Return to Previous

Top Honour Awarded for Kooragang Island Project

News | Monday, 19th June 2023

Daracon Group has been awarded the 2023 Civil Contractors Federation NSW (CCF NSW) Earth Award for their exceptional work on the Kooragang Island Waste Emplacement Facility – Eastern Ponds (KIWEF) project.

The Kooragang Island remediation project, undertaken for the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC), has been a remarkable 17-year endeavour. It involved multiple stages of work and encompassed 35 hectares of land previously occupied by the BHP Steelworks. Daracon has played a pivotal role as the key contractor throughout this project.

On June 16, at Sydney's renowned Luna Park, Daracon Group were delighted to accept the top accolade in the $5 - $10 million project award category. Daracon's Construction Manager, Daniel Pitcher accepted the award and expressed his satisfaction at seeing the hard work of his team pay off.

"We are thrilled to have won the 2023 CCF Earth Award in our category. Our teams have dedicated many years to this project, so it's truly gratifying to receive recognition for the time, effort, and technical innovation demonstrated by the entire Daracon Group," said Mr Pitcher.

Located near the Ramsar-listed Hunter Estuary Wetlands, this vital habitat serves as a sanctuary for the protected Green and Golden Bell Frog. The fifth and final stage of the closure project commenced in 2021, and over a 12-month period, efforts were made to establish comparable levels of vegetation and surface water flow to the surrounding ponds. The project faced numerous challenges due to the challenging terrain, exceptional rainfall in the swampy area, and the need to manage protected wildlife within the 4-hectare project area, demanding ecologically sensitive remediation.

HCCDC's Environmental Manager Michael Bardsley said “Daracon's expert project management and professionalism ensured HCCDC's project objectives were met and, in some cases, exceeded. They demonstrated a considered and flexible approach in engaging with HCCDC and our embedded research specialists.”

“The innovative practices outlined in Daracon's submission ensured the Bell Frogs remained safe during project delivery and diverse native flora will continue to flourish, providing new habitat for local wildlife. The positive environmental performance of the project was important to HCCDC and our lead funding agency, NSW Treasury, as the project was monitored to comply with assessments conducted in accordance with State and Federal regulations,” said Mr Bardsley.

The CCF NSW Earth Awards recognize civil construction companies that excel in project and construction management, innovation, people development and training, quality, safety, environment, and stakeholder management.

Daracon Group will now progress to the National CCF Earth Awards event, to be held in Canberra on 10 November, 2023.

Former steelworks land, revitalised for future use from HCCDC on Vimeo.