Thank you Ken Smith for recent detail about your change of heart about the desal plant (‘Making the best of a situation’, Letters, 31/12/13 p22).
You say it was implemented by a Brack’s government when it was surely Brumby?
It’s curious that you list so many of your activities as so ineffective, not good value for taxpayer money.
Especially curious that you’re kind to union members of construction companies, making generous contributions to community, hardly surprising when even labourers were paid $150k/year.
Such people are now declared public enemy number one by your LibNat colleague Eric Abetz and aggressive Building Commission to de-unionise construction industry.
More than anything, it’s disappointing that you sidestep the question about finance.
Originally, it was $600million/year for 30 years, which amounts to 17 per cent annual interest on original fixed price tender award of $3.7billion.
My original question was about your colleague Peter Ryan proclaiming that it’s now $24billion over 28 years or $860million/year, taxpayer cash exported by Gaz De France SUEZ.
Does your government really think that PPP foreign investment is such good value, for such an extortionately crazy project as desal? Please advise.
Also, the question was there about the big power line connected, on a site doing nothing, how about installing wind turbines there, to put power into the grid, for now, and be sure desal plant has local power, if needed during drought, when La Trobe Valley power is likely to be restricted because of shortage of water?
Maybe you could propose a pipeline from Wonthaggi for security of supply of water to power stations. Please advise. Lastly, how long will this white elephant be of no value to anybody when some of the 55,000 filter elements could be recycled, to provide desperately needed aid, most desperate being clean water, to victims of extreme weather events, like typhoon Haiyan, Philippines? Please advise.
And your report of “millions” of plants at desal site is surely the kind of hyperbole reserved for advocates of 300,000 strong Green Army in Direct Action Plan Policy. Oops latest news is Green Army now 15,000, a reduction of 95 per cent; is this “making hard decisions” or correcting a stuff up (disregarding that this scale of tree planting is usually done by machine, not by hand)? Could dismantling some of the 55,000 filter elements at desal plat represent serious work for Green Army?
Bernie McComb, Cowes