By Terri Butler MP

05 November 2020

The Government wrote fifty press releases but zero loans during the four-year life of Scott Morrison’s failed $2 billion water loan facility.

The Government wrote fifty press releases but zero loans during the four-year life of Scott Morrison’s failed $2 billion water loan facility.
 
The Morrison Government has abolished the failed National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility (NWILF), quietly announcing the end of the program in the Budget four years after creating it.
 
In one of the most egregious examples of the Morrison Government being all about the photo op and not about the follow up, the Government has not managed to get the four-year-old program off the ground.
 
Between July 2019 and 30 September 2020 alone, Scott Morrison wasted $615,986 of public money on running the failed announcement-generating scheme, for no outcome.
 
In his 2016 Budget speech then Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed the NWILF would “catalyse new investment in dams and pipelines across Australia.”
 
It did not.                                                                     
 
Bruce King, Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Investment Corporation, which manages the NWILF, has confirmed that the program is yet to receive any water loan applications.
 
Despite Australian farmers and communities desperately struggling through one of the worst droughts on record, the Morrison Government shamefully held out false hope, with 50 press releases since 2016, for a fund that never delivered a single dollar to water infrastructure in four years.
 
Nor has the Government delivered on its talk before getting elected more than seven years ago, that it would build 100 dams. It has not built any in all that time. In his Budget speech the red-faced Treasurer had to admit the first one – Emu Swamp – is only now looking like it might get underway.
 
In its four years the Morrison NWILF has funded no dams, created no jobs and made no water available.
 
Even though this Government has racked up one trillion dollars of debt they are still managing to leave people behind. And when it comes to water they haven’t delivered and they have no plan for the future.