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In the Office with David Stubbs: Minimising environmental impact one project at a time

David Stubbs – Environmental Consultant

David Stubbs is an experienced environmental consultant and project manager. He has spent the last decade writing and implementing environment management plans on major civil infrastructure projects across the natural resources, transport and forestry industries. David also has extensive experience driving responsible environmental management on projects for local Councils, Soil Conservation Service, Crown Lands and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

As part of his current role as an environmental consultant at WolfPeak, David carries out a wide range of duties including the preparation of REFs (Review of Environmental Factors), greenhouse gas and resource efficiency reporting protocols, and erosion and sediment control plans. It is his responsibility to assess whether projects comply with relevant environmental standards and legislation.

David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science/Forestry from Southern Cross University.Recently, David has traversed the remote Chaelundi National Park in northern New South Wales as part of his work for the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

What is your role at WolfPeak?

I am based out of our mid north coast office in New South Wales, and predominantly work on environmental planning assessments for a range of local and State government enteties and private business clients.

Our clients come to us with plans for a project, and my role is to review how the proposed project will impact the environment. I’ll get out on site with the client to get a clear understanding of what they’re planning to do and give them an initial idea of what will work and what may need to be altered to reduce impacts. With most projects one of the WolfPeak ecologists will also be on site to complete an ecological impact assessment. Once I am able to collate all of the information necessary for the project I can suggest to the client aspects the could or will need to change to minimise the environmental impact of their project and ensure the project adheres to any relevant legislation.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment one of the more interesting jobs we’re working on is a project in Chaelundi National Park for the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It’s pretty large expanse of Park and they are proposing to upgrade much of their fencing and remove dams in an attempt to stop cattle from neighbouring farms and State Forests entering the National Park to graze.

The park is enormous — it can take four hours to get from one side to the other. I’m currently spending time with an ecologist inspecting fence lines and assessing how implementing new fencing and removing old dams will impact the surrounding environment. It’s a pretty remote place, so we’ve hiked in and camped up there for a night or two.

What are the challenges of your role?

There can be times where we’re telling a client things they don’t really want to hear. So part of our challenge is to find innovative solutions that minimise the environmental impact of the project and still achieve the goals the client has for the project.

We want to find ways the client can tweak the project rather than completely change their plans, so we are often trying to come up with new ideas they haven’t previously considered. But that’s also part of the enjoyment of the job.

What has been your proudest moment at WolfPeak?

I’ve really enjoyed being able to grow the mid north coast office, and the team as a whole. We started out with just three of us. Now we have at least ten people on the team and it’s growing. It has been really satisfying to bring in new people and build a thriving team.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your current role?

Don’t be worried about asking for advice. You soon realise that people don’t expect you to know everything, and that they don’t know all the answers either.

It’s important to make everyone on the team feel as comfortable as possible, so that questions can bounce freely between you. For collaboration to happen, people have to be willing to ask questions and openly share knowledge with each other.

How would you describe the internal culture at WolfPeak?

There is a really positive feel throughout the company. Everyone is encouraged to try something different, and to push ourselves beyond what we thought we could do or achieve.

But that comes with a lot of support and teamwork. We have a wide range of experts across different fields, and everyone has very diverse backgrounds. So it’s important that everyone feels like they can ask for advice and help from anyone in the company — from the top down. You’re not made to feel like you’re interrupting anyone or asking a silly question.

What are your career goals?

I’d like to keep growing the team on the mid north coast, and diversifying the work we do. We’ll be adding more government advisory work, and bigger-picture consultancy. But I think it’s most important to keep building a team that really enjoys working together.

If you would like to find out more about a rewarding career at WolfPeakemail your resume to info@wolfpeak.com.au

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