Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
On 17 June 2010, the former Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong re-opened Willows Oval after a water management upgrade, as part of the Australian National University's Green Precincts Fund project, Education Precincts for the Future.
Download these videos
- ANU - Willows Oval Re-opening 17 June 2010 - part 1 (MOV - 3.5 MB)
- ANU - Willows Oval Re-opening 17 June 2010 - part 2 (MOV - 14.9 MB)
- ANU - Willows Oval Re-opening 17 June 2010 - part 3 (MOV - 19.6 MB)
Firstly let me thank the Minister and Professor Chubb and each of you hearty souls for coming down to this special day and this special opening in this weather. Start by acknowledging the first Australians on whose traditional land we meet and whose culture are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.
I would like to introduce Professor Ian Chubb, the President and Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University.
Penny Wong Minister for Climate Change and Water you're very welcome here today to help us launch what was a big commitment but also in a way a big adventure for the ANU. So we've made over the period of time before I've arrive and certainly since I've been here a commitment to a significant reduction in water consumption. This campus needed water, this campus depended on cheap of course but also fairly copious water supply and when that didn't happen we had to change.
So we've changed by using recycled water with captured storm water, we've improved irrigation regimes, we've increased the use of drought tolerant plants on campus, we have maintenance programs to eliminate water and to improve system efficiency so we've set water conservation targets in the environmental plan reducing the overall portable water consumption by 50% by 2025 and eliminating all portable water use in the landscape by 2015. So we are challenged, we accept the chllenge and as an institution we like setting ourselves big hurdles to jump and that will be one that I'm sure we will be able to jump but we'll have to work at it.
So we did agree I guess it's about a year ago, a bit over a year ago that we would put in synthetic turf in that oval. The sports and rec. association have had overall responsibility for the project and for the people that are here were responsible for providing, managing and implementing the decision to go with the synthetic turf. It's be fitted with the latest grass technology to create a state of art playing field and it's been accredited by the international federation of football associations and also meets the playing standard for international hockey, rugby, AFL and cricket Australia. So it's a good oval but also what it does is it will capture this rain and we will be able to use it elsewhere, so we anticipate being able to capture about 5 mega litres of water per annum.
But I would be remiss Minister if I didn't end by thanking you and the government and the government through you for the grant that was provided by the Green Precincts Program and I would have to say without that particular funding this project and indeed a number of other projects that go to our green campus, green Precincts would not have been possible so for that we are grateful to you and to your government for the support you have given us over the years to actually keep to maintain this institution up to where it needs to be. Thank you.
Thanks very much for coming out today in inclement weather it is a rather ironic thing isn't it to launch a water saving project in the rain but we are very grateful for the rain.
It's a real pleasure to be here to reopen willows oval even if we are here rather than out there after its closure. And it's a real pleasure to talk again about the education Precincts for the future project which we funded under our green Precincts fund.
Green Precincts were an amount of funding that we allocated I think in our first budget from memory to high profile demonstration projects to try and showcase in different parts of Australia and in different institutions, different locations and using different technology and different methods. How it is that we can be more sustainable, how it is that we can use water more wisely, we can reuse water and how we can become more energy efficient and this is one of a range of projects around Australia at different high profile locations where we are trying to showcase the different locally based solutions to the demands that we face in terms of becoming more energy efficient and water efficient as a nation and as the Vic Chancellor said that was the basis of some million dollars of funding we provided to the ANU's project and I understand that this is the first milestone in that project which will be followed I hope by insulation of solar panels (is that right) and harvesting of storm water to supplement portable water use and I hope a range of other initiatives.
My recollections is that your projects in total are to save eventually over 40 million litres of portable water a year. I hope it will be more my experiences has been a lot of time if fact there has been more water saving that anticipated for these sorts of projects I hope you can beat that. Can I also congratulate you on the addition to the Willows Project which is not just the replacement with synthetic turf but also what is described as a sub surface storm water harvesting system which I think is just trapping the water that rains on to the oval. So I'm pleased that the water that's coming down today will I hope be harvested and stored for days when it doesn't rain like this.
ANU's always been a leader in this nation since its inception and I think particularly in recent years and I hope these sorts of projects and this project particularly can inspire and inform people within the university community around actions they can take in there own lives as well because if we are genuinely going to meet the challenges of climate change of reducing our energy use and reducing our water use it isn't just going to be from government policies and government grants its also going to be from the choices we make everyday as individuals in our work lives and in our home lives so congratulations to all involved in this project. Thank you very much for your work, I hope it goes well and I hope that the remaining aspects of your Precincts programs can be rolled out speedily and efficiently. Thank you very much for inviting me here today.