“Scrap the Desal”  Rally on the steps of Parliament

Midday on Wednesday 6th October

We have had a amazing few weeks with the Brumby Government under intense scrutiny over the financing of the desal fiasco.

This is a crucial time, coming up to the state election - Parliament is sitting and politicians are listening.
Join us and bring your outrage at the money we will be paying for the next 30 years to fund a wasteful energy guzzling project which even Labor insiders are now questioning.
Listen to speeches on canning the desal contract.

See Timmie the giant desal tap, all the way from Gippsland!

More info 0407 811 778 or answers@watershedvictoria.org.au

If you can’t come, you could contact your MP and the Premier john.brumby@parliament.vic.gov.au (03) 9651 5000 calling for scrapping the desal plant and replacing it with sustainable cheaper alternatives.


Tags Categories: Events, Features, Media Centre, News Posted By: bob
Last Edit: 04 Oct 2010 @ 09 35 PM

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nab-logo2As requested both Westpac and Nab sent representatives to a meeting with Watershed representatives at Kilcunda on Wednesday 14th October.

westpaclogo2Results of our meeting with the banks in relation to our concerns about them not meeting their ethical investment guidelines:

  • A presentation was given by Watershed pointing out our concerns and some background to the issues. The banks filled us in on various aspects of how they see their obligations and how they assessed the project.
  • The banks have assessed this as a B-grade environmental and social risk project (from an A to C or no ranking range). Our fears were well founded, in that they admitted they largely relied on the proponents environmental assessment (as poorly scoped and resourced as it was), to give the project an acceptable risk assessment.
  • Both banks used a consultant firm, originally employed by AquaSure, to “do their assessment”.
  • The banks agreed that ongoing assessments would be required, although the scope or scale of this was not available.
  • They claimed ‘confidentiality’ as their reason for not previously consulting Watershed, and for not immediately being able to address some of our concerns.
  • The consultant, who was present, said he believed that alternatives were not available, based on previous work he had done for Government, and an unspecified document he did not name or indicate availability of.
  • Watershed pointed out that by relying on a flawed EES and failing to consider all issues the equator principles 2 and 3 in particular had been inadequately addressed. After our presentation there was general agreement that the issues around using desalination to secure Melbourne’s water supply were many and varied.
  • Watershed have left the banks with a list of issues that we feel have been inadequately addressed including some of the above and also the following; we have requested they furnish us with responses to these concerns in a timely fashion:
    • Why was the project given a category B status given the scale, implications for future water policy, location, multiple areas of impact, unresolved concerns and unaddressed issues involved?
    • How can their environmental assessment be adequate given that it either did not, or only inadequately addressed issues such as the need for baseline studies, choice of site or processes, climate change implications, social issues and cumulative impacts of this project over time and with existing and future projects?
    • What do the banks see as ‘consultation’, what will the following plans contain and when will they be available:
      • ’social environmental management plan’
      • ‘borrower’s grievance mechanism’
      • ‘works environmental management plan’
      • ‘ongoing environmental monitoring plan for compliance’ ?
    • What degree of public transparency will the banks require of the above, and when will they be required?

Stay tuned to see whether the banks reassess their involvement in this project or whether we get satisfactory responses to these and other concerns.

  • Please continue to send letters with your concerns to the banks, click here.
  • Should you be prepared to take action if we do not get satisfactory responses please contact us, click here.
  • Click the ‘BANKS’ tab at the top of the page for more information on this issue.
Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre, News, Uncategorised Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 19 Oct 2009 @ 10 10 PM

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Desal housing impact

Housing Hardship on the Bass Coast - more desal impacts

If you know anybody in this kind of situation please call Jessica on 0407 307231,

or if you have evidence of specific locations where people have been dislodged from their accommodation, and replaced by desal workers please call Maurice on 0419 552385.  Maurice is also looking for a copy of the EMP (Environmental Monitoring Plan) that is supposed to exist for the works underway at present, should you happen to know where a copy could be found.

Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre, News, Uncategorised Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 17 Oct 2009 @ 09 07 PM

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 07 Oct 2009 @ 12:54 PM 

How much will it cost? - Dispite the State Government claiming $3.5 billion, the chairman of the company building and operating the plant says $ 4.8 billion, all from our water bills and taxes. This means water from the plant must cost at least five times what we get from Melbourne water now! (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UsEFhl_DdI)

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Categories: Features, Media Centre
Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 07 Oct 2009 @ 03 35 PM

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 05 Oct 2009 @ 11:30 AM 

screen-capture Great article in the Age, 5th October

Check it out here:


Think about writing a short letter to the editor, or your local paper about these and related issues!

Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 05 Oct 2009 @ 11 30 AM

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 25 Sep 2009 @ 8:30 PM 

The government now owns a land easement from the Bass Coast to Melbourne’s suburbs.


Around 125 farmers and other landowners have had parts of their properties compulsorily aquired, and this has happened without the usual 5 month notice. The government have kindly told the farmers that they won’t have to pay rent on this land (at least not yet). Read the story in ‘The Weekly Times’ newspaper at the link below:


Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre, Uncategorised Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 25 Sep 2009 @ 08 42 PM

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 21 Sep 2009 @ 11:03 PM 

Sustainability - what is it?

Film challenge for young Victorians - $8,000 in prizes to be won

screen-capture-1If you are under 21 and interested in the much misused word “sustainability”, and visual media, here’s you chance to win some great prizes. If you chose to question the sustainability of building a huge desal plant, that would shut out cheaper and better options for our environment, while tying up huge amounts of renewable energy, that isn’t even available yet, that could otherwise have been used to cut our carbon emissions, and a plant that creates yet another ocean pollution outfall, I wonder if you would have much hope of winning, given who’s running the show, but you never know!

Click here for the details:  www.futureshots.com.au

Tags Categories: Features, Making Waves, Media Centre Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 21 Sep 2009 @ 11 29 PM

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 29 Mar 2009 @ 8:29 PM 

TopSecretGraphicA secret, State Government, cabinet-commissioned water plan delivered to ministers early in June 2007 said that the desalination plant and the N-S pipe could have been avoided with the kind of water policy Watershed Victoria is advocating. This was before the decision, to turn the water plan put to the people at the last election, on its head.


Click here to - Read the report in the Sunday Age 29/03/2009


And Mr Brumby’s response: If we had done that we would be on Stage 4 restrictions now. But Mr Brumby, your government’s new Water Plan hasn’t actually sourced any new water as yet! Some of these alternatives could already be topping up our dams And the efficiency measures could have been allowing us to take much less from the dams than the miserly tank rebates and replacement showerheads you have spent millions in the media to convince us you are doing something.

Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 12 May 2009 @ 08 45 PM

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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

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Categories: Features, Making Waves, Uncategorised
Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 12 May 2009 @ 08 48 PM

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“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”.

Click here to see the whole article.

Go to ‘Tech Talk’ or Click here to see what some of the other alternatives are.

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Categories: Making Waves
Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 13 May 2009 @ 06 06 PM

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