The Nationals Gippsland South Korumburra Poowong Loch Nyora Water

Labor spin machine in high gear on desal

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said South Gippslanders should not be fooled on Melbourne Labor’s spin on the desalination plant and the proposed Northern Towns project.

“The Northern Towns Project would connect Korumburra, Loch, Nyora and Poowong to the Lance Creek Reservoir and thus to the Melbourne system. It does not, I repeat does not require desalination water,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor is desperately trying to justify its vastly expensive desal plant and the spin over the weekend and this morning is that South Gippsland could be topped up from the desal.

“The business case for the Northern Towns Project makes it clear that this is not about connecting Korumburra and the northern towns to the desalination plant and Labor needs to stop spinning to justify turning on the desal plant.

“On radio this morning, Minister Lisa Neville said the Northern Towns connection project was being considered as part of the budget process. The government should be funding this project as part of its water plan and I hope it will proceed irrespective of decisions surrounding desal water.”

Mr O’Brien also said while many farmers in South Gippsland were doing it tough due to drought, the desal plant would not help.

“We need to be very clear on this, most farmers are not on town water and do not have the infrastructure to get piped water from the desal plant onto their properties. It is just a fallacy that switching on the desal could help farmers in South Gippsland,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I am exploring alternative arrangements with the government to assist those farmers who are really struggling but desal water is not one of them. Even if desal water could be delivered to farms, it would be prohibitively expensive. It’s just not feasible.”

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