6 December 2019
In 2017 the Sunshine Coast Council at Marcoola in Queensland was faced with one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken by a local government authority in Australia. Not only did they need to expand the airport with an extra runway and carry out extensive dredging, but the project was in the middle of a highly sensitive environmental area.
The work for the airport expansion was extremely complex, requiring dredging, placement of marine sands, tailwater discharge, disturbance of environmentally harmful chemicals and clearance of a unique habitat that all had to be carried out with careful consideration for the surrounding national parks and habitats.
With such a daunting challenge ahead of them, the Council decided to call on our support and our proven expertise to manage the complex necessary approvals and environmental requirements of such a large civil works project. They engaged our services as their lead environmental and approvals advisors and our work included helping them to plan significant works packages, manage all of the project’s environmental approvals, and monitor and analyse the aquatic environment before and during the work itself. Having our personnel informally embedded with the Council’s project team also allowed us to address any newly- emerging challenges in a quick, efficient and collaborative way.
Over its two-year duration, the work often became more complex due to changes in the project design, extremely wet conditions during construction and legacy issues for the airport site (e.g. PFAS).
But thanks to our skills and our experience in managing approvals and negotiating with regulators and stakeholders from complex infrastructure projects, the Council were able to successfully deliver this ambitious, prestigious venture by expanding the airport while caring for the natural world around it.
This article is part of #BestOfBMT 2019, featuring our best projects throughout the year.
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