Entura wins accolades at 2024 National Awards for Planning Excellence

June 27, 2024

Entura’s Environment & Planning Team has won the Stakeholder Engagement category at this year’s National Awards for Planning Excellence.

The team received the accolade alongside project lead Niche Studio and client Clarence City Council for their collaboration on a local area plan for Seven Mile Beach in southern Tasmania.

L-R: Darren Crombie, National President of the Planning Institute of Australia; Nicola Smith, Founding Director of Niche Planning Studio; Robyn Olsen, Lead Strategic Planner at Clarence City Council; Bunfu Yu, Senior Environmental Planner at Entura; and Tyler Agius, Director, State Facilitated Development, at the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works. Credit: Planning Institute of Australia, 2024

The group were commended by the judges for their proactive, tactical approach to overcoming an age-old planning challenge of engaging with community members who are often unable or unwilling to engage.

“The award is close to our team’s heart, as many of us live locally and enjoy recreational activities in and around the Seven Mile Beach community,” said Entura’s Senior Environmental Planner, Bunfu Yu.

“The partnership brought together Entura’s knowledge of the community and the physical environment with Niche Studio’s strategic planning and urban design expertise.”

The team’s unique approach to community engagement included conducting intercept surveys, which they had explored at a previous Planning Institute of Australia conference and were able to apply for the Seven Mile Beach Local Area Plan.

“Engaging with the communities you are planning for is a crucial part of creating liveable and sustainable futures,” said Bunfu.

“Engagement methods aren’t one size fits all. In this instance, intercept surveys allowed us to proactively engage with a broad section of the local community at places most intersected – the beach, coffee shop, local grocer, fuel station.”

The awards ceremony took place in Melbourne in late May, as part of the Planning Institute of Australia’s 2024 Planning Congress.

During the three-day event, Grace Elliott, Graduate Planner at Entura, was also selected to showcase her university thesis poster, ‘Exploring the Drivers, Barriers and Enablers of School-based Urban Greening in the Face of Climate Change’.

“Since her graduation, Grace has been working with the environmental approvals and social team on Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative, as well as working within the social safeguards team making meaningful contributions to projects in the Federated States of Micronesia,” said Bunfu.  

“Planning is so diverse, and at Entura our planners have varying interests, but together they are making spaces and places better for communities locally, nationally and internationally.”

The award follows several years of successes at the Planning Institute of Australia Awards, with Entura’s Senior Environmental Planner, Bunfu Yu, recognised as 2023 Young Planner of the Year at the state and national levels. Bunfu also won the Outstanding Student Project award in the 2020 National Awards for Planning Excellence.