Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges of our time. To find solutions to present and future conservation challenges we invest globally to inform policy development and support community response. Locally, we are empowering individuals to take action for a greener future.
Moolapio, from the Wathaurong language, is a partnership initiative of Greening Australia and Alcoa of Australia to conserve, enhance and restore the flora and fauna of Point Henry.
Moolapio is a ground-breaking initiative that began in 2006 between Greening Australia and Alcoa of Australia, two organisations who have worked together for over 25 years on environmental management campaigns across Australia.
Moolapio is initially focused on 500 hectares of Alcoa’s land in the Point Henry region of Geelong and represents a variety of different strategies for improving existing land management practices, restoring the local ecology and providing environmental learning opportunities for the community.
The project is currently in an initial three-year phase to develop what is seen to be a 15-year project.
Greening Australia is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the management and restoration of native vegetation in Australia. Greening Australia has always had a strong community focus, believing that real landscape change can only occur with widespread community support.
The outstanding natural features of the Moolapio site at Point Henry, and the long-term commitment by Alcoa of Australia, is enabling the combination of all the necessary ingredients to effect real conservation and landscape change; namely ecologically rigorous planning, science-based restoration practice and evaluation, and a diverse approach to community engagement.
Moolapio presents a variety of different strategies for improving existing land management practices and a key feature will be the establishment of large scale grassland restoration and establishment of the Southern Australian Centre for Grassland Restoration.
Moolapio presents a range of exciting opportunities for the education sector and wider community to play an active role in the management of Point Henry land through engaging schools, tertiary institutions and community groups in on-ground management, knowledge sharing and scientific research.
To read about Moolapio’s latest activities, click here.
Only 12 months into the partnership, it was awarded the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for ‘best specific environmental initiative’. The annual national awards program acknowledges action taken at a local level to address global environmental issues.
In mid-2009, Moolapio was announced among the winners in the federal government ‘Caring for our Country’ funding, bringing in more than $500,000 to the region.
The funding is focused on coastal protection and will address programs to improve the condition of the extensive coastal wetlands that make up the site making the project of great significance in terms of its scientific and conservation values.
In April 2010, the Moolapio project won the 2010 Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence, for Coastal Planning and Management, presented by the Honourable Gavin Jennings, Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change. Read more about the award here.
Sustainable water use is a key goal for Alcoa, Barwon Water and the drought-affected greater Geelong community. Alcoa and Barwon Water have worked together to deliver a greater level of water supply security and sustainability for the community’s and Alcoa assets through innovative recycled water projects and facilities.
In 2004, Alcoa Point Henry formed a partnership with Barwon Water to develop and implement a Water Management Action Plan. The plant wide initiative included a review of current water consumption, developed a coordinated approach to raising awareness, improved water management procedures, investigated alternative water sources and initiated strategies focused on water conservation. Read more here.
In 2007, Alcoa Point Henry, the Alcoa Foundation and Barwon Water commenced a new partnership aimed at sustainable water use, under the banner of the ‘Alcoa Water Conservation Fund’. The three-year partnership will see more than $150,000 allocated to the Alcoa Water Conservation Fund to assist customers to deliver innovative water saving projects throughout Geelong and the Surf Coast.
That year, the Alcoa Water Conservation Fund sponsored the installation of a wastewater recapture project at Barwon Health’s renal service sites and the McKellar Centre. In addition to this project, several local sporting grounds in Geelong and the Surf Coast received funds to upgrade existing irrigation infrastructure to prepare the grounds for the commencement of the 2007 football season.
In 2008, the partnership continues to focus on delivering greater assistance to the community through the WaterSecure Home program. WaterSecure Home participants receive a visit from a licensed plumber who conducts an audit of their home and can install water-saving devices such as a water-efficient showerheads, tap aerators or flow regulators as well as fixing minor leaks.
The average water saved per household after the audit is around 22KL per year which is great for the environment, not to mention a great financial saving.
The total audit is valued at $180, but after Barwon Water and state government subsidies, customers are charged $30.
The Alcoa Water Conservation Fund will cover the customer contribution of $30 for those who hold a Health Care Card, Pension Concession Card or a Department of Veteran Affairs Card, as well as all Alcoa employees.
In 2010, as part of World Environment Day celebrations, 100 Alcoa Point Henry Smelter and Anglesea Power Station employees were offered a $300 rebate on the purchase of a new water tank, thanks to the Barwon Water partnership.
The $300 is in addition to the State and Federal Government rebates currently available, with preference given to Make an Impact members.
The total cost is then paid quarterly through employees' Barwon Water account over a 12 month period.
This year, Barwon Water also became Alcoa's first Make an Impact ‘Associate’, enabling the program to be shared with the wider Geelong community. Read the full story.