EIS baseline studies have been completed and mitigation strategies are being developed in collaboration with government and community stakeholders. The results of these studies will be presented fully in the EIS and preliminary information has been summarised in Fact Sheets which are being released progressively in local newspapers to enable easy access.
This Fact Sheet provides some background on infrastructure in the region and how the development will change these for the better.
What’s there now?
The Kuranda community primarily sources potable water from a central water treatment plant with approximately 20% of the community sourcing water from groundwater bores and rainwater harvesting. Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) owns and operates the current water supply system servicing the township, which includes:
- A raw water intake from the Barron River and a water treatment plant (Kuranda WTP) located off Kuranda Heights Road, including a 0.5ML onsite ground level clearwater storage reservoir;
- Service reservoir locations at Myola Road (~2ML), Warril Drive (~0.5ML) and Mason Road (~0.6ML) [one Megalitre (ML) is equivalent to an Olympic-sized swimming pool];
- Three pump stations located at the WTP, Warril Drive and Mason Road;
- A distribution network of predominantly 100mm to 450mm diameter water mains.
Treated water is pumped to the primary service reservoirs on Myola Road and then distributed throughout the network via gravity. The pump stations at Warril Drive and Mason Road boost supply to the service reservoirs at the same locations, providing additional storage and demand balance.
Approximately 80% of the Kuranda Township currently has reticulated sewerage, with the remainder of the community operating septic tanks or other similar individual lot effluent disposal systems (e.g. bio-cycles). Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) owns and operates the existing wastewater system servicing the township. The existing MSC waste water system includes:
- A sewage treatment plant (STP) located off Arara Street;
- A sewage reticulation network comprising a large number of gravity sewers, around 15 sewage pumpstations and rising mains discharging to the STP.
The Mareeba Shire Council currently manages waste services in Kuranda with weekly kerbside collections. Residents have the opportunity to recycle materials at a council waste recycling station. A limited amount of general waste is sent to the Advanced Resource Recovery Facility in Portsmith, where organic waste is extracted for composting, however a large amount of waste collected from the township is sent to landfill in Mareeba.
Electrical and Communications
The electrical network servicing the Kuranda district is fed from a substation located in Mareeba, approximately 30km south west of Kuranda. This electrical network passes through the KUR-World property. Information obtained from Ergon indicates that this grid contains a secure capacity of 31.30MVA through the 22kV substation. The Mareeba substation was subject to a peak load of 19.20MVA last year, indicating a secure capacity excess of 12.1MVA. The KUR-World project in its ultimate development will require a supply of up to 12MVA. This demand will be supplemented by sustainable on-site power generation.
Kuranda has in ground wired communication services provided by Telstra. Mobile phone coverage is available in the area but is not fully reliable at all times. The level of service varies across the numerous mobile service providers.
What are we doing about the impacts?
As an integrated eco-resort development KUR-World seeks to protect and enhance environmental values and contribute to regional sustainable development. It will be developed and constructed in accordance with the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Enviro-Development certification system; its six key elements being; Ecosystems, Waste, Energy, Materials, Water and Community.
KUR-World will limit and reduce demands on resources and infrastructure throughout its operations. Reduced power usage will be achieved from energy efficient fittings and onsite power generation via solar and other sustainable technology;
- reduction in waste generation through careful on-site management;
- reduction in water use through management and efficient fixtures and fittings;
- leading to reduced sewage generation.
Provision of Required Infrastructure
KUR-World will construct the required infrastructure for the project needs including, roads, stormwater, water supply, sewer reticulation, electrical and communications services and waste management. In some cases the KUR-World project will be the owner and operator of this infrastructure and in other cases will provide suitable infrastructure for the wider community.