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North East Water’s large capital program investment

28 May 2024

North East Water is continuing to invest in the region with $95 million in new and upgraded infrastructure scheduled for 2024-25.

This includes the start of upgrade works at the Wodonga wastewater treatment plant along with major sewer system upgrades in Wangaratta.

General Manager Planning & Infrastructure, Guy Wilson-Browne highlighted the critical role North East Water plays as a public utility providing essential water and wastewater treatment services to 118,000 people across a 20,000 square kilometre region.

“North East Water is proactively addressing the critical water and wastewater security needs of the region while at the same time balancing the competing needs of its 39 towns through sensible planning and prioritisation”, Mr Wilson-Browne said.

“We’re also responding to a growing region with the development of fifteen individual Township Master Plans and are committed to strategically planning, prioritising, and phasing our investments across short, medium, and long-term timelines to benefit all our customers."

In Wodonga $45 million will go towards to progressing the $79.3 million upgrade of the Wodonga wastewater treatment plant which will cater for growth to 2045 and significantly reduce energy costs and emissions. Other significant investments include continued works on new water and wastewater infrastructure to service the Baranduda-Leneva growth corridor, along with a $6 million upgrade to the Wodonga water treatment plant. A flood protection levy will also be constructed at the Wodonga raw water offtake, while initial planning for a major upgrade of the Wodonga wastewater pipe network is underway.

In Wangaratta, $11.6 million has been allocated in 2024-25 to continue vital infrastructure works in the north-west and southern growth corridors including the construction of sewage pump stations, gravity sewers, rising mains and detention tanks which will allow for future development.

Other highlights of the 2024-25 program include dam safety improvements in Beechworth, the raw water offtake in Mount Beauty, water supply upgrades in Devenish and Goorambat, and planning for new wastewater treatment plants in Bright and Beechworth.

Mr Wilson-Browne said, “North East Water is continually reviewing its priorities to ensure we’re investing in infrastructure that responds to the critical water and wastewater security needs of our communities, including our health and environmental compliance obligations.

“For instance, in Kiewa-Tangambalanga we decided to defer stage 2 of our development plans after identifying other projects in our region that are more critical at this time. We are however allocating funds next financial year that will investigate the improvement of water pressure for some customers.

“In all, North East Water was investing over $300 million in essential new and upgraded water and wastewater infrastructure during its current 8-year price period (2018-2026), marking a substantial increase from the projected $141 million estimated when prices were set.”

He also noted, "We are preparing to engage with our communities in the lead-up to our next price submission.”

"This engagement will be pivotal in determining the prices customers pay for water and sewerage services, as well as guiding infrastructure and operational investments over the next five-year pricing period."