Labor's pipe dream puts country communities on alert
08 April 2016
Friday 8 April 2016
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to come clean about plans to unplug the north-south pipeline.
“The Water Minister floated her idea for unplugging the pipe and reversing the flow months ago but refuses to give our communities any real detail, other than saying a mysterious business case is 'underway',” Ms Ryan said.
“Minister Neville won’t even say when the business case might be finished.
“I formally lodged questions with the Minister through the Parliament but she has replied with crafty statements which aim to give nothing away.
“Our communities lived a nightmare when Labor rammed the pipeline through, and the longer the Andrews Government withholds information from us, the more people's suspicions grow.
“Where would the water come from, and where would it go?
"How much would it cost taxpayers and water users, and is it even possible to reverse the pipe given it was engineered to only run north-south, not south-north?
“Importantly, will Melbourne Water contractors be marching back across private property to dig up and re-lay pipe infrastructure?"
Ms Ryan said if the pipeline was unplugged and reversed, Premier Daniel Andrews would be breaking yet another election promise.
“Before the election Mr Andrews said he had no plans for the north-south pipeline. But only a few months after election he and Minister Neville backflipped and admitted they would look at using it after all.
“Once again, Labor’s deception and secrecy over this pipeline has country communities on high alert.”
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews told The Weekly Times the pipeline was “in the past” and he had “no plans to change the settings as they are now”.
Quizzed on Wednesday about Labor's plans for the pipeline, Mr Andrews said: "The current settings will remain in place and they will not be changed."