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13 December 2023

Coliban Water to seek review at VCAT for Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant Licence

Coliban Water will exercise its right to appeal its new Kyneton Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) Licence in VCAT. 

Managing Director Damian Wells said following the technical and legal assessment of a new Operating Licence received from the EPA last week, and our ability to comply with these conditions, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to exercise our right to appeal in VCAT.

“We submitted our Licence Amendment Application in May 2022 where we are proposing to ‘lock-in’ new environmental performance standards consistent with our new Environment and Sustainability Policy. We are long-run custodians of the Campaspe River water cycle and we stand behind the environmental credentials of our recent work at Kyneton where we acknowledged historical non-compliance issues. 

Coliban Water - on behalf of its customers - together with its recycled water partners have invested over $20 million at the site over the past three years, delivering a dramatic step-change in environmental performance including:

  • A 95% reduction in phosphorus in river releases of highly treated water.
  • A trebling of treated water storage. 
  • Construction of a 14 kilometre pipeline to supply recycled water for agricultural use.
  • A new Class C to Class B recycled water facility.
  • Major new agricultural recycled water customers connected and operating, with an additional 350 megalitres of recycled water provided for agricultural use each year.
  • Continued supply of recycled water to the Kyneton Racecourse, the Kyneton Botanic Gardens and local sports fields.

"In what should be a 42-day process, the decision took in excess of 500 days which has been extremely disappointing”. 

In addition to procedural challenges this process presented, Coliban Water is seeking further ecological and scientific evidence and justification from the EPA to support their decisions in relation to the new Operating Licence conditions.  

"Our Licence Amendment Application contained an evidence-based Environmental Risk Assessment and supporting documentation that demonstrated our proposal would not create an unacceptable environmental risk to the Campaspe River,” Mr Wells said.

The matter is now before VCAT where we also seek a stay in the commencement of the new Operating Licence until the matter is resolved.

Last updated on 13 Dec 2023
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