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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3122..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

extensive, balanced and holistic range of initiatives to address water security and water quality in the ACT now and into the future. I certainly commend "Think water, act water" to the Assembly as the new water resources management plan.

MRS DUNNE (11.50), in reply: Well, that was it. It was good for the Acting Minister for Planning, but there was no defence of why "Think water, act water" should be endorsed as the water resources management plan. This is the crux of the issue. Ms Dundas said that she was concerned that we might throw the baby out with the bathwater-

Mr Quinlan: We have had a look at this, Vicki. There is nothing in it.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Quinlan!

MRS DUNNE: Yes, I know what it looks like, Ted.

Mr Quinlan: There is nothing in it.

MRS DUNNE: that there were some elements of "Think water, act water" which were good, and that perhaps we should not throw them away. By not endorsing "Think water, act water" as the water resources management strategy, it does not say that we cannot do any of the things that are in it. It still remains the policy of the government-a flawed policy, a pretty lukewarm policy, but it still remains the policy of the government.

The water resources management plan, which Mr Quinlan likes to wave around, is a statement of the basics, the things you aim to do. It does not need to be a glossy production. A good water resources management strategy is not made up of coloured pictures. I refer members to volume 1 of "Think water, act water", particularly to the photograph on page 10. As some wit around the place said when the plan was first released, there is one way that we can ensure we will green Canberra as a result of this water resources strategy, and that is by doctoring the photos. All the contrasts-the blues and greens-have been brought up. In "Think water, act water"-at least in volume 1-Canberra is a green city. Members might like to refer to those photographs. All the way through there is lush green grass everywhere. It is fantastic. It might be subliminal advertising. There is a photograph on page 19 of Lake Burley-Griffin. It does not look like that these days. This is not about glossy productions; it is about what is there. Photos do not make a water resources management plan. Mr Quinlan said, "Have you seen this?" Yes, I was about when it was introduced. I know what is in it. I have read it on a regular basis. It is five years old. More work needs to be done about environmental flows-and that is the problem.

Members of the government are asking us to endorse "Think water, act water" before they have done the work. They are saying that it is out of date, but they are substituting for it a document that is equally out of date. They have not done the work that they said they would do about environmental flows. Environmental flows, despite what Ms Tucker said, are a very important factor in what should be there. If we recognise that the information in this poor little black-and-white document, as opposed to the glossy document with the doctored photos, is wrong-and it is; we should be doing more work on it-that is equally the argument, the principal argument, for why we should not be endorsing this document. This is not a document that adequately describes our water


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