Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chonicle 27-01-16 Contents Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 10
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Clean tech options excite dynamos
Rommel Macaraeg, Joshua Petrass, Mitch Woolfenden and Lily Wang went to Paris for a global Climathon
Mary Lynn Mather
For young innovator Mitch
Woolfenden, ground-breaking ideas
are the way to a better future,
especially when it comes to clean
He said Canberra was in a good
position to capitalise on its knowledge
economy and take advantage of trends
that emerged from the United Nations
Climate Change Conference.
Mr Woolfenden was in a team of
Australian National University
students and alumni representing the
capital at a pitching event in Paris, held
alongside the COP21.
Just being part of it, in the sense of
the things going on, was very
exciting,'' he said.
Meeting other groups from other
cities was also really quite
In June last year, Rommel
Macaraeg, Lily Wang, Joshua Petrass,
Vijay Nandagiri and Mr Woolfenden
devised a certification scheme for local
businesses using renewable energy.
Their proposal impressed judges in
an international hackathon-style
competition, which took place over 24
hours in 20 cities around the world.
As a result, they were chosen to
travel to Climate-KIC's global
Climathon initiative, which aimed to
accelerate solutions to the problems
faced by cities.
In the Grand Palais in central Paris,
the local contingent developed their
ideas and worked on pitching them in
front of the other 11 teams.
Mr Woolfenden was impressed to
see a lot of cleantech businesses''
and related enterprises when he visited
the Solutions 21 exhibition.
This is where the economic
opportunities of the future lie,'' he said
of the impetus towards harnessing
renewable materials and alternative
It's a bit concerning in that there's
the potential for Australia to be left
However, Mr Woolfenden was
quick to praise the ACT, which he
cited as one of the areas doing the
most'' in the country.
In terms of innovation and
economics, he said the early movers
get the advantage'' and if you wait
until it's happening, it's too late''.
The dynamos behind the start-up
company, Certified Renewable, have
been quick off the mark and they are
eager to give accredited local
businesses the recognition they
Details are available at
The team's twitter address is
A Happy New Year to all the residents
and businesses in Weston Creek and
The Weston Creek Community
Council will continue to work hard in
2016 and there is a busy year ahead
with an election for the ACT
Legislative Assembly in October.
We need to hear the important issues
in the community so we can raise them
with the candidates, the parties and the
The council was disappointed with
the decision made on January 13 in
relation to Block 1, Section 110 in
Weston. This is one of the medium
density developments in the DHA area
The major issue raised by the
council and residents was privacy as
this development would "overlook"
current housing in Heysen Street.
In the interests of transparency, the
council feels the government, business
and bureaucracy need to rethink
whether development applications
should be lodged in the period from
December 15 to January 15.
We await consultations on the
remaking of Brierly Street and
Trenerry Place at Cooleman Court.
Our first public meeting will be
Wednesday, February 24 at 7.30 pm at
St Jude's Primary School Hall in
Nature Map app a window into Canberra's wonders
Our bush capital
A lizard spotted in Canberra Nature
Many years ago humanity stepped on
to the surface of the moon and those
immortal words "one small step for
man, one giant leap for mankind"
resonated around the world. What is
perhaps not truly appreciated is that
Neil Armstrong's signal was first
received here in the mountains of
Namadgi at NASA's Honeysuckle
Creek Tracking Station.
It was from the mountains of the
Bush Capital that those famous words
and pictures reverberated. At the time
the technology at the Honeysuckle
Creek Tracking Station was cutting
edge. It not only ensured the mission
was a success, but also let the whole
world share in the achievement.
Today the vast majority of us walk
around with mini computers in our
pocket more powerful than astronauts
of the time could have dreamt. We are
making use of smartphone technology
to allow residents and visitors to delve
deeper into our own world, with the
latest version of an exciting app,
Canberra Nature Map.
At its heart Canberra Nature Map is
a sophisticated database containing a
range of information on the natural
world in the ACT. In a sense it can act
as window into Canberra's
environment, just as the first radio
signals from the moon acted as a
window into a new world.
Recent updates include records of
fungi and all native plants along with
most common weeds in the ACT.
Illustrative photos of every reptile and
frog found across the Bush Capital are
also available, allowing our budding
citizen scientists to download
herpetological lists from their
favourite places of interest.The fully
integrated website is supported by a
bevy of technical experts and
enthusiast conservation groups who
can quickly identify rare and unusual
plants and animals, offering
fascinating insights to any observation
submitted. Along with exquisite
photographs a description and location
is provided for each animal and plant
species listed via an interactive map.
The site now contains more than
28,000 sightings of some 2500
individual species across more than
500 locations: a wealth of natural
knowledge readily accessible only a
few clicks away.
This sort of community-based
technology is taking citizen science to
a whole new level. It's powerful. What
is rather exciting is that Canberra
Nature Map is so easy to use from the
casual and curious onlooker to a
seasoned bush observer.
This is the real power of Canberra
Nature Map; it's about sharing the
knowledge across our community. To
discover this rich natural world see
Brett McNamara is regional manager
with ACT Parks & Conservation
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