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Cockburn cements greening award

COCKBURN Cement Ltd, Placer (Granny Smith) Pty Ltd, Alcoa World Alumina Australia and the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority recently won annual Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence, for which a record 24 nominations were received.

Cockburn Cement received the award in recognition of its seagrass transplanting in Owen Anchorage and Success Bank.

Acknowledged as a world first, the program was initiated in 1996 as part of an $8 million scientific study by Cockburn Cement to ensure its dredging operations in the areas continued to be carried out in an environmentally responsible manner.

While most transplantation schemes involve hand planting, the company transplanted large sods of seagrass using two large underwater machines linked by transport shuttles.

Placer (Granny Smith) was lauded for its Granny Smith Gold Mine/Wallaby Project, based at one of the largest gold deposits in the eastern Goldfields.

The company developed and implemented a participative planning process to deal with aspects such as environment, heritage and community impact.

Alcoa World Alumina Australia won its Golden Gecko for its work in the Pinjarra Alumina Refinery Land Management Program.

The company consulted extensively with the local community and the resulting systems and practices being developed will greatly improve the surrounding area, including Fairbridge farm and village. The program will return the land 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 (offshore from Onslow).

Multi-disciplinary research conducted by scientists from the Authority has succeeded in developing a process to remove buffel grass from Airlie Island and re-vegetate the area.

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

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