Can we ask the north what [it] is it was asking this time around? Can we talk about building simple, practical houses designed to withstand cyclones and storms, houses that bring in their own cooling breezes and actually save money and energy, houses that are designed to remain high and dry above the flood-line?
The north - and Cyclone Yasi - spoke to us this week.
I hope we were listening to what she said.The Weekend Australian 5/2/2011
What do Suncorp Insurance, Good Shepherd, Lend Lease, Ergon Energy, Queensland Conservation Council, Arup, WWF, GHD, BVN Architects and Volunteering Queensland all have in common? A desire to build back smart and green from Queensland's summer of horrific weather.
Green Cross Australia is catalysing a partnership determined to build back a greener, more resilient Queensland in the aftermath of the 2011 floods and cyclones. Our aim is to leverage the multibillion dollar recovery investment to deliver and reduce the environmental impact of recovering communities while building their capacity to cope including through reduced future energy bills.
The Queensland Reconstruction Authority faces an enormous challenge given the tremendous diversity and scale of 2011's severe weather impacts.
As we have seen through Green Cross leadership of a sustainable recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, green disaster rebuilding creates green jobs, saves greenhouse emissions, reduces energy bills, and supports community resilience.
We particularly look forward to exploring the possibility of retrofitting flood and cyclone affected schools to a high eco-resilience level as we have done across New Orleans with a five year sustained effort including through impacts of the Gulf Oil Spill.
Green Cross has been preparing for recent severe weather events since Green Cross was founded in Brisbane in 2007 to support the goal of reducing household greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2010, through sustainable responses to severe weather events.
CEDA Thought Leadership Forum: Managing Major
On April 13 Green Cross CEO Mara Bun moderated a leadership forum for the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia CEDA addressing the strategic policy dimensions of rebuilding better.
The forum addressed the following critical aspects of the recovery: "The Australian response in 2011 has seen establishment of new policy, new authorities and new funding models, while other existing policy settings remain untested. Are current recovery models sustainable, or are business, government and community accepting that each event will require its own? How can the 2011 recovery adopt and demonstrate betterment, and position us well for the predicted increase in major weather events into the future?"
Participants included the CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia, senior response officials from the public and private sectors involved in major US catastrophes, and Queensland recovery leaders from the business and community sector. Grattan Institute Economist Saul Eslake made a valuable contribution in acknowledging that despite the strong business case for building more resilient and sustainable responses, the short term funding and political circumstances often prevent better recoveries from occurring, especially given media pressure for fast action.
Build It Back Green Queensland Stakeholder Workshop
On March 17 Green Cross led a Stakeholder Workshop in Parliament House Brisbane, with support from the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management.
Over 100 business and community leaders came together with ten State and local government agencies to explore how exemplar, cutting edge projects could advance "business-as-usual" outcomes as Queensland rebuilds.
BIBG QLD Partners share three aims:
In order to achieve these, workshop participants came up with some exciting priorities for action to support residents, schools, green infrastructure, green buildings and community engagement. Our objectives are to:
Focused project ideas are now being discussed across Queensland State and Local Government agencies by BIBG QLD partners. Green Cross looks forward to working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other agencies to take this initiative to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to scope opportunities for advancing this work.
Find out more about what so many of Queensland's leading business, community and government agencies want to achieve by reading the Stakeholder Workshop Report.
Queensland Design Council Support for BIBG QLD
Premier Bligh's Design Council includes some of Queensland's most eminent built environment leaders, including Michael Rayner, Principal Architect of Cox Rayner and Phillip Follent, Queensland Chief Architect and Head of the new School of Architecture at Bond University. Green Cross CEO Mara Bun is also a member of the Council which is chaired by Julianne Shultz, Founding Editor of Griffith Review.
The Design Council was actively involved in shaping priorities for Build it Back Green Queensland. Michael Rayner's Workshop presentation features design ideas that made the front page of The Australian after the Brisbane flood. The Design Council's submission to the Queensland Flood Inquiry supports design-led thinking to deliver lasting eco-resilience gains for Queensland in a manner that supports Q2 government policy priorities.