Hervey Bay Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade Selection Process Project, 2019

Fraser Coast Regional Council

What was this project about?

Fraser Coast Regional Council, through Wide Bay Water, undertook a community and stakeholder engagement process to inform the recommendations for the Hervey Bay Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade Selection Process Project, to cater for future network growth and a subsequent increase for the recycled water scheme.

This engagement with community, government, industry and tourism was undertaken to understand their respective interests, and their views and ideas on the two possible STP upgrade options at Nikenbah and Pulgul, the possible relocated Pulgul outfall and the recycled water scheme expansion.

What we needed to do

Engagement Plus developed a community engagement plan to take key stakeholders and the community on an informative journey about their sewage network to tell them about what happens when they flush, what upgrades were proposed and how the recycled water reuse scheme could be expanded.

A diverse range of engagement methods were utilised to promote the project, communicate the project purpose, and inform the community to provide feedback including a Community Panel who were taken through a series of Appreciate Inquiry workshops, markets stalls, online community hub, community workshops and interviews with key stakeholders including irrigators, business, regulators and community groups.

With the challenge to present technical information to be easily understood by the community, Engagement Plus developed a series of informative booklets about the existing Hervey Bay Sewage Network and the possible options. One set was designed to guide the Community Panel through a series of Appreciate Inquiry workshops and another complimentary set was designed for the community to read and provide the basis for informed feedback.

The Community Panel and the community took the opportunity to see their network in action, through a series of site tours of the existing Nikenbah and Pulgul Sewage Treatment Plants as well as Hepplewhite Plantation, part of the Hervey Bay recycled water reuse scheme.

What was achieved

Feedback from the stakeholder and community engagement was presented to Council who considered the recommendations and announced it would move forward with plans to upgrade the Pulgul Sewage Treatment Plant and expand its recycled water reuse scheme.