Port Arthur sustainability plan adopts ‘can do’ approach

February 10, 2009

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority has adopted a “can do” approach to reducing its carbon footprint.

Its Sustainable Port Arthur (SPA) Climate Change Initiatives Project seeks to generate a sense of achievement and pride in contributing not only to the whole of government initiative but to the broader global movement to mitigate climate change impacts.

Executive Projects Coordinator Trish Hamilton said the Authority must meet a number of challenges posed by the impacts of climate change which are not specifically addressed by departmental and State Government documents.

“Our plan incorporates actions that will assist the protection of the heritage values of the Port Arthur and Coal Mines historic sites, in the context of their coastal locations and the threat of rising sea levels, as well as increasingly harsh weather patterns,” Trish said.

“Additionally, the draft plan seeks to address climate change impacts on the provision of services for tourism operations, most specifically the limited water supply capacity of the historic site.”

Trish is a Port Arthur representative on the Cross Agency Team (CAT) to reduce DEPHA’s carbon footprint. For more details about the project team and to visit the project room, click here

Trish said that Sarah Morse and her food and beverage team have issued a carbon challenge to other PAHSMA sections by reintroducing porcelain soup bowls in the Museum Café.

Polystyrene containers have been banished and paper coffee cups may be the next to go. Sarah is currently sourcing a good replacement!

“Last winter Food and Beverage adopted another climate change initiative by turning off the warehouse cool room and freezer,” Trish said. “The small amount of product was simply relocated to the F&B cool room freezer. This one small action will save a significant amount in power consumption and usage costs.”

A simple end-of-day check saves energy at the historic site.

Conservation and Infrastructure has a designated person to check computer monitors, heaters and lights throughout the section to ensure energy use is minimised outside of work hours.

Trish said this is more effective than having everyone being responsible as it avoids people assuming someone else will take care of it.

“It could be a responsibility taken up for a set period, attached to a specific shift or role. We are encouraging all of PAHSMA to make it work in their areas and make a small difference that counts,” she said.

The Gift Shop has implemented many actions over the past few years to reduce environmental impact.

Plastic carry bags have been phased out and visitors are able to purchase a calico bag for $2.

Other energy-saving and environmentally-friendly initiatives adopted at Port Arthur are:

  • Plastic garbage bags are emptied into a larger bag and re-used where possible:
  • Evening display lights have been reduced to one set of lower watt bulbs;
  • Heaters are switched off every evening;
  • Upstairs storage room lights are switched off at all times unless the store room is in use; and
  • Office windows are opened in summer to reduce need for air conditioning.
    Michael Jayatalika makes sure the storage room lights are switched off every night.

    Michael Jayatalika makes sure the storage room lights are switched off every night.

    It’s porcelain soup bowls only at the Museum Café for Jane Horton.

    It’s porcelain soup bowls only at the Museum Café for Jane Horton.

    Connor Kennedy makes sure his brochure is recycled at the visitor centre.

    Connor Kennedy makes sure his brochure is recycled at the visitor centre.