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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4800 ..


water their gardens infrequently but well, rather than superficially and often. That will have a whole lot of benefits. We would use less water and we would get better growth for it.

Mr Corbell might want to sling off at people and say that Mrs Dunne is setting herself up as an expert. This is not the view that I have determined by myself. This is the constant advice that we have received from horticulturists. It is pleasing to see that there has been much progress. The community, Actew and other organisations have been looking at better ways to do that. That is bought out by the article on page 2 in today’s paper.

I recall my former colleague Mr Stefaniak, as the shadow minister for sport, making suggestions rather like the initiative that was launched at Rosary primary school yesterday. He was saying that we need to find the right sort of grasses that do not use as much water, but which are still not too hard on the kids. We need to cultivate them. Mr Stefaniak said that in and out of season for years and years. There is a clear position.

Mr Corbell can use the current playbook phrases if he likes, but he cannot deny the fact that the Canberra Liberals have consistently and over a long period of time called for a more rational approach to water restriction, a more rational approach to permanent conservation measures. Mr Rattenbury was asked today whether he thought that the permanent conservation measures were too generous. I think he said that the Greens did, and I agree with him. We should not be encouraging people to water their lawns every day. It is not good. It is not good for their lawns and it is not good for our water supply.

As Mr Seselja said that we are not proposing a willy-nilly return to the old days. I have been very careful in the words that I have used. People have said to me, “Do you want to go back to no restrictions?” I have actually called for an easing of restrictions, not an abolition of restrictions. I think that there is general agreement that there will always be some level of restriction. We do not want to call it a restriction because that is punitive. It will be a permanent conservation measure. People in the community need to own those permanent conservation measures, understand them and embrace them because it is for them to implement that policy.

I think it is unfortunate that the minister should respond in that way. It is still disappointing. The permanent conservation measures have always since they were first introduced in about 2004 had the same major tenet: we can use sprinklers every day between 7 am and 10 am—whatever times they are. There are two times twice a day and that particular tenet has always been there. There has been no modification. I have been calling for a modification to that measure since 2004. It has been embedded in our policy since 2004. It remains our policy and it is part of the motivation of why we are here today.

Generally speaking, Madam Assistant Speaker, I thank members for the spirit of this debate and I thank members for their generosity in allowing us to manoeuvre our way through a range of amendments. It could have been quite messy. It did take some thought and some consideration. I think it was done with generosity. I thank members for their support of this very important issue.


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