Mar 3, 2007

Federal Labor – $115m towards construction of goldfields superpipe project

FEDERAL LABOR – $115 MILLION TOWARDS CONSTRUCTION OF GOLDFIELDS SUPERPIPE PROJECT – SECURING WATER FOR BENDIGO AND BALLARAT

JOINT STATEMENT

KEVIN RUDD MP – FEDERAL LABOR LEADER

ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND WATER

3 March 2007

Federal Labor will commit $115 million towards the construction of the Goldfields Superpipe Project to provide Bendigo and Ballarat with a reliable and secure water supply.

Without the Goldfields Superpipe, both Bendigo and Ballarat will dry up and run out of water, if the low flows of recent years and the protracted drought continue.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $278 million.

Investing in the nation’s water infrastructure is part of our nation-building traditions – always looking forward, fixing problems and putting the money where it is needed.

This is an example of working in partnership and putting aside State and Federal differences.

This is also about Federal Labor working with the Victorian State Government.

Federal Labor made the announcement at the Victorian ALP State conference in Melbourne today.

Bendigo

Last year Bendigo experienced its 8th year of below average rainfall and families have been the subject of restrictions since October 2002.

The pipeline will provide up to 20,000 ML a year.

This is about providing security and certainty for Bendigo families and businesses.

Ballarat

Last winter, inflows to Ballarat’s reservoirs were only at about 300 ML compared to normal inflows in this period of 14,800 ML. Unless Ballarat connects to the Goulburn-Murray system, it is likely to run of water if the current low inflows continue.

The Superpipe will provide 10,000 ML initially for Ballarat, and potentially increasing up to 18,000 ML.

Federal Labor questioned the slowness to react by the Federal Government to the water crisis in Australia. It is extraordinary that since the $2 billion Australian Water Fund was set up in 2004, more than half of the funds remain unallocated.

Federal Labor has set a 30 per cent waste water recycling target by 2015.

A Rudd Labor Government will support practical, nation building projects to help deal with Australia’s water crisis in our major coastal cities where 17 million Australians live.

Climate change demands national leadership to develop comprehensive plans to safeguard our most precious resource – water.

A Rudd Labor Government will address the failure of the Commonwealth to engage in urban infrastructure programs through the creation of Labor’s “Major Cities” program, which will support practical initiatives in our major cities.