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Peter Donkers - Long Reef Golf Club, NSW

2006 AGCSA Claude Crockford Environmental Award winner Peter DonkersLocated on the environmentally-sensitive Long Reef headland in the northern coastal suburbs of Sydney, Long Reef Golf Club requires precise environmental management. Fortunately, the club has the services of superintendent Peter Donkers to expertly manage these challenges and in Brisbane he was recognised his efforts after winning the prestigious 2006 AGCSA Claude Crockford Environmental Award.

The major project consuming Donkers’ time at the moment is the construction and upgrade of the course’s maintenance facility. With a price tag between $750,000-$1 million, the new facility will replace the existing one which is situated in the middle of the course making it an eyesore due to the open nature of the site.

The new maintenance facility will be constructed from scratch and after a lengthy process of finding a suitable site the council recently approved the DA. The existing facility is in a very poor state with many environmental issues such as improper chemical mixing and filling facilities, fuel fill-up area and chemical and fertiliser storage.

Some of the challenges facing Donkers and the club have included the location of the new facility due to complaints from local residents. As well, the new facility must comply with all requirements for the Griffith Park Plan of Management which covers the whole of the Long Reef headland.

In conjunction with the construction of the new facility, the club and the local council will divert local stormwater through the course into a new dam. The dam will be excavated from the site of the current shed and will allow all stormwater currently exiting directly to local beaches to be diverted through the course, filtered through the existing pond system and used for irrigation.

In winning the Claude Crockford, Donkers became just the third New South Welshman to win the award.

Click here to read Peter's article in Volume 11.1 of Australian Turfgrass Management Journal (Jan-Feb 2009) updating the club's ongoing environmental and water management projects.