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Renewed interest in renewables

Reviving the race on a cleaner Yarra

An enterprising lot

WOODEND residents are staging a renewable energy revival, spurred by the incoming state government.

The local sustainability group is launching two green energy projects: a new solar energy scheme and the resurrection of a longstanding plan for three community-owned wind turbines.

Today, at the Sustainable Living Festival in Woodend, Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio will announce a $100,000 grant for a 30-kilowatt solar farm.

LAST year, Matt Stewart rode along the Yarra every morning, from his home in South Yarra to his work at Melbourne University. As he pedalled, he wondered about the condition of our river. Could it be improved?

He began researching the Yarra’s urban history. “I found a story from 1932 which spoke about an iconic race where 100,000 people lined the banks,” he says. “It was the biggest open water swimming event in the world.”

With a group of friends, Stewart resolved to revive the “Race to Prince’s Bridge”.

It’s the buzzword across the community, corporate and government sectors, but what is social enterprise? And are those doing good just do-gooders?

PLAZA Palms was once part of the Cairns Colonial Club Resort. Its 71 units, with steep pitched roofs, are clustered on a large 10,000 square metre property, complete with a resort-style pool, only a few kilometres from the Cairns CBD. By 2010, it had fallen into disrepair and disrepute; it became a backpackers’ hostel, then accommodation of last resort.