More community feedback sought on Living Ballarat stormwater project

THE consultation process for the $1 million Living Ballarat project has already attracted some feedback, however the control board for the project is hoping for more ideas from the community as the process continues. 

Dr Mark Harris. File image

Dr Mark Harris. File image

Living Ballarat control board chairman Dr Mark Harris said it would be interesting to see how much of the feedback came from the general public, not just from industry groups. 

“Hopefully during the consultation we get that sort of input,” he said. 

“I am sure there are, even in the agricultural sector, other people who have other ideas that we don’t have yet.” 

The project looks at how to use and retain stormwater effectively in an urban environment and is one of the Victorian government’s flagship water-cycle management projects, however it has previously been criticised for the time taken to get to the draft  stage.

Dr Harris said it was unlikely the collected stormwater and recycled water would be used as drinking water in Ballarat due to the high cost of converting it to the required standards. 

“If you have got stormwater you want to convert to drinking water, it is a fair process and it is relatively expensive,” he said. 

“If you are using stormwater for the water we use for other purposes, it requires virtually nothing.”

The consultation draft for the project was unveiled earlier this month. It aims to retain nine billion litres of urban run-off water. 

Dr Harris said he expected many people across a variety of industries would present ideas they had not expressed previously. 

The project is seen as being important for the development of the Ballarat West Employment Zone and will set up how Ballarat manages water into the future. 

“From time to time, you just need to take stock and look at how things are done because things do change,” Dr Harris said. 

The draft is available on the Living Ballarat website.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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