Kimberley-Perth Canal


Kimberley-Perth Canal

The Kimberley-Perth Canal is a recurrent proposal to channel water from the Kimberley region of Western Australia to the southwestern capital of Perth, a distance of approximately 2,500 km. A number of variations to the proposal and the path it would take have been mooted.

The proposal first gained currency in the mid-1980s when Water Resources Minister Ernie Bridge promoted the concept of a pipeline from the Fitzroy River.

The proposal was a plank of Colin Barnett's unsuccessful 2005 state election campaign which, in one form would be a covered canal 3,700 kilometres long, and costing $2 billion to build.cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1874522.htm|title=Barnett resurrects Kimberley-Perth canal water plan|work=ABC News online|date=March 18, 2007] In 2007, he again argued for the proposal, but then ruled it out in 2008 when reinstated as opposition leader for the forthcoming election. [cite news|url=http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=504362|title=WA's Barnett rules out canal plan|work=The West Australian|date=8th August 2008]

Environmental issues

According to the World Wildlife Fund, a 1993 WA Government report said that aquifers in the Fitzroy River had volumes of not much more than 200 gigalitres and that the pipleine or canal requirements would cause serious environmental damage. [cite web|url=http://www.wwf.org.au/news/n186/ WWF-Australia|title=Australia's Leading Tropical River Scientists Reject Kimberley-Perth Canal|work=WWF-Australia|date=10 Feb 2005]

Cost estimates

The major arguments against the project have been cost related, particularly when compared to improved sea-water desalination processes which have started to be used in recent years.

;Pipeline
*Ernie Bridge pipeline- $3Bn [http://www.abc.net.au/gnt/people/Transcripts/s1223860.htm]

;Canal
*State government estimates - $15Bn
*Tenix - $2Bn

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