energy and water efficiency as well as a more comprehensive assessment of economically viable retrofitting that could be implementedÂ later on.
This service could be delivered through community organisations with existing skills and networks in this field, such as Moreland Energy Foundation, and co-ordinated through state government. This must include rural areas and regional centres as well, starting with communities where people have already organised themselves in this regard. The Castlemaine 500 project is an outstanding example of this type of community organising.
Low Income Household Refit Program
Â The NSW Government is helping households most in need to save power and cut their power bills through the Low Income Household Refit Program.
Over the next four years, 220,000 households across NSW will receive a free home energy assessment, have energy saving fittings put in, and get personal advice about how to save power.
The program is being offered to 1,000 homes in Western Sydney as part of a pilot which begins in May 2009. The main program will be rolled out across NSW later in the year.
Every home that signs up will get a free:
Â·Â Â Â home visit by a trained assessor to find ways to save power in the home, and
Â·Â Â Â a power saver action plan to show other ways to save power and money.
This re-skilling will also require major re-focussing and resources for TAFEs and other centres for work- place training. There are a range of training initiatives such as Global Green Electrician (GGE), that are already carrying out the type of training that will be required. The GGE accredited training course was developed by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).Â The training provides electrical workers with the skills and knowledge to cater for the uptake of renewables and the increased implementation of energy efficiency measures.
Training in best re-use of materials that are currently considered to be waste in the construction industry is also a significant opportunity for training programs in that sector.
Use jobs funds for re-training. The newÂ Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Jobs Fund, which is intended to support the development of community and social infrastructure is to be commended. It should have climate change mitigation and adaptation as the cornerstone of its funding criteria.
Transforming the energy performance of all public and commercial buildings through energy efficiency measures and making every suitable building a mini- power station through renewables and co-generation (also called combined heat and power or CHP, wherebyÂ a heat engine or a power station is used to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat.).
As with the need to move forward with housing regulations, this is doubly urgent given the May 2009 state budget commitment of $139 million to revitalisation projects in major suburban centres such as Broadmeadows, Footscray, Box Hill and Ringwood.
Urban infill, and an end to sprawl. Anyone who has travelled in Western Europe will know that compact cities can be vibrant, dynamic and wonderful places to live. Melbourne 2030 is a 30 year plan which aims to manage sustainable growth across the metropolitan area.
Many key elements of this plan, for instance encouraging housing density around activity centres, make ecological sense. We must slow further developments on the fringes of Melbourne and low density sprawl in general and instead re-focus our attention on building up around public transport and other social infrastructure in appropriate locations. Further development on the fringes of Melbourne destroys farmland, bushland and coastal amenities and heritage.
Low density disorganised sprawl needs to stop, while still maintaining Melbourneâ€™s quality life-style of parks, gardens, and for families, outdoor space for children. We need to continue to build our open space network and protect all significant areas of remnant vegetation within the metropolitan area. There should also be more funding for jobs in eliminating environmental weeds and in restoration and revegetation of our landscapes and waterways with indigenous plants.
Protecting indigenous grasslands
Native grasslands are among the most heavily cleared and endangered ecosystems in Victoria. However, studies suggest that up to 30,000 hectares of native grasslands, of varying quality, survive on Melbourneâ€™s western fringe.
Despite protection through the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act and listing under federal legislation, legal and illegal clearing of grasslands continues through conversion from native pasture to more intensive agriculture, and urban development.
Melbourne@5 million, the State Government plan for the expansion of Melbourne, emphasises the importance of native grasslands, particularly in the Wyndham (Werribee) area, and commits the government to â€œthe creation of two large grassland protected areasâ€.
There is an immediate opportunity to create new parks on the western fringes of Melbourne which would save the best remaining areas of this grassland.
New suburbs â€“ donâ€™t let fashion over ride common sense. Where new â€˜greenfield developmentâ€™ must occur, we must start by minimising energy use in new housing developments from the moment land is opened up and street planning is laid out. We must plan for future energy use and best possible uptake of passive design options offered by any particular site in terms of minimising energy use and maximising energy savings:
1/ where possible, all house blocks should be orientated length-wise East West â€“ thus the length of the house has the potential to have maximum exposure to the sun â€“ which can be controlled by pergolas, sun shades, use of plantings, etc.
2/ with all the building regulations currently in existence there are hardly any dictating the colour of the roof. We can achieve significant reduction in heat absorption (and transfer into the house) by ensuring roofing materials are either aÂ light/ bright colour, or painted that way. Many houses being built at present have dark coloured roofs.
3/ we must ensure architects break with the environmental crimes of the past. No architect should be allowed to put fashion statements ahead of sustainability. Training must include compulsory components of passive solar design â€“ such as use of protective eaves, ensuring maximum use of natural light, natural cooling options, warming of concrete slabs by winter sun during the day, and so on. All of these are both common sense and common knowledge, yet it is astounding how many new homes still ignore these basic design principles.
4/ we are building houses now that will last for years. We should therefore plan ahead for a low carbon future. Accordingly, we mustÂ ensure that new housing developments have factored in space to allow for future food production, and water collection and harvesting, even if it is not a feature of the current day-to-day use.
By implementing simple measures â€“ such as insulation, orientation, high efficiency cooling and heating, and window shading â€“ the ecological footprint of a home can be cut by a factor of five. When clever design features are included, it is also possible to get much better use of space, meaning you can fit more houses onto the same amount of land without compromising amenity. According to research carried out in Queensland by Lend Lease Delfin, the EPA and GreenMode,Â when construction and the physical maintenance of the house are also included in this type of planning, three of these sustainable homes could fit in the footprint of one â€™standardâ€™ house.
Specify the use of â€˜eco cementâ€™. Eco-Cement is a new type of cement which incorporates magnesium oxide (magnesia) and wastes to make it more environmentally sustainable. Eco-Cement uses a lower heating temperature during manufacturing, so less fossil fuels are used. Wastes such as fly and bottom ash, slags, etc can be included, without incurring problems such as delayed reactions. Eco-Cement absorbs C02 from the atmosphere to set and harden and can be recycled.
THE SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF URBAN FORM
How much is enough? The Victorian government has an agenda of pushing population growth in order to drive economic development. In the most recent state budget it claims that â€˜Victoriaâ€™s strong population growth will also help to underpin economic growthâ€™. This is a flawed model.
As outlined in this report there are many other ways to encourage economic activity. As a part of Australia, Victoria has obligations to accept a fair share of asylum seekers. But to pursue a growth-based approach to population simply to drive the economy is short sighted and ultimately destructive.
Make space for the displaced. There can be little doubt that growing numbers of people will be displaced globally by climate change in coming decades and that Australia will eventually recognise the responsibility to accept some of these people as climate refugees.
Additionally, many rural areas have been shedding people for years and it is likely this will continue under climate change scenarios, especially from inland regions. Research needs to be undertaken into how and where these people might be able to be resettled and what services they may require.
How to achieve this vision? The government has clearly failed to sell the idea of a higher density city to the community. We therefore need a rethink about how to achieve this vision.
To initiate this process, the government could convene a state-wide summit similar to the climate summit already hosted by Premier Brumby, to bring together the various elements of society to debate the need for aÂ more compact and prosperous city and how it could be achieved, without unsustainable population growth. We would need a broad range of interests â€“ not just business, government and NGO representatives, but also food growers, biologists, transport experts and so on.Â From this one-off gathering, it would be possible to develop a broad-based committee to develop a fresh vision of a compact and sustainable Melbourne to advise government policy in this regard.
Transforming our transport system to be fit for purpose in the coming era of high oil and carbon prices by providing a real public transport choice for everyone. We must stop investing in new freeway infrastructure and instead base our transport policy on the principle that all people in urban areas should be able to live within walking distance of viable public transport.
Development of renewable power needs to continue at such a pace that new light and heavy rail can be run from these sources. We should also commit to a rapid conversion of all our rural and regional train services to rely on non carbon energy sources.
Mercerâ€™s Quality of Living Survey is released annually, comparing 215 cities based on 39 criteria. Melbourne used to be considered one of the worldâ€™s most liveable cities but it nowÂ languishes at 17th place, even falling behind Sydney. One of the reasons for this, and the rise of numerous European cities into the top 10, must be the issue of public transport versus car usage.
The state government has been investing in extending our heavy rail network â€“ for instance the commitment to build the Epping line out to South Morang by 2013.Â This and the other recent investments are to be welcomed. Commitments outside the Melbourne region included in the 2009 state budget are:
* $27.6 million enhancement of Maryborough rail services which will re-instate 14 weekly train trips starting in 2010 between Maryborough and Ballarat, with connections to Melbourne;
* $22.9 million to improve bus services in Geelong, including a new bus interchange in central Geelong, improved cross-town connections and better links to Deakin University and V/Line train services;
* $8.8 million to upgrade regional stations, including better customer amenities, walkways, drop-off areas, taxi zones and improved bus to train connections.
We must complete the rail transport system, especially to meet the needs of newer fringe suburbs that are currently forced to rely on cars:
* The Upfield service needs to be extended north to Craigieburn,
* Sydenham line should be extended to Sunbury,
* Tullamarine Airport requires a rail link (Sydney and Brisbane airports both have them), provided by extending the Broadmeadows line some 6 kilometres to the airport terminal,
* A rail link to East Doncaster has been promised for years but never built.
Former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlin has recently called for the dual railway line to Flemington Racecourse and Royal Melbourne ShowgroundsÂ to be extended to the new 128-hectare urban development at a former Department of Defence explosives factory site on the Maribyrnong River.Â New stations could be situated at Victoria University and Highpoint shopping centre, and the line could be extended to East Keilor.
A key issue in rural areas is to make existing public transport viable for people to actually use, in terms of making the frequency sufficient and connections more effective to make it an option for those who need to commute.
At least as an interim measure, the government should consider how it can support car pooling arrangements for people in the growth corridors, to help them while we catch up with years of neglect in providing effective public transport. The internet makes car pooling and ride sharing more viable than ever before. This can be facilitated at the local government level. The state government can also support car pooling by continuing to expand the number of high occupancy transit lanes on roadways with multiple lanes.
The government should favour car sharing systems that offer an alternative to car ownership. One local example is Go Get. Members have access to a network of new model cars which are parked locally which can be booked at short notice. GoGet CarShare is intended for people who donâ€™t need a car everyday or want to get rid of their second car.
We will need an assessment of where we need to place new heavy rail transport infrastructure to enable the maximum shift of freight off our roads.
We need continued investment in cycling and walking facilities and a commitment to complete the Principal Bicycle Network.
If we are serious about meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets, we must scrap plans to expand Tullamarine airport. At present the international terminal is being expanded, while plans to upgrade the domestic terminal were shelved in late 2008. The domestic expansion will cost from $400 to 600 million. While we accept that many domestic travellers need to go by air because of time constraints, poor land based transport options, and long distances to many locations, an investment in a high speed rail link between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra (run on renewable energy) would make this commute viable by train for many travellers, thereby alleviating any â€˜needâ€™ to expand the domestic terminal at Tullamarine.
There are also plans to expand the airport at Avalon, in order to upgrade it into an international airport. One business proposal attached with this is to facilitate the export of fresh fruit and vegetables to overseas markets. In the 21st century, there is absolutely no justification for this type of idea. It needs to be soundly rejected if planning proposals are put forward.
The project to link Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney by very fast train is at the top of a federal government â€˜wish listâ€™ for road and rail projects. It is estimated to cost $59 billion. The proposal heads a priority list of 94 projects selected by the Governmentâ€™s Infrastructure Australia (IA), which was charged with sifting through 1,000 submissions on possible national infrastructure.
Bring back the Connies! Tram conductors were the quintessential â€˜green jobâ€™. We should abandon the incredibly expensive â€˜MYKIâ€™ ticket systemÂ and bring conductors back onto trams and ensure all railway stations are adequately staffed. There are some benefits of an electronic ticketing system â€“ for instance, the ability to top-up tickets on line. One of the most significant efficiencies with automated ticketing would be on the bus network. If there is an option for a small sized ticketing machine on buses that are compatible with the rest of the system then this would mean that vehicles would spend less time at stops, meaning less congestion, less pollution and greater efficiency.
For further information, see: http://www.tramconductors.net/
Access to water is a basic human right. Yet with
the continued privatisation of our water infrastructure, Victoria is
likely to face growing challenges to this right in coming years as
ability to pay starts to over ride the right to access.
Every Victorian must know the facts about Australia as a
water-constrained continent, likely to become even more at risk to both
intense droughts and flood events as a result of global warming. More
than a decade of drought in southern Victoria, and a good state
government awareness campaign, has helped shift our approach to water.
Gone are the days of hosing down our driveways and other flagrant
mis-use of drinkable water. With the recent shift away from demand
management innovation and community education to a focus on mega
projects that we have witnessed since the government adopted the idea
of the North South pipeline and the desalination plant, we run the risk
of losing this more considered and water-concious mind set.
Getting water smart. There is a growing community
conversation about water stress and shortages, and how the government
should respond to the water crisis. At present the government is
committed to building the North â€“ South pipeline and a major
desalination plant near Wonthaggi, at a combined cost of around $5
billion. Between them these projects are intended to deliver 225
billion litres or gigalitres (GL) of new water a year (although there
have been revelations that the pipe is expected to deliver dramatically
less water to Melbourne in its first years than previously predicted by
It is clear there are growing community concerns about both these
projects.Â Neither of them are yet on line and there is enough time to
stop them and re-consider other options which will meet our water needs
with less greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts and far
Specific proposals include:
- Cease logging in Melbourneâ€™s catchments (this would yield between
50 and 75 billion litres â€“ or Gigalitres (GL) a year by 2050). This
will also have substantial ecological benefits through increased flow
into our river systems. Research by the ACF suggests that ending
logging in our water catchments will yield substantial flows north of
the divide into the Goulburn and hence Murray systems -Â an additional
3,800 gigalitres over the course of the century.
- Fast track the upgrade of the Eastern Treatment Plant to allow
production of drinking standard water (this would provide an additional
115 to 150 GL a year by 2012).Â In October 2006, the Victorian
government announced that a $300 million upgrade of the Eastern
Treatment Plant to produce Class A recycled water would begin in 2007
and would be completed in 2012. This is a great development, we need to
move forward as quickly as possible with ensuring appropriate re-use of
all water from this plant as a matter of urgency.
A significant additional benefit of this would be an end to ocean outfall at Gunnamatta beach.
This water can also be used in industrial uses in Melbourne and the
Latrobe Valley. At present, large volumes of high quality drinking
water are being diverted from theÂ Tanjill and Tyers catchments east of
Melbourne to be turned into steam by the Latrobe valley power industry.
While there are new water efficiency measures being put in place, water
use still appears to be over 20 billion litres (20 GL) a year in these
plants. The Maryvale pulp mill, also located in the Latrobe Valley uses
over 20 GL of quality water per year and could instead use treated
sewage from the Eastern treatment plant. This would allow the high
quality water from the Tanjil and Tyers to be put into our drinking
water supplies. As we transition to a sustainable future, it will be
difficult to justify coal fired power at all, or pulp mills drawing
feedstock from native forests. Renewable energy uses vastly less water
than coal. However, given that these plants do exist at present and use
large quantities of good quality water, we should be shifting them to
recycled water as a matter of urgency, and the pipeline required to
deliver this water could be available forÂ sustainable manufacturing
which will be established in the Latrobe Valley.
The government has committed to increasing water recycling and made
various financial commitments to this end in recent years (see list
below). In 2008 PremierÂ Brumby said recycled water was now being used
at record levels in Melbourne, proof that if there is political will
and financing we can go far further.
- Complete an upgrade of the Western Treatment plant (it is expected that this would yield around 15 GL per annum).
- Set a range of consumer, industry and distribution system
efficiencies (estimated yield is 37 GL). Amended requirements for new
building stock, such as an extra pipe system for recycled water in all
new homes, could reduce need for water by up to 75%.
- Institute stormwater harvesting and substitution for drinking
water in domestic and commercial uses, parks, sporting ovals and golf
courses, and recharge of aquifers. A very conservative figure of 40GL
could be available by 2015. Research from Monash University suggests
that up to 200 GL may eventually be able to be captured and re-used in
the metropolitan area.
- Rollout of rainwater tanks in 5% of suitable homes per year (this
would provide an additional 5.25GL/annum. The Victorian Water Forum
says that yields of up to 100GL are achievable). This would require
increased rebates to households, and making tanks mandatory on new
The job yield of such a program would be substantial. According to
the Rainwater Industry Development Group, a roll out of tanks on 10% of
Victorian households per year would could create up to 550 jobs
directly and 1,600 indirect jobs in the state. Similar programs in
regional towns and cities would generate similar employment benefits.
Greater use of tanks in urban areas would also help enshrine an approach of mindfulness and care about how we relate to water.
- Set sector-specific water conservation targets for commercial and industrial water users.
- We should develop incentives for the replacing of road and car
parks with permeable surfaces and hard gutters and concrete storm
drains with swales, vegetated roadside dips and re-naturalised
watercourses to slow runoff and allow it to infiltrate or be collected
for treatment and re-use.
Key recycled water projects currently under way through state government commitments include:
â€¢ The Werribee Irrigation District Water Recycling Scheme that
provided almost 11 billion litres of recycled water to irrigators in
â€¢ Eastern Irrigation Scheme in Melbourneâ€™s southeast provided over 8
billion litres of recycled water for agriculture in 2006/07;
â€¢ South East Water supplied over 2 billion litres of recycled water to agricultural customers on the Mornington Peninsula;
â€¢ dual-pipe systems are being installed to provide recycled water
directly to new residential developments in a number of Melbourneâ€™s new
Melbourne aquifers are at risk because of
significant over-use by private users,Â possibly well beyond their
ability to be able to recharge. Government action is needed to allow
complete state control of pumping from groundwater and appropriate
pricing mechanisms for water that is used.
Our current sewerage system was invented in water-plentiful Europe.Â
There could be much more use of liquid human waste at or near source
for fertiliser, for example, to drastically cut the water-waste of
flushing toilets. We should continue to encourage the use of non-flush
urinals in public buildings and composting toilets in appropriate
locations, including private homes.
Water: for the public good â€“ not private profit. Water
is an essential element of our daily life. There is growing public
sentiment opposed to the privatisation of management and ownership of
water for profit.Â Â International companies should not be allowed any
ownership of water in Victoria, including water trading in rural areas.
To desal or not. Our government is wedded to the
idea of a large scale desalination plant that will be built on the
Gippsland coast near Wonthaggi. It will be run by a foreign multi
national andÂ use reverse osmosis to create fresh water from salt
water. This process involves using pressure to drive seawater through a
Leaving aside the many and significant environmental and social
costs of this project, it must be asked why reverse osmosis technology
is being used. Commercial reverse osmosis installations are becoming
dominant for desalination around the world primarily because they use
less energy than traditional thermal methods â€“ however, reverse osmosis
still consumes a significant amount of energy.Â In contrast,Â another
source of desalination could be solar thermal technology. The costs ofÂ
concentrating solar power are falling rapidly andÂ small scale solar
desal plants could be established locally, feeding into the water grid,
and help clean brackish water that currently turns into pollution as it
enters our streams and oceans. Small plants could be built without the
massive costs and infrastructure impacts of the Wonthaggi plant.
Desalination of brackish or waste water can be done at about one
third of the energy cost associated with desalination of sea water and
can often be done â€œon siteâ€, which avoids the huge energy costs of
pumping the water to Melbourne inherent in the Wonthaggi desalination
We need 21st century thinking that acknowledges there are real
ecological constraints on how much water we can use, and new ways to
meet our needs rather than a continuation of older ways of generating
water supplies that presupposes there will be endless sources of new
water when current supplies run short. This type of thinking has
unacceptably high environmental costs in the constrained realities of
the 21st century. Accordingly, we should rule out plans to build a dam
on the Mitchell River, our last large un-dammed river in the state, and
the Gellibrand River in the Otways.
Food production is clearly very sensitive to climate change impacts.
There are also significant greenhouse implications of food production,
largely because of our current reliance on high energy input
monoculture agriculture and transport of food products over long
Any attempt to deal with medium and long term responses to climate
change must include consideration of options to re-localise a
significant proportion of our food production, and how to shift to low
energy input systems. Organic farming is generally more employment rich
than conventional agriculture. It also produces less greenhouse
emissions â€“ petrochemical fertiliser use both damages soil and leaches
nitrogen into the atmosphere. By some estimates, greenhouse emissions
from organics are 15 to 20 percent lower than from conventional
farming. Inclusion of the agriculture sector in any future carbon
trading regime would provide a powerful market signal to the sector to
adopt more sustainable practices.
Encouraging food production in urban and urban fringe areas will
reduce greenhouse costs and would build resilience in the face of
We should allow flexibility to be able to differentiate when it
comes to productive use of water to grow local food, instead of
enforcing blanket bans on water use simply via water restrictions.Â
Local, home grown food uses less water than commercial agriculture,
requires less energy intensive inputs, and has less carbon emissions,
also playing a (small) role in sequestering carbon, building community
and providing healthy andÂ affordable food choices. Local food growers
should be able to apply for a permit to use more water than households
not growing food if we do go to an enforceable quota system. The Food
Growers Alliance has a range of creative ideas on how to maximise
efficient use of water in domestic food growing situations. Those who
can afford to tend to put in water tanks, but food growers in rental
accommodation face problems in this regard. One idea to help people in
rental housing would be to provide a rebate, which would possibly be
means tested, to allow renters to be able to get watertanks via a
co-ordinated application with their landlords.
In the short term, the state government could introduce a Protection
of Agricultural Land Bill, which would aim to stop further encroachment
of urban or other development on agricultural areas until a full
assessment of the likely impacts on agriculture in a climate change
context has been completed.
We need increased support for community based urban agriculture by
providing designated food growing areas throughout the city and