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Nation building to secure water supply.

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9 November 2006

Today I call on John Howard to immediately commit up to $500 million from the $2 billion Australian Water Fund to support the Queensland Government's Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme.

If the Howard Government does not commit funding to this important nation-building project, and there is funding available in the Australian Water Fund, a Beazley Labor Government will go ahead with the project in partnership with the Queensland Government.

Labor is all about practical measures to deal with Australia’s water crisis.

After 10 long years, it is clear that John Howard’s talkfests will not do the job. The time for talk is over. John Howard must roll up his sleeves and act.

I congratulate Premier Peter Beattie and his Deputy Premier Anna Bligh for having the vision to commit to a major recycling project that will free up more than 200 megalitres per day for South East Queensland households by December 2008.

This is the type of nation-building project that makes a real and ongoing contribution to sustaining water for industry, maintaining productivity and ultimately securing jobs - all well as making a contribution downstream. It just makes good sense.

Labor understands the water crisis. Labor knows climate change demands national leadership to develop comprehensive plans to safeguard our most precious resource - water.

Labor also understands that Middle Australia is doing its bit - complying with water restrictions, installing rainwater tanks, using water-saving devices. I firmly believe that when families put in at home, they should get back from the Government true leadership to deal with drought and climate change. The Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme will: • Use recycled water from Ipswich and Brisbane waste water plants for urban,

industrial and possibly agricultural purposes in the Western Corridor;

• Supply 20 million litres per day of recycled water from treatment plants at Oxley, Goodna and Bundamba to the Swanbank Power Station in the second half of 2007,

• Provide for up to 75 million litres per day to be supplied for use at the Tarong and Tarong North Power Stations by late 2008; and • Be the largest recycling scheme in the southern hemisphere.

Completion of the entire scheme by December 2008 will deliver over 200 megalitres per day of recycled water.

This will reduce the demand on Wivenhoe Dam water supplies and extend the long-term water supply capacity of South East Queensland.

A Beazley Labor Government will act to ensure Australia’s towns and cities have a sustainable water supply.

A Beazley Labor Government will: • Set a national target of 30% of wastewater being recycled by 2015; • Develop consistent, comprehensive national guidelines for water recycling, critical for building public confidence in recycling and increasing water

security in all urban areas; • Provide the leadership, support and investment necessary to achieve the 30% recycling target; and • Encourage innovation and new technological solutions to deliver a

sustainable water supply for Australia.

John Howard’s short-term cynical politics will not solve Australia’s water crisis.

Australia’s water crisis demands national leadership to safeguard supply - national leadership that only a Beazley Labor Government can provide.

9 November 2006

Contact: Colin Campbell: 0407 787 181