Clean Ocean Foundation has warned of dire economic and environmental consequences if a planned Warrnambool Sewage Treatment Plant expansion goes ahead in its current form.
On 29 July 2021, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued a Development Licence for the expansion project. A last-minute decision to extend the outfall has alarmed environmentalists who believe the move will see an increase in industrial facilities using the domestic system to dispose of their waste off the Great Ocean Road.
Clean Ocean Foundation says the expansion would be an ecological disaster that puts at risk Southern right whales, fairy Penguin colonies, marine life, fishing, recreation, and Great Ocean Road tourism. They’re calling for more responsible onshore treatment options to be considered.
After the EPA grant of a license to Wannon Water to authorise a deep-water ocean outfall off the coastline of Warrnambool, Clean Ocean Foundation has subsequently issued legal proceedings in the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to challenge and overturn the decision.
This will be one of the first challenges brought under the new state environmental legislation, that came into force 1st July 2021. It will seek to overturn the decision approving dumping poor quality waste via ocean outfall based on the risk to the marine environment and recreational users when other more responsible onshore treatment options exist .
Red tides are related to algae blooms and often indicate excessive pollution. The colour also symbolises the danger posed to humanity and our marine environment if we continue to dump waste in our oceans to make a profit.
Your generous donation will help pay the costs incurred mounting this legal challenge.