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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 604..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

He also asked why it had been discharged four to six times a year, given an assurance by the manager of ACT Waste in 1994. At the time, in 1994, it was the expectation of the manager concerned that water from the sediment retention pond would be reused on site and under normal rainfall conditions there would be no need for discharge of water from the landfill. However, this has proven not to be practical and the discharge has been undertaken in accordance with the environmental authorisation. Only water within acceptable limits as specified by environmental authorisation can be discharged. Once the landfill is closed for general waste later this year, it is intended to rehabilitate the site. That work will include measures to reduce run-off into the sediment retention ponds and reuse on site to irrigate new vegetation.

Mr Corbell asked as a supplementary question whether any downstream users of the creek were advised in advance of the discharge. No, they were not because the water discharged had to comply with the relevant environmental authorisation conditions which make it safe for the environment. He also asked whether the department has procedures in place to warn people. The department does not notify people downstream if there is no environmental threat.

Impulse Airlines

MR SMYTH: Ms Tucker asked whether Impulse Airlines' operational headquarters were being constructed and whether the construction was on time. The operational headquarters are being constructed as part of Impulse's heavy maintenance and engineering centre. The centre is currently expected to be completed around the middle of the year, but under the ACT/Impulse agreement Impulse is not required to complete it until December of this year.

Commercial agreement-harvesting cork plantations

MR SMYTH: On Thursday of last week, Mr Corbell asked about the harvesting of cork oak. He asked me to confirm that a commercial agreement now exists between the ACT government and Amorim for harvesting the plantation and to explain how the harvesting of the plantation was let and whether it was the subject of a public tender. In a supplementary question, Mr Corbell asked me to table a copy of the arrangements with Clifton Amorim "in keeping with the Humphries government's new enthusiasm for open government", I think were his words.

As Mr Corbell observed, the government does have an open approach to government. It is so open, in fact, that a week before Mr Corbell asked his question on notice I had already written to him offering a briefing on the cork oak plantation. Unfortunately, Mr Corbell, having accepted my offer, was not able at the last minute to attend that briefing yesterday.

Mr Speaker, the cork oak plantation at Glenloch is a heritage site. It is recognised by our own Heritage Council and it is listed on the register of the National Estate. It is important in the history of Canberra as the nation's capital and any activities undertaken there require the approval of the National Capital Authority. Mr Corbell may not be aware that in addition to its heritage value, which is the primary value to the community and, of course, to the government, it is the largest cork oak plantation


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