Page 3822 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022

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(f) report back to the Assembly by the last sitting day in September 2023, in line with the commencement of the 2023-24 mowing program.”.

My amendments today call on the government to introduce and publish a maintenance schedule of water quality assets to ensure they are properly maintained. We have seen on previous occasions that they are not. We saw the experiment from the University of Canberra fall apart and spread debris throughout the lake; we saw the wetlands when they were first launched come loose of their moorings in the first rain event and float about the lake; and now we are seeing the wetlands breaking apart and spreading more debris throughout the lake.

My amendments also call on government to introduce clear, realistic water quality targets to measure the results of their water quality efforts. Last time I asked someone, “How do you know these water quality infrastructure assets are working?” the answer I got back from the minister was to look at the most recent Catchment Health Indicator Program report. Of course, as I have already said, it was that same report that gave Lake Tuggeranong its worst ever score. So this is the government admitting that the things they have done for Lake Tuggeranong have not worked. We have spent in the order of $36 million over nearly 10 years around Lake Tuggeranong, leading to Lake Tuggeranong and in Lake Tuggeranong, but it is not working.

Finally, my amendments call on the government to commit to publish a comprehensive annual water quality report. We have been called on by other people and other organisations, not just me but also environmental experts, including the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability. The Labor-Greens government has continually ignored these calls despite claiming to care about water quality in our lakes and waterways.

So my amendments to this motion strengthen the “calls-on” section of the motion and I hope they are reflective of Mr Davis’s motivation in bringing forth this motion for today. If he truly and genuinely believes the water quality should be improved in Lake Tuggeranong, he will see that these amendments place a greater call on the government to take action rather than further posturing. If Labor and the Greens are serious about improving the health of our lakes and waterways, they should have no problem in supporting my amendments today.

Lake Tuggeranong should be the jewel in the crown for Tuggeranong residents. It is important to improve the foreshore but, while the smell is there during many periods of the summer time especially, an improved foreshore will not necessarily help people who want to go down and enjoy the amenity around the lake or on the lake, or the residents nearby.

I would like to thank Mr Davis. This is an important motion, and I agree absolutely with the premise of his motion, which is about improving mowing practices, which should lead to an improvement in water quality in our lakes and waterways, including Lake Tuggeranong. It is a good start, but I feel it should be stronger. As evidenced by the lack of action and progress on my motion about mowing a year ago, I would like to see this motion result in something a bit stronger, a bit more concrete, a bit more meaningful, and I commend my amendments to the Assembly.

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