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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 283..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

from the Murrumbidgee River and a fall-back position which would in extremis carry us through and which we are now in a capacity to utilise should the need arise.

Over and above that, we are currently enhancing the water treatment facility at Stromlo with an ultraviolet treatment capacity, state-of-the-art, highest level of treatment available in the world, to ensure that there is at no stage no water of unacceptable quality that we cannot render acceptable and consistent with Australian standards.

We are as well positioned as any city in Australia as a result of the $100 million of expenditure in the last four years, of the innovation, the lateral thinking, the foresight and the planning that has gone into ensuring the security of water supply. Over and above that, as an essential ultimate fail-safe position, we have now begun a process of considering recycling water from the lower Molonglo water treatment plant through a major re-engineering of our system, which, if we do pursue, if we do carry through with it, would secure in almost any extreme circumstance security of supply for the people of Canberra.

It is a position that we could arrive at within two to three years whilst other fall-back positions, most notably the Cotter-Googong bulk transfer system, the Murrumbidgee pump transfer capacity with ultraviolet, and ultimately recycled, are initiatives pursued in the possibility of a repeat of last year's dire level of inflows, if repeated this year or repeated next year—circumstances that not even the CSIRO in its modelling has contemplated. Decisions that we have taken over the last couple of years relied heavily on advice from the CSIRO and its modelling, which the CSIRO is now revisiting as a result of the extreme circumstance of last year, a circumstance that the CSIRO had not included as possible in its modelling.

Animal welfare

DR FOSKEY: My question is to whoever is the minister in charge of the welfare of chooks.

Members interjecting

DR FOSKEY: It is sometimes difficult to tell.

Mr Pratt: They call him chook Hargreaves.

DR FOSKEY: Right, I was not sure. Given ACT Labor's policy commitment to abolish the practice of battery cage egg production in the ACT and the need for cage egg producers in the ACT to change to new battery hen cages as large as the size of an A4 page by 1 January in line with the August 2000 decision of the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, will the government move to start to implement a ban of ACT cage production facilities prior to 1 January 2008?

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance. I know that this is already apparently published policy, but the timing would also be a policy matter. Is Dr Foskey asking the minister to announce policy on the timing of such a ban?

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