Ian Webb, David Singleton, Katrina O'Mara and Megan Motto.

The Gold Coast Light Rail project, Main Roads Western Australia and AECOM associate director Dr Katrina O’Mara have had their sustainability achievements recognised at the inaugural Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s national awards in Sydney.
The Sustainability in Infrastructure Awards, held last week, were judged by Consult Australia chief executive Megan Motto; chief executive of Roads Australia Ian Webb; deputy secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Lyn O’Connell; and independent ISCA director and vice president of World Road Association Menno Henneveld.

The Gold Coast Light Rail won the Infrastructure Sustainability Project/Asset Award, Main Roads WA won the Organisational Leadership in Infrastructure Sustainability Award, and Dr O’Mara won the Individual Leadership in Infrastructure Sustainability Award.

“The judges noted that the Gold Coast Light Rail project demonstrated that there are savings to be made through a sustainable approach,” ISCA chief executive Antony Sprigg said.

“Despite being undertaken in a challenging environment and having a range of obstacles to overcome, the project still achieved exceptional sustainability outcomes and has achieved the highest Infrastructure Sustainability rating score to date.”

On winning the Organisational Leadership award, Mr Sprigg said MRWA had shown strong leadership, and positively influenced the take-up of sustainable practices.

“They are actively involved in building staff capability, sustainable practices and sharing knowledge and experience across the industry,” he said.

Dr O’Mara, associate director sustainability and climate change at AECOM in Western Australia, is working with Main Roads WA as AECOM’s assessor for Gateway WA, the state’s largest road project. She is also a verifier for projects seeking ISCA ratings, has been an active member of ISCA and is supporting the delivery of Infrastructure Sustainability Foundation training she helped to develop.

Dr O’Mara also recently facilitated the inaugural Asian Regional Workshop in Korea, helping participants from several Asian countries share approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“I feel very honoured to have been nominated amongst such an esteemed group that includes people who have inspired me throughout my journey,” Dr O’Mara said upon receiving her leadership award.

“Encouraging and developing infrastructure sustainably is important if we want to continue to pursue economic development while enhancing our society and preserving our natural environment.”

Four projects were also awarded IS ratings during the awards ceremony. The Whitsunday Water Treatment Plants in Queensland were awarded an Excellent As Built Rating, the ACT’s Enlarged Cotter Dam achieved a Commended As Built IS rating, and both the Googong Water Treatment Plant in the ACT and the North West Rail Link Early Works in New South wales were awarded Commended Design IS ratings.

“Sustainability is often linked to the environment and perceived to be associated with unnecessary costs. Whereas, in reality sustainability is about performance across the full triple bottom line. What we have seen in infrastructure projects that have gone through the IS Rating certification, is that real cost savings can be derived from the process,” Mr Sprigg said.

Since the IS Rating Scheme was launched in 2012 eight projects with a combined capital value of $2.2 billion have been awarded IS Rating certification. Currently, ISCA has 19 projects totalling over $30 billion in capital value registered for a rating.