Mar 5, 2015

Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL-Community and Environment

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (12:26): Next Wednesday I will have the honour of cutting the ribbon at the launch of a new trigeneration energy system at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club. This was funded with a grant of over $580,000 from the former Australian Labor government. Trigeneration is the simultaneous production of three forms of energy—electricity, heating and cooling—from a single system. It is nearly three times more energy efficient than a coal fired power station. This will cut the energy costs for this local community based club by up to $185,000 every year. It will have significant benefits for the environment. It will reduce carbon emissions by 1,590 tons per annum. This is the equivalent, this one plant, of taking more than 350 cars a year off the road. 

The expected return on investment for the trigeneration system is 35 per cent per annum. This is good investment —good investment in our environment and good investment in improving the economic capacity of Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club. This is a club, like many other RSLs, that makes an enormous contribution to the local community, whether it be hosting schools, such as Ashbury Public School—I attended the presentation day there last year—whether it be sponsoring local sporting organisations such as Hurlstone Park Wanderers Football Club or Summer Hill Cricket Club, or whether it be putting money back into the community for junior sport.

 This club also was the venue, appropriately, given the impact on climate change and reducing omissions of this trigeneration energy system, of a climate change forum that I hosted last year with Labor’s climate change spokesperson, Mark Butler, and with Amanda McKenzie, the CEO of the Climate Council. It was attended by about 300 people who participated in a discussion about how we could have an impact locally, as well as about the broader implications of climate change for our way of life into the future. The club itself anticipates complete cost recovery from the trigeneration system within four years.

 One of the best functions it has been my honour to attend was held last year as part of the lead-in for the Anzac Centenary commemorations. The main speaker was Brendan Nelson, who is now, of course, in charge of the Australian War Memorial. There were representatives of local schools and local community based organisations, as well as veterans and families themselves.

 It was a great example of the role that a club can play in harnessing community capacity, in making sure that we recognise our history. In particular, this year we are recognising the sacrifice made by those brave men and women in our Defence Force who defended our nation and suffered such dreadful losses during World War I and during engagements ever since. Our thoughts are also with our Defence Force members who continue to serve us, at risk to themselves, in theatres such as Afghanistan today.

 This is a great project. It is great management by the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club. I pay tribute to them for their vision and I look forward to participating in this event next Wednesday.