Page 2785 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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Environment—water quality
(Question No 888)

Ms Lawder asked the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, upon notice, on 5 August 2022:

(1) Has monitoring of the performance of constructed assets started; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will this performance monitoring commence.

(2) Why has the annual ACT Water report not been published since 2015.

(3) Why is the cost of disposal of stormwater waste, sediment from ponds and dredging spoil nearly twice that of asbestos.

(4) Have any Canberrans become sick as a result of poor water quality in the ACT’s waterways.

(5) What monitoring is being done regarding the floating wetlands research project at the Village Creek inflow.

(6) In relation to the project referred to in part (5), what nutrient uptake is expected and how is it analysed/determined.

(7) How frequently will the plants be harvested.

(8) How does it compare to other floating wetlands, such as the one in Wagga.

(9) How does it compare to the nutrient uptake of shoreline macrophytes or in-situ wetlands.

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

(1) Procurement activities are progressing to allow the purchase and installation of the monitoring equipment for the ACT Healthy Waters constructed assets. It is anticipated that these activities will be complete in late 2022 to allow monitoring to commence over the 2022-23 summer season.

(2) There is no statutory requirement to produce an annual ACT Water Report. Information contained within previous Water Report is publicly reported in the Environment Protection Authority’s annual report, the Catchment Health Indicator Report and on websites managed by the responsible agencies for water quality monitoring. The new Office for Water will be working with the relevant agencies to scope a contemporary web-based platform for providing improved public access to water information.

(3) The cost to dispose of stormwater waste is not twice that of the cost to dispose of asbestos. For the 2021-2022 financial year, the cost to dispose of stormwater waste was $157.77 (GST exclusive) per tonne. In comparison, the cost to dispose of asbestos or products containing asbestos was $177.13 (GST exclusive) per tonne.

(4) Communicable Disease Control in ACT Health Directorate conducts routine surveillance of a number of these infectious pathogens, and for two or more linked cases of waterborne illness. Surveillance has not detected any outbreaks of waterborne

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