Pearls of wisdom from Professor Newman at Cleantech Effect 2016
  • Tuesday 26 July 2016

I will look at innovations that are going to shape economic activity” – this is one of many pearls of wisdom that will be passed on by Professor Peter Newman to attendees at Friday’s Cleantech Effect 2016.

The Sunshine Coast Council event will help local businesses find cost-effective, innovative cleantech solutions and showcase leading industry experts, including Peter Newman who is the Professor of Sustainability at Western Australia’s Curtin University.

Professor Newman, who has written 16 books and over 300 papers, said events like Cleantech Effect 2016 were important for creating awareness and positive change.

“Australia is trying to forge a place in the global economy that does smart things, not just primary industry,” Professor Newman said.

“The next big thing is cleantech. It’s a journey to find how to make the products and deliver the services and Cleantech Effect is one of the best at helping people who want to join that journey.”

“I will show the results of a survey that shows we are strong and growing rapidly in cleantech within cities. I will also look at new innovations that are going to shape economic activity – solar energy with battery storage and the creation of citizen utilities, modular construction, biophilic urbanism and privately funded urban rail based around land development.

“I will give examples of all these innovations and show that together they propel us more rapidly to a fossil fuel-free world faster than most forecasters can imagine.

“None of these innovations will happen without small businesses showing the lead. I’ll demonstrate by showing that the world began decarbonising well before governments agreed to make it happen. They could see it was underway and jumped on board at the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21) in December last year.

“The truth is that financiers and business decided 10 years ago that decarbonising the world must begin and began to make it happen.”

Professor Newman will be a guest speaker at Friday’s event along with popular science commentator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. More than 20 Cleantech companies will also be exhibiting on the day including Urbanis and EA Plus whose innovative cloud-based systems have the capacity to transform building management and achieve substantial reductions in energy costs.

Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said The Cleantech Effect 2016 would be ideal for businesses, facility managers and building owners who want to explore long-term solutions that provide stainable competitive advantages.

“Friday’s event will showcase leading experts like Professor Peter Newman as well as cleantech case studies. Businesses will hear about the latest industry trends and hot topics straight from the leading sources,” Cr Robinson said.

“Clean technologies is one of the Sunshine Coast’s seven high value industries. The industry generates $214 million in economic activity within our region and employs 1,770 people.

“So it is a key sector providing long-term economic growth and employment opportunities and is fundamental to the Sunshine Coast fulfilling its vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – vibrant, green and diverse.”

The Cleantech Effect is delivered in partnership with Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast and through the generosity of the following supporters: GoZERO, NAB, Sunquest Industries, Urbanis, EA Plus, ARA Mechanical, Latronics, Unitywater and TAFE East Coast and Rumba Beach Resort.

For more information about Cleantech Effect 2016 or to register for the event,

Key facts about the Cleantech Industry on the Sunshine Coast:

  • Council’s vision to become the most sustainable region in Australia – vibrant, green and diverse is embodied by the 150 small to medium clean technology businesses within the region that already excel in the fields of innovative waste and water management, environmentally friendly building design and supplies and renewable energy.
  • The Cleantech industry generates $214 million in economic activity, employs 1,770 people and has become a model for sustainability in Australia.
  • Sunshine Coast Council will become Australia’s first local government to offset its entire electricity consumption when the 15MW Valdora Solar Farm becomes operational in 2017.  
    • The University of the Sunshine Coast also has a functioning Sustainable Research Centre built to address social adaption concerns in relation to a range of sustainability issues such as coastal management, climate change, and water management.
    • Sunshine Coast generates specific demand for clean technology solutions in a fast growing economy which has shown a five year population growth of 10.1% from 2008 to 2013. This is exemplified in Caloundra where 43% of all households have installed rooftop solar plus solar water – the sixth highest solar penetration in Australia.

Short Bio: Professor Peter Newman

  • Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University
  • Has written 16 books and more than 300 papers.
  • In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport.
  • He is a fellow of the Academy of Technological and Engineering Services Australia
  • He was worked in all three levels of Australian Government: as an elected Fremantle City Councillor from 1976-80; an advisor to three state Premiers and on the Federal Government’s Board of Infrastructure.