A project to remove dangerous level crossings on railway lines in Melbourne has taken out the top award at the prestigious Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards announced in Melbourne on Thursday night.

The awards ceremony held at the newly refurbished Forum in the CBD, filled to capacity with nearly 350 guests, and MC’d by The Project’s Gorgi Coghlan, was billed as one of the best in the awards’ history.

The winner of the highly prized Built Environment award was a consortium of Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP, Aurecon, Level Crossing Removal Authority and Metro Trains Melbourne that had worked to remove nine dangerous and congested level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong in Melbourne. 

The project, expected to be completed soon, will open up “11 MCGs” worth of open space by transforming a former brownfield rail corridor into 22.5 hectares of linear park beneath a new rail structure, in a program that gave back to the community the biggest piece of land since the establishment of the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1846 as well as 

The project also involved the opening of five new stations renewed village centres at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park.

The public spaces should be completed before the end of the year.

Stan Krpan, Sustainability Victoria

 

The Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation (GWMWater) and the Dja Dja Wurrung clans won the Environmental Justice award for proving “respect for country and major infrastructure development can work hand in hand”. 

As part of GWMWater’s 1300 kilometre South West Loddon pipeline development that cut through the Dja Dja Wurrung clans country, the two parties signed a negotiated Memorandum of Understanding based on 20,000 hours of paid work to find sacred sites and artefacts that exist on Dja Dja Wurrung country. 

Gannawarra Shire Council won the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award, one of two of the night’s big honours, for its large scale solar farm and battery storage program.

Waste remains a topical issue in Victoria, with the second of the night’s top awards, the Premier’s Recognition Award, presented to Yume Food for its online marketplace for surplus food.

The marketplace allows suppliers and buyers to connect with each other and ensure that edible food doesn’t end up in landfill.

City of Melbourne, City of Moreland, City of Port Phillip, and City of Yarra took out the Government category for purchasing renewable energy from a newly built facility as a collective of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations.

Sustainability Victoria’s chief executive Stan Krpan said winners this year were highly diverse.

“The diversity of sustainability endeavor we have seen this year, undertaken by every kind of group, organisation or business imaginable, is outstanding and we’re delighted that the Awards can tell their inspiring stories.” 

MC Gorgi Coghlan

Following is the full list of 2018 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards winners.

Built Environment 

Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP, Aurecon, Level Crossing Removal Authority and Metro Trains Melbourne– Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project. Clayton South. The Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project will ease traffic congestion on Melbourne roads through the removal of rail crossings while also providing 22.5 hectares of greenfields linear parkland to local communities.

Community 

Kelly Mrocki: The Girl Who Saved the Frogs Incursion. Glen Iris. Kelly Mrocki runs an incursion for Early Childhood Education Services, reading from her books ‘The Girl Who Saved The Frogs’ and ‘The Boy Who Saved The Whale’, and providing hands-on sustainability experiences for our youngest citizens.

Education

Beeac Primary School – Brolga Pathways. Beeac. Students from Beeac Primary School worked with environmental artist Peter Day to develop a project that educates the community about the brolga – a local threatened species – using the arts as a focus.

Environmental Justice

GWMWater – Memorandum of Understanding with Dja Dja Wurrung – South West Loddon Pipeline. Horsham. A Memorandum of Understanding between GWMWater and Dja Dja Wurrung clans proves that respect for country and major infrastructure development can work hand in hand.

Environmental Protection

Zoos Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks – When Balloons Fly. Parkville and Phillip Island. A campaign by Zoos Victoria and Philip Island Nature Parks known as When Balloons Fly, Seabirds Die encourages people to use bubbles instead of balloons at outdoor events, reducing plastic pollution and saving marine life.

Government

City of Melbourne, City of Moreland, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra – Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. Melbourne. The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project marks the first time in Australia that a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations have collectively purchased renewable energy from a newly built facility.

Health

Beaconsfield Dental – Beaconsfield Dental Health. Berwick. A dental practice in Berwick leads the way in sustainability through features such as 126 solar panels, water tanks, energy efficient fittings, indigenous garden, dental product recycling programs and an electric car charger for patients’ use.

Innovative Products or Services

Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste. Windsor.  Yume is an online marketplace for quality surplus food products that connects suppliers with buyers – the business model ensures that all good food is enjoyed, which is better for consumers’ pocket and for the planet.

Large Business

IKEA Richmond – IKEA Richmond Refurbishment Project. Richmond. A major refurbishment of the IKEA Richmond outlet has been achieved using key sustainability and energy saving principles, and is now used to teach the value of sustainability principles to customers, staff and the broader community.

Small and Medium Sized Business

Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste. Windsor. Yume is an online marketplace for quality surplus food products that connects suppliers with buyers to help mitigate the 9.5 million tonnes of food that annually goes to landfill.