Bligh Does Backflip on Desal

22 Nov 2010 2:27 PMJann Stuckey

22 November 2010

Currumbin MP, Jann Stuckey has challenged the state government to reveal the costs associated with keeping the Tugun desalination plant running compared with the costs of mothballing the facility.

A leaked report by the Queensland Water Commission outlining the Government’s cost saving options has identified mothballing the desal plant as a way to reduce bulk water prices. 

“This latest report is another indication of the Bligh Government’s incompetence and inability to manage major infrastructure projects,” Ms Stuckey said.

“After continuously trumpeting the need for the plant to stay running, news that the Government is now considering mothballing it smacks of political expedience in an effort to address poor opinion polls.

“Premier Bligh has not been seen near the plant since before the state election in March 2009 – prior to that she and her hard hat milked it for regular media opportunities. 

“Earlier this month I mailed a survey to every voter in my electorate asking if they thought the desal plant should be mothballed while dams are full.

“Early survey results indicate over 90% of respondents believe this to be the preferred option. 

“One resident even suggested mothballing the Premier and her Government, whilst others said they would like to see the Labor Government shut down permanently.

“The cost of keeping the plant running at 33% capacity is estimated to be $32,000 a day and the Premier is on the record saying it is more cost effective to run it than to put it on standby.

“Now she has back-flipped and is considering mothballing it without providing any figures which just goes to show this long-term Labor Government haven’t got a clue what they are doing.