Modelling a renewable and energy independent community in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland


Australia’s electricity system is fossil fuel reliant and highly centralised, making it vulnerable to shocks. The community of Tamborine Mountain in South East Queensland has experienced the inherent vulnerability of a centralised system through extended outages as a result of weather and maintenance events. This study addresses Tamborine Mountain’s potential transition to a more secure and independent net positive renewable energy system, in two separate but linked studies

This research was completed by Isobel Graham in June 2017, and her thesis is available from The University of Melbourne on request via here.

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Are communities the answer to our renewable energy needs? blog post

Reducing landfill use in Burnley campus

The University of Melbourne looks to become a sustainable High Education Institution by using its campuses as living laboratories. In waste management, the University has been setting targets and encouraging recycling and waste prevention practices among the community to reach them. However, little information is known about the performance of small campuses like Burnley. In the first study of this research, we performed a waste characterization and modelled the waste stream of Burnley campus using the Material Flow Analysis methodology to determine the recovery potential and the materials that should be targeted for reduction or increased collection to reach different waste management goals. In the second part of the study, we provided to the campus community informational feedback on their recycling efforts through signs posted next to the recycling bins and evaluated the effect of the intervention on the recyclables collection and contamination of the recycling bin. The results obtained from this study will be useful to design strategies that allow to increase the recycling performance and minimise the landfill use of Burnley campus.

This research was completed by Jose Lopez in October 2018, and his thesis is available from The University of Melbourne on request.