Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Sydney Theatre Company shows the world how to 'Switch On'

Media release
26 November 2010


The Sydney Theatre Company will officially open another innovative 'Green Precinct', jointly funded under the Gillard Government's Green Precincts Fund.

"The Greening the Wharf project will significantly reduce energy and water use on-site, and subsequently reduce carbon emissions. More than 300,000 people attend the Sydney Theatre Company each year, which provides a great opportunity for the community to see and experience cutting-edge technology at work," Tony Burke, Minister for Environment and Water said today.

"The Gillard Government will contribute $1.2 million towards this project.

"This is a place where Australians come to hear stories, now the story of sustainability will live in this venue."

Minister Burke joined Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton on-site to switch on the photovoltaic array. The second largest in the country, it is expected to produce up to 70 per cent of the Sydney Theatre Company's energy requirements.

The project will also include installing an innovative rainwater harvesting, storage and reticulation system, which will supply 100 per cent of the Company's non-potable water requirements.

This project will help the Sydney Harbour Wharf demonstrate how modern technology can be designed and adapted to help heritage sites contribute to a more sustainable future.

"The project has transformed the wharf into a sustainability hub employing solar power technology, water-smart design and the latest in energy efficiency," Minister Burke said.

"This is a great example of innovative energy and water saving technologies being put to use in the urban environment," Senator Farrell said.

"As we work to secure Australia's water supplies and tackle the effects of climate change, projects like this are increasingly important to show others how to reduce water and energy use."

The Green Precincts Fund forms part of Australia's ongoing commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions and adapting to climate change. In total, 13 projects have been funded.