Tender awarded for Rubyanna Waste Treatment Plant

BUNDABERG Reginoal Council has announced that Downer Utilities Australia Pty Ltd will be engaged to design, construct, maintain and operate for three years the Rubyanna Waste Water Treatment Plant and Regional Pump Station, which is the major component of the council's most significant infrastructure project.

While the project was initially costed at $92 million, the council has 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 has also helped to drive down costs.

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, council undertook extensive studies to identify the most cost effective solution to replace aging flood prone infrastructure and provide additional treatment capacity to offer waste water services to new developments.

"We 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."
Water and Wastewater portfolio spokesperson Cr Alan Bush said the contract awarded to Downer Utilities was worth almost $43 million ($42,998,600 ex GST).

"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," Cr Bush said.
"Council has spent $12.7 million in developing this project and constructing inlet and outlet pipelines to operate the new treatment plant.  About $5 million has been allocated for the decommissioning the old plant at East Bundaberg and construction of the Burnett River Outfall.

"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."

Council remains hopeful that both State and Federal governments can be persuaded to support the Rubyanna project in the future to ease Council debt and reduce financial pressure on ratepayers.

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