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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

15 May 2001


Kwinana's BP oil refinery is using Federal Government funding to begin a new venture to reduce pollution in Cockburn Sound.

"Funding of $20,000 will be used to recycle over half a million litres of groundwater removed from the earth to cool refinery pumps," Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said.

By recycling water used in the refinery process, BP will help to improve groundwater quality and prevent the used groundwater from flowing to and contaminating Cockburn Sound.

"The reliance of BP and other industries in the region on groundwater places enormous pressure on one of Australia's most precious and limited resources," Senator Hill said.

"Excess fresh groundwater use causes marine water from Cockburn Sound to shift, moving into and mixing with fresh groundwater, rendering it useless.

"This project will also ease pressure on limited supplies of drinking water."

Kwinana, located 40 kilometres south of Perth, is home to Western Australia's only oil refinery, which supplies most of the State's fuel needs and employs about 400 people.

"By 2002, a water alliance including the WA Water Corporation and BP, plans to build a $20 million water recycling plant, where up to one fifth of treated effluent from the local Woodman Point-Cape Perron pipeline will be further treated for use in the refinery and by other local industries," Senator Hill said.

Funding will come through the Commonwealth Government's Cleaning our Waterways Industry Partnership Program which encourages industry to control its waste products, providing dividends for the company, the environment and the local community.

15 May 2001

Media contact:,br> Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's Office): (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia