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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3752..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

In terms of what we can do or have done, this is a government that can boast of having been the first government to establish a discrete Office of Sustainability within its administration. The ACT Office of Sustainability was the first such move made by any government in Australia to create a discrete and distinct office, in this instance within the Chief Minister's office, to give the issue the profile and recognition that it deserves and the access to influence that comes from being so located.

Out of the ACT Office of Sustainability we have established a sustainability expert reference group to formulate sustainability policy and we have pursued quite vigorously a range of initiatives that we are intent on pursuing. We have a significant commitment to sustainability that we seek to express through a raft of policies, whether it be no waste by 2010, a determination to tackle greenhouse issues or our commitment to the think water, act water strategy. There is a whole range of areas in which we are working significantly to achieve the targets we have set ourselves on sustainability. Many of those examples, of course, relate to the environment.

The whole philosophy behind the Canberra social plan and the spatial plan in relation to sustainable transport and sustainable development is about ensuring that in the future we overcome the mistakes of the past. It is difficult to retrofit. We have a whole range of inherited infrastructure: housing, buildings and practices that essentially are unsustainable. The costs of retrofitting are enormous. From now and into the future we need to ensure that we overcome those ill-advised policies of the past in relation to sustainable development, planning and construction.

Much of the work that is now a feature of ACTPLA, indeed of the Land Development Agency, goes to the heart of ensuring in the future that we overcome many of the issues we now grapple with as a result of the non-sustainable nature of much of what we inherited. I think our record on sustainability is second to none in Australia. There is a whole range of ways in which we have exhibited that. As resources permit, we will continue to invest in a sustainable future for Canberra. We will become a showplace for the world.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, in that same Canberra Times article and in your answer you said that we need to retrofit the city. Could you be more explicit about the plans that your government has for this and when you plan to begin?

MR STANHOPE: In the broad sense of the expression "retrofit", the government is pursuing a range of initiatives. I take, by way of example, our water policy—think water, act water. We have set significant targets in relation to water reuse and water conservation. An example of significant retrofitting, in other words, relooking at and seeking to enhance existing infrastructure is, of course, the existing water infrastructure.

ActewAGL is currently in the process of developing an incredibly smart, innovative and sustainable solution to our future water security and needs. The water reticulation system currently under construction will utilise existing pipes, pumps and water treatment works in place between the Cotter and Googong. This is a fantastic example, DR FOSKEY, of significant retrofitting to ensure a sustainable future. In an incredibly clever and innovative piece of thinking by engineers within Actew, the existing water infrastructure


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