Future City Resilient City Field Trip

Wednesday 23 October 2019  |  11:00am - 5.00pm

This tour brings together the ideas of “fitting form to function” whereby the activation of our city comes from the way we design and maintain our buildings, neighbourhoods and communities which then determines the livability and sense of place for the people residing in them. 

Reef HQ – an aquarium that is a solar power station in the middle of our city

A coral reef in the heart of city and a building powered by the sun. Reef HQ is the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium, drawing in thousands of tourists and locals every year. This building has become a case study as a part of Townsville City Council’s SolarCity program. Find out how this building reduced its energy use by over 50%. We will stop for a brief visit and commentary on how this facility is run.

We drive on past Reef HQ and Museum North Queensland and arrive at 103/143 Walker Street and learn about Townsville’s sustainability precinct (the eclipse).

Townsville CBD Smart City Solar City

Townsville is a hub of ‘blue’ buildings that reduce costs and risks to business, while enhancing resilience.

In the CBD the city has been transformed over the past 10 years, and we will see how our ‘blue buildings’ can make us happy. Why? Because they can reduce costs, maximise productivity and save the environment.

Discover how our new and old buildings are leading the way in innovation, through design and retrofit; creating an energy efficient CBD.

Connected buildings use wireless, fibre, low cost sensors and low frequency radio to share data and analytics to provide better building, people and city management.

White roof buildings can reduce cooling costs and provide a lower ambient temperature during power outages allowing windows to be opened and breezes to flow.

Blue buildings contribute to a resilient city and contributes to our blue planet. 

Palmer Street

We will drive out of our city via Palmer Street and learning about our cities transformation as we go.

In Palmer St – one of Townsville’s main eatery districts. The street has been recently been refurbished with new lighting, pavements, seating and street trees. Through collaboration with different partners, this street has become an example of stakeholder collaboration using sustainable energy technology to light the way, and get us from A to B safely across our city, whilst making the street safe and cool.

From the street of eating, with a ‘fast charge’, we rush towards our new centre of activation in our city – the Townsville Stadium in the heat of our CBD.   

The North Queensland Stadium - a winner to guarantee Townsville’s future.

Our journey of inquiry will uncover a new reality for North Queensland with our world-class sports facility being built.

Through travelling back to the future, where a vision for Northern Australia sits on the shoulders of our Townsville’s new North Queensland Stadium currently under construction. This new facility will build on the sporting glory of the Cowboys NRL football team to demonstrate resilience and sustainability in buildings, people and culture of our city.

The Northern Queensland Stadium will provide Townsville and northern Australia with a world class convention centre and sporting stadium. By using the best available technologies the stadium will be a state of the art blue building offering reduced operating costs.

Townsville 2019 Monsoon Story

In early 2019, Townsville faced an unprecedented monsoon flood event. 3500 people were displaced overnight, homes flooded and hundreds of businesses were heavily impacted. The city is still undergoing significant economic, social and environmental recovery. The event has exposed opportunities to build resilience in our systems and build back better. We will visit one of the major flood impact zones and hear about the impact from small business owners in a major shopping centre.

Ross River

As we leave the residential and commercial flood zone, we will visit one of our city’s recovery facilities during the wake of the disaster; the older Townsville Stadium and home of our national winners the Townsville Fire. This stadium was designed and built in a way which accommodated for our tropical environment. With the winning combination of solar power, a white roof and innovative and smart LED street lights, the stadium is efficient and resilient. 

We will then wind our way along the southern banks of the Ross River, where solar powered batteries, aquatic weed mulching and ‘fish cafes’ are intertwined with arts, sports and recreation for sustainability and resilience.

On our way to Riverway, we will pass Lavarack Barracks, built in the 1960’s; a defence base which led development in the north. Nearby, we will visit, James Cook University (JCU) and TecNQ – where our city’s tropical knowledge and expertise can be seen in the fabric of the facilities and the eyes of the students.

Another City “Solar Farm”: Riverway - Lunch and Tour

Riverway is a solar power station in the middle of the suburbs (33 kw), where we can see an integrated solar and battery array on an energy efficient building. This precinct integrates public swimming pools, sports, art galleries and parkland into a busy precinct. Riverway has been a case study for many sustainable and innovative designs and trials; from water sensitive urban design, to probiotics on the sporting fields.

Riverway was heavily impacted by the monsoon rainfall and flood event at the beginning of 2019, however is still getting back on its feet.

Ross River Solar Farm

One of the largest solar farms in Australia is right on the fringe of our urban residential footprint. This solar farm generates enough energy to power 54,000 homes. This 148 MW solar farm is helping to reshape Australia’s energy future and is bringing Townsville closer to becoming a ‘solar city’.

This is one two 150 MW solar farms on the fringe of the city, with approvals in place for the construction of two more.

Harris Crossing

When launched, Harris Crossing introduced an energy-saving initiative that has dramatically reduced ongoing energy costs to 95% of home buyers in Harris Crossing, saving them thousands on their electricity bills. Maidment Group, the developer behind the estate Harris Crossing, located on the banks of the Bohle River, offers home buyers the option to install a Tesla Powerwall Home Battery System for a fraction of the normal retail price.

Townsville experiences an average of over 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the perfect place to harness the sun’s energy. With a Tesla Powerwall, the storage system enables you to capture and store excess solar energy produced during the day for use at night, so consumers can enjoy the energy-saving advantages of the unit 24/7. It also allows your home to use solar-generated electricity during a utility outage. Maidment Group’s initiative is all about thinking outside the box, it’s not just taking into consideration where people live, but how they live. Most Australian’s are looking for ways to beat the rising cost of energy bills, this offer is a great solution to that problem.Tesla has recently recognised Harris Crossing as a ‘community model of the future’, and continues to be the only development in North Queensland with this innovative initiative.

VRM – International Company Trading in Probiotics for Environment

The Business of probiotic cultures – learn about Townsville’s largest ‘micro’ army, championed by kids, invisible to the eye and demonstrating our steps into a ‘blue economy’.

The city is actively using probiotics in innovative ways to shift natural areas away from high cost, weed dominated assets towards more resilient, low cost natural systems. 

This catalytic project based out of Townsville has been converting the regions organic & food waste into a variety of products which are assisting with biological first aid after recent flooding, preventing and managing fish kills (probiotic applied), preventing fires in mulch (TC Yasi 2011) and finally going back to crops and improving agricultural yields.

Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre

Our home, their home and a coral reef at the front door and wetlands in the backyard. The tour will finish at our very own Sustainability Centre, where sustainability is being learned by young students coding and sensing their local environments from buildings to wetlands and reefs. Our centre is a community hub which we demonstrate ‘simple’ measures for retrofit sustainable homes, such as; 

  • Benefits and costs of white roofs
  • Wind turbine
  • 2 types of solar shading
  • Solar hot water Battery storage
  • Electric plug in car
  • Low garden water use 
  • Reduced cost energy lighting
  • Recycling food scraps
  • Urban food gardens
  • Stunning views of the Coral Sea out to Magnetic Island

Meeting Point:

Meet at the front entrance of The Ville Resort at 10:45am, ready to depart at 11:00am

Early Bird: $20.00 (ends 2 September)
Standard: $25.00

Note: Tours are available to full conference delegates only. Numbers are strictly limited, with a minimum number required to proceed.

PO Box 2313, Brookside Centre, QLD 4053
P: +61 7 3161 5901 or Email