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Gutwein Refuses to Rule Out Further Public Funds for Twamley Dam

17 Oct 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment and Water spokesperson

Treasurer Peter Gutwein refused to rule out committing further public funding to bail out the now-precarious Twamley Dam and Prosser pipeline construction projects on the drought-ridden East Coast.

In 2016, Treasurer Gutwein approved a $6 million loan to the cash-strapped Glamorgan Spring Bay Council. The loan was to construct the controversial Twamley Dam, in the middle of 50 hectares of endangered swift parrot habitat, and a pipeline to run water to Tassal’s fish farm in Okehampton Bay and a ludicrous Solis golf course proposal.

The Council has now voted not to proceed with the Twamley Dam or the second stage of the pipeline, fearing a catastrophic debt burden. It was a correct and clear-sighted decision to prevent taking ratepayers into effective insolvency.

The Treasurer signed off the loan, with negotiations conducted in secret between his agency and the previous Mayor. Many councillors at that time publicly called out the flawed process and lack of information available to them.

Water on the East Coast is scarce, and precious. Regional climate heating models show drier conditions continuing in the future.

Public monies to support the Twamley Dam and Prosser pipeline proposal should never have been approved. Both projects were planned for construction overwhelmingly for the benefit of two water-squandering private companies.

When the East Coast is getting drier and drier, and the council is under increasing financial pressure, there is no case for the public to foot the bill for these projects. The Treasurer needs to rule out providing bail-out financing to these two decadent water-using companies