Canberra Times . . Page.. 392 ..
It does seem to me that, if the community of this Territory and the surrounding regions is prepared to put in, let us say, a couple of million dollars a year or half a million dollars a year, whatever it might be, the ACT should provide some amount towards that cost which would be reasonable in the circumstances. I have indicated, for example, in the past that I think that the ACT should not need to contribute more than 10 per cent of the total cost of this service. That may well be, at the end of the day, at the upper limit of what we could or should offer.
Mr Whitecross also asked about the surrounding shires. I have had a number of meetings with surrounding shire and city council leaders. I had a meeting last year which the then Opposition Leader attended. I cannot remember the names of the people that were there, but members of the Queanbeyan City Council, Yarrowlumla Shire Council and Goulburn City Council were there. I think that Tumut was also represented. I can get Mr Whitecross a list of those who attended that meeting, if he likes. I have since had contact from a number of other shires, indicating their desire to help. One particular call was from the mayor of a shire to the south of the ACT who was very keen to organise fundraising activities in his shire. I am sure that the others are in the same boat. The enthusiasm is there. I appeal to the Opposition not to dampen that enthusiasm unnecessarily unless and until it is clear that the service is not sustainable by the ACT.
Water Pollution - Ginninderra Creek
MS HORODNY: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. The Minister will be aware of the polluted state of Ginninderra Creek. In an article in today's Canberra Times Graham Cooke reports that several groups, including the Ginninderra Wetlands Care Group, are working to prevent the destruction of Ginninderra Creek from toxic urban run-off; dumping; willow growth; and polluted water from the Lake Ginninderra spillway. Given the significance of this creek and its vulnerability, what steps is the Government taking to ensure that volunteers, community organisations and sections of the bureaucracy are adequately resourced to ensure that the pollution at Ginninderra and at many other sites throughout the ACT is appropriately addressed?
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Ms Horodny for this question because obviously residents, particularly of her electorate, will be concerned about the way in which that creek clearly is being degraded. In that respect, the picture in this morning's paper certainly spoke a thousand words. The Government recognises that creeks in Canberra's urban area, such as Ginninderra Creek, are very vulnerable to pollution because of their proximity to the urban interface. However, we are committed to taking advantage of the opportunity for neighbouring communities to assist in protecting and upgrading, where already degraded, those particular waterways.
An important part of water quality protection in our urban areas is Canberra's pollution control infrastructure, which is designed to intercept rubbish and pollutants prior to their entry into the waterways themselves. Ginninderra Creek has a catchment downstream of Lake Ginninderra which incorporates the northern and western suburbs of Belconnen.