A shut down of Victoria’s coastal sewage treatment plant by the federal government has left a large number of sewage treatment facilities in the state without any access to clean water, experts say.
Victoria’s Victorian government has confirmed the closure of four wastewater treatment plants and is considering closing four others, the Australian Capital Territory’s Water Protection Authority said in a statement on Wednesday.
Water treatment plants in the southern-most parts of the state were still operating as planned, the statement said.
“However, due to the closure by the Federal Government of some wastewater treatment facilities, the water quality in these areas will not be as good as normal,” the authority said.
“This is a significant impact on the quality of the water that flows through these facilities and the environment.”
Victoria has also cancelled a water treatment plant for a community in South Australia, after the state said it was unable to pay for the cost of decommissioning the plant due to a shortage of water.
The closure of the plant comes as the federal Government and the state’s environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, continue to grapple with the issue of the Victorian government’s plans to shut down all the state-owned wastewater treatment and storage facilities by the end of the year.
Earlier this month, Mr Frydenberry said Victoria was not close to being able to pay the cost to decommission all the waste treatment facilities.
He also warned that the closure would not have any immediate effect on the state economy.
More than 500,000 tonnes of waste from the state of Victoria are sent to an incinerator on the Gold Coast, where they are then dumped.