Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (5 August) . .
What was unfortunate about Ms Lawder's contribution this morning was the casual rewriting of history around the way this issue has played out and the way that she sought to make it a partisan issue in a way that it has not been thus far. That did little service to either herself or the issue. I do not recall the Liberal Party actually taking a policy to the 2012 election on Lake Tuggeranong. I would be happy to stand corrected, but I certainly do not recall seeing it. There was a policy that I took to the election on behalf of the Greens—I announced it in July or August 2012—where we recommended that we seek $85 million in available funding from the commonwealth. I was pilloried by both the Labor and Liberal party spokespeople on that issue, along the lines that it was not possible, it could not be done et cetera.
I think it is a bit rich to come in here today and seek to rewrite history in a way that does not reflect the true position. The bottom line, and this is what we should focus on, is that, fortunately, as history shows, opinion has changed on that. The commonwealth did come on board. They did in fact liberate the funds, and they have made them available to the ACT. I welcome the fact that that has taken place. That is a strong partnership between the ACT government and the federal government. I, too, am a little frustrated that the commonwealth has imposed some conditions around that available funding, requiring two years of water quality testing before further funds will be released for infrastructure work.
The Canberra Liberals did not take a policy to the 2012 election. If they had formed government at that time, they would not have even had a policy to address Lake Tuggeranong. So let us not get in here and start trying to say, "You guys are doing a terrible job of it." The reality is that this issue is on the agenda because the Greens took a substantive policy to the 2012 election. The Labor Party supported those initiatives, and I thank Minister Corbell for his support.
We are getting on with the job. This is going to take some time. The problems in our lakes have been building up for decades. The commissioner for the environment's report has identified the fact that there are high nutrient loadings in the lake that are now driving the regular algal blooms that we are seeing. They have accumulated over a substantial period of time, so it is going to take a while to reverse it. But certainly we can now start putting initiatives in place. There is not just one initiative; there is no silver bullet on this. It is going to take a range of measures, including the wetlands.
I ask for a little more integrity in the discussion around this issue. I assure the community and those that have signed the petition that I stand with them in wanting the water quality of our lakes improved and will continue to work to make sure that the projects that are needed to start to turn around the problem we have got are delivered.
Disability services—early intervention—petitions Nos 9-14 and 13-14
MR WALL (Brindabella), by leave: In the interests of brevity, Madam Speaker, let me say that the petition that was presented this morning here has the signatures of some 1,993 Canberrans who are again expressing their concern and their desire for early intervention services for children with a disability to be maintained in the ACT
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