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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1394


Mr Giles asked the Minister for Nationol Development, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say whether there has been a change of attitude by the Government of South Australia in relation to South Australia's future water requirements.

(2)   Does the re-introduction of a ratifying Bill by the South Australian Government mean that the River Murray Commission can proceed to call tenders for the construction of the Dartmouth Reservoir.

(3)   Has there been a significant loss of time which could endanger industry and agricultural requirements in times of low supply of River Murray water to South Australia.


Mr Swartz - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) While I am unable to say whether there has been a change of attitude by the Government of South Australia in relation to South Australia's future water requirements, action has now been taken in that State to ratify the agreement which was ratified last year by '.he Parliaments of the Commonwealth and the Slates of New South Wales and Victoria. The ratifying of the agreement in South Australia will complete the authorisation for the Dartmouth project to proceed. However, as the honourable member will know the agreement includes a provision that if the estimated cost of a work rises more than 10 per cent above the estimate at the time the work was approved, then the River Murray Commission shall notify the Contracting Governments so that the position may be reviewed. Steps have been taken to obtain the revised estimate but I am, of course, unable to say what the outcome may be.

(3)   Delay in passing appropriate legislation in South Australia has certainly delayed work on this project. Whether there is a consequential danger to industry and agricultural requirements in South Australia will depend partly on the extent to which those requirements increase during the period before the Dartmouth storage becomes effective.







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