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Round and round we go

A death in the family

Smarter urban water

After more than 20 years and countless campaigns, the Save Albert Park group is still trying to save Albert Park.

IT’S a Monday evening at the 3CR studios in Collingwood, and Save Albert Park’s radio show has just begun.

When the rousing theme song – “Do you hear the people sing?” from Les Misérables – ends, host Barbara Clinton introduces the guests. Owing to circumstances, there’s been a sudden change in programming: she had to bump a public parks expert from New York.

It’s over at Alcoa.  The last shipment of alumina unloaded from the pier, the fires extinguished in the furnace, and smelting pots shut down. No more jobs for life.

STEVE Beasley stands on the long factory line, with the crane controls at his waist. Hanging before him is the crucible, which looks like a huge steel teapot, with a long, downward spout for siphoning the molten metal.

He manoeuvres the crucible forward so its spout extends into the smelting cell, where – with the help of extraordinary amounts of electricity – alumina is turned into aluminium, at 950˚C. He’s been doing this for years, but something is different this time. The smelting cell – known as a “pot” – has already been switched off. 

After the drought, there's a quiet revolution in the pipelines.

This article was published by the Guardian UK

TWO blue glass boxes rise from the grass next to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. If you glance at them – on your way to an Aussie Rules game, of course – you’ll notice some pipes inside.

Nothing special, really. Only a sewer mineOr, as the officials prefer: the Yarra Park Water Recycling FacilityBelow ground, a large pipe snakes uphill, avoiding tree roots. It taps into the main vein below the snooty suburb of East Melbourne, and sneaks off with its shit.