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The Victorian Government has announced that it will be investing $711 million in the modernisation of Melbourne’s Western Treatment Plant, to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the city’s growing population for generations. 

Victorian Minister for Water, Harriet Shing, announced the start of works on a new Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex – the first major milestone in the modernisation of the Western Treatment Plant. 

Melbourne’s population is set to double by 2050 and the upgrade to the Western Treatment Plant is key to ensuring Melbourne’s infrastructure is equipped to meet future demands. The project is set to deliver an additional 95 billion litres per year in primary treatment capacity.

The Western Treatment Plant is a world leader in environmentally-friendly sewage treatment, and one of Victoria’s most unlikely hidden treasures – doubling as a working farm and internationally-recognised bird habitat, including some of the world’s species such as the critically-endangered, orange-bellied parrot and growling grass frog.

When it was first established in the 1890s, the Western Treatment Plant transformed Melbourne’s public health and sanitation – now it processes more than 182,500 million litres every year while using low-cost, low-energy treatment processes. 

The Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex will enhance sewage treatment, minimise odours, capture carbon, and manage waste sustainably. 

Victorian Minister for Water, Harriet Shing, said that innovation and efficiency in wastewater treatment has enabled Victoria to lead in adaptation to climate change, circular economy and delivering large-scale improvements to liveability. 

“Better wastewater treatment means we’re also well-equipped to manage the challenges of population growth,” Ms Shing said. 

Melbourne Water Managing Director, Dr. Nerina Di Lorenzo, said, “The Resource Recovery and Re-Use Complex is a major milestone in the transformation of the Western Treatment Plant and will enable rapid evolution of the site to meet the needs of the next decade and beyond.”

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