Peter Ryan Nationals MP speaks to the crowd at rally on steps of Parliament 6-10-10 while
Msr Degremont counts his billions and unhappy Melbourne water consumer watches his costs.
Rally outside NAB when letters asking bank to disinvest in desal project were handed in.
The two giant French water companies Veolia and Suez (Degremont), who head the technology arms of the two consortia to build a Victorian desalination plant are discussed here in this La Monde article. Their rise to dominance in water and waste infrastructure in many countries is discussed, and the growing backlash from the community is investigated.
Click here to see the whole article, which is available at; http://mondediplo.com/2005/03/12private
“In the case of the desalination plant, however, the investors’ financial problems are an opportunity to reconsider a project that was of dubious merit in the first place”.
Former Melbourne Water managing director John Morgan has described recycling as “cost effective, safe and environmentally correct”,…
“If plans to upgrade purification and return water to dams had gone ahead, Melbourne’s supply would have increased by a quarter — sooner than the desalination plant, at more than twice the energy efficiency and about a third of the cost”.
Go to ‘Tech Talk’ or Click here to see what some of the other alternatives are.
Kenneth Davidson in the Age, 09/03/09, again points out how beneficial a pipe from Tasmania to Victoria might be.
“The proposal is that this water from Tasmania would replace the water from the Thomson and Upper Yarra dams, which now supply 400 gigalitres to Melbourne. This water would be freed up to replenish the Murray-Goulburn Basin with the expenditure of $300 million to build a tunnel 30 kilometres through the Great Divide to the Eildon”.
“Becoming black balloon junkies at a time when everyone else is being urged by TV ads to kick the habit isn’t a good look”.
“Unfortunately, at the rate we’re seeing reverse-osmosis desalination introduced, wind farms will only succeed in slowing the shameful rate of growth in emissions”.
And on other options; “All of these options need to be openly considered by the Government if there is to be any serious attempt to achieve real carbon reduction in the next couple of decades”.
“THE project meant to secure Melbourne against water shortages is facing a crisis: a money shortage because of the global credit squeeze”.
“Banking sources say the project faces a funding gap of between $1 billion and $2 billion. Some in the infrastructure industry say a mere $300 million to $500 million is available from banks for all major projects across the country”.
“The shortfalls confront the Brumby and Rudd governments with either finding the money to bail out the controversial plant, along with a string of other projects across the country, or shelving it”.
The real story now will be how the Brumby Government, who have dug such a hole for themselves by relying on this one option, get out of it. Will they;
- Allow a go ahead without funding and risk the consortia collapsing and the government having to bail them out,
- Allow a contract where we pay for water even if it isn’t needed (a ‘take or pay’ contract),
- Give away chunks of Melbourne’s water infrastructure and activities to this multinational consortia to boost their profitability,
- Beg the Federal Government to contribute from the infrastructure fund, some part of the $4,000+ million cost, for a project giving only 50 full time jobs when operating,
- The possibilities are mind boggling.
The big Jan 3rd 2009 event on the Bass Coast was finally staged at Cape Patterson near the proposed site of the “crazy” desalination factory.
The big collaboration of organisations ensured that the Australian media and the the Southern Australian public know that the Victorian surfing community with big name identities, stand united in protecting Victoria’s coastal heritage from “crazy” projects like the proposal for a desalination mega-factory on the East side of Wonthaggi.
Print & TV media were awash with stories and comments from a who’s who of champions of sport and music .
Sports people showed they can be very articulate and take the environmental protection message to the wider public, and get the first ‘worry sweat’ of 2009 out of the foreheads of all State politicians, leaving no doubt that 2009 will see power hungry, chemical discharging desal factories and other PPP projects under heavy fire from all angles.
How they will professional politicians keep their seats in the next State election if they stay silent on such outragous PPP projects ??
One of the great outcomes of the Jan 3rd event was the human sign spelling the surf lovers message that the Eastern Wonthaggi desal proposal will be a wipeout for Victoria.