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2012 Premier's Sustainability Awards winners and finalists

The winners and finalists were announced at a gala dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 8 June, view a photo gallery from the event.

Premier’s Award

Pictured (left to right): former Premier Campbell Newman, Professor John Cole.

Pictured (left to right): former Premier Campbell Newman, Professor John Cole.

WINNER—Professor John Cole

Professor John Cole, University of Southern Queensland, has made an outstanding contribution to business sustainability in Queensland for nearly 30 years.

Professor Cole is well known nationally and overseas for his leadership and advice on sustainable development particularly through business innovation and public-private sector collaboration and partnerships.

He has a diverse 25-year background in industry and government including 10 years as founding Executive Director of Queensland’s Environmental Protection Agency and Queensland representative on the standing committee of the National Environment Protection Council.

He currently leads a  team of research staff, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students in developing innovative business models and technologies to help make sustainable development a reality.

Professor Cole is much sought after as a speaker on the issues of sustainability relating to government, business and communities.

Minister’s Award for Leadership

Pictured (left to right): former Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), Andrew Powell, Leo Sines and Stephen Leeds, General Manager, Network TEN (Media Partner)

Pictured (left to right): former Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), Andrew Powell, Leo Sines and Stephen Leeds, General Manager, Network TEN (Media Partner)

WINNER—Leo Sines

Polystyrene Recycling Queensland’s Managing Director Leo Sines designed and commissioned Australia’s first expanded polystyrene chipper. Five chippers now operate across Queensland, shrinking polystyrene volume by 66 per cent and creating a beneficial reuse opportunity.

The chipped polystyrene is compacted into bricks and recycled into photo frames, synthetic timbers and other products. This program is recycling more than 300 tonnes of expanded polystyrene each year, diverting 30,000 cubic metres from landfill.

FINALIST—Adjunct Professor David Hood

Professor David Hood’s lifelong voluntary commitment to develop sustainability plans with professional and industry associations has driven a change in the energy culture of Queensland and Australia.

Through his innovative presentations and lectures, he enthuses his audiences on the need to sustain our planet, and turn energy efficiency, and sustainability into ‘must haves’ instead of avoidable, additional, ‘up front’ costs.

FINALIST—Professor Ian O’Connor

Sustainability has been a key element of Griffith University’s evolution since its foundation 40 years ago. Currently led by Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice Chancellor and President since 2006, Griffith University is one of Australia’s fasted growing Universities.

Griffith University’s sustainability commitment is reflected in its corporate and operational practices including building design, energy, water and waste management practices. Griffith University has implemented a range of environmental programs and initiatives including a major solar photo voltaic upgrade at their Nathan EcoCentre and the use of geothermal technology at its Logan campus.

Community Award

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Noel Jessup, State Manager, Bendigo Bank (sponsor representative), Lucas Gilroy and Peter Foster.

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Noel Jessup, State Manager, Bendigo Bank (sponsor representative), Lucas Gilroy and Peter Foster.

WINNER—John Paul College

John Paul College began implementing efficient water management practices five years ago.

Linking sustainable operations into school curriculum and culture, John Paul College's commitment to eco-efficiency research, development and practice is creating a holistic sustainable learning environment.

Today, the 100-acre school has reduced water consumption from 88 megalitres to 18; completed Stage 1 of a three-stage plan to reduce energy consumption by 33 per cent; and introduced a campus-wide recycling program to cut waste this year by 30 per cent.

FINALIST—Tagai State College

Children attending the 17 campuses of Tagai State College in the Torres Strait live on remote islands that regularly experience the effects of climate change. These islands cover 43,000 square kilometres.

Each campus has joined Ergon Energy's power savy program that reduces electricity consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and the cost of electricity supply in Queensland's isolated communities served by diesel-fuelled power stations.

In 2011 the campuses collectively cut $57,000 off the College's annual total power bill, saved 75,000 litres of diesel fuel, and 204 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

FINALIST—Corinda State High School

Corinda State High School has embraced environmental sustainability with staff and students participating in programs relating to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

By undertaking research, auditing emissions and planning reductions, it has achieved an almost 20 per cent reduction in power usage, and almost 50 per cent reduction in water usage since 2007.

Built Environment Award

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Cr. Deidre Comerford, Robert Jaggar and Terry Effeney, CEO Energex (sponsor representative).

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Cr. Deidre Comerford, Robert Jaggar and Terry Effeney, CEO Energex (sponsor representative).

WINNER—Mackay Regional Council

As part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability, the Mackay Regional Council’s new Paget Depot Precinct has been built with Environmentally Sustainable Design principles in mind.

Building design highlighted areas of cost savings and environmental sustainability and now includes the use of appropriate sun shading, the provision of natural light and ventilation and water conservation strategies including rainwater harvesting and recycling strategies. The design features reduce energy and water use, cut costs and reduce the impact on the environment.

FINALIST—Stockland, North Shore

Stockland, North Shore has partnered with Ergon Energy to develop a guidebook to help homeowners understand energy use. ‘The Handbook: Making Sense of Sustainable Building’ is a one-stop, easy to use tool for new home buyers seeking simple answers on sustainability.

Stockland’s North Shore Living display centre in Townsville features 25 homes utilising the latest energy saving and solar technology.

FINALIST—Exner Investments Pty Ltd (Trading as Greenbuild.com.au)

GreenBuild.com.au has been promoting sustainable building products and construction services in tropical Queensland since 2007. It founded the Tropical Green Building Network, a voluntary community network engaging with the community to better explain sustainable building design.

Greenbuild has organised and successfully staged 18 events and expos providing industry and public education opportunities for the tropical green building industry in North Queensland.

Business Eco-efficiency Award

Pictured (left to right): Charlie Foxall, Health and Safety Environment Manager, Carlton United Brewers (sponsor representative), Paul Herd, Acting CEO for South Bank Corporation and former Minister Andrew Powell.

Pictured (left to right): Charlie Foxall, Health and Safety Environment Manager, Carlton United Brewers (sponsor representative), Paul Herd, Acting CEO for South Bank Corporation and former Minister Andrew Powell.

WINNER—South Bank Corporation

South Bank Corporation’s Rain Bank is an urban stormwater harvesting and reuse centre, providing a sustainable and drought-proof water supply for South Bank Parklands.

Rain Bank collects and treats stormwater from a 30 hectare catchment across West End and South Brisbane and redistributes it around the Parklands. It provides 85 per cent of the Parklands irrigation and non-potable water needs and is the first large-scale stormwater harvesting project in Queensland to be retrofitted in a fully developed mixed use catchment.

FINALIST—Rio Tinto Alcan

Rio Tinto Alcan's Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone produces up to 1.4 million tonnes of alumina each year.

A recent eco-efficiency audit identified heat energy wastage as an issue during production.

Installing a variable screw drive slowed the process and addressed the wastage, saving substantial capital.

Yarwun's cogeneration facility converts natural gas energy via a large gas turbine to produce electricity and steam for the refinery. The turbine is linked to an electrical generator which produces all the electricity needed to power the refinery process.

FINALIST—Mackay Sugar Limited

Mackay Sugar, in association with Reef Catchments Mackay–Whitsunday, has funded a project to address run-off issues associated with applying mill-mud, a by-product of the sugar manufacturing process, on to sugarcane fields.

A truck mounted applicator now applies the minimum required amount of mill mud directly to where it’s needed to most benefit growing sugarcane. The project has resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of nutrient flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, whilst also reducing costs for farmers.

Corporate Award

Pictured (left to right): Simon Warner, CEO SEQ Catchments (sponsor representative), former Minister Andrew Powell, Mayor Mark Jamieson, Sally Wright and Alan (Fox) Rogers.

Pictured (left to right): Simon Warner, CEO SEQ Catchments (sponsor representative), former Minister Andrew Powell, Mayor Mark Jamieson, Sally Wright and Alan (Fox) Rogers.

WINNER—Sunshine Coast Regional Council

In 2009, the Sunshine Coast Council revealed its vision to maintain the liveability of the coast as ‘Australia's most sustainable region—vibrant, green, diverse’.

Leading by example, the council set its own target to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2020. Through a dedicated management team and an empowered workforce, the council is implementing a range of initiatives, achieving reduced carbon emissions of over 1000 tonnes carbon dioxide and financial savings of over $4.5 million per year to date.

FINALIST—Sunshine Coast TAFE

Sunshine Coast TAFE’s commitment to sustainable operations has resulted in their certification as Australia's first and only ‘Carbon Neutral’ educational organisation under the National Carbon Offset Standard.

Its vision is to be a leader in education for sustainability and sustainable operations. To achieve this the TAFE has initiated ‘Rethink for Sustainability @ Sunshine Coast TAFE’ a holistic, multi-facetted approach that includes community engagement through the Sustainability Discovery Centre—a community asset for hands on experiential learning for sustainability.

FINALIST—National Institute of Painting and Decorating

The National Institute of Painting and Decorating has established GreenPainters—a national network of painting contractors committed to environmental best practice that provides education and training for architects, builders, contractors and consumers.

Over 150 businesses across Australia have joined the program, and become accredited in sustainability. A GreenPainters accredited painting contractor is able to use and recommend paint products which increase building energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and protect indoor air quality.

Clean Energy Innovation Award

Pictured (left to right): Jon Black, Director-General from Department of Energy and Water Supply (sponsor representative), Adam Connell and former Minister Andrew Powell.

Pictured (left to right): Jon Black, Director-General from Department of Energy and Water Supply (sponsor representative), Adam Connell and former Minister Andrew Powell.

WINNER—James Cook University

James Cook University’s energy management and efficiency program has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in peak demand, 25 per cent reduction in total energy use, annual savings of $2 million and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 10,600 tonnes per annum across its Townsville Campus.

Over the past five years the university’s infrastructure master plan has resulted in considerable greenhouse gas and energy savings.

FINALIST—Energex

The 'PeakSmart Air-Conditioning' project is the first commercial application and delivery of demand response enabled air-conditioning in Australia.

When activated by an Energex signal receiver, PeakSmart air-conditioning units reduce their input energy while allowing the air-conditioner to continue to cool with no negative impact on customer comfort levels. The program, currently being rolled out through Energex's Energy Conservation Communities program, is conducted in collaboration with the air-conditioning industry.

FINALIST—University of Queensland

The University of Queensland has developed a solar powered micro-grid capable of providing a two-way-flow of electricity and power during peak load times to its St Lucia Campus.

This was achieved by coupling a large, 1.22 megawatt flat-panel photo-voltaic array to a 240 kilowatt hour commercial-industrial scale flow battery—developed by RedFlow, a previous awards winner. The micro-grid is purposely designed to allow a two-way-flow of electricity, providing a large amount of clean green electricity.

Small Business Award

Pictured (left to right): David Skehan, Queensland State Manager, Rheem Australia (sponsor representative), Cecile Espigole and former Minister Andrew Powell.

Pictured (left to right): David Skehan, Queensland State Manager, Rheem Australia (sponsor representative), Cecile Espigole and former Minister Andrew Powell.

WINNER—Eco Queenslander

Maryborough's multi award winning Eco Queenslander was restored and retrofitted with energy and water efficient appliances in 2009.

It has operated as carbon neutral since 2010 and provides sustainable accommodation to Fraser Coast visitors. Eco Queenslander has been selected by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to represent best practices for ecotourism in the Asia Pacific region.

FINALIST—Green Future Developments

Green Future Developments is setting a new environmental benchmark in low to medium density residential apartment developments.

The Holland Green Apartment building, its latest development of 10 uniquely designed apartments, incorporates a number of environmentally sustainable initiatives not found in buildings of similar size and type.

Photo Voltaic Solar power will run 100 per cent of the complex's energy needs. Use of sustainable building products and materials and onsite recycling has minimised the apartment's environmental impact.

FINALIST—Flexiway Solar Solutions

Flexiway Solar Solutions has developed a small, light weight solar light called the ‘Solar Muscle’, that provides twice as much light as a kerosene lamp which are still used in developing countries.

The lights are being distributed to areas of need by non-government organisations. The solar muscle can be sold and air freighted anywhere in the world for under $10 per unit. For every six kerosene lamps that are replaced by solar muscle lights one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions are saved.

Waste Reduction and Resource Efficiency Award

Pictured (left to right): Tamara O’Shea, General Manager Waste Avoidance and Resource Efficiency, EHP (sponsor representative), Peter Harkins, Collette Harkins and former Minister Andrew Powell.

Pictured (left to right): Tamara O’Shea, General Manager Waste Avoidance and Resource Efficiency, EHP (sponsor representative), Peter Harkins, Collette Harkins and former Minister Andrew Powell.

WINNER—Colmax Glass Pty Ltd

Colmax Glass operates a glass processing facility in Brisbane with capacity to process 20,000 tonnes of recovered glass each year.

The recovered glass is sold as feedstock for glass bottle manufacturing. By redirecting the glass through Colmax Glass to make bottles, the amount of waste going to landfill has been reduced from 25 per cent to just one per cent.

Since the plant commenced production in May 2010 more than 25,000 tonnes of material that would otherwise have been sent to landfill has been processed.

FINALIST—Kennedys Classic Aged Timbers

Kennedy’s Timbers has developed world class protocols and specialised handling processes for a new recycled timber product—old timber power poles.

Kennedy’s has taken redundant power poles from our local streets and recycled them into oversized timbers. These can now be seen throughout a variety of commercial and residential projects including St John’s Cathedral Bell Tower in Brisbane, flooring of the Federal Attorney-General’s office in Canberra and the acclaimed Tree of Knowledge Memorial in Barcaldine.

FINALIST—Clean Oil Services

Clean Oil Services is revolutionising the traditional way lubrication is managed by reusing existing oil and minimising waste oil.

The Lubemaster Oil Cleaning Unit removes dirt and contaminants from the oil, keeping it in good operating condition and extending its life. This eliminates the need for frequent oil changes. The system works by spinning the oil in a centrifuge, extracting and holding onto waste solids leaving the oil for re-use.

Innovation in Technologies Award

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Karryn Lanham, Tony Le Messurier and Andrew Griffiths, Dean of UQ Business School (sponsor representative).

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Karryn Lanham, Tony Le Messurier and Andrew Griffiths, Dean of UQ Business School (sponsor representative).

WINNER—Renewable Energy Solutions Australia Holdings Ltd

A unique, virtually silent 20 kilowatt rated wind turbine suitable for mid-sized commercial, manufacturing and industrial applications has been designed by Australian company Renewable Energy Solutions Australia.

The Eco Whisper Turbine features 30 blades and collects wind up to 30 per cent more efficiently than traditional three-bladed designs. It is also shorter, less noisy and cheaper to maintain due to its superior conversion technology.

FINALIST—AquaTrip Pty Ltd

Brisbane based Aquatrip has developed an affordable and cost effective Water Leak Detection System that permanently monitors the supply of water to a property.

The Aquatrip is able to shut off the water supply if a leak, burst pipe or other plumbing failure occurs. Already in use by a number of local councils, AquaTrip will soon be distributed overseas with interest from companies in Africa, Spain and France.

FINALIST—Austin Glass

The majority of Australian homes have single-glazed windows which are notoriously thermally inefficient.

In a world first, an innovative invention allows Austin Glass to remove the single-glazed glass and fit new double-glazed panels using the existing framing with no need to remove the existing window frames to install the new glazing.

This dramatically reduces the amount of energy required to heat and cool a house, helping the environment and the household budget.

Rural Award

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Andy Coleman, General Manager, Coles Stores, Doug Rasmussen and David Foote, CEO, Australian Country Choice (sponsor representative).

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Andy Coleman, General Manager, Coles Stores, Doug Rasmussen and David Foote, CEO, Australian Country Choice (sponsor representative).

WINNER—Sugarcane Sustainability Project, Mossman—Doug Rasmussen

Doug Rasmussen has embarked on a five-year program to create sediment traps on his farm, shifting topsoil and laser levelling each block when it becomes vacant so rainfall travels slowly and evenly to the sediment trap.

Doug has used the laser-leveller on all fallow blocks since 2007, and pinpoints the location of the sediment traps so any topsoil washed away during the wet season is captured and can be applied to the areas which are situated lower. The use of filter mud has reduced fertiliser use by 25 per cent.

FINALIST—Sugarcane Sustainability Project, Ingham—Paul Marbelli

Paul Marbelli has improved productivity through best management practices and was awarded local sugarcane grower of the year.

Paul completed the reef rescue program’s accreditation by undertaking soil, nutrient, weed and pest management courses and obtaining a commercial chemical operator’s licence.

By adopting the sub-soil fertiliser application method, Paul wasn't dispersing the expensive commodity unnecessarily; but placing it underground for new plantings and under the trash blanket of ratoon crops.

FINALIST—Sugarcane Sustainability Project, Babinda—Ray Vicarioli

Ray Vicarioli was awarded local sugarcane grower of the year for the Cairns region for his willingness to implement new best practice farming techniques.

Employing a minimal tillage and nil-cultivation approach, Ray uses a variety of techniques to maximise productivity, while minimising input costs.

Hilly paddocks have been contoured to reduce gradient and minimise water speed, and sediment runoff has been reduced by applying silt traps. Sophisticated sub-surface drainage systems have also been constructed to minimise nutrient run off and eliminate chemical runoff into drains.

Partnership Award

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Cr Matthew Bourke, Cr Peter Matic and Ross Thompson, General Manager, Xstrata Copper (sponsor representative).

Pictured (left to right): former Minister Andrew Powell, Cr Matthew Bourke, Cr Peter Matic and Ross Thompson, General Manager, Xstrata Copper (sponsor representative).

WINNER—Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council is dedicated to engaging, informing and assisting Brisbane's residents and businesses to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, abate climate change, and improve business sustainability.

Brisbane City Council is working to achieve this through a number of innovative projects and initiatives including:

  • The CitySwitch Program
  • Earth Hour
  • Green Heart Partnerships
  • Green Heart Events
  • Two Million Trees
  • And Neighbourhood Shadeways.

FINALIST—Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst is a pioneering partnership between Reef Catchments, Coca-Cola Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature and Mackay–Whitsunday Sugarcane Farmers to improve water quality and reduce the impact of pollution on the Great Barrier Reef.

Adopting innovative land management practises has greatly decreased soil, nutrients, and chemicals reaching the reef. Precision application of chemicals has reduced nutrient pollution by 60 per cent, herbicide pollution by 95 per cent, and satellite controlled machinery has reduced the volume of run-off from heavy clay soils by 20 per cent.

FINALIST—Bulimba State School

Bulimba State School’s long-term commitment to reducing its impact on the environment spans over 15 years. From Prep to Year 7, children learn from practical outdoor experience and in the classroom they are making decisions which impact the environment.

The school has a large area for edible gardens, outdoor learning classrooms, and physical activity while building necessary infrastructure with sustainability as a driving force. Bulimba is the state demonstration school for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program, which teaches students how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh food.

Last reviewed
31 August 2016
Last updated
14 June 2012