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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2287..


MR CORBELL

: To the best of my knowledge, Mr Speaker, the key tenant is the department of education. There may be some other subtenants that I'm not aware of. I will take the question on notice and provide an answer to Ms Tucker.

Water contamination

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on Monday on radio station 2CC you were asked about the water contamination in Corin and Bendora dams. The host Mike Jeffreys asked you when you "first knew about these pollution problems"and you said:

Well I was briefed on them late last week and, I went through, of course Actew are probably building up to doing their testing et cetera but I got a briefing I think on Thursday night.

This would, of course, be Thursday 19 June. Treasurer, why then on 2CC this morning did the executive manager of water and regulatory affairs at ActewAGL say that you, along with the health department, would have been informed of the contamination late May, early June when the water supply was officially switched to Googong?

MR QUINLAN

: Thank you for the question. I was advised that-and I think this was discussed publicly-there could be a turbidity problem. I forget the date but I was out at Weston at the "Stop the Drop"launch. There was discussion of the problem that as the weather got colder and as the air above the dam was colder than the water in the dam overnight you had virtually an inversion of layers within the dam causing some turbidity.

In regard to the discussion of manganese and iron content, I was only advised on that Thursday evening.

Mr Cornwell

: There were two separate-

MR QUINLAN

: There is a turbidity problem with the dam and that normally can be normally fixed with just a low cost addition of filtration. But some of the metallic elements are so small-there are a small number of microns; don't ask me to repeat the numbers because I forget-that in fact filtration will not remove them and there needs to be some process of sedimentation.

The turbidity problem with Corin and Bendora dams I think has been discussed on a number of occasions and I thought it was in the public forum anyway. Certainly, we talked about the amount of material in the dam. We know about booms and filtration skirts. Those sorts of things, I think, have all been in the public forum. But in regard to the metallic contamination-not contamination because it is not going to kill you; it is just going to affect water use in the household-I was advised on that Thursday, and that is one of the major problems that we have got to fix.


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