Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2011) . . Page.. 2823 ..

that is going to last in excess of 50 to 60 years. So the benefit to the community is still a very significant one.

Of course, these projects are about reducing our reliance on drinking water supply to irrigate parks and playing fields. I would have thought that the Liberal Party would be supportive of initiatives that reduce our reliance on expensive treated drinking water which, of course, should be utilised overwhelmingly for that use rather than to water parks, to water ovals, to water playing fields.

That is what these projects are about. The cost-benefit stacks up. Even with the additional cost, the cost-benefit stacks up because this is a long-term investment in an asset which is going to provide significant community benefit and amenity over the long term. It is a good thing that we use other than drinking water to irrigate the playing fields, the ovals, the school grounds and the other recreational facilities in the inner north. It is a good thing. We should be proud of our efforts to reduce our reliance on drinking water supply when it comes to the irrigation of these spaces.

It is also an obligation on the territory, as part of agreements with the commonwealth government, to replace three gigalitres of drinking water supply with non-potable supply to irrigate public spaces around the ACT, for which we have received some funding from the commonwealth as well as our own funding.

So that is why we are doing it. It stacks up, it makes sense and the cost-benefit is still very much in positive terms. I am happy to provide that further information to members. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Minister, could you give us a rundown on how the recent planting at the Dickson wetlands went and how many people were involved in that?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I have to confess I am not immediately familiar with the outcome at Dickson but I am happy to take that question on notice.

I can, however, advise members that certainly previous plantings and community engagement with these projects have been extremely positive. What we have seen is great community ownership of these projects. Local residents adopt these projects because they recognise that these are valuable projects, not just from an amenity perspective but also from an environmental perspective, in bringing diversity back into their neighbourhoods—ecological diversity back into their neighbourhoods. And they recognise the real social capital that is developed from these projects as well, by people banding together and adopting ownership of these projects. So these projects are overwhelmingly supported in a positive manner by local communities.

I challenge those critics of the projects—Mrs Dunne and Mr Seselja—to go out and talk with the residents about what they think about these projects. Do they think it is a good idea? Do they think they are worth investing in? Overwhelmingly, the answer will be yes. Contrary to the naysayers like those opposite, the fact is that the cost-benefit analysis stacks up, and I am happy to provide it to members. The detailed

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video