Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (5 August) . .
over algae." A few weeks later there was a letter to the editor written by a 13-year-old student in which the student described the lake by saying, "I think it stinks." That was in 1994. Twenty years later, where are we?
If these articles were posted in today's paper, no-one would think twice, because we have seen this headline so often that we are almost immune to it, and that is very sad. We have the same issue now as we had then. We have headlines like, "Tuggeranong groups cry foul over stench coming from their lake." We have community council newsletters entitled, "Our blooming sick Lake Tuggeranong." It is an issue close to Tuggeranong residents, community groups and businesses in the town centre, and it is an issue we need to address now. One water scientist made it clear when he stated:
Canberra's network of concrete channels carrying stormwater to the city's lakes are a planning tragedy, largely responsible for growing summer stench along the foreshores.
Wetlands could help to address this issue and alleviate this problem. They would filter the water which runs into our lake and ensure that the water quality is drastically improved, and our residents know that. For the Tuggeranong town centre, the lake should be the centrepiece of the area where people can enjoy the parks and the grass, spaces for exercise and picnics, a place where students from Lake Tuggeranong College can take part in their studies without getting headaches from the stink. It should be a beautiful and peaceful place.
The residents of Tuggeranong that I speak to every day do not understand why we are happy to throw away millions of dollars on a train set, but when it comes to our lakes and waterways we pass the buck and blame the federal government for not giving us the funding. I support this petition today, and I encourage the government to do the same.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro), by leave: I welcome this petition from Ms Lawder this morning. It confirms the government's strong commitment to deliver effective funding to address water quality issues in subcatchments across the ACT. This Labor government has made a priority of the delivery of funding and a comprehensive program of works to improve water quality in subcatchments across the ACT.
The government has been successful in receiving funding of $85 million—the largest ever funding commitment made to a city to deliver improvements in water quality across Australia. That is the level of success this government has achieved to date across both sides of the political divide—from the previous federal Labor government and from the current federal coalition government—by way of a commitment to deliver that funding. This has been recognised by water quality experts locally and nationally as one of the most significant steps forward to improve water quality in an urban catchment like the ACT.
Canberra is the largest urban area in the Murray-Darling Basin, and we are now working as a government with our commonwealth counterparts to enact the programs
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