Billions of dollars likely to be wasted on Qld. water projects

All this has been caused by a Leftist State government believing the Warmist crap about ever-worsening drought -- ignoring the traditional observation that Australia is a land "of drought and flooding rains". The Queensland State government failed to anticipate the "flooding rains" that we have now just had -- and are continuing to have. Only someone blinded by ideology would be unaware that droughts and floods alternate in Australia -- which is why Australia has so many dams and weirs

BILLIONS of dollars worth of newly built Bligh Government water projects responsible for driving up household water bills could be shut down and become white elephants.

A leaked Queensland Water Commission report, submitted to State Cabinet last week, proposes "mothballing" a raft of major water-treatment plants, all but closing the $1.2 billion Tugun Desalination Plant, and deferring building another water plant for 18 years.

Described as "Cabinet-in-confidence", the report gives three options to cut bulk-water prices after an update last month showed the price should be $133/ML less than the 2008 forecast after the aborted Traveston Dam.

The revelations come as the Government scrambles to stem the fallout over soaring water bills, with households hit with rises between $100 and $300 a year to pay for building the water grid.

The report's first option says do nothing, pay off water grid debt two years early and do not risk the "high probability" of reversing cuts if conditions change.

The second option outlines household savings of $4.62 in 2011-12 and $9.23 in 2012-13 - but only if the Tugun plant is run at 33 per cent for 10 years and then 67 per cent thereafter.

An extreme alternative - allowing a $11.53 household saving in 2011-12 - involves a "hot standby" by stopping the plant from feeding into the grid but being available on 24 hours' notice.

Set for mothballing are the Bundamba water treatment plant, either the Gibson Island or Luggage Point plants, and the Brisbane Aquifer Project. The first stage of the Cedar Grove plant at Wyaralong Dam near Beaudesert would be delayed until 2014-15 instead of 2012, with other stages to follow in 2028-29. But the extreme plan defers the whole plant until 2028-2029.

A third option for Cabinet is to announce an "intention" to reduce the destination bulk-water price by $37/ML in 2013-14.


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