Page 3828 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022

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When I reflect on Ms Lawder’s contribution to the debate—that we have been discussing Lake Tuggeranong and the blue-green algae bloom since 1994—that puts into perspective my impatience and makes me realise that getting something done by September of next year, relative to the length of conversation we have been having around Lake Tuggeranong, is actually getting things happening quickly indeed. I am enthusiastic to see that work.

In the meantime, it would be absolutely remiss of me to speak on the question of Lake Tuggeranong without thanking generously—no doubt on behalf of the entire Assembly but from me, personally, as a local member—the groups and individuals who work so hard to clean Lake Tuggeranong. I also acknowledge the emotional and mental energy it takes to be an advocate and an ally of Lake Tuggeranong publicly and consistently over a long period of time.

I am talking about groups like the Tuggeranong Lake and Catchment Carers group, the Tuggeranong Community Council, the Southern ACT Catchment Group and, of course, Waterwatch, which Ms Lawder mentioned earlier. These are really important, and I hope are seen as partners to government, because we are all singing from the same song sheet here. I hope we all want the same thing, and that is a crystal clear lake. If we get the water quality sorted out soon enough and we are not making the problem worse with our mowing program, maybe, just maybe, we can get Minister Steel back on a windsurfer. I would be interested to give it a crack. Minister Steel might have a couple of years on me, but I would be keen to go windsurfing on Lake Tuggeranong. I think other people would be keen, too. That is a fun thing to look forward to.

We will not be supporting Ms Lawder’s amendments. Unfortunately, the bulk of them are quite political and partisan in nature. I have tried quite hard and quite earnestly to get a consensus motion where we can all agree on some of the work that is required. I am pleased that the minister and the government, more broadly, have been so open-minded to considering it and supporting it today. I look forward to coming back in September 2023 with fellow members for Brindabella and debating this issue once again. I hope that at that time we can reflect on some really positive work undertaken by the government to complement the Healthy Waterways initiative and the Healthy Waterways investments.

I am incredibly proud to represent a political party and to have run on an election platform that really put water quality, and Lake Tuggeranong in particular, on our agenda. I can tell you that, two years ago, standing at the stops throughout Tuggeranong, this was a very big deal to my constituents. I am very invested to make sure that the work of Mr Rattenbury is aided and abetted by all other parts of government. I look forward to continuing this debate in September 2023 when we have the report back.

Question put:

That the amendments be agreed to.

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