Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Nick Champion MP

Member for Wakefield

$42.5 million for stormwater and reuse projects

Joint media release
8 August 2012

The Gillard Government will provide more than $42 million to deliver nine innovative and sustainable stormwater harvesting and re-use projects to help secure water supplies in urban areas across Australia.

Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, today announced the successful applicants under the Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Projects third competitive grants round.

"These projects will provide more than 5.5 billion litres of treated stormwater a year and improve water security by diversifying water supplies available in urban areas," Senator Farrell said.

"Several of the projects announced today will provide treated stormwater for irrigation of community sportsgrounds, parks, gardens and golf courses, and some will use treated stormwater for industrial purposes.

"Reusing stormwater for irrigation and industrial uses helps save the valuable drinking water that would otherwise be used for these purposes.

"The Gillard Government is supporting ambitious and innovative uses of harvested and treated stormwater that create a portfolio of water sources to meet community, industry and development needs while conserving high quality and high value drinking water. I would like to acknowledge the very strong and competitive field of proposals put forward by many organisations under this grant round."

The stormwater harvesting and reuse projects will also play an important role in reducing the impact of urban run-off on rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. Projects are required to either source 100 per cent of their energy needs from renewable sources or fully offset the carbon impact of the project's operations.

Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion, said the Gillard Government's commitment of more than $10 million to the Gawler Water Reuse Project would help secure water supplies in the north.

"Stormwater run-off will feed into wetlands, where it will be naturally cleansed and then stored in an aquifer before being used on local parks, gardens, school ovals and industrial areas, saving us millions of litres of drinking water and ensuring the local community's open spaces and industry have the water they need. It's great for the North, and crucial for future water security."

Minister for Water and the River Murray Paul Caica said he was pleased the projects would contribute to the statewide target of harvesting up to 75 gigalitres of stormwater a year by 2050.

"South Australia received around $67.5m in Federal funding under the first two rounds, supported by approximately $53 million from the State Government. I look forward to seeing these three new projects develop."

The third round of funding for stormwater harvesting and reuse projects forms part of the Australian Government's National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, which is a key component of the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative and supports urban areas to secure water supplies and reduce reliance on traditional water sources.

As a result of this third round, the Australian Government has now committed more than $200 million towards stormwater harvesting and reuse projects across the nation.

Details of the successful projects are attached.

Third round stormwater harvesting and reuse projects

  • Canada Bay City Council (Sydney, NSW): $1,894,963 – Water Security for the Community and Council facilities in the City of Canada Bay. The project is to provide water security for community and council facilities in the City of Canada Bay which are currently irrigated with potable water.
  • Oberon City Council (Oberon, NSW): $2,325,000 – Oberon Stormwater Harvesting Scheme. The project will supply part of the existing annual water demand for the Oberon Timber Complex: a major industry and employer at Oberon.
  • Hurstville City Council (Sydney, NSW): $1,071,738 – Peakhurst Light Industrial Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Scheme. The project will harvest capture, treat and store stormwater in an onsite bio-retention and pond system and used to irrigate tees, greens and fairways.
  • Brisbane City Council (Brisbane, Qld): $5,391,000 – Brisbane City's Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Project. The project will supply harvested and treated stormwater to a portfolio of seven important sport and recreational parks and former landfill sites
  • Rural City of Murray Bridge (Murray Bridge, SA): $7,115,000 – Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme. The project will collect stormwater from flood mitigation basins within Murray Bridge and transfer it to a site at Gifford Hill for treatment and storage, with future distribution to various locations within Murray Bridge for reuse.
  • Light Regional Council (Gawler, SA): $10,700,000 – Gawler Water Reuse project. Stormwater will be harvested at wetlands fed by urban stormwater. Water will be cleansed in the wetlands then stored in the aquifer and extracted for supply via new distribution mains, to deliver it to reserves, sports fields, school ovals & industrial areas.
  • City of Salisbury (Adelaide, SA): $2,210,000 – Cobbler Creek – An Integrated Flood Mitigation, Harvesting and Re-use Scheme. The project will combine flood mitigation and stormwater harvesting in an urban setting. This project will provide an improved management regime for the Cobbler Creek recreation park, arrest erosion reduce localised flooding and offset potable water demand.
  • Nyrstar Hobart Pty Ltd (Hobart, Tas): $2,641,440 – Integrating Water Cycle Management at Nyrstar Hobart. The project will increase storage at the zinc smelter; construct a reverse osmosis plant and water delivery infrastructure. This additional infrastructure will enable treated water to replace potable water usage at the location by up to 32 percent.
  • Western Region Water Corporation (Outer Melbourne, Vic): $9,235,783 – Toolern Stormwater Harvesting Project. The stormwater will be redirected from Toolern Creek & Kororoit Creek catchments. The project will construct approximately 23km of stormwater mains from proposed wetlands within the development of Toolern.