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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3144 ..


MRS DUNNE: You did something there, because I was there as a member. It was a Saturday morning. Anyhow, whoever opened it, it was initially an initiative from Mr Smyth and it is a great concept. But we have seen recently that some of this has fallen; the careful planning has been missing, it seems.

The minister, of course, is personally quite committed to this, and it was interesting when he was asked about this in the estimates hearing. He sort of looked a bit bored, as he does now, through most of it. But when you asked him about the wetlands system he immediately perked up and said, “I am really committed to this project.” And he obviously is quite interested in it. Suddenly there was a bit more life about him and he did actually show some interest. It is clear that he is interested. He has tried to promote the wetlands by having bike rides around them and the like.

But it was interesting that he could not quite remember where some of them were. Banksia Street pond has just been finished, but Mr Corbell could not remember whether it was in Lyneham or O’Connor. It is a bit of a shame seeing as both Lyneham and O’Connor are in his electorate. I hope that this is not going to become one of Mr Corbell’s great big ideas that fall a bit flat. The artificial wetlands are obviously something he is proud of, and I hope they are not going to become like Mr Corbell’s district court.

One of the things that have befuddled this is the reaction of local communities and stakeholders, especially around the Lyneham wetland. There have been some very mixed views: some are in favour, some are cautious and some with actual expertise in the field are quite anti the whole process. The bottom line is that, irrespective of how much input the local residents have, it seems that their views are not being taken particularly seriously. It seems that Lyneham will get a wetland whether it likes it or not. I hope that this idea does not fall foul of community opinion because the minister has not listened to the community.

Not just the community have reservations about this; the latest addition to the list of people who have reservations about the process is the ACT Auditor-General, who only this week released her performance audit into water demand management. In that report the Auditor-General spoke about the Flemington pond, which is the first and the one highest up the creek. This project is part of the integrated waterways project of which the Lyneham pond is part. The Auditor-General found that the completion of the project in 2009 was more than 12 months late and that that completion did not include landscaping. The Auditor-General also found that eight months after the ponds had been completed they are not yet supplying non-potable water to end users, and none of the expected water savings from the CIUWP—the Canberra integrated urban waterways project—have been delivered as originally intended.

The Auditor-General also noted that the timetable for supply of non-potable water from the CIUWP—they need a better acronym—will not occur until 2015. The report further found in relation to the Flemington Road project that the prospect of developer contributions of $3.3 million to the project had dried up, so to speak, and that the ACT government will have to absorb, so to speak, those costs. I did not write this actually; I will have to have a word to my staff. Mr Corbell’s big new idea for the Canberra integrated urban waterways project, like many projects of the ACT Labor


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