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Environment industries archive


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Rellney Construction
Cleaner Production and Eco-efficiency Initiatives

Rellney provides irrigation, landscaping, revegetation and other services in South Australia and beyond. One of its major ongoing contracts is providing gardening and landscape maintenance services to the OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks which includes cutting the reed filter beds. Water saving of $20,000 a year have been made while the reeds and other cuttings are used as mulch, contributing to $3000 a year savings in pea straw used on the gardens.


Established in 1985, and with 52 full time and 20 casual employees, Rellney's main activities are in water and agricultural irrigation pipeline construction, commercial and domestic landscaping, revegetation and horticultural maintenance. Its head office is in Adelaide and it has South Australian branches in Whyalla, Willunga and Tanunda. It also has a branch in Perth, WA.

Key customers include the National Parks Service, Transport SA and IDNA, especially for landscaping and revegetation work, while the wineries of South Australia and SA Water are particularly  important markets for irrigation and pipeline work.

High profile projects have included rebuilding the main Valley of the Winds walking path through the Olgas, using local materials. This provides a safe and significant option for visitors to the area  disappointed if Ayers Rock is too windy or closed for other reasons. Rellney received an Industry Landscaping Award for this work. Rellney has also been involved in landscape and habitat creation in the Alice Springs Desert Park, providing an attraction for visitors who have to stay overnight in Alice Springs.

One of Rellney's major ongoing contracts is to provide a landscape maintenance service at OneSteel's (formerly BHP's) Whyalla Steelworks (see case study on Onesteel on this same Environment Australia web site). BHP had established a reed bed treatment system for effluent from its coking plant several years before but by 1998 had become aware of the need to harvest the reeds which had become dense. Rellney was then hired.

Processes and activities

Rellney's main activities at the Whyalla include cutting grass, tree, flower bed and general maintenance. The contract also includes slashing the reeds in the filter beds  as part of the maintenance program, and weed control in the open drainage system draining to the large storage dam. 

Previously, all reed, tree, plant and grass cuttings from the Steelworks site had been taken to landfill and the reed beds had not been cut. Inputs to site landscaping management previously  included fertilisers and pesticides, including Roundup for weed control in the drainage system. Large quantities of pea straw were also purchased for placing on the rose gardens.

Eco-efficiency initiatives

An opportunity for water saving was identified. Being a windy place, use of the shifting sprinklers for irrigation on the site resulted in significant overspray and evaporative losses of mains water - there being no bore water at the site. The sprinklers were replaced with drip systems under the mulch and watering carried out at night

The work at Whyalla Steelworks has also included landscaping and tree and shrub planting to provide a screen from the township. Most of the replanting was carried out with cuttings and seeds from the site. Besides the amenity value of this initiative, a micro-environment was created for kangaroos. Rellney received an SA Landscape Industry Award for this work.


The various initiatives have resulted in business and environmental benefits as follows:

Cost benefits

Environmental benefits:


Besides Rellney's commitment to environmental improvement these initiatives have been driven by potential business benefits in saving costs and contributing to OneSteel's environmental performance improvements.


No significant barriers were encountered in implementing these initiatives.


Ted Farrell
Rellney Construction Pty Ltd.
749 Port Rd
Woodville SA5011
Ph:  08 8268 4844
Fax: 08 8268 4855
Date of implementation: 1998-2001
Date of further initiatives: Ongoing.
Case study prepared: July 2001 by Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production, Curtin University of Technology
Date last modified: July 2001.