Ethical Decision Making Constructing the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant

Topics: Ethics, Water supply, Drinking water Pages: 10 (3986 words) Published: March 25, 2012
Ethical decision making constructing the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant Executive Summary

Water Forever is a media group writing for a business journal. The group has an interest in how desalination directly benefits the various stakeholders. The Victorian desalination plant (WDP) located in South Victoria off the coast line of Wonthaggi located has received much criticism. Many controversial and ethical issues have been expressed by various stakeholders. Despite these concerns, a decision has been made to go ahead with the multibillion dollar project and build Australia’s largest desalination plant. The Victorian government’s target was to deliver drinking water that is amongst the best in Australia and to ensure that Victorians no longer have to rely on existing dwindling water catchments. Without solely relying on rain, the WDP will secure Victoria’s water supply for years to come, allowing businesses, general public and agriculture to no longer feel apprehension about population growth and climate change. Tanya (2009) contends that drier conditions in Australia have compelled the government to address the area of water shortages. Alternatives to desalination have been looked into, however they have been deemed to be non-sustainable. Thus, the decision to go ahead with the WDP was made. The Victorian government sought advice from researchers and scientists on the environmental, economic and social impacts. The Environment Effects Statements (EES) outlines the conclusive studies and the effects the WDP will have. Some of the studies include geotechnical and marine based investigations, social impact, cultural heritage and the effect on flora and fauna (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2011). The ‘green light’ was given after studies found no convincing objectives as to why the WDP should not go ahead. In making the decision of implementing and constructing a Desalination plant the state government examined the potential benefits it would create for the many stakeholders. Some of the benefits include an increase in employment, a boost in local economy, road upgrades, local broadband, support for local charities and community groups and a pipeline connecting water to drought stricken areas as well as the continual quality and security of a drinking water supply to Victorians now and in the future. The Victorian Government can be shown as upholding a stakeholder theory attitude as it attempts to meet the demands of the stakeholders and establish an improved society while strengthening the state’s economy. Many environmentalists, lobbyists and general public have scrutinised the government on the ethics of desalination, this presentation highlights ethical approaches members of the Private Public Partnership (PPP) have utilised in their decision to construct the Wonthaggi desalination plant. The approaches that are emphasized throughout this presentation in view of Corporate Social Responsibility and stakeholders are the Kantian theory, Virtue Ethics and the stakeholder theory.


After critical analysis of the controversial issues related to the Victorian desalination plant (WDP), a decision was made to go ahead with the multibillion dollar project. Although there are many negatives that come with building such a plant, it is inevitable. The WDP will secure Victoria’s water supply for years to come. The demand arose for the Victorian government to target this large problem and ensure that Victorians have a bright future ahead. Since AquaSure, along with Thiess Degrémont won the contract to build and construct the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant at the end of July 2009 they have tried to act ethically and morally and validate to stakeholders that as an organisation they will act in harmoniously and socially responsibly with others stakeholders. How is desalination the solution? The revolution of Desalination Plant

Australians are among the one-third of the world's population that the...
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