Collaboration yields savings for Bowen and Mirani STP Upgrades

Collaboration yields savings for Bowen and Mirani STP Upgrades
Date: 01-Oct-2020

The Whitsunday-Isaac Mackay (WIM) Water Alliance is known for its large-scale project ideas and has delivered a number of award-winning programs. In recognition of the region’s growth and importance to the Great Barrier Reef, the WIM Alliance embarked several linked projects to improve coastal STP outcomes.

One series of projects saw the first ever collaborative project to transition STPs from private sector to internal management by Mackay and Whitsunday. Formal collaboration in this initiative created a common dedicated resource to oversee the transition of four STPs resulting in efficiencies and cost savings for both councils.

In a parallel series of cooperative projects two of the STPs were upgraded to improve environmental outcomes including protecting water quality. These two plants are located 180 km apart in separate councils and catchments but the tyranny of distance did not prevent the benefits accrued from collaboration on common issues. The councils undertook advanced joint procurement working with different contractors to complete works overseen by a common, highly-qualified Superintendent. The process saved initial costs but also resulted in multiple opportunities for sharing information resources and streamlining future operations and maintenance costs.

These state-of-the-art facilities meet the new Reef Regulations and help protect local waterways and the sensitive GBR environment. Financially, the collaboration provided savings of up to $1 million over the first five years, on top of immediate procurement benefits. Additional benefits are projected through building capabilities within the Councils and improved resilience by sharing of upgrades and plant spares between the WIM alliance. These benefits arose directly from the cooperative nature of the councils’ initiatives, which would not have occurred without QWRAP collaboration.

"So there were plenty of aspects that we looked at where we could further gain opportunity from working together, and one particular thing that comes to mind is we’re currently doing a treatment plant upgrade, and so is Mackay, and we are actually having a Joint Superintendent which has actually realised benefits of over 30% cost saving already so we are very happy with that."

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