The water pipeline that powers Perth’s CBD has been the subject of widespread public outrage since it was first unveiled last year, after it was revealed the city was planning to install a $1.5 billion water pipe under the city’s waterfront.
The water pipe, which has since been shut down, will connect the CBD with the mainland, and is expected to be operational in 2019.
The pipe is an upgrade to the existing water pipeline, which runs along the edge of the city and is owned by the city.
The new pipe will be able to deliver 10 per cent more water per unit of gross domestic product, but will have a higher volume per metre than the existing pipe.
The upgrade was first announced in November, but the cost of the new pipe is now being negotiated.
A number of prominent people have spoken out in recent weeks, calling on the City of Perth to immediately suspend the water pipe project.
Premier Colin Barnett has been vocal about the cost to the state of the project, saying he would ask the Federal Government to review the cost.
Former Labor premier Kevin Rudd also expressed his frustration in a speech on Thursday, saying the state should “stick to the facts” and not rush to build a new water infrastructure.
In a statement released to the ABC on Friday, Mr Barnett said the water project was “a significant and expensive undertaking”.
“It is essential that we avoid a situation where the city of Perth cannot access and supply water for the community,” Mr Barnett wrote.
“The cost of this project will be a major burden on the State Government, and it will not be covered by the state’s share of the cost.”
The Government has said the new water pipe would cost around $8.6 billion, which is the same amount of money the state will pay to build the new network of roads.
Mr Barnett said it was important to “stick with the facts”.
“The Perth CBD is a major business hub, home to over 4 million people,” he said.
“The new water system will provide access to Perth’s business and industrial hubs, and will provide water to millions of homes and businesses throughout the CBD.”
Premiers in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia have also voiced their support for the project.
In a joint statement, they said the Government should be “a little more transparent about the project’s financial impact and how the project is financed”.
“This is not the first time the Federal government has rushed a water project through the planning process,” the states said.
Opposition Leader Adam Bandt has also called for the Government to “get out of the way” before the project gets started.
“This will create massive costs for the state, as well as millions of dollars for the city,” Mr Bandt said in a statement.
“Instead of rushing ahead with this, the government needs to show more transparency about its plan to invest $1 billion in the Perth CBD.”
Topics:water-supply,perth-6000,wattara-5052First posted October 20, 2018 13:34:24Contact Sarah HarrisonMore stories from Western Australia