Western Australia – MEDIA RELEASE: Barnett’s Kimberley Water Fantasy to Slug Taxpayers Again

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region



Greens MLC Robin Chapple has dismissed the Premier’s plans to commission yet another study into bringing water south from the Kimberley as an unjustified slug for taxpayers.

He said that two studies had already found the concept to be economically unfeasible.

“An Independent Review commissioned by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in 2006 found that the cost would be $6.70 per kilolitre – which would at least double the average annual household water bill.”

“The report also noted that the Indigenous Kimberley communities that would be affected did not support taking water from the region. I believe that this is still the case”

“The 2006 report is backed up by an earlier study by GHD in 2004 which identified similar unacceptable costs, as well as a very significant greenhouse gas impact.”

“Why is the Premier slugging taxpayers for yet another report into a clearly unworkable idea?”

Mr. Chapple expressed concern that the Kimberley water supply would eventually be threatened by demand from the south.

“One good wet season in the Kimberley does not mean that a constant drain on the Fitzroy or other water bodies will be sustainable in the long term. We do not want to see another Yarragadee situation in the North.”

Mr. Chapple said that he acknowledged the South West’s water supply problem but said that conservation, recycling and smarter allocation were more effective tools than drawing from the Kimberley’s water supply.

“Enforcing water conservation measures, incentives for greywater recycling, and ending the ludicrous situation whereby drinking water is used for dust suppression and concrete mixers on building sites – these are solutions that would go a long way towards reducing the demand on the South West’s water supply.”

“If the Premier tries to go down this path again, he will be breaking an election promise from 2008 in which he said that the canal proposal was dead.”

“It is unreasonable, unfair and unbelievable that the Premier still wants to drain the Kimberley to slake Perth’s thirst.”

“To quote a Greens election slogan from 2005…Far Canal!”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

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