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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 1431..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services), by leave: In response to the report of the Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and Water on annual and financial reports for 2007-08, I wish to make a statement regarding the recommendation relating to the government's response to the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment's state of the environment report.

Recommendation 15 of the report stipulates or requests that during the 24 to 26 March 2009 sitting period—that is, this sitting period—I advise the Assembly why there has been a delay in the government's response. The state of the environment report contained a large number of recommendations which required coordination across government.

On 11 December last year, I tabled a statement in the Assembly indicating that the government's response had been delayed but that it would be provided within the first sitting period for 2009; that is, before the Easter break. Earlier this week, I wrote to members advising that it has not been possible to provide the government's response in this time frame due to the number and complexity of the recommendations in that report.

The government is working urgently to finalise its response. Given the necessity for a whole-of-government consideration of the response, and the need to ensure that each recommendation is given the consideration it deserves, I now expect to be in a position to table the government's response before the end of May 2009. For the information of members, the government will be responding more fully to the other recommendations in the standing committee's report on annual and financial reports in due course.

Water—security

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.04), by leave: I present the following paper:

Water security for the ACT—Ministerial statement, 26 March 2009.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

The provision of water security has been and continues to be one of the most significant challenges facing the ACT. I am pleased today to provide the Assembly with the Labor government's assessment of the current situation facing the ACT, where we are experiencing historically low rainfall, and the decisions the government has taken to provide for improved water security for our community.

Since the commencement of this current drought in 2002, the ACT government has responded prudently and effectively through a range of measures, including


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