NORTHERN Grampians Shire and Horsham Rural City councils won awards for engineering excellence at an Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia state conference on Wednesday night.
Horsham Rural City Council won a Capital Works Excellence award for the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal, while Northern Grampians Shire Council was honoured for its Stawell Steps project.
Former Horsham Rural City Council technical services manager David Eltringham won the Victorian Public Works Engineer of the Year award.
He was honoured for his work with the Horsham and Mildura councils, including his role in the construction of Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal.
"When the award was made for the freight terminal, I thought Horsham had done well and that we could go back with an award that was good for Horsham Rural City Council and the region," he said.
"I thought that was it, but later in the night I was most surprised to win an award."
Mr Eltringham said he was particularly proud of his role in helping to redevelop Horsham's central business district, including Firebrace Street, Roberts Avenue and Darlot Street.
"I get a lot of pleasure in knowing that the project has revitalised the city," he said.
"I was very taken to be among my peers and to receive such an award."
Horsham Mayor David Grimble said Mr Eltringham was a 'big visionary thinker'.
"There were a lot of challenges along the way with the freight terminal project and it was through his leadership that we were able to bring the project to fruition," he said.
Cr Grimble said winning statewide awards boosted the profile of the terminal, Horsham Rural City Council and the Wimmera.
"It proves the value of the freight terminal project it is not the first time the project has won an award and highlights that the project has more than local significance," he said.
"We had a number of council staff who put a lot of time into that project; it was a team effort that involved three tiers of government and a lot of industry expertise."
Northern Grampians Shire Council marketing and community director Jim Nolan said the Stawell Steps project was unique because it involved 11 organisations, including Monash University.
"It also achieved the primary outcome of providing a spillway for Cato Lake," he said.
Mr Nolan said people were invited to the opening of the steps at Cato Park, with a free barbecue, at 6pm today.