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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders

24 June 2005

Hunt welcomes $1 million on the road to closing Gunnamatta

Mr Greg Hunt MP, Federal Member for Flinders has welcomed the announcement of $1 million of federal funds from the National Water Initiative for the Eastern Treatment Plant feasibility study as a huge step towards closing the Gunnamatta ocean outfall.

"This is the start of the end of the Gunnamatta outfall and a positive step towards the goal of reusing for industry and agriculture up to 100 gigalitres of the 150 gigalitres of Melbourne's wastewater that is dumped at Gunnamatta each year," Mr Hunt said.

"The study will investigate the feasibility of piping recycled water from the Eastern Treatment Plant at Carrum Downs for use by Latrobe Valley power stations with a primary objective of contributing to the closure of Gunnamatta outfall by allowing water to be recycled for productive purposes.

"I am delighted with today's announcement and will work with the State government to progress this study at the earliest possible date and meet that objective.

"We have never wavered on the need to end the Gunnamatta outfall and to solve the problem of water recycling across Australia.

"Indeed, Gunnamatta helped drive the urban water component of the entire National Water Initiative.

"We have been fighting for this feasibility study and the campaign that began over three years ago is starting to see results.

"This feasibility study is an indispensable part of an Australia-wide goal to see an end to all of the 142 ocean outfalls across Australia by 2025 and the reuse of the wastewater for industry and agriculture.

"Gunnamatta is Australia's largest shoreline sewage outfall and accounts for 42% of Melbourne's sewerage, mostly from Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

"Every year around 150 billion litres of secondary treated sewage is dumped within 20 metres of the Gunnamatta shoreline and has the potential to cause major health and environmental problems."

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045

Commonwealth of Australia