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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2294..


MR STANHOPE: I am more than happy to do that. As I say, I think that, in the ACT government, a real importance has been placed on the implementation of the water strategy and ensuring that we enter into partnerships with all organisations, buildings and individuals within the community. Certainly, water and water consumption are issues for the community. To date, it has to be said that the community has responded magnificently, particularly in relation to the imposition of water restrictions. I have no doubt that, through the implementation of the water strategy, which was significantly funded in both the third appropriation and the budget that will be debated next week, we will progressively and incrementally, as a community, come to grips with a whole range of issues in relation to water.

I acknowledge, as we all do, that it is the number one issue on the national agenda and on individual agendas. It is a matter of great sensitivity here in the ACT as a result of the issues we faced through the damage to our catchment from the bushfire. The fact that we are now in a drought the likes of which may never have been seen in the ACT-in the last five months we have had less than 100 millimetres of rain against an average for that period of almost 300 millimetres-means that there is a heightened sensitivity, indeed a level of anxiety within the community around the security of our water supply. I think that, at this stage, it is appropriate that we be alert but I do not wish the community to be unduly alarmed about the supply of water.

Certainly, we all acknowledge how important water is. That is why this government has responded with the alacrity, the strength and the vigour that it has in relation to every aspect of water supply and the development of a strategy. It was with great pleasure that I visited the water treatment plant work that is being done on Mt Stromlo, a direct response to issues in relation to water and a fantastic project at both Stromlo and Googong, which will ensure that future water supply can be guaranteed, so long as the water is there, of course.

Actew is working on a detailed assessment of options for securing the water supply into the future but we have developed and are in the process of implementing a detailed, very consultative and extremely well-received water strategy, "Think water, act water". It has been significantly funded in both the third appropriation and this budget. It is important that we work as a community, and that all agencies and both governments do work together in relation to the implementation of that strategy. It is vitally important.

Ms Tucker, in relation to your request that I write to the Prime Minister and upbraid him about the federal Parliament House, I am not aware that we have dual flush toilets in the Legislative Assembly.

Mrs Dunne: We do.

Ms Tucker: Yes, we do.

MR STANHOPE: Not throughout the building. I do not where I am. I am always concerned-

Members interjecting-


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