The major population centres of Hobart, Launceston and Devonport are serviced by a large number of poorly performing sewage treatment plants, a legacy of past ownership and delivery arrangements.
Non-compliant and ageing infrastructure is contributing to public health and environmental outcomes that do not meet contemporary standards. These outcomes present a threat to Tasmania’s status as a ‘clean green state’ renowned for its natural resources and as a preferred tourist destination. Furthermore, a number of sewage treatment plants are located on prime waterfront land in densely populated areas.
The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit notes imminent renewals of ageing assets bring an opportunity to rethink how water and wastewater services are delivered, and to use technology to improve efficiency and levels of service. Renewals could help to avoid over-investment in large, long-lived traditional water and sewerage assets, and make the system more adaptable to future trends and shocks.
The initiative proposes to rationalise existing sewage treatment plants and upgrade and operate a reduced number of sewage treatment plants in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. This would provide adequate treatment capacity for future growth, minimise environmental regulatory breaches, increase levels of service and improve operational efficiencies.
TasWater’s current capital works program includes rationalisation of treatment plants in Launceston and Devonport. Its Long-Term Strategic Plan (2018–2037) considers individual plant upgrades or optimisation projects for Hobart.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).