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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 507 ..

MR GENTLEMAN: Again, I will take that on notice.

MS LEE: Minister, what are the government’s plans in relation to transferring commercial and domestic waste to Tarago?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I understand it, there are no plans to transfer waste to Tarago.

Environment—aquatic and riparian strategy

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Minister, the health of our rivers is crucial to the ongoing wellbeing of wildlife, the environment and humans. Can you outline to the Assembly the work currently underway to review the ACT government’s aquatic and riparian strategy?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her question and for her particular interest in the environment in our area. Conserving our rivers and the land alongside them, the riparian area, is crucial to the ongoing survival and wellbeing of wildlife that relies on them, the environment and our people.

The Conservator of Flora and Fauna is asking the community to comment on the draft 2018 aquatic and riparian conservation strategy, which looks at how we can best continue to manage and repair our precious waterways. The consultation includes associated action plans for five threatened fish and for two threatened plant species, the Tuggeranong lignum and the Murrumbidgee bossiaea, which are found only in the ACT.

Our waterways provide many critical ecosystem services. They are vital providers of water for consumption and habitat for plants and animals as well as being sought out as aesthetically beautiful places. But they are threatened by climate change, water extraction, overfishing, erosion and sedimentation, pest plants and animals, and disease.

This draft strategy builds on the achievements of the original 2007 strategy by providing a regional approach to conservation and management of these environments and addressing current and future issues with best practice conservation and management strategies. We are particularly keen to hear the community’s views on how to improve and increase their engagement in river-based activities and projects, for example by supporting and promoting citizen science, increasing awareness, and engaging with local Indigenous communities on traditional ecological knowledge.

MS ORR: Minister, can you further outline to the Assembly the objectives of the aquatic and riparian strategy?

MR GENTLEMAN: The draft strategy provides the strategic context for the protection, management and rehabilitation of aquatic and riparian non-urban areas in the ACT. Specifically, the objectives are to provide conservation management guidelines for the protection and enhancement of aquatic and riparian areas; to

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