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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3368 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

We want to promote safe, strong and cohesive communities. Safe, strong and cohesive communities exist where public resources are used to meet the needs of people facing hardship, discrimination and other barriers to participation. We need to build on the enormous community spirit that we know exists here in Canberra, and that was very much a feature and is a feature of our continuing recovery from the bushfires.

We need to respect and protect the environment, which underpins the way we live and the quality of the life that we enjoy. We need to enhance economic opportunity. Not only is employment a primary source of income and material wellbeing; it can be a vehicle for personal fulfilment and social engagement. We have an enviable position here in Canberra, and we need to ensure that we don't become complacent about that.

Towards the Canberra social plan, Mr Speaker, sets out each of the steps or actions that we propose to take to achieve our goals for each of the social priorities. Its function is to describe the draft social priorities and goals to the community and elicit their views about whether these priorities and goals reflect their aspirations for our community. Following that consultation, we will prepare a formal social plan for Canberra that will inform our work and our government's work over the next five to 15 years.

As members will recall, the Canberra social plan, along with the economic white paper and the Canberra spatial plan, will form the Canberra Plan. Work is now well progressed in the development of each of these plans. We look forward to the release of each of them over the next three to four months and to the release of the Canberra Plan early in the New Year.

Public housing tenants-water use

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Mr Stanhope. The water summit yesterday workshopped a target of reducing potable water use by 12 per cent by 2013. In order to achieve this target, you will need an effective strategy to reduce wastage in the 57 per cent of water used inside a house.

One of the most common complaints of ACT Housing tenants concerns leaky taps and other problems, with water system maintenance problems remaining unattended for months or even years, which will have to be addressed if ACT Housing is to meet this target. Fraser Court tenants, for example, estimate that leaky taps in the complex waste 1.9 million litres of water a years.

Chief Minister, as you have just urged us all in this place to get serious about water use, why has your government failed to lead by example by eliminating obvious waste such as that? Will you ensure that Minister Wood will adopt a more proactive maintenance schedule to end such inefficiency by his department?

MR STANHOPE: I ask the minister for housing to take that question.

Mrs Burke: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I directed the question to the Chief Minister in his capacity as Minister for Environment. I would appreciate it if he answered the question, not Minister Wood.

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