ACTEW Water’s Enlarged Cotter Dam project has received two national sustainability awards at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Awards in Queensland.

The Cotter sustainability program won both the Sustainable Infrastructure Category and the Overall Winner Award. In addition to securing the Canberra region’s water for generations to come, the massive construction project also achieved the following:

  • A 7km artificial rock-reef in the dam to ensure the survival of the last viable population of endangered Macquarie Perch in the ACT;
  • Two world-firsts in infrastructure design – development of an aeration step in the primary spillway; and use of a paver for roller-compacted-concrete replacement, which at 87m high is the tallest roller-compacted-concrete dam in Australia.
  • Development of heritage and community areas with the Discovery Trail and upgraded Cotter Precinct; and
  • Employed more than 3,000 workers, providing more than 2.5 million people hours on the job which averaged 212 people on site per day across the project contributing to the local economy.

Kirilly Dickson, Manager Safety and Environment at ACTEW Water, said that she was delighted that the various achievements of the Cotter Dam project had been had been recognised in this way.

“These awards are fantastic recognition for the excellent environmental, community, economic and cultural outcomes achieved throughout the Cotter Dam project. Ensuring a long-lasting legacy for our community has been a key goal from the beginning of this project and one that we are extremely pleased to have been recognised,” she said.

“The Cotter project adds these awards to its growing trophy cabinet, already awarded for the Fish Management Program developed to protect the endangered Macquarie Perch. Other project initiatives include the management of energy and emissions, water, waste, air quality, ecology and heritage.”

“In addition, the real standout for this project was the way that our community were embraced and considered as the project progressed through ongoing access to the site via open days and community consultation.”

“We estimate we had around 200,000 visitors to the open days during the project which demonstrates how much people love the Cotter Dam.”

“And as one of Canberra’s biggest construction projects, the safety performance of the project is to be celebrated. Over 3,000 workers, over a period of 3 years worked 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day to get the job done. Through a safety-first culture and innovative approach, the project has an admirable safety record, one that ACTEW continues to strive to emulate throughout its day to day business,” she concluded.

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