Kelly rules out more new dams

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Water Corporation ranger, Drew Bennett takes a sample from the Quickup Dam inlet.
Camera IconWater Corporation ranger, Drew Bennett takes a sample from the Quickup Dam inlet. Credit: Laurie Benson

Water Minister Dave Kelly has ruled out building new dams in Denmark, declaring they would be ineffective in a drying climate, after he was prodded by local MP Terry Redman.

During last Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting, Mr Redman questioned Mr Kelly on the State Government’s communication with a Denmark residents before the announcement of a $32 million pipeline between Albany and its Great Southern neighbour.

In response, Mr Kelly said he was “perplexed” by the Member for Warren-Blackwood’s question before blasting him on his own management of the town’s water supply.

“I have seen reports of the member in 2008, when the previous Labor government made decisions around this, saying, ‘Why hasn’t the Labor government acted on this earlier? Everybody’s known about the drying climate’,” Mr Kelly said.

“That was 10 years ago. He then got into government and he did not fix it.

“In 2015, the former government spent $12 million building a pipeline between the two dams, both of which rely on rainwater, and, lo and behold, four years later, it had not worked.”

Calling the dam-to-dam project a $12 million waste, Mr Kelly said Mr Redman should, “thank the Labor Government for securing the water supply for his town”.

In a supplementary question, Mr Redman asked Mr Kelly if the Water Corporation was considering building more dams in Denmark to ensure future water supply.

“The Water Corporation considers absolutely all options, as the member knows, but I can tell the member there is no plan to build an additional dam in the Denmark region,” Mr Kelly said.

“There is absolutely no plan by this Government to build an additional dam, because what fills up dams is rain, and the problem is that climate change has meant that there is less rainfall in that area.”

On Wednesday, Nationals WA leader Mia Davies called on the Legislative Council to condemn Mr Kelly for “lack of process on water reform” in the State.

The move was backed by Mr Redman and the Member for Roe, Peter Rundle.

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