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Transforming Wastewater Treatment For A Greener Victoria

28 February 2024

Wastewater treatment in Melbourne’s west is about to be transformed thanks to a $711 million investment to modernise the plant to ensure the health and sanitation needs of Victoria’s growing population are met for generations to come.

Minister for Water Harriet Shing today announced the start of works on a new Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex – the first major milestone in the modernisation of the Western Treatment Plant.

Melbourne’s population is set to double by 2050 and the upgraded to the Western Treatment Plant is key to ensuring Melbourne’s infrastructure is equipped to meet future demands. The project will deliver an additional 95 billion litres per year in primary treatment capacity.

The Western Treatment Plant is a world leader in environmentally-friendly sewage treatment, and one of Victoria’s most unlikely hidden treasures – doubling as a working farm and internationally-recognised bird habitat, including some of the world’s species such as the critically-endangered, orange-bellied parrot and growling grass frog.

When it was first established in the 1890s, the Western Treatment Plant transformed Melbourne’s public health and sanitation – now it processes more than 182,500 million litres every year while using a low-cost, low-energy treatment processes.

The Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex will enhance sewage treatment, minimize odors, capture carbon, and manage waste sustainably. These improvements, including updated treatment methods and waste management facilities.

For more information, visit melbournewater.com.au/water-and-environment/climate-change/our-path-net-zero.

Quote attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“Innovation and efficiency in wastewater treatment has enabled Victoria to lead in adaptation to climate change, our circular economy and delivering large-scale improvements to liveability. And better wastewater treatment means we’re also well-equipped to manage the challenges of population growth.”

Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

"This crucial investment in modernising wastewater treatment in Melbourne’s West will not only future-proof the health and sanitation needs of Melburnians but underscores our commitment to net-zero emissions by 2045 - ensuring a sustainable climate-resilient future for all Victorians."

Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Dylan Wight

“The new Western Treatment Plant Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex will support thriving, healthy and growing communities.”

Quote attributable to Melbourne Water Managing Director Dr. Nerina Di Lorenzo

“The Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex is a major milestone in the transformation of the Western Treatment Plant and will enable rapid evolution of the site to meet the needs of the next decade and beyond.”

Reviewed 28 February 2024

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