sewage treatment plant : Will cruises hit Luggage Point blockage?


Brisbane’s largest sewage plant with 12 waste storage ponds is only 200 metres away from where the city’s proposed $100 million new cruise ship terminal would be built at Luggage Point by 2019.

Fairfax Media went to Luggage Point to investigate the site after learning Queensland Urban Utilities and the Port of Brisbane have begun talks on ways to reduce odours from the waste plant.

Today it is a veritable abandoned sandy wasteland 30 minutes from the CBD and looks like the perfect place to dump a body. What it will look like in 2019 is open for debate.

Two of the world’s leading cruise ship companies; Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises lines have joined a market-led pitch with the Port of Brisbane to build a new cruise ship terminal at Luggage Point.

That would allow Brisbane to take advantage of mega-cruise ships and burgeoning cruise ship tourism in Australia. The trio are now vying to win the support of the state government.

But any international tourist who arrived yesterday would be shocked at how run down the Luggage Point area of Brisbane appears.

Luckily, if it gets government support, the proponents have until 2019 to build it, seriously improve the below-par roads and get rid of abandoned car bodies, blocks of concrete, derelict houses and add some lights and direction signs.

The first view some international guests would get of a typical “tin and timber” Queensland would be a selection of derelict timber treasures from Atlas House removals.

Sydney Harbour it isn’t. Darling Harbour neither.

However contrary to first impressions, Luggage Point doesn’t smell badly.

The area smells like a hardware shop that sells fertiliser. That is not surprising given it is close to BP Bulwer Island oil plant and across the Brisbane River from the city’s main cargo handling centre. And it’s not overpowering.

The area’s local councillor is David MacLachlan. Cr McLachlan says he has had no complaints about smells from the Queensland Urban Utilities Luggage Point plant 100 metres away.

“This site is removed from residential areas and no complaints have been made to office about odours at this site,” Cr McLachlan said.

“Any odour concerns would need to be addressed by the Port of Brisbane and the State Government, who are delivering this project.”

They would have to deal with this issue when there are 4000 passenger arriving per mega-liner.

The Port of Brisbane says it is talking to Queensland Urban Utilities about the perception problem, but did not explain how they would counter the problem.

“Luggage Point is the only viable location that is supported by the cruise operators and meets the specific technical requirements to accommodate vessels of more than 270m,” a spokesman said.

“We will use Stage 2 of the market-led proposal process to conduct a range of environmental and technical assessments with a view to resolving any potential concerns,” the statement reads.

“Our business case to Government will include plans to address any amenity issues. We are working collaboratively with QUU and other site neighbours to assess options and confirm their requirements and those of the cruise facility.”

On Monday Port of Brisbane chief executive Roy Cummins would not speculate on what he thought was the most pressing environmental issue facing the potential cruise ship port.

“We will do the detailed environmental and technical studies and that includes the amenity issues associated with the location,” he said.

Queensland Urban Utilities also did not answer how the two projects could sit side by side, but issued a short statement.

“We’re working closely with Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd to assist them in the next stage of their proposal, which will involve detailed technical investigations to ensure any development issues are addressed,” a spokesperson said.

“Luggage Point Sewage Treatment Plant is a world class facility that treats waste water to the highest standard. It’s one of Brisbane’s most important pieces of infrastructure, treating 60 per cent of the city’s sewage.”

In the meantime, while the road to the city’s potential $100 million cruise ship terminal may be called Main Beach Road; it is a long way from being either a “main road”, or leading to “a beach.”

The Luggage Point wastewater plant sits beside the Luggage Point recycled water plant, which opened in 2009 and has the ability to provide 70 megalitres of “recycled water” to Wivenhoe Dam’s drinking water supplies.


The Original Posted by Tony Moore/brisbanetimes

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