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ACCC finds Water Corp ads misleading

The state Liberal party has called on the Carpenter government to apologise to the community over the Water Corporation's Kwinana desalination plant advertising campaign, which was found to be misleading by the corporate watchdog.

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at home
And the real truth is even worse than being misled by spinning the truth. In the Water Corp's scramble to look as green as possible the power generation capacity to drive the desal plant has been built twice. Once being wind turbines and once being coal or gas fired. The truth about windpower is that it's unreliable and requires back-up generation capacity from a "dispatchable" source such as coal or gas fired power stations. So instead of making the situation better it's made worse. All the additional effort and greenhouse gases that go into the manufacture and production of the two sets of power stations is never re-couped. All this silliness because the Water Authority (as it was then) decided not to manage the growth in it's catchments back in 1987 when it produced a strategy to do so but chose to ignore it. That catchment management plan was claimed to be worth 122GL per year or nearly three Kwinana desal plants. These are Water Authority figures not mine. The reason that it never went ahead was fear from government of upsetting the green vote by having to thin the trees out. The consequences of that decision are now very clear to see. We have ugly pole stack growth forrests and greenhouse gas producing desalination plants.

Victoria Park
I just wonder what action the ACCC would have taken against Coles or Woolworths if they had been extensively advertising fresh Australian produce which had in fact come from overseas sources. The ACCC must be very naive indeed to accept the Water Corporations innocent explanation, they have been taken to task on hundreds of occasions about their claims that the Kwinana RO Plant was run exclusively on renewable energy. A quick trawl through Hansard or through the Water Corporation and Government press releases will confirm only one interpretation. The Water Corporation knew precisely that what they were saying and publishing was wrong, that makes it misleading and deceptive conduct and this is not an isolated incident, their \\\"why we can no longer rely on the rain graphs\\\", published around the same time, are equally deceptive. The reason, commercial gain. I suggest the ACCC take a more thorough look. Peter Coyne

Victoria Park
I just wonder what action the ACCC would have taken against Coles or Woolworths if they had been extensively advertising fresh Australian produce which had in fact come from overseas sources. The ACCC must be very naive indeed to accept the Water Corporations innocent explanation, they have been taken to task on hundreds of occasions about their claims that the Kwinana RO Plant was run exclusively on renewable energy. A quick trawl through Hansard or through the Water Corporation and Government press releases will confirm only one interpretation. The Water Corporation knew precisely that what they were saying and publishing was wrong, that makes it misleading and deceptive conduct and this is not an isolated incident, their \\\\\\\"why we can no longer rely on the rain graphs\\\\\\\", published around the same time, are equally deceptive. The reason, commercial gain. I suggest the ACCC take a more thorough look. Peter Coyne

Floreat
The letter the subject of this story was written in response to a letter I wrote to the ACCC. It took a second letter to get the ACCC to put adequate pressure on the Water Corporation to remove some of the suspect claims it had made on its website about using renewable energy for its Binningup desalination proposal. The PER is currently with the EPA. I have asked the ACCC to have the Water Corporation recall any of the Binningup PER documentation that does not meet its Green marketing requirements. Given that much of the public opinion that has been formed about the energy requirements of desalination from information that does not meet the ACCC's requirements, the Binningup PER process should be scrapped. According to the ACCC\'s Green marketing guidelines any Corporation who wishes to claim or even allow the impression of the renewable energy friendliness of its product needs to prove it. So far the Water Corporation have declined many requests to do so. Michael Derry Binningup Desalination Action Group Vote NO to accepting Water Corp\'s Green energy claims http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nodesalination/polls

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