Victorian Labor Defends Desal Plant

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Labor denies its Victorian desalination plant is a white elephant, saying it’s necessary insurance against drought.

Treasurer Michael O’Brien says Victorians are paying $1.8 million a day because of Labor’s deal and the desal legacy will continue if Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews is elected premier on November 29.

“This has been the biggest white elephant Victoria has ever seen,” Mr O’Brien told reporters on Monday.

“We are paying through the nose for Daniel Andrews and his decision in the past, we can’t afford to be paying through the nose for Daniel Andrews’ bad decisions in the future.”

Mr O’Brien said the only good deal to come from the troubled plant was for the CFMEU and “union rorts”, which were being investigated by the royal commission into trade unions.

Mr Andrews says the deal was good, fair and necessary.

“You can pray for rain, you can pretend it’s going to rain forever or you can take out insurance,” Mr Andrews told Fairfax Radio.

“Insurance does have a cost, think about the cost of running out of water, think of how that would smash our economy.

“When we need it, and we will, not even the Liberal party will be bagging it then.”

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