Feb 22, 2007

Labor sets the agenda on practical water measures

Labor sets the agenda on practical water measures

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

22 February 2007

Malcolm Turnbull’s media event today was to announce a water recycling project in Perth that Labor had already announced.

Labor welcomes the belated acceptance today by the Minister for Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, that practical urban water recycling projects in Perth deserve Commonwealth support.

On Monday this week, Labor committed more than $30 million to boost Perth’s future water supply through the funding of the Gnangara Mound aquifer recharge project and the State water management plans.

Federal Labor’s commitment comprised $15.75 million towards Gnangara Mound and $15 million for the State water management plans.

Today, Malcolm Turnbull promised the same thing.

The Howard Government has been dragging its feet on the Gnangara Mound project, and if it wasn’t for Labor’s announcement on Monday, it appears as though action from Canberra would have been delayed indefinitely for this practical recycling project.

It has been a year since the WA Government signed the water initiative, but until today they have not received a single positive response.

Under the Gnangara Mound recycling plan, 1.5 gigalitres a year of treated wastewater will undergo further treatment including desalination and then will be pumped through bores into the confined Leederville aquifer on the Gnangara Mound. That is 1.5 billion litres of water every year.

Groundwater resources supply about 60 per cent of Perth’s drinking water and Gnangara Mound is the largest and most important shallow underground water resource in the Perth region.

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.

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.