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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Joanna Gash MP
Federal Member for Gilmore

22 June 2005

Shoalhaven: a model of water reuse

Joanna Gash MP, Federal Member for Gilmore and Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage today said Premier Carr should be looking to the Shoalhaven as an example of best practice with water reform, rather than stealing Shoalhaven's water.

"While the Shoalhaven is finding solutions to our water problems through innovative projects such as the Recycled Effluent Management Scheme in Coonemia, Premier Carr is stealing our water savings and doing nothing to find viable solutions for the city of Sydney," Mrs Gash said.

"His solution is to use the water saved in the Shoalhaven to supplement his own Government's failure to act on urban water reform and provide adequate supplies for the people of Sydney.

"Premier Carr, it's time you were serious about doing something about urban water reform in Australia's biggest city - stealing water from the Shoalhaven is not an acceptable solution in the 21st Century."

Mr Hunt said: "The REMS project at Coonemia is a demonstration of what could be a viable solution to Sydney's water problems if Premier Carr allowed Sydney's wastewater to be recycled and reused for agriculture and industry."

"The REMS project is an excellent example of how water reform offers a benefit to industry, agriculture and the environment. This project delivers 1500 million litres of recycled water to industry and agriculture and takes the pressure off potable water sources.

"Indeed, the Shoalhaven project is a model for the rest of Australia on how water can be recycled.

"Sydney Water dumps 400 billion litres of primary treated sewerage off the coast at Manly, Bondi and Malabar each year and 2 billion litres of raw treated sewerage off the cliffs at Vaucluse.

"Much of this water could be reused along the lines of the REMS project and do something about the projected shortfall of 200 billion litres of water a year that is expected to be a feature of life in Sydney in 2030.

"With Sydney's dam levels already below 40% Premier Carr and Minister Sartor must answer the question - how much worse does the situation have to get before they get serious on urban water reform and recycling?"

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Shawn Burns (Mrs Gash's office) 4423 1782

Commonwealth of Australia