The National Awards for Excellence were presented as a part of Stormwater Australia’s Stormwater 2021 National Conference on Wednesday, 14th April.

Awards were presented in six categories, which were:
• Excellence in Asset Management
• Excellence in Infrastructure
• Excellence in Integrated Stormwater Design
• Excellence in Policy or Education
• Excellence in Research and Innovation
• Excellence in Strategic or Master Planning

Projects only qualify as finalists in the National Awards if they have been successful within their own state so the finalists do represent the best of the best when it comes to stormwater management practice throughout the country.

National Winning Projects

Excellence in Strategic and Master Planning

DUBA, BUDU, BARRA: Ten steps to a living river – The Parramatta River Masterplan

Parramatta River Catchment Group

This is a remarkable project linking a high-level liveability and nature-based performance goal, swimming in the Parramatta River, with a science based, holistic, practical and very meaningful masterplan. In order to achieve the performance goal the Parramatta river needs stormwater management, planning controls, sewer overflow management, community education, leadership and stakeholder engagement. Developed in close consultation with multiple communities and professional groups the ten-step plan demonstrates excellence in almost all the judging criteria. The application of the master plan in a monitoring program, catchment wide approach to reducing stormwater runoff, identifying 5 iconic species, standardising land use planning controls to promote at source stormwater management and a ‘Get the Site right’ campaign help demonstrate the breadth of the project. Where this project excelled over other excellent projects was that the success of the masterplan could be demonstrated by a series of completed initiatives including 4 established swimming sites along the river.

Excellence in Research and Innovation

Joint Research Program between Flinders University and the City of Marion

City of Marion, Flinders University of South Australia, Local Government Association, Managed Aquifer Recharge Group

This is a remarkable project. This exciting and innovative joint initiative of applied research, that you can touch and feel, is providing information that will drive the continuous improvement to Managed Aquifer Recharge operations, the environment and long-term planning as well as supports a learning environment for industry, researchers, university students and school children learning STEM.

Excellence in Policy and Education

Our Future Cities: 2018 Interdisciplinary Design program

Our Future Cities, Loci Environment & Place

The judges were unanimous in supporting the “Our Future Cities: 2018 Interdisciplinary Design program” as the award winner for Excellence in Policy or Education. The project excelled against all criteria for the award, particularly in relation to the high level of collaboration and demonstrated educational benefits of the program. These outcomes were strongly evidenced by the growth and continuation of the program from its inception, the high level of participation (including repeat participants), and the support shown by the industry partner organisations through significant in-kind contributions and enthusiasm for uptake and advertising of ideas generated from the program. The project was additionally completed with a very small cash budget, demonstrating excellent value for money. In summary, the project deserves to be commended in the strongest possible terms as an outstanding and innovative example of excellence in education related to stormwater management.

Excellence in Integrated Stormwater Design

Small Creek Naturalisation

Ipswich City Council, Bligh tanner, Landscapology, Australian Wetlands, TLCC

The project has converted a straight concrete lined drain within a ‘single use’ corridor into a substantive multipurpose community asset.

Collaboration was extensive both between the technical design team members and through a well-planned community consultation process.

The channel works are designed to encourage and allow natural regenerative processes including erosion and deposition. The restoration was intentionally “wild”, with limited formal structures or embellishments. The community is encouraged to explore and create their own way through the corridor. An all-round exceptional result that all involved can be proud of.

Excellence in Infrastructure

Two for One – Tim Neville Arboretum & Dobson Oval IWM Scheme

Knox City Council

The way this project achieved multiple outcomes was very impressive.  It resulted in a complex mix of water treatment, capture and re-use and flood protection. The project benefitted from detailed planning and design and involved a blend of technologies, from conventional drainage, ecological responsiveness through to the use of cutting edge smart technology. This project truly ticked all the boxes!

Excellence in Asset Management

Knowledge, Integration and Commitment – How the City of Sydney and Optimal Stormwater have Massively enhanced Stormwater Asset Management to Protect on of Australia’s Greatest Jewels

Optimal Stormwater and City of Sydney

The judges noted all projects provided good tools for the industry going forward, however the innovation excellence was not necessarily found in the products, but in the people involved.  This project win is due to the individuals from Sydney Council & Optimal Stormwater who went above and beyond the job scope, and drove the needed change and long term investment – leveraging a call to action that will lead to tangible outcomes for Sydney Harbour.