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Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Projects

Welcome to the project webpage for the proposed Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Projects on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean Territories. The information contained within the webpage is derived from the Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Projects Parliamentary Standing Committee for Public Works Statement of Evidence. For information on this document, refer to the PWC Process.

The project will deliver a new 200kL/day Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands West Island community water supply. This plant will replace the use of freshwater lenses located under the operating airfield. It will also upgrade the capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plant by 30kL/day to 80kL/day. These important projects will provide water security for the community, and support future economic development of the island. The assets are planned to be operational in early 2024.

Proposed works

The scope of works includes:

  • Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant
    Install a new 200kL/day Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant on Part Lot 100
    Sydney Highway, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, West Island, adjacent to the existing Wastewater Treatment Plant. This plant will replace the reliance on freshwater lenses located under the operating airfield.
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
    The capacity of the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Part Lot 100 Sydney Highway, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, West Island will be increased from 50kL/day to 80kL/day. This capacity increase will allow for economic development of the island, as well as meet the wastewater needs of the airfield upgrade construction workforce.

Public Works Committee process

The PWC’s Manual of Procedures for Department and Agencies identifies eight steps in the PWC Process:

  • Identification of the need to refer a proposed public work to the PWC;
  • The preparation of a submission to the PWC (the Statement of Evidence);
  • The referral of a proposed project to the PWC;
  • Pre-public hearing activities;
  • Site inspection;
  • Public hearing and follow-up;
  • The tabling of the PWC’s report in the House of Representatives and the Senate: and
  • Parliamentary approval by the House of Representatives for work to commence.

In practice, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications groups these steps into four distinct phases: referral, hearing, expediency and reporting.

  • The Project was referred in Parliament on 17 February 2022.
  • The Hearing will be held on 23 March 2022 at Parliament House, Canberra.
  • The expediency date for the Project will be advertised in this space in the future.
  • PWC report outcomes will be published in this space in the future.

Community consultation

This information outlines the proposed Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Projects on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, West Island. These proposed works are subject to Parliamentary approval.

Key stakeholders and residents on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands will be informed of the project through articles in The Atoll, as well as a fact sheet and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The Project Team will have direct consultation with key on-island stakeholders regarding the projects.

Contacts and further information

Please email any questions or queries to the Project Team at IOTSDA@infrastructure.gov.au