Page 2171 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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Climate change is identified by the Commissioner as one of the most significant environmental challenges facing urban water management. The ACT government has long been a leader in addressing the challenges of climate change, and it is important that we continue to carry this forward into our water management and urban design.

The Commissioner has provided 12 recommendations for the ACT government to address the issues outlined in the report. These recommendations relate to improvements in governance arrangements, cross-agency coordination, strategic planning, water-sensitive urban design and resourcing. Responsibility for these broad-sweeping recommendations extends across multiple agencies. Developing a management response that addresses the recommendations will require a coordinated response. A full government response to the recommendations will be prepared and presented to the Assembly at a later date.

Once again, I thank the Commissioner for her important contribution to the adaptive management of our urban environment and the ongoing improvement that will aid our response to the emerging threat of climate change. I commend this report to the Assembly.


(Brindabella) (3.15): I thank Minister Vassarotti for tabling the report. In particular, I thank the commissioner for the preparation of the report. There is more happening in this term of government to support healthy lakes and waterways than ever before, and there are more Greens in government than ever before. Mr Assistant Speaker, I do not think that those two things are mutually exclusive.

I have been delighted to see, in some of the pre-budget announcements that I trust the Treasurer will elaborate on further this afternoon, that there is already a substantial amount of additional investment targeted towards cleaning our lakes and waterways in the ACT. I am particularly excited about them as a member for Brindabella. It would not surprise colleagues and other members for Brindabella that Lake Tuggeranong is often remarked on, unfortunately, as one that is suffering from some of the worst water quality in the ACT. Over the last few months the situation has only been getting worse, as the commissioner outlines in the report.

This was one of the reasons why, prior to my election to this place, I ran on a platform, along with Minister Vassarotti and Minister Rattenbury, to substantially increase investment in the Healthy Waterways program. We saw some of that in Lake Tuggeranong in particular about a year ago. I know many of the Tuggeranites who live on the border of the lake in Greenway were very excited to welcome their new neighbours, in the form of the floating wetlands. I joined Minister Rattenbury and the Tuggeranong Community Council in launching those. Initial reports from the University of Canberra which have been reflecting on the efficacy of those floating wetlands is proving positive. The Healthy Waterways initiatives announced by Minister Rattenbury as minister for water, as part of this budget, go a substantial way to increasing the amount of floating wetlands that we can expect to see on Lake Tuggeranong.

In particular, I want to commend the efforts of the Leaf Collective, who have been doing a lot of community-based work at the ground level with Tuggeranites to educate and inform the community about some of our social responsibilities, to make sure that what is going down our stormwater drains is keeping our lake clean and tidy.

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