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23 September 2009
The Australian National University (ANU) will receive $1 million in Rudd Government funding to transform its iconic Canberra campus into a sustainable green hub.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the funding would help the University implement its Education Precincts for the Future project.
“The funding will allow the ANU to install photovoltaic solar panels and trial a solar split air conditioning system – a technological innovation developed by ANU researchers,” Minister Garrett said.
“The University will also increase the use of carbon neutral transport on campus and upgrade facilities to assist long-distance bicycle commuters.”
Member for Fraser Bob McMullan said: “Through these energy saving measures, the University expects to save 1,529 tonnes of carbon emissions a year – the equivalent of taking 436 cars off the road.
“The University will also coordinate green events including festivals, debates, seminars, training and targeted workshops encouraging attendees to become change advocates.”
Senator Wong said the funding would help the ANU introduce water saving initiatives to significantly reduce the University’s use of potable water, saving more than 44 megalitres of drinking water a year.
“The University will introduce a stormwater harvesting system for landscape irrigation, as well as converting one public sports oval to synthetic turf to save water,” Senator Wong said.
Senator Wong said the project would use the ANU campus as a demonstration classroom to highlight climate change solutions and encourage community motivation and mobilisation.
“As we work to tackle the effects of climate change and drought, projects like this will be increasingly important as examples of how organisations can alter their practices to reduce water and energy use,” Senator Wong said.
The Education Precincts for the Future project is one of 13 projects supported by 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.