Oct 13, 2005

Report calls for national leadership on water

Report calls for national leadership on water

ANTHONY ALBANESE MP – MEDIA RELEASE

13 October 2005

A major water industry report has put the spotlight on our growing national water crisis.

The Water Services Association believes water supply could decrease by up to 25% over the next 25 years in our major cities while population increases by 35% or 4.5 million over the same time.

Responding to the water crisis in every Australian city requires national leadership, yet the Howard Government is complacent on water policy.

The health of our cities is suffering through neglect by the Howard Government.

According to the Report, our cities are also seeing the effects of climate change. The Water Services Association’s Report found flows into city water supplies in the past eight years were 64% lower than in the years up to 1974, and that climate change has clearly played a role.

This Report is another wake up call for the Howard Government. It needs to tackle climate change by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, establishing a national emissions trading scheme and support renewable energy.

The Howard Government must also play a leadership role in restoring the health of our cities.

It should be working with State Governments to address our cities’ long term water needs. It needs to move away from its absurd approach where funding under the National Water Initiative is tied to its extreme industrial relations agenda.

Ensuring the safe and reliable supply of water for our growing cities is essential for Australia’s future prosperity.