Council achieves excellence in public works

By November 2, 2017General News, Media Releases

MAREEBA Shire Council has taken out two accolades at this year’s Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland (IPWEAQ) Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise Councils and individuals who have demonstrated best practice and innovation in public works projects across Queensland.

Mareeba Shire Council collected the award for innovation in water, waste water, sewerage and drought management for the upgrade of Mareeba’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. Council’s Acting Director Infrastructure Services Glenda Kirk also took home the Woman in Engineering award.

Council completed a $16 million upgrade to the Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant to cater for population growth over a 20-year horizon and deliver significant environmental benefits. Through innovative planning, Council has upgraded the existing infrastructure to deliver a cost-effective wastewater treatment solution at half the cost of a new treatment plant. The project was funded through  a $1.5 million grant from the State Government’s Building Our Regions program and a $5 million grant from the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, with the balance of the project funded by Mareeba Shire Council.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said Council has taken the best possible approach and achieved a remarkable outcome at very reasonable cost. “This is innovation at its very best. We have come from a situation where we could not meet our license requirements of the Wastewater Treatment Plant to the point where we are now exceeding those levels. We are seeing environmental improvement in the Two-Mile Creek as a result of that and it is a matter of great pride to me and the Council to see,” Cr Gilmore said.

As Acting Director Infrastructure Services, Ms Kirk (pictured) has been responsible for the delivery of a number of council’s large scale and complex engineering projects including the award-winning Mareeba Sewerage Treatment Plant Upgrade and the partially completed Mareeba Airport Upgrade. Ms Kirk is well recognised for her strong leadership and professional approach and she delivers projects on time and within budget for the benefit of the Mareeba community.

Mayor Tom Gilmore commended Ms Kirk on her well-deserved accolade. “I would like to congratulate Glenda for winning such a prestigious award which is peer recognition of excellence in engineering and we are as a Council we are appreciative of her skills and feel so very privileged to have her as an important part of our team,” Cr Gilmore said.

Shire Chief Executive Officer Peter Franks also acknowledged Ms Kirks win at the awards in Townsville. “Glenda has demonstrated vision and competence in her role as Project Manager and more recently took on the role of Acting Director for the Infrastructure Department with confidence and determination. In my view, Glenda is very deserving of this award in excellence, and I commend her for her contribution to the completion of the now award-winning, Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade.

A total of 19 awards were presented at the gala dinner and awards ceremony held last night at the Ville Resort, Townsville where 350 of the state’s leading authorities on engineering gathered for the annual state conference.