Launceston event brings sustainable technology to the forefront

Launceston’s shift to a sustainable future is gathering momentum with the success of an inaugural Sustainable Energy Expo.

Renewable energy options, a Tesla Powerwall and electric vehicles provided attendees with a taste of low-emission living.

At the inaugural exhibition, more than 500 people had passed through the door before lunchtime.

They came to speak with local business about ways to save and cut costs on energy bills, learn about sustainable building design and living. 

Electric Vehicle Association member Ray Johnston spent his Saturday morning talking with event attendees about the benefits of battery-powered cars. 

“This would be one of the best-attended events we go to – I haven’t stopped talking,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t realise there are electric vehicles on the road – they say, it’s the thing of the future,” he said. 

“My comment is no it’s not, it’s now, it’s happening now.”

He said it was often as simple as entering a local car dealership and asking to buy one. 

So many manufacturers across the world are saying they’re not making petrol vehicles anymore.

Ray Johnston

Mr Johnston was optimistic the world would quickly move towards electric vehicles after European governments announced a move to battery power.

“There’s so much on the horizon,” he said 

“So many manufacturers across the world are saying they’re not making petrol vehicles anymore. 

“There are exciting times ahead.” 

Tamar NRM program coordinator Gill Basnet was one of the organisers of the event. 

She and the team were overwhelmed with the community interest.

“This is the first time we’ve really set up with exhibitor stalls and partnered with local businesses,” she said. 

The idea for the expo was conceived after Tamar NRM’s speaking engagements drew a positive crowd. 

Ms Basnet said the group previously had more than 70 people attend information evenings about solar and battery power.

“We knew that people were interested in the topic and coming out of winter people are getting their power bills,” she said. 

“Everyone wants to know how to save money – or to reduce their energy use.”

She expected the strong community interest in the Sustainable Energy Expo would see it return in 2018