More progress has been made towards Fairbridge becoming a Centre for Water Excellence. A small living stream project funded by a Mitre 10 Junior Landcare Grant was carried out this year. The drain behind the Permaculture Garden in the workshop compound was cleaned, weeded and nutrient stripping rushes and other plants were planted by the Conservation & Land Management trainees to create a living stream. This will help to improve the water quality before it reaches the South Dandalup River.
Fairbridge has taken a large step to become increasingly water wise. Fairbridge is fully reticulated from the Memorial gates right up to and including the Chapel. Chris McLaughlin, Grounds Team Leader, has put the Village’s reticulation on Automatic systems. This project is very close to completion. This will cut down on water use and enable the lawn to be watered before 6am and after 6pm when water loss through evaporation is reduced. The Enclave group assisted with this project by installing all the reticulation at the pool area.
We are now working with the Fairbridge Project Manager, Mike Collett, to integrate the new bore into the reticulation system and the storm water management system.
It is pleasing to note that Fairbridge continues to progress with the installation of further alternative sewage systems with a further new system planned for next year. The challenge now is to establish the walk trail that will inform visitors of each system, the benefit of them and what areas they are most suitable for.
This area has faulted over the last year and 2006 needs to see a concerted effort to progress the component of Fairbridge’s work. With the signing of the Joint Venture Agreement with Murdoch University the partnership, for a range of reasons, has not moved to the next stage in the establishment of the Alternative Energy Research Park on the south side of the Village in the middle paddock. The aim of the project is to trial a range of renewable power generation technologies on a live town that can then be refined and proven to work and then utilised in other communities.
The medium aim is also to have all of the power for the Village being generated through renewable technologies onsite.
As part of this process Fairbridge is at the final stages of signing a partnership agreement with Alinta Energy that will assist in progressing this project.
Fairbridge continues to review its waste management processors to ensure that we continue to enhance the principles and processes that Fairbridge uses through Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
This year through the milling of old recycled jarrah Fairbridge has been developing a large quantity of sawdust which is being used by the gardening volunteers for both pathways and as an additive for mulching.
Fairbridge’s fully functioning carpentry workshop in the Fairbridge Workshop has been in full swing this year following its installation last year. All of the donated and purchased recycled jarrah timber from demolished old houses has been de-nailed, machined and then adapted into the renovated and newly constructed cottages and buildings within the Village.
The recycling system is a wonder to behold with volunteers and some of the program participants sorting and de-nailing the timber; the next group stacking and then preparing the sizes for milling; the third group milling the timber; and the fourth group installing the timber in the renovated or new buildings. Sustainability in action !