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Newest Sunshine Coast Branch member

The Institute’s newest Sunshine Coast Branch Member, SPEL Environmental, provides an insight into their experiences, learnings, and projects.

Team Leader of Asia Pacific Water Quality, Andy Hornbuckle, sat down for our “Two minutes with…” interview.

How did you get involved in the development industry?
By starting out promoting plastic pollution and gross pollutant traps, I then started to deal direct with developers who wanted to be sure of an environmentally compliant and cost-effective stormwater treatment system. 

Why did you decide to become a member?

Because I could see that many UDIA members are great organisations that take environmental compliance a lot more seriously than they are given credit for! You’ve got to be in it to win it! I wanted to join the team!

Tell us about the latest trends in the development industry from your perspective.

Being a proprietary device supplier not a consultancy, we are not seeing any decline in the rate of high density infill DA submissions in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and we are not seeing a decline in any way whatsoever in the medium to low density projects in the pipeline for Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.

From an environmental perspective, we are also seeing developers going above and beyond what is asked of them to achieve stormwater quantity and quality environmental outcomes. These companies need to be recognised and applauded, to name a few, Pelican Waters, Park Lakes II at Bli Bli and Stockland. 

Where do you see the property development industry in the next 10 years?

The industry, especially on the beautiful Sunny Coast, is embracing designs that are innovative and futuristic…and I believe by doing so, retiring baby boomers and millennials will not be able to resist the greenery, water sensitive urban design, the waterways and the IT connectivity that the world class projects in planning will provide.

Career highlight so far?

I have been in the industry for just over 10 years, it’s been a real journey watching the water sensitive urban design landscape unfold. Traditionally local governments have been very reluctant to embrace innovation in the enviro sector, but at SPEL Environmental we have worked hard with our partners at the University Sunshine Coast and can now present years of field data that give local governments confidence to try stormwater treatment systems like floating wetlands, and gross pollutant traps with “see through” covers to view the captured pollution, and modular bioretention. So by sticking with our vision and investing consistently we now have the scientific evidence that demonstrates great environmental outcomes!

What advice would you give to young professionals starting in the industry?

 What differentiates people from each other is what they do with their time, it is a great equaliser. We all have the same amount of time, no one has more or less. Have a vision, make a timebound plan and stick to it, plan by the hour and be conscious of your minutes, once they have gone you cannot recall them! Be a broad thinker and always make time to network, your network is your net worth!