Congratulations to the two winners of the 2015 Environment Minister’s Award for a Cleaner Environment – Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in New South Wales and Mr Allen Riseley of Victoria.
I am delighted to be able to recognise outstanding contributions towards a healthier and more sustainable environment by both the business and community sectors.
By looking after their local environment as well as their guests, the Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa has shown that dedication and support for the environment is not only possible but also makes good business sense.
The resort has taken a leading role in the tourism industry for wildlife conservation and shown how environmentally sensitive development and ongoing environmental action can reclaim and support a natural ecosystem.
A particular focus for the resort is the protection of our unique native and threatened species. Over the past 12 months they have partnered with New South Wales authorities to trial new baiting technology on the foxes that prey on the local populations of vulnerable brush-tailed rock-wallabies. They also support important research into the eastern grey kangaroos and wombats.
Based in the South Gippsland region of Victoria, Allen Riseley has developed a highly successful native tree production initiative at the Mirboo Secondary College and has built it into a vibrant community enterprise.
From small beginnings just over a decade ago, the initiative has grown from producing just over a 1000 trees a year – this year more than 10,000 trees were produced.
His passion and commitment has seen him develop long term successful partnerships with the local community, including the South Gippsland Landcare Group and South Gippsland Water.
In the last two years this initiative has provided trees to 18 landholders and three sites on public land on rail trails, recreation reserves and a country hall site.
Well done to all the Banksia award winners. I encourage everyone who is working for a healthier environment to consider nominating for these awards in years to come and gaining the recognition you deserve.