Park leads in sustainability

Article image - Park leads in sustainability The Queen Elizabeth II Park.

A park upgrade in Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) in New South Wales has been recognised for its innovative and sustainable design.

Council was recognised for the Queen Elizabeth II Park and Collett Street Project at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Gala Dinner Awards night in October.  

The project was a winner of the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Impact Award for projects under $20 million. 

“This is a fantastic achievement and recognition for Council,” Mayor Tim Overall said.

“The park is already a wonderful part of the city as it connects the CBD to the River. I am extremely proud of the project and congratulate Council staff for their efforts.”

The upgrade of the park involved installation of LED lighting, solar panels and grid electricity to power a site shed, which has resulted in a 1.3 per cent reduction in whole-of-life CO2 emissions.

The only non-potable water on site is used for irrigation, pumped directly from the Queanbeyan River via a wet well.

The park’s topsoil is protected by stockpiling and seeding with grass. Before re-use on site, soil was taken to Council’s Waste Minimisation Centre (WAMI) where composted green waste from the city waste collection was mixed with the top soil, tested and returned to site for spreading. This initiative was particularly highlighted by ISCA for a future case study promoting this achievement  
Waste sent to landfill was limited throughout the upgrade and reused in the park or recycled elsewhere.

Previously, the park had a low biodiversity value, with predominantly exotic vegetation along the riverbanks.

The biodiversity was improved by decreasing the amount of hard standing and considering and accommodating the nesting requirements of platypus who are found in the Queanbeyan River by avoiding hard surfaces and planting native vegetation at the water edge.

Council mandates the IS rating scheme for any infrastructure project over $2 million. This policy was highlighted for innovation since there is no other such example at the local government level.

The Park will now be promoted as an icon to future planning and design throughout Australia and worldwide.