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Time to cut MFP losses



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Senator John Coulter Australian Democrats Leader

92/ 1 March 1992

Time to cut MFP losses

NEWS R E L E A S E

No more money should be sunk into the swamps of Port Adelaide, Federal Democrat Leader Senator John Coulter said after reading the draft Multi Function Polis Environmental Impact Statement today.

"If the project is not scrapped immediately such bottom of the bog wastefulness will cause the '70's bottom of the harbour tax avoidance to look like sweet reasonableness," Senator Coulter said.

"It is time to cut the losses on the MFP before it goes the way of past Special Projects Unit (SA) schemes. Jubilee Point and the Mount Lofty Cable Car schemes cost millions of public money before collapsing under persistent public pressure.

Senator Coulter said the draft EIS indicated the beginning of the end was near.

"Like a cyclone collapsing into a mild rain depression the MFP has been downgraded into an urban development proposal. The Original techno-cargo-cult city has shrunk from a population of 200,000 to between 30,000 and 50,000. It is now being promoted as an urban development".

Senator Coulter said the Federal Government's $40 million prop-up of the project was "complicity in an expensive circus to boost the Bannon Government's re-election bid".

This money was given despite assurances from Government Leader in the Senate Senator Button that the MFP would be privately funded and that no "new money" would be allocated. It also followed a Japanese report that the Gillman site was not viable.

Senator Coulter said the EIS did not explain the environmental advantages of locating an new urban village at Gillman. Bather it identified problems of building on unstable land and said dykes and levies may be needed to protect the low-lying area from flooding.

It did not argue why Gillman should be preferred over areas without these problems.

Senator Coulter said the statement identified that further mangrove loss and wetland disturbance would occur if the project went ahead and that chemical treatment may be needed to address the mosquito problem.

Contact: Senator Coulter 018 630 136 (06) 299 1925 (tonight/tomorrow am) Jenni Mack (06) 288 1436 (06) 295 1931

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