Posted on 04. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, News

Water Minister Tim Holding has labelled the Liberal/National Coalition hypocrites after Peter Ryan claimed this week that the Government’s water projects were ‘never needed’ and were a ‘waste of money’.

Ted Baillieu went to the 2006 election promising to build a desalination plant and said “desalination will provide security to our water supplies in the future.” 

Mr Holding said that now, after only a couple of months of good rainfall, Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan are claiming the water projects were never needed.

“This just shows their only solution for water security is to pray for rain,” Mr Holding said.

“Victoria has experienced 13 years of drought and the best science tells us that climate change means we face a future with less rainfall yet Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan want Victorian families to rely solely on rain falling from the sky.

“With storages at only 50.5 per cent, and likely to drop by more than 100 billion litres over summer, we need non-rainfall sources of water. 

“This is why the desalination plant is so important. It is our insurance policy against drought and climate change and will get households in Melbourne and Geelong off severe water restrictions.”

In contrast to Peter Ryan’s view that the water projects were never needed:

• The Liberal Party’s new website, which went live yesterday says: Melbourne is experiencing a water crisis because Labor was warned about water shortages for years but did nothing.”

• In March 2007 Ted Baillieu said: Melbourne is facing a water crisis… On the consumption that was in place on Saturday, 750 megalitres a day, then we only have 60 days left in the Thomson Reservoir.”

“It is the Brumby Labor Government that has taken the tough decision to build non-rainfall dependent sources of water to lock in Victoria’s water security for decades to come,” Mr Holding said.

Mr Holding said the Opposition was also showing their true colours when it came to water for the environment.

“Peter Ryan claims that water flowing down Victoria’s rivers and out to sea is a waste,” he said.

“If we take every drop of water out of the Yarra like Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan want to, Melbourne’s iconic river will die.

“Rivers need environmental flows to survive and additional river in the Yarra will boost its overall health by improving water quality and sustaining ecosystems relied on by platypus and native fish.

“As one of Melbourne’s most important natural features, we need to ensure that the Yarra is healthy and can continue to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.”

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