Media Releases 2013

Posted on 22/08/2013 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

A unique project between Phillip Island Nature Parks and Victoria University to revolutionise the treatment of oiled seabirds has been awarded as a finalist in two categories of the Banksia Awards for Environmental Excellence.

The project is now in the running to win the highly competitive ‘Land and Biodiversity’ category as well as the inaugural ‘Business and Not-for-Profits - In Collaboration’ category of Australia’s most prestigious environmental competition, the Banksia Awards.

The joint application titled ‘Magic Wand Oiled Penguin Recovery Technology’ tells the impressive story of a decade of collaboration between Dr Peter Dann of Phillip Island Nature Parks and Professor John Orbell of the Victoria University’s Institute for Sustainability and Innovation to produce an innovative solution to the global environmental problem of treating oiled wildlife.

Through a novel use of magnetic particle technology, the team has developed an environmentally responsible way to treat oiled wildlife that is faster, cheaper and less invasive than traditional methods. Using the technology also requires no water and is portable.

The technique works by applying oil-absorbing magnetic micro-particles to oiled plumage, fur or rocks. The particles bind strongly to the oil which is then removed using a specially designed device dubbed the ‘magic wand’. The resulting contaminant-laden particles can then be safely disposed of in an environmentally responsible way or recycled.

“This technology, based on solid research and testing, has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of oiled wildlife around the world – especially penguins,” said Phillip Island Nature Parks CEO, Matthew Jackson.

“Both partners have invested many years in the development of this technology and we are proud of our achievements for Australia’s environment, wildlife protection and sustainability.”

The ‘Land and Biodiversity’ award recognises demonstrated leadership and innovation in protecting and enhancing land systems, soils, forests and biodiversity.

The ‘Business and Not-for-Profits – In Collaboration’ award recognises leadership in implementing projects to improve sustainability. It recognises shared sustainability principles and practices throughout joint activities whilst demonstrating societal value add.

The Banksia Awards are Australia’s most prestigious environmental awards. “Each finalist exemplifies leadership and innovation and is a catalyst for change in their specific areas,” said Graz van Egmond, Executive Director of the Banksia Environmental Foundation.

“The array of finalists is mind blowing, all sharing a concern for our country from outback Australia to the centre of our major metropolis, irrespective of whether they are small community groups or major corporations. This reflects the high quality of projects and programs that are being undertaken in Australia at this time," Ms van Egmond said.

Winners will be announced on 9 October 2013 at a gala presentation held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

pdf1Nature Parks finalist in Banksia Awards

Media Enquiries:
Ms Danene Jones - Communications Executive
Tel: +613 5951 2825 Mobile: 0418 402 161
Email: djones@penguins.org.au