Federal Treasurer Peter
Costello should explain to Western Australians why the Commonwealth Government
has not given the State its fair share of water funding.
Water Resources Minister John Kobelke today called on Mr Costello to
stop the Federal Government’s Eastern States funding bias and support WA
projects that they have recognised as innovative and leading the
“The Federal Government has a $2billion
water fund to help States with water management,” Mr Kobelke
“WA has been dealing with climate change
since 2001 with a water roster system, investing billions of dollars in
infrastructure, desalination plants and wastewater re-use.
“While the Federal Government tells everyone WA is the national
leader, it has failed to seriously invest in WA.
“We have built one desalination plant and plan to build another, when
only two weeks ago, Peter Costello discovered desalination and suggested every
capital city should have one.”
Mr Kobelke said WA
had received $37.7million from the $1.6billion Federal Government’s Water Smart
Australia program - 2.7 per cent of the total money allocated to
In comparison, Queensland had received 39
per cent, New South Wales 25 per cent and Victoria 20 per
Mr Kobelke said the Commonwealth should
fund the water piping projects at Harvey-Waroona and the Gascoyne from the
remaining $236million in the Water Smart Australia program.
“We want a $49million contribution to the Harvey-Waroona piping
project, $4.5million to help with a Gascoyne piping project and $5million for
stage II of the Kwinana wastewater recycling plant,” he
“The projects were submitted for Federal
funding in June last year but we still have not received any funding 16 months
“WA taxpayers are shouldering the burden
for securing our water future because we do not have the number of marginal
electorates of other States.
“We are not seeking
a contribution equivalent to other States, just fair consideration of our
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