Media and News

Simple, But Effective – The Drain Sock

In the wake of our growing realisation of the extensive damage that plastic pollution is having on our planet, we are constantly seeking new ways to help reduce plastic waste and stop it from reaching the ocean.  The City of Kwinana – a small city south of Perth – has come up with a solution that is inspirational in its effectiveness and simplicity – and it is taking the world by storm, reaching an international audience of over 25 million.

It’s called a drain sock, and it is a simple as it sounds.  A large rope net fitted over the exit point of a storm-water drain, which collects trash and debris before it enters local waterways.  It’s a particularly effective solution as it is estimated that 1,500 Kilograms of plastic enters the ocean every hour, and this primarily comes through stormwater drains.


EnergyLab announces 9 new clean energy start-ups

EnergyLab welcomes 9 new start-ups to its acceleration program to Fast-track Australia’s transition to 100% Clean energy future.

With its fifth intake of start-ups, Australia’s first clean energy accelerator program, EnergyLab is providing 9 New and promising Clean technology start-ups a year of support to take their business to the next level.

The start-ups were selected nationally with ideas spanning from bio-energy, monitoring and trading of electricity, new energy storage solutions, electric vehicles for the tourism industry, and for the first time in EnergyLab’s program, a startup in the legal industry, aiming to simplify renewable energy contracts.

Starting on April 8th, and running for a year in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, the entrepreneurs will receive training, connections to a large network of investors and mentors, key corporate and public partners, and assistance in raising capital.

“The diversity and quality of entrepreneurs entering this industry continues to excite and challenge us. We are delighted by the new cohort and see plenty of potential in each and every business” says EnergyLab Chair, Piers Grove.


This year’s cohort of 9 is very diverse not just in the sectors represented but also from a founders perspective. Energylab is welcoming senior professionals, experts in their field, launching their startup to disrupt their industry such as Melbourne-based Blockchain Operations Specialist Kimberley Winter, launching a vehicle sharing aggregation platform to accelerate sustainable transport adoption or Brisbane-based David Rochaya, Doctor of philosophy (pHd) in Biomass Combustion working on developing and commercialising a proprietary gasification technology to transform biomass into different energy streams (heat, power, and bio-fuels).

“We joined the Energy Lab to keep up our fast momentum, and we knew that the program will provide the framework for us to do so. Evolte has found some amazing talented experts, equally passionate about energy, sustainable transport, technology, and innovation. We are looking forward to establishing ourselves in the EnergyLab community, and involving them as a key component in our journey.” says Evolte founder Kimberley Winter

Half of this new cohort have come through our Pre-Acceleration Program, which is a great validation that the work we are doing to develop Australia’s pipeline of clean energy startups is working.” says EnergyLab Co-Founder and CEO, James Tilbury


Melbourne based Jaunt, is up-cycling iconic four-wheel-drives to turn them into electric vehicles for unique experiences, aiming to answer an inexorably growing consumer demand for clean transport in the tourism industry.

“The support of EnergyLab’s and the amazing group of mentors during the pre-acceleration program has been instrumental in the development of our business model and our ability to secure our first revenue through the launch of our crowd funding campaign.

As both Marteen and I are new to the energy sector and are trying to build a  business with national reach. Being part of an accelerator that has a presence across the country, and particularly in regional areas is a perfect fit. We hope that Jaunt can be seen as a wonderful and tangible use of electricity and that our unique electric vehicles bring new understanding and appreciation of energy consumption and sustainable transport.”  Said Dave Budge, Jaunt co-founder


Organic BioPower, has implemented a biogas plant using a proprietary bioreactor technology in a dairy farm in Victoria. The energy-to-waste start-up will be working on scaling its activities to other Australian farms producing organic matter.

The 9 start-ups in the 2019 EnergyLab 5th intake are:

Biopower Solutions – Generating energy from waste using proprietary gasification technology.

Solar Pack Sheds – Standalone backyard solar shed for gardening enthusiasts.

InfraDocs – Technology platform to provide fast, affordable and legally compliant contracts in the renewable energy industry.

Jaunt – Up-cycles iconic four-wheel-drive and turns them into electric vehicles for a new kind of car rental.

Evolte – Aggregation platform that makes it easy and convenient to book a share car, bike, scooter or ride.

Organic BioPower – Scaleable biogas plants using proprietary bioreactor technology to transform organic waste into energy.

Rexegy – SaaS company that controls appliances, taking advantage of real-time energy pricing, to save customers money on their power bills.

GreenGrid Energy -Energy sharing platform enabling people to trade electricity among themselves through grid connected micro-grids.

Key Energy – Innovative hardware and software storage solution for intermittent renewable energy.

Have Your Say – Green Star Future Focus

Have your say and help shape the future of sustainability. The Green Building Council Australia have released their Green Star for New Buildings consultation paper and the call has gone out for feedback.

Since it first launched to market in 2003, Green Star has been a transformational force for the sustainable built environment, and the proposed changes will spell the biggest overhaul to the rating system since its inception.

The GBCA are calling on industry professionals to provide feedback on the latest proposed changes to Green Star beginning with Green Star for New Buildings.

Review the paper and have your say here.


Al Gore is coming to Brisbane

You may know Al Gore as a Nobel Prize Recipient, the 45th Vice President of the United States, New York Times best-selling author of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, or as a guest speaker for the Climate Change and Economics Lunch in Brisbane this June.

That’s right, Al Gore will be presenting alongside the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk next month at the Brisbane Exhibition centre at a lunch concluding Climate Change Week QLD 2019. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to hear one of the worlds foremost advocates in the fight against climate change present on what action individuals and governments are taking to deliver improved environmental and economic outcomes for future generations.

To learn more about the event (and Al Gore’s truly impressive accomplishments) take a look at the event page here.

Sustainability in Infrastructure: Permeable Paving Design

‘Sustainability is here to stay in Infrastructure. It is no longer a nice to have, it is a must-have’ stated Paul Davies, General Manager of Market Capability at Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).

Mr. Davies presented at the Engineers Australia ‘Infrastructure Thought Leaders Series on Permeable Paving and Design’, alongside Professor Simon Beecham, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia.

This seminar series which was in association with Austral Masonry, took place in March 2019, with an aim to educate participants on the importance of sustainable practices in infrastructure and, more specifically the current permeable paving technologies that are available to the industry, such as DesignPave.

Permeable Paving has the potential to reduce drainage infrastructure, improve water quality and reuse, and minimises the potential for flooding.

‘My key interest in the infrastructure sector is to encourage people to consider and where possible use, more sustainable products, processes and services, in a landscape where there are more demands for both sustainability and corporate social responsibility in how infrastructure is being defined in society’, Davies continued.

For further information, you can view the entire webinar here or visit the CMAA for more information about Permeable Paving Design or to download the free DesignPave software.

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