Desal Inquiry Dropped to Hide Labor’s Incompetence

16 Feb 2012 10:57 AMJann Stuckey

16 February 2012

Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey MP rejected comments made by a Labor MP that suggest the 2008 public works inquiry into the Tugun Desal plant may not be worth finishing, saying it was important that it is was completed for the community’s sake.

“An inquiry commenced in 2008 by the former Public Works Committee into the $1.2 billion Tugun Desalination plant has been left in limbo by the Labor Government,” Ms Stuckey said.

The inquiry was to examine and report on aspects of the project such as value for money, suitability of the work for its purpose, cost and recurrent costs, and the impact of the work on the community, economy and environment.

“Each one of these aspects should be properly explored so the long-suffering residents of the Currumbin electorate can hear the truth.

“There is no doubt this project had a major impact on our community and people deserve answers.

“We are talking about $1.2 billion of taxpayers money, and the supposed ‘showpiece’ of Labor’s $7 billion SEQ Water Grid.

“Currumbin residents are patient. After all, they are the ones that put up with the noise, dust and disruption created by years of construction and repair work at the plant. 

“Following my calls for the inquiry to be re-opened in June 2010, the former Public Works Committee Chairman, the Member for Ipswich West, said the investigation was ‘ongoing’.

“Comments by the chair of the Committee now responsible for the inquiry – that information obtained by the former committee is now four years old and therefore no longer accurate – are just an attempt to whitewash this Government’s failure. 

“The information may be old, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

“Stalling completion of this inquiry is a reflection of this Labor Government’s inability to manage large infrastructure projects and their appetite for waste.

“The Bligh Government must be held accountable.