Sunshine Coast celebrates Sustainable Cities recognition
  • Friday 03 November 2017

The thunder of applause for the winner of the Banksia Awards 2017 Sustainable Cities category may not have been for Mary Cairncross or Beerwah Depot last night (November 1), but Sunshine Coast Council is still celebrating having two finalists in the longest running, most prestigious, environmental awards in the world.

Banksia Award judge and Queensland Banksia representative Mark Thomson said Sunshine Coast Council was the only local government, NGO or company with two finalists in the awards and that, in itself, was a massive achievement.

“It’s obvious to me that Sunshine Coast Council’s approach to building sustainable cities is working.” Mr Thomson said.

“The difference in the two projects and the variety of sustainable design elements demonstrate that Sunshine Coast Council understand that sustainability must be focussed on tangible social, environmental and economic benefits.”

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Rainforest Discovery Centre and the Beerwah Depot were nominated in the Sustainable Cities category with both achieving finalist status in the National Awards.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said council had been on the sustainability journey for a number of years and had now reached a level where sustainable thinking permeated every area of council.

“Both Mary Cairncross and Beerwah Depot are fantastic examples of sustainable design,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“While the Beerwah Depot is a building many may never have cause to visit, it still upholds council’s commitment to high standards of sustainable design.

“The depot is completely self-sufficient in the provision of water. Roof and road water is harvested, waste water is treated on site and low energy technology is used throughout.

“The Rainforest Discovery Centre at Mary Cairncross, Maleny is a building many know and love.

“And while we didn’t win a Banksia Award for the $4.7 million Mary Cairncross Rainforest Discovery Centre, its list of accolades continues to grow, with the centre winning more awards than any other public building in the region and, as far as we are aware, in Queensland.

“Rainwater is harvested for use in the centre and gardens. There is no need for air conditioning as natural ventilation and building orientation keep the building cool, energy consumption is low and many of the materials and plants were re-claimed, with new materials sourced locally.

“As a council we are most proud of the variety of awards the centre has won, delivering on our vision to be healthy, smart, creative.”

City of Melbourne took out the Banksia Awards 2017 for its Fitzroy Gardens Redevelopment project.

Awards won for Mary Cairncross Rainforest Discovery Centre

Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia – Excellence in Innovation Award

Economic Development Australia - Economic Development Initiatives over 15000 Residents Award

Master Builders Queensland – 2 x Regional and State Awards for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Management - Hutchinson Builders (Sunshine Coast)

Master Builders Queensland – 2 x Regional and State Awards for Tourism and Leisure Facilities up to $10M - Hutchinson Builders (Sunshine Coast)

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects – Queensland Tourism Award - Guymer Bailey Architects

Finalist status

Banksia Foundation – Sustainable Cities Award

Urban Development Institute of Australia – Excellence in Retail, Commercial, and Public Use Award announced November 3

Planning Institute of Australia – Best Planning Ideas - Small Projects Award announced November 10

Queensland Tourism Industry Council – New Tourism Business Award announced November 10