Dartmouth Dam has been named winner of the prestigious Senator JS Collings Trophy for 2017 by the Murray Darling Basin Authority.
The award, first established in 1943, was intended to acknowledge the contribution made by lockmasters and their staff in not only taking good care of a weir and lock structures, but also in making improvements to the surrounding areas.
Only weirs and locks on the River Murray and Murrumbidgee were originally considered but this was later expanded to include Hume Dam, Dartmouth Dam, Lake Victoria, Yarrawonga Weir and the Murray Mouth.
Dartmouth Dam, managed by Goulburn Murray Water (GMW), has picked up this year’s award for being the “most effectively maintained asset in the River Murray System”.
“The team at Dartmouth continues to develop and implement innovative engineering solutions to maintain or replace a range of asset components that are now approaching 40 years old,” Executive Director River Management David Dreverman said.
“Overall the assets and their grounds are in the best condition I have seen them in 17 years.”
The Dartmouth Team is comprised of Peter Liepkalns, Peter Dower, Terry Cardwell, Trevor Cassidy, Peter Hodgkin, Mark Muldeary, Michael Wornes, Jonathon Dower, Leonie Howse and Mel Duncan.
Dartmouth Storage Manager Mr Liepkalns said the team is pleased to have won the award again.
“This award is testament to the hard work and vision of the entire team. The Dartmouth staff not only operate and maintain this significant structure; they provide the innovation required to ensure its future integrity,” he said.
“This year is also significant in that it is the last one to be overseen by Executive Director David Dreverman.”
Manager Dams Operations East Tony Beamish said the award was a feather in the cap for GMW.
“It’s great. It’s nice to see the team recognised for their hard work in keeping Dartmouth Dam in fantastic condition.”
“The friendly banter has already started with our dam counterparts in other states about who has the best asset.”
Managing Director Pat Lennon congratulated the team on their win and said continued innovation was the key to top quality asset maintenance.
A presentation dinner will take place in coming weeks where MDBA representatives will present the award to the GMW Dartmouth Team.
While there is only one winner, the judges noted the most improved asset was Euston Weir, which has been brought to the engineering standards of other locks and weirs, with the completion of its upgrade program.
Lock 9, west of Mildura, was also mentioned for having the best presented grounds.