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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 1212..


MR BARR (continuing):

and Young People, Minister for Planning and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (2.59): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Planning and Development Act, pursuant to subsection 79(1)—approval of Variation No 296 to the Territory Plan—amendments to Water Use and Catchment General Code, dated 5 March 2009, together with background papers, a copy of the summaries and reports, and a copy of any direction or report required.

I seek leave to make a brief statement in relation to the papers.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: Draft variation No 296 to the territory plan proposes to amend the water use and catchment general code at section 11.8 of the territory plan. In 2007, the ACT government received a $10 million grant from the commonwealth government for the national water initiative with a target to achieve a three gigalitres per annum of potable water saving by 2015.

Stormwater harvesting and reticulation projects have been identified as the most cost-effective options to develop a non-potable water supply by the CSIRO in its draft of the Canberra integrated waterways feasibility study. The water use and catchment general code identifies the purposes for which water may be used in different parts of the territory. The purpose of the changes is to enable the implementation of a range of stormwater harvesting and reticulation projects under the auspices of a national water initiative.

These approaches to water management were not envisaged when the water use policies in the territory plan were originally formulated. Draft variation 296 was released for public comment in July of 2008 and attracted three public submissions. The main issues raised in those three submissions related to the role of the Environment Protection Authority, the quality of stormwater being injected into aquifers and the impact on catchments and rivers' natural water flow due to water harvesting.

A report on consultation was prepared by the ACT Planning and Land Authority responding to the issues raised in the submissions. Under section 73 of the Planning and Development Act, I have chosen to exercise my discretion and not refer the draft variation to the planning and environment committee. I have decided this on the basis that the issues raised in public submissions have been satisfactorily responded to in the consultation report or can be resolved through ongoing consultation with key stakeholders relating to the design of subsequent stormwater harvesting and reticulation projects. The committee, however, was briefed on the variation by ACTPLA officials.

Territory plan—variation No 261

Papers and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children


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