Council move water recycling plant operations back in-house

Published: 02 Jul 2019

The Mackay North and Mackay South Water Recycling Facilities are now being run by Mackay Regional Council.

The facilities, located at Bucasia and Bakers Creek, have been operated by contractor, Downer, for the past 10 years.

In March 2018, council agreed to bring the operations of the two water recycling facilities back in-house for operational and financial gains.

Residents will not notice any difference to their service.

Councillor Martin Bella said the transition would ensure greater efficiency and longevity of the plants as well as create additional employment opportunities.

“By taking back operations of these two outsourced plants, council will manage all of its water and wastewater facilities in-house and have a more consistent approach to operations and asset management,” Cr Bella said.

“It also offers financial benefits, for purchasing bulk items or tendering for maintenance,” he said.

Cr Bella said council had hired five additional treatment operators to run the Mackay North and Mackay South treatment facilities.

“At the moment Downer employs seven staff at the two plants. Council has employed an extra five treatment operators and two support roles – a maintenance planner and technical officer – to help run the facilities.

“Council staff have been at these plants for the last month to learn the processes and are ready to operate the plants,” Cr Bella said.

Whitsunday Regional Council has also taken two of its facilities back in-house.

Mackay Regional Council has been collaborating with Whitsunday Regional Council throughout the transition process and is sharing its learnings across the industry through its membership of the Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program.