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Melbourne Water employee and two people with binoculars

Birdwatching set to re-open at the Western Treatment Plant

We’re excited to announce that the Western Treatment Plant will re-open to existing birdwatchers on Thursday 10 December 2020, following the easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions announced in November.

At this stage, only existing birdwatching permit holders will be allowed on site.
Unfortunately no new birdwatching permits are currently being issued, due to limited staff on site to process applications and respond in an emergency. We are working towards re-opening applications for new permits by March 2021, and thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.

If your permit expiry date is between March 2020 and March 2021, you are welcome to continue using your birdwatching key to access the site. We will process your permit renewal from March 2021, at which time we will add a six-month extension to your new permit as a courtesy because the site was closed for most of 2020.

If your permit is current, we will add a six-month extension to your new permit once it comes up for renewal.

Current permit conditions remain unchanged:

COVIDSafe requirements

Upon entry to the site, birdwatchers are expected to abide by current Victorian coronavirus (COVID-19) government restrictions and COVID-safe requirements: 

  • The site is only open to existing birdwatching permit holders. All signage and COVID-safe requirements must be followed.
  • All birdwatchers are expected to individually sign in when entering the site by scanning a QR code. Signage explaining this process will be positioned at each entry to the site. Birdwatchers are not required to register their visit through our Customer Service Centre.
  • There is no access past Gate 8 and the Austin Road birdhide – see updated Western Treatment Plant Birdwatching Access map (PDF, 233KB).
  • Maintain physical distancing: keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Do not congregate in large groups.
  • Wear a mask in birdhides and toilets, and adhere to the maximum number of people allowed.
  • Supply and use your own hand washing products. Sanitiser, soap, water and hand towels are not provided.
  • Sanitise touch points before and after use.
  • Take all rubbish home with you.

Stay informed

To receive the latest news about birdwatching at the site, please follow the Western Treatment Plant YourSay page. Please note we are only communicating directly to existing birdwatchers through updates to the page.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact Melbourne Water:

 [email protected]

 131 722