Australia's National Local Government Newspaper Online
|Editions > 1998 > May > Gold||- Melbourne Time:|
World's cleanest treated water
A new wastewater treatment plant at Noosa has been cited as a prime example of what can be achieved when Local Government teams up with the private sector. The $52 million Noosa Coastal Wastewater Treatment Plant was officially opened in March by Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge. The plant has been lauded as the most environmentally sensitive wastewater treatment plant in Australia producing some of the world's cleanest treated water.
Being located in one of Australia's most popular holiday and beach resorts, Noosa Council is conscious that wastewater management is critical to the economy of the region. The Australian Water Services Company was engaged by Noosa Council to design, build and operate the plant in partnership with Council for 25 years. Noosa Mayor Bob Abbot describes it as a win/win for the local community.
"It is Australia's first private sector developed and environmentally sensitive urban Wastewater Treatment Plant," he said.
"The contractual arrangement reduces the financial risk for Council and Noosa's ratepayers, while providing residents with the most advanced technology.
"The design, build and operate concept will cost our community significantly less than would the traditional modus operandi of employing consulting engineers to design and supervise construction.
"It also transfers risk away from Council as the organisation that operates the plant also designed and built it. Council is therefore no longer the meat in the sandwich between the designer or builder and operator."
He said that he would recommend this approach to any Council. The public sector remains in control with clear, up front definitions of performance requirements, roles and stipulated responsibilities. At the same time the partnership enables Council to lower its risk profile, reduce costs and improve water services in the shortest possible time.
Mike Rollo, Queensland Manager of AWS, said that all spheres of government are focusing on ways to provide services in a more cost effective way.
"Water is a finite resource, and one for which demand is ever increasing," he said. "It is only through the continual development of new technologies and education of communities that we will be able to ensure its constant supply."
For further information contact Susie Osbaston at Noosa Council, telephone (07) 5449 5282 or Mike Rollo at AWS, telephone (07) 5447 4599.
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