The state government has allocated $8.4 million to fund Stage 1 of the Sewerage Treatment Plant upgrade for the Freycinet peninsula.
It is planned to be completed by December this year and Stage 2, a pipeline from the Wineglass Bay Trailhead to the treatment plant, is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
The Freycinet Peninsula is one of Tasmania’s premier tourism hotspots and has been in need of a long-term solution to address wastewater and critical infrastructure issues. A Freycinet Peninsula Master Plan released in mid-2019 identified improved wastewater management as a key objective.
Residents of Coles Bay have long been concerned that the existing sewerage infrastructure has not been coping with visitor numbers, leading to odour problems.
“This will address immediate issues over a 1-5 year time-frame,” said Minister for Environment & Parks Roger Jaensch. He indicated that further planning and engineering assessment will be undertaken on the longer term options identified in the TasWater report.
“The Freycinet Peninsula Wastewater Feasibility Study will also be released in full to allow members of the community to get a detailed understanding of the testing undertaken and the range of options available to address Freycinet Peninsula’s wastewater treatment needs into the future.”
TasWater’s General Manager, Corporate and Community Relations Juliet Mercer said the Freycinet area is unique in many areas, especially its natural beauty which has become immensely popular with both locals and tourists alike. “All the development we see around us on the edge of this spectacular and iconic national park has grown out of a traditional Tasmanian shack community,” she said.
“This growth has, over time, presented challenges, particularly with infrastructure and essential water and sewage services.”
The upgrade will address capacity and odour issues at the Parks and Wildlife Service’s (PWS) Wineglass Bay Trailhead Sewage System and resolve performance issues at the existing PWS 3 Lagoons Sewage Treatment Plant.
“This is an important project to protect a Tasmanian icon,” Mercer said.
The Freycinet Peninsula attracts around 300,000 visitors a year.
The water works complement a $7.2 million commitment from the Australian Government towards a new Visitor Gateway, improved parking, an Aboriginal education program, a new Wineglass Bay lookout and a foreshore walkway.