Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

October 15th 2010
Solar City project gets another gong

Stephanie Hunt and Julie Heath with the award While some may wonder how it is that a program that encourages people to use less energy is regarded as a form of marketing, the experts were in no doubt as the Townsville Queensland Solar City project - much of which has been developed on Magnetic Island - has just won the inaugural, national green marketing award by the Australian Marketing Institute this week - the third award for the project in a month.

The Awards for Marketing Excellence are presented to organisations and marketers who have achieved extraordinary success from innovative and effective marketing practices.

The Solar City project’s community engagement trumped the new category against other state AMI winners including Parks Victoria, Murdoch University in Western Australia and Tasmania’s Aurora Energy.

Judges said the Townsville Queensland Solar City was the stand-out entry when it came to going beyond promoting environmental causes to genuinely creating changed consumer behaviour.

Solar City manager Ian Cruickshank is delighted that the project has received such a high accolade for its sustainability work with the Magnetic Island community.

“We have worked hard to go beyond awareness and short term product acceptance to deliver deep community engagement and lasting behavioural change,” said Ian.

“The community has responded well and willingly taken up the challenge, with more than three quarters of all Magnetic Island residents and business operators now participating actively in the project.

“On average, residents reduce their electricity consumption by 8% or more after an energy assessment. As a result, overall energy consumption has fallen significantly for the last two years in a row.

“It is important when rolling out conservation programs based on the Solar City model to other communities throughout Queensland that our approach has been externally validated by such a well respected industry organisation,” said Ian.

The awards were presented during a gala dinner on Wednesday night attended by more than 500 marketing industry practitioners at the Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne.

The Solar City project also recently received a state level AMI award and a Public Relations Institute of Australia award in the environmental category for its community engagement last month. The national PRIA award will be determined in Darwin on 25 October.

The Ergon Energy-led Townsville Queensland Solar City project is an initiative of the Australian Government’s Solar Cities program involving all levels of government, industry, business and local communities to trial sustainable energy solutions.

Photo (top) of Stephanie Hunt and Julie Heath from the Solar City project courtesy of Dean Schmideg

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Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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