The spot where English explorers first set foot on Australia is potentially set for the rebirth of a new Australia - the desalination nation.
I must admit the supposedly green NSW Premier's proposal for a carbon intensive desalination plant at Kurnell, Sydney caught me by surprise.
Yes we have a water crisis, an immediate one and a bigger looming one, but I am just not sure that putting more carbon into the atmosphere is the way to go. Bob Carr knows this, right?
For the green premier who once called desalination "bottled electricity", it's a potentially poisonous issue because recycling is a kind of motherhood concept, and desalination is an energy-intensive option that will increase the state's greenhouse emissions.What is really needed is a dialogue with the locals.
Going to Dubai last week to announce the home of Sydney's first desalination plant may have provided Bob Carr with a telegenic backdrop, but it has also proved a politically expensive stunt.
As the Premier travelled to the Middle East and London, the desalination issue spun out of control.
Local groups at Kurnell were not happy; environmentalists branded it a breach of his promise to tackle carbon emissions; and the Opposition gained ground on its preferred option of a recycling plant .
My first question is, 'why, when the Sydney basin is geographically designed as a smog trap, do we want to increase the amount of emmitants into the atmosphere?'.