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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2341 ..


this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and effort of the team leading this important work at the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.

The Canberra Liberals believe nature must be respected and protected, and that is why we support efforts to improve our waterways to achieve better lakes and ponds. This matters to Canberrans because we like to be outdoors, we enjoy being in nature and so much of our leisure time is spent on or near water.

It is pleasing to learn that the Healthy Waterways project—the construction of the 19 rain gardens, wetlands, ponds and channel restorations, plus work to arrest channel erosion along the Molonglo River—is reducing the yearly load of pollutants in our waterways by about 1,900 tonnes. But, as the research shows, we need to do more. The stormwater coming from our suburbs is too polluted, and the focus must be on reducing catchment pollution at its source. The Canberra Liberals support initiatives to manage our water quality problems, including a public education program in five suburbs to prevent autumn leaves from entering our drains.

Canberrans are passionate about improving their environment and want to do the right thing, but people need to know, in simple language, what the right thing is. The Canberra Liberals believe education is important in terms of helping Canberrans to understand why our waterways are not healthy and what we can all do to help to improve them.

That is why I was pleased to hear the minister state that an extensive public education campaign is planned for stage 2 of the Healthy Waterways project to focus on what households can do to prevent leaves and grass from entering drains. While stage 1 of the scheme focused on filtering pollutants from stormwater, the Canberra Liberals strongly support the shift in focus in stage 2 to preventing the stormwater pollution from happening in the first place.

On that note, I would like to ask the minister to organise a briefing for me with the Healthy Waterways team so that I can get a good understanding of the work that they have planned for stage 2. I am particularly keen to learn about plans to store and slowly release stormwater in parts of the Tuggeranong catchment and the Yerrabi Pond catchment.

The Canberra community highly values our lakes and ponds; hence the need for concerted action to take care of problems plaguing our enjoyment of them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Building—combustible cladding

Ministerial statement

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong-Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.16): I am pleased to update the Assembly on the measures taken as part of this government’s plan for supporting the testing,


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