Salt in the Wound?

By Brett Symons

The Facts

In 2007, the goverment announced that they were going to create a Desalination Plant near Wonthaggi. It will create 150 billion litres of water each year, which is a third of Melbournes annual water supply. It will cost more than $3 billion. It works by taking sea water from the ocean and turning it into fresh drinking water. The salt will then be put back into the ocean. This is a bad thing because organisms will die from the added salt levels and the water will also heat up the water which will change most of the enviroment near the desalination plant.

Potential Economic Benefits

Some benidits of the desalination plant are.

  • 4750 full time jobs available during the construction
  • $1 billion of an economic boost to Victoria during the construction
  • 150 jobs during operation of the plant
  • More spending in the areas of the consctruction
  • There will be 6 offtake points to allow the water to be given to local water authorities.
  • $12 million dedicated to upgrading roads in Wonthaggi to help manage traffic.
  • Fibre Optic Cables to be installed with power to the plant which will allow faster communications services between local communities to other places in the state.
  • 150,000 trees will be planted along with 4 million native plants.

Enviromental Concerns

Some concerns with creating the Desalination Plant are that people think that this wont be the answer to our water problems. They think it is too expensive, it should be done as a last resort and that the energy needed to make it work will work against the things that had been done to stop greenhouse gasses by creating more carbon emissions.

How this economic decision world be made.

The descision to make this plant came from the State Government which include Peter Garrett, the Minister of the Enviroment who approved the desalination plant. The decision also came from Tim Holding, the Water Minister and Steve Bracks who was the State Premier at the time. There was also a public fourm in Wonthaggi where people could voice there concerns on wether it was a good idea or not to have the desalination plant.

Peter Garrett

Tim Holding


I think that the Desalination is a good idea but it has many faults. Firstly, from taking the water from the sea and putting the salt back into the sea could change the water temperture and many organisms could be in danger. Secondly, the amount of money that is needed to create the plant will most likely come from the Tax Payers pocket. Finally, there is different ways people can save water so we don't really need it