CQ trio nominated for ?green? awards

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

AGNES Water's 'Sunrise at 1770' is one of three Central Queensland projects nominated as finalists in the 2006 Environmental Protection Agency's Sustainable Industries Awards.

The Midell Development project is an environmentally sustainable village using leading water and waste management strategies to conserve the area's existing ecosystems and natural heritage.

The Sunrise at 1770 development, south of Agnes Water township, is a $100 million, world class sustainable community, created to prove conservation can result from development.

The other finalist is a co-operative of 12 Central Queensland councils which include the Gladstone City and the Calliope, Miriam Vale, Monto and Banana shire councils.

Central Queensland Local Government Association president and Calliope Shire Councillor Rick Bichsel said the collaborative approach "is an innovative first for Queensland''.

The approach promotes the use of shared resources between councils to achieve cost savings, employment and business generation.

The other Central Queensland finalist is the Banana-based manufacturing company, Multi Farming Systems.

The company is working with farmers to promote environmentally sustainable 'no till farming', which involves leaving the ground uncultivated so the previous year's crop stubble provides organic matter and shelter for the next crop.

The method provides a ground cover with an intact root system which helps prevent wind and water erosion, conserve soil moisture and protect earthworms. The soil becomes rich and organic, resulting in better soil health and conditioning. Six category winners are to be chosen from the 24 finalists ? selected from 115 entries ? and announced at a gala dinner ceremony at the Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane on Monday, May 15. The Rural Sustainability Award, is sponsored by the Queensland Farmers' Federation.

The awards are the state's first industry sustainability awards.

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