Page 1095 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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program, which includes construction of new wetlands and other structures in Belconnen. How many healthy Waterway projects will we see in Belconnen from this funding and where will they be?

MR RATTENBURY: This is a really important injection of money to continue the Healthy Waterways programs to make our lakes cleaner and particularly to seek to tackle blue-green algae. There are 13 sites across the ACT that are proposed to be worked on under this program and two of those are in the Belconnen area.

The first stage of some of these projects will be community consultation. The research that has been done by the government and by the staff who are experts in these areas has identified the locations. Clearly, some of these are quite substantial projects and we want to make sure that there is community support for them as well. The consultation will determine whether the project goes ahead as planned or whether the proposal is adjusted to address any of the issues that are raised by the community during those discussions.

The two sites in Belconnen are an area of Kippax Creek in Holt, where a solar pump is planned to be installed and a bioretention swale, and a proposed subsurface wetland at Belconnen oval. The proposed wetland at Belconnen oval is subject to community acceptance, to be tested by community consultation that will actively seek out what people’s views are on the project and whether the design that is currently proposed by the government is one that they think is right or whether there is scope for further adjustment.

One of the fortunate things for Belconnen is that Lake Ginninderra is the least affected by blue-green algal blooms. That is why the bulk of these projects have been developed in the Tuggeranong catchment for Lake Tuggeranong, but we are keen to make sure that we continue to also look out for the health of Lake Ginninderra. That is why these infrastructure projects are going ahead in that area.

MS CLAY: Minister, will any of this funding go to stormwater drains or other infrastructure to stop leaves from washing into Lake Ginninderra?

MR RATTENBURY: The issue of leaves flowing into the lakes is very important. The research work that has been done, particularly on Lake Tuggeranong, has identified that leaves flowing into the lakes are a significant source of the nutrients that are then available for recruitment by the algae. Gross pollutant traps and grates or drains can be an effective way to stop larger items from flowing into the lakes. However, they do require ongoing maintenance to remove leaf litter and the rubbish that accumulates in them. While they are a useful tool, we also need to look at how we can prevent leaf litter from getting to that point in the first place.

As members may be aware, the government runs the H2OK campaign to raise awareness about water quality and encourage residents to avoid polluting waterways or contaminating the stormwater. We also have a project being tested at the moment, a pilot program called the “leaf collective”, which is testing approaches to encouraging community involvement in collecting leaf litter from gutters before it can wash into the lakes.

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