Environment and Sustainability, Passenger Rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Track & Civil Construction

Accolades for NEWest environmental focus

NEWest environmental

An outstanding commitment to environmental management on the METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension Project and Thornlie-Cockburn Link has seen contractor NEWest Alliance win the Environmental Achievement category of the Civil Contractors Federation WA Awards 2023.

The Award recognises NEWest Alliance’s environmental excellence and innovation in the civil construction industry, its efforts to embed environmental essentials into each project and a commitment to protecting flora and fauna.

NEWest Alliance environmental and sustainability manager Martin von Kaschke said the win reflected a culture of genuine collaboration by construction and environment site-based teams to address the challenges of works intersecting with key native fauna.

“It highlights NEWest Alliance’s ability to plan and work in an environmentally sensitive manner to a level where fauna was considered at all phases of our works and ultimately, not negatively impacted,” he said.

The Civil Contractors Federation Awards acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding achievements of Western Australians working towards a better waste future through improved waste practices and innovative waste solutions.

NEWest’s commitment to environmental excellence aligns with the METRONET Sustainability Strategy to conserve and protect natural ecosystems and resources.

The alliance comprises CPB Contractors and Downer.

The rainbow bee-eater program

In January 2022, tunnels that looked like they’d been created by rainbow bee-eaters were discovered on site in recently constructed sandy batters.

The bee-eater is the only member of the bird family, Meropidae, found within Australia. During spring, the species migrate from the Pilbara region to the southwest regions of WA to breed from November to January. The birds usually dig a 90cm tunnel in a sandy bank to use as a nesting site.

To work out whether the birds were present, an endoscope camera was used, and chicks were discovered in four tunnels. NEWest Alliance then acted to ensure the chicks could grow safely until they were old enough to leave the nest.

The area around the active nesting sites was fenced off, all vibration works within 50m of the area ceased and works involving disturbance of the batters were re-scheduled for a later date. Training sessions were also delivered on site to raise awareness around rainbow bee-eaters and nest identification.

The implementation of these control measures meant these bee-eater chicks could mature in their nests, undisturbed by project works.