Tag Archive | Environment

Next phase of medium density eco development begins in Castlemaine

Australia is experiencing rapid population growth. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, our current population, which sits just under 25 million, is projected to increase to between 36.8 million and 48.3 million by 2061.

While growth in regional areas is slower than in the capitals, we still need to find ways to adapt if we want our communities to remain sustainable, resilient and liveable.

One of the ways the towns and communities of the Mount Alexander Shire are responding is evident in a shift towards more medium density housing. While the majority of homes in the shire are still separate houses, the number of semi-detached, terrace or townhouses has more than doubled in the last five years.

“The trend towards more concentrated, medium density living in towns like Castlemaine and Maldon reflects changes we are seeing all over the country,” says Waller Realty Agent, Nick Haslam.

“More people in our region are choosing to build and live in smaller homes for reasons of convenience, for cost and, in many cases, to reduce their environmental impact. We expect to see this shift in thinking continue to grow in the next few years.”

The completed sale of the Bull Street Terraces development in the heart of Castlemaine is a great example of this new way of building and living.

Designed by Geoff Crosby of Crosby Architects, the Bull Street Terraces development incorporates four innovative townhouses with impressive environmental credentials. Small when it comes to footprint, the properties encourage more connection with the township, its facilities and surrounds.

Carolyn, who purchased one of the terraces says she’s looking forward to having a strong community around her and being close to the train station and town. Leaving an old Victorian home in Melbourne, she’s also looking forward to being in a low maintenance property that’s been designed for sustainable living.

“When I’ve spent time in buildings that have been sustainably built in the past I’ve always felt like there was an atmosphere or a ‘breathability’ about them. I’m excited about living in a space with that kind of ambience,” she says.

“I knew I wanted to downsize. I’ve been retired for a few years and living in my family home on my own. I had visited Castlemaine a few times but it was really the development that drew me to the area, not the other way around.”

“This property just ticked all the boxes.”

The Bull Street Terraces development is scheduled for completion by mid 2019 and also includes the renovation of an existing cottage and a new stand-alone house. For more information on this and other developments in the area contact Nick Haslam on 0418 322 789 nick@wallerrealty.com.au

 

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Local Landcarers take out statewide awards

Cactus warrior information stall at the Maldon-Baringhup Agricultural Show

Landcare groups from around the state met at Government House last week for the 2017 Victorian Landcare Awards with many of the top prizes awarded to groups and individuals from the shire.

“We were thrilled with the results,” says Regional Landcare Coordinator, Tess Grieves. “The Mount Alexander Shire was so well represented and really successful at the awards.”

The awards are held every two years and celebrate the efforts of hundreds of individuals, community groups, schools and organisations across Victoria that protect and enhance the natural environment and improve sustainable agriculture.

This year, 85 nominations were received in the 14 award categories, winners in several categories will go on to represent the state at the 2018 National Landcare Awards.

Connecting Country, a community-operated landscape restoration organisation, which also operates as an informal Landcare network across the Mount Alexander Shire, was awarded the Landcare Network Award.

Ian Higgins from Friends of Campbells Creek won the Australian Government Individual Landcare Award for his work transforming Campbells Creek from a degraded, weed-infested dump to a site rich with native vegetation.

Another shire resident, Ian Grenda, was Highly Commended in this category.

Local cactus warriors, The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (TCCG) received the Fairfax Media Landcare Community Groups Award for their work over the last decade destroying millions of wheel cactus plants and restoring their local environment.

The TCCG was praised for its community-based approach, linking people together and raising awareness throughout the shire, particularly through their monthly field days.

“Winning the award is recognition of the effort we’ve all put in,” says Ian Grenda, who has been with TCCG from the very beginning.

“Groups and individuals from the Shire did well in many categories. I think it’s a great indication of just how active Landcare is in the region. We’re all trying to do something positive for our local environment.”

Also nominated this year were Asha Bannon from Connecting Country for the Young Landcarer Award and Chewton and Winters Flat Primary Schools for the Junior Landcare Teams Award.

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees.

 

 

Maldon goes plastic bag free

It’s estimated one trillion plastic bags are used and discarded every year worldwide. The Maldon community is taking a stand against waste, joining 30 other towns in the Loddon Mallee region to become a Plastic Bag Free Town.

Australians use over 10 million new plastic bags every day. Each bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down, meaning that every plastic bag ever produced is still in a landfill. Those that are blown away, dumped or littered end up in water systems and, ultimately, in the ocean where they are thought to be responsible for killing more than one million seabirds and 100,000 mammals every year.

The Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group (LMWRRG) and Maldon Inc have been working with stores throughout Maldon to help them become plastic bag free. The group says owners, managers and the general public have been hugely supportive throughout the transition process.

“We strongly encourage all Maldon residents to support the town traders and remember to take their reusable bags,” says Karen Fazzani, Executive Officer LMWRRG.

“Every effort in this regard helps protect the environment from damage plastic bags can cause especially when they take such a long time to break down.”

Stores that previously supplied plastic bags have been provided with a recycled paper alternative and re-usable calico bags will be available throughout the town. Boomerang Bags have also recently become available.

It’s hoped that as time goes on people will start to bring their own re-usable bags when they shop, removing the need for retailers to supply a bag altogether. To get everyone in the swing of things, throughout July people can enter the draw to win a hamper worth $250 every time they shop in Maldon with their re-usable bags.

“One of the actions in our Council Plan is to support Maldon and other communities to be plastic bag free, says Sharon Telford, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire. “As a Maldon local, it’s fantastic for us to be the first plastic bag free town in Mount Alexander Shire.”

“Reusable bags are a simple and effective way that we can all reduce our impact on the environment. It’s small decisions that have a lasting impact and I’m very proud of our community for taking this step.”

The team at the Waller Realty office in Maldon are extremely supportive of the initiative and praised local traders for their commitment to protecting the environment.

“Becoming a Plastic Bag Free Town will make Maldon an even more appealing place to live and we congratulate everyone involved,” says Waller Realty’s Leah Panos.