Bundaberg Regional Council (QLD) have announced the successful company who will construct, maintain and operate the Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP) and Regional Pump Station.

Downer Utilities Australia will now begin construction on stage one of the Rubyanna WTP with the work due to be completed over three years. Bundaberg Regional Council said that this is a major component of their infrastructure project.

Water and Wastewater portfolio spokesperson, Alan Bush, said the contract awarded to Downer Utilities was worth almost $43 million.

“The contract involves the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the plant and pump station.  This includes Downer Utilities undertaking the operations and maintenance of the plant and pump station for a three year period commencing from December 2017 with an option at Council’s discretion, to extend for a further seven years,” Mr Bush said.

The project initially cost $92 million, but the Bundaberg Regional Council worked closely with leaders in the wastewater treatment field to reduce costs through innovative solutions and new technologies. The current tight economic climate and strong competition among suppliers vying for the various contracts also helped to drive down costs.

Bundaberg Mayor, Mal Forman, said the combination of extensive planning and a competitive marketplace has reduced the cost of the program of works to $71 million, saving the council more than $20 million.

“Council is extremely pleased to be able to deliver this region’s most significant piece of infrastructure to the community for a lot less than initially anticipated,” Mayor Forman said.

“New sewerage infrastructure is essential to promoting development. It will be the catalyst for investment in significant industrial, commercial and residential development, which is what is needed to facilitate growth along the coast.

“The absence of adequate wastewater infrastructure has been recognised as an impediment to regional growth despite the region’s great natural assets and affordable, livable lifestyle. To facilitate a solution, the council undertook extensive studies to identify the most cost effective solution to replace aging flood prone infrastructure and provide additional treatment capacity to offer wastewater services to new developments.

Mr Forman said they want to “attract development to the region, especially in the growth corridor east of Bundaberg, affecting the Port of Bundaberg and coastal communities from Burnett Heads to Elliott Heads because with that, more people will want to move and settle here.”

The plant will be built at Rubyanna on a site above the 2013 flood height and will provide recycled water for irrigation purposes to assist agricultural productivity in the region.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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