Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sustainability gains momentum with Grant Announcements

A significant announcement relating to Sustainability Grants was made by Premier John Brumby, Gavin Jennings, Minister for Sustainability and Environment and Mara Bun, CEO of Green Cross Australia at Gary Exton's property in Flowerdale.

An extract of the release from the VBRRA Website is below:

"Small projects will be able to have a big impact on climate change thanks to $10 million made available through the Brumby Government’s $23 million Climate Communities Program.

Announcing the opening round of funding for the program today at Flowerdale, Premier John Brumby said the Victorian Government was committed to assisting grass roots community efforts meet the challenges of climate change.

“The $10 million for the Climate Communities program will help bring about real and positive outcomes that will help ensure Victoria has a sustainable future,” Mr Brumby said.

“Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing us all which is why it is important all sections of the community are empowered to meet the climate change challenges we will face.

“This program is designed specifically to assist climate change projects undertaken by community groups in Victoria. It recognises the important contribution these groups have as well as the role Government must play in partnership with them.

“I encourage community groups to work with local networks – including councils, business, schools and service groups – to identify practical sustainable local projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mr Brumby said projects may include retrofitting a community hall to reduce energy use, establishing a shared transport scheme such as a bike hire cooperative or introducing an energy cooperative to trial a new clean technology.

The Climate Communities Grants program will consider new projects that meet one or more of the key objectives:
• Reduce emissions;
• Build community resilience by adaptation to climate change; and
• Trial and/or promote new processes or technologies to help tackle climate change.

The Climate Communities Grants Program will be allocated $6 million to fund projects for communities with grants of up to $50,000. The remaining $4 million be used to provide expert advice, research and information through 9 Climate Communities facilitators who will be located across Victoria and to provide state-wide education and support programs.

While in Flowerdale, the Mr Brumby also announced the fourth round of the Sustainability Fund grants totalling $4.2 million which included a $100,000 grant to a Flowerdale project Green Cross Australia to develop a web resource to support the rebuilding of homes for local residents and others in bushfire-affected communities.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the Climate Communities program will give new impetus to what has been achieved by the Sustainability Fund, with the current Sustainability Fund grants round to become part of Climate Communities.

“The 39 projects supported through this round of Sustainability Fund grants will see such projects as aged care facilities in Shepparton powered with renewable energy, development of sustainable living programs specifically for small towns and farming communities in Victoria’s west as well as trialling new energy saving down lights in 250 Victorian homes” Mr Jennings said.

“The Sustainability Fund grants also includes $1.1 million for 11 projects that specifically help low income households to save energy and water.”

Green Cross Australia was given to develop a detailed website for asisting people rebuilding in a sustainable way. We have been working closely with Green Cross Australia for nearly a year and it is great to see some traction. We will provide further details on grants as they are confirmed.

We are also looking at establishing a Renewable Energy Work engine to look at potential for Renewable Energy in the area and to consult with the Community. There is some local expertise in the area which gives us a good start. If you would like to be involved please contact Pete Williams at

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