- Photos: Destructive winds lash the state
- 'Banks need to improve their reputation'
- 'I feel like I've earned this'
- Ron Iddles: 'This could actually save lives'
- Footscray surgeon's 'miracle' recovery
- Shooting star Laetisha Scanlan with Neil Mitchell
- Newsreader gaffe: Who am I again?
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What we're talking about
- Tanya on Photos: Destructive winds lash the state Re the tree down in Coles - Bayswater.Why on earth did someone plant a monstrous gum tree in a car park?The mind boggles. more
- IBARKER on Ron Iddles: 'This could actually save ... This is not only a man V women it can happen the other way. more
- Milton on Ron Iddles: 'This could actually save ... Why wait for 3 breaches, why not 2 or possibly just 1? more
- Steve on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... How can this man expect anybody to believe such rubbish? Recording a private conversation is legal as long as it is not ... more
- Joe Garra on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Why did they destroy someone else's property?? more
- Eric on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... What a beat up,who cares it is of no importance in the running of the State. Just another example of Neil Mitchell making a ... more
- poppitt on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... It appears Mr Andrews likes to call other politicians out for lying, cheating, stealing, but when it comes to members of his ... more
- Vallipuram on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... so it is ok to vandalise someone elses property As leader of opposition you accept responsibility for vandalism of property ... more
- Dallas on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Peter dalglish forget about tying to find the State Labor website on-line the way you spell you'll end up at a maternity ... more
- Stephen on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Oh and Mr Andrews the property was not yours to destroy!! So theft and criminal damage! The potential charges grow!! more
- Marko on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... I'd like to know why no police charges have been laid against Daniel Andrews, Kosmos Samaras, etc? When I was a cop it was ... more
- Bruce on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Mr Andrews still did not take responsibility!He repeatedly stated "It is my responsibility to get to the bottom of it"He ... more
- Bob on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Dead man walking, Mr Andrews. You expect us to believe that all those around you knew about the tape, what was on it, copied ... more
- Kate on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Interesting comment he makes in the second half of the tape at 8.07 - "I first heard this and I am not entirely sure I have ... more
- Fred on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Someone needs to teach Andrews the definition of theft. Only then will he understand what a 'thief' is. Mealy mouthed ... more
- bc on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... poor baby huey andrews the carnival is over .One thing there are grubs on all sides grubby guy is after napthines job.Fancy ... more
- Peter dalglish on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Daniels Andrews connected with unions federal opposition leader connected with unions, see a pattern happening here.Now to ... more
- Big Al on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... I have no faith or respect for any of our politicians. They are all devious and incompetent. Most people I speak to are ... more
- Colin Lacivita on Woman disgusted over 'death' plate This is unforgivable. The driver of this vehicle should be exposed so we can see who he really is. He should not be allowed ... more
- IBARKER on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Poppitt ?? Where are you for out thou. more
Labor refuses to apologise for problem-laden desalination plant
The former state Labor government is refusing to apologise for the building of Victoria’s multi-billion dollar desalination plant despite the French boss of the project saying the project is too big for Melbourne’s water needs.
Speaking with Neil Mitchell, Opposition Spokesperson for Water and Former State Treasurer in the Bracks/Brumby Government John Lenders defended his party’s decision to undertake the problem-laden desalination project while in power.
The CEO company which was contracted by the government to build the plant told the Herald Sun the plant was too big to cater for Melbourne’s needs.
"The design was done to provide water to the full city of Melbourne in case of no rain during one year - which was not realistic," Suez Environment chief executive Jean-Louis Chaussade told News Limited.
When quizzed by Neil Mitchell as to whether that was the provision entered into between Suez Environment and the Labor Government, Mr Lenders denied the size of the desalination plant’s design was predicated on that basis.
"No, the design was done to guarantee Melbourne a third of its water from the ocean over a period of time," he said.
However on the question of regrets on undertaking the project, Mr Lenders conceded in hindsight had the government known Victoria would come out of a drought in 2010, they would have taken their time to build the desalination plant.
"I stand by the decision that in drought, if you take water out of the ocean, the water never runs out," he said.
"If I had've known that it was going to rain in December 2010, we would've done the same thing but over a longer period of time."
Mr Lenders said the plant would cost Victorian taxpayers $4-5 billion in today’s dollar terms.
"If water is drawn out of it, it costs more," he said.
Mr Lenders said the plan was for the plant to provide Melburnians with 150GL of water in drought.
However Mr Lenders deflected the cost of the project, saying the cost of the desal plant was equivalent to the amount of money the Baillieu government is taking out in dividends this year.
"There's also in here as much money is being paid in taxes and charges to the Baillieu government in dividends as is going to be paid for the desalination plant," he said.
Mr Lenders said the only reason the story appeared in today’s Herald Sun was because the Baillieu government had allowed for it to be published to embarrass the former Labor government.
"This story is in the paper today is only there because the Baillieu government wants it there," he said.
"His company has a secrecy agreement with government, it can't comment unless the Minister for Water lets it."
LISTEN: John Lenders MP speaks with Neil Mitchell:
peter from rosana thats the point the thomson dam is 76 percent full. WE HAD TIME , WE HAVE GOT 76 PERCENT OF WATER in the dam , if we hadnt built the desal plant we could have built it at any time.. IF WE had built cheap dams they had time to fill up !!!!!!!!!Steve Wednesday 26 December, 2012 - 10:19 AM
Why would Labor apologize for only this one big cock-up? Labor made hundreds of cock-ups that would require apologies including myki. Of course, the corruption, IT mismanagement, crooked contracting, funding of spatial lobbyists amongst other things under Land Victoria is legendary and unprecedented. So let's not expect apologies for these shameless Labor hacks.
Interestingly the same incompetent self-serving bureaucrats are still hanging around under One-term Ted and Minister Guy fawkes Planning.TF of LV Sunday 9 December, 2012 - 6:14 AM
After all the rain we have had this winter (record levels) the Thomson Dam is still only about 76% full. If we had built another ten dams there would not have been one extra drop of water for Melbourne. The desal was a great initiative and as Melbourne grows we will applaud the decision to build a big one.Peter from Rosanna Wednesday 5 December, 2012 - 3:53 PM
I was told a while ago that the original plan for the desal was to eventually supply water to a nuclear power plant...
Now it seems clear that it was purposly constructed 'too big' for this reason and nuclear power for Australia has been on the cards for a very long time!!!
Tacit agreements without the consent of the people, what a democracy!HV Wednesday 5 December, 2012 - 12:09 PM
It would have been cheaper to build a DAM and if it did'nt rain well then build the desal plant a small one to keep us going....marie Tuesday 4 December, 2012 - 8:15 PM
We should have had a small DESAL PLANT as soon as the drought took hold, and we wouldnt had water restrictions...steve Tuesday 4 December, 2012 - 8:10 PM