GWMWater’s Memorandum of Understanding with Dja Dja Wurrung clans regarding land to be used for a pipeline has been recognised at the 2018 Premier’s Sustainability Awards, with the company winning the Environmental Justice category.

In 2016, GWMWater received permission to develop the 1300km South West Loddon Pipeline, large portions of which would cut through the country of the Dja Dja Wurrung clans, literally upheaving the land and unearthing its history.

Through close consultation with Dja Dja Wurrung, a formal relationship was forged, governed by a negotiated Memorandum of Understanding.

Dja Dja Wurrung field representatives undertook approximately 20,000 hours of paid work, contributing greatly to the understanding of the significant sites and artefacts that exist on their country. Close to 500 sites of cultural heritage were identified. The MOU lays the foundation for a cooperative partnership that will benefit both parties into the future.

Amongst the other winners was Gannawarra Shire Council, which won the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award for a program that puts sustainability at the centre of itslocal economic future, and features the first large-scale solar farm and battery storage in Victoria.

Sustainability Victoria’s Chief Executive, Stan Krpan, said the winners across ten categories should be applauded for demonstrating the best of sustainability diversity.

“This year’s finalists and winners come from all sorts of backgrounds and sectors, representing the most wide-ranging projects from the most amount of entries in the awards’ history,” Mr Krpan said.

“The diversity of sustainability endeavor we have seen this year, undertaken by every kind of group, organisation or business imaginable, is outstanding and we’re delighted that the awards can tell their inspiring stories.”

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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