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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Climate Change and Water

Green Precincts funding for high-profile Victorian projects

Media release
14 July 2009

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Two Victorian Green Precincts projects demonstrating innovative water and energy-saving initiatives will share in more than $2.5 million in Rudd Government funding through the Green Precincts program.

Visiting the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) precinct - located on the banks of the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne - Environment Minister Peter Garrett said $1.15 million in support would see the Centre implement its Zero Emission by 2012 project.

"CERES has a proud reputation for leadership in sustainability. This $1.15 million commitment will assist the Centre to further build on its great record by installing wind turbines, solar panels, a solar thermal energy generator, electric-vehicle charging stations and even a biogas powered barbeque.

"With more than 450,000 people visiting the Centre each year, these exciting new additions will showcase the latest in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. They will also get people thinking about the changes they can make around their own homes," Mr Garrett said.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said new water conservation features in six of the Centre's most visited buildings would allow water to be re-used in the property's gardens. The features include rainwater harvesting and an on-site treatment system for grey and black water.

"These innovative water saving projects are expected to deliver water savings of about 620,000 litres per year," Senator Wong said.

"As we work to tackle the effects of climate change and drought in Australia, projects such as this will be increasingly important to demonstrate the value of retrofitting existing buildings to save water."

The Ministers said $1.5 million for Manningham City Council's Doncaster Hill Green Civic Precinct project would support the development of a sustainability education hub, to be integrated into a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose community centre, including a regional library.

"Manningham City Council will use the funding to build in the latest in energy efficiency and, like CERES, will incorporate innovative renewable energy generation technology into the site," Mr Garrett said.

"With plans for a wind turbine, solar photovoltaic panels, a solar thermal system and a co-generation plant to use the heat produced in power generation, the Doncaster Hill Green Civic Precinct will be a great demonstration project for both the people of Manningham and the wider community," Mr Garrett said.

Senator Wong said water saving devices and technologies to be incorporated into the site would save about eight million litres of water each year.

"The Council will install a garden bio-retention system to harvest rainwater and stormwater. Grey water and black water re-use systems will also be used," Senator Wong said.

The Doncaster Hill Green Civic Precinct and CERES Zero Emissions by 2012 projects are funded from the Rudd Government's Green Precincts Fund, an initiative to prepare Australia for a future with less water and to encourage local communities to better manage their water and energy use.

Together, the projects will save about 2,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 743 cars off the road.

Further Green Precincts Fund recipients will be announced over the coming weeks.

Commonwealth of Australia