The new $15 million Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant began operating today, ensuring the growing community needs are met while delivering environmental benefits and creating jobs for the Mareeba community.
Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the project‘s first phase was constructing the new plant, with works now beginning on demolishing the old one.
“This project forms part of the Australian Government’s commitment to promote economic development in Australia’s regions, and was a perfect candidate for the National Stronger Regions Fund,” Minister Nash said.
“I aim to build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and providing modern essential services are a big part of that.”
Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said the project was an important investment for the future of Mareeba and the wider Atherton Tableland region.
“The project will not only save money for the community through a reduction in environmental penalties, it will also save Mareeba Shire Council hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on operating costs,” Senator Macdonald said.
“The Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant will benefit the whole region with the project creating 30 jobs during construction and an additional three ongoing jobs.”
“Prior to the upgrade, the Wastewater Treatment Plant couldn’t handle the town size and was not meeting environmental licence requirements.
“The project has increased the capacity of the Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant, providing for the equivalent of 12,500 people, it will also be capable of meeting environmental regulatory standards, saving the community from penalties,” Senator Macdonald said.
Mareeba Shire Mayor, Cr Tom Gilmore said the previous plant served Mareeba well for many years, however simply could not manage the growth in the community and could no longer meet environmental standards demanded of it.
"The current Mareeba Shire Council has pursued this vision of replacing the old plant with vigour and I am delighted to see the culmination of that vision," Cr Gilmore said.
"I pay tribute to funding partners, both state and commonwealth but more particularly pay tribute to the professional officers who have worked their way through the complexity of issues which arose during the development process.
"I am also grateful to those community groups and individuals who have supported us in this project."
The Upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Mareeba was jointly funded by the Australian Government ($6 million), Queensland Government ($1.5 million), and Mareeba Shire Council (over $7.5 million).