Page 251 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

families. That is why we have ensured that our ACT public service staff are able to access COVID leave to isolate and now also to recover from COVID-19.

We know that there are other people in the community who need to isolate but do not have access to paid leave. I have raised this problem with my federal counterpart several times, to no avail. We know that keeping sick and vulnerable people at home helps to control the spread of COVID and minimises risk in the workplace. We know it keeps the community safe. The commonwealth government has given up on safety, but I can assure you and the chamber, Madam Speaker, that this government will continue to take the initiative and act to make sure that the community and workers remain safe during the pandemic.

Fadden Hills Pond—water quality

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. I refer to the water quality issues at Fadden Pond and elsewhere in the ACT. Given that the overarching environmental authorisation states that water quality monitoring should have been undertaken, why was monitoring not conducted at Fadden Pond before it was drained into the stormwater system and eventually into Lake Tuggeranong?

MR STEEL: I will take the question on notice, Madam Speaker.

MS CASTLEY: This is possibly one to be taken on notice as well. Why was Fadden Pond drained into the downstream system, clogging it up with sediment, instead of first dosing the water to reduce turbidity and then filtering it before releasing the water into the stormwater system?

MR STEEL: I will also take that question on notice.

MR CAIN: Minister, when will this government start prioritising the real improvement of water quality in Canberra’s waterways over photo opportunities in front of artificial wetlands?

MR STEEL: We have made a substantial investment in improving the quality of our waterways over previous terms of government and now during this term of government through the expansion of the Healthy Waterways program—$5 million in the budget to expand the number of projects, including projects down at Kambah districting playing fields to ensure that we do not have as much nutrient run-off from the ovals into Lake Tuggeranong and the rest of our stormwater systems.

This has been a really substantial piece of work across all regions of Canberra: in the Yarralumla Creek catchment and in three catchments up north through the stormwater reticulation system that we have up at Lyneham oval and beyond into Sullivans Creek. There is a substantial amount of work that we have done that has demonstrated that we are serious about this, as well as the education campaigns that have sat alongside the infrastructure investments to educate the community about making sure that they clean up leaf litter so that it does not flow into our stormwater system and result in nutrient build-up in our waterways.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video