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#Opinion Failure to learn from previous disasters leaves WA under...

Victorian Nationals

Tim McCurdy – Costly, idle desal plant adds to cost of living pain

12 January 2024


In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, it can’t be forgotten the Allan Labor Government is spending millions weekly on an idle desalination plant.

While towns are submerged and water storages are overflowing, a water desalination facility in regional Victoria’s Wonthaggi sits dormant, costing a staggering $700 million annually in running costs and repayments.

Right now, it is not contributing to our water supply and has only been used spasmodically.

Initiated in 2009, the Victorian Desalination Project will cost the state at least $20 billion in nominal terms over its 30-year contract.

It is another alarming example of Labor’s waste and mismanagement.

Victorians deserve a break with lower water bills, but that will not happen due to the cost of the desalination plant coupled with recent reports which reveal the Allan Labor Government’s plan to extract $536 million from Victoria’s water authorities over two years to address escalating debt.

In response, Melbourne Water and Greater Western Water must now accumulate debt at rising interest rates, limiting their capacity for crucial projects and hindering consumer cost reductions.

Labor’s decision to raid funds from water corporations means that the corporations are unable to invest in new infrastructure, but frighteningly it also adds roughly $421 to a Melbourne family’s water bill.

Shadow Minister for Water, Tim McCurdy, said the Allan Labor Government had provided a “double hit” to consumers.

“It is another reminder that the Allan Labor Government can’t manage money, can’t manage projects and can’t reduce household bills,” Mr McCurdy said.

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