‘I’m sorry for WTP industrial eyesore’

Mundaring WTPWriting in WA Today, former Liberal Government advisor Darren Brown apologised for the construction of the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant and ignoring local and environmental concerns.

The sheer scale and audacity of the land clearing filled me with horror. Then sadness. And, as it dawned on me that I had been warned of this misplaced industrial eyesore several years ago, guilt. Mr Brown wrote in a comment piece for WA Today.

Mr Brown was Chief of Staff for Water Minister Bill Marmion in 2010, when he recommended the Water Treatment Plant go ahead in the name of political expediency. After a weekend drive along the Weir Road, it’s an approach he now clearly regrets. Encountering the devastating results of construction, ‘the gash in the flora,’ Mr Brown  wondered if he’d done enough to explore other alternatives at the time.

“Sadly, the conclusion I quickly came to was that I owed an apology to the 1,500 or so people who signed a petition to have the WTP built elsewhere”

Residents believe Mr Brown owes an apology to many more than just those who signed the petition. ” They didn’t listen at all, to anyone and it was obvious at the time” said one local who didn’t want to be named. “They’ve destroyed pristine natural habitat, a significant archeological site of an early settlement and now insiders admit they really didn’t give it too much thought. Now an ex-political operative admits it was a mistake and that it seems standard decision making procedure.”

Mr Brown lays the blame at the feet of political/ media culture and an ‘adversarial and reactionary style of government’.

“So that leaves us with a group of ministers, who can never admit they were wrong or too hasty in taking a decision, and a public that can’t protest too loudly, because doing so might just force the government to do what it was going to do faster to avoid a slow bleed”.

Mr Brown finished his essay with more a riddle than an apology;

“Once more with feeling: I’m sorry for not being more courageous and foolish about the Mundaring WTP but hope those who were screaming about it at the time now understand the political predicament you caused by probably being correct”.

Locals who responded to the Eye missed the joke. “The horse has bolted hasn’t it. I don’t think it takes courage to do the right thing on an issue like this, anyway, to equate courage with stupidity is pretty disappointing.”

Darren Brown’s full apology can be read here.




One Comment

  1. Pamela says:

    Just found your site! We like it. Good to have a bit of local coverage. Enjoying the bits of footy too. Will there be any more local videos?

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