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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2185 ..


measure, and that is touched on in the document, but there is no real sense of what we are going to do to deliver non-potable water on a regular scale at household level.

The new development at Molonglo is one that we have talked about already, and it is a perfect example of where this should be being built in. If you talk to people in the industry, they have got some tremendously innovative ideas of where we could be going on non-potable water infrastructure. But they say things like “we might need to do things like create a grey water authority” because some of these new systems that are, say, household scale, will require a level of coordination, maintenance, thinking about how they can fit together and ensuring that people are not getting faulty systems and creating health issues. There is nothing in here that says, for example, in 15 years time, we need a grey water authority. Why not? Why is that vision not in an infrastructure plan?

Then there are the statements that are just glib words on the page. For example, ACTEW advise that there will be a need for major asset replacement for water infrastructure over the next 10 years, as a high proportion of the ACT infrastructure was built around 50 years ago. That is it. Anybody that is delivered any useful information from that sentence is doing far better than I.

Then we come to energy, and, again, it is these statements that have no back-up that are of deep concern to me in this plan. We are in the stage in the ACT where, in the old days, electricity infrastructure and energy infrastructure was all about big power stations and big transmission lines. We have historically had one access point into the ACT. We are now building the second one after the sort of analysis that was done after the bushfires. Once that is in place, energy security in the traditional sense in the ACT is not going to be an issue. But there are question marks about what is energy security in the future. They are issues around the price of energy. Supply, from the point of view of big power stations around Australia, is not going to be the issue. It is about price; it is about ageing grid infrastructure; it is about decentralisation of energy; it is about what is the energy infrastructure we want in the future.

The paper says that the ACT enjoys a relatively reliable supply of electricity through the national electricity market transmission infrastructure from New South Wales. There is no discussion of whether that is what we want. Where is the vision that says, “Actually, we want the ACT to be able to generate 20 per cent of its own energy in 10 years time”? That would be an infrastructure plan.

My favourite one in here though is that it says that in the next five years the government expects to complete development of a distributed generation capacity in the ACT. Really? What is the perceived end point here? What is the completion of development of distributed energy generation capacity? There is no number; there is no target. There is a time line at least, but I do not actually understand what that means.

That captures the essence of the problems with this document, and it is a real shame. Ms Le Couteur talked about it as being a starting point. I think it is very much a starting point, but I think there is so much more that could be done to spell out what an infrastructure plan could be for the ACT. I have only picked up on the two particular areas of interest to me.


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