Council proceeds with sewage treatment plant option for Stuarts Points

Media release - 14 February 2019

Kempsey Shire Council has begun design and investigation work on a proposal to construct a new sewage treatment plant near Stuarts Point that will deliver significant community benefits.

Late last year, Council resolved to pursue the option of a sewage treatment plant near Stuarts Point, rather than an original proposal to pipe transfer effluent to the South West Rocks sewage treatment plant.

Council has been granted $6.63 million in funding to help construct the Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme under the NSW Government’s Regional Water and Waste Water Backlog Program and is working to revise the project scope.

Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said investigations into a sustainable sewerage scheme for the Stuarts Point area had been ongoing for several years.

“Council is committed to delivering a modern wastewater management system to the villages of Stuarts Point, Grassy Head and Fishermans Reach that currently rely on onsite septic systems to treat and dispose of effluent,” Mr Fish said.

“We engaged a consultant to assess a range of options for the transfer, treatment and disposal of sewage in Stuarts Point, considering the environmental, financial, operational, community and cultural impacts.

“The treatment plant proposal was the preferred option due to the overall scheme cost, environmental and social benefits, and mitigation of impacts on Aboriginal culture and heritage.”

Council has identified vacant land north of the existing waste transfer station on Fishermans Reach Road as a potential site for the sewage treatment plant.

Under the proposal, a new trunk sewer main will run between Fishermans Reach and Grassy Head to transfer sewage to the new sewage treatment plant.

Council will work closely with the Environmental Protection Authority to assess options for methods for disposing of the treated effluent, including dunal discharge similar to that used at South West Rocks.

Council estimates that properties could be connected to the sewerage scheme by mid to late 2023. Once the scheme is operational, onsite sewage systems will become redundant.

Under the funding model for the scheme, Council has resolved to keep fees and charges for the 2019-20 financial year set at septic inspection fees rather than charging residents an increased sewer connection fee.

Community members are invited to drop in to Stuarts Point Community Hall on Thursday, 28 February, anytime between 12:30pm to 7:00pm, to ask questions about the project.

Further information is available on Council’s website at, including frequently asked questions, which will be updated during the project.