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Recycling initiatives for RAAF Williams Point Cook upgrade

written by Sandy Milne | August 24, 2020

A planned infrastructure upgrade of RAAF Williams Point Cook will incorporate recycled materials to help reduce the base’s waste sent to landfill.

The engineering firm behind the regeneration of its carparks and pavements, Aurecon, said the move was made possible by incorporating “innovative” solutions.

Aurecon senior program advisory consultant, Ryan Chirgwin, said Defence’s brief and the scale of the project prompted the team to look for ways to help the environment and drive down project costs for Defence.

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“The ageing 1,600-square-metre car park and surrounding pavements needed to be resurfaced, repaired and reconstructed to ensure ongoing Defence capability, and the safety of staff coming to and from site. The project was also required for public safety as community members visit the RAAF Museum onsite,” Chirgwin said.

Meanwhile, Department of Defence assistant director of environmental resource management and sustainability, Judi Barton, said the work done on the RAAF Williams Point Cook project is part of Defence’s commitment to the Australian government’s National Waste Policy.

She insists that the Defence Waste Program aims to deliver the “policy requirements of the Defence Environment and Heritage Manual and the Smart Infrastructure Handbook”, and is but a small example of the attention “Defence and its industry partners are placing on reducing waste to landfill and forging a more sustainable circular economy”.

“The work Aurecon and other industry partners are doing at Point Cook and at other bases across our estate demonstrates progress, but there’s a lot more to be done,” she said.

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Supporting Barton’s sentiments is Aurecon defence and national security programs industry director, Adam Rankin, who said he was excited by the potential of deep engagement between industry and Defence to help solve complex challenges.

“The success of this project has been dependent on the trust and deep collaboration between industry and Defence. Without that, we wouldn’t be able to do change the way we work together,” he said.

“Defence owns an enormous amount of assets and land. Through similar ways of working, there’s great potential to accelerate sustainable infrastructure at scale.”

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