Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1974..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
supply system and the sewage collection and treatment system in the ACT operate for public benefit. I agree with that. And it must always operate for public benefit.
I have stood on the other side of this chamber and said that it is not only just a case of a scarce resource but also public health and environmental protection need to be taken into consideration. But at this stage I would not be looking towards setting up two discrete sets of plant, two discrete organisations, to physically do the job. We still need to the do the job from a management control perspective but I do not think we necessarily have to separate them physically.
MS TUCKER (5.26): In his first amendment, Mr Wood wants to add the words "as far as possible". I need to clarify that the first few points in part (1) of my motion are principles and I do not therefore regard it necessary to insert the words "as far as possible". What I am basically doing is just stating a principle that this Assembly agrees that certain things should apply. That is all I am asking people to do here. I am not saying that the government has to do anything. I am saying that as an Assembly we agree that these principles are very important. For that reason I do not support Mr Wood's first amendment.
Mr Wood's second amendment seeks to delete part (2) (b) of my motion. I would like to make a couple of points in respect of this, and in doing so generally wrap up my comments. Mr Quinlan acknowledged that limits to growth in our area will be determined by water and that he is supportive of us taking this issue seriously and looking at how we can conserve water use and so on. We know that councils have already considered motions-I know of at least one quite recent one, I think at Yass; some time previous to that there was another which could also have been at Yass-concerning water purchased by the ACT from outside of the ACT. That is a question that obviously has huge implications. We need to put on the record that that discussion is occurring. We have to work out as a community how we respond to that. It may come to the point where we will have to go through the federal government as well. But this is something that is being discussed and it is something that we have to be well able to respond to in a thoughtful way.
Mention has been made of purity of discharge from the sewerage works. We have been told that people would drink it. That is fine-I am happy that people would feel that confident. But obviously-and I guess members realise this and I do not need to say it-the whole question of our impact on the quality of water is much greater than just a sewerage works.
In respect of the amendment to part (2) (b) of my motion, over the last few months I have put a couple of questions on notice and I want to put on the record one particular answer which I think is important. I asked a series of questions about the nature of the contract between Actew and AGL for the management of Actew's water and sewerage assets and services. I asked three questions. My first question was concerned with how long the government was prepared to continue phase 1 of the contract. Members are probably already aware that there are two phases: the first phase is in the form of an alliance, which is sort of working out how it proceeds and Actew teaching AGL how to do the business of water services and sewerage services and so on; and then there is phase 2-