Thursday, 23 August 2007

Financing the Clarence water raid - the billion dollar question

Given that Bourke Shire Council adopted the White Scheme for its proposed Clarence River water diversion plan, which relies on the estimated $1.5 billion dollar cost being "financed by the private sector against sales of water licences and long-term operation and management rights" [See link] and, was actively seeking to identify sources of diversion funding during October 2006 [See link] in the lead up to its early 2007 meeting with Malcolm Turnbull before he announced the SMEC desktop study recommendations, the first question posed is that of which private corporations were being approached in this attempt at a back door sale of Clarence freshwater.
The second question which springs to mind is what exactly Mr. Turnbull knew of this scheme to sell Clarence River water and operation/management rights in exchange for investment in infrastructure.
In light of the Minister's past remarks on the possible role of the private sector in financing public infrastructure, he needs to be transparent about his involvement, if any, in these early approaches to private companies.,M1 White Scheme & financing, page 121 Bourke Shire Council & funding

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