Saturday, February 13, 2010

Leichardt Climate Change Taskforce

The Leichardt Council in Sydney has formed a Climate Change Taskforce and aims to carbon neutral by 2012. There are two strategies being prepared: one for the council itself and one for the community. Meetings are held every two months, with the community invited (agenda and minutes are online).

The meetings are not well attended, with only six community members attending the last meeting in November 2009. I have suggested to Mayor of Leichhardt Jamie Parker (Greens) that the Council invite input online for those who can't attend in person. It would also help if the council replaced its hard to read PDF agenda and minutes with web pages. This would also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the documents. It would also make the information more widely avialable and promote what Leichardt is doing. A good model is the Green Technology Advisory Group for the town of Westborough, in Massachusetts, USA.

Climate Change Taskforce

Council has formed a Climate Change Taskforce to investigate:

  • The policies and actions required for the Council to become carbon neutral by 2012 with an emphasis on carbon reductions and enhanced ecological sustainability; and
  • To develop a program of actions that will reduce the carbon footprint of the community by addressing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, education and engagement with the wider community, and lobbying and advocacy.

The Climate Change Taskforce - Corporate Strategy and Community Strategy meet bi-monthly on the 1st Wednesday of the month commencing in March.

The Corporate Strategy meeting is held from 6pm - 7pm and the Community Strategy meeting is held from 7pm - 8pm in the Leichhardt Town Hall Supper Room. The community is welcome to attend the Community Strategy session.


Climate Change November Agenda Community (127.02kB)Climate Change November Minutes Community (281.79kB)
Climate Change November Agenda Corporate (673.06kB)Climate Change November Minutes Corporate (126.19kB)
Climate Change September Agenda Community (391.75kB)Climate Change September Minutes Community (25.20kB)
Climate Change September Agenda Corporate (694.48kB)Climate Change September Minutes Corporate (49.61kB)
Climate Change July Agenda Community (134.67kB)Climate Change July Minutes Community (187.71kB)
Climate Change July Agenda Corporate (182.74kB)Climate Change July Minutes Corporate (23.38kB)
Climate Change May Agenda (60.00kB)Climate Change May Minutes (236.98kB)
Climate Change Taskforce March Agenda (29.24kB)Climate Change Taskforce March Minutes (33.66kB)

From: Climate Change Taskforce , Leichardt Council, 2009

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bicycling the Sydney Light Rail Extension

View Leichhardt to the Cooks River by Cycle in a larger mapIt has been proposed to extend the existing inner Sydney light rail line 5.6 km to Dulwich Hill along the old Rozelle Freight Line. Some Greenway proposals envisage the space being used for a cycle and walkway, rather than a tram line. On Sunday I folding bicycle along the route from Marion Street, Leichardt to Dulwich Hill, using the directions in "Cycling Around Sydney - 30 of the Best Rides in Sydney" (Bruce Ashley, 2007).

The first half kilometre is a pleasant ride between the Hawthorne Canal and the embankment of the rail line, in some places through a tunnel of green. There are pedestrian underpasses allowing access to the cycle track at several points, including adjacent to the Artest. Art School. At Parramatta Road it is necessary to leave the green path and cross the very busy road and corss the bridge to the western bank of the canal. The path then continues south to Grosvenor Crescent. AT this point you can see the remaining span of the Whipple truss bridge over Long Cove Creek (1886). There is an Institution of Engineers Australia historic engineering marker on the nearby railway viaduct (unfortunately the marker is slightly crooked, not in keeping with the IE Aust standards). At this point there is no bicycle or pedestrian access along the river or rail line.

In my view the best option would be to use the route for trams and, where possible, accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. The goods line can be converted to a tram line at little cost, compared to the proposed Sydney Metro.

See also "Leichhardt to Cooks River by folding Bicycle", in Travel Journal

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Hybrid Trucks for Local Council

Leichhardt Council in Sydney has purchased a Hino Hybrid Truck fromToyota's truck subsidary, which uses similar techology to Toyota's Prius hybrid car. In stop-start traffic, such a truck uses 20 l/100km, which is a considerable saving. Adapting this technology for trucks has taken a long time. The decision to purchase the truck was made in 2004 (Motion C465/04 by PARKER/HAMILTON, MINUTES of ORDINARY MEETING of Leichhardt Municipal Council , 23 November 2004), but it has taken until 2009 for the vehicles to be readily avialable.

In his 3 December Mayoral Column ("New Hybrid Truck Helps Cut CO2 Emissions in Leichhard"on page 12 of the Inner West Courier) , Mayor of Leichhardt, Counsellor Jamie Parker, reported on the purchase of the truck for garden maintenance.Unfortunately the Mayor's message contains a typographical error in that it refers to the truck reducing Carbon Monoxide emissions by 72%. This should read "Carbon Dioxide", as indicated by the chemical symbol in the report (CO2).

Also it is not clear that a hybrid truck is not particularly suited to garden maintenance, as the Mayor suggests. Hybrid vehicles achieve greatest savings when operating at low speed in stop start traffic. A good example of such an application are garbage trucks, which stop every few metres and rarely exceed a few kilometers an hour. Local busses are another example. In contrast a garden maintenace truck spends most of its time stationary with the engine turned off, while the garden work is being done. As a result little saving is made in fuel use.

This is a good initiative, but the council might like to consider other uses for it. These trucks have a useful role by providing electrical power. One use would be for powering the hot water weed killing unit often used for roadside weeds. These are usually powered by a diesel generator mounted on the truck. With a hybrid truck the generator could be eliminated.

The council could also use the truck as an emergency generator for its disaster response. . Usually diesel generators are used for this role which require ot be specially purchased, maintained, fuelled and tested, which is expensive and environmentally unfriendly. Instead the council could have the hybrid truck fitted with a socket to allow its generator and batter to supply electrical power. This could be used for extended and extensive blackouts at council premises. It could also be used to power a mobile emergency facility., such as those provided by Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES). The truck could also be used for power at council work sites and at community functions in parks where mains power is not avialable. The Petersham Tafe are experienced in the development of alternative power systems and should be able to advice how to do this.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Eco-Annandale 2010 Exhibition

glass sculptureThe Eco-Annandale 2010 Exhibition runs 6 December 2009 to 30 January 2010 at the Leichhardt Library in Sydney.
Eco-Annandale 2010 Exhibition
6 December 2009 to 30 January 2010
Leichhardt Library, Piazza Level, Italian Forum 23 Norton St, Leichhardt

Monday-Friday:9.30am-8pm Saturday:9.30am-4pm Sunday:10am-4pm
  • Night Market: 5.30-7.30pm Wednesday 9th December 2009.
  • Night Market: 5.30-7.30pm Wednesday 16th December 2009.

Forestry and farming in the 18th and 19th Centuries, followed by residential and industry development denuded Annandale of most of its Local Provenance vegetation.

However, since 1995 a dedicated group of locals, who form the Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery have propagated and reintroduced some of the plants which would have thrived in Annandale in earlier times. As a result of the reintroduction of this local provenance vegetation, native birds and animals which rely on these plants for food have followed. Insects, lizards and birds that feed on the lizards, insects and plants have established themselves in Annandale and provide the diversity of sounds in the dawn chorus.

A diversity of plants and animals provides security for food and air quality in an era of climate change. The diversity of species and genetic material means that particular plants may survive and others will die under new conditions. These plants enrich and secure the soil, filter the air we breathe and transpire the water that falls as rain in our dams and on our crops. The wider the range of plants the greater the chance is that there will be some which will thrive in new climatic conditions.

Plants absorb CO2 in the process of photosynthesis and are a natural Carbon Sink, making them an important in reducing Global Warming.

Plants such as Mangroves stabilize foreshores and mountainsides and protect against erosion and landslides, making them critical to mitigating the effects of rising sea levels due to Climate Change.

The focus of works in the Eco-Annandale 2010 exhibition (December 2009 and January 2010) will be Annandale's biodiversity. Entry to the exhibition is Free.

Marghanita da Cruz, Curator of Eco-Annandale.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Permable surfaces to reduce water use in urban areas

St Brendans Primary School, 30 Collins Street, ANNANDALE Sydney submitted a development application to the Leichhardt Council for outdoor learning areas 30 March 200 (No. D/2009/110). At present the school has most of the playground covered with a rubber based material. It might be useful if this was made permeable, so that storm water would filter down and water the trees of the school. Alternatively there are systems for holding storm water which would not require the whole surface to be repaved.

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