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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Gary Nairn MP

25 October 2005

Missed opportunities for WA


The States and Territories who are party to the National Water Initiative continue to see the benefits flow to them with further funding announced today under the Australian Government Water Fund.

Western Australia is the only State that has not yet signed up to the National Water Initiative.

The Prime Minister today announced Australian Government investment in a project that will significantly increase the certainty of water supply to Townsville and Thuringowa in Queensland.

Through the $1.6 billion Water Smart Australia programme, the Australian Government will provide capped funding up to $40 million over five years towards a $48 million project to construct a pipeline, a transfer pump station and a new water treatment plant at Toonpan, south of the two Queensland cities. The managers of the infrastructure development, NQ Water, will contribute $8 million towards the project.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Gary Nairn, said that the latest announcement brings the total investment under the Australian Government Water Smart Australia programme to $333 million for 11 major projects with a combined value of $912 million.

Only those State and Territory Governments which have signed the National Water Initiative are eligible to make bids under the Australian Government Water Fund.

"As Western Australia is the only state yet to sign onto the agreement they will not be eligible to receive funding," Mr Nairn said.

Senator Campbell said the announcement highlighted the real on-the-ground opportunities that Western Australia was missing out on by not being a part of the national framework.

“It concerns me that WA is missing out on millions of dollars that could be put towards the efficient use and storage of our very precious water supplies,” Senator Campbell said.

The National Water Initiative provides a real opportunity for Western Australia – at no cost.

The following page shows Water Smart Australia funding to date.

Water Smart Australia funding to date:

Jurisdiction No. of Projects Approved to date* Water Smart Australia Funding ($m) Total Project funding ($m)
Queensland 4 72 144
Victoria 3 188 546
New South Wales 1 55 160
South Australia 3 18 62
Tasmania 0 0 0
Northern Territory 0 0 0
Australian Capital Territory 0 0 0
Western Australia 0 [Govt projects not eligible] 0 [Govt projects not eligible] 0 [Govt projects not eligible]
TOTAL 11 333 912

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos 0418 568 434
James Baird 0419 158 688

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