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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 599 ..


There is a lot of work to do. There is no single solution, but there is a lot of work being put in to improve the water quality in Lake Tuggeranong and make it the recreational asset that the community hopes it can be.

MR DAVIS: Minister, as you would be aware, a number of passionate individuals and groups have volunteered their time over many years to help improve water quality in Lake Tuggeranong and the overall amenity of the surrounding area. What government supports are available for these individuals and groups to assist them to continue this valuable work?

MR RATTENBURY: The community groups are a really important part of managing our lakes, waterways, rivers and streams across the city. Perhaps the best known groups are the Waterwatch program, who, with the support of the ACT government, go out and monitor more than 200 sites across the city, including in the Lake Tuggeranong catchment that Mr Davis is familiar with. They help to produce the Catchment Health Indicator Program report, which measures the state and condition of a range of water bodies across the city. They have been doing it for a number of years now, so it is really building up a substantial amount of information that can help government policy, as well as community groups, to understand what to work on next.

The government also provides funding to Landcare ACT and to the three catchment groups—Southern ACT, Molonglo and Ginninderra. The southern one is obviously the one that is relevant to Lake Tuggeranong, which Mr Davis is asking about. I know they are keen to have him come by and participate in one of their working bees. I look forward to seeing photos of him elbow-deep in some of the plantings by those groups that is taking place.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what action have you undertaken since the recent annual report and estimates hearings to get the decaying and disintegrating experiment in Lake Tuggeranong cleared up before it spreads more pollution in our lake?

MR RATTENBURY: There are a number of things going on. As I indicated in my earlier answer, just yesterday we unveiled a new floating wetland, particularly to address an identified hotspot for nutrient inflow. The other thing that is happening is that changes are being made to one of the gross pollutant traps that flows into Lake Tuggeranong. It has been identified that the current design essentially enables that organic matter to sit there and stew, or ferment, depending on your choice of words. That is then increasing the risk of algal blooms in the lake. That GPT will be modified so that there is a continual flow of water into the lake on an ongoing basis.

Ms Lawder: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Rattenbury.

Ms Lawder: Could I clarify, for Minister Rattenbury’s benefit, that I was referring to the experimental plastic bags in the middle of the lake, an experiment by one of the universities which is falling apart and floating around in the lake. I mentioned it during estimates.


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