Feb 19, 2007

Federal Labor commits $160 million for desalination plant in Upper Spencer Gulf

Federal Labor commits $160 million for desalination plant in Upper Spencer Gulf, South Australia

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

KEVIN RUDD MP – FEDERAL LABOR LEADER

ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND WATER

19 February 2007

Federal Labor will commit $160 million from the Australian Water Fund to support the South Australian Government’s proposed desalination plant in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

The desalination plant is an important part of BHP Billiton’s plans to service the needs of the Olympic Dam mine, and can be expanded to supply fresh water to the Upper Spencer Gulf towns and the Eyre Peninsula.

The desalination plant will mean 30 megalitres of water a day currently drawn from the River Murray will be replaced with desalinated water. This project achieves the dual objectives of taking pressure off the Murray, whilst providing additional water resources for users, including residential users around the Spencer Gulf.

Labor’s commitment today matches the commitment already made by the South Australian Government.

The South Australian Government has stated that a financial commitment from the Commonwealth is needed to ensure that extra capacity can be created to supply to the region.

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

It is extraordinary that more than half of the $2 billion Australian Water Fund remains unallocated even though it was created in 2004.

Australia’s national water crisis needs national leadership which a Rudd Labor Government is committed to providing.