Desal plant locks us into high impact water futures

The announcement by the Brumby Government of the desalination plant proponents will lock Victoria into a high emissions, high impact water future.

The announcement by the Brumby Government of the desalination plant proponents will lock Victoria into a high emissions, high impact water future. The government has had ample opportunities to choose another, lower impact option for meeting our future water needs, and there is growing public sentiment against both the current proposals for the desalination plant and North South pipeline.

"This was the last opportunity for the state government to come to it's senses and opt for a lower impact, lower cost, more job rich water future for Victoria" said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. "Proceeding with the plant locks our state into up to $4 billion dollars of public expenditure, which while providing large quantities of very expensive water, will effectively undermine future financial investment in better options."

"There are many lower impact options available.  The plant is deeply unpopular on the south Gippsland coast. The desal plant and North South pipeline project will undermine the imperative to implement longer term, sustainable options such as better recycling and re-use of water, capture of stormwater, roll out of water tanks and ensuring better water efficiency in all buildings".

“We are also concerned that the renewable energy offset planned for the desalination plant will undermine our efforts to achieve a rapid transition away from coal and into renewables. There is a limit to how much commercial scale renewable energy can be produced in the state in the short term. All new capacity should be displacing existing coal production. The massive energy requirements of the desal plant will divert capacity, undermining our ability to reduce the climate change impacts of our current energy production from coal. In addition, while the Premier has announced that AquaSure has committed to the construction of the 63 MW Oaklands wind farm, the plant’s energy use would actually require the construction of 270 MW of wind power capacity, more than 4 times the size of the Oaklands farm. If this extra energy is purchased from existing energy production it will further undermine efforts to develop a thriving renewable energy industry here in Victoria".

Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047