Upgrades to Tasmania’s aging sewerage infrastructure in Launceston, Hobart and Devonport have been added to the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Priority List, as outlined in a recent Infrastructure Australian report.

TasWater Chief Owner’s Representative and Mayor of the Northern Midlands Council, David Downie, said he is pleased that the Federal Government has recognised the need to assist TasWater in addressing its sewerage infrastructure problems.

The projects in Launceston, Hobart and Devonport aim to upgrade a number of sewage treatment plants in the region.

Mr Downie said, “The TasWater Board has advised its 29 owner councils that the projected cost of the capital projects needed to be completed over the next 10 years, in order to bring Tasmania’s ageing and in many cases failing water and sewerage infrastructure up to modern day standards, is in the order of $1.7billion.

“TasWater is only able to fund $1.2billion of that by itself with an extra $500million required from other sources to finish the work.”

The infrastructure priority list states that the underperformance of a large number of ageing treatment plants in Tasmania leads to both health and environmental outcomes which fail to meet modern day standards.

“These projects will activate commercial, industrial or residential development across the state through the release of strategically important land, including in proximity to a number of major projects at the planning stage, such as the $1billion Macquarie Point development in Hobart,” Mr Downie said.

TasWater Chairman, Miles Hampton, said TasWater is well aware of the gravity of the problem and recognition from Infrastructure Australia is an important part of the process to get it fixed.

“Importantly, this challenge has now been put into a national perspective with infrastructure Australia saying if Tasmania’s sewerage infrastructure isn’t brought up to standard soon, it will impact negatively on our national productivity,” Mr Hampton said.

“With this announcement, TasWater can continue with detailed plans to undertake these major upgrades and work with all levels of government around funding requirements.”

Jessica Dickers

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