Is Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott building a case to dam NSW coastal rivers?
The Coalition will invest in new and upgraded dams
The Coalition will invest in Australia's future water security. Australia has been let down by a failure to plan for Australia's long-term water needs.
State Labor governments have made poor investment decisions, deciding to pour billions of dollars into desalination plants which have contributed to the 60 per cent rise in water prices since Labor came to power in 2007.
As a result, the long-term planning to secure Australia's water future has not been done. Crucial infrastructure in water assets takes decades to plan for.
The Coalition will invest in the water supply options that Labor has ignored during its time in government.
Dams can provide reliable water supplies for cities, underpin the economic development of the agriculture, manufacturing and mining sectors, provide a low-emission source of electricity and mitigate the effects of flood.
Australia has not built a large dam for over 20 years. If we don't start planning for new investments now, then our water storage capacity will fall considerably over the next 20 years. That's why the Coalition's Dams Taskforce is looking at potential investments in Dam capacity across the country.
Compared to 20 years ago, the amount of water we can store per person has fallen considerably. In 1990 Australia could store in its dams over 4.5 ML per person. Due to a lack of investment in dams, we can now only store 3.5 ML per person. By 2050, if no more dams are built, it will fall below 2.5 ML per person.
[COALITION SPEAKER'S NOTES Current as at 1 July 2012]