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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5182 ..


The other part of my motion which has been gutted by Mr Corbell is to take out that collegiate arrangement. I think it is most important for the members of this Assembly to effectively endorse whatever submissions that the government puts forward in relation to the Murray-Darling Basin plan so that it has not just the force of “this is what the Stanhope government thinks” but “this is the collective view of the ACT Legislative Assembly”, because there is a great deal of commonality between the views being expressed by the minister and the views being expressed by the Canberra Liberals in relation to this issue.

If he can garner bipartisan or tripartite support for the position that he takes to the federal government, to the minister, to the parliamentary inquiry, to the Murray-Darling Basin draft plan and final plan, we will be better off. This is the main thing. The minister, really, I think is hamstringing himself by not embracing those issues.

The principal amendment brought by Mr Rattenbury we cannot support under any circumstances because it really comes from a diametrically opposed position. We in the Canberra Liberals, along with the minister, it would seem, believe that we should defend our current water allocation. But the words of Mr Rattenbury are quite opposed to that. He said that we should not be going in all guns blazing and fighting for our little bit of water.

There is one part of that that I agree with, Mr Assistant Speaker. It is a little bit of water in the great scheme of things. It is less than one per cent of the water in the great scheme of things. That is almost part of the reason why we should be out there defending it all guns blazing. We should be defending it vigorously.

The people of the ACT, as they become more engaged in this debate, will expect us to do so and they will be asking, “What have the Stanhope government and the Greens been doing to support the people of the ACT?” The answer will be, I hope, that Minister Corbell has been a bit soft on this and the Greens on the other hand are being quite reckless in handing over our little bit of water without asking any questions why.

I thank the members for their participation in this debate. I thank the minister for some of the assurances. I encourage him to be more robust in the future in standing up for the people of the ACT.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mrs Dunne, were you closing the debate?

Mrs Dunne: No, I was making my comments on the amendments.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4:14): I thank Mr Rattenbury for his amendments. The government will not support his proposed amendments. The reason for this is as follows: firstly, his first amendment notes that the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has proposed that between 3,000 and 7,600 gigalitres of additional water needs to be


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