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2007 Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence Winners

Winners of the ninth Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence were announced on Friday, 8 June 2007 at the Environment Minister's Dinner. The Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, the Hon Paula Wreidt MHA, presented the awards at a formal dinner held at Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Hobart, Tasmania. The major award is the Minister's Award that recognises the company or organisation making the most significant contribution to environmental management within Tasmania. The 2007 winner was Mt Nelson/Porter Hill Reserve System, nominated by the Hobart City Council.

Winners in each category are:

Summary of Award Winners

Community Award

The Understorey Network - Growing Plants and Communities Together

The Understorey Network has been a valued part of the community environmental network in Tasmania for 12 years. Its aim is to provide information and raise awareness about the understorey species in native vegetation and to assist groups and individuals to grow understorey plants for revegetation. Understorey species and habitats include grasslands, wetlands, alpine, coastal and riparian areas, wet and dry forests and salt marshes.

Through its training workshops, field days, a Growers' Scheme, a quarterly newsletter and an online plant propagation database the Understorey Network has enabled hundreds of people across the State to develop personal skills for practical management of native vegetation. It has been a means for planting and protecting many thousands of understorey species.

Under the Growers' Scheme members receive a kit, including potting soil, tubes and native seeds, to grow an average of 250 plants for themselves or others. Local seed collection supports the scheme In 2005 and 2006 the Understorey Network received an 18 month grant from the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust for the Growing Plants and Communities Together project.

Sponsored by: Tasmania Together

Education for the Environment Award

West Coast Weed and Fire Management Group and Strahan Primary School: Azure Kingfisher Project

In 2006 students from grades 4-5-6 at Strahan Primary School undertook a series of projects to raise community awareness of the Azure Kingfisher and improve the riparian zone of Melaleuca Creek. Through an innovative program of art in environment projects and hands-on work, students have transformed a section of Melaleuca Creek and significantly raised the profile of the Azure Kingfisher throughout the Strahan community.

The efforts and achievements of the students have been widely publicised by the print and radio media which has contributed to raising community awareness of rare and threatened species By taking responsibility for informing their community and working to enhance a degraded environment, students have taken ownership for the care of their own environment and have a clear understanding of the role they will play, now and into the future, in sustaining Tasmania's unique environmental heritage.

Sponsored by: University of Tasmania

Land and Biodiversity Award

Hobart City Council

The natural skylines around Hobart are considered to be a vital part of the character of the City, framing it within the spectacular landscape between Mt Wellington and the River Derwent.

In 2006 the Hobart City Council acquired Porter Hill to complete the process of developing an unbroken natural corridor of reserves across the slopes of Mt Nelson. This has been a long-term vision of the Council and will see the protection of important aesthetic, landscape, environmental, cultural and recreational values for the people of Tasmania to share and enjoy.

Detailed planning, environmental, heritage, landscape and urban design assessments commissioned by the Council have improved the understanding of the significance of the reserves and provided a robust framework for the acquisition process.

The formation of the reserve system and the role of individual purchases to link reserves is considered a best practice approach to natural area management. The recognition that multiple management objectives could be achieved through a holistic approach to land acquisition has been a key element in the decision-making process.

Sponsored by: Greening Australia

Local Government Award

Glamorgan Spring Bay Council - Partnership Program

The Glamorgan Spring Bay Council is determined to bring everyone in the municipality together to address environmental challenges in a time of restricted resources and severe drought. The pathway forward for continuous improvement has been laid with a focuson the "triple bottom line" - social, environmental and economic performance.

In partnership with individuals, community groups, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS)and many others the Council has:

  • undertaken strategic weed control activities in line with the Glamorgan Spring BayWeed Management Plan;
  • won grants for water infrastructure changes and developed plans and policiesto improve quality and quantity;
  • made physical and system changes to reduce pollution and improve waste management; and
  • used a range of strategies to increase public awareness and engagement including seminars, reports, articles in local and statewide media, signage and education/training programs for children and adults.

Sponsored by: Local Government Association of Tasmania

Sustainable Business Award

Cascade Brewery Company Pty Ltd Effluent - Quality and Drainage Management System

Both acidic and alkaline wastewater is produced by the wide variety of continuous and batchwise operations at Cascade. Over the past decade, Cascade has implemented a range of sustainability actions as part of its ISO 14001 accreditation, particularly through the incorporation of cleaner production philosophies into the company management plan. Water conservation, chemical use and product waste minimisation programs have been implemented.

To support and further expand these programs, the current project focuses on the control of wastewater quality and discharge to optimise effective treatment at the Hobart City Council sewage treatment facility. To achieve this, collection tanks have been established within the beverages production area. The wastewater from these collection points is directed to two interlinked buffer storage tanks by a computerised data logging and flow management system for optimum neutralisation. It is further adjusted, if necessary, by an automatic dosing system to the targeted pH 6 to 9 range. A computerised system which monitors the pH, temperature and flow rate regime measures the discharge to the sewer during off-peak times.

Sponsored by: Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Water Award

Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management and Burnie City Council - Pet and Guide Rivers Catchment Management Project

Burnie City Council has taken a lead in implementing an integrated approach to long-term protection for quality of Burnie's domestic water supply through actions to improve catchment ecology and land management practices within the Pet and Guide river valleys. The Pet and Guide Rivers Catchment Management Plan proposed a range of measuresto avoid and remedy threats to water quality.

Council has achieved practical implementation of the plan over several years in close and cooperative partnership with local landowners, community interest groups and relevant agencies, and with funding assistance from the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Landcare Project.

Practical outcomes include: many kilometres of fencing to exclude stock from stream-sides; revegetation to restore natural habitat and filter systems; and tangible cost savings in drinking water treatment. Environmental performance of the catchment will continue to improve with on-going benefits for water quality and the health and productivity of agriculture.The project has proven to be a win-win for everyone. It demonstrates that simple techniques and a willingness to re-examine established practices can yield continuing dividends for all.

Sponsored by: Hobart Water

Waste Minimisation Officer
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599 Fax: 03 6173 0254
Email: Enquiries@epa.tas.gov.au