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Desal: no water provided but Victorian families pay $450pa for bikies and drunks

The scale of government waste is spectacular, even on a global scale. Desalination in Victoria, Australia, might be the worst example, per capita, of climate waste anywhere in the world. I challenge foreign readers to outdo it.

With all the wisdom of the best Soviet-style governance, giant desalination plants on the east coast of Australia were built because of prophecies of drought. Experts said the rain wouldn’t return and the dams wouldn’t fill. Billions of dollars later, the plants were barely finished when the rain returned and the dams filled. Most of Australia’s desal plants were mothballed.

The Labor Party in Victoria signed a $22.5 billion contract over 28 years for water that could be delivered almost entirely during the “wet” 30 year part of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation when it isn’t really needed. The plant also cost $3.5 billion to build, is plagued by leaks, and so far has provided zero litres of emergency water.

Treasurer Michael O’Brien said Victorians were paying $1.8 million a day for the desalination plant to sit idle.

That works out as $113 per man, woman, and child in Victoria, or $450 per year for a family of four, paid to the Gods of Climate Change (with quite a lot siphoned off by unions and union-workers). The Labor party calls this “insurance” which was well spent because the cost of running out of water is much higher. It’s the usual innumerate argument. By the same reasoning, we should buy insurance to stop aliens invading. The cost of being over-run by Klingons is “much higher”.

Would you like to be paid for your hangover?

But what the desal plants don’t make in water, they make up for in corruption. A whistleblower has reported to the Herald Sun that bikies and thugs homed in on the river of money, turning up to work drunk or drugged, sleeping in the car instead of working, and collecting double-time rates (for night shift, in a plant that produces nothing?). Drug tests were rarely done because of union pressure. If workers turned up drugged or drunk the pay agreement was not to sack them, but to get them to agree to  counseling and to pay them for two hours to do nothing so they could “sober up”.

The Herald Sun reports that the project was so badly managed that “workers had to wait days for supplies of basic materials such as bolts, leaving them unable to do any work”. (But then, it’s not like that affects the output of the plant or anybody wants the output of the plant.)

Time to get creative with those contracts

Since the plant doesn’t need to produce anything, it really doesn’t matter that bolts are delayed or that workers turn up drunk. It’s not like there is a productivity loss, but funneling money to crooked people is bad for Victoria. Instead the government could hold a lottery for one week job contracts and simply give away the “prizes” to random citizens who don’t have to turn up. At least the money is more likely to end up back in the pockets of honest Victorians.

Other suggestions are welcome. There is a half billion a year up for grabs, and if the contract allows for paying drunks to do nothing, surely we can find other ways to reinterpret the contracts. The State could be paying for Desalination-Schools, Desalination-Doctors, heck, even Desalination-Gardeners would be more productive than Desalination-Drunks.

Big-money from big-government attracts … big-flies

In a different story in the Herald Sun “Desal plant deals: costly workers plugging drips at desal plant “.

  • A CFMEU shop steward on the plant was sentenced to 5½ years’ jail for the importation of three tonnes of cannabis resin, worth $147  million;
  • THE royal commission into trade unions has been asked to investigate a crane supervisor from the desal project with links to Mick Gatto; and
  • CLAIMS that three times the ­number of cranes originally thought needed for the plant’s construction were present on the site, and that a number often appeared inactive.

Did we need another example of why Big-Government is bad?

The Victorian election is coming up in a few weeks. The Labor Party still doesn’t get it.

Deputy Labor leader James Merlino said the election was about other issues.

“What’s at stake at this election on the 29th of November is the fact that you can wait up to 23 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, and die in the process,” he said.

“Schools are falling down, TAFE’s been gutted, unemployment has gone up.”

Labor doesn’t understand that there is any connection with “other issues”  and wasting $450 per year per family on insurance that was foreseeably not needed, and then mismanaged to boot.

The Labor Party is ahead in the polls. If every Victorian family were visited each year by a tax collector asking for $450 to pay for Wonthaggi, would this grand farce be rewarded? If the ABC reported both sides of the climate change debate, would polls be different?

The best thing for the future of the Labor Party in Australia is serious media investigation and criticism.

h/t Eric Worrall

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136 comments to Desal: no water provided but Victorian families pay $450pa for bikies and drunks

  • #
    PeterK

    Although the boondoggle listed below is not as costly as your desal plants, it’s still a waste and a cost to the ultimate end user – the electricity customers in the Province of Saskatchewan here in Canada.

    Saskatchewan Coal Fired Power Plant With Carbon Capture
    Joy To Canada (Saskatchewan) At Taxpayers’ Expense
    Boundary Dam Coal Fired Power Plant In Saskatchewan, Canada
    Located southeast of Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital.
    October 2, 2014
    Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan, switched on a $1.4 billion coal fired generator, fitted with CCS which will “capture more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere.”
    Several pilot scale capture facilities have operated in the past but this is the first time carbon capture has operated on a commercial scale on a power station anywhere in the world.

    However, where the dishonesty comes in here is by omission.
    The plant will capture around one million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off Saskatchewan roads annually but it’s sad to say that they aren’t really revealing the costs of this fantasy project.

    Fact: The cost to upgrade a 30-year old coal fired power plant was $400 million.

    Fact: The original plant was rated at 139 MW.

    Fact: The upgraded coal fire power plant is now rated at 162 MW.

    Fact: The cost for CCS was a cool $1 billion with a cost over-run between $150 to $200 million ($1.2 billion total). Final cost to be revealed at a later date.

    Fact: CCS unit needs about 34 MW to operate, resulting in a “parasitic loss” of about 21 per cent of the plant’s power. Then, another 18 MW are needed for other systems, reducing the net output to 110 MW or a total of about 32 per cent of the plant’s power.

    Fact: Original old plant power sent to the grid was rated at 139 MW. Power being sent to the grid after the upgrade to 162 MW will be about 110 MW. Reduction of power being sent to the grid is about 29 MW.

    The upgrade to the coal fired power plant, included a new, high-efficiency boiler and steam turbine with a nameplate capacity of 162MW. This however, represents a loss of 32 per cent of the plants power which is one point short of one-third the plant’s capacity. Is this progress and is this providing power to the people of Saskatchewan at the lowest rates possible because, after all, this is a ‘Public Utility’ whose only interest is to provide safe and reliable electricity at the cheapest rate possible.

    So effectively, efficiency has been cut by a third, for a tripling of the capital cost. This was done in a true ‘progressive’ style. Let’s do something based on junk science and let’s spend as much of the public’s money as we can and in the process let’s build a larger capacity power plant that sends less power to the grid. This is the ‘leftard’s’ vision of saving the planet with other people’s money for absolutely no benefit to the citizens of Saskatchewan.

    Additionally, as I understand it, we are increasing the volume of coal being burned in relation to the expected electrical output that will reach the grid if you consider we are producing more power with more coal so that we can send less power to the grid. Okay! I think I understand!

    Not bad for a $1.4 to $1.6 billion investment which will be paid for by the people of Canada and the people of Saskatchewan. SaskPower, the utility provider received $240 million from the Government of Canada to help with construction costs. The rest I am assuming will be paid over the next 25-years or so by the people of Saskatchewan through higher utility rates.

    Colourful language was used indicating that the loss of 29 MW of power to the grid is an “energy penalty.” What a load of horse manure.

    Also stated was that the majority of the captured gas from the Boundary Dam site is being sold to operator Cenovus for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at its Weyburn oilfield.

    Cenovus has set up injection wells and built a 40 mile-long pipeline connecting Weyburn with Boundary Dam. I can’t find the quote but someone, during the opening ceremonies stated that we will make some money selling the CO2 captured that will be used for enhanced oil recovery. I wonder how much CO2 will need to be sold and for how many years before that $1.2 billion plant will be paid for. Any guesses?

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85237

    https://decc.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/03/a-momentous-day-for-ccs/

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/06/carboncapture-economics-kemp-idUSL6N0S12GI20141006

    That’s my rant.

    Peter

    360

    • #
      cohenite

      It’s a good rant too.

      Carbon capture, clean coal is just another spiv playground created by the lie of AGW. John Harborne, a metallurgist wrote a good essay on CC’s defects at OLO.

      Nothing’s changed. CC uses as much energy as is produced by the coal being burnt and the waste requires far more space to be stored than the hole produced by the original mining.

      The money wasted on CC is enormous. Newcastle University was the recipient of the largest academic grant to study this pipedream.

      As the article notes, while the professor is spending his $30 million Hunter Valley mines are burning off vast quantities of natural gas so the coal seams can be mined.

      This country is run by lunatics.

      461

      • #
        King Geo

        I agree totally Cohenite, the country is run by lunatics and yet again I offer a quote from Einstein “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe.” I offer this famous Einstein quote in #4.2 further down.

        80

      • #
        ianl8888


        Hunter Valley mines are burning off vast quantities of natural gas so the coal seams can be mined

        Not only Hunter mines, of course. Degassing seams, mostly of CH4, prior to underground mining is a mandatory and costly requirement world-wide. There are examples of mining operations where the infrastructure (plumbing, if you will) has been installed to collect the degassed methane and pipe it to usefulness somewhere

        50

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    And I bet that other than the criminal drug smuggler, very few if any of the other crooks will ever be held accountable. Funny how leftist corruption and criminals seldom if ever get
    tried and convicted for their theft, bribery, etc. etc. Same here with the $billions lost on solar cell manufacturing plant started by Obama and his cronies. No one punished but the taxpayer. On another angle, many times a conservative politician or other notable conservative receives hundreds or thousand of death threats to them and their families in horrible details over extended periods, months or years The results? No investigation, no arrests for threats or hate crimes, and no convictions. But let someone threaten a leftist politician then the culprit is quickly tracked down by tracking back phone calls, letters, emails, or web site operators and the culprit is swiftly arrested, jailed, tried, and convicted. Funny how some threats are just impossible to stop.

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    • #
      Robert

      The left has some odd notions about how anyone who has money deserves to have it “appropriated” simply because, well, they have it.

      See we’re evil for having money, yet when they have it after stealing appropriating it, they aren’t.

      Don’t ask me to explain how they convince themselves there is anything even remotely resembling logic in there as I’m fairly certain spending to much time thinking about that poses health risks.

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      • #
        ianl8888

        The simple answer from the leftoids is that an individual spends it selfishly while they spend it collectively (ie. wisely)

        As corollary, it has been put to me on quite a few occasions that any individual or family group that has aquired money will have done so illegally somewhere along the line (yea, unto the 7th generation) and so appropriating those funds is moral. Guilt by undeniable implication, evidence not required

        And further taxation of a “gift” or an “inheritance” is also moral, despite the fact that such funds have already been taxed to their legal limit – that is, double taxation is moral because an individual has had the miscalculation to die

        The sanctity of private property sits on a particularly wobbly base

        70

    • #
      Peter Miller

      When any left wing party is in power, it is inevitably ‘government by whim’.

      We all tend to forget these people could not organise a piss up in a brewery, nor have a clue how to spend money wisely just as long as they can spend lots of it.

      However, this is a good example of lefties and their obsession of throwing money at non-problems.

      Defunct desalination plants and unreliable, expensive wind farms stand testament to the idiocy of the left, who are always guilty of asking the question, “does it work in theory?” and never the important one of, “does it work in practice?”

      Such is ‘progressive’ thought, the curse of mankind.

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  • #
    Robert herron

    There is a problem however. Another 7 year drought near cities like Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney requires a lot more water storage . Most major cities have seen populations double with almost no increase in water storage. Mostly the result of objections from environmental radicals and failure of governments to fund dams until emergencies arise.

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    • #

      Robert herron says here: (my bolds)

      Another 7 year drought near cities like Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney requires a lot more water storage.

      I want you all to do a relatively simple exercise here.

      Go to the SEQ Water site at this link.

      Now, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to the Historical Storage chart.

      On the list at right, untick the (default) Grid 12 and then, at the bottom of the list, tick Wivenhoe Dam.

      Now, under the chart, click on the last tab at right, titled View all.

      This shows the Capacity storage history of Wivenhoe Dam from 1997, after originally opening in 1984.

      Now, just left of mid screen note the spike and then discharge back to 100%, and note the date, March 1999.

      Then, in virtual continuing drought, it fell to 15%, in November of 2007, a period of almost 9 years.

      I was living on The Gold Coast at the time, (in SEQ) and while we could not water our gardens, wash the driveways, or wash our cars, we still had water on top, literally.

      Around the time it got this low, the Queensland Labor Government under Beatty and Bligh, and under starters orders from the flim flam man, proposed and started work on the Coolangatta Desal Plant, which has never operated at capacity due to inherent problems and has been in mothballs virtually from opening day.

      So, while there was almost 9 years of no water from God, SEQ still had water to spare.

      Then Wivenhoe filled to brim top, again and again

      That’s just Wivenhoe alone. Now we have the dams interconnected. Queensland can go for many years without needing Desalinated water.

      Joh built Wivenhoe.

      Beatty and Bligh built Coolangatta desal.

      Kevin Rudd, on the Monday following the late Wayne Goss’s election win on Saturday night, repaid The Queensland Greens for their preferences by killing off Wolfdene and two other dam proposals.

      Desalination. Always good for a scare or two, eh!

      Tony.

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      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney dump their sewage into the ocean. Recycle it and the water will go twice as far.

        There was a time when Melbourne was the model for the world in water recycling. No more.

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        • #
          the Griss

          “There was a time when Melbourne was the model for the world in water recycling.”

          Melbourne uses quite a lot of recycling water.

          http://www.melbournewater.com.au/whatwedo/recyclewater/Pages/recycle-water.aspx

          20

          • #
            the Griss

            And in Sydney, there is the Rouse Hill recycling “purple pipe region,

            and all the sewage in the Windsor-Richmond area is HIGHLY treated and used to supplement flows in the Hawkesbury River, thus saving a lot of environmental flow releases from Warragamba Dam.

            30

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              This is the beginning of what is needed. However, last time I used it, Windsor-Richmond are not in the Sydney telephone book. There’s a long way to go.

              00

              • #
                the Griss

                Cost becomes an issue.

                While all water can be treated to A+.. it can cost quite a bit.

                To get it really clean you need to use something similar to reverse osmosis…. just like desal does. There are some pretty nasty chemicals in waste water that are not found in sea water. !

                Hormones and stuff for instance !!

                Then there’s the stigma and possible health risks.

                10

            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              Many councils recycle the water too.
              Some goes to watering of dirt roads, and construction sites.
              Some goes to golf courses and sporting fields.
              The rest goes out with the outgoing tides.

              It doesn’t go to parks because it’s far more difficult to control public access to a park. You don’t want kids running through the sprinkler system.

              10

      • #
    • #
      Peter C

      When Melbourne’s last dam was built (Thompson Dam) the population was about 2 Million. It has more than doubled since then. Our water storages are at 79%, which is a high water mark (since 2010 – Melbourne Water did not give a long term comparison).

      I would far rather that we had built a dam on the Mithcell river than build the desalination plant. The day will come however when we will need that facility. By then it will probably be derelict. We may have to build it again! How wasteful will that be. This story is a very black mark against the Napthine Liberal Government.

      I think that they could have done more with their three years in power.

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      • #
        Richard

        Not so much a black mark against Napthine, as several black marks against the previous labour government that did the damage and ensured that it could not be undone. Napthine and his predecessor, Baillieu, should have done something to fix it, but they seemed to think that their hands were tied.

        I’m going from memory, so some details may be slightly off.

        The first step by labour was to convert the dam reserve and its active planning project into a national park. Then they locked it in so that no future government could undo the national park designation. I do not understand how one government can make laws that cannot be changed or repealed by another government. But they did it somehow.

        The next step was to commit the Victorian taxpayers to spending around $25Billion on a desal plant that we obviously had to have because. It was originally supposed to cost a lot less, but, hey, it’s only taxpayers’ money. The over generous working conditions are small bikkies.

        Who owns the desal plant and who’s getting our money?

        From what I remember, the consortium building the desal plant was owned or controlled by industry super funds that were controlled by the unions that controlled the government. The construction company was allowed to make a profit, but the main result of the project was to divert around $20Billion of taxpayers’ money into the hands of the union bosses. Are these the same unions that are associated with bikie gangs?

        Now we come to the Liberals’ real black marks. When the Libs won power in 2010, Baillieu didn’t go in strong to do stuff on day one. He’s a gentleman and a good human being, but it needed a street fighter like Kennett. He should have got rid of the public servants that were actively trying to destroy the new government. He should have found a reason to cancel the desal plant and make the union return our money. He should have done something. Neither he nor Napthine seem to be capable of understanding that they needed to fight and it looks like we’ll be getting a labor government.

        Can someone recommend a nice place to live on the NSW mid to north coast? I rather like Port Macquarie and Port Stevens. Pottsville looks good.

        00

    • #
      manalive

      The responsible minister at the time John Thwaites (aka Thwaitesy) made the memorable comment (paraphrasing) ‘building a dam won’t make it rain’.
      According to his Wiki entry he is now “… a Professor at Monash University and Chair of its Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia. He is on the boards of the Climate Group (Chairman of Australian board), and the Green Building Council. He is also a consultant to the Sustainability and Climate Change group at Maddocks, an Australian law firm …”.

      50

  • #
    mmxx

    If pre-election polls can be believed, Victorians (after kicking them out last election) are about to reinstate in power same Labor government that created the Desal fiasco in that state.

    230

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Yep, mmxx.

      We are about to see whether the Victorian voter is, paradoxically, a Christmas turkey voting for Christmas.

      170

    • #
      King Geo

      Very good point mmxx but voters just never learn – as Dariusz said late last week – John Howard was voted out after having Oz in a magnificent economic position and within 3 years the Rudd Govt did the total opposite – created a massive debt for little return. Needlessly to say I yet again quote Einstein “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe.”

      130

  • #
    TdeF

    You could include Victoria’s $800 million North to South pipe line, run through country properties by force of law against the wishes of all. This unwanted pipeline was finally used after the drought ended, in the middle of a massive rain storm when huge amounts of water were pumped North into the swollen Goulburn river at the very height of the rains and flood. The reason given for this disaster was the water was booked six months before and no one had cancelled it.

    Then there is no thinking. At the height of the drought it was a major issue that power generation was the largest single user of water in the state of Victoria, using 30% of the fresh water. So an engineering study was made to see if Yallourn in Gippsland could switch to using nearby ocean water. The cost of conversion was far too much, so the idea was dropped.

    However the desalination plant to supply water to Melbourne was also built in Gippsland and needs Yallourn electricity to generate non salty water. Could some genius see that it could feed the power plant, increasing Victoria’s water supply by 50% and vastly increasing agricultural output?

    Or would we have to pay more under contract to actually use our $23Bn desalination plant? Are we paying $23Bn for something we cannot afford to use, like South Australia? Then there are the 53 permanent maintenance staff at say $4Million a year, $100million over the repayment period to maintain a plant which will probably be obsolete when it is finally paid off, unused.

    Thanks you caring “Greens” for all the windmills, the beggaring of society to pay for grand schemes which don’t work. The hot rocks. The desalination plants. The wave generators. The massive debt for a generation.

    “Greatest moral crisis of a generation” according to our Prime Minister? Yes, it was.
    What happened was not just stupid, it remains utterly immoral.

    300

    • #
      TdeF

      How do the Greens expect us to pay for all this imported Green technology? Export more coal of course!

      120

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        “Yeah, it was fine when it was exported. We didn’t like all this derdy coul lying around so we got rid of it. If China wants to buy it and then stupidly burn it, that’s their problem”.

        By the way, speaking of Julia, she is currently visiting New Zealand on a speaking tour. But that is OK. Most New Zealanders can’t understand what she says anyway.

        140

      • #

        Actually TdeF, I don’t think they care whether you pay for it or not. Their only concern is to destroy the existing system so that they can rebuild. They’re not interested in nationalism, patriotism, prosperity, health or anything else, just that they are left to control (own) whatever is left.

        100

    • #
      TdeF

      The big cost in desalinated water is electricity. This should be easy as the Yallourn base load has to be dumped at night, which is why Henry Bolte invited Alcoa to Victoria in the first place. Of course the Greens say aluminium producers are being subsidized, which is typical Green idiocy. Aluminium producers in fact subsidize our baseload.

      To make the desalination plant/Yallourn partnership, you only have to charge for the water used in generating the power, then it will all look so obvious. Even better, the government which owns the water could sell the massive fresh water assets freed and pump the water North to the dry lands in the North. Water is extremely valuable, but Greens know nothing, often public servants like the ABC, they think that somehow the ‘government’ should pay for their every lunatic idea. What Green insanity has cost us is beyond belief. Green activism would surely have stopped the Snowy Mountain scheme and there has not been a new dam in fifty years. In Victoria, soon the loonies may again be in charge. Charlatans and carpetbaggers and criminals will prosper with Green largesse and Labor gifts to their constitutional legal Union owners as the money goes missing in massive waste. Where are those Very Fast Trains again? Where are any country trains?

      91

    • #
      stan stendera

      Does anyone else beside mere me think humans, particularly politicians, are irrational.

      10

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    East Coast?

    Both SA and WA are “blessed’ with millstones courtesy of incompetent governments.
    The true story of the SA plant has been covered up, e.g. the photographed “first clean water” coming out the convenient pipe 3 weeks before the plant started operating.

    80

    • #
      Bulldust

      To be fair, WA uses the desal plants. With a dry state and growing population we couldn’t just keep pumping water out of the shallow fresh water aquifers. The wet parts up north aren’t too popular to live in, and building a canal to bring the water to Perth … well that thought bubble didn’t end well.

      40

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        About half of Perth’s water needs are supplied by desalination. There are two desal plants operating currently.

        The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, located at Kwinana, was completed in late 2006. It produces about 45 gigalitres of water a year – around 17% of Perth’s water supply.

        The second plant is the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, located in Binningup, which has an upgraded capacity of 100 gigalitres.

        The interesting thing however, is that about thirty odd years ago, active management of Perth’s water catchment ceased (including burn-offs and vegetation thinning) and significantly reduced surface water runoff to dams as a consequence. Subsequently about 12 years ago – at the time of the desal consideration – there was some research being done on the benefits of reinstituting the active land management practices on water flow, but the research seems to have been abandoned or buried. The preliminary analysis suggested that clearing regrowth in the Perth catchment would increase runoff to dams by some 40 gigalitres and hence obviate the need for the Kwinana desal plant.

        90

    • #
      Debbie

      Isn’t it also highly ironic that SA has demanded more & more water from upstream storages to flush out to sea at the same time it built a desal plant to have water from the sea?
      Like WA, SA is vulnerable and perhaps has more need for desal, but the way it has been done is mind boggling stupid!
      As Tony points out above, the management of our storages is highly questionable.
      They were built to store water in times of excess so it would be available in the inevitable dry seasons.
      Dams like Wivenhoe were also designed to have some capability to mitigate
      damage from floods.
      What happens now?
      Now they put stored water on top of floods for ‘environmental flows’.
      Apart from being wasteful and contrary to the design and capabilities of our storage and regulatory systems. . .It also dangerous!

      80

  • #
    King Geo

    The Labour State Govts in QLD, NSW & VIC believed Flim Flam back in the mid/late 2000′s, ie there will be drought, drought & more drought because of CAGW. As soon as these mega expensive desal plants in Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne were completed, at considerable cost, especially the Melbourne one, the heavens opened and the dams filled and the desal plants were as useful as an ice factory in Antarctica. And things are not going to change in the foreseeable future with more La Nina than El Nino years predicted during the ongoing “Cooler Cycle” and then you have the impending GM/LIA kicking in soon as well – oh dear these desal plants are going to be on standby for a considerable period – ? 2050 or beyond – that will certainly see King Geo out.

    60

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    Don’t be so cynical. There’s more to this than is usually acknowledged. The desalinated water they produce is dehydrated. It’s incredibly compact to store, has an extra long shelf life and is cheap to transport. We’ll be thankful for our government’s forward planning when it’s distributed during a future drought. An envelope full can be posted to each family and all they need do is just add water, hot or cold to suit their personal choice.

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  • #
    Wombat

    Perhaps the most astounding thing in this monstrous desalination fiasco is that Tim Flannery, who triggered all this stunning, mind-bogglingly wasteful expenditure, is still soliciting donations to promote his off-the-planet theories.

    140

    • #
      Bulldust

      And he still has a top paying job with the Climate Council … Abbott stamped out the taxpayer funded junket at the Climate Commission, but these guys are like cockroaches. Can never get rid of them.

      120

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Experts said the rain wouldn’t return and the dams wouldn’t fill. Billions of dollars later, the plants were barely finished when the rain returned and the dams filled.” [text of post; 2nd paragraph]

    Not only did the dams fill but the Wonthaggi site flooded. That was inconvenient.
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/weather-promts-3500-calls-for-help/story-e6frf7kx-1226000743326

    140

  • #

    These Desalination plants are also sometimes referred to as liquid electricity, because of the huge amounts of power required to run them ….. efficiently.

    This Victorian plant is a reverse osmosis plant.

    Okay then, let’s do some maths for that power consumption.

    The plant will produce 550 Megalitres of water per day, so that’s 550,000 Cubic Metres of water.

    The process consumes around 6KWH of power to produce each cubic metre of water.

    So, this plant will consume 3,300MWH of power each day. Working back from that, it comes to 137MW of dedicated Nameplate to provide that power.

    That’s just to have the water at the end of the process, and the water then has to be transferred to Cardinia Reservoir, (love the way that word transferred is used here) in actual fact meaning pumped with some pretty large pumps so, as you can see from that, electrical power consumption just keeps rising.

    Now, the people in Government who approved this, umm, let me guess now, said in serious voices with hand on heart that it would be (love this bit) Carbon Neutral and that the power would be supplied by a new Wind Plant to be constructed out near Glenthompson.

    You might guess that would be an equivalent plant of say, (what would the voting public know anyway) whatever the plant might consume, (hint here – Nameplate) and going for the lowest theoretical Nameplate they could say.

    Not that it matters because, hey, a plant like this has to run 24 hours a day to make that 550 Megalitres, and a wind plant runs (on a yearly average) for barely seven and a quarter hours a day, so even if they made the nameplate of equal power delivery for the plant’s usage, they still only get power for that seven and a quarter hours a day.

    So, what we have now is a desalination plant which requires power 24/7/365, and that can only come from, err, Victoria’s filthy derdy disgusting brown coal fired power plants.

    You have to smile at the irony here, eh!

    Tony.

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      King Geo

      Tony the RE Industry must detest you – you expose them every time with your number crunching – good work – now from my experience someone with your skill of doing this is likely to be an engineer – have I guessed right? Us geos are not so good at doing this type of “due diligence” – likewise you don’t need to be a CA to work our why 99.9% of “RE Projects” are unprofitable.

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        King Geo

        And the Desal Plant Industry also detest you Tony, and also me by now. You notice the Melbourne desal plant is powered by RE, they couldn’t possibly use that wretched cheap “brown coal”. What % of Victoria is powered by RE these days? I trust it is a tad better than the 2010 figure of 3.8% in the Victorian Auditor’s Rpt (April 2011). Naturally brown coal (90%) was the driving force for base load energy generation in Victoria, with natural gas (6%) in 2nd place. So “fossil fuels” in 2010 provided 96% of Victoria’s base load energy generation. And naturally the idealistic “lefties/greenies”, better known as the ALP + Greens, are still obsessed with fast tracking to RE, no matter what the cost, and put a “wrecking ball” through the Victorian Economy. And the ALP are favoured to win the upcoming 2014 Victorian State Election – my god – how dumb is that?

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        King Geo,

        no, I’m afraid I do not have a full Engineering Degree.

        All I do have is the lowest of the most lowly Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering, and rather than explain it all again, I have that explanation at my Bio for my Home Site, shown at this link.

        I started out in March of 2008, never having done anything like this before, and not expecting to be any good at it, and what started out as a short five or maybe six Part Series at most then morphed into more than 50 separate Posts. At first, I was seriously reluctant to even mention what I was finding, because it went against everything that was being written about renewables at the time, that they were the way of the future, and would very soon lead to the complete demise of ALL other forms of traditional power generation. I actually took my heart into my hands to write it down, because it was totally the opposite of what there was, and I was just not certain at all that I was right. Sometimes I would do calculations four or five times because I was certain I just must be wrong. Each day I became more confident because everything I did resulted in exactly the same conclusion, that renewables were in fact hopelessly inadequate to supply the power required to actually run things.

        Think of renewable power in the same manner as you might a new car. If that car was designed to operate in the same way as renewable power, then that new car would only get you to your destination one time in three to five trips, or part way through your trip, would just stop going, and the thing about it is that you have no idea when it will stop, or when it will start up again. If a car company released its latest model that only did this, no one would buy the car, and that car company would go out of business in a very short time.

        After writing that original Series, I thought I was tapped out, but it instead just expanded from there, as the more I looked, the more I found that was not being told about renewable Power.

        The owner of that site asked me to write that Bio at the end of week 2 into that original Series having now posted a new part every second day, when it looked to him like I might continue what I was doing. The only thing I have changed in that Bio is where I now live, having moved here to Rockhampton in August of 2010

        Any knowledge I think I might have on Renewables comes from actually researching it and then writing about it for the last 6 years and 9 Months, having visited (quite literally) many thousands of informational sites. When I started, I actually used Wikipedia as a resource. Thankfully, now I know better.

        My weapon of choice in all the work I do is my trusty Casio fx-100C, probably used about a dozen times a day across all that time. My good lady wife sometimes laments at the sheets of A4 between the computer screen and me.

        Other than my home site, this wonderful site of Joanne’s is my most frequented site, and she very kindly allows me to write my comments at some length, something I am grateful for, because short one or two liners cannot convey the accuracy needed to explain something like this.

        I occasionally Comment at other sites, but there are only so many hours in a day I’m afraid, so I limit my main work at just these 2 sites. By far the best thing about this site of Joanne’s is that, while I think I have some expertise in my chosen area, I learn more about Science here than anywhere else, and on the Science, I am still learning. Another good thing here is that other people who comment lead me to other links for me to chase down. It’s a win-win situation for me. I learn so much here, and I try to give some of that back.

        Tony.

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          King Geo

          I new it Tony – you do have an engineering background – it shows in your comments on this website. Thanks for your bio shown in the link above. I thought I was looking at my own bio at first – I mean we were born and married in the same years (1951 & 1981) although I have one extra child (4 rather than 3). However you played senior cricket longer than I (25+ years compared to my 15 years). I was a medium pace bowler who focussed on inswingers and outswingers, naturally bowling into the breeze. Now don’t tell me you were a bowler as well?

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            I opened the bowling in Second Grade for perhaps one of the oldest existing clubs in the History of the game of cricket, Raymond Terrace Cricket Club, a club whose history dates back to 1844, keeping in mind that organised competition cricket was only played in 2 Countries in those days. After formative associations playing competition cricket came into being in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, one of the first organised Associations outside of those centres was the one in Maitland, which formed, along with Raymond Terrace and Morpeth in 1844.

            I played for them for 8 Seasons, beginning with the start of the 1972 Season, before I was posted with the RAAF.

            Best time I ever had in the game, and the best Club I was with also.

            Tony.

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              the Griss

              Could this be a common trait.

              2nd grade Sutherland, as opening bowler :-)

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              • #
                King Geo

                If a “Skeptics 11″ was formed then that’s 3 positions filled (all bowlers although hopefully you chaps batted better than I did). I played in the Perth Suburban Turf Comp off and on from the mid 1970′s to 1990 including a number of Seasons in 1st Grade for STCCC. My highlight was dismissing former WA Sheffield Shield batsmen & St Kilda VFL player George Young when he was playing for Whitfords just before the XMAS break in a 1979 match on their home ground. I did manage to score 81 not out (ran out of partners – oh dear) in a 3rd Grade match when I first started playing in the mid 1970′s – all down hill after that with the bat I am afraid.

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              • #
                Ken Stewart

                Griss, King Gee, Tony:
                Can I play too? Alas, I only played in 2nd grade country comps, highest achievement bowling average trophy for Jambin B Grade in 1985 (best figures 4 wickets for 8 off more than a few overs). If you know where Jambin is you’re a real Central Queenslander. I’m a bit long in the tooth now, would have to field on the mid wicket boundary to give me time to see the ball coming…

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                the Griss

                20-30 in 5-6 very entertaining shots, batting at number 10…… if I lasted that long. :-)

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              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                I was a slow bowler. And I mean slow. In my day, I could make the ball float from the back-spin. I got most of my wickets because the batsman got bored, and started thinking about something else. ;-)

                As a batsman, I never broke ten runs in an innings, because I blocked everything, even shots that were supposedly playable. I did score a four once, off the inside edge from a fast ball, that I misjudged, and the keeper missed.

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              • #

                All right, while we are horrendously off topic here talking about cricket, I was just an average second grade quick with Raymond Terrace. 8 Seasons and 20 to 35 (once) wickets in a season. I topped the most wickets three times but they only gave trophies for Averages in those days, and I only won that once, and finished second five times to five different bowlers. Had one seven for, and a few sixes and fives, but the best I ever bowled was five for none off 8 eight ball overs. Bowled with a fierce wind behind me. Skip told me to just let it go. Same bowling spell, I put both skippers into hospital, theirs and ours. Theirs was the first when the ball came off the shoulder of the bat and smashed into his nose breaking it. We all took him off and called the ambulance, and went back on to resume the game. Just before the ambulance arrived the keeper dived for one, it hit the tip of his outstretched glove and smacked into my Skippers chin, breaking it. The ambulance took both of them away. His jaw was wired and I was consequently Captain for the next five or so games. Their captain was back for day 2 the following week, and his face was virtually all black and blue.

                Unlike Jeff Thomson, I was not all that enamoured about hitting batsmen.

                Great days those, best time I had playing the game.

                In those 21 Seasons I usually batted just prior to the change of Innings. I did however end up with five half Centuries, highest 87no, when me and Lowie put on 120 in 35 minutes, off 8 eight ball overs. Man that was so much fun. More runs in that one dig than for the combined scores of every other dig that season. Skipper sent me in at Number three. I had toiled for fifteen overs for no wickets and he said he wanted to get something out of me for a day’s play, when I was supposed to be the wicket taker.

                Cricket was just so much fun in those days.

                Tony.

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              Geoff Sherrington

              If I had a quid for each time I noted that progressive logical thinkers very often have records of athleticism, I’d be more wealthy by now.
              Swimming was mine – trained under Forbes Carlisle when he was a coach for the 56 & 60 Olympics. Was nowhere near as good as Murray Rose, Dawn Fraser, Terry Gathercole, the Konrads, other household Olympian names of the era.
              That was a period when Australia shone. It would be sad if the present period is remembered in history as the time of the great global warming myth.

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            davefromweewaa

            Don’t worry fellas, I’ll do the umpiring. I’m well qualified being one eyed and half deaf!

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          liberator

          But Tony – you’re not degree qualified and you know nothing about climate science or electrical engineering so why should we believe anything you write, right? Yet other degree qualified non – climate scientists (no such science stream with existing qualified scientist is there?) can be believed for all its worth because they are scientists – yet we ignore meteorologists, geologist’s et al because that’s not real science….

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            Graeme No.3

            That is a confused statement to say the least. Firstly Tony knows a damn sight more than most about electricity generation. Secondly, we don’t ignore meteorologists or geologists…see some of the commentators atavars above. It is the climatologists who ignore them (as best they can).

            Thirdly, so what importance is a degree? (Yes, I qualified) The only 2 people I’ve met in my life whom I would have bet on giving a wrong answer if asked “what day of the week is it?” were firstly, a young bloke in Port Adelaide who had passed through 10 years of State school without learning to write his name, or anything else. He was taken off bagging sugar after he slashed his hand 3 times on the edge of the (kraft) paper sacks. He was issued with instructions and gloves to stop this before he started but used to take the gloves off despite needing stitches on all occasions. He was given a broom to sweep the top floor as it was felt that gravity could be relied on to direct the sugar.

            The other was doing a PhD in Mathematical Physics. I guess he might have ended up in Climatology.

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              liberator

              Hi Graeme – I guess I should have added sarc at the end of my post. Your reply is precisely my point. It’s not relevant if you do or don’t have a degree in whatever stream of science – you can have studied a field of science and not become degree qualified but has a diploma why that should be looked down upon?
              The principals of science no matter what field and what level of education has been obtained are applied across each and every field. So why should sceptical science reject the 31,000 scientists who are not climate scientists who have petitioned that AGW is not happening. What does it matter that they are not climate scientists – they apply the same fundamentals of science and can see thought the bullshit so their opinion and understanding is no less valid than the physicists who is now a climate scientist.

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            Robert

            There seems to be a trend in which certain people take anything that has “science” in its name to be science while dismissing those whose fields are based on hard science (physics, chemistry, geology, etc.) because their field doesn’t have the word “science” in it.

            However as I and many others here have often noted and stated, if a field of endeavor needs the word “science” in its descriptor you can be certain it isn’t science.

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  • #
    tom0mason

    .
    You said -
    The scale of government waste is spectacular, even on a global scale. Desalination in Victoria, Australia, might be the worst example, per capita, of climate waste anywhere in the world. I challenge foreign readers to outdo it.

    I offer this for consideration -
    After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.

    “This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.”

    The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.

    And it just missed it’s target -

    Ivanpah is the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. It was unveiled in February with great fanfare. Dr. Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, justified taxpayers’ investment at the time, saying, “We want to be technology leaders. It’s good for our economy and it’s also good for helping stimulate the global transition to low carbon.”

    But since then the plant has not lived up to its clean energy promise. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the plant produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, a disappointing 254,263 megawatt-hours of electricity from January through August, not the million megawatt-hours it promised.
    More at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/08/world-largest-solar-plant-applying-for-federal-grant-to-pay-off-its-federal/

    But that’s OK because it made up that shortfall with NatGas -

    Bright Source Energy, the company operating the plant, is petitioning the California government, requesting permission to burn more natural gas and to emit 94,749 more tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of emissions from about 16,500 automobiles.
    See more at http://www.arizonadailyindependent.com/2014/08/22/ivanpah-solar-plant-wants-to-burn-more-natural-gas/ and the links to The Hockey Schtick blog.

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      Tom, it’s good. Ivanpah must be in the top ten. But Wonthaggi cost $3.5b to build and will cost $22b over the next 3 decades. The population of Victoria is 5.7m. California is about 38m. On a per capita basis, Wonthaggi is $450 per household of four per annum.

      You’re going to have to get seriously competitive to outdo the Victorians. Sorry.

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        tom0mason

        I agree having looked at the UK’s windmill cost, and the EU’s mandate on sustainable energy I find nothing that comes close to Wonthaggi costs to its citizens.
        Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is the best I can find. Indeed I would have to look at old soviet projects to see anything comparable, as only the soviets managed to implement large costly projects and like Wonthaggi output nothing but more expense, and also massive environment damage.
        The part that galls me with Ivanpah is that it is part owned by Google, a company that has some cash in its coffers.

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        manalive

        Jo I think the cost of the desal is confined to the 4.25 million or so Melbourne Water ratepayers.

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          Willy

          Was wondering about how this cost was passed on. First guess was domestic water rates. This cuts out a percentage regional Victorians with no town supply or water rates. And so higher cost to less Victorians.

          manalive might be right, would like to know.

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          • #
            Geoff Sherrington

            It is notable that nobody in office, political or energy/water producing, will stand up to give a simple, public explanation of the real costs. I have asked till blue in the face, but just get vacuous calls back from call centre people who know nought about nought.

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    Robert

    By the same reasoning, we should buy insurance to stop aliens invading. The cost of being over-run by Klingons is “much higher”.

    I can’t think of a better, more apt quote to end what has been a very cold and icy day. As an old “trekkie” that one definitely brought out the chuckles. If I could thumbs up the quote I would.

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    LevelGaze

    Sigh…

    I live in the capital city of Victoria, and we have a state election in about 3 weeks.

    Liberal, Labor, Green – I despise them all.

    I just have to figure out which bunch will do me the least damage…

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      Sceptical Sam

      Turn it up!

      Are you serious?

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      • #
        LevelGaze

        Serious? Yes I am. And here’s the reasons why.
        (Let’s exclude the Greens since they’re clinically mentally defective, that simplifies things down to Libs and Lab.)

        1. Which party has done anything to improve the economic basis of the state? Neither.

        2. Which party has done more to destroy the economy of the state? Both, but Labor leads by a country mile on that metric.

        3. Which party has closest ties to criminal union activities? Labor, again by a country mile.

        4. Which party’s members have individually and personally profited from their party policies? Tough call that one – I’d say more or less even.

        5. Which party, in the late realisation that an election is imminent, has started promising extravagant and ridiculous amounts of money for equally ridiculous overnight “urgent problems”. Both.

        6. Which party has any member who sounds coherent, sane, and isn’t in it just to feather his own filthy nest? Neither.

        So what’s an honest man to think?
        Well, since 100% of everything Labor touches turns to sh$t but only 95% of what everything the Libs turns to sh$t, I suppose, reluctantly and with prejudice, I have to go with the numbers.

        (The Preview function doesn’t seem to be working too well, so apologies for any typos.)

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          TdeF

          You are being unfair. The state was a basket case before Kennett, who put the state back on its feet commercially. Then, thanks to Indpendents, we had Labor rule. This was a time of great spending and Labor and the Greens have learned to cripple the economy and the state, far into the future, so preventing the usual fix by the opposition, a cycle which has repeated for fifty years. Labor waste and Liberal economic sense. However this time at a State and Federal level, the opposition have walked into economic disaster and contracted debts set for 25 years into the future. If we even use the desalination plant, we have to pay more! Remember the Victoria Liberals held power by one seat, now an independent. It has not been easy to do anything.

          Federally the overspending is set in cement and the Labor/Green Senate refuses to allow any reduction of spending or taxation. At a State level, these contracts are again set in stone with huge penalties. So what exactly do you expect the Liberals to do? At least at a State level, the budget is back in the black, but people are hooked on eternal wage rises, handouts, free education, free medical services, pensions for everything with a million people on disabled pensions nationally, endless government spending on transport and mad unfunded Green schemes. The common theme is soak the rich and protect the unions, but with bracket creep the rich is now everyone and the unions are the problem and the new rich. As the Royal Commission shows once again, they need prosecution not legal protection.

          That Toyota is leaving Australia is a tragedy. It was an automated factory, but could not run completely unattended for two months over Christmas. Toyota, a world famously generous employer was not even allowed negotiate with its workforce. We exported to the world from Altona and now, nothing. As with Alcoa, Holden, Ford, our refining industries, fruit picking(SPC), cattle export and more, Union and Green demands have crippled the State and more electricity will be dumped. We will be Tasmania soon. Now if only the Greens and Labor could force Hazelwood to shut down and we could all live in the forests on magic mushrooms. We might have to.

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          Rereke Whakaaro

          (The Preview function doesn’t seem to be working too well, so apologies for any typos.)

          The site wouldn’t work at all for me, during my lunch hour. I reckon the moderators forgot to feed the treadmill hamster before they wandered off to morning tea.

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            TdeF

            It isn’t the moderators. Click on comments and prepare to wait for at least a minute for the comments to appear.

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            The Backslider

            I reckon the moderators forgot to feed the treadmill hamster before they wandered off to morning tea.

            Damn renewable energy….. it’s never reliable!

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            the Griss

            Jo has noticed.. was discussing the issue with her via email yesterday.

            Hope the server guys sort it out soon. !

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          Winston

          Level,

          I must say that reading your post depresses me when such an intelligent level headed person is torn in what should be an obvious choice, and I now realise there is nothing any one of us can do to arrest the terminal slide into oblivion for which we are all destined.

          The Libs in Victoria deserve to be re-elected, not because they are perfect, but purely because they are not wholesale incompetents, and have managed the economy reasonably well (back into surplus) while hamstrung with the most slender majority. It seems to me that we desire change for changes sake merely because one party hasn’t “done enough”, even when that change will materially worsen the fiscal health of that state and propel it off an economic precipice with certainty.

          The desal fiasco and similar mismanagement issues, should consign the government responsible to oblivion for DECADES, to even suggest that it is line ball is amazing to hear and just tells me that we have reached a point where we no longer vote in our own best interests.

          The left have clearly ‘won’ their Pyrrhic victory, and that ‘victory’ will inevitably lead to the death of western civilisation, the implosion and death spiral of the welfare state, and economic ruin of a scale that will be breathtaking in its scope. It is inevitable, and we, the humble clueless voters, are entirely to blame because we failed to oversee good governance on our own behalf, demanded ever more services and social band-aids without once reconciling the cost or the affordability of the endless parade of nanny policies, thereby mortgaging our grandchildren’s future to the gills.

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  • #
    Sunray

    Goodness me, is there anybody in charge anymore???

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  • #
    Wally

    Err… Am I missing something. The plant was built by private industry on a govt contract? So surely go thump the company that did the building.

    Here in South Oz we also had a desal plant built. (We get the slops at the bottom end of the Murray… you know the place with the tap water so disgusting that out of towners can’t drink it and cruise ships refuse to use it.)

    Anyhow, at the time, the goading was terrible. The state Liberal opposition were making a huge song and dance about building a desal plant RIGHT NOW OR THE WORLD WOULD END… and it was Labor in power saying that things would improve. Eventually to make the endless news stories go away the Labor govt caved in and spent a crap load of money building yet another desal plant. As far as I know this one is actually run now and again so that the off-take from the Murray gets reduced a bit.

    Of course, the greens hated it all along, and told us we should stop washing.

    I’d like to see all those with swimming pools charged a surtax here in SA. A nice way of passing on a message about water being precious.

    Oh gosh, lets watch Wally’s thumbs down go sky high on this post. Thems who want to thumbs down… just stop and think a mo.

    What Wally is actually saying here is a few things:
    - the political stupidity crossed both sides of the divide (at least here)
    - before you scream about big govt, think about who did the building, if its govt, fine n dandy. If it was contacted out then the message is wrong – go after the company that allowed the silly feather beading.
    - and by the way we are profligate wasters of things (because we are affluent and we can — which is a whole separate discussion!)

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      redress

      Wally………….you are a complete wally

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      Graeme No.3

      Wally, I agree with your thoughts that both major parties in SA are pathetic. The standard of either is so low that you wonder why Independents only scored 30% of the vote last Federal election.

      However my recollection of events is that Labor weren’t that reluctant and that they doubled the size (and added somewhat more than that to the cost) without telling people. The plant ran the minimum time to avoid penalties payments and was then mothballed.
      Water is still being pumped from the Murray, and earlier this year a large quantity was dumped into the Gulf ( flushing out the dam ). As the press reported last month the actual cost of water was a quarter of the charged price. But that isn’t the deterrent to overuse as 72% of my last bill was Admin. charges. I did get a polite note saying it was nice that I had reduced my usage, but my bill was much higher.

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        James Murphy

        That’s the problem though, in SA, the service/sewerage charges are a percentage of the property value, so there is absolutely no incentive to save water if all you’r going to do is save a few dollars out of a couple of hundred per bill…

        I wrote to the relevant State minister about this, asking why, if water consumption/efficient water use was such a major priority, then why don’t they change the system so that the biggest users pay more. Needless to say, the response was complete and utter rubbish, and did nothing to answer my specific questions.

        As I have said before, you don’t have to be morally bankrupt and incompetent to be the SA Labor government, but it certainly helps.

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          Wally

          The SA Libs are no better. The only thing worse than the 2 of them is the SA greens.

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          • #
            James Murphy

            Yes, for sure, I have equal disdain for Labor, the Liberals, and the Greens, but the government is the government, so they are the ones responsible for making decisions/policy…or, more to the point, they are the ones lining their own pockets.

            I think we need groups to highlight (genuine) environmental concerns, but the Greens are now about as related to sincere care for the environment as much as pigs are related to the ability to fly.

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    • #

      Wally, if the government didn’t throw lots of money at Desal and promise to pay buckets more “no matter what” for years to come, no private company would build one. The problem starts with the government. There is no free market at work here, except for the tenders to build it.

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      • #
        Wally

        Oh yeah, the thing is it’s all started by activists, nutters, bad advisors and then pollies who try to cover their butts. Both major sides to blame.

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      Debbie

      Wally.
      No question SA is vulnerable.
      As per my comment above #6.2 the political behaviour re water management defies logic.
      SA has demanded increasing amounts of water from upstream storages to flush out to sea while at the same time building a desal plant to convert water from the sea.
      Those contracts were the result of bi polar political agendas!!!

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      the Griss

      “lets watch Wally’s thumbs down “

      nah.. it was sort of a ‘non’ post.. not really worth a thumb of any sort.

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    bemused

    My understanding is that one of the major, if not the major, investors in the desal plant was Industry Super. We all know (or should know) who benefits from Industry Super.

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    Yonniestone

    I could repeat some stories about this Desal Plant that are almost unbelievable, being in the industry I knew I didn’t have had a chance at getting on this site simply because of my no union stance but I knew others that left jobs and joined just to get that easy money, I was told that many workers paid off their mortgage’s from working this job alone and I believe it.

    As said it was just an unbelievable waste of money and now the state is losing industry and enterprise every day with less prospective jobs as a result, so how do Victorians pay for gold plated water with no jobs or income? I suppose eventually the unemployed will accrue so much debt from things they don’t receive or never wanted you just sign your life over to the State to settle the debt.

    It’s other peoples money after all, right?

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    Ceetee

    It’s called welfare capitalism and it will be the end of us. Talk about the cost of hangovers, the entire western world has been on a binge for a few years now because somehow it has bought into the mañana philosophy of people like Blair and Clinton. Public money is easy money, the easiest there is and when governments spend it, they spend it like drunk sailors. This is a failure of democracy because taxpayers don’t see themselves as shareholders as they should do. They see themselves as serfs serving a prescribed greater good and their elected leaders are given the status of surrogate parents. This moral vacuum is an easy place for the “hoods” of modern capitalism to squirm themselves into. Imagine a world where a millionaire rampages through London in amongst thousands of Guy Fawkes mask wearing nihilists and billionaires fund industry killing candidates in the mid terms and wonder at the complete insanity of it all. And we all thought we won the cold war.

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    Wombat

    Take a captain cook at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/18/hard-times-for-aussie-alarmists-flannery-begs-in-new-video/#more-113197. Your immediate reaction may well be to echo the immortal words of Daffy Duck: “Easy sshhtomach.”
    You might also wonder what the expletive deleted “climate denialism” is. I’ve never heard of anybody denying that there’s a climate.

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      TdeF

      2007 Australian Alarmist of the Year Flannery could stop pretending he is a meteorologist or a physical scientist of any sort. His official expertise is in very large, very dead Australian wombats.

      If the world is not warming, why is there any concern at all? If CO2 cannot change the temperature, how does it change climates? Even the pretence of science is now gone and it is now all about the money.

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      Peter C

      What is

      “climate denialism”

      I understand where your coming from Wombat.

      However it is this:
      climate has not changed in any meaningful way for more than 200 years,
      the small variations that we have observed over that time are due to natural variability,
      CO2 does not and cannot cause global warming,
      increasing CO2 will be beneficial for the world, including plants and animals,
      the greenhouse theory is wrong!

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    Tim

    That the prophets of doom can spread fear to the uninformed is no surprise. That they can do the same to governments is a travesty. Where are all the informed government advisers and our well-paid consultants who let this through? IMO these are the ones who deserve the blame and should be held to account.

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    Alan Robertson

    Got somethin’ against the Yabba, do you?
    /s

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    PhilJourdan

    “Bikies” – Would that be like Hell’s Angels over here?

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      Yonniestone

      Yes Phil, you might also know them as 1%’ers or Outlaw clubs/gangs and the Major clubs are the same, Hells Angels, Bandidos, Rebels etc with smaller local clubs annexed under the bigger ones.

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    tom0mason

    Oh the lost art of cost/benefit analysis seems to have left parts of Australia.
    Not that it’s doing to well in other Westernized countries.

    I never thought I would say it, but, where are the accountants, quantity surveyors and project specialists these days? Has large capital cost project planning and execution been reduced to just political madness? No checks, no balances?

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      Len

      Usually sales people make the deal then leave it up to project managers to try and work out the project to unreal conditions.

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    TimiBoy

    Hey Jo,

    OT I know, but have you thought of doing a detailed summary of all the ETS’s around the World? Might be useful info for us nasty Skeptics!

    Cheers,

    Tim

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      I doubt that the kagknew (you really do need a more memorable and pronounceable acronym) will go to The Hockey Schtick site very often. The cognitive dissonance factor would be just too high.

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        Yonniestone

        DAGWAD – Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming And Disaster.

        TWATBAD – Tragic Warming Anthropogenically Triggered By All Deniers.

        [Snip] – Catastrophic Heating Originating Anthropogenically Driving Storms.

        The list is endless, much like the apparent effects of CAGNW.

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    Safetyguy66

    ” Experts said the rain wouldn’t return and the dams wouldn’t fill. Billions of dollars later, the plants were barely finished when the rain returned and the dams filled. Most of Australia’s desal plants were mothballed.”

    I think the correct term for the people behind the predictions is #@$%heads not experts, Im sure it was just a typo.

    http://ipa.org.au/publications/1888/tim-flannery-climate-prophet

    Add up the waste of money paying people like Flannery to play with tarot cards all day, throw in the bureaucracy behind it and slap that on top of the cost of the desal plants and you really start to get an idea of how suckered the Australian tax payer has been.

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    Ted O'Brien.

    Copied from today’s smh, reporting on the inquest into the Warrumbungles fire. Computer models and book learning v local knowledge.

    “Mr ………..said that computer modelling used to predict bushfire behaviour was flawed.
    “There is no really good prediction for fires under extreme conditions,” he said.
    “The parameters of the models were exceeded. I think the models just don’t work when it’s under extreme conditions.”
    Mr ……….. said he hoped that one of the lessons to be learnt from Black Sunday was that crews coming in from other areas to help fight bushfires would be able to make full use of local knowledge
    “One of the criticisms that always comes out is that local knowledge wasn’t listened to,” he said.
    “With large fires you have a lot of resources from out of area. But often local knowledge is sitting in the back of trucks. It’s Important for local brigade members to be allocated to section leaders from outside the area, and other leaders, so that the local knowledge can be utilised with outside units.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/senior-rfs-officers-ignored-advice-on-back-burning-black-sunday-fire-inquest-hears-20141111-11kj6l.html#ixzz3Incs25cR

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    lmwd

    Other information about VDP: at the start of the project it rained for the best part of 4 months. Oh, the irony! What it meant was a whole lot of workers were sitting idle….add that to the alcohol and drug dealing issues already detailed elsewhere…. what a recipe for trouble.

    Project mistakes were made and that didn’t help but because of the people this project attracted, chest thumping union thugs and gangs, not only were there booze/drug problems but theft was rife, adding considerably to project costs. I’ve heard stories of drunk crane operators who couldn’t be dealt with because of the union and therefore put the lives and safety of other workers at risk. There was intimidation of key site staff, who were trying to regain control of the site, which also included stalking (photographing) of their family members in other parts of the country.

    Aside from the people of Vic who are still paying for it, that project was also a financial disaster for the company who built it. Another company with less access to backup resources probably would have gone under, with major job losses.

    What company in their right mind would risk doing business in Vic with a Labor Govt who condones and enables that kind of carry-on?

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    AndrewWA

    2006 – 45 GLpa plant built in Perth for $390 million.
    2012 – 100 GLpa plant built south of Perth for $1.4 Billion.
    2012 – 100 GLpa plant built in Adelaide for $1.8 Billion.
    2012 – 150 GLpa plant built at Wonthaggi for $3.5 Billion.
    Try and tell me that there isn’t a Climate Change Industry and vested interests are not making profit from it!!

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    thingadonta

    I wonder how many times the not-so-far-away raw temperature data for Rutherglen was brought up at regular meetings for the desalination plant, or for that matter any long term rainfall data.

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    warcroft

    G20 G20 G20!!! Climate Climate Climate!!!
    Not this year. . .

    G20 Brisbane 2014: Don’t expect any action on climate change

    Good. There’s more important things to discuss.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/g20-brisbane-2014-dont-expect-any-action-on-climate-change/story-e6frflo9-1227120251810

    Climate change is constantly pushed as the most important issue in the world. But survey after survey its the last thing on peoples minds.

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    TdeF

    Comments came up in 10 seconds not 500 seconds. So back to normal.

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    TdeF

    Desalination plants. While incredibly wasteful and utterly unnecessary and debt for another quarter century, the sting is that you still have to buy the water.

    Water from old dams and rivers with spillways like the Murray is basically free. Water from desalination plant, even when you own the plant, is not free. Even after all the expense, SA finds it far cheaper to get water from the Murray. This shows the follow of the Greens, an utter dependence on new technologies when time proven dams would work fine and forever at no cost. There are 26 locks in the Murray which have saved SA, locks built quietly by previous governments before the people who stop everything, the Greens being able to stop sensible water management. The only thing which flows like water under a Labor/Green government is the peoples’ money.

    So what new dams are we building? A drought is coming according to poetess and Climate Scientist Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968). You still have to laugh at 2007 Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery’s terrible prophecy though that with Climate Change, droughts would be more extreme (how is that possible?), more frequent and last longer! (a contradiction).

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      TdeF

      That’s folly not follow.

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      StefanL

      There just aren’t any more good (i.e. cost-effective) dam sites left in the Adelaide Hills. Our total dam capacity is only one year’s worth of consumption; the storages for Sydney and Melbourne hold two year’s worth – a big difference.

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    pat

    lol. i couldn’t access jo’s site at all from lunch-time yesterday when i wanted to post the victorian desal plant story!

    so here’s another:

    3 April: Sunshine Coast Daily: Adam Davies: Qld to decide what to do with botched $4b water ‘assets’
    Premier Campbell Newman said on Thursday the government had to make some tough decisions about what to do with the $2.6 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme and the $1.2 billion Gold Coast Desalination Plant.
    He said the two mothballed water infrastructure projects are costing Queenslanders $150 million a year in interest repayments and $33 million a year in care and maintenance costs…
    Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the two botched water projects were symbolic of the previous government.
    “Labor borrowed billions to build these two water infrastructure projects in a mad panic and they have barely been used,” he said.
    “South-east Queenslanders’ water bills are so high today because we are all continuing to pay for failed Labor projects that are currently not even producing a drop of water.”
    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/qld-decide-what-do-botched-4b-water-assets/2218887/

    Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme
    In January 2013 it was reported that the Newman government was considering shutting down part or all of the scheme.
    In September 2013, former Premier Peter Beattie admitted that the scheme was a “tragic error of judgment” in the way that the Bligh government handled the creation of the water grid.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Corridor_Recycled_Water_Scheme

    the gold coast desal plant in tugun remains mothballed and, as far as i know, queenslanders are still paying out all this money for bad decisions based on flawed CAGW science.

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    pat

    MSM going wild…with exaggerations:

    12 Nov: Guardian: United States and China reach landmark carbon emissions deal – live
    The world’s two largest economies strike historic, ambitious deal to cap carbon emissions and increase use of renewable energy.
    1 min ago: Domestic reaction in the United States is still rolling in, but already Republicans have indicated they will oppose the targets identified in today’s deal…
    8 mins ago: Al Gore: “A major step forward”
    Former US Vice-President and climate-change campaigner Al Gore has called China’s pledge to began reducing its carbon emissions by 2030 “a signal of groundbreaking progress”…
    12 mins ago: Greenpeace: Announcement should be “the floor and not the ceiling” of climate action
    However, both sides have yet to reach the goal of a truly game-changing climate relationship. There is a clear expectation of more ambition from these two economies whose emissions trajectories define the global response to climate change. Today’s announcements should only be the floor and not the ceiling of enhanced actions…
    30 mins ago: “A major milestone in the US-China relationship”
    China will aim to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions by “around 2030” and strive to achieve the target earlier.
    The United States will slash emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2025 – far beyond the existing target of 17% of 2005 levels by 2020.
    China will seek to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its country’s energy mix to 20% by 2030.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2014/nov/12/united-states-and-china-reach-landmark-carbon-emissions-deal-live

    12 Nov: Guardian: China and US strike deal on carbon cuts in push for global climate pact
    Lenore Taylor, Guardian Australia political editor, Tania Branigan in Beijing and agencies
    China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, has agreed to cap its output by 2030 or earlier ***if possible. Previously China had only ever pledged to reduce the rapid rate of growth in its emissions. Now it has also promised to increase its use of energy from zero-emission sources to 20% by 2030…
    Tao Wang, climate scholar at the Tsinghua-Carnegie Center for Global Policy in Beijing, said: “It is a very good sign for both countries and injects strong momentum [into negotiations] but the targets are not ambitious enough and there is room for both countries to negotiate an improvement.
    ***“That figure isn’t high because China aims to reach about 15% by 2020, so it is only a five percentage point increase in 10 years, and given the huge growth in renewables it should be higher.”…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge

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    DonS

    “The best thing for the future of the Labor Party in Australia is serious media investigation and criticism.”

    Agreed, but do we have in Australia a serious media capable doing it? I doubt it.

    Anyway the problem for Labour is that its entire leadership group owe their positions to Union powerbrokers and manipulators not to public or media opinion. The result is a leadership intellectually incapable of self assessment and criticism of their policies.

    For instance Shortens ALP says that in order to have a free trade agreement with China the Chinese need to remove tariffs on Australian coal. Sounds good except Shortens ALP also wants to reintroduce a price on “carbon” for Australia. Effectively what this means is that the ALP wants Chinese consumers of electricity generated from Australian coal to have cheaper power while Australian consumers should have higher prices.

    You can not have it both ways. You either believe in carbon induced global warming and support even higher Chinese coal tariffs that reduce coal consumption or you drop your silly carbon pricing policy. Luckily for the ALP and Greens politicians the Australian media rarely calls them to account for their stupid, illogical policy positions. The public will just have to figure it out for themselves.

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    pat

    the CAGW vultures attack…that didn’t take long!

    12 Nov: SMH: Labor, Greens seize on US-China climate deal to attack Coalition policy on eve of G20
    by James Massola, Lisa Cox, Peter Hannam
    Labor and the Greens have seized on a historic climate change deal struck by the US and China to launch a blistering attack on the Abbott government’s climate policy, arguing Australia is going backwards in tackling climate change, accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of holding “flat earth views” and urging greater emissions reductions…
    And Greens leader Christine Milne said the deal should be a “massive wake-up call to Tony Abbott. His continued climate denial and his destruction of the environment is reckless.”
    Senator Milne lashed Mr Abbott for unwinding climate policies such as the carbon tax and “failing to notice the global economy is changing around him”.
    “Until the Abbott government took control, Australia was a world leader in climate policy with an emissions trading scheme that was considered template legislation for other nations,” she said.
    “Coal must be left in the ground. Fossil fuel subsidies must end. Australia could be a leader and thrive in the new clean economy, but not as long as Tony Abbott anchors us in the past.”
    Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis director Tim Buckley said the pact was “deliberately timed to put [climate change] on the agenda for the G20″…
    Erwin Jackson, deputy chief executive of the Climate Institute, said the deal “makes us like a bit like a roo in a spotlight”…
    But in the wake of the announcement, Minerals Council chief executive Brendan Pearson predicted China would target its efforts to reducing the use of low quality coal in boilers in buildings and small manufacturing and shift the emphasis to modern, highly efficient centralised supercritical coal-fired power generation.
    “This will require high quality coal which Australia is well-placed to supply. In fact, estimates suggest that China’s coal fleet will expand by 400 GW by 2040; that’s more than the USA’s entire coal sector (300 GW).”…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-greens-seize-on-uschina-climate-deal-to-attack-coalition-policy-on-eve-of-g20-20141112-11l6e1.html

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    pat

    jo – it’s still almost impossible for me to log on to your website. i have noted your new thread, but i don’t want to try opening it when i already have this one open and want to post the following here:

    12 Nov: SMH: Latika Bourke: Renewable energy target in limbo as Clive Palmer backs Labor
    But the opposition defended its decision on Wednesday, saying the Coalition would not budge from its plan to nearly halve the amount of clean energy mandated by law, and accusing Labor of trying to embarrass the government ahead of G20…
    “Good on ‘em,” Mr Palmer told Fairfax Media.
    “We’re not doing a deal either,” he said…
    “I can only assume that the Labor Party is putting politics ahead of policy. And we’re a bit perplexed that they would roll out this letter in the eve of the G20,” Mr Macfarlane told the ABC…
    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten defended his move and said Labor had “tried its best” to be bipartisan but it became clear Tony Abbott is not “fair dinkum” about renewable energy…
    John Grimes from the Solar Council said Labor risked breaking its own election commitment if it had helped the government water down the RET. “No deal is better than a bad deal,” Mr Grimes told reporters in Canberra.
    “What this means is that we move from a negotiating position to a campaigning position,” he said and vowed to defeat the government on environmental policy.
    The Climate Institute says the new “climate policy chaos” will embarrass Australia on the world stage as it prepares to host the G20 in Brisbane this weekend.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/renewable-energy-target-in-limbo-as-clive-palmer-backs-labor-20141112-11ks6x.html

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    Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

    Looks like Labor Majora for Victoria after the November election. 4 years of great laughs until you stop and realise its your money, your future and your freedom they are trashing.

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    Ian H

    $450pa seemed reasonable to me for bikkies and drinks. That is less than $10 per week; a couple of litres of milk and a maybe a packet of the chocolate kind. Add in some coffee and you will easily exceed this limit.

    Then I read it again more carefully.

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    Mervyn

    Victorians who vote for Labor may well get a Labor government. And they might also get another desalination plant or some other mad billion dollar green project that will add even a bigger tax burden on Victorians … you know, like a massive wind turbine farm… or how about a massive solar plant, you know, like the Ivanpah Solar Generating System in the Mojave Desert in California owned by Google, NRG Emergy and Bright Source Energy…

    Read about that one here.

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    DBD

    $1.8 million per day versus $400+/family of 4/annum??

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      StefanL

      Jo’s arithmetic is correct.
      Population of Victoria is 5.8m
      So $1.8M/day * 365days / 5.8Mpeople = $113 /person/year

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