Water in abundance
By ED SOUTHORN
MALCOLM Turnbull ? tax reform advocate, republican and husband of Tweed Shire ad-ministrator Lucy Turnbull yesterday de- clared the Tweed lucky to have so much water.
High profile Mr Turnbull, the Federal Parliamentary Secretary responsible for water policy, said Tweed Shire's relatively high annual rainfall meant the Tweed was more concerned with flooding than water supply.
He said that although water supply needs differed greatly throughout Australia, the federal government was looking closely at developing a "secure and sustainable water future" for the whole nation.
Mr Turnbull hinted that a national water policy might support desalination plants ? which have been under consideration on the Gold Coast and in Sydney ? only in special circumstances.
"Desalination plants do have a use, where rainfall is always low and you know you can use them year after year, but they are very expensive and produce greenhouse gases," Mr Turnbull said.
He urged all communities to try much harder to recycle and re-use water and noted that increased recycling of waste water re-duced sewerage discharges to the ocean.
Millionaire businessman and former merchant banker Mr Turnbull said there was a "lot of support" throughout Australia for tax reform.
His recent calls for a more efficient and competitive tax system with lower top marginal rates pre-empted Treasurer Peter Cos-tello's announcement of an inquiry into tax-ation, due to conclude before the Federal Budget in May.