Posted on 16. Sep, 2010 in News

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu has revealed himself as a weak “pray for rain” politician who would be a significant threat to Victoria’s prosperity and security, the Minister for Water, Tim Holding, said today.

After earlier claiming Victoria would run out of water in a matter of weeks and going to the last election promising a desalination plan, Mr Baillieu now says Victoria’s desalination plant and the north-south pipeline are “unnecessary projects” (media release,15 September, 2010) .

“In an extraordinary move yesterday, Mr Baillieu bypassed his water spokeswoman and deputy leader, Louise Asher, and sent out Nationals leader Peter Ryan to claim the State’s water projects were ‘never needed’,” Mr Holding said.

“Despite climate change, despite scientists saying we will have less rainfall into the future, and despite promising a desalination plant himself, Mr Baillieu now says all he would do to secure the State’s water supply is pray for rain.

“The Brumby Labor Government has taken the tough decision to build non-rainfall-dependent sources of water to lock in Victoria’s water security into the future.”

Mr Holding said not so long ago Mr Baillieu was claiming Melbourne would run out of water.

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.”

–          Ted Baillieu, AAP, 19 March 2007

On 18 April 2007, Louise Asher said in the Victorian Parliament:

Victoria is running out of water; Melbourne is running out of water. It is (the Water Minister’s) job to ensure the supply of water for the State. He can do it in part by the construction of a desalination plant, and he needs to get on with it and show some urgency.”

On 26 March 2007, Mr Baillieu asked: “Where is the Bracks Government’s what-if-it-doesn’t-rain plan?”  (Herald Sun). Mr Baillieu has now declared himself to be opposed to Victorians having a “what-if-it-doesn’t-rain plan”.

As recently as May 2010, Mr Baillieu told reporters in Melbourne: “I’ve made the point before that the supply-side equation in terms of water supply in Victoria has changed with the insertion and the contracting of the desal plan and there’s now 150 gigalitres per year…”


“Now, after a few wet weeks Mr Baillieu says the desalination plant was ‘never needed’. One thing is clear: Mr Baillieu’s weak flip-flops are no way to secure Victoria’s water supply,” Mr Holding said.

“Only the Brumby Labor Government is delivering the projects to secure the State’s water supply in the face of climate change and lower rainfall into the future.”

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