Bundaberg hosts water industry conference


More than 650 people from around Australia have been in Bundaberg for a two-day exhibition showcasing water industry services and products.

The 44th Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition was held at the Bundaberg Multiplex this week, providing event-goers opportunities to view the latest advances in technical equipment and systems with suppliers and trade consultants.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Branch Manager of Water Services Narelle D'Amico attended and said it was also a fantastic opportunity for her team to showcase their skills.

“It has brought with it great visibility for us in the role that we play in providing water to our community,” she said.

“It exposes all of the Council employees to best practice, innovation and also allows them to hear what other businesses are doing.”

water industry conference
Over 110 exhibitors showcased their best products at the WIOA Conference and Exhibition.

Mrs D'Amico said upgrades to water treatment plants, bio-solids management and solar panel installation benefits were just some of the many items on the agenda.

“I also sat on a Women in Water Panel- talking about inclusiveness and creating a workplace which allows for all types of people,” she said.

Mrs D'Amico said she was blown away by the support the event had received and what it meant for the Bundaberg Region.

“We have had people from all over the country here,” she said.

“It's an amazing opportunity to bring people in from an economical sense but also celebrating the location that we are in.”

Chief Operations Officer of the Water Industry Operators Association Craig Mathisen said over 110 trade exhibitors were set up across two days- offering up engaging and informative displays for event-goers.

Mr Mathisen said Bundaberg was the perfect place to host the expo.

“We take our event to a lot of the regions; we like to support the communities like Bundaberg,” he said.

“You have a terrific facility here (Multiplex) which has enabled us to have such a large exhibition.”

Mr Mathison said the exhibition provided many benefits for participants and the community.

“It is a real exchange of ideas- they get together and listen to technical presentations and share experiences across the board,” he said.

“It's not often our tradespeople get to get out of the workplace and smell the roses so it is a great opportunity.

“This type of event also brings a big economic impact for a town like Bundaberg.”

Gin Gin project highlighted at water industry conference

Council's Treatment and Reticulation Coordinator Karl Zimmerlie.
Council's Treatment and Reticulation Coordinator Karl Zimmerlie.

Council's Treatment and Reticulation Coordinator Karl Zimmerlie made a special presentation about the success of the Gin Gin Water Treatment Plant upgrade at the event.

“We had our pump station in Gin Gin creek which we upgraded, new laterals in the creek bed, topped up our filter coal and the introduction of powdered activated carbon,” he said.

“This project was over a two-year period.

“I am honoured to be able to present on behalf of Gin Gin and discuss the work we did more robust and reliable water for the community.”

Deputy Mayor welcomes visitors

Deputy Mayor Bill Trevor officially welcomed water industry conference participants on Wednesday morning.

“Over these two days you have an opportunity to share knowledge, innovation and experiences across the industry and to see the latest products and services on offer at the impressive trade display,” Cr Trevor said.

“As you are probably aware, Council is also the water authority for the Bundaberg Region. Council owns and operates 10 water treatment plants and eight wastewater treatment facilities.

“Last year we commissioned the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by Council – the $71 million Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“The concept for this project dates back 2009. It was an exercise in determination, vision, astute planning and delivery and, above all, patience.

“It was worth the journey, and today we have a treatment plant of advanced capability, which technologically embraces the strong commitments we as a Council have to environmental protection.”

Cr Trevor said the Rubyanna plant unlocks significant economic development potential.

“It has replaced an old, environmentally unsound plant at East Bundaberg, it has capability to easily upgrade to service 40,000 residents, and has been designed to enable extensions that can service 90,000 residents,” he said.

“It is the required infrastructure to drive development along the coastal strip between Burnett Heads and Elliott Heads. The proof is already in the pudding.

“Since Rubyanna was officially opened in August last year, Council has approved major developments in our coastal areas including RV parks at Burnett Heads and Innes Park and a 28-home subdivision at Coral Cove.

“Thanks to Rubyanna there will be much more to come.”

Cr Trevor said Council had introduced solar power at water plants to offset rising electricity costs.

“In actual terms we haven’t achieved major savings, but without our own generation capability, Council would have been exposed to crippling power price increases,” he said.