A Julia Gillard election promise on stormwater harvesting has been exposed as hollow, with the South Australian Government today confirming it won’t make a contribution, Coalition Murray-Darling Basin spokesman Simon Birmingham said today.
During the election campaign, Prime Minister Gillard announced her Government would provide up to $10 million for the Waterproofing Eastern Adelaide project planned by councils in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs.
In fact, Ms Gillard announced this project would be the first to be funded under an expanded Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse program.
Apart from initial feasibility assistance, funding for this project will be shared by the Australian Government, South Australian Government and local councils.
Media release, Julia Gillard and Penny Wong, 28 July 2010
The Coalition had doubts about this commitment at the time, given the Rann Government had previously refused funding for this project. Today these doubts were validated.
John Gardner, Member for Morialta: Will the government now consider making up the $6 million shortfall in funding for the federal government’s election promise to provide $10 million to fund the Eastern Regional Alliance’s plan to harvest stormwater in the eastern suburbs? During the federal election the federal government committed to providing $10 million towards this project in addition to the $16 million committed by the local councils. However, these commitments have presumed a state government commitment to provide funding of the final $6 million.
Paul Caica, Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for the River Murray, Minister for Water: I thank the honourable member for the beautiful way in which he asked the question. The answer is: no.
            Hansard, SA House of Assembly, 16 September 2010
“Prime Minister Gillard was again sworn in as Prime Minister just two days ago, and already her election promises are exposed as nothing but hollow words,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Australia’s precious water resources can’t afford another three years of political games, spin and hollow promises.
“This broken promise is a bad start for newly appointed Water Minister Tony Burke.
“He should either immediately match the Coalition’s election commitment to provide the full $16 million or get on the phone to Mr Caica and change his mind.”