(08) 9419 1855 admin@kic.org.au


KIC is committed to environmental leadership instilling the highest environmental values in all our members, thus becoming the benchmark for others both locally and nationally to emulate. To achieve this vision and ensure its sustainability for the long term, KIC will focus on excellence in environmental performance, build social leadership through community partnerships and demonstrate positive economic benefits through innovative environmental practices.

Why a buffer zone?

Adequately protected buffer zones are a critical enabler of industry, laid down to protect the health and amenity impacts on nearby residential areas, to keep them properly separated. Buffer zones are described and managed under State Planning Policy (SPP) 5.4.

People often ask why heavy industry needs a buffer zone.

The first purpose of a buffer zone is to make sure that the community, such as nearby residents, are located far enough away from the emitting industries so that the health and amenity of those communities is not adversely impacted by the essential activities of industry. 

The second purpose of a buffer zone is to prevent the movement of incompatible land uses encroaching on industry. Encroachment pressure by residential property developers is industry’s biggest strategic issue. It is critically important to industry that an adequate buffer zone is created by the State’s planners and that it is rigorously defended from the advances of residential property developers who would like to place more and more houses closer and closer to industry. 

buffer zone

Industrial process water overview

Industry by its very nature uses large volumes of water in its processes.  Whether this is by using the actual water molecules in the process, through evaporation via cooling towers, or the generation of electricity via steam.  Process water is an essential input in any heavy industrial area, as is waste water disposal. 

In Kwinana, the bulk of industrial process water comes from groundwater supplies, some from recycled waste water, and some from scheme water supplies.  Industry considers the security of its process water supplies as being essential to its continuity.

Groundwater extraction volumes are managed and capped by the Regulator, and no new licences will be issued in the industrial core.  Investigation into innovations associated with water recycling activities within individual and between neighbouring industries have delivered some big improvements over the years, resulting in industry to industry product synergy exchanges being developed.


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But all of this is not going to deliver sufficient new process water supplies for a growing industrial area. With major new projects planned for the area, linked to renewables, batteries, and advanced manufacturing, the Kwinana Industrial Area will need greater supplies of process water. 

No matter how efficient industrial water recycling on a broad scale is done, there will eventually be wastewater to be dealt with.  Thankfully, the days  of wastewater being a cocktail of dangerous chemicals, are long gone.  Today, because of advanced technology, wastewater generally can at worst be described as being too salty, too alkaline or too acidic to be disposed of via the conventional wastewater disposal system.  These days, and with modern technology, all of these characteristics can be treated in one way or another, and it seems this approach to re-use is going to be the solution to this disposal issue. 

Water is becoming too precious to be considered a liability to be disposed of wastefully.  Once adequately treated, waste water becomes an input resource for industry.


Download journal on Water Circular Economy at the Kwinana Industrial Area,Western Australia—the Dimensions and Value of Industrial Symbiosis

the Dimensions and Value of Industrial Symbiosis

Kwinana Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP)

The KWRP has been operating since 2004, and is owned by the Water Corporation. Located in the heart of the heavy industrial area, situated close to its main industrial customers. The plant takes in in secondary treated wastewater from the Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant ocean outfall line, and via reverse osmosis, produces a very high-quality process water supply for nearby industrial uses.

The KWRP is an excellent example of industrial symbiosis, sustainable practices and recycling of waste products, on the premise that a material (wastewater in this case) is not a ‘waste’ until it has no further use. The KWRP produces around 5 billion litres of process water annually, thereby meeting some of industry’s demand on Perth’s ‘drinking water’ and groundwater supplies.


When two individual companies exchange a manufactured product, or waste product, usually on commercial terms, this is known as a synergy exchange.

Industrial symbiosis is where a whole cluster of industries have multiple exchanges – like in the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA). These exchanges grow over time as more companies move into the area.

The synergies help to make the participating companies more internationally competitive and efficient. It’s also good for the environment because one company’s waste becomes the input for another.

The Kwinana Industrial Area is regarded as one of the world’s best practice examples of industrial symbiosis. There are around 150 commercial exchanges operating amongst the industrial companies located within the Western Trade Coast (WTC). 

The diagram below illustrates the scale of symbiosis occurring across the Kwinana Industrial Area, and its importance to the successful and sustainable operations of the State’s premier heavy industrial area. 

The synergies help make the participating companies more internationally competitive. It’s also good for the environment because one company’s waste becomes the input for another.

There are other important synergies across the Kwinana Industrial Area.

The first is the ‘human resource’ synergy. There are more than 40,000 highly skilled and experienced workers employed in the industrial area. Two thirds of these workers live locally, and choose to work here rather than away, and they will move between companies. When a new company builds its plant, it will more than likely attract workers from within the local area. The new company starts up with experienced employees. 

The other  synergy is the ‘secondary industry’. Surrounding our industrial area is a belt of companies that exist to service the nearby major industries. These are the expert fabricators, constructors and equipment maintainers. There is a strategic advantage in having these secondary companies present because aside from being on industry’s doorstep, they deliver top quality local content products and services.

Contact Us

PO Box 649
Kwinana WA 6966

Tel: (08) 9419 1855

Email: admin@kic.org.au

Contact Us

PO Box 649
Kwinana WA 6966

Tel: (08) 9419 1855

Email: admin@kic.org.au

Acknowledgement of Country

Kwinana Industries Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country, the Nyoongar people and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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