Once used to store unsightly landfill, Maslin Beach’s Frank Hilton Reserve is now a picturesque play space favoured by families.
The council project that managed its transformation was awarded the ‘Hard Won Victory’ prize at the 2016 Planning Institute of Australia’s annual awards – a nod to the innovative problem-solving it required.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said council overcame a range of environmental and economic issues over seven years to deliver an outcome that enhances the area.
“Our team challenged themselves to think differently about the planning and design process, and that helped deliver great solutions to problems while hugely reducing the project budget,” Mayor Rosenberg says.
“The initial estimate put the cost of the project at $5.9 million but the team worked hard to find more efficient and cheaper solutions to remediate the landfill while still meeting all EPA requirements, bringing the project in at $2.6 million, which is a fantastic result.”
While unconventional, the idea to stockpile 24,000 tonnes of surplus material from road projects at a nearby quarry provided a cost effective solution to capping the landfill.
Topsoil removed from the site was also stockpiled and reused at later stages to reduce the carbon footprint associated with purchasing and transporting imported fill.
Project Leader Victoria Masterman said the focus was on embracing the natural landscape rather than considering solutions in isolation.
“For example, instead of using a traditional concrete channel for drainage we used a geo-fabric membrane liner with rocks over the top,” Victoria said.
“It achieves the same outcome but it’s a lot cheaper and more aesthetically appropriate for the setting.”
Local residents, Kaurna representatives and groups including the Native Vegetation Council, Coast Protection Board and Maslin Beach Community Association provided feedback on the project in ongoing consultation sessions.
At the time, Local Government Association of South Australia President Mayor Dave Burgess said the end result illustrates the value and quality of projects delivered by local government.
“The level of expertise, innovation and efficiency demonstrated in this project proves that local projects, driven by local government in close partnership with the local community, can deliver outstanding results,” Mayor Burgess said.
“Onkaparinga Council has delivered the best project of its kind in the nation, setting the benchmark right here in South Australia.” The national award win follows a state award in the same category last year.