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AAP News (Australia): $12.5m pledged for Geelong water project

Published: Jun 23, 2007

MELBOURNE, June 23 AAP – The federal government today pledged $12.51 million to a water recycling project in the regional Victorian city of Geelong.

The funding will go towards a water reclamation plant that will cost $63.78 million and save at least 2,000 megalitres of drinking water a year. But the commonwealth funds would not flow unless the Victorian government and Barwon Water both matched its contribution, Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull said today. “I call on the Victorian government and local water users through Barwon Water to match the Australian government’s contribution of $12.51 million,” Mr Turnbull said.

Shell Australia already has pledged $26.25 million towards the project, which would be funded from the Australian Government Water Fund. The plant also would reduce waste water discharge through the Black Rock ocean outfall by 1000 megalitres a year and waste water discharge to Corio Bay from the Shell refinery by 1000 megalitres annually.

Mr Turnbull said the project demonstrated how a water authority could partner with the private sector to invest in a water reclamation plant. The project offered potential for the recycled water to be provided cost effectively to other industrial users in the area, he said. Mr Turnbull said Victoria put forward the project after the commonwealth called on states and territories to nominate up to two high priority water projects for funding under the Water Smart Australia Program. AAP mi/arb/bwl

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