I was not surprised when I read on The Age today that the North-South pipeline would fall short as regards the volume of water it would bring to Melbourne in its first years. The article spoke of “dramatically less water”, in total about 160 billion litres less than originally predicted. Per year this amounts to 10 billion litres instead of the 75 billion carrying capacity. Consequently, the pipeline will not alleviate water shortages in Melbourne.
We the local rural people said that from the beginning. One of the consequences is that water prices for consumers will also rise (between 70- to 80 %). So will the costs per unit of water transported. I was always of the opinion that the projected costs of A $ 600 million could never be met anyway. Wait until the final figures are released, I assume it will be around 1 billion plus. This is what the Melbournians will have to shoulder in addition to the rising water costs. After the devastating bush fires in exactly the same region, the rural areas are unable to contribute to taxes and public finances anyway.
The Victorian Government is still refusing to reveal its exact pipe flow projections for the years 2011 and 2012. Tim Holding, the Water Minister, was hiding from The Age. Well, latest at the next election he has to come out and face the music. That’s the time when we are going to punish the Brumby Government for its arrogance and aloofness. But it’s no pleasure to be right in this case. The damage cannot be undone. We should erect a memorial to Brumby and its people.
Useful link: Plug the pipe