Desalination plant asks Victorian govt for $1 billion loan

The builders and operators of the Wonthaggi desalination plant are asking for a taxpayer loan of more than $1 billion following construction delays caused by industrial disagreements and bad weather.

The desal consortium, AquaSure, is seeking a government loan of $1.3 billion to refinance its debt, a one-year extension of the project deadline and hundreds of millions of dollars in payments that were only due to begin once the plant began operating, Fairfax reports on Friday.
 
They claim construction of the plant, which was due to be completed by June 30, has been setback by exceptional climatic conditions in Victoria and tense industrial relations.
 
AquaSure is reportedly claiming financial compensation for about 290 days lost due to the bad weather and industrial action.
 
The Baillieu government has not publicly responded to the claims.
 
The unions have disputed AquaSure's claims with the Electrical Trades Union pointing out its members had gone on strike for one day in three years.
 
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, responsible for most of the industrial action at the plant, says its members have gone on strike for about 10 days.

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