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(18-05-17) Collaborative Procurement Tender Saves up to $2.8m for the Region

May 18, 2017 | Front Page Feature, News

WBBROC Media Release 

Cr Mick Curran, Chair of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC) says that he and his fellow Mayors are very excited to announce the award of a major $6M contract for the refurbishment of sewer infrastructure across the region.

The milestone contract is the first collaborative procurement initiative of its type by the WBBROC Water Alliance and achieved savings of up to $2.8M in the first year over the significantly higher costs of replacement.

The technology selected is state of the art and substantially reduces the interruption of services to ratepayers across the region, minimizes the risk of environmental harm and allows councils to maintain required service standards well into the future.

A significant part of the WBBROC project includes the Palaszczuk Government’s $2.78 million renewal of Cherbourg’s outdated sewer system.

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner said the WBBROC Water Alliance was an example of local, forward thinking leadership delivering good results for local communities.

“This is a collaboration delivering economies of scale and extending the life of essential council infrastructure efficiently, and at lower cost,” Mr Furner said.

“It’s a region-building partnership among six councils that helps provide greater value-for-money and environmental outcomes for residents.”

Managed by Wide Bay Water, a commercial business unit of Fraser Coast Regional Council, the project will run for two years and offered Councils very high levels of quality, project efficiency and risk management.

A major part of the project involved the replacement of Cherbourg’s ageing sewer system funded by QRA and DILGP and will result in the mitigation of significant risks to levels of service and environmental management at Cherbourg.

“By working together our own council has been able to double the length of mains to be relined than what we had originally planned for. This is a great result for our council alone, with other councils also having wins. It certainly is a great example of how we are using our WBBROC relationship to deliver results for our communities,” North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Cr Rachel Chambers said.

Savings from the project will allow some councils to reprioritize significant additional infrastructure works or reduce the impact on future rate increases.

It also aligns closely with another WBBROC initiative to further improve its environmental compliance performance identified as an objective at a recent regional forum with DEHP representatives.

Cr Curran stressed that this was a case of individual Councils working together for their mutual benefit and the betterment of their sewer systems. Each Council will still maintain local control of the sewer relining works with a local supervisor appointed at each Council.

Cr Curran said that WBBROC had undertaken some detailed economic modelling in the past few years which demonstrated that a collaborative model works best for the Wide Bay Burnett region, rather than Council infrastructure being controlled by any corporatized organization.

In fact, Cr Curran added, the sewer relining project clearly shows that each Council managing its own assets, but working together to improve their buying power, gives each Council and community the best outcomes. It also helps to improve the quality of the works delivered by specialist companies.

The collaborative initiative is the first of its type in the Wide Bay Burnett region and will provide a template and benchmark for further initiatives in the region and has been applauded by State and Local government agencies.