The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Qld Parliament - Questions raised about recycled water safety ...

19 May 2009

Recycled Water

Mr SEENEY: Can the Premier explain how anyone can have any confidence in the government’s plan to introduce recycled sewage to Brisbane’s water supply when the introduction of fluoride has clearly been beyond the government’s capacity to manage?

Ms BLIGH: I thank the member for the question. As I detailed in a ministerial statement to the House this morning, the incident at North Pine River Water Treatment Plant is under investigation. Until that investigation has been completed I am not in a position, nor are those opposite or anybody else, to understand exactly what happened, how it happened, how it can be rectified and if anything necessary has to be done. Let us have a good look at what the investigation says and then not only I but those opposite and the public will have a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding this event.

As I said, that matter is being investigated independently by an independent investigator. Until we see the outcome of that investigation, it would be inappropriate for me—someone who is not technically qualified in the area—to be speculating about the matters involved in that incident. I give this guarantee: the report of the investigation will be made public and members of the opposition, members of the public and members of the media will be able to scrutinise it fully, as they should.

Recycled Water

Mr GIBSON: My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning. In light of the Premier’s failure to answer the question and the government’s continued bungling of water infrastructure and supply, how can Queensland residents count on a Labor government to ever safely introduce recycled water into our drinking supply?

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I would ask the honourable member to rephrase the question. I think he will find that the wording of it is outside the standing orders. If he rephrases it the question will be within the standing orders.

Mr GIBSON: Minister, how can Queensland residents count on Labor to ever safely introduce recycled water into our drinking water supplies?

Mr HINCHLIFFE: I thank the honourable member for the question. I can tell the honourable member and the House that this government, the Bligh government, will be absolutely committed to ensuring that any water that goes into our water supply will be safe. That is the strong commitment that we have made in relation to the introduction and rollout of fluoride, which is a vital public health measure, and we made that commitment with the strong support of important medical organisations such as the Australian Dental Association and the AMA.

In relation to the issues about the introduction and use of purified recycled water, this government has made its position extremely clear: this government would, in the circumstances where our dams in South-East Queensland fall below 40 per cent, reconsider that measure. We have the absolute best failsafe system—the multiple barriers that the purified recycled water must go through before being reintroduced back into the dam system. I can absolutely assure members of this House and the people of Queensland that any potable water that is supplied in Queensland will be of the highest quality and will undergo the most stringent testing regime to ensure that it will be absolutely and appropriately safe for the people of Queensland.

I will also support ensuring that building works continue so that, should our dams fall again to those levels—and I am very pleased to hear reports today from the acting minister for natural resources that we are hopeful that this current weather system over South-East Queensland will cause our dam levels to rise even further. I am very hopeful that those building works will produce even better outcomes for the water supply for South-East Queensland. I reiterate that this government, the Bligh government, is absolutely committed to delivering and supporting safe drinking water for the whole of South-East Queensland including Toowoomba.

Bligh Government, Service Delivery

Mr LANGBROEK (Surfers Paradise—LNP) (Leader of the Opposition)

We look forward to hearing what the Treasurer has to say on 16 June, and of course today we have heard about the bungle in water. It has been bungle after bungle since the state government took control of our water supplies. It said that it was too confusing with councils in control, but let us have a look at the incidents we have had. We have the desalination plant at Tugun that is not working properly and that is rusty. There have been recycled water spills at Bundamba.

I am the first to acknowledge that I am a supporter of having fluoride in our water, but it was always with a proviso that the administration—the mechanism of making sure we put fluoride in the water—would be done appropriately, and there is no excuse for poisoning the people of Queensland in certain communities with up to 30 times the dose. I can tell members that even as a dentist I would not want to be taking 30 times the dose of fluoride. No-one would advocate that, and that is a condemnation of this government in that it has not been able to ensure that the mechanism was done properly. Thirty times is just unforgivable and begs the question of just how this government is going to manage recycled water.

See - Hansard - 19 May 2009 - Recycled Water.

Why trust Anna Bligh's government on recycled water?

"the Bligh government, will be absolutely committed to ensuring that any water that goes into our water supply will be safe. That is the strong commitment that we have made in relation to the introduction and rollout of fluoride".


Readers will recall that it is legal for Anna Bligh's Ministers to lie to Parliament should they choose to ...


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