Unitywater has received another award, this time for helping protect the region’s waterways. International River Foundation this month presented the 2011 National Riverprize to Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Unitywater. Unitywater’s Environmental Affairs Acting Manager, Robert Bearne accepted the award on behalf of the CEO.
“This award really is about the quality of the six people we have in the environment team here at Unitywater,” Mr Bearne said. “We devote ourselves to protecting the environment and monitoring the health of the wonderful waterways across the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast regions.”
The water distributor-retailer has also achieved international accreditation for developing its environmental systems and quality management systems to international standards across its operational areas. The accreditations were granted by Compliance Australia after an external audit of Unitywater’s Infrastructure Services Division. Unitywater Chief Executive Officer Jon Black praised Mr Bearne’s team and all Infrastructure Services Division staff for “setting a benchmark” the organisation will strive to meet and exceed. ‘’
The challenge before us now is to maintain certification and become more efficient in standardising how we carry out our work across the region on behalf of our customers,’’ he said. The dual achievements come just four months after Unitywater received two awards at the Australian Water Association’s (AWA) 2011 State Awards. Mr Bearne, who worked previously for Sunshine Coast Regional Council, said it was pleasing that his team’s focus on erosion and sediment control of waterways had been recognised. The Environmental Affairs team’s key drivers are community care, customer focus and environmental and cultural protection.
It has a diverse skill set, covering the disciplines of environmental engineers, environmental scientists, environmental consultants, carbon abatement specialists, environmental auditors and ecologists.
Unitywater Chief Executive Officer Jon Black said the achievements and specialised skills exhibited by Mr Bearne and his team were another pressing reason to identify and nurture the best talent in the Australian water and sewerage industry.
At this month’s Australian Water Association 2011 Regional Conference on the Sunshine Coast, Mr Black delivered a keynote address to the country’s water and sewerage experts about the need to develop nationwide qualifications and benchmarks to help attract and retain the best emerging talent in the field.
He said also executives, engineers, scientists and field staff across Southeast Queensland needed to continue meeting customer expectations as the region’s water industry adjusted to new structures and price pressures.