Denmark calls on State to reinstate waste-water funding

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

The Shire of Denmark has called on the State Government to reinstate $15 million funding for a waste water recycling plan in the town, after it was not including in last week’s budget.

The Denmark Water Recycling Scheme was announced by the former government in July 2015 and would allow the reuse of water from the Water Corporation’s plant to be used for irrigation.

It would prevent treated effluent from being discharged into Wilson Inlet and was expected to be operational by mid-2018.

Shire president Dave Morrell said the plan had addressed community concern over treated effluent flowing into the inlet.

“Since the funding announcement in 2015, the Shire of Denmark has worked with the Water Corporation to ensure that the project would be a success,” he said.

“At a recent meeting, the Shire received information that the scheme was significantly advanced and essentially ‘shovel ready’.

To date, Water Corporation have spent $1.8m in design and development and have worked hard to resolve land tenure issues, identify an alignment under the Denmark River, and fully allocate all of the treated waste water.

Not only did the scheme guarantee the future health of the Wilson Inlet, it also delivered a wonderful outcome for the Denmark Golf Club and WA College of Agriculture - Denmark that had planned to use the treated water to improve the playing surface and agricultural pastures.

Whilst the Shire of Denmark understands that the State Government is facing a number of economic challenges, continuing to discharge treated effluent into our iconic inlet is something we cannot accept.

We are calling upon the State Government to immediately review this project”.

Planned upgrades to William Bay National Park worth $10.5 million were also not included in the State Budget handed down by Labor last Thursday.

The revitalisation project, announced by the previous government in November, included purpose-built trails, sealed roads and carparks, and visitor amenities. Member for Warren-Blackwood Terry Redman said the upgrades would have been a significant boost for tourism in the region.

“When summer comes and we’ve got cars banked right up to the highway and you’ve got little kids that are going to be walking a couple of kilometres to get down to the water — that is totally unacceptable,” he said. South West Region MLC Sally Talbot said the Budget had to strike a balance to ensure the burden of repairing the financial deficit was shared fairly.

“We have to get the Budget back on track,” Dr Talbot said.

“While it’s disappointing to see ... the William Bay upgrades put on hold, I think people will understand.”

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails