John hollandJohn Holland

Giving drought-affected communities a Plan B.

Gold Coast Desalination Plant

Brought online in 2009, the Gold Coast Desalination Plant was delivered by an alliance that included John Holland and Veolia Water. It is capable of providing 125 million litres a day.

The Gold Coast Desalination Plant consists of a desalination plant, marine intake and outlet tunnels and a 35 km pipeline connecting the plant to the regional grid. The plant itself features pre-treatment, seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO), re-mineralisation, and residuals treatment, effectively managing the transition from seawater to freshwater, while minimising waste.

As with all our projects, we approached the construction of the plant with sensitivity, and the aim of transforming the community for the better. The site chosen for the plant was a brownfield site previously used for landfill, that had since become a community playground. To minimise disruption for local soccer team, the Tugun Jets, we relocated the soccer field, enabling them to play on, while we got to work. Once the project was complete, we rehabilitated the site, and returned it to the local community.

The plant was named Membrane Desalination Plant of the Year at the 2009 Global Water Awards, but the real measure of success is the confidence in knowing South East Queensland’s water security is taken care of for the long term.

It’s already proving its worth. Despite being built to help Queenslanders in times of drought, during the recent floods many of the region’s water plants were taken off line, and the plant increased production to help keep the freshwater flowing, reducing the threat of further disrupted services.

  • Customer
  • Location
    Tugun, Queensland
  • Specialisation
    Water & wastewater
  • Start
  • End
John holland
John holland
John holland


John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.