Pulling plug on wa­ter plan backed

Albany Extra - - Extra News - Tayler Neale

South West Re­gion MLC Sally Tal­bot has de­fended the State Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to aban­don a $15 mil­lion wa­ter re­cy­cling scheme in Den­mark.

The project, an­nounced by the for­mer Gov­ern­ment in 2015, was set to limit treated ef­flu­ent be­ing dumped in Wil­son In­let, with a new pipe­line al­low­ing the wa­ter to ir­ri­gate the Den­mark golf course and a new tree farm.

Ms Tal­bot said $1.5 mil­lion had been spent on the project so far.

“While I un­der­stand the com­mu­nity may be dis­ap­pointed with this de­ci­sion, the set of books left to us by the pre­vi­ous Lib­eral Na­tional Gov­ern­ment has meant this project can­not pro­ceed at this time,” she said. “It is im­por­tant to point out that the Den­mark Waste­water Treat­ment Plant con­trib­utes just 0.6 per cent of the to­tal nu­tri­ent load en­ter­ing Wil­son In­let each year, so the de­ci­sion not to go ahead with the re­cy­cling project will not have any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the health of the in­let.

“The plant op­er­ates well within its li­cence con­di­tions for treat­ment of waste­water and, as a re­sult does a very ef­fec­tive job of re­mov­ing nu­tri­ents from waste­water col­lected from lo­cal homes and busi­nesses.”

Ms Tal­bot said is­sues sur­round­ing the nu­tri­ent lev­els in Wil­son In­let were be­ing ad­dressed.

“Al­ter­na­tive mech­a­nisms to re­duce nu­tri­ent ex­port into Wil­son In­let is be­ing car­ried out through the $20 mil­lion Re­gional Es­tu­ar­ies Ini­tia­tive led by the Depart­ment of Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion,” she said.

Mem­ber for War­ren-Black­wood Terry Red­man said it was dis­ap­point­ing to see the project go.

“That will be a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue for peo­ple in Den­mark — there was a strong en­vi­ron­men­tal push for the im­pact of that treated waste­water go­ing into the es­tu­ary,” he said.

The Shire of Den­mark has called for the fund­ing to be re­in­stated.

“Not only did the scheme guar­an­tee the fu­ture health of the Wil­son In­let, it also de­liv­ered a won­der­ful out­come for the Den­mark Golf Club and WA Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture — Den­mark that had planned to use the treated wa­ter to im­prove the play­ing sur­face and agri­cul­tural pas­tures,” Shire pres­i­dent David Mor­rell said.

“Whilst the Shire of Den­mark un­der­stands that the State Gov­ern­ment is fac­ing a num­ber of eco­nomic chal­lenges, con­tin­u­ing to dis­charge treated ef­flu­ent into our iconic in­let is some­thing we can­not ac­cept.

“We are call­ing upon the State Gov­ern­ment to im­me­di­ately re­view this project.”

Pic­ture: Jan­ice Axe

South West Re­gion MLC Sally Tal­bot.

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