The $750m pipe we’ve never used — and never will — but still pay for
FIRST on the NEIL MITCHELL PROGRAM
The state government says the controversial North-South Pipeline, which cost nearly $1 billion, has never been used — and never will.
Ten years have passed since the completion of the water pipeline, which was designed to pump water from Lake Eildon into Melbourne’s reservoirs at the height of the millennium drought.
The idea caused anger in the country and bitter protests during construction but, other than a period of testing, the $750m pipeline has never been used.
Former Liberal politician and water executive Steve McArthur says it was always a bad idea.
“It was always a flawed concept because whenever Melbourne is in drought, the northern part of Victoria is in a worse drought,” he said.
The North-South Pipeline, also known as the Sugarloaf Pipeline, was effectively superseded by the desalination plant two years later and current Minister for Water Lisa Neville says there’s no intention to use it in the future.
But Melbourne water users are still paying for it through a levy on their bills.
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