ENVIRONMENT: MINIMISING THE IMPACTS OF OUR OPERATIONS
In line with our commitment to being a responsible rail track operator, we continued to focus on minimising the impacts of our operations on local environments. Rail is the most sustainable and safe mode of land transport, but the construction and maintenance of rail lines can affect the surrounding environments. With rail use forecast to grow, ensuring our operations are sustainable and responsible remains essential.
In 2018-19, we implemented several environmental initiatives:
To encourage and better facilitate the re-use of sleepers and other waste timbers in landscaping applications, we created a Resource Recovery Exemption with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority. This complements an existing exception to provide for re-use of waste ballast and spoil materials.
We continued to run environmental forums for our environment teams every six months. These teams operate across five states, which gives them a diverse range of experiences. The environmental forums ensure these staff have opportunities to share their learnings and encourage collaboration.
We also continued to build our pool of training and education resources, to ensure all of our employees understand what they can do to minimise impacts on the environment. For example, we created of an ‘Environmental Awareness for Maintenance and Construction’ course, specifically designed to leverage the management aspects of our Environmental Management System and provide practical guidance to our employees. In addition, we developed a new module four our noise prediction tool and began developing a task-based environmental impact assessment package.