Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Julie Collins MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Tasmania

Sustainable water supply for the Huon Valley

Joint media release
7 November 2012

A $30 million upgrade and expansion of Southern Water’s Huon Valley water supply infrastructure will provide a reliable and sustainable drinking water supply to local communities.

The Australian Government has invested $12 million in the Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme, which will significantly improve the region’s long-term water security and return nearly one billion litres of water to the environment.

Officially opening the Scheme today, Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water joined the Federal Member for Franklin, Julie Collins MP, and said the new infrastructure would draw water from a single, sustainable water source – the Huon River.

“Drawing water from the Huon River will ensure water supplies to communities in the Huon Valley region consistently meet Australian Drinking Water Standards,” Senator Farrell said.

“This new infrastructure will supply a total of 13 million litres of high-quality water per day to customers in the Huon Valley, including Franklin, Castle Forbes Bay, Geeveston and Cygnet, as well as meeting increased demand as the population grows in the region.

“By using the Huon River as the primary water source, almost one billion litres of water will now flow back to creeks and rivulets in stressed catchment areas. This will provide environmental benefits, including restoration of water quality and catchment health, which will promote greater biodiversity in the waterways.”

Ms Collins said the project was a key election commitment from the Federal Labor Government.

“I’m delighted to have delivered on yet another election commitment,” Ms Collins said.

“The Federal Government has made significant investments in the Huon Valley. 

“Investments in water here at the Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme; health infrastructure in Cygnet, Huonville, Geeveston and Dover; and education through the new Huon Trades Training Centre show a very significant investment in the area.”

The Australian Government invested in the Scheme as part of its Water for the Future initiative, under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, through which more than $250 million in funding has been committed to practical water saving projects across the country.

Senator Farrell said the Scheme includes a new water treatment plant in Glen Huon, installation of associated town pumping stations, reservoirs and the laying of over 42 kilometres of pipe.

“Securing a sustainable, safe water supply for all Australians is a key priority for the Australian Government and this project demonstrates the ongoing commitment that the Government has made in this area.”