The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) has celebrated best practice design in projects and initiatives at their annual NGAA Excellence and Innovation Awards.

The NGAA is the national peak body for local governments in Australia’s outer urban growth areas.

The City of Cockburn won the Built Environment category of the Awards, as announced at the NGAA 2022 Congress, held in Melbourne on 18 March 2022. 

The Award recognised the project’s liveability, productivity and resilience outcomes.

The award was accepted by Cockburn CEO, Tony Brun, who said the City’s transformative redevelopment was underpinned by a collaborative partnership with the Precinct’s tenants WA Wildlife, The Wetlands Centre Cockburn (TWCC) and Bibra Lake Scout Group, all of whom were able to remain functioning on site during the two-year redevelopment process.

“The redevelopment has allowed the site on the northern shore of Walliabup-Bibra Lake to deliver diverse learning experiences, while protecting the natural environment and celebrating cultural heritage,” Mr Brun said.

The redevelopment created a state-of-the-art integrated education and rehabilitation hub featuring elements of Ecological Sustainable Design, including:

  • An Aerobic Treatment Unit to treat sewage and grey water on site
  • 30kW of photovoltaic panels
  • Double glazing on selected windows
  • Rammed earth walls
  • Louvres
  • LED lighting
  • Four-star rated plumbing fixtures and taps
  • Heat recovery variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning

The redevelopment also included a 100m² artificial wetland and jetty, to help educate students about the important functions of wetlands and their continuing cultural significance to the local Aboriginal community.

As many trees as possible were kept on site and extensive bushfire wise landscaping was used to enhance habitat values and showcase the types of landscaping design and plant selection that can minimise bushfire risk.

The redevelopment was also enhanced by generous Lotterywest grants of more than $2.2 million for vital facility fit out and development of programs and training/education opportunities at WA Wildlife and TWCC, which received $1.469 million and $800,836 respectively.

Every year, the City provides $90,765.25 (ex. GST) each in funding and program support to WA Wildlife and TWCC. This funding follows a 5-year cycle and is indexed annually.

Council receives praise for innovative planning practices

Penrith City Council’s planning team took out the Research and Practice category with its Places of Penrith submission.

Places of Penrith is a strategic framework that establishes a vision for the City and provides directions for change, to create better places for the community to connect, play, learn, work and live. 

Once completed, the framework will incorporate a suite of Council’s strategies that explore Penrith’s challenges as well as its vast growth opportunities.

Penrith City Council Mayor, Tricia Hitchen, attended the event and was thrilled to hear Council named as a winner.

“Penrith is future-focused and aims to be on the front foot so to have our innovative, evidence-based approach to planning acknowledged is an outstanding achievement – and I congratulate the team for their continued efforts in this space,” Mayor  Hitchen said.

“It’s no secret that Western Sydney is in the midst of a major transformation due to the construction of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and its associated transport networks.

“Places of Penrith has been developed to support Council’s ability to meet and exceed the planning requirements; it’s an extensive body of work underpinned by several of our existing strategies, including the Employment Lands Strategy and the Green Grid Strategy, and yet to be finalised strategies including planning for our centres, corridors, housing and rural lands.

“This strategic framework examines the unique needs of each pocket of our City as we experience a population and infrastructure boom – from which suburbs require greater tree canopy coverage, to the areas where we can create job opportunities to allow residents to work near home.”

Penrith Council also received a commendation for The Quarter Prospectus, which was also a submission in the Research and Practice category.

The Quarter Prospectus details the vision for a world-class centre of excellence in Penrith known as The Quarter, a 400hahealth and education precinct at Kingswood. The Quarter Prospectus aims to connect residents, students, investors, health practitioners and researchers to the vision and to opportunities for the precinct.

“Council continues to lead the way in planning – well done to all who contribute to putting these strategies in place and positioning our City for the future,” Mayor Hitchen said.

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