The North West Rail Link project team has taken out three major industry awards, including a prestigious Banksia Award and an Australasian award for outstanding community consultation on Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure project.
The three awards are:
- 2014 Banksia Award for Innovation in Social Infrastructure;
- 2014 International Association of Public Participation Award for Transport;
- 2014 Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) for education.
“This is the third major community consultation award for Transport for NSW’s North West Rail Link project team – great recognition that we have been working hand-in-hand with the community every step of the way in delivering this $8.3 billion project,” Project Director Rodd Staples said.
Transport for NSW's North West Rail Link project team picked up the 2014 Banksia Award for Innovation in Social Infrastructure for projects above $100 million.
The judges said the North West Rail Link:
“…has a clear vision to achieve new benchmarks in sustainable infrastructure delivery.
“This project provides an impressive integrated approach to sustainability in design, construction and operation for a transport project.”
“The project will make a positive contribution by not only extending public transport, but also sustainable growth in the North West region.”
In the area of community engagement, the project team won the Australasian Transport Award as part of International Association of Public Participation’s (IAP2) Core Value Awards. Judges said the award was in “recognition of excellence in the field of public participation, demonstrated through the development and implementation of an outstanding project”.
The project team has also been recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) for the popular North West Rail Link education program, Fast Tracking the Future.
Judges said the education program, launched earlier this year, is an:
“…innovative and important initiative developed specifically for school aged children to engage directly with Australia’s biggest public transport project.
“It ensures that school children have a unique opportunity to participate in the delivery of a major infrastructure project, which will also change their built environment and impact their lives now and into the future.
“The judges believe that this is an excellent model for using an idea or project to implant an interest in children’s minds about planning and what infrastructure means for a city. Hopefully this will lead to many young people from Sydney’s north west considering planning as a career option!”
Mr Staples said ongoing community consultation at every step of the project was a hallmark of the North West Rail Link.
“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the community for three and a half years to deliver the best outcome possible on this massive world-scale project,” he said. “We’ve taken on board the community’s ideas on how to make this an even better project – everything from increasing the number of new stations from six to eight to adding an extra 1,000 commuter car parking spaces, taking the total to 4,000.
“With tunnelling now well underway, we’re talking to the community and ensuring people are aware of what is going on, like knowing where these four mega machines are underground.
“Another great example of keeping the community up to date is the North West Rail Link’s Facebook page, which was launched earlier this year and has proved hugely popular with more than 2,600 likes. The community is actively engaging with our project team on this page and finding out more as we move full steam ahead.”
Earlier this year, the North West Rail Link won the Planning Institute of Australia’s Public Engagement and Community Planning Award for its stakeholder and community engagement and was last year also recognised at a state level by the NSW Division of Planning Institute Australia.