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World Water Day: time to fund alternatives to Yarragadee

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 21 Mar 2007

Senator Rachel Siewert has used the occasion of World Water Day to press for alternatives to the WA Government's proposal to draw 45 billion litres of water per year out of the South West Yarragadee aquifer.

"On the basis of the evidence, I do not agree with the recent 'Sustainability Assessment' Panel's findings that the Yarragadee project is sustainable - quite the opposite," said Senator Siewert.

"Why was the panel prevented from looking at alternatives?" asked Senator Siewert. "This proposal could devastate the environment of the south-west, and all it does is delay another desalination plant for a few years. Instead we need to look at why Perth's water consumption is so high."

"The report also used outdated rainfall figures which do not accurately reflect the serious decline in rainfall experienced in the South West. There is well established evidence that the Yarragadee proposal will be a repeat of the damage inflicted on Perth's northern wetlands by over abstraction from the Gnangara Mound," Senator Siewert said.

"The State Government sought $300 million in federal funding for the raid on the South West Yarragadee, which Federal Minister for Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull sensibly turned down."
"However, having been entirely overlooked in the Prime Minister's $10 billion Murray Darling plan, Western Australia should be demanding Malcolm Turnbull fund realistic water efficiency measures across the board."

"We don't need to go after the Yarragadee - we should instead be funding the kinds of measures outlined in the "Water Challenge" paper by Greens MLC Paul Llewellyn":

http://www.mp.wa.gov.au/llewellyn/yarragadee.php

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