Modern urban wastewater treatment plant.

Cairns Regional Council is seeking Expressions of Interest for the construction of Stage 1 works at its Cairns Water Security Project, delivering a new water treatment plant and supporting infrastructure.

The Cairns Water Security project will deliver a new drinking water supply to the Cairns community from the Mulgrave River at Gordonvale, supplementing existing supplies from Copperlode Falls Dam, Behana Creek and Council’s smaller rural intakes.

Council endorsed $27.6 million for costs incurred to date, as well as pre-construction costs for the project.

Council is now inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the open market to deliver works, including the Draper Road Water Treatment Plant, Mulgrave River intakes, water mains for raw and treated water, and a waste effluent pipeline from the treatment plant.

Two contractors will be shortlisted by the EOI process, which will progress to the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) stage.

These shortlisted proponents will then undertake design development and submit a proposal for the final design and construction stage, with the successful proposal expected to be identified by late 2023.

This includes activities such as procuring the project team and consultancies, reference design development and technical risk reduction activities, commercial and legal advice, and all activities during the ECI stage, including a nominal sum for the unsuccessful proponent.

The previously endorsed procurement strategy includes two separate packages – one for the raw water intake, treatment plant and associated infrastructure, and a second for the reticulation network components.

Cairns Mayor, Bob Manning, said a review of the procurement strategy identified some risks in interfacing the two packages.

“Cairns Water Security Stage 1 is the single largest capital works project ever undertaken by Council, so it is only appropriate that we review and evaluate our processes to ensure the best possible outcome,” Mr Manning said.

“A reassessment of the previous strategy concluded that the best way to mitigate the risks was to move to a single procurement package.

“Council will also ensure strong local participation through the requirements of the procurement process in delivering this critical piece of infrastructure.”

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