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It has been identified as a priority area for the upgrade of permanent water pollution control facilities. Construction has recently commenced on two gross pollutant traps at Latham, which are designed to intercept rubbish and sediment before their passage into Ginninderra Creek. These traps will also service the suburbs of Higgins and Charnwood, with further traps planned for other northern Belconnen suburbs. We also recognise the need to minimise the transport of sediments from building sites in the developing areas of Canberra into our waterways. We are currently focusing particularly on building sites in the Gungahlin area.

In relation to the issue of rubbish removal from Ginninderra Creek, I understand that officers from the Department of Urban Services have today inspected the site with a view to taking appropriate clean-up action. The enthusiasm shown by community groups for improving the environment in and around Ginninderra Creek, I think, is very encouraging. The Government actively supports these groups through its promotion of the national landcare program in the ACT. Later this afternoon I will be making a statement about landcare.

The Government’s support for groups like the North Belconnen Landcare Group includes the provision of technical advice, practical support and skills development. I must say, as I will say later this afternoon, that the contribution of those organisations saves the ACT purse an enormous sum of money and should be encouraged by every member of this place. It is anticipated that continuing cooperation between the Government and the community will result in such activities as tree planting and willow and weed removal from in and around Ginninderra Creek. As I said, the broader community has a role to play in ensuring that, in the first place, we do not dispose of rubbish in a way that contributes to this problem. Our open spaces obviously should not be used as a dumping ground, either for individuals' wastes, or those of, say, builders. We need to be taking very careful steps to ensure that we remind people all the time of their responsibilities in that area.

I had the pleasure of going to Charles Conder Primary School a few weeks ago to launch Water Week. I was told what the students at that school were doing about a nearby small creek that flows close to the school. Apparently, this creek has no name - so they tell me, anyway - and I said to them, “You are doing such a good job of looking after this creek that we would like you, the school, to choose a name for this unnamed creek. You will then have the special responsibility of looking after that area of Canberra”. That is one way we can get communities - in this case, school communities - to start to take a proprietorial interest in the welfare of waterways and other areas in their surrounding communities. The signs there are very good. Perhaps the present generation is more in need of education about these things than the younger generation.

Mrs Carnell: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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