Saturday, 21 July 2007

Rudd rides to the rescue

There were a great many smiling faces in the Clarence Valley on Friday 20 July 2007, when Federal Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Water, Anthony Albanese, visited Grafton.

Mr. Rudd affirmed that he could see "no logical basis" for a program to divert NSW Northern Rivers water to south-east Queensland [Ninemsn,National News,20 July 2007].

In this he is in agreement with Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, who states that the Queensland Government has no plans to add a Clarence River diversion project to existing water resource programs in south-east Queensland [Email on behalf of Peter Beattie to J Melville,19 July 2007].

Mr. Rudd told Clarence Valley residents that a Labor Government would never support damming the Clarence and that he "stands against" such a plan.
Commenting on John Howard's pub test criteria for accepting validity of the SMEC Clarence diversion proposal, the Opposition Leader went on to say that Howard's diversion plan "doesn't pass the pub test in Grafton". [Channel 7,"Prime News",20 July 2007]

This strong support for the NSW Northern Rivers region is in marked contrast to the attitude of John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull, who have not visited the Clarence Valley regarding this issue and who characterise local opposition to their water diversion proposal as parochial and un-Australian.

As recently as Friday, Malcolm Turnbull continued to defend options to dam the Clarence and its tributaries [Ninemsn,National News,20 July 2007].

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