TOPICS to be discussed at a lunchtime forum on Friday (19 February) include ideas and strategies to help businesses on the Mornington Peninsula.
Water – its source, distribution, and cost – is high on the agenda.
Nepean MP Martin Dixon listed the key topics as:
- Creating a year-round, economically self-sufficient tourism industry;
- Accessing a sustainable and cost effective water supply;
- Developing jobs, employment and training for local industry;
- Assessing growth opportunities for agri-business and/or agri-tourism, and
- Assessing the costs and limitations of doing business locally.
Business and community leaders are expected to attend the informal session at the Nepean Country Club, Boneo.
Water supply on the peninsula – on the plains and in the hinterland – will be a focal point. Mr Dixon plans to outline a long term water infrastructure concept being discussed with the Minister for Water’s office.
“The aim is to establish bipartisan community agreement on a broad plan to end the dumping of Class A treated water at Boags Rocks and get that much needed water, at an affordable price, into the hinterland of Red Hill, Red Hill South, Shoreham and Main Ridge – wherever it is needed,” he said.
“Farmers up there could drastically increase production with a reliable, cost effective water supply, and this would have the knock-on benefit of restoring environmental flows into our hinterland creeks and could do much to assist the issues currently being endured down at Balnarring Beach.”
Mr Dixon said feedback would be used to develop long term policy objectives for the peninsula.
Melbourne Water last week could not confirm the amount of water being discharged at Boags Rocks, near Gunnamatta.
“Initial discussions seem to indicate it is a significant amount and, yes, it is Class A designed for agricultural use,” Mr Dixon’s office said. “It is actually drinkable, although Melbourne Water recommend not to.”
South East Water says it provides around 2200 million litres of recycled water annually to businesses and non-residential customers across the Mornington Peninsula: from Frankston to Boneo and across to Somers and Merricks.
Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant treats around 40 per cent of metropolitan Melbourne’s sewage – around 350 million litres a day.
The discharge at Boags Rocks, near Gunnamatta – whatever its amount – is expected to meet EPA Victoria licence conditions.
Around 6000 million litres of recycled water from the Eastern Treatment Plant is used for agriculture, golf courses, public open space watering, commercial laundering, and residential dual-pipe applications, such as garden watering, washing machines and toilet flushing, much of it on the peninsula.
The lunchtime forum is at Nepean Country Club Browns Rd, Boneo. Details: 5986 6661.