15 August 2018
Jaclyn Symes MP, State Member for Northern Victoria, has launched an innovative environmental offset project in Kilmore to celebrate Goulburn Valley Water’s (GVW) collaborative approach to wastewater management.
The project is the first of its kind in Victoria and will see treated, recycled wastewater returned to local streams to benefit the environment.
Ms Symes visited GVW’s Kilmore Winter Storage facility to meet with project partners, and to announce the project that will showcase stakeholders working together to implement Water for Victoria objectives.
Kilmore is predicted to triple in size over the next 20 years. Due to this growth GVW has been planning for the increased wastewater volumes expected. Rather than build a costly new treatment system, estimated to be around $50 million, an environmental offsets option was investigated.
Over the last three years, the project has progressed from planning and regulatory approval to implementation. In 2017, the EPA granted GVW a Works Approval to implement this integrated water management project.
The project will involve an upgrade of the Kilmore wastewater treatment system to achieve a recycled water quality that can be returned to stream. To offset this, investments will be made in waterway improvement projects on public and private land.
GVW General Manager Technical Services, Steve McKenzie, said working with catchment partners will showcase many of the objectives from Water for Victoria. “We’ll be partnering with GBCMA and local landowners to invest in the catchment to achieve much better environmental and community outcomes than we can achieve on our own,” Mr McKenzie said.
Some of the environmental offsets will include stock exclusion, fencing and revegetation activities.
“In addition to improving water quality, the offsets will also reduce nutrients and sediments coming from agricultural land, therefore achieving better waterway and catchment health outcomes than by treatment alone,” Mr McKenzie said.
Quotes attributable to Jaclyn Symes MP, State Member for Northern Victoria
“The environmental offsets project has the potential to achieve multiple benefits for a regional growth area like Kilmore.”
“This exciting project will showcase many of the objectives of Water for Victoria such as, Sharing Victoria’s Water, Climate Change, Waterway and Catchment Health, Resilient and Liveable Cities and Towns, Recognising Aboriginal Values, Recognising Recreational Values, Jobs, Economy and Innovation.”