Victoria Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development Peter Ryan
Brumby’s Desalination Deceit Exposed
Victor P Taffa
Melbourne Water Users will pay $570 Million every year to the consortium managing the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant, irrespective of whether the plant delivers any water. Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development Peter Ryan said the annual security payments came to light after the DSE tabled its annual report in Parliament yesterday.
“Victoria Premier John Brumby has hidden the true cost of this unnecessary project from Victorians.” Mr. Ryan said.
“John Brumby has signed up every household and business in Melbourne to massive costs.”
“These payments are locked in. The fact of whether the water is actually supplied through the Desalination Plant is irrelevant.” Mr. Ryan said.
“This is a staggering amount of money, enough to build a new Bendigo Hospital or employ 1,700 new Police Each and Every Year.”
Mr. Ryan said in 2006 the Victorian Liberals proposed to build a Small Desalination Plant as a last resort for Melbourne.
“The Labor Government sat on its hands for more than seven years and did next to nothing to augment Melbourne’s water supplies, while pressuring Melburnians to cut residential and business water usage.” Mr. Ryan said.
“Labor rejected the plan to build a desalination plant a third of the size of this one before back flipping in 2007 and committing ratepayers to the largest desalination plant in the world after Melbourne came perilously close to running out of water.”
“Water users are the ones who will now pay for the Brumby Government’s gross incompetence and its failure to invest in long-term stormwater harvesting and recycling.” Mr. Ryan said.
“John Brumby must come clean. He has consistently refused to tell Victorians the magnitude of what he has done.”
“After years of deceit now is the time to be honest with Victorians.” Mr. Ryan said.