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SKM Strikes Gold

NEWS RELEASE

5 DECEMBER 2006

Outstanding engineering work by Sinclair Knight Merz in helping China showcase its expertise in sporting venues ahead of the Beijing Olympics, reducing salinity in the River Murray and creating an artificial reef for recreational divers off Brisbane has been recognised with multiple excellence awards.

The Association for Consulting Engineers Australia (ACEA) awarded Gold Awards of Merit to the firm at the 2006 ACEA Awards for Excellence Awards announced in Sydney for the Nanjing Sports Park, the Pyramid Creek Salt Interception Scheme and the Sink the Brisbane Project.

SKM also picked up Silver Awards for the Craigieburn Bypass in Victoria for Abigroup and Sydney's North West Growth Centre for the Winten Property Group.

Nanjing Sports Park is the new centrepiece for the historic southern Chinese city of Nanjing, fast-tracked to be completed for the China Games in October 2005 and as a showcase of the Chinese Government’s expertise to build leading edge sports venues ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Built with a total budget of US$1.2 billion the Nanjing Sports Park was designed to create a multifunctional, environmentally sustainable downtown precinct as a “people’s palace” to serve the community with a broad range of sports, recreating and civic activities.

SKM was appointed by international architects HOK Sport Venue and Events to carry out the structural concept engineering, including the engineering design for a 60,000 seat main stadium, a 13,000 seat indoor multi-use arena and auditorium, an Olympic standard aquatic centre and a 17 court tennis complex.

The massive project represented enormous challenges for the project team in completing the task on a scale similar to that of Sydney’s Olympic facilities in a little over three years.

The Pyramid Creek Salt Interception Scheme will prevent 22,000 tonnes of salt from entering Pyramid Creek annually and thus reduce the salinity of the Kerang Lakes and the River Murray - the first scheme specifically designed to incorporate salt harvesting, to deliver a sustainable operation.

The Scheme is a Joint Works project under the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council’s Basin Salinity Management Strategy 2001-2015, consisting of over 100 groundwater bores located along the edge of Pyramid Creek in northern Victoria.

It prevents highly saline groundwater from discharging into the Creek, instead delivering it to a custom designed and constructed 200 hectare solar evaporation and salt harvesting facility operated by Pyramid Salt Pty Ltd.

Pyramid Salt will harvest upwards of 36,000 tonnes of salt per year making this the first salt interception scheme where operations and maintenance costs are met by a private investor and where the salt disposal method is fully sustainable.

Turning the former Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Brisbane into a dive wreck and artificial reef on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is benefiting the economy and tourism to the region.

SKM handled the total project management for the “Sink the Brisbane” initiative on behalf of Queensland’s Environment Protection Agency.

This primarily involved making the vessel safe for divers and the environment, towing her through open seas and then scuttling her in 26 metres of water off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The company was also been responsible for the selection of the scuttling site, the management procedures, obtaining government approvals for the scuttling operations, and the design and management procedures for the new dive mooring buoys.

To date more than 10,000 dives have already occurred on the wreck and the numbers are growing as the vessel is colonised by plant and animal species and starts to live again.

Because this is the first prepared dive ship in Australia to have both a boiler room and an engine room opened up for dive access, many divers, operators and dive magazines have stated that this is by far the best dive wreck in Australian waters.

Controlled access via licensed commercial diving operators will ensure safety and a guaranteed return to businesses on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Sinclair Knight Merz is a leading global project delivery organisation employing close to 6000 staff in offices across Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Pacific Islands, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

ENDS

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