Jan 2, 2007

Water lasts only one day as a national priority

Water lasts only one day as a national priority

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

2 January 2007

Water has lasted only one day as a national priority for the Howard Government.

Just one day after the Prime Minister said we needed a “national perspective” on the “chronic water problem our country has”, his Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has washed his hands of the water problems facing our cities and towns.

Yesterday, John Howard urged us to think as Australians in relation to water, but today Mr Hunt played the blame game and said water problems were for State Governments to fix.

This is in spite of the fact the Federal Government is sitting on a $2 billion water fund.

A Rudd Labor Government will help ensure Australia’s towns and cities have a sustainable water supply.

Labor will set a national target of 30% of wastewater being recycled by 2015.

Labor will develop consistent, comprehensive national guidelines for water recycling. This is critical for building public confidence in recycling and increasing water security in all urban areas.

We will provide the leadership, support and investment necessary to achieve the 30% recycling target, and encourage innovation and new technological solutions to deliver a sustainable water supply for Australia.

The 30% aggregate national target for recycling wastewater is ambitious, but realistic and absolutely necessary.

Australia has a water crisis and needs national leadership to advance sustainability.

The Commonwealth should stop the blame game and show national leadership on water.