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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 3 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 958..


Questions without notice

ACTEW Corporation Ltd—flood mitigation

MR HANSON: I have a question for the Treasurer regarding ACTEW. Treasurer, given that Googong Dam is virtually at 100 per cent, what regulation or mitigation of flooding is in place?

MR BARR: The usual arrangements would be in place that were in place from the establishment—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: It has been at 100 per cent for quite some time. They have a spillway and they have arrangements in place, including the possibility to transfer water.

MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, if I could I will add to the Treasurer's answer.

MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, I was thinking that it was more of a water resources question than a shareholder question.

MR CORBELL: It is a combination of dam safety regulation and also emergency services planning, which both fall within my own portfolios. In relation to dam safety matters, obviously Googong Dam does not have gates; it has a concrete spillway only. So once the dam reaches 100 per cent capacity any overtopping results in the spillway activating and water flowing downstream. ACTEW have in place comprehensive measures to advise downstream communities if there are to be any significant flows from Googong spillway, and in particular with the Queanbeyan City Council area, given that that is where the water then travels prior to entering back into the ACT.

The ACT emergency services authorities are in close contact also with ACTEW. There are well-established protocols in place for the sharing of information about flows from Googong, and those are activated as appropriate to manage any flooding risk. But as Googong does not have the capacity to retain water once the water level reaches the top of the spillway, it is important that there are communication arrangements in place, and those protocols are well tested and well established.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: To whichever minister is going to answer: what water which has flowed over the spillway has been transferred to the ACT water supply system, if any?

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry; I missed a bit.

MR HANSON: The question is whether water that has flowed over the spillway has been transferred to the ACT water supply system or not.

MR CORBELL: I assume Mr Hanson is referring to the drinking water supply. I seek that clarification from him. Is that what he is asking?


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