Queensland Renters Given the Option to Go Solar

Thousands of new Queensland rental homes will receive solar panels in a landlord and tenant-friendly rollout delivered by roofing materials supplier Stoddart Group.

SunYield is the new energy product offered by the roofing company in conjunction with energy retailer Powershop and software firm Repost Power, which will see renters save about $275 a year on power bills.

The rental sector has largely missed out on the benefits of solar panels due to what has been a complex and messy billing process between landlord and tenant.

Stoddart Group plan to install 15,000 systems across the next three years.

With this technology, Stoddart Group Energy Systems general manager Adam Taylor says the landlord owns the solar system and can either sell the power to their tenant at a discount to the market rate or export it to the grid if the tenant chooses not to buy it.

“In the next two to three years, we’ll see a complete shift – from rarely seeing a rental property with solar to it being difficult to find a new one without it,” Taylor said.

Across the next 12 to 18 months, Taylor said the aim is to develop smart boards that will meet the technical requirements for NSW and Victoria.

The SunYield package includes a 6.5KW solar power system, combined with a Stoddart Smart Board that replaces the standard meter box on a new home.

It’s also battery ready, allowing landlords to add batteries as they become cheaper and increase the proportion of solar-generated power sold to the tenant.

Previously landlords had to personally negotiate a fair deal with tenants on the value of the solar power, then read the meter each month, bill the tenant and collect the payment, in what was a complex process, Taylor explains.

“Renters have long missed out on the benefits of solar power simply because it was too hard or complicated for landlords to justify the cost.”

The process is automated via a smart switchboard and “the tenant receives a single monthly power bill for all electricity consumed from both the solar and the grid”.

Investment builders such as Choice Homes, Brighton Homes, Fortitude Homes and MetInvest will be the first groups to include SunYield as standard on their new homes. Stoddart Group will soon extend the technology to other builders.

While the rollout will not occur with existing rental homes due to the way in which the technology operates, Taylor believes the technology will quickly become standard on all new investment properties.

Originally Published by The Urban Developer, continue reading here.


How Greater Springfield Challenged the Norms

The 10th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 November 2017. 

Ms Raynuha Sinnathamby, Managing Director, Springfield Land Corporation will be attending this year’s Conference, discussing “How greater Springfield challenged the norms”.

Raynuha Sinnathamby

Greater Springfield could have been just a distant vision:  The story of a person  who boldly imagined  a city of the future that never came to be.  Instead, that dream with a difference empowered a relentless ambition, that 25 years later has been shared by many and which has irrevocably transformed a region of South East Queensland into a  multi‑billion dollar contributor to the State’s economy with a place firmly fixed on the national stage.

With that as a backdrop, it’s difficult to believe that a disused and unwanted former forestry operation, spanning 2860ha right on Brisbane’s doorstep, was of very little interest when what is now the Greater Springfield landholding came to the market.  But  in 1992, that’s what it was, until Springfield Land Corporation saw it and  a compelling opportunity to do something special.

A new city, a new beginning” was what the original slogan promised and Greater Springfield would have to challenge plenty of norms to deliver it.

That meant seizing every available opportunity, inventing others when they didn’t exist, and harvesting the often thin silver lining from plenty of clouds, in order to progress vision into reality and prevent that dream from becoming a nightmare.

It’s been a consistent and winning strategy which has resulted in a budding city bursting with a diverse and aspirational population, around a world award winning  master plan interconnected  to health, education and underpinned by technology.

Greater Springfield is where no one believed people would live, learn, work and play and yet it has disrupted that thinking and knocked down many barriers to become all of that, as well as an emerging  global attraction for investment and centre for out‑of‑the‑box thinking.

The 2017 International Urban Design Conference is an opportunity for design professionals to exchange ideas and experiences, to be creative and visionary and to contribute to redesigning our urban futures.

Find out more here.

Queensland Government Plans First Inner-City Brisbane School In Decades

Two new schools will open in the inner-city in Brisbane and another significantly expanded as the Palaszczuk Government committed $500 million to the Building Future Schools Fund.

The fund’s purposes centres around building new schools, securing land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions and creating the necessary jobs to accomplish the projects in place.

Image: A ‘vertical school’ in Melbourne – the emerging concept throughout Australia to deliver more educational institutions without requiring vast amounts of land. Courtesy Hayball.

“We will build the first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We want every child to benefit from a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why we are investing $500 million over five years to help deliver world class education facilities where they are needed most,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said through the Fund, the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative will:

  • deliver a new state secondary school at the former Fortitude Valley State School site in partnership with Queensland University of Technology
  • establish a new high school in the inner-south working with the University of Queensland to take enrolment pressure off Brisbane State High School
  • support the expansion of West End State School to meet enrolment demand

The Palaszczuk Government also claimed to have plans already underway for new state high schools in other growth areas across Queensland including Mt Low in Townsville, North Lakes/Mango Hill north of Brisbane, Calliope near Gladstone and Yarrabilba in South Logan.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said over the last 50 years, Brisbane used all available land to expand existing school sites, but she said you can only expand so much.

This article was originally published by The Urban Developer.

Click here to read the entire article.

New SEQ plan looks at unlocking land, focuses on affordable living.

A new plan for housing and infrastructure in south-east Queensland will ignore warnings about an over-supply of units and apartments, but aim to ride out the booms and busts of the housing market.

Draft plan includes:

  • Updates 2009 SEQ Regional Plan
  • 25-year plan, 50-year vision
  • Plans for housing, employment, roads and transport
  • 60pc infill, 40pc greenfield housing
  • Housing diversity to provide affordable housing
  • Links housing to services for affordable living
  • Identifies “urban breaks” and “bio-diversity corridors”
  • Public consultation until March 2017

The draft South East Queensland Regional Plan, released on the Gold Coast by the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, provides for more high-density living in selected areas.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad at release of draft South East Queensland Regional Plan
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad at release of draft South East Queensland Regional Plan

Ms Trad said she was aware of recent financial commentary about the over-approval of apartment buildings.

“This is not something that has gone into the SEQ Regional Plan, because this plan is to ride out any boom and bust cycle that may happen,” she said.

“It’s a plan for the long term — for 25 years — but it’s also a vision for our region over the next 50 years.

“This plan is about riding them all out to make sure that we have the best south-east Queensland region that we can possibly have.”

Ms Trad said the latest plan would also try to unlock land that had been previously set aside for development but had lain idle.

“We know that there are some 3,000 hectares of land within the current urban footprint that has been there since 2009 that hasn’t been developed,” she said.

“We know that we can be doing better in terms of getting that land to market to make sure that we’ve got the type of housing that Queenslanders need to drive down the cost of housing and liveability.

Another aspect of the plan was to consider the services required in residential areas.

“The draft plan focuses on affordable living — not just affordable housing — and looks at the way that people interact with their community and the services around them,” Ms Trad said.

“We have identified areas of regional economic significance throughout the southeast to facilitate economic growth outside the major employment hubs and enable people to work and live closer to home.

“We are looking, for the first time, beyond the boundary of a 25-year plan and have developed a 50-year vision that looks ahead to the region’s longer-term future and how SEQ responds to global changes.”

Ms Trad said an extra 2 million people were expected to live in south-east Queensland by 2041, swelling the population to 5.3 million. By 2061, the population was expected to grow to 10 million.

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said he would look closely at some of the smaller issues but called it a good long-term plan.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the plan would allow his city to keep the lifestyle it was famous for.

Redland Mayor Karen Williams said there was a lot of detail for residents to look at to make sure the plan suited her city.

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Queensland president, Steve Harrison, said it was an opportunity to unlock potential in the state’s south-east, particularly when Sydney and Melbourne housing was unaffordable for many people.

Property Council executive director Chris Mountford also welcomed the draft plan, but said it did not include everything the industry required.

“The property industry will now be sifting through the detail of the draft to test the underlying assumptions and determine if the Government’s approach is realistic,” he said.

Read more.