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A water vision for Adelaide.



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PRIME MINISTER

A WATER VISION FOR ADELAIDE

Adelaide desperately needs a vision for its water supply and management, especially given critical issues of water infrastructure and management in the city.

There is no reason why Adelaide should not set about becoming independent of the Murray River for its water supply. This is a key component of our $10 billion National Plan for Water Security to rescue the Murray-Darling Basin.

In a normal year, Adelaide draws some 40 per cent of its water needs from the Murray River. In a dry year, this can be as high as 90 per cent. This is impractical and unacceptable for a river system already under stress.

Adelaide must develop non-climate dependent sources of water - and desalination is a big part of the answer. I announce today that a re-elected Coalition Government will provide up to $10 million to support the finalisation of planning and assessments of the South Australian Government’s proposed desalination plant for Adelaide.

Subject to the South Australian Government finalising planning, costing and environmental assessments, a re-elected Coalition Government will also commit an appropriate capital contribution to the cost of construction of the plant.

The Commonwealth has already committed substantial funds to water management projects in Adelaide, including:

• “waterproofing” Northern Adelaide ($38 million); • metropolitan Adelaide stormwater reuse ($2.3 million); • Mount Lofty sustainable water management ($13.9 million); • Virginia pipeline scheme extension ($2 million); • “waterproofing” the South ($34.5 million); and • State-wide wastewater recycling ($20 million).

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A re-elected Coalition Government will provide a further $40 million to more than double its contribution to the Water Proofing Northern Adelaide project. The project will be extended into new development areas in northern Adelaide and existing urban areas not currently covered by the project.

Using the successful stormwater management measures adopted in Playford, Salisbury and Tea Tree Gully, a re-elected Coalition Government’s expended funding will:

• Identify and implement opportunities for additional wetland and Aquifer Storage and Recovery schemes; • Increase the number of parks and sports grounds, schools and other community facilities irrigated by stormwater; • Reduce stormwater discharge through ocean outfalls; and • Increase capture and reuse of stormwater for commercial use.

We will work with local councils and local water dependent industries to identify and deliver projects that deliver on these objectives.

I also announce today that the Commonwealth will commit $30.15 million to the Glenelg to Adelaide parklands wastewater re-use scheme. The commitment pre-dates the caretaker period and I have written to Premier Rann today to confirm that the funds will be provided to the project.

This project will treat and transport Class A recycled water from the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigate the Adelaide City Parklands. A pipeline will also be established to support new dual reticulation schemes for future property developments and industries, open space landscape watering and commercial users capable of using treated wastewater.

Delivering secure water supplies for our cities requires leadership and investment. A re-elected Coalition Government will provide both.

22 October 2007

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