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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 312 ..

Manuka Car Park Development

MS TUCKER: Was that the answer?

MR SPEAKER: If they do not want to listen, there is no point in the Chief Minister speaking.

MS TUCKER: I thought someone was taking a point of order. My question is to the Minister for Urban Services and relates to the development of section 41 at Manuka. Minister, you will be aware that on Tuesday last week some Manuka residents brought public attention to the fact that the developer of this section, Barry Morris, was being allowed to pump muddy water from the site into Griffith Park and that action had made a big mess in the park. I want to find out more about how the situation arose. I understand that there has been a problem for some months with the muddy water being pumped from the excavation into the stormwater drain that flows through Telopea Park into Lake Burley Griffin. In fact, the excavation is very prone to waterlogging as it lies in the original creek line through that area. My question is: Why has it taken the Government so long to take action to stop this dirty water from going into the stormwater system when it is arguably in breach of the Environment Protection Act, and why have you allowed the developer to spread mud over a public park and not required him to clean up the water on site before its release? Why was this not part of the planning requirements? I also want to know why no action is being taken to control the dust coming off the site, as I have received complaints that in the adjacent child-care centre children playing outdoors are being affected. They have grit in their eyes. It is a physical problem for the child-care centre and the children in it. The dust is getting into the centre to an unacceptable degree.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I will answer the second part first. I was unaware of the dust problem but will make inquiries as to why that is happening and what the developer can do to stop it. The question of the water is something that we take very seriously and have been monitoring constantly since the development started. The issue of ground water and the water flow was part of the DA. The site lies on a natural floodway. We have kept an eye on it. Indeed, on one occasion last year an on-the-spot fine was issued when the requirements of the DA were not complied with.

As to the use of the park, the developer has approached PALM and Environment ACT to look at better ways to handle the water problem. Only clean water is allowed to be pumped into the stormwater system. The weekend before last some muddy water, water with a lot of silt in it, was accidentally pumped into the stormwater system. When that was discovered, the developer was made to clean it up to the satisfaction of Environment ACT. The department was approached to look for options as to what to do with the water. That was when the suggestion was made that Griffith Park be used. The water that is flowing there is coming out of the bottom of the development. It is just silted water. The water is now draining back into the ground and the silt will be removed.

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