Sustainability – an idea for Joondalup

Australia – the world’s driest continent, and the one that receives the most sunlight. The two factors aren’t entirely unrelated!  Yet many of us maintain the dream of beautiful grass lawns and the backyard pool (well who wouldn’t!), and get most of our electricity through the burning of fossil fuels (although that is changing despite very strange roof-top-solar-generation-460x250governmental reluctance to do so).

Many people don’t realise that Perth is one of the wettest cities in Australia, and has a higher annual rainfall than London.  However the water tends to arrive in rather big chunks, most of which ends up down storm drains and goes out to the ocean.

There are, of course, solutions, but with the rising cost of everything, its often difficult to find the money to purchase solar, and our houses were rarely designed to include an external grey water tank that could be used to water our gardens (not forgetting the installation and retrofitting cost to our reticulation).

Yet when it comes to purchasing a new house, adding an extra, say $10,000 isn’t usually a bank-breaker.  And in the medium term, this is an investment that will pay for itself, and then start saving money.  As well as taking pressure off our water supplies and fossil fuel usage.  What’s not to like?

Now at council level, you can’t influence state government policy on either energy or water, but you can change planning permissions.  Perhaps a bit radical, but would it be such an impasse to expect every new house approval to expect solar power and a grey water system?  Sure, there might be exclusions for all manner of reasons, but the default position should be Solar and Grey water.

image-solar-panelSolar power is going to make up a larger proportion of our energy needs.  Whilst federally some politicians don’t want to admit it, our very own Treasurer, Mike Nahan, has seen the writing on the wall.

Sometimes, however, people need a little bit of a push.  And persuading developers to incorporate solar and grey water into their plans at the outset, could be the way to go.


About Steve Laing

Political observer, free thinker and problem solver, Steve contends that the current democratic processes have neither kept up to date with globalisation nor modern business practices, resulting in increasing dissatisfaction with modern politics. However, new technology could be used to not only reconfigure our system, but give the electorate even greater representation than was previously the case. For more background information on Steve, please check his LinkedIn profile.

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