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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 November 2014) . . Page.. 3927 ..

I acknowledge that the Tuggeranong catchment does have significant amounts of data collated by scientific experts and also through our much valued Waterwatch community. Nevertheless, the current Phase 1 work will consider if work is required to fill data gaps in order to complete the water quality monitoring framework.

In the past, the Environment and Planning Directorate has investigated whether there was any possibility to negotiate with the Commonwealth to bring forward actual works. The Commonwealth has indicated that it does not agree to this approach in advance of work on the water quality monitoring framework and filling of any data gaps. Departure from the jointly agreed Project Schedule to investigate the wetland options may have detrimental impacts on the ACT Basin Priority Project. It may delay milestones being met and/or could result in a failure to complete the comprehensive business case to implement Phase 2.

In filling in the data gaps, the ACT Basin Priority Project requires a number of steps to be completed to ensure a rigorous business case for Phase 2. The Project Schedule outlines these steps and the ACT government has been successful in achieving the milestones set to date. As such, it will necessarily take some time before a confirmation of the most viable water quality infrastructure is determined for the Tuggeranong catchment. This does not mean that the two wetlands are no longer on the agenda. Moreover, the concept will need to go through a proper process before the Commonwealth is prepared to approve and fund the proposals.

The community is fundamental in the journey and success of the ACT Basin Priority Project and the project team will ensure that key stakeholders are engaged as the project progresses. In this regard, a number of Tuggeranong residents are already part of the Project Advisory Group—Community and Peak Stakeholders Group.

I fully understand the desire of the constituents in the Tuggeranong catchment for immediate action, but I ask for their patience in seeing the ACT Basin Priority Project achieve its project milestones. Appropriate time and analysis will help ensure a business case which is supported with sound scientific evidence that considers the social, environmental and economic objectives.

The ACT government remains committed to restoring the health of Canberra’s lakes and catchments. As outlined above, significant steps have been undertaken to improve the water quality in Lake Tuggeranong, including short-term management actions and the encouraging progress of the ACT Basin Priority Project.

I thank the constituents of the Lake Tuggeranong catchment for their interest in the condition and health of their catchment, and trust that the work to date and proposed under the ACT Basin Priority Project will assist in restoring the health of Canberra’s lakes and catchments.

Thank you for bringing the two petitions to my attention.

Canberra Institute of Technology—Auslan—petition No 18-14

MS LAWDER (Brindabella): Madam Speaker, I seek leave to make a brief statement in relation to the petition about sign language.

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