Wodonga council plans expansion of solar pathway network

Wodonga

Wodonga council plans expansion of solar pathway network as the number of people walking increases 

With more people walking and 31% of people walking more than usual during COVID-19 the Wodonga Council is doing what more councils are being urged to do – invest in solar pathway lighting

Victoria Walks Executive Officer Ben Rossiter is heading up the campaign to call on councils across Victoria to apply for their share of Government Safety Grants available to help fund lighting projects. 

“Since mid-March, Victoria Walks has seen exponential growth in the number of Victorians looking for great, safe places to walk,” Dr Rossiter said. 

Since 2018 Wodonga Council has led the way installing solar lighting across kilometres of popular pathways including at Birallee Park, David Bishop Park, Arthur Dunstan Park, Frank Kier Park, George Looms Park, Westlands Park, James Taverny Park and Belvoir Park. 

Melbourne-based Leadsun, a world leader in solar public lighting and an associate member of Victoria Walks, has worked with Wodonga Council to install the lighting which has made pathways more accessible and helped improve safety. 

Managing Director Matt Pollard said with the increase in local exercise and people out walking, community groups and residents are urging their local councils for improvements to pathways and trails. 

“Many of the recreational trails where people love to walk are in areas where you can’t get traditional street lighting in or it’s too expensive to even try,” Mr Pollard said. 

“In most cases, people either won’t use the path before dawn or after dark, or they’ll walk with an iPhone or torch to try to see where they’re going. One for one, solar lighting is more cost effective than traditional electrical public lighting as there’s no need for extensive trenching, no electrical wiring and the power stores in the battery for three days.” 

Wodonga Council said the rollout of the solar lighting project enhanced the extensive pathways network that was well-used by the community. 

“The solar lighting project is an initiative that aims to enhance personal safety, deter antisocial behaviour and create improved levels of connectivity in the community,” a Council spokesperson said. 

Australia’s largest SMART public lighting project lighting the way

Man Walk

AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SMART PUBLIC LIGHTING PROJECT COMPLETED AS THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WALKING INCREASES

With more people walking and 31 percent of people walking more than usual during COVID, the Goulburn Mulwaree Council in New South Wales has done what more local governments across Australia are being urged to do – invest in SMART public lighting.

As part of a milestone project, Melbourne-based company, Leadsun, has installed 160 lights along 10 kilometres of walkway and cycle paths in Goulburn in what is the largest public solar lighting project of its kind in Australia.

Leadsun’s Managing Director, Matt Pollard, said Leadsun was a world leader in public solar lighting having designed and patented the first an all-in-one LED solar light.

“This Goulburn project started 12 months ago. Initially there was the first stage which had 120 lights over the first section of the pathway,” Mr Pollard said.

“Since then, there’s been an extension to the pathway network and there’s been another 42 lights, so in total there’s 160 lights all connected throughout the pathway and I believe that’s the largest solar pathway lighting project in Australia.”

Energy Minister and Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said the walkway in Goulburn was now safer and more accessible making it a well-used community asset. “I’m thrilled that the installation of solar lighting will extend the hours of use of the walkway,” Minister Taylor said.

Member of Mission Australia’s Man Walk group, Daniel Strickland who uses the path weekly said he has seen more people exercising before sunrise and at night since the lights were installed.

“When we started in July last year before the lights we would come along with our iPhones and our torches,” he said.

One for one, solar public lighting is more cost effective than traditional electrical street lighting and does not require extensive trenching nor electrical wiring. Power can be stored in the lithium-ion batteries for three days.

The Goulburn Mulwaree Council is now planning a further 1.5km extension to the solar lighting project which was partly funded under the Federal Government Community Sport Infrastructure Program.

Mr Pollard said sporting clubs, walking groups and residents were increasingly lobbying local governments to apply for grants to install solar lighting to improve access and safety.

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