Page 3645 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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Smart blocks is designed to provide information and guidance for apartment owners, strata managers and facilities managers. It was developed in a partnership between Strata Community Australia, City of Sydney, City of Melbourne, Green Strata and Owners Corporation Network of Australia. Smart blocks was developed with the help of a team of experts, including Adjunct Professor Alan Pears AM, Sustainable Solutions Pty Ltd; Brett Earle, Strata Data Group; Chiara Pacifici, Green Gurus; Michael Steele, Stratatas; Martin Harris and Russell Caird, Ausgrid; Grant Mifsud, Archers Body Corporate Management; David McGlashan, Facility Management Victoria Pty Ltd; David Malicki and Bill Liu, energy saver program, Office of Environment and Heritage New South Wales; Sharon Lameris, Sandy Papalia and Katrin Schmidt, Strata Community Australia; and Warren Overton, Viridis.

The smart blocks online toolkit helps residents throughout the process of improving energy efficiency in their building. The first step is for residents to engage with the executive committee or owners corporation and collect details about energy consumption and the building’s maintenance and replacement plan. An independent energy consultant can help residents accurately determine how much energy is being used. Residents can then use this information to set up a building profile on the smart block site and invite other people from their block to join.

After setting up a building profile, residents can consider the suggestions provided by the online tool and seek quotes to determine the best option for their block. The online tool also helps residents work out the payback period for any up-front costs.

The next step in the process is to make the case for the changes. Anyone who has lived in a strata building will understand the frustrations facing residents who want to save on energy costs. Smart blocks provides assistance and advice to help residents gain executive committee or body corporate support for the changes. The final step in the process is to make the changes and record the energy savings. The smart blocks building profile makes it easy for residents to record this information.

Recently I was pleased to attend the launch of smart blocks in Canberra. Smart blocks is an innovative tool which I am sure will be very helpful to residents in Canberra’s many unit blocks who would like to save on energy costs. For more information about smart blocks I recommend members visit their website at

Canberra Friends of Dili

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (5.39): On Saturday, 14 September I had the pleasure of representing the Speaker, Vicki Dunne, at the Timor-Leste gift giving ceremony and re-signing of the Canberra Dili friendship memorandum of understanding. As part of this ceremony and to celebrate the centenary of Canberra, Canberra Friends of Dili released a travel diary of Timor-Leste called Ten Canberrans and the Sleeping Crocodile. This travel diary, written by Canberra Friends committee member Dr Stephen Utick and endorsed with a foreword by Abel Guterres, the Ambassador for the Democratic Republic of East Timor, is a journal of an expedition by Canberra Friends of Dili of 10 out of the 13 districts of Timor-Leste in July 2010.

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