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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1551..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

government agrees with Dr Foskey in this regard: issues around the provision of additional water supply—in particular, additional water storages—are quite a separate question from the issues around demand management and the examination of ways in which we can better utilise our existing sources of supply. We agree that that is the most appropriate course of action for this inquiry. I know that the Liberals have a view about the provision of water storage and the adequacy of water storage facilities, but that is quite a separate question from the matters proposed to be dealt with in this inquiry. The government does not support the amendment.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.35): Mr Speaker, the whole issue of water storage is integral to all of the other aspects of this bill. Dr Foskey needs to—

DR FOSKEY: It is not a bill.

MRS DUNNE: This motion. Dr Foskey needs to be congratulated for her emphasis and bringing forward the things that she is concerned about—about water efficiency, essentially. But in the whole equation of the future of water in the ACT, these things cannot be effectively separated. The issues of our future water security are all linked together. Whether we have adequate and appropriate storage, and the situation of that adequate and appropriate storage, goes hand in glove with the issues about how we effectively have management of water efficiency measures.

This is why the policy that the Liberal opposition took to the last election covered all of these aspects. It was about water security; it was about water efficiency; it was about all of the means that we need to take to ensure that in the future the people of the ACT have some satisfaction that we will not be left literally high and dry. It is only the Liberal Party that has a comprehensive approach to these matters. Some of the policy initiatives that we took to the last election are up for debate in the community at the moment, and they should be. The matter that we have here today is part of that debate. It was the Liberal opposition that really started that debate back in 2004 by developing courageous and adventurous policies in relation to water storage and water efficiency—putting together a policy in relation to our water security. No-one else in this Assembly is prepared to have the debate that we initiated in 2004.

What we see here today is the government and the Greens unprepared to have the full debate. I am quite prepared to have the debate that Dr Foskey wants to have; I think it is very important. But if we are doing it, we are having half a debate. Mr Stefaniak's amendment is absolutely and utterly to the point. This community needs to have a conversation, a debate, about our water security. If we are talking only about efficiency, we are having half a debate about water security. That is why we need to have a term of reference for this inquiry to look at the provision of adequate water storage facilities so that we drought proof the ACT.

It being 45 minutes after the commencement of Assembly business, the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 77. Ordered that the time allotted to Assembly business be extended by 30 minutes.

MRS DUNNE: In conclusion, let me say this: if this community is going to have the whole debate—a debate which is, in some sense, overseen by this Assembly, the people who make the final decisions about these matters—this inquiry should be


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