A hard-won environmental victory

Article image - A hard-won environmental victory The award-winning Frank Hilton Reserve project.

A former landfill site located in South Australia’s Onkaparinga Council has been transformed into an award-winning park. 

The Frank Hilton Reserve project at Maslin Beach in Adelaide’s south took home the 2016 Planning Institute of Australia’s Hard Won Victory award in May.

The project was delivered at $3.3 million below original cost estimates.

Onkaparinga Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said the national award recognised an innovative approach to overcoming a range of environmental and economic issues.

 “Our team challenged themselves to think differently about the planning and design process, and that helped deliver great solutions to problems while hugely reducing the project budget,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

“Initial estimates put the cost of the project at $5.9 million but the team worked hard to find more efficient and cheaper solutions to remediate the landfill while still meeting all EPA requirements, bringing the project in at $2.6 million, which is a fantastic result.”

While unconventional, the idea to stockpile 24,000 tonnes of surplus material from road projects and a nearby quarry provided a cost effective solution to capping the landfill.

Topsoil removed from the site was also stockpiled and reused at later stages to reduce the carbon footprint associated with purchasing and transporting imported fill.

Instead of using a traditional concrete channel for drainage, the team decided on a geo-fabric membrane liner with rocks over the top, which achieved the same outcome at significantly reduced cost while being more aesthetically appropriate for the location.

“The team wanted the design to embrace the natural landscape rather than manufacture overcomplicated solutions in isolation,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

Extensive consultation with the Frank Hilton Reserve Working Group, Kaurna representatives, Coast Protection Board, Native Vegetation Council and Maslin Beach Community Association continued throughout the project.

“For our communities and visitors, we now have this wonderful coastal themed playground with shade sails, fitness equipment, new park furniture and facilities, limestone feature walls, beautiful landscaping and public artwork – it’s a fantastic space.”

Local Government Association of South Australia President Mayor Dave Burgess said the project was a shining example of the value and quality of project delivered by local government
“The level of expertise, innovation and efficiency demonstrated in this project proves that local projects, driven by local government in close partnership with the local community, can deliver outstanding results,” said Mayor Burgess.

“Onkaparinga Council has delivered the best project of its kind in the nation, setting the benchmark right here in South Australia.”