Gold Coast ‘sets example’ for Australia with recycled water pipeline

One of the Gold Coast’s largest infrastructure projects is underway in Biggera Waters, as giant machinery gets set to tunnel under the seaway.

A tunnelling machine spanning 2.5 metres in diameter, will begin digging through to South Stradbroke Island next month as part of the Long Term Recycled Water Release project.

The $70 million project will install various tunnels to carry millions of litres of excess recycled effluence several kilometres out to the ocean.


The first phase will see a 1450 metre long tunnel installed from Quota Park to South Stradbroke, and a second tunnel from Southport to Main Beach.

Mayor Tom Tate says the tunnels aren’t needed immediately, but that Council is prepping for the growing population on the Gold Coast.

“We like to plan infrastructure two decades in advance, and the way our city has been growing at 15,000 people a year, it’s really accelerated.

“So we can’t wait any further,” Mayor Tate said.

The tunnels will mainly be used to carry recycled water from the city’s northern areas, such as Pimpama and Coomera.

“We’ve got infrastructure for the south, but not as much from the middle of the city up to the north.

“Because the growth in the northern corridor is the biggest in our city.

“So all the new dwellings that were put in in the Northern Corridor… all their effluence will be treated, and the recycled water will flow all the way out to the ocean,” Mayor Tate said.

Ratepayers won’t be forced to cough up extra funds for the infrastructure, with Council taking from their $320 million reserve.

“I think we set an example for the whole of Australia, to be well ahead when it comes to infrastructure delivery.

“You can infrastructure plan 30 years out, but what they lack is identifying when to do it and starting to put money away, so that they don’t hit rate payers with a levy to do their project.

“That’s the point here, we’ve been putting money away and then when the project delivery is required, you won’t additional levy for this project,” Mayor Tate said.

Members of the Gold Coast public have also been invited to come and make their mark on the pipe, and sign the inside of it before it goes underground.

Locals can come down on June 23 to sign the pipe, and ‘immortalise’ their names.

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Mayor Tom Tate has left his mark on the inside of the pipe. PHOTO | by Monique St Clair, myGC