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Who will flip the switch?

Claims in Melbourne’s Herald-Sun today that there are corrupt elements associated with the desal plant at Wonthaggi seem like a pretty flimsy attempt to influence voters not to elect Labor in the upcoming election.

As a Victorian I’m like most others in our state. Most of us know when we are being conned. Unlike voters in other states, we can see bullshit coming from a mile away. We don’t spook easily and we have very good memories.

desal out John Brumby’s Labor government lost the last state election because of the waiting lists in our hospitals, the apparent dysfunctional ambulance service, a desalination plant built in Wonthaggi that has never been used and a pipeline from the Goulburn River built to service our dwindling metropolitan water supplies.

The LNP promised to fix the hospital waiting lists, the ambulance service, the shortfall in police numbers and shut down the pipeline. They promised to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in the country. They also opposed building the desal plant. Then, as it happened, the 12 year drought we experienced came to an end, just as the desal plant was completed, making it appear as if it wasn’t necessary in the first place. Our water storages at this point began to recover from a low of 32% of capacity.

Despite all this the LNP won that election by just one seat; ample evidence that the LNP were not really trusted to deliver on any of their promises. Furthermore, Labor had been in power for 11 years, a liability for any government.

Since then, the LNP have changed leaders and that’s pretty much it! Nothing else has changed. The ambulance service continues to struggle, the teachers are not the highest paid, the hospital waiting lists are the same, fire services have been cut and the list goes on. What is more insulting is that the promises they are dishing out now, are exactly the same as the ones they used to con sufficient numbers to change their vote in 2010. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

But it is the Desal plant that is the most interesting. To this day it has not delivered any water to the storages, because it hasn’t been needed. Average rainfall returned to normal after the 12 year drought in 2010 and our storage levels have remained above 65%, the tipping point at which the desal plant will kick in and start producing water to feed into our storage dams. The thing is, 2014 is the first year since 2009, when rainfall has been below average. And water levels are currently at 79%. One, therefore, can quite rightly ask: are we, in Victoria, at the beginning of another 12 year drought?

desal in

Inside the desal plant

Taking long range weather reports into account, it is not just possible, but likely, that our storages will fall below 65% this summer whatever happens. So, will it be a Liberal or Labor premier who will issue the order to crank it up? Given the Liberals opposition to building the plant and the ridicule that they dealt out over its construction, how ironic would it be for them to be the ones to flip the switch.

Poetic justice, however, would see that Labor are given that privilege. After all, they had the foresight to build it. The election will be close with a possibility that the Greens could hold the balance of power in the lower house. Such a result would vindicate the view that we really don’t trust anyone, anymore. But, at least we have a desal plant.

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7 comments

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  1. diannaart

    Completely agree with your view on the Desal plant – a contract that was near to completion BEFORE an election was called, compared to the last minute dash to sign a contract on the final day of sitting by the Napthine government – for a project that requires a comprehensive supporting network of transport – public, safer rail crossings and local roads – none of which is a part of this “great east link”.

    Whereas, in the land of “droughts and flooding rains” we can anticipate crucial need in the future of additional water sources. Labor will receive belated accolades once again.

  2. JLWhitaker

    Plus as someone else pointed out, our population will continue to grow. Where will the water come from, not only for food production, but for drinking and waste elimination. Restrictions can only do so much. Desal is the way of the future.

  3. bobrafto

    Same in QLD, our water supply was down to 18% and no one was allowed to wash cars, 3 min showers blah, blah and it was getting extremely concerning that we would run out of water and Labor built a desal plant which allayed peoples fears and then the heavens opened up..

    But it didn’t stop the LNP and their rusted on supporters claiming the desal plant was a billion dollar waste.

    The LNP also opposed a dam being built in the Mary River valley and yet it is ironic that building dams is an LNP policy.

  4. stephentardrew

    bobrafto:

    Now, now, now Bob none of that causal chain logical thinking stuff here please.
    Next minute you’ll be wanting us to believe in that sciencey stuff.
    You’r such a joker aren’t you just want to criticize your betters for no reason other than common sense.
    Good God man if we were to do that then we would have to tell the truth.
    Now traditional thinking is like a rock immovable and always right so no need for that critical thinking stuff.
    Some people just won’t unlearn will they?

  5. Wayne Turner

    The MSM “projecting”: More like corrupt elements aka all of them in the MSM who want to get another election result,and continue to ruin our so called democracy.

  6. Annie Byam

    The desal project was a necessity …. and many states / countries have them – up and running, … or waiting for the day to be run for the health of the county, state or country.

    “Murphy’s Law” …… as soon as the desal plant came into being in Victoria, with the first sod being turned on it, down came the rain in bloody bucketloads. Now we are full to the brim with water. I am not complaining about THAT. It was great to see, and helped somewhat to off-set the heat. Great to know we can live a few years longer on natural resources !!!

    BUT – all this means diddly squat in this day and age of increasingly freakish weather. With a summer that is ( allegedly ) promising yet again, to be the ‘worst ever’ ( compliments of the MSM ) …. we DO have to be prudent and take measures to make sure the one thing that ensures safety in life – that is WATER …. will be available. The Labor Party took the plunge and good for them that they did it – cos it sure will be necessary in the future …. if only to ease the burden of our ever increasing capricious weather patterns.

    ( the fact that the unutterably disgusting Federal Government we have ‘in power’ now, calls the whole scientific findings ‘crap’ … sickens me beyond belief. As I am sure it does most sane thinking Australians. )

    ……………

    As for the last minute dash to sign away lives, homes, and reasonable recompense – for the proposed ‘east-west link’ – that staggered me … but it shouldn’t have – because that kind of underhanded last minute garbage is EXACTLY what the Liberals are best at.

    Bloody idiots – all of them.

  7. Win jeavons

    We need a new Whitlam who understands what we are doing to the land, and what future direction should be .

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