The New South Wales Government and the Kempsey Shire Council are contributing a combined $7.814 million to a jointly funded wastewater and treatment plant in Kempsey.

The next phase of work will deliver designs for an upgraded and centralised sewage treatment plant to replace the three existing plants at West Kempsey, South Kempsey and Frederickton which are no longer fit for purpose.

$1,953,500 from the New South Wales Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program has now been confirmed to bring the project one step closer to being tender ready, with the remaining $5,860,500 coming from Kempsey Shire Council.

The proposed new Central Kempsey Wastewater Treatment Plant is expected to be able to meet the needs of the region’s future population and keep up with stringent national effluent quality requirements.

The New South Wales Government said the new plant will offer a modern and sustainable approach to wastewater management in Kempsey and will improve environmental impacts on the Macleay River and surrounding communities.

The New South Wales Government is also funding more than $3 million worth of projects across other parts of the North Coast in the hopes that it will help boost drought resilience and future-proof critical water and sewerage services, including:

  • $2.31 million towards the newly completed $2.62 million Nambucca Drought Response project which has delivered an upgrade to Nambucca Shire Council’s treatment plant with a high-tech disinfection system to secure the region’s safe water supply
  • $392,000 towards the completed $811,000 concept designs and pre-tender works for the Evans Head Sewage Treatment Plant Augmentation as part of Richmond Valley Shire Council’s long-term plans to double the plant’s capacity to cater for population growth
  • $230,000 to drill two new bores in Bonalbo with one already commissioned to supplement the town’s existing water supply during drought. The funding also installed two new bores in Tabulam, ready to be commissioned if and when they’re needed
  • $115,000 to deliver detailed designs of the proposed Dorrigo Water Treatment Plant upgrade, with the other funding half coming from Bellingen Shire Council
  • $62,500 to bring the replacement Grafton North Sewage Treatment Plant to tender-ready phase, with Clarence Valley Council funding the remaining $187,500

New South Wales Minister for Water and New South Wales Minister for the North Coast, Rose Jackson, said Kempsey is a growing community that continues to attract thousands of visitors every year, which is why the New South Wales Government is ensuring the town is better equipped with 21st century infrastructure to unlock economic opportunities moving forward.

“The proposed new Central Kempsey Wastewater Treatment Plant will produce much higher quality effluent that will be maintained to the top industry standard, which is crucial in an environmentally sensitive region like the Mid-North Coast.

Kempsey Shire Council Mayor, Leo Hauville, said, “The three existing wastewater treatment plants have serviced the Kempsey area for many years. Over the coming years they will be replaced with modern and more efficient equipment.

“Slimming down from three plants to one will provide better service to the community. It’s great news that our incredibly dedicated Water and Sewer staff will have the necessary modern facilities with sewage management for the Kempsey area at the one location.

“Planning work is already underway to ensure we are ticking all the right boxes and getting the details right from the outset. We’ll continue to keep locals informed every step of the way.”

Featured image: Pumping systems and equipment at wastewater treatment plant. Image credit: New South Wales Government.

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