Desalination plant off the table for now

desalination plantPort Stanvac Desalination Plant in South Australia. Image: Wikicommons

A desalination plant at Lakes Beach, Budgewoi, is no longer a proposal being considered by Council as a water security project.

Director, Jamie Loader, let it slip that the desalination plant was off the table when councillors were asking questions about the Long Term Water Security report at Council’s July 27 meeting.

He said that staff were looking at what works would need to be undertaken if Council were to proceed with the project.

“We are due to give an update on August 12 to the advisory committee and a councillor update a couple of days after that,” Loader said.

“Part of the consideration of a desalination plant is that we’re not intending to go ahead with that structure in that location at Lakes Beach, Budgewoi.

Cr Doug Vincent asked for locations for the new structure that the desal group was looking at, but Loader was not spilling any more beans.

Cr Vincent asked Loader about what sort of model it would be, a permanent or temporary structure?

Loader said operating models were being looked at and that there would be extensive community consultation when the time came.

Cr Jillian Hogan asked if there was any money for a desal plant in the $7M budgeted for upgrading Norah Head sewerage plant pump upgrades.

The plant was to be beside the sewerage treatment plant but no other connectivity, Loader said.

“No money has been allocated for construction of a desalination plant in this budget,” Loader said.

Reporter: Merilyn Vale