Wednesday, 26 June 2024

Watch this speech here

What would you call a broken promise? Maybe you seek to deceive, to delude, to falsify, to mislead or to con?

In April 2022 then Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese visited Cairns during the election campaign to promise $107.5 million for the Cairns Water Security Stage 1 project.

Eight months later, in November 2022, when Labor was comfortably in government, the minister for water reaffirmed this promise.

She said:
“I am proud to be delivering on this critical election commitment to secure drinking water supply for Cairns.”

Senator Nita Green, who is based in Cairns, also said in November 2022:

“Cairns needs water security and an Albanese Labor Government will deliver it.”

Fast-forward to the Albanese Labor government’s first budget in 2022: zero dollars for Cairns water—a broken promise.

Fast-forward to their second budget in 2023: zero dollars for Cairns water—another broken promise.

Fast-forward to their third budget in 2024: zero dollars for Cairns water.

Forecasts indicate that by 2026—just 18 months away—Cairns will be at risk of drinking water shortfall.

Last December, when Cairns was devastated by flooding following Cyclone Jasper, the city came within two hours of running out of water.

Is this not a clear sign of the urgency of this project? Cairns needs this broken promise to be made good. It is home to 160,000 people.

It is the gateway to the reef, with 2.4 million visitors each year. It supports defence, agriculture, aviation, health, education and energy projects.

Cairns needs water and it needs this Labor government to make good its broken promise.