TRC Waste Infrastructure Plan
In December 2018, ATC Williams won a tender to assist Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) with the design and construction of 11 transfer stations across the Toowoomba region as part of the TRC Waste Infrastructure Plan. For Millmerran, ATC Willimas guided the council through the strategic planning process, whereby they elected to construct a new facility at the existing landfill and transfer station site. The site is impacted by regional flooding; therefore, two-dimensional flood modelling was undertaken to ensure the proposed transfer station will not be flood-impacted.
The Millmerran Waste Management Facility presented several challenges. These included integrating existing infrastructure into the new layout, resumption of land to increase intersection visibility and balancing earthworks to ensure flood immunity, site grades and stormwater quality controls. Council’s operational and planning constraints for this facility were unique due to the distance to connecting downstream waste facilities.
In terms of development approvals, the Millmerran site was an easy one. The culture and heritage assessment identified a scar tree within the access road adjoining the site, which was avoided for the intersection upgrade. The ecological site investigations identified that vegetation of ecological significance was not contiguous with a larger patch of vegetation mapped under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and Nature Conservation Act. Investigations into Air and Noise found that the impact on sensitive receptors resulted in a minimal increase with no mitigation measures required.
The Traffic Impact Assessment Report did not identify any major external intersection upgrades. Depending on traffic volumes, some sites can trigger up to three intersections to get vehicles back to major roads, an important consideration for strategic planning. The stormwater management plan was simple, with the inclusion of two basins (two points of discharge for the site) to achieve the water quality objectives and provide a water source for site operations. There was no need for additional bushfire management measures; services connections included onsite effluent disposal, a bore and no upgrade to the existing transformer, which already supplied power to the site.
Overall, a dream run like this one is unlikely to occur again.