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Water plan federal political play.

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For further information contact Tony Windsor, Ph (02) 6761 3080

12 April 2007

Water Plan Federal Political Play

Member for New England Tony Windsor MP has described the Turnbull plan to divert Clarence River water into South East Queensland as a sad political joke with drought stricken Queenslanders the victims in a Federal political play.

The self confessed “short term desk top” review on the identification and definition of issues associated with improving urban water supply security for South East Queensland leaves more questions than it answers.

Mr Windsor said “The detail in the ‘desk top” review commissioned by the National Water Commission and the Ministers press release reveal the real reason for the Turnbull plan - Queensland marginal seats at the next Federal election”.

“Mr Turnbull and the Commonwealth Government need to undermine any plans that the Queensland Government has to divide the electorate in the run up to the next Federal Election”.

Mr Windsor said “a number of other anomalies in terms of water policy are apparent from the Ministers desk top analysis”.

1. Only weeks ago deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Mark Vaile MP, suggested that urban water was the responsibility of the State Government’s when referring to an upgrade of Chaffey Dam near Tamworth. Now we see the Federal Minister with an “urban” water plan for South East Queensland. 2. To suggest that a dam in size between 20,000 - 100,000 mega litres on the Clarence would be

economic and provide a meaningful long term solution for millions of people in South East Queensland (2.78m in 2006 to 5.08m people in 2050) is deception on a grand scale. Quipolly Dam that supplies 1400 people at Werris Creek for example is 5000 mgls. Chaffey Dam when upgraded will hold 102,000mgls.

Mr Windsor said ‘the option of removing salt from sea water was once again being down played and should be front of mind rather than last resort’.

“We are told by the Climate experts that sea levels will rise so there will be a never ending supply of desalinated water and pumped inland for South East Queensland and other coastal or near coastal locations’.

Mr Windsor said “that the “desk top’ review smacked of the recent $10b Water Plan for the Murray Darling System where any real detail was still missing from the proposal”.




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