Planning excellence celebrated at PIA National Congress

A TWENTY year vision for the Gold Coast, a new plan for the Bendigo CBD and the conversion of a former industrial facility in Sydney into a community precinct have taken out top awards at the 2013 Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards for Planning Excellence.

The national awards ceremony, held as part of the 2013 PIA National Congress in Canberra this week, showcased a range of unique and innovative planning projects that had previously received recognition at state and territory levels.

PIA President Dyan Currie said the annual awards program not only helps planning colleagues to be aware of each other's work, but it also reaches out to the wider public with the message that great places would not exist if it was not for planning.

"Each year we see continuing improvement in the way teams have worked together to plan places and spaces in communities throughout Australia," Ms Currie said.

Projects and planners from Queensland were once again well-represented in the awards, with the state winning six of the fifteen award categories. Victoria had four winning entries, followed by South Australia with three and New South Wales with two.

The Great Place category was won by a project in the Sydney suburb of Waverton, where a former industrial facility was transformed into a functional and attractive community precinct: the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.

"The coal loader centre represents best practice adaptive refurbishment, the application of sustainable design and a philosophy to return value to the community," the judges said.

"In doing so it has been adopted by the community as an integral part of its social infrastructure. It supports cultural and historical interpretation to this part of Sydney's foreshore, and has been designed to achieve effective connectivity with adjacent development sites."

The Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study, which forms part of the delivery of a strategic plan for the Gold Coast, won the Best Planning Ideas (Large) category.

The judges said the project was a substantial and significant piece of work, noting: "The Gold Coast faces many challenges as one of Australia's fastest growing regions, the sixth largest city and a geography that exposes it to the threats of climate change…"

A project that aims to transform the CBD of Bendigo won the 'From Plan to Place' category. The judges said they were impressed by the delivery of the project from its inception in accordance with a clear vision and direction established through a comprehensive and well developed strategy.


Hall of Fame Award Winner: Roz Hansen, Victoria

Planner of the Year Winner: Nicole Halsey, South Australia

Outstanding Achievement by a Young Planner: Michael Arman, South Australia

Commendation: Shannon Batch, Queensland

Planning Champion Award: Graeme Newton, Queensland

Cutting Edge Research and Teaching Award: Green Infrastructure Working Paper (South Australia), Project Team: Connor Holmes, Oxigen, Botanic Gardens of Adelaide

From Plan to Place Award: Bendigo CBD Strategy, Victoria, Project Team: Planisphere

Commendation: Christies Beach to Port Norlunga Foreshore Revitalisation, South Australia

Hard Won Victory Award: The Brooklyn Evolution Victoria, Brimbank City Council

Best Planning Ideas Award – Small: 1 Heller Street, Brunswick, Victoria, Project Team: Hansen Partnership

Commendation: Streaky Bay District Management Plan, South Australia

Commendation: Adelaide South East Precinct Master Plan, South Australia

Best Planning Ideas Award - Large: Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study, Queensland, Project Team: Gold Coast City Council, HASSELL, Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Aurecon, John Gaskell Planning Consultants, MacroPlan Dimasi

Improving Planning Processes and Practices Award: 'Planning for stronger, more resilient floodplains', Queensland, Queensland Reconstruction Authority

Commendation: Streets for People – Compendium for South Australia Practice, South Australia

Commendation: Feasibility and Viability of Medium Density Redevelopment in SEQ, Queensland

Public Engagement and Community Planning Award: Tablelands Community Plan 2021, Queensland, Project Team: Tablelands Regional Council, James Leech Consultancy.

Commendation: South Kempsey – One Community One Mob, New South Wales

Promotion of Planning Award: Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Queensland

The Great Place Award: The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, New South Wales, Project Team: North Sydney Council

Outstanding Tertiary Student Project: 'Planning for Urban Health: An Analysis of Metropolitan Strategic Planning in Australia', New South Wales, Andrew Wheeler, Faculty of the Built Environment, UNSW

Outstanding Secondary Student Project: 'An Investigation into the issues and management of Macgregor Tce, Simpsons Road and Jubilee Tce intersection', Bardon, Queensland', Alexandra Gilley, Stuartholme School

More information about the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards for Planning Excellence is available from the Planning Institute of Australia website at <>.

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