WATER RESOURCE ASSESSMENT
— FITZROY CATCHMENT
925. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the
Minister for Water:
Last Monday, it was reported in The
Australian that last year the CSIRO spent $15 million developing a detailed
blueprint for new water infrastructure, including for the Fitzroy River in Western
(1) Has the minister or his
department reviewed the blueprint in detail?
(2) The CSIRO's
proposal simply involves some pipes and some pumps to fill up nearby farm dams,
which could support up to 160 000 hectares of a single irrigated dry-season
crop. Is the government aware of how much this proposal would cost; and, if
not, why not; and, if yes, how much would it cost?
(3) In response
to this proposal, a spokesperson for the minister was reported as saying —
''Our government made election
commitments to not dam the Fitzroy �
Does the minister now concede that
the CSIRO's proposal actually does not involve damming the Fitzroy at all?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
The Minister for Water has provided the following answer.
(1) The Department of Water and
Environmental Regulation received the report.
(2) I am aware only of the CSIRO
estimate, which is approximately $935 million.
(3) The comments
reported incompletely from Monday's The Australian merely
restated our election commitment to not dam the Fitzroy and to create the
Fitzroy River national park. The CSIRO report did not contain specific
proposals; it provided information on a range of topics relating to the use of
water resources in the Fitzroy catchment.