Krista Milne and Dave Collins at the Banksia Awards

1 November 2012 — The Banksia Awards are the Logies of the sustainability world and this year the winner from the built environment category was Darling Quarter and Commonwealth Bank Place, developed by Lend Lease and Commonwealth Bank NSW.

The Darling Park win was for the 2012 Built Environment Award – Harmonious Manmade Landscapes, was one of 60 finalists  and 12 winners in the awards.

The Darling Quarter precinct includes the Commonwealth Bank Place commercial offices and a family/leisure precinct with a retail food precinct, a world-class 4000 square metre family playground, a park, youth theatre and 600-bay carpark.

Shani Graham and Tim Darby Ecoburbia, which won the small to medium business award, preferred to stay at home in South Fremantle, WA, and save the carbon miles. They were beamed in by satellite instead, straight from the living room.

The Awards, held for the past 24 years, recognise Australian companies, organisations and individuals for their efforts in making a positive difference to the environment.

This year the green Logies had to do without the Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year and The Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards, withdrawn for lack of funding.

Among the guests at the massive gala event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre were many of the eminent names in the sustainable built environment.

A small sample of guests included: Bronwyn Williams, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research who managed the Green Building Fund grants and says her team are still working through all the commitments and reporting of achievements which will take another few years to run their course; Caryn Kakas of Residential Development Council; Phil Wilkinson of Australian Institute of Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning and Mara Bún of Green Cross Australia who has developed a unique offering in encouraging green rebuilding of properties damaged or destroyed by natural disasters.

Also attending was Siobhan Toohill, director Pure and Applied (formerly Stockland) a finalist in the GE Eco Innovation Award,

Dave Collins, of Synergetics, whose company was finalist in the Small to Medium Business Award, kindly hosted The Fifth Estate at a table that also included Krista Milne from the City of Melbourne, Gavin Mudd from Monash University, Alison Carmichael who was appointed as chief executive officer of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and was previously CEO of the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors and Sunil Bhasin from City of Melbourne.

Collins, who was a member of the Environmental Upgrade Agreements Melbourne Roundtable reported in our recent EUA ebook has developed a unique offering in green buildings that he calls  “positive energy places”, exemplified by the company’s own premises at 490 Spencer Street, Melbourne.

Darling Quarter, Sydney

Among the leading award winners was Target 100, a project by Meat & Livestock Australia, NSW, took home the 2012 Origin Gold Banksia Award.

The initiative is driven by Australian cattle and sheep farmers, along with their broader industry, to deliver sustainable farming by 2020.

Harnessing social media and other communication channels, Target 100 revolves around 100 research, development and extension initiatives that aim to make cattle and sheep farming more sustainable and case studies of individual farmers.

The judges said they were “extremely impressed” by the commitment from those involved, from individual producers and providers across the country to high profile ambassadors and heavyweight industry organisations.

“It shows how empowering social media tools can be when put to important use by bringing disparate people, such as farmers and university researchers, together for mutual benefit.”

The 2012 Built Environment Award – Harmonious Manmade Landscapes went to Darling Quarter and Commonwealth Bank Place, a Lend Lease and Commonwealth Bank, NSW project.

The Darling Quarter precinct includes the Commonwealth Bank Place commercial offices and a family/leisure precinct with a retail food precinct, a world-class 4000 square metre family playground, a park, youth theatre and 600-bay carpark.

Other winners were:

2012 GE Eco Innovation Award for Individual Excellence Winner

Professor Veena Sahajwalla – The Eco Alchemist – The University of New South Wales, NSW

2012 the GPT Group Community Grant Recipient

Bookend Trust, Tasmania

2012 Brian Robinson Fellowship Recipient

Dr Melanie Bishop

2012 Education Award – Raising the Bar Winner

Target 100

Meat & Livestock Australia, NSW

2012 Banksia Small to Medium Business Leading in Sustainability Award Winner

Ecoburbia – Ecoburbia, WA

2012 Leading in Sustainability Award – Setting the Standard for Large Organisations Winner

Here for the Long Haul –  Qantas, NSW

2012 Water Award – Our Most Precious Resource Winner

Dewfish Demonstration Reach – The Fish are Back! – Condamine Alliance, Queensland

2012 Agriculture and Food Award – From Paddock to Plate Sustainably Winner

OzHarvest – OzHarvest Ltd, NSW

2012 Clean Technology Award – Harnessing Opportunities Winner

SF6 Recycling Plant – ABB Australia Pty Limited, NSW

2012 Indigenous Award – Caring for Country Winner

I – Tracker Initiative: Best Practice Tools and Partnerships for Indigenous Land and Sea Management – North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd, NT

2012 Land and Biodiversity Award – Preserving Our Ecosystems Winner

The I-Tracker Initiative: New tools and Knowledge for Better Conservation – North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd, NT