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Ballarat to benefit from $90 million superpipe boost.



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Media releaseFrom the Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water Senator Penny Wong andVictorian Minister for Water Tim HoldingWednesday, 16 April, 2008BALLARAT TO BENEFIT FROM $90 MILLION SUPERPIPE BOOSTFederal Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, today delivered Australian Government funding of $90 million for the Goldfields Superpipe to secure the future of Ballarat’s water supply.Senator Wong was in Ballarat today with Victorian Water Minister Tim Holding as workers connected the final section of the Superpipe to White Swan Reservoir. Senator Wong said the Rudd Government’s $90 million contribution to the Goldfields Superpipe would reduce the pressure on working families as water prices increase.“Our commitment to this project means Ballarat households will be around $180 better off each year,” Senator Wong said.The Central Highlands Water Plan 2008-2013 released last year showed a failure to deliver the full $90 million from the Australian Government for the Superpipe would increase average household water bills by around $180 a year.“Securing new water supplies for communities is a key priority for the Rudd Government.”Victorian Water Minister Tim Holding said the Goldfields Superpipe would provide much needed water security for Ballarat, with local storages currently at 8.3 per cent.“We commenced this project in 2006 with no support from the Howard Government,” Mr Holding said.“Residents remember that Malcolm Turnbull slipped into Ballarat before the election to announce the Howard Government’s sneaky under-funding of the Goldfields Superpipe which would have left Ballarat households paying significantly higher water bills.“The Goldfields Superpipe is a key link in Victoria’s Water Grid and will secure water for households and regional development in the Ballarat area.”The 87 kilometre Ballarat link of the Goldfields Superpipe runs from Sandhurst Reservoir in Bendigo to Ballarat's White Swan reservoir.The Goldfields Superpipe has already linked Bendigo’s water supply to the Goulburn system. The Rudd Government contribution to the Ballarat section is in addition to $71 million from theBrumby Government and $19 million from Central Highlands Water.

Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King MP, said the Rudd Government’s $90 million injection for the Goldfields Superpipe would provide a welcome relief for local households.

“Ballarat people have been doing a fantastic job saving water,” Ms King said.

“With the completion of the Superpipe in sight, this $90 million contribution is a tribute to the Committee for Ballarat, Ballarat City Council and the local industry representatives who lobbied so hard to get Australian Government funding.”

Victorian Member for Ballarat East, Geoff Howard MP, said the Goldfields Superpipe would provide water security for Ballarat and surrounding towns for the next 50 years.

“This project is on time and on budget which is a credit to Central Highlands Water,” Mr Howard said.

The Ballarat section of the Superpipe is expected to be complete by June this year following the completion of construction on three pump stations and pressure testing.