Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

wa2013.vote-wars.info ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Infrastructure Matters

Grylls delays safe water for Jigalong

Labor Statement

Regional Development Minister Brendan Grylls has sat on the money allocated to ensure the Jigalong community has safe and reliable water and electricity, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ben Wyatt said today.

Mr Wyatt said Mr Grylls issued a media statement on December 19, 2012 claiming he had provided funding to access quality drinking water and a new power station at Jigalong.

"This is a breathtaking display of both negligence and hypocrisy," Mr Wyatt said.

"What Mr Grylls failed to mention in his press release was that he has deliberately sat on money that was specifically allocated for improving water quality in remote Aboriginal communities.

"The 2011-12 State Budget allocated $12.2million to improve drinking water at remote Aboriginal communities for the two years from 2011-12 to 2012/13. Yet, the Government has only seen fit to spend $6.3million, only half of the money granted in the 2011-12 Budget.

"Further, the 2010-11 Budget allocated $10million specifically to Jigalong for an 'essential services' pilot over 2010-11 and 2011-12. Mr Grylls has delayed spending any of this money until after the State election in 2013.

"Instead we have Mr Grylls, after failing to deliver on either the essential services pilot for Jigalong, or spending any of the allocated money for improved water at remote Aboriginal communities at Jigalong, again announcing the allocation of this money in an effort to assuage community concerns.

"To be quite simple, Jigalong has been dudded by Brendan Grylls prioritising other spending over improving the quality of water at Jigalong or replacing the community's power station."

Mr Wyatt said Mr Grylls' response to the Parliament's Community Development and Justice Committee's recommendation that the 'State Government release funds for the provision of water and power to meet the needs of the Pilbara communities' (tabled on 3 November 2011), was:

'There is a need to invest in power and water infrastructure within the Pilbara but not necessarily by the Government....where Government spending is required for assets that are not able to be delivered by the private and/or resource sectors, the infrastructure has been regarded as core business for Government and hence should be funded from consolidated revenue, not Royalties for Regions.'

"Clearly Mr Grylls was of the view that the water and power demands of Jigalong were not worthy of Royalties for Regions funding, yet when public pressure is placed on him he suddenly finds Jigalong worthy of Royalties for Regions investment," he said.

"If WA Labor is elected on March 9, the new McGowan Labor Government will immediately appoint Horizon Power as the lead agency to deliver these services.

"We will instruct The Water Corporation to co-operate to ensure there are no further 'Brendan Grylls' delays to the provision of safe water to the people of Jigalong."

The #wa2013vote website will be kept online so politicians promises and statements can be checked until the end of next WA election in 2017, and after.