Pollutant spill into the Werribee River

A concerning liquid pollutant spill into the Werribee River near the Maltby Bypass, Werribee, took place on Tuesday 19 March, with the source likely to be from or above the Concorde Ave industrial estate in Werribee.

This reach of the river is a known habitat of the isolated Werribee population of platypus, the southernmost population in Melbourne. Spills of that nature kill off invertebrates or bugs, which platypus feed on in order to survive.

Consequently, Werribee River Association (WRA) are very concerned, and after a visit on-site today, the Werribee Riverkeeper John Forrester was quoted,

‘Our latest reports tell the story of how important that reach of the river is for platypus, and the crucial role that part plays in recruitment of young platypus for the lower Werribee River, all the way up to Tarneit.’

The EPA responded promptly and conducted an assessment of the spill, with details yet to be confirmed.

The spill affected the area downstream of the Maltby Bypass, where Melbourne Water has cleaned up and installed a hydrocarbon boom to catch any further spillage.

The spill falls under the jurisdiction of the EPA, which will conduct an investigation into determining the party or parties responsible for the incident.

WRA has inspected the now cleaned up site, and is cooperating with these agencies in order to avoid future mishaps of this nature.

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