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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4055 ..

Weston Park-sprinkler system

(Question No 334)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to the Government's response to possible water restrictions.

(1) Why was the sprinkler system operating in Weston Park Yarralumla on Sunday 3 November 2002 at 9.00am.

(2) What steps has the Government undertaken to conserve water following ActewAGL's call to residents in its Stop the Drop campaign.

Mr Wood: The answers to the member's questions are as follows:

(1) The irrigation system at Weston Park was watering at 9.00am on Sunday 3 November 2002 as the irrigation controller programming had been altered by a power failure between maintenance inspections. The controller has now been reprogrammed and watering is to occur at night.

(2) ActewAGL has advised us of the progressively tightening levels of restriction proposed as water storage levels diminish. In anticipation of water restrictions, the Department of Urban Services has prioritised irrigated grass areas under its management to establish areas and sites where water usage can be progressively cut back as the level of restrictions become more stringent.

This strategy, and the tight control the Department has over its irrigation systems, will enable all of ActewAGL's water saving targets to be met. While every effort will be made to minimise the impacts on sportsground and park users, as restrictions become more strict, consequences will become inevitable. The community will be kept advised as and when restrictions come into play.

The Department will continue to work closely with ActewAGL in the implementation of restrictions and closely monitor its management areas to minimise unnecessary water usage.

In the case of schools, there have been discussions and exchanges of information between officers of the Departments of Urban Services and Education Youth and Family Services (DEYFS). Officers of DEYFS are advising schools through their regular news letter and Principals' Alert to be prudent in their management of water and to follow normal measures to minimise excessive water use. Again, this liaison will continue as the summer progresses.

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