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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4825..


MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. Can you tell the Assembly how you will ensure that these plans are implemented and funded across the whole of government?

MR CORBELL: If I can convince my colleagues in cabinet of the desirability of a certain level of funding, it will be funded very well. As is always the case during the budget process, there is a wide range of priorities, both within the health portfolio and across the portfolios of all of my colleagues. That inevitably means that the government will work hard to develop a comprehensive and balanced budget.

Draft water strategy

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Mr Stanhope. Minister, the draft water strategy "Think water, act water", which was discreetly launched last Friday, said:

The current level of environmental flows was determined in 1999-

Ms MacDonald: On page 210, can you tell us what is at line 5, please?

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! I am having trouble hearing Mr Pratt's question. Mr Pratt, would you start again, please?

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Mr Stanhope.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, we got that bit.

MR PRATT: Okay, so far? Are we progressing?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I think we are going well.

MR PRATT: I am swimming upstream. Minister, the draft water strategy "Think water, act water", which was discreetly launched last Friday, said:

The current level of environmental flows was determined in 1999 by a panel of scientific experts using the information that was available at that time to decide how to balance the needs of humans as water users with the needs of the environment. A significant scientific study is now taking place in the Cotter catchment. The results of this study and other relevant information will form the basis for a review of the Environmental Flow Guidelines.

Yet, "Think water, act water"makes clear that the environmental flows from the Cotter and Googong catchments have scaled down from 23 per cent of the total flow to less than 17 per cent. This is quite apart from the short-term decisions to turn off environmental flows from some dams altogether, with disastrous consequences.

Why are you reducing the environmental flows before you receive the review of the environmental flow guidelines?


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