Grass is greener at Challenger TAFE

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Turf industry leaders from across Western Australia and Water Minister Graham Jacobs converged on Challenger TAFE this month to brainstorm sustainable water practices.

The forum was held at the WA Horticulture and Environmental Skills Centre, where specialists spent a full day discussing sustainable development, conservation, water management, new technology and research.

Challenger TAFE horticulture and environmental science director Kerry Bowe said the forum was timely given Western Australia’s tight water restrictions and predictions of an even drier climate to come.

She said Challenger TAFE hosted the forum as a recognised leader in the delivery of turf management training and as the only educational organisation in WA to be a member of the National Centre for Sustainability.

“Challenger TAFE is committed to green business practices,” Ms Bowe said. “We also have close links with the turf industry and the University of WA Turf Research Centre.”

“By being involved in this important forum, we are keeping abreast of the latest industry developments and thereby providing the best and most informed turf management training to our students.”

With the WA population expected to double by 2060, Mr Jacobs said it was important that industry specialists collaborated with training and research institutes to develop the highest possible standards for water efficiency and to promote best practice in the community.

“We need to work together to change people’s behaviour so that we can continue to have a steady supply of water for the future,” the Minister said.

UWA professor Tim Coleman said the university’s partnership with Challenger TAFE was a successful example of the education and training sectors teaming up to undertake projects around sustainability.

“This partnership works well for both parties,” he said. “We are receiving assistance for our trial research and the students are getting the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in turf management.”

Other forum participants included the Turf Grass Association of Australia, Turf Australia, Turf Producers Australia and the Fertiliser Industry Federation of Australia.

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