Norman Moore

Norman Moore

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    Minister: Environment wins as industry backs Golden Gecko awards

    14/09/2000 6:36 PM
     
    14/9/00

    The growing commitment of the minerals and energy sector to environmental management has been underlined by Mines Minister Norman Moore at the annual Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence today.

    Mr Moore presented Golden Geckos to Placer (Granny Smith) Pty Ltd, Cockburn Cement Ltd, Alcoa World Alumina Australia and the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.

    Certificates of Merit were also awarded to North Mining and Westralian Diamond Drillers and the Barrow Island Coastal Care Group.

    Mr Moore said the Golden Gecko Awards, established nine years ago by the Department of Minerals and Energy, proactively encouraged and promoted environmental excellence in the resources industry.

    “These awards also provide the industry with public recognition for its environmental efforts,” he said.

    “In doing so, the Golden Geckos prove that a balance can be struck between environmental values and economic development.”

    Mr Moore said a record 24 nominations were received this year.

    The quality was so high that many of the nominations, which did not receive a Golden Gecko or certificate in 2000, would have received awards in previous years.

    “This is clear evidence the awards are encouraging the resources industry to continually raise the bar in terms of acceptable environmental management,” he said.

    Mr Moore said Golden Gecko awards were only awarded for true environmental excellence – which meant going beyond mere compliance with rules and regulations.

    “They are not a competition in which the best entry wins a prize,” he said.

    “In fact, a Golden Gecko will not be presented unless the awards selection committee is completely satisfied that its rigorous criteria has been met.”

    Mr Moore said he was especially pleased to see Placer (Granny Smith) achieving its second award in two years and the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority following up on its 1997 Golden Gecko.

    “This highlights the fact that Golden Gecko recipients aren’t flash-in-the-pan environmentalists – they show ongoing commitment, ” he said.

    Media contacts: Hartley Joynt, Minister for Mines’ office, 9321 1444
            James Bowie, Department of Minerals and Energy


    2000 Golden Gecko recipients

    Placer (Granny Smith)
    Received for the Granny Smith Gold Mine/Wallaby Project – one of the largest gold deposits in the eastern Goldfields. At its Wallaby Project, Placer has developed and implemented a participative planning process to deal with aspects such as environment, heritage and community impact. The process is providing better environmental and social outcomes as well as developing effective relationships and understanding between stakeholders.

    Cockburn Cement Ltd
    In recognition of its seagrass transplanting in Owen Anchorage and Success Bank. Cockburn Cement has applied exceptional and detailed effort to bring its seagrass transplantation project to its present stage. The company’s leading-edge work, including the development of world-first technology, has potential international applications and contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of seagrass ecosystems as well as demonstrated how industry can successfully rehabilitate such fragile environments.

    Alcoa World Alumina Australia
    For the thorough and innovative work conducted by the company as part of its Pinjarra Alumina Refinery Land Management Program. Alcoa has consulted and communicated extensively with the local community and the resulting systems and practices being developed by the company will greatly improve the surrounding area, including Fairbridge farm and village. Through the program, the land will be returned to a range of useful activities in accordance with the wishes of the local community.

    The Botanic Gardens And Parks Authority
    Received its award for the restoration of Airlie Island. Multi-disciplinary research – conducted by scientists from the Authority and funded by WMC Resources Ltd, Novus and Apache Energy Ltd – has succeeded in developing a process to remove buffel grass from Airlie Island (offshore from Onslow) and re-vegetate the area. Buffel grass, which is a pernicious and invasive weed, was introduced early last century to the Airlie Island nature reserve and eradication of the grass has been a priority objective for a number of years. As well as identifying many aspects of buffel grass ecology, the knowledge gained by the organisation can be directly applied to other parts of Australia with similar problems.

    Certificates of Merit

    North Mining and Westralian Diamond Drillers
    For their commendable understanding of the potential impacts of exploration on the environment. The parties developed equipment that efficiently removes all potentially damaging drill spoil and saline water – the Ecotruck. The Ecotruck has the potential to set a new standard for drilling in the Goldfields and provides significant benefits for the environment as only its tracks remain to indicate that drilling took place.

    Barrow Island Coastal Care Group
    The Barrow Island Coastal Care Group, supported by Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, demonstrated what can be achieved by a dedicated group of volunteers who set about clearing up the island's beaches and barbecue areas. This island’s fauna, in particular the nesting turtles, will significantly benefit from the project, and it is hoped that the group’s results will inspire similar efforts in other environmentally sensitive areas subject to adverse human impact.