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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 4 Hansard (4 April) . . Page.. 1336 ..

diversion limit is required to reflect the environmentally sustainable level of take for water use.

The sustainable diversion limit covers both surface water and groundwater, but the amendment does not specifically set volumes for these, as these limits may change over time, particularly when ACT interstate water trading takes place and/or when the volumes set by the ACT are revised, such through as the review that has been requested on the volume set for the ACT's groundwater sustainable diversion limit. As you may appreciate, the basin plan is still in its formative stage and the commonwealth's Water Act allows for changes to water resource plans as new scientific understanding or other developments arise.

As the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, I determine the amounts of water available from water management areas. Any determination on water available will thus be subject to the sustainable diversion limit and cannot exceed in total the sustainable diversion limit for surface water and for groundwater available for water use.

By the way, Madam Speaker, achieving a sustainable limit of water use and dealing with the over-allocation is not the issue for the ACT that it is elsewhere in the Murray-Darling Basin, as the ACT has a long-established principle of allocating adequate water to the environment as a first priority. I would like to point out that these amendments have special relevance and significance to the ACT's water resource plans being submitted to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in the first half of 2019.

In summary, these amendments are, of course, quite technical but are critical to ensuring that the management of the ACT water resources is meaningful and current for water resource planning and management and also recognises that the ACT is now subject to the basin plan and its requirements on the sustainable diversion limits on water use. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lee) adjourned to the next sitting.

Gaming Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Mr Gentleman, on behalf of Mr Ramsay, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (10.42): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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