HOW IT WILL LOOK: An artist’s impression of how the Mildura RSL car park will be transformed in the next six months.

FOR more than 18 months the Mildura RSL has been working towards making its car park shady, and ‘green.’

Construction of shade structures throughout the RSL car park will commence shortly, but instead of the canvas sails that are prevalent across the district, the shade will be provided by solar panels.

After some lengthy investigations in regards to design, the RSL committee came up with a plan that is architecturally stunning, and will serve two purposes – to provide shade for member’s cars and reduce the RSL’s power consumption.

RSL general manger, Kim Archibald, said that if the RSL was going to build a structure to provide shade like many car parks in the district, why not utilise that structure for the benefit of reducing power costs by going solar.

“It has been a lengthy process getting the approval via town planning,” he said.

“Mildura Rural City Council supported the project and approved town planning but unfortunately there was an objector to the project which meant that we had to go to VCAT to get approval.

“It was disappointing that the project was delayed by nearly 12 months due to a single objector, but nonetheless we appreciate due process and that is exactly what has happened.

“We are hoping that construction will be completed by the end of this year allowing our members to take advantage of the shaded car parks during the hot summer months.

“There is a lot of work involved in the construction and there will be times when sections of the car park will be unavailable, but we plan to minimise disruption to our members wherever possible.” 

The 99-kilowatt project will be installed by local company Mildura Solar, and construction is planned to get under way in the next five weeks.

“We are assured that there will be substantial savings on our electricity bill which as you can imagine, is quite substantial with a facility the size of the Mildura RSL,” Mr Archibald said.

“We wanted to ensure that architecturally the project was aesthetically pleasing and I think that is what we have achieved.

“The RSL is excited to finally have this project move forward and help reduce our carbon footprint. 

“We really see this as a two for one deal where we achieve shade for our members cars and reduce our power consumption,” he said.