Massive desalination plans secret

EPA recommends 35 exclusion zones – another secret: "By way of contrast, the Gold Coast City Council was open, up-front and honest with nearby residents about its pioneering desalination plans at Tugun. In addition, after new Premier Bligh promised a more transparent approach, it is amazing that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Moreton Bay Marine Park Study recommends up to 35 exclusion zones including many popular local fishing areas, which is another state secret. Labor has form on secret and political strategies to get re-elected…Despite confirming seven months ago that the Queensland government was assessing what could be the world’s biggest desalination plant, Premier Bligh has remained tight-lipped.

Kept in dark because of upcoming election: "In March 2006 south-east Queensland drought contingency modelling showed that a decision on a second desalination plant or other major source of water was due by June of last year, and that that plant would start supplying drinking water to south-east Queensland from early 2009. This one is way behind schedule and the people who are likely to be affected by it have been kept absolutely in the dark because of an impending federal election.

Bribie Island a leading contender: "In September the Deputy Premier acknowledged that there was indeed a plan for a second desalination plant, but since then we have not heard a whisper…It is no coincidence that one leading site proposed for a desalination plant is, in fact, Bribie Island in the federal seat of Longman. This seat is being targeted by the Labor Party. Voters on Bribie have a right to have this government come clean and this government has a duty to inform residents of Bribie Island about what is being considered for their community," said Flegg.

Reference: Bruce Flegg, Member for Moggill-Lib, Records of Proceedings, First session of the Fifty-Second Parliament, Queensland, 13 November 2007.

Erisk Net, 15/11/2007

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