Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney today announced Brumby Government funding totalling $2.6 million for two major industry projects in the south west that will create jobs and make industry more sustainable.
On behalf of the Minister for Regional and Rural Development Minister, Jacinta Allan, Ms Tierney announced $700,000 funding for the Aussie Farmers Direct (AFD) Milk Processing Plant project to create a new dairy processing and bottling plant at the former Bonlac dairy factory in Camperdown.
She also announced State Government infrastructure funding of $1,897,525 to Wannon Regional Water Corporation (Wannon Water) for the Warrnambool Brine Management Project.
Ms Tierney said the $700,000 grant would help Aussie Farmers Direct invest $5.45 million to develop a new milk processing plant and building on the region’s competitive advantage as one of Australia’s top dairy regions.
Funding was from the Government’s Regional Investment Initiative ($350,000) and Community Regional Industry Skills Program ($350,000), helping regional Victoria to retain and expand businesses and investment, and address skills shortages, Ms Tierney said.
“The grant to the Aussie Farmers Direct Milk Processing Plant project is part of the Brumby Government’s commitment to strengthen Victoria’s dairy industry and generate jobs across regional Victoria.”
The second project, the Warrnambool Brine Management Project, would see the establishment of two separate treatment plants – one to handle domestic and commercial wastewater, while the second facility would receive brine wastewater from industry.
“In essence, the $12 million Warrnambool Brine Management Project is about improving the efficiency of the local wastewater process so that water that would otherwise be thrown away, can be further treated and re-used for local industry and pasture irrigation,” Ms Tierney said.
“Currently, there is no facility to receive and treat saline wastewater in south west Victoria.
“This project will upgrade the Warrnambool Water Reclamation Plant so the south west gets its first dedicated facility to receive and treat saline wastewater.”
The facility will be able remove up to 65 percent of salt from domestic wastewater, meaning it is more feasible to further treat the reclaimed water to make it suitable for recycling, with the potential to make nearly 3,000 megalitres a year of recycled water.
Infrastructure components of the project would include constructing:
o Dedicated treatment cells for brine wastewater at the Warrnambool Water Reclamation Plant;
o Dedicated transfer mains for the brine wastewater from existing Warrnambool based industries; and
o A receival facility and transfer main for brine wastewater delivered to Warrnambool by road tanker.
The Government is funding the Warrnambool project through its $12.5 million Water for Industry initiative.
“Under the Water for Industry initiative, priority is given to projects that provide sustainable benefits to the local economy and communities, including water recycling projects that reduce industry’s call on town water supply.
“The Victorian Government is working in partnership with industry and water corporations to reduce water consumption and increase re-use opportunities,” Ms Tierney said.
“Both the Aussie Farmers Direct and the Warrnambool Brine Management Project will strengthen the economic base of the south-west, attract investment and make industry more sustainable, in turn strengthening local communities for the long-term.”