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Geelong Advertiser: Labor’s pledge on Shell water cash

Daniel Breen
28 Apr 07

LABOR has committed $20 million to Geelong’s water recycling project as the lead-up to this year’s Federal election intensifies.

The Opposition put its nose in front in the water debate during its national conference in Sydney yesterday.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd applied the blowtorch to the Federal Government by promising to fund the final third of the $64 million project’s cost if he won office.

Shell and the State Government have already committed funding for the water recycling project in Geelong’s north.

Labor candidate for Corio Richard Marles said yesterday’s announcement was significant because at the very least it would embarrass the current government into action.

“This is the most significant piece of water infrastructure in Geelong for over 20 years,” Mr Marles said.

“While Malcolm Turnbull has been twiddling his thumbs about how to spend the Australian Water Fund, Federal Labor is making its commitment to Geelong.

“This will happen if and when Labor wins government but it will happen sooner if Malcolm Turnbull commits to it now. At this stage he hasn’t.”

Shell currently uses 5 per cent of the Geelong region’s water but the proposed recycling plant would all but eliminate the refinery’s reliance on mains water.

The refinery’s switch to recycled water would free up 2000 megalitres of drinking water per year for household use, while there are also hopes the plant could be expanded to recycle up to 5000ML.

It also has the potential to stop 1000ML of site outfalls flowing into Corio Bay and reduce the Black Rock outfall by another 1000ML.

Mr Marles said the potential savings would go a long way towards easing the region’s drought pain.

“We’ve been on Stage Four water restrictions for almost five months, our city is parched and this is a practical and significant step towards solving Geelong’s water crisis,” he said.

“This is a perfect example of state and federal Labor working together to deliver a crucial piece of infrastructure.” and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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