CVGA September Newsletter
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Welcome to the first CVGA Newsletter

Hi <<First Name>>,

The goal of the Alliance is to work with our 13 member Councils and other partners is to achieve zero-net emissions across all municipalities by 2050.

We’ve started this newsletter because there's so much being done in this space we could all learn from but sometimes the information doesn't get out there fast enough. This newsletter is your opportunity to find out what's being done in our region and around the country (or the world) that could be of help to you in your job and also to give you an opportunity to let others know what you're achieving.

I invite you to have a look at this email (especially the articles about the Waste-to-Energy project we've applied for funding to develop and the Carisbrook Composting facility which I think everyone should copy) and then let me know if there are things you would like to put into the next newsletter.

The newsletter goes to all member Councils, the ten active Victorian Sustainability Alliances, relevant Victoria State agencies and departments, as well as a number of non-CVGA Councils we’ve worked with before.

I hope you find some articles of interest below and I look forward to hearing what you have accomplished in the months and years ahead.


Sonny Neale
Mob. 0467692827

Solar PV for Low Income Households given the green light.

I'm pleased to announce that the Central Victoria Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA) in partnership with three metropolitan Alliances (EAGA, NAGA and SECCCA) representing a total of 25 councils has been successful in winning funding from the New Energy Jobs Fund for our Solar PV for Low Income Households project. This $5.1 million initiative aims to install solar on more than 1,200 households using a combination of special rates charges (as in Darebin’s Solar $avers) and customised bank financing.

This is the biggest cross government, cross sector climate initiative in years. It is aimed directly at the people who have the most to lose from energy prices rises and whom the market is not motivated to support. 

This project could pave the way for Councils to offer solar energy support to all low-income households in years to come as part of normal Council operations.

Read More

Heat Health Training Video 

Please take a moment to watch the Heat Health Training video we have developed to support vulnerable residents in your shires from the third 40+ degree day onwards.

This video is paired with the Heat Relief Template and the Heat Relief Packs soon to be arriving in your Council for distribution to residents. These represent the first component of the Resilient Community Assets project that the CVGA is delivering on behalf of the Central Goldfields Shire Councils and the other five participating Councils: Loddon, Buloke, Mount Alexander, Gannawarra Shire Councils. The second component is the Street Tree Audit that will be commencing shortly.

We have designed the training to be conversational (rather than 'telling'), positive, and promoting client empowerment. The video may also be accessed by volunteers, families, other groups (such as social support, senior citizens) and the clients themselves.

Click below to take a look...

See Video here (password: heat)

Waste-to-Energy Micro-Power Station Network

We have recently submitted an application for funding under the Collaborating Councils Sustainability Fund to deliver a Business Case that is potentially so good our consultant literally found it hard-to-believe!
The funding will go towards analysing the viability of expanding the waste-to-energy system being trialled in Hepburn to all its neighbouring Councils: City of Ballarat and the Macedon Ranges, Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields and Pyrenees Shire Councils.

Equivalent to building a Council-controlled 6MW power station right where we need it, we expect the Business Case to confirm that for $33 million we could convert 43,000 tonnes of organic waste per year into:
  • 5.44 MW of electricity and 6 MW of heat
  • 10,000m3 of class 'A' water
  • 3000 tonnes of nutrient rich ‘soil conditioner’
  • cutting 80,000 tonnes of GHG emissions (20,000 cars)
The real kicker for this project is that it would turn a $3 - 4 million annual liability for Councils (waste disposal and transport) into a $12 million annual asset with an ROI of over 21%, a payback period of under 4 years and a cash return to the 6 participating Councils of nearly $250 million ($1/4 billion) over 20 years. All from organic waste we currently pay to convert into GHG emissions!
To find out more, read on...

Australian Biomass for Bioenergy Assessment  (ABBA) survey

ABBA aims to create a map which identifies biomass waste streams at their source so they can be easily made available for recovery and conversion into value-add products. This could be of interest to you if you have an operation that produces:
  • Agricultural and forestry residues
  • Animal slurries and waste
  • Food manufacturing waste
  • Food retail waste (post-consumer)
  • Forestry and sawmill residues
  • Paper and cardboard waste
  • Waste-water biosolids
  • Other organic manufacturing waste

Sustainability Victoria are inviting all biomass producers to respond to the ABBA survey by completing this 10 minute questionnaire.

Electric Vehicles to take off in Australia

A new report into the electric vehicle market in Australia suggests that by 2035 all new light vehicles sales in Australia will be electric, or at least not petrol or diesel.

The paper from Advisian, a subsidiary of Worley Parsons, says there are four key barriers to EV adoption in Australia – the cost of the vehicle, the infrastructure, the cost of charging, and the fate of fuel refineries. But all are likely to be overcome.

Read More

Green with envy - What’s the Goss on your Neighbouring Council?

Each month CVGA will be reporting developments from local councils so you know what everyone's doing.

Carisbrook Composting Trial

Central Goldfields Shire Council has now had an “in-vessel” composting trial in operation at the Carisbrook Resource Recovery Facility for two years, long-enough to make some preliminary findings about the effectiveness of the system.

The system has proven to be a cost-effective mechanism for disposing of green waste in an environmentally effective manner.

Central Goldfields' approach is simple, cost effective and immediately beneficial for residents, Councils and the environment. All regional Victorian Councils should consider doing something similar.


The Mornington Peninsular score $554,886 from state government’s New Energy Jobs grant:

The Mornington Peninsular are partnering with
United Energy and GreenSync to address the grid supply constraints, with the aim of shifting 11MW of energy demand during peak times. The need for more poles and wires will be eliminated with installations of solar PV and battery storage systems and DREDs coupled with incentives for households and businesses to shift their peak consumption to off peak times with minimal discomfort.


Articles from our Network

Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme
This month Fran McDonald, Executive Officer of the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action (WAGA) discusses the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme Workshop she recently attended.

Auction scheme design objectives:

  > Achieve Victoria's renewable energy generation targets (requiring 5,400MW  of renewables generation across Victoria in the next 10 years ) 
  > Drive industry development and jobs
  > Minimise scheme costs
  > Ensure ease of administration.  

If you want an insight into how the new scheme will work, read on.....

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