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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 451 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

A further amendment relates to the disclosure of interests. This amendment, suggested by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, tightens the responsibility for board members to disclose direct or indirect personal or pecuniary interests. Mr Speaker, I recommend the passage of this Bill. The amendments tabled today will serve to enhance the operation of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned.


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (10.41): Mr Speaker, I present the Water Resources Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, in 1997 the Water Resources Bill 1997 was introduced into the previous Assembly to ensure the effective management of the Territory's water resources. That Bill was never debated and lapsed at the end of the last Assembly. Mr Speaker, today I am pleased to introduce the Water Resources Bill 1998. In doing so I would like to quote from the well-known Canberra historian, Matthew Higgins. At the recent launch of his book Dams on the Cotter, Matthew said:

I don't know about you, but this morning I probably used the taps in our house about six times. You make a cup of coffee, wash the dishes, use the bathroom, shower and shave, and clean your teeth. Water is so easy, and we all take it so much for granted.

Matthew also said:

I am reminded of the historical role of water here every time I look at a map of the ACT. Back in 1909 when the ACT-NSW border was being worked out, the Commonwealth wanted the Territory to encompass the national capital's water supply catchment. So that is why the ACT is shaped the way it is: for the most part the border follows a series of water catchments.

Two different views of water - it is part of all our lives every day and it is something that governments have been concerned about for many, many years. It is time for this Assembly to formally take responsibility for the ACT's water resources. The Water Resources Bill 1998 will help to ensure that water is used in a way which looks after the interests of the entire community and of ACT communities of the future.

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