Best local government engineering projects recognised

Council projects ranging from a memorial to fallen lifeguards to a multi-million dollar airport upgrade have been recognised at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia awards.

Left to right: Stefan Botha, Darren North, Andrew Pearce, Stephen Davies, Matthew Salmon, Joanna Murray from the prize-winning Central Coast project (image supplied)

The awards, announced in Sydney last week, recognise excellence in local government and public works projects as well as inspiration, innovation, collaboration, development and completion of projects and technical management.

Central Coast received the Environmental Enhancement Project award for $9 million landfill cell at its Buttonderry Waste Management Facility.

Designing for the new cell began in June 2019 with construction completed in August 2022.

Council undertook construction of the new cell as its existing landfill was reaching its end of life. The new five hectare landfill cell has been built to meet the community’s waste disposal needs for approximately the next 4.5 years.

Council’s Unit Manager Waste and Resource Recovery Andrew Pearce, said council staff and contractors faced many challenges but still managed to deliver the project on time.

“This included Covid-19 impacts to contractor staff, higher than average wet weather and two significant natural disaster events, but succeeded in meeting expectations,” he said.

The project was fully funded by Council from revenue received in prior years from the operation of Council’s waste management facilities.

Other category winners

Projects less than $500,00 – Randwick City Council Coogee Fallen Lifesavers Memorial – a memorial for Australian lifesavers who lost their lives during active duty. The project includes a statue surrounded by tiered sandstone seating and garden beds and an interactive touchscreen.

Projects between $500,000 and less than $5 million – Shellharbour City Council Depot Services Building Project – The Services Depot Building Project provides an efficient, safe, inclusive and sustainable workplace and brings together approximately 150 staff members from the Services Team. The judges said the project successfully incorporates the challenge of integrating an indoor and outdoor workforce and includes meeting and training rooms, laundry facilities, break out spaces, hot desks and natural light.

Projects $5 million upwards – Bega Valley Shire Merimbula Airport – Almost $19.5 million was spent in infrastructure investment at Merimbula Airport to extend and strengthen the existing runway and the create a general aviation precinct. “The project required innovative thinking from the initial planning and approvals phases through to the design and construction stage to manage the many environmental constraints involved in extending a runway into Merimbula Lake, a pristine tidal saltwater lake with high ecological, tourism and aquaculture values,” the judges said.

New or improved techniques – Sutherland Shire Council Bate Bay Beaches – In 2022 months of aggressive swells caused severe beach erosion, threatening public assets along the shoreline. Council responded with seawall stabilisation, a rock revetment wall and erosion mitigation measures.

Innovations in water supply and wastewater – MidCoast council switchboards redesign – MidCoast Council recently designed new Sewage Pump Station Switchboards to reduce incident energy and the risk of arc flash to operators.

Multidisciplinary project management – Kuringai Lindfield Village Green – Lindfield Village Green opened in February 2022 on the site of a former carpark It has a large area of open space for events and socialising, a café with outdoor dining and three levels of underground car parking. The car park was built under a partnership with Transport for NSW and the Council, with reserved areas for commuter parking. There are also electric vehicle chargers for visitors and commuters.

David Abbott Award – Faiza Bhuiyan – Project Manager, City of Canterbury Bankstown

Public Works Leader of the year – Rob Burke – Asset Engineer LEMO, Eurobodalla Shire Council

Minister for Local Government’s Award for Innovation; and Award for Workplace Health and Safety – Griffith regional council. Read about Griffith’s awards here.

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