Salt in the Wound?

The Facts of the Situation

In 2007 the State Government announced plans to develop a desalination plant on Victoria's south-east coast, near Wonthaggi. It will generate 150 billion litres of additional water each year which is a third of Melbourne's annual water supply. Underground tunnels, extending more than 800 metres offshore, will be laid for seawater intake and discharge and an 85-kilometre pipeline will connect the plant to Melbourne's existing water supply system. The plant will require new infrastructure for its power needs, estimated at 90 megawatts a year.

The Potential Economic Benefits of The Project

The project is expected to create:

  • up to 4750 full-time equivalent jobs during construction
  • 150 full-time equivalent jobs during operation
  • $1 billion economic boost to Victoria during construction
  • Increased spending in local areas by the construction workforce.

Possible Invironmental Concerns

It's expensive its high energy demands will severely hamper efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also increase carbon emissions when climate change appears to be reducing rainfall and the salt discharge will effect the marine life and wetlands.

How an Economic Decisoin Like This Would be Made

The descision to make this plant came from the State Government which includes Peter Garrett, who approved the desalination plant. The decision also came from Tim Holding 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.