Page 1386 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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Mr Gentleman: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. The Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan describes the need to promote ecosystem regeneration and ecosystem function to secure water quality outcomes. The funding is used to implement the actions in the Management Plan. Works completed or planned to be completed this financial year have focussed on major invasive weed control programs and broadacre revegetation programs.

This ongoing land restoration work will result in increased water security in the ACT and the realisation of the significant investment in the Enlarged Cotter Dam.

2. The restoration program in the Lower Cotter Catchment is centred around improving water resources and mitigating the risks from future disturbances, especially in a changing climate. As the Catchment continues to transition from intensive historic land-use – being grazing and, more recently, plantation timber – the importance of promoting landscape resilience is fundamental to reducing water quality impacts from future wildfires and floods.

This resilience is being progressively achieved through targeted restoration programs in line with the actions outlined in the reserve 10-year Management Plan, especially in waterways and more vulnerable parts of the Catchment. Programs include specialised erosion and sediment control to mitigate sedimentation impacts in the Cotter Dam, pest plant and animal management programs that focus on critical riparian areas, and both intensive and broadacre revegetation to encourage species diversity, promoting both ecological and landscape resilience outcomes.

3. Both ecological and landscape function monitoring is an important and ongoing component of managing the Lower Cotter Catchment. Since 2008, long term vegetation monitoring across the Catchment has shown consistent improvements in species diversity. Pest animal monitoring is similarly ongoing and informs management programs across the Catchment, with specific focus on vulnerable areas. Additionally, specialised measures to monitor the recovery of waterways and the threats to water quality are undertaken as part of the ACT’s Conservation Effectiveness Monitoring Program. This combined monitoring effort equally informs fire management across the Catchment, with fire management actions balancing the importance of protecting the Catchment from wildfires while minimising localised ecological impacts.

Queanbeyan sewage treatment plant upgrade—Oaks Estate
(Question No 697)

Ms Lawder asked the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, upon notice, on 25 March 2022:

Has a new effluent discharge authorisation been agreed to with the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council for the proposed new sewage treatment plant to be located in Oaks Estate.

Mr Rattenbury: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

Environmental authorisation

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) hold an environmental authorisation (EA) for the operation of the Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Plant. This EA has been

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