Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Today the Productivity Commission issued their report on water resources and advised that we should do desalination. I think these people are spending too much time in front of a mirror without any clothes on, because there can be no logic or sanity in that. The desalination plant in Melbourne cost $5,700 million. In Sydney it was $1,800 million. In Perth it was $955 million for one and $389 million for the other. In Brisbane it was $372 million. In the Gold Coast it was $1,200 million. According to newspaper reports, hardly any of those desalination plants have ever worked, so we spent $10,000 million on plants that have hardly ever been used at all.
A division having been called in the House of Representatives—
Sitting suspended from 10:13 to 10:24
Infrastructure Australia is proposing desalination. There's been $10,420,000,000 expended on desalination plants in Australia, and hardly any of them have ever worked at all. Some of them have closed down completely; they have never turned. That's what they propose as a solution to Australia's water problems, not dams.
Dr JC Bradfield built the Sydney Harbour Bridge, most of the water supply for Sydney, the underground railway system which won the engineering prize for the world, the Story Bridge in Brisbane and the University of Queensland. He is the greatest builder in the nation's history. A bunch of pygmies here are saying, 'Oh no, we shouldn't build dams. We shouldn't build Bradfield. We should have desalination.' Well, there's your record. What's wrong with you people? That's Infrastructure Australia. Their brothers, the Productivity Commission, in the Irani model, said if we remove all support levels for motor vehicles, there'll only a 25 per cent intrusion from overseas—we'll only lose 25 per cent of our car manufacturing in Australia—and the price of a motor car will halve. As we know, the price of a motor car has nearly trebled since their Irani model came out, and, of course, it was 100 per cent intrusion. There is now no motor vehicle industry. That we would keep listening to these people is absolutely extraordinary.
Let us have a look at the other model, which is the dam model in Hughenden. It'll cost about $500 million. It is projected to produce $100 million at its lowest level of usage; I think it's reasonable to say $150 million. So the government will get $50 million a year out of it. The overall cost will be about $400 million. They're going to get a return of 10 per cent. When the government is getting a one per cent return at the present moment, I think a 10 per cent return is extraordinarily good; that's from the tax revenue coming from this project.
Now, we live in an empty land. In fact, if you take the golden Nulla Nulla out— (Time expired)