Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced the $9 million upgrade of the Junee Sewage Treatment Plant is about to begin.

“This long-awaited project for the Junee community will allow for the continued growth of the town, which includes the expansion of the prison,” Ms Cooke said.

“A potential start date of October 15 has been nominated and I’m so excited to be able to make this announcement.

“The existing sewage treatment plant is nearing capacity and some of infrastructure has been operating since the 1930s.

“With a design life of 30 years and treatment processes which meet stringent environmental standards, the new plant is going to serve the growing Junee community well into the future.”

The NSW Government awarded up to $5 million to Junee Shire Council under the Restart NSW Safe and Secure Water program. The project will construct a new waste-activated sludge reactor to replace the 1930s-era trickling filter and 1970s sludge system, both of which will be decommissioned.

Ms Cooke said the Junee Sewage Treatment Plant was one of the first projects awarded funding under the $1 billion Safe and Secure Water program, established under the Restart NSW Fund to upgrade water supply and waste water infrastructure in regional communities.

“The government understands the vital role water security and reliable waste water services play in regional prosperity and long-term growth,” Ms Cooke said.

“This upgrade is crucial to the expansion of the Junee Correctional Centre and other industries which will provide job opportunities and boost local businesses.

“Not only are we helping to provide reliable water infrastructure for local communities, we are investing in regional growth opportunities for the future.”

Junee Shire Council General Manager James Davis said the existing sewage treatment plant would continue to service the town during construction. He added that treatment processes would produce improved wastewater for reuse.

“Treated wastewater will continue to be reused for the irrigation of sporting fields and the Junee Golf Club, but the quality of that wastewater will be much better,” he said.

“Work is expected to be complete in late 2019.”