08/06/2009 - 10:22

Ripper steps up Mid West campaign

08/06/2009 - 10:22

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The state opposition is stepping up its campaign against the Barnett government's decision to defer an upgrade of the electricity transmission line to Geraldton, seen as a critical component to the Mid West region's development plans.

Ripper steps up Mid West campaign

The state opposition is stepping up its campaign against the Barnett government's decision to defer an upgrade of the electricity transmission line to Geraldton, seen as a critical component to the Mid West region's development plans.

Opposition Leader Eric Ripper is leading his shadow cabinet ministers to the region today to directly respond to community members, businesses and families that are angry at the decision.

Last month's state budget did not allocate funds for the upgrade of the transmission line to 330 kilovolts, from Pinjar to Geraldton, with the government citing cost blowouts.

Energy Minister Peter Collier previously said the cost of the upgrade had increased from $295 million to nearly $700 million.

"We are here to stand side by side with the Geraldton community to put pressure on the Barnett Government," Mr Ripper said.

"The shortsighted decision of this Government to scrap the line could have catastrophic consequences for Geraldton's economic growth.

"The Barnett Government continues to mislead the residents of Geraldton by claiming that this project has been deferred. There is not one cent for the power line in the budget. It has been cancelled."

The opposition is handing out postcards to disgruntled people, who have been asked to submit their grievances to the state government.

"This campaign is an opportunity for Geraldton residents to let the Premier know how unhappy they are with his government's decision," Mr Ripper said.

"We are willing to fight alongside the community, with business groups, local councils and mums and dads who are disappointed that vital infrastructure has been cut."

The government is currently reviewing the transmission line and is considering the possibility of building a new power station near Geraldton.

The proposed 330kv line from Pinjar to Geraldton is said to be critical for the Mid West, as the current 220kv line cannot meet the long-term needs of new mining and power generation developments in the region.

 

 

 

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