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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 925 asked in the Legislative Council on 22 August 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon D.J. Kelly
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 22 August 2019

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 Australia.

(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?

Hon 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.