Senator Simon Birmingham said today the Rann Labor Government’s belated commitment for a water recycling project that will save thousands of litres of wastewater being pumped out to sea was better late than never.
A multi-million dollar project for the wider reuse of water from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant, including watering the Adelaide Parklands, has been in abeyance because the Rann Government has for years failed to open its chequebook.
“The Howard Government has long had the money on the table, but the Rann Government until now has refused to come to the party with the necessary funding,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Funding of $25 million for the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant project was announced by the Prime Minister on 29 September 2004 and at that time required only matching funding from the Rann Government to proceed.
“This funding until now has not been forthcoming and, under questioning in Senate Budget Estimates as recently as May, it was revealed that Rann Government officials had advised the National Water Commission that the project was in abeyance.
“Thousands of megalitres of water have been wasted in South Australia because the Rann Labor Government has taken far too long to come to the party on this issue.
“This is cheap water that could be used by industry and for the Adelaide Parklands, and mean less seagrass-damaging nutrient water being pumped into the Gulf.
“Today really is a case of better late than never. It is an excellent project that has been ‘in the pipeline’ for far too long and should have proceeded years ago.”
It should be noted that Mr Rann reannounced this project on 21 July 2005 only for his Labor State Government to then leave the project in abeyance, as confirmed in Senate Budget Estimates.
“I hope this announcement is worth more than some of Mr Rann’s past announcements, and that we might now see this long awaited and important project become a reality,” Senator Birmingham said.