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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4792 ..


permanent water conservation measures, to adjust the thresholds in water restrictions, it is right that we taken the community with us.

We have seen the reaction today. I hear on Twitter there was quite some discussion about the removal of water restrictions. A lot of people are saying, “Why are we removing them? We are used to them. Let us just keep going and be prudent for the future.” I think there is quite a debate to come and it is clearly a debate the community is engaged on.

Finally, before I sit down, I have circulated three separate amendments. I think there is some difficulty with the numbering around those, in light of Mr Corbell’s amendment. I seek some guidance from the chair on the best way to proceed with these, whether I should move them now or whether I should come back to them at a later time. I am happy to come back to them by leave it if that seems sensible.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mr Rattenbury, I understand that we should deal with Mr Corbell’s amendment first and then come back to yours.

MR RATTENBURY: That is fine, thank you.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (7.37): Speaking to the amendment, I am a bit at cross-purposes, dare I say it, on the issue of Mr Corbell’s amendment. I mean that in a technical term, in the debating term. It is pretty standard Labor Party practice to come in and delete all the words after “that” and substitute a whole lot of other words. In many ways, this amendment is similar in sentiment. I think that one of things that it is useful to note is that there is a higher level of agreement about the way forward here. And I am not really prepared to die in a ditch as to what version of this goes forward because there is some general agreement.

I am concerned at the government’s performance on water. It is pretty much the government’s position that, if anyone else has an idea on water, it has to be rejected and resisted at all costs. Especially if the Canberra Liberals have an idea on water, the ACT Labor Party reject and resist it all costs. That is what they did in 2004 and it took them until 2007 to come to the position that we did actually need more water storage in the ACT. But that is a story for another day.

One of the principal areas that Mr Corbell succeeds in taking out, which I think is very important that we keep in, is the notion that we need to make it very clear to people when water restrictions kick in or do not kick in. And in throwing out the baby with the bathwater, Mr Corbell has thrown out the words in my original motion that call for trigger points to be made clear to the community. Paragraph (4)(c) states:

establish and publish clear points at which water restriction levels are triggered;

The necessity for that is borne out by Mr Corbell’s amendment. People keep saying to me, “Once upon a time there used to be trigger points in the water restrictions regime and we had some certainty about where we go.” The water restrictions regime has changed in some ways and not in others.


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