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Frankston City Mayor, Kris Bolam, and City of Kingston Mayor, Steve Saikos, are working on water recycling pipeline proposals for their respective councils, to build drought resilience in the face of climate change.

Mr Bolam said, “By using recycled water, Council is reducing demand on Victoria’s drinking water supplies and contributing to the sustainable use of water. 

“With average rainfall expected to decrease across Victoria as a result of climate change, saving water is essential to building community resilience.”

Mr Bolam said that when recycled water is used for irrigating sports reserves, it helps to drought-proof the site, particularly during times of water shortages as recycled water is not subject to water restrictions. 

This ensures ongoing access to an important asset for community health and wellbeing.

Mr Bolam said, “To ensure ongoing access to recreational opportunities and so that green spaces can be enjoyed all year round, Frankston City Council has a long history of using recycled water for the irrigation of a number of the City’s recreation reserves.”

Mr Staikos said valuable drinking water supplies are becoming increasingly scarce, and expensive so it is imperative to find new and sustainable ways of sourcing water for local food producers, garden industry and parklands.

“More efficient water use and alternative water sources are needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the local food production industry, not only in Kingston but also in the entire South East region,” Mr Staikos said. 

“Both the City of Kingston and Frankston City are working on innovative water recycling projects with South East Water that would provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions to our water issues, but we need State and Federal Government support to make these proposals a reality.”

Mr Bolam said Frankston City Council has been working with South East Water to progress three water recycling pipeline proposals – The Monterey, Frankston and Robinsons Road – Stage 2 to Lawton Reserve (depending on the Tyabb and Somerville Recycled Water Scheme).

“The new pipelines will provide recycled water to key reserves and green spaces – saving millions of litres of valuable drinking water while providing a cost-effective water source for the area’s reserves, sporting grounds, golf courses and parklands,” Mr Bolam said. 

“We are also arranging meetings with the Victorian Government to progress our recycled water pipeline proposals, supported by South East Water and the Greater South East Melbourne Councils alliance.”

Mr Staikos said, “Here in Kingston, we have been working to progress two water recycling pipeline proposals – the Dingley, Sandringham and Cheltenham Recycled Water Scheme that would deliver recycled water to some of the state’s most high-profile golf courses, sporting fields and green wedge open spaces; and the Patterson River Recycled Water Scheme, a smaller but no less critical project for our community.

“Water recycling represents a key opportunity for Kingston and Frankston to work together to advocate for state and federal support for critical water recycling projects that will safeguard our valuable drinking water supplies for future generations.”

Mr Bolam said in 2020-21, a significant proportion of Frankston City Council’s water use came from recycled water (51 per cent or 163 million litres).

“This recycled water is supplied from Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant in Bangholme where highly treated wastewater can be accessed for a range of non-drinking uses,” Mr Bolam said.

“Using recycled wastewater helps to reduce the amount of treated wastewater going out to sea.

“Council’s target to increase the use of alternative, sustainable water sources to 60 per cent by 2026 relies on the Victorian Government investing in recycled water infrastructure. 

“Council has been working in partnership with South East Water to explore the possibility of connecting recycled water to additional highly valued community-use sites throughout Frankston City.”

The Mayors said they are looking forward to both Councils working together to advocate on issues and projects of regional importance.

“We are close neighbours who share many similarities, not least our enviable Bayside location, as such there are many opportunities and common concerns that our two communities share,” Mr Staikos said.

“It makes sense for us to work together on important regional projects and issues that our communities care about, to ensure we can get the best outcomes for both Kingston and Frankston.”

Mr Bolam said, “Water is a vital resource and we look forward to working closely with Kingston Council to advocate for projects that both highlight and enhance the use of this most precious commodity.

“Our community has asked us to prioritise providing sporting facilities in all local areas for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy good health and wellbeing – recycled water provides us with a wonderful opportunity to achieve this goal.”

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