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The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
18 October 2006
I am pleased that the State Government has now matched Ted Ballieu's promise to upgrade the Eastern Treatment Plant to tertiary level.
Now that we have bipartisan support, hopefully it is the beginning of the end for Gunnamatta.
There are however three issues:
First, the same Minister made the same promise in 2001 and welched on it.
Second, the proposal is accompanied by an $18.5 million gift to consultants for a "study" on a possible use for the upgraded water. This gift to consultants is a waste of money and comes three years after I personally presented the proposal to Minister Thwaites.
After so many years the question must now be: Where is the plan and why do we have to wait until after the election?
Third, the State proposal is approximately $100 million more expensive than the Victorian Opposition's costing of the task. In that context, it is amazing that the State has refused to hand over the feasibility study for which the Commonwealth has allocated $1 million in funding.
I will be supporting any reasonable application for appropriate Commonwealth contribution to help clean up Gunnamatta - no matter which party wins government in Victoria.
John Deller (Mr Hunt's office) on 0400 496 596