ELECTION 2010: Gillard and Abbott to boost stormwater reuse

By Angela Dorizas

Projects that harvest and reuse stormwater are set to receive an increase in funding, with both major parties pledging to cover a greater share of development costs.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Water, Penny Wong, announced on Wednesday that the national Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse program would receive a $100 million boost, drawn from the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, already included in the Budget.

Ms Gillard said the first project to be funded from the extended program was the Waterproofing Eastern Adelaide scheme in South Australia.

The project brings together Burnside, Norwood, Payneham, St Peters, Campbelltown, Tea Tree Gully and Walkerville councils to create a network of stormwater capture, storage and distribution.

Ms Gillard committed $10 million towards the project, with additional costs to be met by state and local government.

The Local Government Association (LGA) of SA welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement.

LGA president Felicity-ann Lewis said the five participating councils would invest a total of $16 million in the project.

“The $32 million project will certainly be assisted to a positive outcome with the Federal Government’s $10 million commitment affirmed by Prime Minister Gillard,” Cr Lewis said in a statement.

“Harvested and repatriated stormwater will be used to irrigate council managed parks, sporting ovals and gardens.

“Councils invest heavily in water management schemes and we are always pleased when other spheres of government chip in to help with the overall bill.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today announced the Coalition would spend $16.5 on the stormwater harvesting project in eastern Adelaide.

Campaigning in Adelaide, Mr Abbott said Labor’s plan depended on a $6 million contribution from the SA Government.

“The state Labor government is in a diabolical debt and deficit position,” he said.

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