Victoria Shadow Minister for Urban Water Louise Asher
Labor’s Budget-Nothing Left To Spin On Water
Victor P Taffa
Labor’s 2010-11 State Budget has no new funding for any major recycling or storm water initiatives according to Shadow Minister for Urban Water Louise Asher.
Ms. Asher said the Engineers Australia ‘Infrastructure Report Card 2010’ released earlier this year confirmed that the Brumby Labor Government was not performing well enough on the delivery of one of its basic services water.
The Infrastructure Report Card scored the Brumby Government a C rating because of its inability to secure sufficient potable water supply and commented that one of the negative reasons given for the rating was ‘…The failure [by the Labor Government] to take action earlier to meet the growing water crisis and the on-going water restrictions.’
The report card also scored the Brumby Government a C- on its use of storm water. The report states ‘…there has been no substantial improvement in the widespread exploitation of the storm water resource.’ (p. 93)
Ms. Asher said the Budget included increases in low income concessions for water and sewerage bills worth $56 Million over four years (including $4 million for the Water Wise program), but this would not cover actual increases in water prices of between 51 and 64 % from 2009-10 to 2012-13.
“In 2002, the then Labor Premier said water was a major issue for his government, but more than seven years later, Melbourne is still facing severe water restrictions that are likely to remain in place until at least 2013.” Ms. Asher said.