MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — I rise to speak about the exciting work of an innovative group in my electorate, Geelong Sustainability, whose efforts culminated in Sustainable House Day Geelong on 16 October. This open house gave an opportunity to see inside 14 houses and gardens designed, built, renovated or retrofitted with sustainability in mind across Geelong, the Bellarine and the Golden Plains shire. Sustainability involves not doing environmental harm, not depleting natural resources and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance into the future — a concept supported by the Andrews Labor government statewide and in action at a grassroots level through the Geelong Sustainability group and its members.
The St Leonards home I visited is purpose built with a specific goal of energy efficiency, beginning with house orientation and ensuring thermal mass. Houses can also be retrofitted, adding new technologies such as heating systems that deliver thermal efficiency and achieve coolness in summer and warmth in winter. Owners do this through effective sealing to draughtproof homes, solar control through reflective blinds, effective heat transfer, window glazing and insulation in ceilings, walls and under floors.
I am equally pleased that the Geelong Cemeteries Trust last week won the Premier’s sustainability award for environment protection in constructing the Moonah Memorial Walk at the Queenscliff Cemetery in a nature reserve within a protected coastal moonah woodland area. The creation of the memorial walk followed extensive community consultation and thoughtful environmental planning. It offers graves and memorials in a unique, beautiful and natural setting as its part of a planned larger development.
I congratulate everyday people who are working at a local level, using their skills, knowledge and experience to make Victoria a more sustainable place.