Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Commercial program wraps up for Alice Solar City

After more than four and half years, almost 200 free energy surveys and $1.5M of funding support, Alice Solar City’s commercial program is coming to an end.

This coincides with the departure of Commercial Services Manager Craig Hanicek this Friday, who is leaving Alice Springs for a new renewable energy role in the ACT.

Throughout his 18 months in the job, Mr Hanicek provided energy surveys and advice to more than 65 of the 200 or so businesses participating in the program, whose combined energy consumption is equivalent to 4,700 average Alice Springs houses.

"It's been a rewarding experience assisting such a diverse range of operators across the private and public sectors in this incredibly demanding climate” says Mr Hanicek.

“Highlights for me have included the installation of a number of energy efficient technologies not previously trialed in Alice Springs, and helping several businesses go 100% solar with a combination of solar PV and energy efficiency."

The end of the Commercial Program comes four months short of the end of Alice Solar City’s current funding agreements in June 2013.

Customer and business owner of Easy Carwash, Andrew Ballestrin says that Alice Solar City provides a benchmark for what similar energy and water saving programs should be like.

“They made it so easy for us to save on our energy bills. Since installing energy efficient lighting at the carwash we are saving $500 per month, which is especially good in light of the recent power price rise.”

The commercial program launched in May 2008, and since that time it has:

• Attracted 217 customers who together represent over 38% of the Alice Springs commercial sector’s energy consumption.

• Supported a wide range of businesses from small to large, including Easy Carwash and the Crowne Plaza Alice Springs.

• Provided 193 customised energy surveys and funded 5 large-scale energy audits.

• Supported 39 solar PV installs, totalling 411kW of capacity with $1.1M of funding. These systems are generating around 700,000 kWh per annum, saving businesses over $200,000 per annum.

• Provided over $370,000 in funding for energy efficiency measures such as lighting upgrades, white roofs, solar and heat pump hot water, refrigeration upgrades and much more.

• Estimated savings from the supported energy efficiency measures are over 2,300,000 kWh per annum, saving participants $667,000 per annum.

• In total, carbon emission savings are estimated at over 2000 tonnes per annum.

Alice Solar City’s existing commercial customers will continue to receive access to information on their ongoing energy consumption, and businesses can still contact Alice Solar City for localised information on what other programs are available to support them in reducing energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Commercial Case studies and a full list of incentive recipients can be found on the Alice Solar City website at

Details of the solar PV projects funded by Alice Solar City are also available at

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Affordable house and land sold at Johnston Ridge

The first six ‘affordable house and land packages’ in Johnston Ridge were sold on Friday.

They are the first house and land packages to be sold in the Palmerston suburb, as part of the Northern Territory Government’s Home Buyer Initiative.

The highly sought after packages, priced from $368 000 to $460 000, were released to approved purchasers in the initiative and sold on a first in, first served basis.

Derreck Gepp, who was the first successful purchaser, said it was life changing.

“It was a nervous wait to see if I was one of the lucky six – I did a bit of dance when I found out,” he said.

“Being first meant that I could choose from the lots. It had to fit a boat and quad in it and I liked that Johnston Ridge has decent sized blocks, a good layout and a nice feel with the surrounding bush.”

Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex said the company had worked closely with government and local builders on generating affordable house and land packages.

“Urbex is committed to providing a range of affordable home options for Territorians and seeing them fulfil their dream of home ownership,” Mr Rex said.

“A successful community allows for diversity and we, along with the government and local builders, have worked hard to deliver a range of quality house and land packages at very affordable price points.”

The house and land packages included home designs by Abode New Homes, About Homes NT, Beare Homes, the Bendella Group, Habitat, Kassiou Constructions, Killarney Homes, NIMM Constructions, The Total Group, Tropical Lifestyle Homes and Vanguard Homes.

To be eligible for the initiative, buyers must meet eligibility criteria including income limits and have finance approval in-principle.

Mr Gepp, will build with Vanguard Homes, said he’d done his research over the last three months.

When complete Johnston Ridge will feature 284 mixed lots of single and multiple dwelling homes with single dwelling lots ranging from 607sqm to more than 1900sqm.

More than eight hectares of the suburb is dedicated to parklands and conservation of the natural environment.

Territorians looking to buy land in Johnston Ridge are able to view the scaled model, development plans and the vision for Johnston Ridge at the Urbex Realty, Sales and Information Centre at 18 Cavenagh Street, Darwin.

For further information visit or call Janzey Pratt on 1300 556 950.

For more information on the Home Buyer initiative in the NT visit

Friday, February 15, 2013

First homes to be built at Johnston Ridge

Forty Territory families can start construction on their dream homes at Johnston Ridge after their lots of land settled recently.

The homes will be the first built in the new Johnston Ridge development, nestled between Rosebery and the Stuart Highway.

The Northern Territory Government issued titles for the lots in January marking the final step for soon-to-be residents to start construction.

For Casey McDonnell and Kelly Hedger it marks the start of a new chapter in their lives.

“We’ve always wanted to build,” Mr McDonnell said.

“Kelly’s an architect so we’ve designed many dream homes in our heads, drawing ideas from holidays in Asia, and now we can really pursue it with our new block.”

Mr McDonnell and Miss Hedger purchased a 1020 square metre block as part of the Freeman release in May 2012.

The Moulden couple, who plan to start construction in April, were sold on the land sizes at Johnston Ridge and its proximity to the centre of Palmerston and Stuart Highway.

Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex said it’s a momentous step forward for the project.

“Our team has worked diligently to see these 40 Territory families get their titles on time as promised and on the road to building their new homes,” he said.

“It’s a significant milestone for the project, as these families foster the Johnston Ridge community and fulfil our vision of a neighbourhood with flexibility, diversity and room for growth.”

When complete Johnston Ridge will feature 284 mixed lots of single and multiple dwelling homes with single dwelling lots ranging from 607sqm to more than 1900sqm.

More than eight hectares of the suburb is dedicated to parklands and conservation of the natural environment.

Territorians looking to buy land in Johnston Ridge are able to view the scaled model, development plans and the vision for Johnston Ridge at the Urbex Realty, Sales and Information Centre at 18 Cavenagh Street, Darwin.

For further information visit or call Janzey Pratt on 1300 556 950.

A leading Darwin legal practice will officially open its doors in Winnellie today

With a new team in place, the latest technology and a modern office fit out, George Roussos is ready to open his door to the Darwin business community.

Roussos Legal Advisory draws on more than twenty years’ experience and will offer practical and workable solutions to businesses, insurers and government.

Located in Darwin’s industrial suburb of Winnellie, Roussos Legal Advisory offers services in commercial matters, business litigation, dispute management, workers compensation and occupational health and safety.

When asked about his location, George said the answer was simple, “this is business land”.

“Our firm is designed around business and serving business clients. We sought to make a statement by locating among our peers.

“We offer a convenient and flexible service with the cost savings that arise from dealing with someone who understands the customers’ business.

“The Territory market for legal advice is small, but it is still sophisticated and demands the skills and knowledge businesses require everywhere.

“Businesses demand specialised legal advice, they want it quickly and at an affordable cost, the skill comes from being able to deliver that advice commensurate with the legal and business issue at hand,” he said.

George’s experience includes advising and conducting litigation for clients in a number of industries, such as insurance, mining and resources, electricity, construction and property and tourism.

He understands firsthand the pressures, challenges and responsibilities that face executive teams and boards.

As a business manager and owner, George’s perspective and counsel is built along strong legal, commercial, strategic and management lines.

He has served on many committees and business associations, including four years as President of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce (2007 – 2011).

For a new business, 2013 is looking good. Roussos Legal Advisory has already been selected by Darwin City Council for its legal panel.

George has assembled a quality team, selecting people to work with him for their ability to understand the needs and requirements of business.

The firm has also been involved in some significant legal matters including representing a business in a coronial inquiry involving mining, defending the Northern Territory’s first prosecution of environmental nuisance on a construction site (under the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act) and defending a marine business arising out of an incident in the harbour.

In 2012 the practice was involved in the settlement of one of Australia's largest workers compensation claims.

“We have exceeded expectations and we are grateful for the support our clients have provided us. Establishing strong working relationships is essential to providing business services no matter how big or small that business may be.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Darwin company recognised in global Social Responsibility Awards

Leading international media and public relations publication PR Daily has recognised Darwin’s Creative Territory in its Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

Creative Territory has been selected as a finalist for the Grand Prize Campaign of the Year as well as the CSR on a Shoestring category.

The US-based awards recognise the use of public relations for the good of the community and attract entries from around the world.

Creative Territory has been recognised for research it conducted during and after Cyclone Carlos in February 2011. The research has led to improvements in how several organisations provide information in emergencies.

Managing director Tracy Jones said it was an honor to be selected among the world’s top public relations campaigns for CSR.

Entries come from a wide range of industries and organisations, from multi-national corporations, local governmental agencies and communication companies in industries as broad as energy, finance, entertainment, insurance, mining and healthcare.

PR Daily is a web-based publication read by more than 800,000 communication professionals in every country in the world.
Read more about the awards at PR Daily's website.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Alice businesses kicking goals with reduced water use

Alice Springs businesses have identified average water savings of 43% after a professional water audit so they can get ahead of increased water prices.

Alice Water Smart ambassador Andy Hood, who is also manager of AFL Central Australia is keen to see even more businesses save water and is offering the first ten businesses who sign up for a free Water Efficiency Consultation in 2013, two tickets each to the Indigenous All-stars Exhibition Match on 8 February.

“In the past 12 months, businesses have identified savings that will reduce their water use by around 314 million litres, enough to fill 143 Alice Springs Aquatic Centre pools.”

“The Alice Water Smart team is already working with around 40 Alice organisations and has a limited number of free Consultations available for 2013”, says Andy Hood.

“Businesses have a lot to gain from a water efficiency audit of their business as it helps owners and employees get a better understanding of where all their water is going, how much is wasted through leaks and what they can do to save water.”

“Alice Water Smart can provide cost estimates of implementing water saving measures, the actual water that will be saved and the payback period. They’ll also guide them through an action plan with up to three hours of free consultancy available.”

Alice Water Smart Homes and Business program manager Liz Locksley says that since water price rises kicked in on 1 January, the case for saving water is even more compelling and can help businesses keep their bills under control.”

“Saving hot water also saves electricity through hot water heating. Most people think that energy is more expensive than water, but they don’t really think about the link between them.”

To register your interest and book a free Water Efficiency Consultation contact Hayley at or phone 8953 1030.

Alice Water Smart is a comprehensive set of projects helping Alice Springs residents to save 1600 million litres of water over two years - equivalent to two months average water supply.

Alice Water Smart is supported by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative. The Homes and Business project is proudly delivered by the Arid Lands Environment Centre.


For further information contact Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or