Re­sources in­no­va­tion re­warded

Pilbara News - - News - Mitchell Wood­cock

The Pil­bara recorded a clean sweep in one of this year’s pres­ti­gious re­sources sec­tor awards at a cer­e­mony at the Perth Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre on Thurs­day night.

Busi­nesses and com­mu­nity groups from the area were hon­oured at the Depart­ment of Mines, In­dus­try Reg­u­la­tion and Safety’s Re­sources Sec­tor Awards for Ex­cel­lence.

Two projects demon­strated high stan­dards of en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­cel­lence and were an­nounced joint win­ners of the Golden Gecko award.

BHP Iron Ore was recog­nised for its for­ma­tive re­search project, Chas­ing Ghosts: Un­der­stand­ing Ghost Bat ecol­ogy in the Pil­bara, which helped iden­tify ev­i­dence of the pres­ence of the ghost bat in BHP’s Min­ing Area C, which started a col­lab­o­ra­tive project to un­der­stand and man­age the ghost bat pop­u­la­tion.

The WA port au­thor­i­ties and the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment were also re­warded for their world-first State Wide Ar­ray Sur­veil­lance Pro­gram (SWASP), which used molec­u­lar tech­niques with a col­lab­o­ra­tive ma­rine biose­cu­rity sur­veil­lance net­work to more rapidly re­spond to a po­ten­tial in­cur­sion of an in­tro­duced ma­rine pest.

The Safety and Health Engi­neer­ing award went to Roy Hill Hold­ings for its light­ning pro­tec­tion stenos which pro­tects staff who are mov­ing around the fa­cil­ity dur­ing light­ning red alerts. Rio Tinto Iron Ore was re­warded for its ef­fec­tive and prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion to emer­gency re­sponse re­duc­tion by be­ing awarded the Sys­tems and Peo­ple Award.

And the Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship Re­sources Sec­tor Award went to BHP for its part­ner­ship with Food­bank WA with the Healthy Food for All — Pil­bara Re­gional Strat­egy. This strat­egy helped with the re­gion’s school break­fast pro­gram, fos­ter­ing a co­he­sive par­ti­san­ship be­tween stu­dents, par­ents and ed­u­ca­tors in a so­cial set­ting to meet chil­dren’s nutri­tional needs, and gen­eral phys­i­cal and men­tal health.

DMIRS di­rec­tor-gen­eral David Smith said the win­ners were a credit to WA’s na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant in­dus­try.

“Our State con­tin­ues to be at the fore­front of so­cial, safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes in the re­sources sec­tor and shar­ing these great projects is an im­por­tant part of con­tin­u­ing that trend,” Mr Smith said.

“Western Aus­tralians want the State’s re­sources com­pa­nies to be re­spon­si­ble. That means be­ing aware of their du­ties in en­vi­ron­men­tal ste­ward­ship, their need to work hand in hand with the com­mu­ni­ties in which they op­er­ate, and the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing em­ploy­ees from harm.”

BHP Iron Ore was the joint win­ner of the Golden Gecko award for its for­ma­tive re­search project, Chas­ing Ghosts: Un­der­stand­ing Ghost Bat ecol­ogy in the Pil­bara.

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