For my blog day, the group had just left the very small town of Hay and cruising towards the town of Wagga Wagga. We started the day off in a rather interesting way. Cattle were blocking the main highway to Wagga. Not a sight you see every day back in Michigan!
Upon arrival of Wagga, we ate lunch at the local mall there. We then visited the Narrandera Fishery Centre to learn about the breeding and stocking of native fish in Australia. After the visit there and lunch, the group ventured to chat with the Wagga Wagga City Council about sustainability. After learning much at the two site visits of the day, we headed to the Big4 camping grounds to unpack and unwind for the day. We enjoyed some cards and the company of others to keep us busy.
During the site visit to the fishery centre, we learned much about sustainability. More specifically, we learned about the upkeep of biodiversity and native species. By breeding the native species and then releasing them into the wild, the fishery gives the native species of fish a much-needed boost of population to counter act the invasive species there. By doing so, the ecosystem in the Murray River can return to the ways that it was meant to be.
The centre is a government-run facility that doesn’t sell fish to the public. Instead, they do data collection, research, and breed fish there. We toured the facilities and saw and heard the methods used there including the 4 types of fish they stock (Murray cod, trout cod, and gold and silver perch), the methods of breeding, and the facilities that where they store the fish.
This visit relates to sustainability because the centre upholds the biodiversity of the region and uses sustainable methods for energy and waste disposal. By breeding and stocking the native fish of the region, they help the native fish population. This, in turn, creates a more stable ecosystem. In the event of a severe stress, the local ecosystem is more equipped to stay alive. Also the centre gives the waste water that it uses for ponds to store the fish in to a local farmer to irrigate his crops with. This is socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable!
After the Narrandera Fishery Centre site visit, we attended the Wagga Wagga City Council to discuss how sustainability is implemented there. They informed us of the 7 ways they are reducing wastes and becoming more sustainable. Reducing energy, water, transportation costs, wastes, paper, and increasing biodiversity and procurement are the 7 ways they are becoming more sustainable. Some of the larger ways they are increasing their sustainability is getting audits for water and wastes, many energy projects such as energy-efficient light bulbs, a cogeneration system, and efficient and reused transportation. All of these measures help on a larger scale towards sustainability in Wagga. Wagga Wagga can also set an example on how sustainability should be done and is important because it is a target city for the country to focus on to have more people move there.
Overall, today was an interesting and very informative day. It showed how Australia can be both different and similar to America. It furthered our knowledge in sustainability in a few different fields that people from various backgrounds and majors could relate with. Personally, I can’t wait to finish our tour in Wagga Wagga strong, learn a lot more about sustainability here, and eventually move on to Sydney to really kick our trip into high gear!
Of course, I wait until the last day possible to write this blog, but so be it. On my blogging day, May 22nd, we will be heading to the lovely city of Wagga Wagga. Sounds more like a name of Pokemon, rather than an Australia city, however it is cozy, homeish feeling town with a lot to do there. Don’t be fooled however, it is one of the most populated centres in NSW. It is also full of culture here as well. In the aboriginal language, Wagga Wagga means the place of many crows. It was a centre of growth during the European expansion and has much history there. To this day, it still remains a central hub of transportation because it lies halfway in between Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. Here is one of the main hotels in Wagga Wagga that gives me that kind of homey feeling. It has an average temp of 63 degrees F and is fairly normal in terms of rainfall, wind, sunshine, ect.
For those of you interested in the aquatic aspects of Australia, Wagga Wagga is the place for you. We will be going to the Narrandera Fishery Research Centre. Here there is potential to learn about everything from the Strategies of the Fisheries here to the rules and regulations in Australia’s waters to all the fish that inhabit it. For any of you choosing to do fisheries or water as your topics for your final project, be sure to bring your notebooks here to take note of the solid information at the Fishery.
Staying true to the course’s name, we will also be visiting the Wagga Wagga City Council- Sustainability Initiatives/ Recycling and Advantage Program. Whew. A long title. But sifting through that is a lot of good info. The council basically overlooks and promotes sustainability for the city. It has many programs and initiatives including: Access to Public Recycling, a strong commitment to Green Power for the Civic Centre and Energy Efficiency, and the Sustainability Advantage Program among many others. The community is very involved with these programs just as the programs are also involved with the community. Many Australians here take great pride in trying to keep their home clean and sustainable. The programs and strategies that will be seen here all contribute to Australia’s sustainability and presumably can be a very nice model for the US to base its programs off. This should be a focal point of Wagga Wagga in terms of sustainability, if not the whole trip. You should be ready to learn here as there is much to know and learn from the sustainability of Wagga Wagga. For more information about the MANY plans and strategies for sustainability that include: air quality, water quality, energy conservation, and many more, follow this link. http://www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/city-of-wagga-wagga/environment
Overall, Wagga Wagga should be a fairly interesting stop. Not only is it fun to say the name of the city, but you can also learn much of the history, past, present, and future in the social and environmental aspects of the city. Much will be learned here, but you’ll need to keep going strong through this segment of the trip because it is a little less than the midpoint of the trip and you may already be getting tired.
Wagga Wagga City Council
Wagga Wagga Fishery Centre
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries– New South Wales Fishing and Aquaculture information
http://www.wagga.nsw.gov.au – Wagga Wagga’s official website (good info on sustainability on various aspects for Wagga)
http://www.waggawaggaaustralia.com.au/ – Wagga Wagga Events and Information