6 September 2023

Climate Change Activist Tim Flannery Endorses Innovative Water Treatment Solution

Climate change advocate Professor Tim Flannery has been announced as the Ambassador for RegenAqua, an innovative water treatment solution that uses endemic seaweed and river grass to strip wastewater of environmentally harmful pollutants before they enter the ecosystem. 

Developed by Pacific Biotechnologies Australia (Pacific Bio) in collaboration with James Cook University, RegenAqua will assist to achieve water quality targets and provide greater protection for the Great Barrier Reef.

Prof. Flannery, who was awarded Australian of the Year in 2007 for his work and advocacy on environmental issues, is currently driving the search for leadership on climate change in his documentary Climate Changers, to be released nationally on 17 September.  He said his partnership with RegenAqua will enable him to demonstrate how leadership can affect change, while highlighting the importance of water quality on the reef and across many Pacific Island nations who are in dire need of effective wastewater solutions.

“I’ve had a long association with Pacific Bio, and they really are climate leaders, taking risks to develop technology that is going to be globally significant,” Prof. Flannery said. 

“I’ve seen the innovation and determination that’s gone into the development of RegenAqua, and it is now well placed to start making a difference in treating wastewater in an environmentally sustainable way.

“It’s a simple technology that is not only remarkably efficient at treating wastewater, but creates a powerful biostimulant, PlantJuice, which can be used in place of synthetic fertilisers to support farmers to produce better crops. What is also incredible is that Pacific Bio has undertaken research to show that river grass used in RegenAqua, can also be converted to drop in liquid fuels. Pacific Bio has developed a process that can turn the river grass into biocrude and then further refine it to make high quality Sustainable Aviation Fuel.”

In his role as RegenAqua Ambassador, Prof. Flannery will travel to North Queensland next week to mark the start of construction of a world first wastewater bioremediation treatment facility at the Ayr Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“Burdekin Shire Council have shown true climate change leadership in collaborating with Pacific Bio to trial RegenAqua and make this wastewater treatment a reality,” he said.

“A significant amount of nutrients that are damaging the Great Barrier Reef are coming from poor sewerage plants in regional Queensland. 

“If we can implement this technology in the highest volume sewerage treatment plants along the Queensland coast, this will remove tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorous currently discharged into the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

“It is a problem we now have a solution for, and it’s something we can do pretty quickly, so we’re calling for leaders in this space to get on board and play a role in protecting the reef and addressing climate change.”



Julie Johnston 0415 908 896