Wallis Lake Project Team: Winner of the ALGA Sustainable Remediation Project Award | ALGA
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Wallis Lake Project Team: Winner of the ALGA Sustainable Remediation Project Award
Interview with Dr David Tully (Director of Contaminated Land Solutions)

1.Since being awarded the 2019 winner of ALGA's Sustainable Remediation Project Management Award, have you undertaken any further sustainable remediation projects?

The Wallis Lake Project Team won both the 2019 Sustainable Remediation Project Management and the Best Scoping/Operation of a Site Investigation Awards for the investigation and remediation of a diesel spill potentially impacting an important marine ecosystem, recreational water body and fishing area. The Team comprised five small organisations, my company, Contaminated Land Solutions, as well as Geochem Technologies, Kerr Environmental, Regional Geotechnical Solutions and the Wallis Lake Fishermen’s Co-operative. As far as I am aware all five organisations continue to endeavour to adopt sustainable practices within their day-to-day work. Sustainability is always at the forefront of my mind when providing advice to my clients and I only ever see positive benefits as a result.

2. With SustRem coming to Melbourne this year to join forces with ALGA's ecoforum - what areas of Sustainability do you hope are given focus and why?

Implementing site contamination remediation sustainably is critical, but it is not just this that we should be considering, it is also really important to adopt sustainable management practices in every aspect of the processes of management of contaminated land and groundwater. This can involve a wide range of activities from undertaking sustainable site assessments, through to reduction of office waste, ensuring diversity and equal opportunities for your staff, minimising greenhouse gas emissions when travelling and conducting robust community engagement processes throughout projects. So, I would hope a focus is given to the wide range of sustainable management practices that we can, should and need to adopt now to do our small bit, as contamination professionals, to maintain a fit-for-purpose planet suitable for future generations and global ecosystems to thrive.

3. What are some of the biggest challenges facing sustainability efforts in our industry, and how can they be addressed?

A big challenge is getting organisations within our industry to appreciate the long-term benefits of considering sustainability. So often I hear people say that “sustainability is all very well, but it is cost and who can do it the cheapest that always drives how site contamination assessment and remediation are undertaken”. I agree that cost is important, economic aspects form one of the three pillars of sustainability, with social and environmental aspects being the other two. But there is so much more to maintaining an organisation’s financial stability than always engaging the cheapest consultant or contractor. For example, these days investors are more and more likely to back organisations that adopt socially and environmentally responsible programs, so maintaining a balance of economic, social and environmental considerations ultimately can bring about the most beneficial outcomes for businesses, their customers, their investors and the community as a whole. I believe that it is inevitable that companies and organisations will have to adopt sustainable practices in order to remain in business and maintain a social licence to operate.

Left to right: Justin Kerr (Kerr Environmental), Andrew Hills (Regional Geotechnical Solutions) David Tully (Contaminated Land Solutions). Nick Pannell (Geochem Technologies) and Justin Kerr (again)

The Wallis Lake Project Team in Action

About Dr David Tully
Dr David Tully is a Certified Environmental Practitioner, an accredited Site Contamination Auditor and Director of Contaminated Land Solutions Pty Ltd, a small specialist site contamination consultancy providing technical advice and solutions to a wide range of clients across Australia and New Zealand. During his 35 plus year career David has become well-versed in adopting both conventional and more innovative methodologies for the investigation and remediation of contaminated sites, assessing a wide variety of contaminants often under tight budgets and project timescales.

David is committed to providing practical, pragmatic and cost-effective solutions to his client’s problems and requirements with minimal social and environmental impacts. He is the current chair of ALGA’s Sustainable Remediation Specialist Interest Group (SuRF-ANZ) who endeavour to develop and promote sustainable practices in contamination assessment and remediation. David also currently represents Australasia within the International Sustainable Remediation Alliance (ISRA).

Article Published on 27/07/2023

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