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Desalination in Victoria - The Story So Far

By srcar7
  • Labor Government re-elected in Victorian State election

    Labor Government re-elected in Victorian State election
    In the midst of the election campaign in 2006 during a time of critical water shortage in Victoria, the Labor government opposed the construction of a desalination plant. However, once it claimed victory in the election it was quick to change its stance on the matter by making a committment to build the plant.
  • Floods

    The proposed site floods for the first time raising much concern for the location of the plant
  • First announcement of plans

    First announcement of plans
    The State Labor government announces its intention to develop a desalination plant on the Bass Coast near Wonthaggi. The plan is announced as part of the governments water plan marketed as 'Our Water, Our Future'.
  • Bracks resigns as Premier for Brumby

    Bracks resigns as Premier for Brumby
    John Brumby becomes Victoria's 45th Premier after the shock resignation of Steve Bracks and Deputy Premier John Thwaites.
  • Environments Effects Statement (EES)

    Environments Effects Statement (EES)
    The Minister for Planning Justin Madden for the Victorian Government determines that the project would require assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978 and preparations for an Environment Effects Statement (EES) begin.
  • Compulsory Acquisition Notices issued to residents of the proposed site

    Compulsory Acquisition Notices issued to residents of the proposed site
    The government begins reallocating residents located on area of proposed site off the Bass Coast near Wonthaggi
  • Further Approval Required

    Further Approval Required
    The Federal Government determines that the project will have to require approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
  • Protest

    Around 150 people protest against the desalination plant in Spring Street and the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne
  • Rally

    The community of Wonthaggi rally against the project
  • Picket Line

    Picket Line
    A 24-hour picket line begins at the proposed site in protest of the project
  • Government wins case against environmental group

    Government wins case against environmental group
    Interest group 'Your Water, Your Say' lose case against the government in the Federal Court, with Justice Heeray awarding costs to Federal and State governments as result of action
  • Picket Line Ends

    Picket Line Ends
    The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) prevent access for the van that the community was using as a hub for its 24-hour picket line, ending the 6 week 24-hour picket.
  • More Protest

    More Protest
    A group of around 50 conduct a rally on the site, several people are removed from Crown land, none are arrested
  • More Flooding

    More Flooding
    Proposed site floods for a second time, 100m of coastline is landscaped to alter the flow of Powlett River
  • EES Released to the Public

    EES Released to the Public
    Environment Effects Statement (EES) released for public comment by the State Government, with the community given just 5 weeks to submit responses to the 1600-page report
  • Legal Dispute Settled

    Legal Dispute Settled
    Legal costs between the State Government and Your Water Your Say (YWYS) settled via consultation with the Federal Government Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett. The state government has not yet responded to the consultations and YWYS has effectively been forced to disband as a result.
  • Pilot Desalination Plant Approved

    Pilot Desalination Plant Approved
    Planning Minister, Justin Madden, approved a planning scheme amendment to allow for a pilot desalination plant to come into effect on the 17 January
  • Seminars Held

    Seminars Held
    Alternative Technology Association (ATA) holds a seminar on considering alternative water supply options for Melbourne.
  • Drought reaches its peak

    Drought reaches its peak
    Water storages bottom out at around 26% with rivers and dams in dire conditions.
  • Petition Submitted

    Petition Submitted
    A petition of 3,000 signatories opposing the construction of the desalination plant is presented to the Victorian Parliament.
  • Winning bidder announced

    Winning bidder announced
    The winning bidder for constructing the plant is announced which is won by company 'AquaSure'.
  • Rainfall increases

    Rainfall increases
    Water Storage levels hit 30% after a period of consistent rain fall
  • Construction Commences

    Construction Commences
    Construction of the plant gets underway in Wonthaggi
  • Protesters information handed out

    Protesters information handed out
    The Age publishes news of the "memorandum" to share surveiled information with the private consortium
  • Pipeline Underway

    Pipeline Underway
    First section of the pipeline connecting the Desalination Plant to Melbournes water grid gets underway
  • Secret Dealings

    Secret Dealings
    The state government is allowing the private consortium behind Victoria's controversial desalination plant to gather intelligence about the activities of protesters and share that information with police, according to a previously secret part of the $3.5 billion deal.
  • Marine Biologist Stirs Controversy

    Marine Biologist Stirs Controversy
    One of Victoria's top marine biologists has criticised the environmental approvals for the Wonthaggi desalination project, despite being hired to work on the project. Matt Edmunds, an experienced assessor of projects such as the Gunns pulp mill, dredging in Port Phillip Bay and now desalination, said environmental approvals in Victoria were sometimes manipulated and biased to suit proponents.
  • EPA Submits requirements

    EPA Submits requirements
    EPA Victoria has placed several environmental management requirements on AquaSure Pty Ltd, the company responsible for delivering the Victorian Desalination Project in Wonthaggi. The recent inspection revealed high volumes of acid sulphate soils which had been disturbed, several onsite water bodies with high acidity and potential for substantial runoff from the site, which could change the condition of the receiving waters
  • Water Rises Again

    Water Rises Again
    Water storages in Victoria rise above 40%, after best season of rainfall in ten years.
  • Regions Flood

    Regions Flood
    Many regions around the state are flooded for the first time since the drought began in the late 1990's, prompting many to define the end of the drought.
  • Production Set to Begin

    Production Set to Begin
    Production and related operations expected to commence by end of year.