Feb 19, 2007

Federal Labor will commit $49 million to Harvey Water Piping Project in WA

Federal Labor will commit $49 million to Harvey Water Piping Project in WA

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE – Kevin Rudd

Leader of the Australian Labor Party

Anthony Albanese

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Water

19 February 2007

A Rudd Labor Government will commit $49 million to support the Harvey Water Piping Project – to help irrigators in important WA farming areas, south of Perth.

The Harvey Water Piping Project will allow irrigators in important farming areas south of Perth to minimise seepage and evaporation and reduce water use by 30 per cent.

For almost three years the Howard Government has promised something for the hundreds of irrigators in this area, and Labor will deliver a practical project.

Up to 40 giga-litres (40 billion litres) will be saved in the Harvey Water piping project, making significant extra water available for Perth’s drinking supply.

The Project will deliver at a broad scale level a fully enclosed, constantly pressurised irrigation system.

The $49 million Harvey Water piping project follows an earlier announcement that a Rudd Labor government will commit more than $30 million to boost Perth’s future water supply through the funding of the $15.75 million Gnangara Mound aquifer recharge project and $15 million for State water management plans.

This brings to almost $80 million in Australian Water Fund projects in WA announced this week by Federal Labor.

Federal Labor will work in partnership with the Western Australian government to ensure the Harvey Water Piping Project is completed as soon as possible.

The Federal Government has been dragging its feet on the Harvey Water Piping project. It has been re-announcing the project since September 2004 – almost three years ago – and little real action has occurred.

The Project includes opportunities to facilitate water trade at the local level, inter-regional trade to metropolitan areas, increased supply of water to industry, increased environmental allocations, improved management of groundwater and on farm water efficiency

WA Water Resources Minister John Kobelke has said that it has been almost a year since the WA Government signed the National Water Initiative, but they have not received a single cheque.

The WA government has done a lot of work on water resources and securing its future water supply, but it needs financial support rather than just words from the Federal Government.

Federal Labor will work in partnership with the State Governments to end the blame game and get things done.

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.

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

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, including Perth.