John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    When will WA receive its fair share of Federal water funding?

    9/10/2007 12:00 AM
     

    9/10/07

    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 nation.

    “The Federal Government has a $2billion water fund to help States with water management,” Mr Kobelke said.

    “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 date.

    In comparison, Queensland had received 39 per cent, New South Wales 25 per cent and Victoria 20 per cent.

    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 said.

    “The projects were submitted for Federal funding in June last year but we still have not received any funding 16 months later.

    “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 projects.”

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