The Andrews Labor Government is protecting one of Victoria’s favourite attractions, ensuring some of Werribee Open Range Zoo’s largest residents will have a secure and sustainable water source into the future.
The Labor Government has contributed $2 million towards the construction of a 2.7km pipeline connecting Werribee Recycled Water Plant to the Werribee Open Range Zoo.
The pipeline will initially provide the zoo with a reliable supply of 150 million litres per year of recycled water that will expand to 400 million litres as the zoo grows. Construction is set to begin in July and completed later this year.
The water will be used for a purpose-built 21-hectare elephant habitat, that will house Melbourne Zoo’s growing elephant herd when it moves to Werribee Open Range Zoo in 2024. It will also provide water to the hippopotamus pool and replace the current Werribee River water supply for irrigation.
This project will replace water extractions from the Werribee River with recycled water, so the zoo can continue to grow without impacting nearby farming.
This $8.6 million pipeline is the first stage of the Werribee Recycled Water Expansion scheme, which aims to increase the supply of recycled water in the Werribee area by an additional 1100 megalitres per year.
The project also supports the Labor Government’s $84 million commitment to transform Werribee Open Range Zoo, which is expected to contribute over $17.8 million annually to Victoria’s economy, increase visitation to the zoo and create 350 local jobs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We’re increasing the use of recycled water across Victoria and this project shows exactly how we’re increasing tourism opportunities and economic growth without impacting our future water supply.”
“This project brings significant benefits the growing Werribee catchment area, protecting the natural waterways and providing more water security for farming irrigation.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This investment makes sure the Werribee Open Range Zoo and its animals can continue to thrive as we face a changing climate without impacting the local rivers and the environment.”