Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Senator the Hon Carol Brown

Senator for Tasmania

Innovative Nyrstar stormwater project saves water and reduces impacts on Derwent River

Joint media release
7 November 2012

Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, today joined Senator for Tasmania Carol Brown to announce the Australian Government's $2.9 million funding contribution to the Integrated Water Cycle Management Project at Nyrstar Hobart.

Nyrstar Hobart is a large-scale zinc smelter that has been operating on the banks of the Derwent Estuary for almost 100 years.

"The project will save up to 869 megalitres per year of potable water using treated stormwater, offsetting more than 30 per cent of the current potable water usage within the smelter," Senator Farrell said.

"Capture, treatment and reuse of stormwater from the site benefits the Derwent River by reducing the impact of runoff from the site."

Senator Carol Brown congratulated Nyrstar Hobart and smelter General Manager Jeremy Kouw on successfully receiving Federal Government funding for their Waste Cycle Management Project.

"This is a great local project for Tasmania as it will use treated stormwater in the smelting process at Nyrstar, rather than using drinking water," Senator Brown said.

"Tasmania has done particularly well developing innovative stormwater projects that deliver environmental outcomes and ensure that less drinking water is used for industrial purposes. The investment by the Federal Labor Government at Nyrstar builds upon $9.2 million we have already provided to the Glenorchy City Council for the Derwent Park Stormwater Harvesting project."

The Integrated Water Cycle Management at Nyrstar is one of nine projects across the nation to be funded through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan's third round of stormwater harvesting and reuse grants. This program is an essential part of the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative.

"More than $200 million is now being invested by the Australian Government in stormwater harvesting and reuse projects across the nation," Senator Farrell said.

"The Australian Government looks forward to working cooperatively with industries to put into practice the type of approach to water resource management that contributes to Water for the Future priorities."

Securing a sustainable, safe water supply for all Australians is a key priority for the Australian Government through the Water for the Future initiative.

The Australian Government has provided more than $1.5 billion under the Water for the Future initiative to assist state and territory governments and industries to diversify urban water supplies and assist in adapting to variable climatic conditions.