Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1050 ..
We have been pouring money into our lakes for years to try to combat this issue, and many of the projects have taken place in Tuggeranong, either at Lake Tuggeranong or in the waterways leading to Lake Tuggeranong, in the Healthy Waterways projects. During the hearings I tried to get an idea of the outcomes—not the specific outputs. We can all see that there are rain gardens and wetlands, and that things have changed. And these are good results. But what has been the outcome in terms of water quality?
Since 2014, when these projects began, what improvement has there been in Lake Tuggeranong? What improvement have residents of Tuggeranong seen in their lakes? I think that there should be an independent assessment of what has been built, and the effectiveness of the funds spent, so that further assets that may be built could be more useful and effective in achieving significant improvement in water quality. I am not criticising the process used to deliver the projects. I am not criticising the construction of the projects. There was an excellent job done. I am just not yet convinced that the results meet the business case that was put forward, and may not pass a cost-benefit analysis.
A particular project that took place in the lake included some pens that held water that different treatments were applied to. Unfortunately, this experiment has been left to decay and disintegrate on our lake. I have asked about this. I asked about this during the hearings. I asked about this during the most recent sitting week. I have still had no reply as to how long we are going to leave these bits of plastic, these bits of metal, to disintegrate on our lake. I visit it every week when I kayak on Lake Tuggeranong. Luckily for me, the lake is still open for secondary contact. It is closed, of course, to primary contact—so there is no swimming, for example—but secondary contact is still allowed, even though there is some terrible blue-green algae there at present.
Despite the tens of millions of dollars spent, we still have poor water quality. We still have regular stinky algal blooms. Tuggeranong residents still suffer. I am pleased to see more money being invested to try to address the issue, and I am hopeful that we will see some results this time for the money that is being spent to try to improve the water quality in Lake Tuggeranong.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.08): I am pleased to rise to support this element of the budget, including a range of new measures that the government is pursuing to meet the territory’s world-leading climate change targets. These measures will help to ensure that we continue on the journey that the community has embarked on and meet the objectives that the government has set out in the parliamentary and governing agreement.
As most Canberrans know, 2020 was a milestone year for the ACT in terms of greenhouse gas reductions. We achieved two very significant targets, and each achievement signals how we need to keep moving forward. Ms Castley will be pleased to hear this, because she spoke about the fact that the community wants action, and this is genuine action.
First, the ACT reached its legislated target of a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions relative to 1990. In fact, we overachieved this target, but this greater