My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Water in the other place, Tim
Holding. It is in regard to the Smart Water Fund, which was established in 2002
to develop innovative water resource management programs across this state. This
fund supports and encourages organisations to develop new approaches to saving
water through recycling, conservation and biosolid management. So far there have
been five stages of funding under this program. Under stage 5 at Sovereign Hill
in Ballarat a water savings program was launched in March this year. Sovereign
Hill, supported by the Smart Water Fund and community water grants, has reduced
annual water usage from 3.4 million litres in 2003 to 2.5 million litres last
year, and is on track to use only 1.3 million litres this year.
Under stage 4, using the Smart Water Fund, the Beckley Park
racecourse in Geelong secured over $32 000 in grant money. That was to implement
the trialling of a variety of initiatives in order to make the facility less
reliant on mains water, without compromising the safety surface and performance
of the facilities. Also under stage 4 of the fund Deakin University received a
share of the $6 million which focused on the demonstration of the use and
adaptation of granulation silica-gel technology for the low energy removal of
salt from recycled water, brackish water or sea water.
Many other organisations in Western Victoria, including
Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water, Barwon Health’s Linencare and the Karkana
Support Service in Horsham, received funding.
It is critical for us to continue to find new ways to save
water, and I therefore call on the minister to open up stage 6 of the fund to
ensure that this excellent initiative is well publicised across the state, so
that we can strengthen our water-saving initiatives and drive home the
continuing importance of such measures throughout Victoria.