Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Water Supply for Adelaide
- That the Senate—
- notes that:
- there is significant opportunity for investment in stormwater harvesting and water efficiency, yet Adelaide remains reliant on the Murray River for its water supply, and
- the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water (Senator Wong) has demanded an environmental dividend to reduce Adelaide’s reliance on the Murray River, in exchange for Federal Government funding for a range of urban water projects; and
- calls on the Federal Government to work with the South Australian Government to wean Adelaide off the Murray River for the long-term sustainability of the river system.
by leave—The Australian government does not support this motion. For the interest of Senator Hanson-Young, the Australian government has to date committed over $123 million in funding in support of 35 individual stormwater harvesting projects in South Australia with the capacity to offset over 33 billion litres of Adelaide’s annual drinking water needs. The Australian government is working very closely with the South Australian government to reduce Adelaide’s reliance on the River Murray through investments in desalination, recycling and stormwater harvesting. All up, the Australian government is investing over $554 million for a range of urban water security projects in South Australia, projects that will provide over 150 billion litres in new water supplies whilst also helping to take pressure off the River Murray and deliver benefits to the river and Lower Lakes. I thank the Senate.
I thank the minister for giving an explanation. It is a pity the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water was not able to be here, because this motion is directly based on comments that she has made publicly, and they have been published on the front page of Adelaide’s Sunday Mail. I am surprised that she can tell the South Australian media one thing but the Australian Senate another. I am very disappointed that the Labor Party are not supporting this motion.
That the motion (Senator Hanson-Young’s) be agreed to.