2017 Environment Exchanges

October 2017: Biodiversity Offsets: are they working in the ACT? 

See the report here.

September 2017: Environment, planning and sustainable development issues in the ACT

  • Presentation by Acting Deputy Director-General Geoffrey Rutledge as Director-General Ben Ponton was unable to attend.

Read our report here.

August 2017 – event cancelled: How the wheels are turning – bigger picture of transport

July 2017: Beyond Gas: Moving away from the “transition” fuel?

  • Will Yeap, Branch Manager Gas Networks, ActewAGL Distribution
  • Jessica Stewart, Sustainability Manager, Riverview Projects
  • Dr Hugh Saddler, Director, Energy Strategies, Strategy. Policy. Research.
  • Dr Kaveh R. Khalilpour, senior research fellow with the Energy Change Institute, at the ANU. 

Read report on the event here.

June 2017: Reducing Canberra’s Waste Mountain

  • Jim Corrigan – Executive Director, Transport Canberra and City Services.
  • Markus Dirnberger– Member Coalition for Pollution Reduction and current ANU engineering student.
  • Mia Swainson – Environmental engineer and sustainable lifestyle writer, worked in sustainable development with the Australian Government and community sector for more than 15 years.
  • Larry O’Loughlin – Executive Director Conservation Council ACT Region.

May 2017: Overcoming the Growing Pains: building a sustainable compact city

Our speakers were:

April 2017: Climate Change – getting to zero net emissions

March 2017: Using Nature for Power

In order to reduce our impact on climate change we need to move to 100% renewable energy for electricity. Harnessing natural forces for power seems to be an extremely clever option. Communities and engineers are working on the cutting edge to develop new technologies and systems to achieve this goal. But how long will it actually take to achieve? What will it take to get to a 100% renewable energy future? See a report on the forum here and video interviews and presentations are below.

February 2017: Mature native trees – pillars of biodiversity

Mature trees are a biological keystone in the ecosystem. We discussed the nomination of “Loss of Native Hollow-bearing Trees” as a threatening process to be considered by the ACT Scientific Committee and if endorsed could lead to better protection of these trees and we talked about options for restoration if there are no trees.


Darren Le RouxNow has completed a PhD at the ANU and is working for the ACT Government and trialling a new approach, resurrecting large trees in denuded environments. Darren spoke on the themes he covered in his presentation.

Sarah is an ecologist in private practice, specialising in conservation management of grassy ecosystems. Previously she worked with the ACT Government as an ecologist with responsibilities in the conservation (protection and management) of lowland grassy ecosystems. Sarah was involved in the establishment of Friends of Grasslands in 1994.