December 3, 2009

‘Nell’s Block’ partnership wins WA Environment Award

A partnership between Alcoa of Australia, Greening Australia and Harvey River Restoration Taskforce (HRRT) has taken out a major category at the Western Australian Environment Awards.

The partnership won the Bush, Land and Waterways category for a submission titled ‘Nell's Block: restoring a landscape for wildlife on the Swan Coastal Plain Damplands.’ This award is presented to an individual, group or organisation for outstanding achievement in restoring or rehabilitating degraded or contaminated land, and/ or in the conservation of our catchments and waterways.

Nell's Block, which is owned by Alcoa and is part of Alcoa’s Farmlands business, is a seasonally inundated dampland within the Harvey Drainage System that’s experiencing the return of thriving populations of flora, fauna and fungi - thanks to a 10-year management agreement between the three partners.

The partners’ vision is to rehabilitate the former pasture paddock – 5 kilometres north west of Yarloop - to reserve status and return it to the community.

Greening Australia’s Thelma Crook said there were approximately 3,000 volunteer hours contributed to Nell's Block in 2009.

“Without the stakeholders’ enthusiasm and tireless commitment we would not be standing here tonight,” said Thelma, on accepting the award.

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the many stakeholders who have contributed to the success of this project through the collection of baseline data, research and trials, technical advice, site maintenance, ongoing flora and fauna surveys and the growing and planting of native seedlings.”

Alcoa Farmlands Manager Tony Hiscock said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have the work recognised at such an early stage in the plan for the block’s development.

“So much has happened both on the ground and within the community, yet there is still a long way to go before completion,” Tony said.

HRRT’s Jane Townsend said it was wonderful to receive such an award. 

“The fantastic results achieved on-ground would not have been possible without the enthusiasm, energy, and support of the many schools and community groups involved with the project,” Jane said.

“Well done to all the teachers, parents, students and volunteers for braving the elements and making the project all that it is.”         

- ENDS -

The awards were announced at a gala ceremony in Perth on Friday, 27 November.

Available for interview:
  • Hamish Jolly, CEO Greening Australia WA, 9335 0104
  • Tony Hiscock, Alcoa Farmlands Manager, 0404 800 203
  • Jane Townsend, Harvey River Restoration Taskforce, 0400 510 019