Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Stormwater harvesting for Melbourne Park

19 October 2011

A $5.9 million stormwater harvesting project at Melbourne Park is well on its way to seeing gardens watered and toilets flushed with treated stormwater, saving precious drinking water.

At Melbourne Park today to mark the completion of the water harvesting system, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell said the project would save about 45 megalitres of potable water a year.

"Stormwater harvesting will enhance the sustainability of world-class events, such as the Australian Open ,hosted here at Melbourne Park, " he said..

"This project will capture about 18 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of stormwater run-off from Melbourne Park.

"That stormwater will be treated and then put to good use irrigating grassed areas and gardens in the precinct, and for toilet flushing.

"Capturing this run-off will improve the quality of water discharged into the iconic Yarra River, as less pollutants and nutrients will run off into it," he said.

The Australian Government is contributing more than $2.9 million to the project through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, under the Water for the Future initiative. More than 30 stormwater projects have been funded across Australia under this initiative.

The Australian Government is providing a further $100 million to expand the stormwater harvesting program with a third competitive grants round, which opened on 19 June 2011 and will close on 7 December 2011.

"The stormwater harvesting program will support projects that use stormwater to ease the pressure on drinking water supplies and deliver improved water quality to our urban waterways," Senator Farrell said.

"In recognition of the impact of recent flooding across Australia, stormwater harvesting and reuse projects that include a flood mitigation component will also be eligible for this funding round."