Desalination Plant in Port Kennedy



As a long time resident of Golden Bay, a one hours drive south of Perth Western Australia I have watched these once secluded pristine beaches gradually become more & more developed to the extent that “Surf Beach” at Secret Harbour is now the Perth metropolitan area’s second most crowded surf spot after Trigg Point with sometimes close to a thousand surfers using the beach on any hot summers day.

In the old days 10 or so years ago we would drive our 4wd’s along the deserted “surf beach”, pull up at an empty peak & surf perfect waves all day long. When the Secret Harbour developers came along we surfers watched them bulldoze the huge 60 – 70 ft sand dunes right down to the water to provide a nice view for the future residents & for the car parks & surf club. We didnt know it at the time but by flattening the dunes they also destroyed the natural sand flow, hence ruining the waves for many years to come.

Now the Water Corporation of WA proposes to build a desalination plant at Port Kennedy & run intake & outlet pipes either at Secret Harbour( surf beach) or at Golden Bay. The obvious question that must be asked is why would you ruin these pristine beaches & upset their delicate ecosystem of seagrass, fish, penguins dolphins & sharks, by putting in an environmentally destructive desalination plant when there are already areas of coastal land which have been totally ruined up in the Rockingham/Kwinana industrial strip that you could use instead?

To voice your official protest , contact Toni Cowell – Project Environmental Officer via email at: or phone her on 08 9420 3253.

To email more WA government ministers go here:

For more information email:
or go to:


4 responses »

  1. Yes , For more information contact : Jo Williams – Water Corporation Western Australia Phone 08 9420 3391. To request a copy of the scoping document, email

    Here is the web site for the 2nd Desalination proposal:

    Reasons given for this option & location by the Water Corp are:

    1 – No space in Kwinana Industrial Area.
    2 – Port Kennedy/ site preferred because it is closer to the ocean.
    3 – Closer to the dams at Serpentine, North Dandalup, South Dandalup & Wungong.
    4 – A last resort if the South West Yarragadee Aquifer Water Source project does not go ahead.

    The report is open to public comment until the 15th of March 2006. Comments on the document should be sent to
    Toni Cowell – Project Environmental Officer via email at:
    by telephone on 9420 3253
    or in writing to PO Box 100 Leederville WA 6902.

    After all the comments are received the Water Corp will assess them and use them to prepare their Environmental Effects Document, which they will give to the EPA. A Public Environmental Review PER document will be available for public comment for eight weeks around July 2006.

  2. I am a journalist, writing for a newspaper on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

    In the past week we have learned that our State Governmnet is proposing a desalination plant in our area – adjacent to our local airport, and slap bang in the middle of a residential area.

    Its location will be such that inflow and outflow pipes (from the ocean) will cut across a major traffic thoroughfare, and through a high population growth area.

    Yet our Government insists that all we’ll notice is a “large industrial shed” ….

    From your experience, and knowledge – what else can you tell me about these things?

    The impact of pipes into the ocean surely must impact on beach fronts?


    Environmental cost of producing the power to supply the desal plant?

    greenhouse gasses?

    The view here is that firstly the Sunshine Coast is never short of water, and never will be such is the infrastructure installed by previous councils .. in fact the Government is so convinced that we have a plentiful supply that it intends to tap into our water storage, to bolster water supplies for Brisbane, ( which hasn’t been so wise about planning for its future water needs)

    But the other argument is – why the need to place one of these things so close to high growth residential areas in the middle of a tourist destination — along side the airport our tourists pass through to get here! ( a great visual impact for arriving visitors, I’m sure?)

    do you have any pictures of the desalination plant over there that I could use, in my stories to typify how a desalination plant would look?

    This issue has so impacted on the community and I need find other “angles’ to this story to keep the issue infront of our readers.

    I’d appreciate your help here? – anyone have any ideas?

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