Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 229 ..
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTION
QUESTION NO 86
Water Quality Monitoring
In relation to the ACT -
(1) At what sites is monitoring conducted to assess the quality of groundwater.
(2) What are the results of this monitoring.
(3) What controls exist on the extraction of groundwater, and which agency gives approval.
Mr Humphries - the answer to the Member's question is as follows:
(1) Groundwater quality monitoring is conducted at a number of sites around the ACT with most measurement being done at the Belconnen and Mugga landfill sites to ensure that waste from those areas does not enter the groundwater system. In the past, extensive monitoring has also been undertaken by the Commonwealth's Australian Geological Survey Organisation.
(2) Monitoring of groundwater quality to date has shown an area of about 150 hectares in the ACT known to be affected by groundwater pollution. This includes at least three cases of contamination by hydrocarbons from fuel storage tanks and leaching from an old landfill site in Pialligo.
(3) To date no controls exist on the extraction of groundwater in the ACT. Consistent with its commitments under the COAG Water Reform Agenda, however, the Government intends to introduce controls in 1996. We will ask the Assembly to put in place a licensing system for all water use, including groundwater, which will protect the rights of existing users while ensuring that the resource is not over-used. The licensing system will also maximise the return to the ACT for this valuable resource.
I understand that an examination of quantities currently being used indicates that groundwater in the ACT is not over-exploited and implementing a licence system will be relatively easy. The introduction of a licensing system will provide the opportunity to review groundwater monitoring to ensure that the resource is properly protected.