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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (14 August) . .

Page.. 2584..

Environment—water strategy

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Minister, earlier this month you released the ACT water strategy. Can you please tell the Assembly about this strategy and what it means for Canberra?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Earlier this month I was very pleased to be down at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre to release the new ACT water strategy, as a guest of the Australian Water Association. This new strategy, ACT water strategy 2014-2044: striking the balance, sets out the government's objective for the management of our water for that period. It builds on the success of the think water, act water strategy which has put in place a range of very significant infrastructure projects to provide long-term water security for our city.

The new water strategy identifies three key outcomes for the government: firstly, healthy catchments and water bodies; secondly, sustainable water supplies; and, thirdly, community wellbeing and support. For each of those outcomes we are very strongly focused on a range of actions.

In relation to the healthy catchment and healthy water bodies objective, this is about very much focusing on the key issue now for us as a city, which is the health of our waterways, the health of our subcatchments and addressing concerns, environmental and community, about the health and wellbeing of our waterways. Of course this underpins directly the steps taken by the government to secure commonwealth funding to deliver improvements to our water bodies—$85 million, the largest commonwealth funding commitment ever made to an urban area—to improve urban water quality. We are very focused on the delivery of these outcomes with the support of the commonwealth government through the new water strategy.

The second outcome is again focused on a sustainable water supply. We recognise that we need to make sure that we have a diversity of supply, both potable and non-potable, to ensure that we are adaptive to climate variability, which we know will only increase into the future, as well as ensuring that we have underpinning levels and high levels of water security. Of course important projects like the Cotter Dam enlargement and the Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline transfer infrastructure are critical as part of our long-term water supply and water security objectives.

The water strategy has been developed with extensive engagement with stakeholders, water infrastructure managers, water carers and other stakeholders. I am very pleased that the new strategy is now finalised and is underpinning the government's efforts to continue to responsibly manage its most valuable of resources, the territory's water resources.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how does the water-sensitive urban design review contribute to the outcomes of the water strategy?

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