What we are asking

Help the Mornington Peninsula secure a high-quality alternative water supply for agriculture and other uses through recycled water supply infrastructure upgrades:

  • The Tyabb – Somerville Recycled Scheme – $30 million sought
  • In principle support to develop the Hinterland Environmental Water Scheme (value TBD).

What makes this unique

The Mornington Peninsula is covered by 70% Green Wedge rural land that is critical to Victoria’s food production and security.

The Eastern Treatment Plant discharges about 350 million litres per day of high-quality recycled water at Gunnamatta, via a large pipeline running the length of the Peninsula.

Tapping into that recycled water would greatly increase our resilience to climate change, boost food production and strengthen the region’s resilience to bushfires.

We are a world-class food growing region and an integral part of Melbourne’s food bowl, producing large volumes of high-quality produce year-round. Across the Mornington Peninsula, agriculture:

  • contributes $225 million in gross value
  • represents 11% of the local economy
  • provides 5,300 jobs, or 12.5% of total employment.

The ongoing sustainability of our $1.3 billion agricultural sector is under threat from lack of access to water.

The discharge of Class A recycled water through the South-Eastern Outfall is an untapped opportunity to:

  • deliver a reliable water supply that reduces reliance on limited drinking water, increases drought-resilience, promotes economic growth in the agricultural sector, supports sustainable farming and food supply and enhances our natural environment
  • reduce the impact of concentrated nutrient loads and other contaminants, currently being discharged into Bass Strait at Boags Rocks, Gunnamatta.

The opportunity to make better use of recycled water produced by the Eastern Treatment Plant and local wastewater treatment plants, has been widely embraced by industry stakeholders and the wider community.

A Business Case was developed by Frontier Economics for the Tyabb-Somerville Recycled Scheme in 2020.

The Federal Government committed $300,000 for the preparation of a feasibility study into the Hinterland scheme. This was matched with co-contributions from The Shire, South East Water and the Hinterland Environmental Water School Incorporated, a not-forprofit community group.

We completed a Feasibility Assessment (design/costing) into the Hinterland Environmental Water Scheme in 2021, after completing a community survey.

Greater South-East Melbourne councils are preparing an Infrastructure Australia Recycled Water Supply proposal for the region. We have been pursuing the business case and designs for the local projects included in the submission.

There is significant interest and support for the benefits of recycled water across local industry and environmental groups including:

Industry Groups include Mornington Peninsula Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Branch; AusVeg; Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria; Vignerons Association; Food Industry Advisory Body; Tourism Board MPRTB; Hinterland Tourism Association; Red Hill Agriculture and Horticulture Society.

Environmental Groups include Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network; Westernport Catchment Landcare Network; Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora and Fauna Assoc; Clean Ocean Foundation; Surf Riders Association; Save Tootgarook Swamp.

The benefits of using recycled water extend beyond farms – it will supply water to community sporting and recreational grounds that require water throughout the year and supply our emergency services with water, across a bushfire prone area.

Theme 2: A robust, innovative and diverse economy, including agricultural growth. Strategic objective 2.2 includes fostering a strong Mornington Peninsula food economy and supporting farmers, through a variety of food business.