August 2010

Lake Condah project wins CCF Earth Award

30.08.2010 - Posted by Michael Bain
The restoration of water in Lake Condah is one of the key tenets of the Lake Condah Sustainable Development Project (LCSDP) being undertaken by the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation. The lake has tremendous cultural and spiritual significance for the indigenous community. Examples of techniques that were used for trapping and harvesting eels, as well as remains of rudimentary stone huts, are readily observed and attest to the importance of this area in the history of these communities.

Lake Condah project wins CCF Earth Award 

The Lake Condah water restoration project has restored the lake following the construction, some 60 years ago, of a channel to drain the Lake into Darlot Creek, to reclaim much of the Lake area for agriculture, chiefly cattle grazing, by non-indigenous farmers. More recently the Gunditjmara people were successful in their native title claim over the Lake Condah land area, which is now known as the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape.

A milestone was achieved this month when the lake reached its full level and spilled over the newly constructed weir for the first time.  The design and construction of the weir was nominated for an Earth Award conducted by the Civil Contractors Federation of Victoria in category one for projects of value up to $1 million. The key elements that distinguished this project were:

• its design, which was in keeping with the cultural and environmental sensivity of the site;
• the engagement of the local indigenous community in all aspects of the construction; with training and on-site supervision, indigenous workers were recruited to undertake all the construction tasks, as well as some of the administration roles;
• an exhaustive community consultation program involving all stakeholders; this enabled the realisation of a united vision for the project and a highly co-operative team for implementation.

The Lake Condah project won the award against some high quality competition. It now becomes the Victorian contender for the national Earth Award to be decided in Canberra in October.

Postcard from the Dialogues on Country team

11.08.2010 - Posted by Amanda Wealands

White Paper on Climate Change

9.08.2010 - Posted by
The Victorian Government recently released its Climate Change White Paper – Taking Action for Victoria’s Future.   At the heart of the document lie 10 actions that aim to place Victoria on a more sustainable energy footing. By far the most significant is Action 1 – Legislating to cut Victoria’s greenhouse pollution by at least 20%.

The document acknowledges the “disappointing defeat by the Senate of the Federal Government’s proposed CPRS” and states that Victoria is no longer willing to wait for a federal solution. It is pleasing to see this important first step being taken. An additional $329 million has been committed, on top of the $322 million previously announced for climate change and renewable energy programs.

The Postcard Project

4.08.2010 - Posted by Amanda Wealands

Eight EWB volunteers (including Keryn, Misko and Clare from our Melbourne office) are travelling through the Murray-Darling Basin to talk to Aboriginal people about water and land management.

Their aim is to:
  • Create positive change in the engineering profession through a dialogue between professionals in the water industry and Aboriginal communities within the Murray Darling Basin
  • Gain an understanding of Aboriginal knowledge and values of land and water management in the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • Determine ways to embed our gained understanding in land and water practices, management and policy.
Click here for more information about the Dialogues on Country Trip.

The team will be sending regular postcards back telling us about what they've been up to, who they've met and what they're learning. Please follow us on the EWB website or Twitter - EWBAUS.