TransGrid continues planting environmental seeds with the GreenGrid program

7/03/2014

GreenGrid is TransGrid’s award-winning environmental partnership with Greening Australia.

The seed was sown back in 1997 via a sponsorship to plant more trees in the Murrumbateman district of south-eastern NSW, as part of Greening Australia’s national Corridors of Green programme.

What was believed to be just a one-off sponsorship soon evolved to become a series of greening projects around Yass, Bredbo, Gunning and other parts of the Southern Tablelands.

Most notable was a targeted bird conservation project to create and link Box-Gum Grassy Woodland habitat for the threatened Superb Parrot. All of the initiatives were funded by TransGrid and facilitated by Greening Australia Capital Region.

In 1998, TransGrid and Greening Australia decided to consolidate GreenGrid’s early gains by committing to a single over-arching program. This was seen as a bigger, broader and more focused statement of environmental action. The aim of the partnership would not only result in community planting events, but interconnected financial incentives.

After generating considerable community interest and results on the ground, TransGrid and Greening Australia recognised that GreenGrid’s vision of active, partnership-powered conservation could bring together land managers and community volunteers. Guided by the best scientific advice, the result was significant environmental outcomes. It proved to be a recipe for success.
“GreenGrid has become a multi-million dollar dedication to bringing life to landscapes and landscapes to life,” TransGrid’s Corporate Environment Manager, Stuart Johnston, said.

Since its inception, GreenGrid has rehabilitated and protected 1864 hectares (ha) of land in New South Wales, including the erection of 450 kilometres of fencing and planting of 280,000 native tubestock.

“GreenGrid has featured an extraordinary level of broad-scale revegetation through direct seeding - some 2000 kilometres of tree-line and in the past decade, sequestered more than 32,000 tonnes of carbon,” Mr Johnston added.

In 2004, 2007 and 2010, TransGrid and Greening Australia introduced successive waves of GreenGrid activity. The partnership grew bolder, addressing landscape-scale biodiversity, water quality and sustainability issues in many different parts of NSW.

GreenGrid projects took place from the Southern Tablelands to the Southern Highlands, from Sydney to the Central West and the Hunter Valley to the Mid North Coast.

TransGrid is now extending the GreenGrid banner to forge new partnerships with other community groups across the state, as well as continuing the relationship with Greening Australia, to widen the impact and reach of this program across the Network.

Through the years, GreenGrid has been recognised by many awards including the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Encouragement Award in 2005 and two Lachlan Catchment Rivercare awards.

In 2011, GreenGrid received a NSW Premier’s Public Sector Sustainability award.
As GreenGrid grows into the future, TransGrid and NGO staff will continue to work together across many levels to develop GreenGrid’s signature ethic of collaboration, planning and reviewing progress. Crucial relationships continue to be built with hundreds of landholders, as well as Landcare and other volunteer groups; leading scientific organisations like the CSIRO and generous philanthropic supporters such as the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

“We’re proud to say that GreenGrid has brought together TransGrid and Greening Australia staff and the wider community to improve understanding and practice of natural resource management,” Mr Johnston said.

TransGrid has been an integral part of delivering electricity to the people of New South Wales (NSW) for more than 60 years. It owns and operates one of the largest high-voltage transmission networks in Australia, up to 12,800 kilometres of transmission line and more than 90 substations, connecting generators distributors and major end-users in NSW and the ACT and also has links to Queensland and Victoria, facilitating interstate energy trading. Its operations are closely regulated to ensure power system security and TransGrid’s aim is to provide a safe, reliable, efficient and world-class electricity supply from power generators to distributors, which then deliver the electricity to homes across the state.