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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1926 ..

environment and society over the longer term. We recently commissioned a report to inform our decision on an appropriate social cost of carbon and this work will progress in coming months.

On sustainability ratings for infrastructure, action 5.6, several projects are currently seeking ratings that will provide accountability that new infrastructure has been built to the highest standards of sustainability.

Our immediate focus is largely on scope 1 and scope 2 emissions that are counted in our ACT emissions inventory. These are the emissions that we directly control—those created in the ACT or generated from the energy we consume. It is these emissions that we need to focus on to meet our targets. But we also need to think about scope 3 emissions, because this is where we can influence the broader supply chain and help to drive market transformation.

Scope 3 emissions are embodied in the products that we bring into the territory, the building materials that we use, the food that we eat and the materials that we buy. We have a limited understanding of the ACT’s scope 3 emissions at this stage. We have asked the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment to complete a study on scope 3 emissions to improve this understanding. This will provide a solid basis to consider how we might address these emissions in our decision-making, along with scope 1 and scope 2 emissions.

I would also like to talk briefly about one of the largest infrastructure projects in recent times, our healthy waterways assets. As we know, Canberrans value their urban lakes, ponds and waterways. The joint ACT and Australian government investment in the ACT Healthy Waterways project saw the construction of 21 new water quality assets across Canberra. In the Tuggeranong catchment alone, ponds, wetlands and rain gardens are now intercepting 20 per cent of the pollution bound for Lake Tuggeranong. These infrastructure investments wrap up at the end of this month, but planning is underway for stage 2 of the ACT Healthy Waterways project.

While we have made good progress, there is much more that we need to do to preserve and restore the amenity, recreational, ecological and commercial values provided by Canberra’s waterways. It is important to invest in water infrastructure, not just for the environment but for residents and businesses. Blue-green algal blooms can close our urban lakes for recreation and impact on their amenity through unsightly scums and disagreeable smells. This diminishes the commercial value, or potential value, of lakeside businesses and the environmental and liveability values of the ACT.

Continued investment will enable government to make marked improvements in water quality in ACT catchments that include the three major urban lakes—Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Tuggeranong and Lake Ginninderra—as well as our urban ponds. Furthermore, our lakes, ponds, wetlands and rain gardens are green infrastructure that plays a part in mitigating the impacts of climate change by reducing the “urban heat island” effect. This is a prime example of how we can and must consider the climate impacts of any new infrastructure.

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