The Mareeba Shire Council today moved to award the contract for the design and construction of the Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant refurbishment to Downer Utilities Australia Ltd, for the amount of $13,724,840 (exclusive of GST).
“The Mareeba sewerage treatment plant, which is more than 40 years old, is too small to cope with the size of the community let alone allow for growth. In addition, it has not met its environmental licence requirements for more than 20 years, leaving this community liable for significant penalties for environmental damage,” Mayor Tom Gilmore said.
“This Council had been working diligently to rectify this situation for the last two years and today sees the culmination of these efforts. This involved a complete review of the proposal that previous Councils had focussed on. We have moved away from the construction of a completely new wastewater treatment plant, estimate which four years ago was estimated to cost in excessive of $28 million,” Cr Gilmore said.
“What we have approved today, is a fully refurbished and modern treatment plant, capable of easily achieving environmental licence requirements for many years to come, and more importantly, saving the community in excess of $13 million,” Mayor Gilmore said.
“The good thing about this approach is the construction of this new treatment plant itself will not result in an increase in sewerage charges, however it is anticipated the sewerage charges will increase in the order of annual CPI to cover the cost of operation and maintenance of the system.
On behalf of the community of Mareeba Shire I express my appreciation to the Federal Government for their generous assistance with this project. I also express my appreciation for the clever and innovative thinking and professional commitment of the staff of Mareeba Shire Council who have delivered this significant project with considerable saving to the community,” he said.
To fund this project, the Mareeba Shire Council will use $4 million from reserves and borrow approximately $4 million to augment the $6 million provided to the Council by the Federal Government from the National Stronger Regions Fund.