Home' InDaily : September 3rd 2010 Contents STAND FOR SOMETHING
IF YOU KNOW A GOOD COMMUNITY LEADER, OR THINK YOU COULD BE ONE,
NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND FOR SOMETHING.
HAVE A THINK ABOUT STANDING FOR YOUR COUNCIL
OR ENCOURAGING SOMEONE YOU KNOW.
NOMINATE BY NOON 21 SEPTEMBER 2010
visit lga.sa.gov.au for more information
Authorised by Wendy Campana
The Independent Weekly
September 3 - 9, 2010 news
Water turns on money
Then came Rann s Waterloo.
The Premier was at a staged
media event to talk about trams,
but the press conference went off
the rails. Out of the blue, he made a
"Can I just announce today that
I ... well, let s just do it, let s just
do it. I can announce today that
water restrictions will be ended on
December 1. There we go. Thank
you. There s a good story for you."
"It s a great story," agreed one
reporter, "but why the change of
"Because we ve got sufficient
water in the system and we were
basically timing it to the opening
of the desal plant. My view is, is
that December 1 is the right time
to end water restrictions because
that s when it s hot weather. There s
no point in doing it now when it s
raining all the time."
One sceptical journalist said this
seemed at odds with what the Water
Minister had said days before.
"This is very good news," Rann
ploughed on. "I know some of you
don t like good news and I saw
Channel 7 last night and I thought
it was bizarre because I was there
talking to a Channel 7 journalist,
telling him about the delay and then
it was reported quite differently."
He next took a swipe at another
journalist for the fun of it, and then
tried to cut short the conference.
"Thank you very much. I have to
go," he said, but reporters hadn t
"Will it happen whether or not
the water is flowing from the desal
plant?" was their next question.
"Yeah, I ve just told you that and
I ve just made the decision, okay?
It s good news, breaking news. I can
see you re happy. What you ve got,
you ve got time in the cars back to
the studios to work out how you can
switch that into a negative. Thank
It was a surreal performance.
Rann announced he had "just made
The Independent Weekly under-
stands from senior sources that the
issue was not discussed in Cabinet.
Water Security Commissioner
Robyn McLeod said the first she
heard of it was when the Premier
announced it. If Caica had any
advance warning Rann was going to
drop the bomb, was he sheltering in
"It s just the way the Government
has gone about making the deci-
sion," said Liberal Mitch Williams.
"Obviously Paul Caica was totally
unaware. So he s the Minister
responsible, he s the person
who s supposed to be crunching
the numbers working out when
the Government can make those
sorts of announcements. He knew
nothing about it. The Premier just
came out and made a decision on
"Why are we waiting until
December 1? Why don t we ease
water restrictions today? There s
plenty of people around Adelaide
who are saying today: Why do I still
have to use a bucket to wash my
car? This was a knee-jerk reaction,
a decision made on the run."
Caica denies the charge, saying
he d spoken to the Premier the night
before, but stopping short of saying
he knew about the announcement
Meanwhile, the question is not
how much water we can use, but
how much that water will cost. The
cost of the desalinatio
climbing almost daily.
have doubled since the
announced it would bu
Since Labor came to
office, the price of wat
Desalinated water ca
be between five and 10
times the cost of extra
ing River Murray wate
Under a secret contrac
the Government has
guaranteed the plant s
foreign operators and
investors a minimum
return on investment.
Once the plant comes
online, the more water
makes the more money
it will make. If it doesn
produce a drop, taxpay
will have to subsidise t
plant for water it doesn
Lifting restrictions i
about public perceptio
and money, not water
policy. Adelaide s wate
supply is to be managed more like
an electricity supply -- regulated by garden in the front and vegies out
the back. Soon you ll need money,
From Page 3
n plant is
uild the plant.
cost, not rationing. Those prices
will rise with inflationary effects on
households and business state-wide.
Once you had to have a green
lots of it. There will be families
with kids in outer suburbs unable
to afford to water the lawn.
Adelaide gardens are becoming a
status symbol, rather than just the
kids play area. And if that news
isn t enough, figures this
week show the major
cost component of
water -- electricity -- is
also going to become
vastly more expensive.
As they know at
and on Yorke
rains, but it
Port Stanvac desal plant: Months behind schedule.
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