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Southeast Melbourne water upgrades on priority list

Infrastructure Australia has released its Infrastructure Priorities List, which includes the upgrade of water infrastructure in Melbourne’s southeast.

Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said the list is “a comprehensive overview of nationally-significant infrastructure needs, providing an investment roadmap to guide Australia’s economic recovery and improve quality of life as we continue to absorb and respond to the shocks of COVID-19”.

“We have added a record 44 new proposals to the Priority List for consideration by Australia’s governments across the broad spectrum of transport, energy, water, waste, telecommunications and social infrastructure,” she said.

“Spanning all key infrastructure sectors and highlighting investment opportunities across Australia’s unique geographies, the 2021 Priority List reflects our changing infrastructure needs.”

The list includes an upgrade of southeast Melbourne’s water infrastructure, where Infrastructure Australia has identified an opportunity to re-use more of the water currently recycled at the city’s Eastern Treatment Plant.

The plant produces more than 130 billion L of recycled water each year, of which about 95 per cent is treated and discharged into the Bass Strait.

“There is an opportunity to re-use more of this water to safely irrigate high‑value horticulture crops, parks, sporting fields and green open space, rather than using potable water for these purposes,” Infrastructure Australia said.

“The initiative could be addressed through a program of water infrastructure, planning, policy and management interventions to realise the value of rainfall-independent supply sources in South East Melbourne, and potentially other parts of Melbourne as well.”

A timeframe of 10-15 years has been put on the initiative.

For more information visit the Infrastructure Australia website.

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